Since we moved to South Carolina, we have been at the mercy of three different companies and paying three very large fees in order to enjoy television, the internet and make telephone calls. It wasn’t our idea, trust me. Rather it was simply because AT&T didn’t recognize the fact that there are actually people living in small towns who do more than grow corn and raise cattle. I’m placing the blame on AT&T because they were the ones who were unwilling and unprepared to provide the services they had promised, back to that time when we first arrived at our new residence.
Like anyone else who is in the process of moving, we had made all of the necessary appointments and arrangements to have all of our utilities and services installed as soon as we were closing on the house. The day the installer arrived, I asked about the speed we could expect from AT&T’s, allegedly, bundled internet service. He then informed me that all they could install was dial up. I put on my “surely you jest” face because I didn’t even know that people still used dial up, and I was just as stunned to find out that this huge corporation hadn’t bothered to bring the 21st century out to our only slightly rural area. The poor man then explained to me that the communications giant was planning on running their lines out in about two years. By the way, that two year scenario has been repeated over and over.
That ended my plan for what I had believed was a sure thing. Needless to say, the dial up lasted about two days before I called HughesNet and asked them to give me something, anything, that wouldn’t just sit there, time out and go into a coma before I could do my online banking. That also prompted a call to DirecTV, and my crop of satellite dishes began to grow. For those of you who have satellite service, I don’t have to tell you that every time it rains or the wind blows or a pine cone falls on the dish or a gecko decides to sun himself, the internet and television are rendered useless. My computer programs whir away until I’m informed that a connection can’t be made, and the televisions display a message that they are searching for a satellite. I can only assume that a thunderstorm in Aiken throws all of those roving behemoths in the sky out of their orbits, crashing into planets.
About a month ago, fliers showed up in our doors, from Atlantic Broadband, offering us – yes – bundles. A triple play, in fact, with one price and tons of good stuff. I took out my abacus and chalkboard to figure out what we could save. The prices from the a la carte menu we were using were in the range of a car payment. I’m not talking about a Honda Civic, either – we were almost in the Lexus category. My algebraic equations were proof enough that it would be in our best interest to fire the whole lot and go with the company that actually wore the big boy pants.
This is where you can point and laugh at me because if you had seen me at all over the past couple of weeks, you would have thought that I had seen indoor plumbing for the first time. I now know what On Demand is, having thought, when I read your comments, that it was some sort of room service. That whole world of HBO, Showtime and Starz is there, on my television, without me paying some less than reliable satellite company a small fortune. My internet access is on turbo – I actually think it reads my mind. Best of all, everything has remained in tact and available through two thunderstorms.
I’m proudly wearing that new remote on my belt now, and I’m recording a whole new collection of television series and movies. When you talk about “Boss” or “Game of Thrones” or anything else on all of those fancy channels for that matter, I’ll actually have my own point of reference and, more than likely, my own opinions.
Just to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to with all of this, one of the first things I recorded and watched was HBO’s “Game Change”. I had read, and thoroughly enjoyed the book a couple of years ago, and was interested in how they would interpret it for television. I have to say that it left me feeling a little, well, maybe a lot, short changed. If you’ve read the book, you already know that there was much more to it than just John McCain and his troubles with Sarah Palin. The book itself is over 700 pages and this little movie didn’t even come close to covering its’ contents. There was nothing about John Edwards, Hillary Clinton or then candidate Barack Obama, other than some brief clips of speeches and youtube videos. If HBO is listening, I would like to suggest that perhaps they should have turned this into a mini-series. The fact that they made this movie the way they did was a disservice to those who read the book and those who didn’t. It could have been so much better.
OK, I’m off to see what other wonders are awaiting me on my small screen, and I still have to figure out all of the buttons on that remote. It’s really amazing what’s considered exciting when you live on a farm. By the way, you can go ahead and mock my foolishness now – I’ll be too busy programming things to notice.