Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strong in Face of Tragedy

I must have had a premonition.

Last week I decided to have mini marathons of the "Lost" episodes that had piled up. Sudden urge to be able to watch the finale at the same time as everyone else. I made it with a couple hours to spare on Sunday and felt as productive as one can when the productivity involves watching TV.

(A special thank you to Scott for letting me watch the two and a half hour finale on the regular TV while he watched upstairs in the bedroom.)

I have a tendency to horde TV episodes. I see all these great shows that I really want to watch, but I inevitable fall behind.

Example 1: "Flash Forward. I was hooked at the first episode. Unfortunately, that was the only one I ever actually watched, but I kept recording, thinking it would be good summer viewing while all the network shows were on hiatus. Last count I believe was 14 unwatched episodes.

Example 2: I did much better on "The Vampire Diaries" Got through the first half of the season, before it took some time off, but didn't get back to it when it returned. Last count, 8 episodes.

I also horde movies. Because I pretty much think it's pointless to buy DVDs or blue rays, when I can already see that downloading to computers is the next hot thing. So if there is a movie on one of the five million premium channels we pay for that I know I'll want to watch again, I record it.

Examples: "The Hangover" "Sense and Sensibility" "Role Models" "The Holiday" You see the pattern. Offensive comedies and cheesy romance. That's what I live for. Throw in
"The Transformers" and I'm good to go.

So last night, while in the middle of watching "Glee," our cable box froze. Then it started rebooting...again...and again...and again. I tried everything. But I knew I was going to have to face the inevitable call to AT&T.

At 8:00 AM this morning I made the call. First, trying their automated system trouble shoot, but that of course didn't work, because that NEVER works. I'm not even sure why it is an option.

At 8:15 AM (yes, it took me 15 minutes to do something I knew wouldn't work) I was placed in the queue for tech support.

At 8:48 AM (yes, that is 33 minutes later) a "tech support" person answered the phone. I told her the system kept rebooting and wouldn't let me turn it off. She asked the obligatory dumb ass question (there has to be one) "You mean your TV or your cable box?" Now why in the hell would my TV be rebooting? And even if it did, why would I call my cable company about it?

"Well, let me try to run a system diagnostic from here and reboot it."

"Yes, please do, because even though it's been rebooting for the last 12 hours without success, you pressing the button will make all the difference."

5 minutes later she is back on the line. "I'm sorry, I can't do it. I can either try getting you back to your factory settings, or you can schedule a technician to come look at all the lines. Do you have anything on your DVR?"

DO I HAVE ANYTHING ON MY DVR!? Last count: 95 recordings.

"Please send the technician."

"Okay I can give you the noon to 4 appointment." (Again, not an "appointment" ma'am, window of time.)


4:05 PM. Technician arrives and presses button on cable box. (after I move toys in his path)
4:06 PM. Technician goes to modem and disconnects/reconnects main line. (after I move toys in his path)
4:07 PM. Technician goes to basement to see where line comes into house. (after I move shoes in his path)
4:08 PM. Technician comes back upstairs, disconnects box, and on his way to the truck says, "I have to issue you a new box from the truck. Be right back."

AHHHHHHHH! He just stole my 95 recordings! Without me getting to say goodbye. I mean, I had prepared myself for this, but how prepared can you have it ripped from you so suddenly.

4:15 PM. New box installed.

I had to break the news to Morgan. "No more "Race to Witch Mountain" or "Princess Protection Program" or "Wizard of Oz" (yes, I had a commercial-free recording of "The Wizard of Oz")."

"But, Mommy, those are movies. We can just buy them." girl.


  1. I had the past four episodes of Flash Forward saved in the DVR..mainly so I could FAST forward through the commercials. I too got behind on my quality viewing. Oddly enough, the EXACT thing happened to us last week (with the exception being we have the ever-faltering Time Warner Cable.) After the nice man with his hopital slippers left following installing our new box, it took me a minute til I thought to myself, in horror, "Wait a second, our recordings are in the OLD box!" that was now rolling in the cable guy's van rounding the corner....fading...into the distance. I ran downstairs to the TV, thinking maybe he did some kind of cableish magic and transported all my DVRed shows. Nope. The list was empty. But before the panic overtook me, I was comforted by a sort of "relief". You see, all those Flash Forward episodes were giving me a guilty anxiety that I really can't explain. Too much to catch up on. What if I fall alseep while watching? Do I re-save and try again later? Just plain overwhelming. So, I guess that salvation cancelled out the saddness of losing several re-watchable movies and about 12 Dateline NBCs.

    This is a long comment. Sorry, just didn't want you to feel alone on this one. Keep up the great writing.....and get a back-up DVR.

  2. Ain't technology grand? Looks like you'll be re-doing your "DVR Settings" list on your sidebar.

  3. Thanks, RaRa. And I would have to admit to a small sense of relief as well.