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Friday, January 30, 2015

Rant #1,368: To Have ... and Have Not

This week has been a tumultuous one in my neck of the woods.

We had that storm on Tuesday which many people complained about.

It wasn't as "large" as advertised.

Well, where I am we got nearly 18 inches, and after shoveling it all up around my house, I can tell you, it was enough.

Do the complainers want some of what we got here?

Anyway, at work, it has been kind of tumultuous too.

We have had no Internet and no email for days, and it is starting to wear on all of us.

Having both of them knocked out since the storm hit has been exceptionally horrid at work.

Our company puts out several trade publications, and without Internet and email, we have been sunk all week.

We have been looking to alternative avenues, and it has been tough.

I have relied on my smartphone, which is able to get the Internet, for help.

I have directed all the people we deal with to send their material to my personal address so I can see what they are sending, but I also want them to send the stuff to my work address, for I hope, one day, to be able to use that once again.

We get so much material in via email that it is really essential that we have it.

And we do so much research on the Internet that not having it has made the week, quite frankly, a pain in the butt.

Yes, I have my phone, but using it so extensively--for probably the first time ever--is hurting my eyes big time.

Honestly, you don't know what you have until you don't have it anymore, and that is what we are going through at work.

I guess you can say we are managing, and on my end, I know that I am, but hopefully, this problem will be taken care of ASAP, because even though we are managing, it is making things so much more difficult.

It makes me think of what we did before Internet, before email.

Of course, we spoke on the phone so much more, and when faxes came in, well, that was the rage.

We deal with the government, the military, and let me tell you, everything is done through email right now. They made that changeover more than a dozen years ago, and they will never go back to what it once was.

But now, we are so dependent on the Internet and email that it really makes you take a step back when you don't have it anymore.

I am hoping we get it back today, but I am not holding my breath.

While you surf the Web yourself, keep your fingers crossed for me.

Speak to you again on Monday.

Classic Rant #15 (May 25, 2009): Have It Their Way At Burger King

This is a phenomena that I have experienced at numerous Burger Kings from New York to Florida, and I can't explain it.

Why when you ask for extra pickles on your Burger King sandwich do they not put any extra on?

I have eaten at hundreds of Burger King restaurants over several decades. I am the type of person who does not eat tomatoes, and I always ask for them to be left off my sandwich (certainly, Burger King likes this, because the cost of tomatoes has risen dramatically over the years).

When I order my Whopper, I always say, "No tomato, extra pickle." They abide by my wishes of leaving the tomato out of the sandwich, but when I open up the sandwich to check for extra pickle, I usually see a single pickle.

I experienced this same thing for the umpteenth time this past Saturday at a Burger King right around the corner from where I live. I know it is no big deal to ask again for the extra pickle--which I did--but why should I have to do this anyway?

Burger King supposedly prides itself as the fast food chain of choice for those who want to have their sandwiches their way, but when I ask for extra pickle, I have it their way, not mine.

I would say, if I didn't know better, that this was an isolated incident, but I have been at too many Burger King restaurants up and down the Eastern Seaboard to know that it isn't. I don't know what happens out West and overseas, but on the East Coast of the United States, this is what happens.

I want to know why? Why can't I have it my way?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rant #1,367: Measles, Smeasales ...

Yes, that is what a lot of people say.

Why get vaccinated? Heaven knows what else the vaccinations do to kids, even if it does protect them from getting the disease, which is, in most cases, done and gone in a week or two.

To those people, I say, bah!

How stupid can you possibly be?

We just about obliterated measles by vaccinations of generations of kids.

We heard about the disease, but not in the U.S.A. All of our kids got vaccinated, so nobody had to deal with that disease here.

Well, a new generation of parents, who are convinced that the vaccination brings its own baggage to the kids that get immunized, are staying away from vaccinations, in particular, out west, where they must be drinking or smoking something to give them this fear that the cure is worse than the disease.

The measles outbreak in the western part of the country has been traced to Disneyland, where some kid must have had the disease, and due to touching and bumping into people and just being there, has now spread to hundreds of cases.

All because the parents of these kids refused, and I do mean, refused, to get their kids immunized.

Let me tell you, having measles is no picnic in the sand, no two weeks off to do whatever you want to do.

It is not a cold. It is a virus that can kill you, in extreme cases, but yes, it can be deadly.

I had it, so I should know. And I had it when their was no vaccine against it, so yes, I could I have died from it.

I was a little kid, maybe a few months or a year old, and I had it. I was very young to get such a thing, but somehow, I got it.

It provided perhaps among the first memories of my life that I can remember, even all these years later.

I was quarantined in my room. The lights were out most of the time, because light can make those that have it more uncomfortable.

I remember that my mother and my grandmother--my mom's mother--were able to care for me, because they, too, had had measles when they were younger.

