Time to Keep Silence – #SoCS

Welcome to February. We’re getting ready for the big game here in the US, but Linda G. Hill has given us a challenge to get through first:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “choices.” Base your post on the subject of making small, uneventful choices. Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, the conversation would turn to silence.


“Head’s up guys, I have a crowd in the lounge. Can we wrap up your order before they start?”

“I’ll have three fingers of John Howell’s bourbon Cheryl, and Dan will have his usual, unless he’s afraid of the virus.”

“David. DO NOT start with the rumors about the Corona virus being related to the beer! I’ve gotten that question, for real, several times today.”

“I’ll just assume the lime kills the virus. One Corona, please, Cheryl.”

“Well, it’s better than bleach and you won’t get scurvy. I’ll be right back.”

“Did I see your car at the hardware store, Dan?”

“Yeah, I was picking up a clock that they ordered for me.”

“At the hardware store?”

“Target didn’t have any.”

“Why do you need a clock? You’re never without your phone.”

“It’s going next to the TV.”

“What’s wrong with the clock on the cable box?”

“The new cable box doesn’t have a clock.”

“No clock? What’s on the display?”

“OK, Dan, here’s your beer, with a single lime slice. David, your bourbon, seltzer and ice – with cherries in the bourbon.”

“Ah, Skippy reported in. Did he tell you about the two lime slices, Cheryl?”

“Tell me? He’s been showing off all week, Dan. Balancing one slice on top of the other in the bottle.”

“I have to admit, it was…”

“…I can trade shifts with him, Dan.”

“…Childish, that’s the word I was looking for. It was childish.”

“Uh huh. You boys flag me down if you need anything.”

“Thanks Cheryl. So, Dan, what is on the cable box display?”

“There is no display.”

“No display?”

“Just a large annoying blue LED on the corner, that doesn’t do anything but glow.”

“Is that to show that the box is on?”

“Nope, it stays on after you turn the power off. It never goes out.”

“That’s why we have electrical tape.”

“Exactly what I used, David.”

“What about the On-Screen Guide, it must show the time.”

“Yes, but the stupid Guide covers half the screen.”

“I thought technology is supposed to be ‘smart’ these days.”

“The ‘smart’ part is in the remote – but – it’s – stupid.”

“What do you mean?”

“The old cable box, the ‘dumb’ one with a clock, came with a universal remote. It controlled the box, the TV, the DVD and Blue Ray players. This one only does the cable box and TV.”

“So, you had to dig out the other remotes?”

“I did.”

“Leaking batteries?”

“One, yes.”

“Ha! I think you should have another beer.”

“I heard that. Are you buying Dan another beer, David?”

“No – he’s paying, but he needs another.”

“Here you go Dan.”

“Ooooh, look at that lime slice, Cheryl. Perfect.”

“Nice try Dan.”

“Don’t be too hard on him, Cheryl. He’s been hoisted with his own petard. Done in by the very technology he championed for years.”

“More like I’ve reached the point where it’s passing me by.”

“How’s that, Dan?

“The new remote is designed for voice commands.”

“So why not talk to the thing?”

“In the words of, well, God, there is ‘a time to keep silence, and a time to speak (1)’ – trust me, the average evening in my house is not the time to speak, at least not to appliances.”

“No need to bring in the Big Guy, Dan. It’s a brave new world, and it’s listening. Just ask Cheryl.”

“Excuse me. I talk to people all day long. The last thing I want is to go home and talk to my TV remote.”

“I don’t use it either. I like to scroll through the Guide to see what’s on. Until I can ask the remote to ‘show me the shows that are on that I might like,’ it isn’t going to help.”

“Well, I’m no fan of this technology, but that day is coming, David. Perhaps sooner than you think.”

“Never happen. What I want varies with the day. I need to be able to make my choice in the moment.”

“The worst part of this remote is that it’s part of the cable company’s sales team.”

“Speaking of sales, here’s your Corona, Dan. Do you guys want some food?”

“None for me Cheryl, I’m still full from breakfast.”

“Allegro?”

“Yes, at 7:30 am, too early for you, David.”

“Yeah, yeah. What’s this about the remote and sales?”

“If I search for something, even if I arrow down to it, the Guide shows me shows like the show I’m hovering on – including ones on stations I don’t subscribe to.”

