Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 6, 2009

Sherry Hopkins

Line drawn at ‘DreckTV’ with its DVR and remote

I have anxiously awaited the arrival of my electric bill for the past three days.

I couldn’t wait to see if the expected results were there. Dear Don and I have made many changes since the first of the year and this would be the first billing cycle that included all the reductions we had made around the house.

The result was a savings of over $20.00, which we both thought was quite significant. Also our water bill was down several dollars as well. Dear Don has been taking cooler, shorter showers and it is paying off in dollar amounts.

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Last month our car fuel amount was lower than the previous month because we stayed at home more. We ate out even less and our grocery bill total was way under budget. All these savings add up quickly and allow us to live on even less.

At the end of February we were able to add a few hundred more dollars to our growing savings account. I am proud of us both for having the tenacity to stick with the program. Believe me we are better off financially and mentally because of the changes we have made. Now if we could just turn loose of the problematic DirecTV.

Like a baby and his “blankie” we hold onto the remote for dear life, as if it were a lifesaver of sorts. The DVR has become at once the most loved and hated thing in our home. I have started recording things that in the past would have held no interest for me.

When I’m away from the TV and DVR I find myself for an instant trying to pause or rewind a conversation or scene somewhere. There is something very, very wrong with this scenario. I have always been a TVaholic but never like this. The remote is the last thing I turn loose of at night and the first thing I pick up in the morning. Even before coffee.

I check the “list” continuously to see what has recorded. I panic if the available recording time dips to below 60 percent.  Dear Don says he doesn’t think he’s seen the DVR without the little orange recording light on since we got it. But he has no room to talk. He sits in the den reared back in his recliner with remote in hand like he’s at the control of the Starship Enterprise. Could you beam me up now Scottie?

He has a DVR in his office and all day long while he is at work I can hear the slight hum of the recorder as it records some inane program about Aliens, Nostradamus or Chupacabra (don’t ask). I can’t count the number of times in a weekend when he disappears to his office to “set the recorder”, or check the “list.”

No I’m certainly not in this tree of nuts all by myself. There is enough loony to go around here for sure. If we could just wean ourselves from these infernal contraptions we would have $80 a month to spend or save somewhere else. That amount along with our Obama money, the $13 to $20 decrease we are supposed to see in our Federal Withholding, why I could have another $160.00 or so extra each month.

That’s a lot of money in a year’s time. Of course with no TV to watch for a year I suspect the savings wouldn’t make a dent in the therapist’s bill. Surely we would both be even nuttier without our DrekTV. Maybe we should consider buying stock in Duracell batteries in the future. We are sure to help keep them afloat almost single-handedly.

You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at <>.)