Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Olympics can change lives (or just living rooms)

I love the Olympics. Really, really, truly, truly love them. And I don't know why. I'm not a sporty kind of girl. I can't sit through an entire baseball or football game. But I'm going to actively waste the next two weeks sitting right here on the couch watching every little event. The kids are down with it now. Give it a few days. They will get sick of beach volleyball and me pretty damn fast.

Young newlyweds and homeowners, the Man and I had one little TV with a funky antennae wire that we would drape around lamps and out the front door to get reception. We really didn't care. But then the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer were coming up and I suddenly realized that the situation was unacceptable. We had cable TV a few days later. Go Team!

We still only had one TV and it was fairly small. We didn't care. But then the Summer Olympics in Atlanta were coming up. Our home had acquired these two demanding little people who kept me upstairs quite a bit. It didn't take much discussion on what had to happen to keep peace in our home. A short time, later I had a set in my bedroom, with cable. USA!

Our downstairs TV seemed to be shrinking. The dog had eaten the remote and the buttons on the set had snapped off from overuse. We had to use an unsharpened pencil to poke at the broken buttons to turn it on or change the channels. We didn't care. But then the Summer Olympics in Sydney were coming up and with Olympics being broadcast on multiple NBC channels, a change was needed. A trip to Best Buy and a great deal on a floor model graced our home with our current behemoth. (The pencil TV was sold in the next yard sale to be used just for video games. I hope it's still making people happy out there.)

It's been awhile since we've had an upgrade in our television situation. But be assured that when it happens again, an Olympic-sized event will probably be the cause.


Weaver said...

a great big one, with fancy schmancy high def maybe? so you can see the athletes sweat?

Every time the Olympics start, I think of my first year at camp and trying to watch as much as possible on nights off and hiding the set in the small room at Green Meadows to sneak a minute here and there.

Nance said...

and isn't it funny how people you never heard of before suddenly become household names and you know their life histories?

ntsc said...

A couple of comments on televisions.

All televisions now sold as new in the US must recieve digital broadcasts.

Not all digital broadcasts are High Def (HD), some are Standard Def (SD).

Unless the TV is about 32 inches or bigger your eye can't tell the difference between HD and SD.

A digital broadcast picked up by a converter box, you did send for your $40 coupons?, and watched on an analog set will probably look better than the same program in pure analog.

I sit on the committees that write the television standards in the US, chairing several. NTSC is the name of the analog system broadcast in the US and North America. It is 64 years old, 54 if you count color TV.

J. said...

Weaver: I think about that too!!! We were all crammed around that tiny set in the back room. I'd take my breaks in there. Happy times!

Nance: Don't I know it! Today I was cheering for some guy from Togo. What's up with that?

NTSC: You chair television standard committees? Sounds like an interesting gig. As for the $40 coupon, not yet, sorry!