“With an attendant offer to sign you up?”

“Exactly.”

“This is why you cut most of the cord, Dan. Switch to your Roku and leave this Alexa-wannabe behind.”

“Sometimes you’re brilliant, David. Cheers!”


It’s good to have Cheryl back behind the bar. Remember, her blog has moved, but it’s pretty easy to find.

(1) Ecclesiastes 3:6-8

To Everything There is a Season

…6a time to search and a time to count as lost, a time to keep and a time to discard, 7a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.…

78 comments

  1. And, right before it, ‘a time to dance.’ Footloose. :-) Now, that I have that out of my head, I will say it’s going to be bacon for breakfast today for sure. :-) I have two of those annoying blue light boxes at home too, and I don’t talk to either one of them. I’m in Time Warner land here in the south, and they have zero guides. So, when I want to see what’s on, I have to look at the TVGuide app on my phone, use the tv remote to turn it on, and the cable remote to change channel. I need surface space for three devices, and that doesn’t count if I want Netflix and nee my Roku remote. And, we won’t talk about what happens to the volume when you have two remotes with volume on them plus their channels are set at different levels. Oh well, I watch less than four hours of tv on any given day so I think I’ll focus on something more important like hoping the Chiefs win tomorrow. :-) Happy weekend, Dan, and a pat to Maddie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. For once, you and I are rooting for the same team – Go Chiefs! I love the Roku remote. Compared to the largely ineffective cable remote, it’s downright elegant. I f’ing watch much TV, and I don’t labor over these choices. But, when technology could be good but isn’t, I shake my head and wonder.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m only now beginning to remember to talk to Alexa when I want a piece of information. I cannot imagine asking her for TV channels. We have one of those Guide screens on our cable system, but I don’t know what each station is called so I don’t know how I’d tell Alexa to show it. Plus who needs to be watching more TV?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All good questions, Ally. Besides, it’s just more opportunities for these guys to collect information about us. I’ll middle through, reading the guide – horrors, reading! If it gets too complicated, I’ll pick up a book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hah! Great conversation topic today. The ‘always on’ blue lights are annoying, to say the least. But even though I read more than I watch TV, those annoying blue lights are still on. 😡😤😒

    Maddie is becoming quite the couch hog. I love it!! I like the shot of the squirrel behind the leafless branches. Good camouflage….except it didn’t fool you!

    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. Maddie kept trying to get us to sit yesterday. It was cold and gray and we just couldn’t oblige her. So, she stretched out on me and the couch.

      I snapped a few pictures, but I didn’t find the squirrel until I looked at them. Outside, I didn’t see him until he moved.

      We have several of those annoying lights that have bits of tape over them. I really don’t understand the purpose of this light. It’s on as long as the box is plugged in. There’s no indication that the box is on or off, and the box gives you know information. It is truly useless without the remote.

      Like

  4. A couple of comments here, Dan. 1) We had to drag out a digital alarm clock when we got rid of the cable box. Yes, we have phones and a clock on the kitchen wall (visible from the livingroom), but there’s something appropriate and necessary about having a clock right next to the TV. 2) I can barely get Google or voice text to understand me, let alone a TV remote. No thanks, I’d prefer to push buttons.

    Have a happy weekend and I hope the Antion household stays healthy!

    Like

    1. Thanks Mary. Good to know it’s not just me with the clock. I use voice text in the car. Fortunately, it lets me preview the message before sending. Sometimes I can’t imagine where it got what it thought I said.

      For the first time in over a dozen years, I’m not flying this weekend. I almost always cane down with something after that trip.

      Like

  5. I’m stuck on Target not having a clock, which causes me some mild anxiety for some reason. Yet they have an hour glass. I don’t have silence because of tinnitus, but there’s something soothing about the ticking of my five year old clock from Dollar General. And you can show that old bridge any time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I searched Target and I even asked, JoAnna. They had a section where it said they had clocks, but no clocks on the shelves. Maybe they ran out???

