Over And Out

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The very first thing I often hear (after returning home from work at night) is my Dad talking back to the TV. This is something a lot of people do – not only the elderly. Whether it’s a televised sports game (“what are you, blind?”) or a game show (“buy a vowel, you moron”) or a myriad of other brain-numbing, soul-sucking, waste-of-time forms of entertainment, it amazes me the number of sane human beings who are glued to this never-ending cycle of visual stimulation. And my parents aren’t even aware of the modern concept of ‘streaming.’

It’s no wonder the television set has oftentimes been referred to as an ‘idiot box.’

I stopped reading the newspaper years ago because all I ever saw was murder, celebrity gossip and sports. Add to that the local weather and traffic report and that’s basically all that’s on the TV news as well. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there are tons of additional stations that keep replaying accidents and general mayhem 24/7. Such fun.*

So here’s some free advice:

STOP WATCHING. Like they used to say on walkie-talkies and CB radios: “over and out.” There. Problem solved, right? You’d think it would be that simple but, as bored as my Dad is these days because there’s only so much he can do with limited sight, he constantly sits down in front of the TV – knowing that, between watching every televised political debate, all my Mom’s game shows and soaps and his round-the-clock CNN, his blood pressure will no doubt be raised at some point. Maybe TVs should come with a warning from the surgeon general!

*Anyone who watches ‘Miranda’ on public television will get that reference.

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Just In Time

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Just in time for winter… when your t-shirts and jeans are all put away and your long-johns and fleece pullovers are neatly folded in their place. The leaves have all fallen, the days are much shorter and you can see your breath in the air.

Just in time for spring… when the last of the snow has finally disappeared (hopefully) and the buds are starting to reappear. Some of us use this time to begin our seasonal allergy regimen – whether it’s getting shots or taking pills or spraying our noses.

Just in time for summer... My parents have always used my brother’s birthday and mine, which are six months apart (plus two years), as the dates they change over their closets and bedding for the season. The pool will soon be open, the bees are buzzing around us and the ice cream truck melody can be heard in the distance.

Just in time for fall… the cycle is almost complete with the leaves turning vibrant colors and the warm days behind us. The water’s too cold to swim in and our bathing suits are no longer of any use. We spend as much time as possible outside – walking and biking and exploring nature – before the dark days of winter are once again upon us!

Daylight Saving Time

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I doubt there’s a person out there who really thinks we need daylight saving time. For most of us it’s just a huge inconvenience. When my kids were younger, it was a nightmare because they either went to school in the dark or came home in it. Now it’s just a drag because we have to set all our clocks forward and backwards. Granted, modern technology takes care of some of our devices but we still have to manage more than our share.

I know a few people who refuse to give in and, although forced to live with the time change, feel a certain amount of pride in defiantly not changing their car clocks. The reason, I’m told, is that in six short months the time will be corrected (much like people who refuse to make their beds because they’re only going to sleep in them again??). The problem is, you’re never quite sure which cycle you’re in and that can make for some very late arrivals.

Mostly, I think, people tend to get slightly depressed during the time change because it represents shorter daylight hours and the coming of winter. But, like all things worth waiting for, there is (literally) light at the end of the tunnel!