Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'm Free! (If Not a Little Technologically Retarded)

So, I believe I mentioned a while ago that my friend Mary gave me her old VCR, since mine broke over five years ago and I never bothered to do anything about it. And I hooked it up and I could get it to record and I could watch videos, but I couldn't figure out how to program it to record while I'm away (which was the whole point of why I decided I needed one and Mary was kind enough to donate hers). I kept meaning to call the cable company to see if they could help me figure it out, but I never quite got around to it. The main problem is that I can't change the channels through the VCR--I have to go through the cable box. So even though I'm watching cable through the VCR, the VCR can't change the channels.

So flash forward a couple of weeks. I'm having dinner with a couple of friends. In one of those not-directly-related-to-the-conversation serendiptious ways, one of them casually mentions something about programming her VCR through the cable box and I stop her and say what are you talking about? And she explains to me how, with RCN (my crappy cable company that keeps taking away all the good channels), you have to program to record through the cable box *and* your VCR.

So I'm all excited because I've finally found out how to set my VCR. So I go home and try it. I'm able to get the cable box to program, and I had already (finally) figured out how to program the VCR, so I set up a test. And sure enough, when the time comes, the TV switches to the proper channel. Success!

But not quite. When I look down at the VCR, it's doing nothing. Nada. Not even acknowledging that it's supposed to be doing something. My spirits sink.

So the next time I talked with my friend I told her about my failed experiment. "Did you have your VCR turned off?" she asked me. "Mine won't work unless the VCR is off." Now that just sounds dumb to me, but what the heck. I set up the cable timer, programmed the VCR, and then turned it off.

And whaddayaknow, it worked. I can now record programs when I'm not home. I'm no longer a slave on Monday nights, chained to my TV so I won't miss a second of "24."

Because that's what this has all been about. I gave up "The West Wing" and all of the "Law and Order" franchises when I started teaching knitting classes in the evenings. But the thought of missing just one episode of "24" was more than I could bear.

And now I don't have to miss anything. And I'm sure the list will grow; I'm already thinking I'll record "Project Runway" so I can watch that on Wednesday nights when I get home.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to hook up the DVD so I can use that too.


BertandFelix said...

I am so proud!

Corinne said...

But, if you miss all or part of Project Runway on Wedsnesday evening, it is broadcast again later, I think at 11 pm.

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