      I’m glad you like the bridge. I can’t stop taking pictures of it 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I am really loving all of your bar convos, Dan. I wish I was as good with dialogue as you! I’m still trying to decide if I want to participate, maybe I have too many choices to make, lol.
    That one pic of Maddie, at first I thought was your wife’s hair, lol. Like you would take a picture of her in bed and show it to us, duh!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have Alexia able to turn on the TV but after that, it is like talking to a brick. Everything I watch is recorded except for football so I’m still happy going to recordings and making my own selection the old fashioned way i.e. scroll … push enter. Good looking stout for the game. I have a Black Butt Porter. Breakfast looked good. The photos have a definite winter look. (of course, they do, John. It’s winter DUH.) Nice job on the prompt, Dan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. Faith enjoys darker beers. I will stick with Corona. I hope it’s a good game. Mostly, I’m watching stuff via Roku. The remote is so simple, and the choices are pretty clear.

      Enjoy the game.

      Like

        1. I did, but then I’m a dark beer lover, preferably smooth and not hoppy. My current favorite, only available in Wisconsin and the Chicago area, is Cashmere Hammer from 3 Sheeps Brewing (https://www.3sheepsbrewing.com/) in Sheboygan, WI. But there are so many good craft beers these days. We even have a friend making his own beer and his first batch was quite good. Going to try the next batch today.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not a big fan of virtual assistants and appliances listening in to our household conversations. Perhaps it’s unwarranted paranoia, but I would just as soon keep our private life private. Our group will be rooting for the 49ers, but just because they are a west coast team. If the Chiefs win, my life will go on pretty much the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We have 2 remotes and also a PlayStation controller that has to be used for DVD’s or NetFlix. Too many. Love the shot of whichever cat peeking from behind the curtain.

    I’m laughing at John having a Black Butt Porter. Typos coming back to haunt us.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If something would happen to Bill, I would not know how to watch TV. I am so technologically challenged. There are so many remotes and I don’t know which one to use for what.

    And…at our wedding 41 years ago, a friend sang the song inspired by the verse from Ecclesiastes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah silence. Now all those talking devices might just drive me back to the library for a good old fashioned book. There is a talking gremlin in my laptop. I turn it off every time an upgrade turns it back on. So far our cable company has not caught up to this trend. And it will be mostly silent I hope as far as the football goes. The Browns have cured me of football for a very long time now. My wife may check the score occasionally. And for the most part we will end up watching what is on the dvr. So far our house is free of the listening , ease dropping, chatterbox, talking hockey puck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are on a listen-free zone, John but I’m not sure how long we can hold out. We don’t want anything listening and we don’t want to speak, but laws and accountants force the issue at times. I check the score when the Pirates are playing. I might even go see a game. No device, of human for that matter, wants to hear what I have to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yikes…so if that cable box is always on, is it monitoring you just like Alexa!?! It’s bad enough our phones do that. Did you look in the home interiors department by pictures, pillows, and such? That’s where the clocks are in our local Target. Your breakfast, minus all the bread and potatoes were an excellent choice ;-)! It all looked yummy though! Cheers to your game day celebration – which team are you cheering for!?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So many choices with all the new technology and the streaming content. I am still pretty amazed with my Amazon Fire Stick. I have the voice control stuff with Alexa in the house. Not used to using it yet. My son and daughter-in-law are very knowledgeable of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I would rather have the old TV with rabbit ears and three channels where I have to get up and turn the dial. Blue light and voice command? Scary stuff. Great post, Dan. And your Chiefs won. Did you see the Bill Murray commercial with the groundhog? So funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. To Everything There is a Season. One of my faves. You’d think you’d hear it or read it more, for all that it applies to.
    I’m weirded out that your Target didn’t have clocks, as I am fond of clocks and perhaps own too many, but consistently admire new ones, even at Target. My most recent clock purchase was one that has the stored-light hands, so not bright, but possible to tell time after dark. In the wee hours I pop the top button and it lights up the face but fades by the time I get back into bed AND it makes no sound. No ticking while I sleep.
    Huge wall clock in my living room ticks and I like it, cause living room.
    Anyway, about the tv, you don’t like Amazon, so you probably would be better off with Roku. I love Amazon :) Of course, I hated scrolling guides, and would rather have what I want on demand, so…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Target had lots of wall clocks but nothing small enough to sit next to the box. There’s something about finding the time in that spot (like it’s been for 30+ years).

      I’m good with YouTube TV and Hulu. If I had more choices I’d spend even more time scrolling the guide.

      Liked by 1 person

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