Friday, February 27, 2015


There isn't a thing wrong with our old TV.  It's a plasma set, which means it does use quite a bit of electricity; but the picture is fine, and it's just the right size (46 inch).  My only complaint is that I can't hook up a Roku or antenna to it because there's no place to plug them into the television.  The only place I could hook up either one of those is used by the Directv box.  I'd really love to be able to use both an antenna AND the Roku alongside our Directv.  

The main reason I want the antenna is that our public TV station, KCPT, has three antenna channels.  One seems to be nothing but cooking (19.3), but the other extra (19.2) has the same sort of educational programming that the original broadcasts offer, except there are shows you can't see on the original channel.

I know all this because some time back I invested in a small TV for the bedroom, just so I could experiment with Roku and an antenna.  Even though we are thirty miles from Kansas City as the crow flies, a tiny, cheap set of rabbit-ears brings in all the local stations amazingly well.  

I'm thinking a person might do something with an A/B switch.  But what I REALLY would need is an A/B/C switch, and even then, it might not be so desirable if it forced me to get out of my chair and fish around behind the television for a switch... using a flashlight, of course, because it's dark back there, and the television weighs a ton.  The advantage is that I would see all those cobwebs that collect back there and deal with them as a good wife ought. 

You can see the problem with fiddling around the back of the television.  Also, we already have enough things plugged in over there to give an electrician nightmares.  

It isn't that we can't afford another television, but no more TV than the two of us watch, I am not about to invest in a new "smart" TV.  Every time I'm tempted, I lecture myself with the reminder that we really do not watch that many hours of television.  

If you've followed my electronics adventures in the past, you probably think I will end up doing the stupid thing and purchasing a really expensive new TV, but you'd be wrong about that.  This time the balance is too much in favor of waiting until the current one stops working... in other words, doing the sensible thing.  Let's see, it must be about twelve years old.  Surely it won't last forever.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things I keep

I sometimes look around the house at all the unnecessary things I hang onto, things I have taken with me every time we moved to a different house, and I wonder what it is that makes them worth keeping.  I'm not one to dust any more than I have to, so you would think I'd try to get rid of "dust-catchers".  Case in point:
Cliff's mom worked at the place that made these types of decorative things to hang on a wall.  I believe the name of the company was Sexton; when Cliff wakes up I'll check with him and change the information if it's incorrect.  

You can still buy this stuff, and for a very low price; go to Ebay, type "sexton decor" into the search, and be prepared to spend some time, if you intend to look at all the results.  The company must have been turning them out by the thousands, as plentiful as they are.  And yet, I hang onto it and actually prize the thing.  I stored it away in the junk room of our old house for years, simply because I was tired of looking at it.  Finally I decided that, because of the story behind it, I should display it in a prominent place.

Before she was ever my mother-in-law, Melva worked in the factory where they made these things.  The way she related it to me, this particular item had a slight flaw, and employees could buy flawed merchandise for a low price.  You can take that for what it's worth, since Cliff's mom sometimes had a tendency to "dress up" the truth.  I don't say that to put her down; it was a fascinating part of her unique personality that still makes us smile when we relate certain stories from the past. 

So she bought it for Cliff's birthday.  This all happened before I ever met Cliff, by the way.  

When Cliff and I got married, he was living at home.  I had been living alone in an apartment for three years, so I had the basic furniture we needed to start housekeeping, while Cliff had little more than his paycheck to bring to the table.  (Insert snickering here as I think of the comments Cliff will make when he reads this.)

Cliff's parents never had a lot of money or valuable belongings, but his dad always had the idea that if he owned a widget (I remember having a teacher in high school who was always using the word "widget"), it was the best danged widget ever created.  The man lived in fear of thieves breaking in and stealing something of his;  It was really hilarious if you only knew how little he had!  

We had been married for a couple of years with one baby and another on the way when Cliff's mom handed over the horses-running plaque.  "Elwood didn't want to give this to you at first because he didn't think you-uns would stay married," she told me.  

Yes, friends and neighbors, my father-in-law was afraid Cliff and I would divorce, and I would end up with this priceless treasure.  

Two of Cliff's siblings had very brief marriages before he and I met, and I guess I can't blame his parents for thinking our marriage wouldn't last any longer than the others had.

So I prize that horses-on-the-wall plaque, not because of the value of the thing, but because of the story behind it.  I'm so glad I never gave my in-laws any cause to worry about the final destination of that work of art.