I don't think my father had measles when he was a kid, so I don't remember if he was in the house or he stayed at his parents for the duration of this, at my paternal grandparents, for the two weeks or so that I had it.

It was all over me, but I think that I had a mild case, but it took two solid weeks for me to rid myself of this disease and get back to normal.

I know our family doctor, Dr. Geller, cared for me during this time, but it wasn't a good time in my young life.

Knowing me, I was probably impossible to live with then, because I was a very active child. For me to be cooped up for two weeks probably was like caging a tiger, with no room to move around.

I also remember that my mom scheduled a picture taking session weeks before, and she was hoping that I would come out of this fine, and that I would be able to keep the session, which I did by the skin of my teeth. See the photos above for the results. I was smiling because I wasn't in discomfort anymore.

Look, I was actually lucky, I had a mild case, and a few years later, doctors created a vaccine for the disease, so succeeding generations would not have to go through what I did.

I cam out fine, but yes, it is a disease that in extreme cases, can kill you, or maim you for life, upsetting your immune system and even making you blind.

And if an adult contracts the disease, it could have even more dire consequences.

This is not fun and games, and for parents to withhold the shot from their kids for their own selfish reasons ... well, to me, it is almost akin to child abuse.

I simply cannot believe that some parents are preventing their children from getting this shot, but they are.

And the disease is spreading. It is moving east from California, getting into neighboring states, and probably within a few months, it will move east, impacting the entire Continental United States.

So, if you know any parents that are holding off on giving their kids this shot, please beg them to reconsider their stance.

Yes, for most kids, it is two weeks and done, but it is a potential life-long headache that if these parents were thinking clearly, they would not want to experience first-hand.

Give your kids the shot. It is as simple as that.

Classic Rant #14 (May 22, 2009): Time To Bust All TV Informercials

Television can sell anything--from diapers to pens to music. Television has been selling since it went on the air to the masses in the late 1940s, and it will be selling things way after we are all gone.

However, the recent rash (yes, I know I used that word) of infomercials is getting my dander up.

Why? Well, they say that "sex sells," so if you blend TV and sex, you see dollar signs

There is a group of commercials with the same spokesman that has really gotten me angry. I don't know the guy's name or the company, but these infomercials sell everything from get-rich-quick schemes to real estate on the cheap.

It's the same guy in each one, dressed to the nines in an expensive business suit, nice tie, and nice haircut. They guy probably is in his late 30s or 40s. He addresses the others in the informercial in sort of a teacher-student type of setting.

Well, if what he was selling wasn't bad enough, he is selling this stuff surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women that you could die for. And many, if not all of them, are wearing tight outfits. If one sneezes, I guarantee all of their real (or implanted) assets will pop out!

The one about real estate really gets my goat. He explains to two beauties about buying real estate on the cheap, and then the girls take over the screen, imploring the viewer to buy this system. They are wearing tops where their cleavage is ready to burst, and the more they implore, the more you see.

Again, I have no problem with watching beautiful women displaying their assets, but it really has been taken to a ridiculous extreme with these informercials.

And don't get me started on those male enhancement infomercials. I am happy that both the man and woman like the man's new-found strength and size, but don't poke me in the eye with it. I really don't care. (No cleavage in these, I might add.)

Also, they are increasingly showing these male enhancement ads during televised sporting events. I often watch these events with my son, and when these ads come on (the shortened, minute-long version), it makes me a little uncomfortable.

Perhaps I should do what my son does: he laughs.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rant #1,366: We Got What We Got

We got 17.8 inches of snow yesterday.

Yes, nearly a foot and a half.

In my neck of the woods, we received the most snow in Nassau County, Long Island, New York.

However, if you went into Suffolk County, and way out east to the Forks--both North and South--they got about three feet of snow.

There was a lot of consternation by some people about the amount of snow forecast and the amount that was received.

This was particularly true in New York City, where Mayor Bill deBlasio was chastised for closing everything down--not just the schools, but all mass transit, as well as the roads and major roadways--simply based on forecasts.

Governor Cuomo was also bashed for his handling of the storm, and word leaked out that it was he who chose to shut down the subways, not deBlasio, and that he mayor may have heard about this decision perhaps minutes prior to it being put into place.

This time, I am not going to bash either deBlasio or Cuomo.

I feel they made the right decisions, in lieu of what we were supposed to get.

New York City got between seven and 12 inches of snow, not the two to three feet that was predicted, but I think you have to err on the side of caution here.

You don't want another disaster like you had a few years ago, when then Mayor Michael Bloomberg, using his aloof nature to the people he was elected to govern, botched an entire snow cleanup in New York City, crippling people for not just one day, but for many days afterward.

And let's not forget 2013, when people were stuck on the Long Island Expressway, literally having to leave their cars there and find refuge while the highway was cleared of snow.

Both deBlasio and Cuomo learned from these mistakes, and while the city did not get the snow that was predicted--nobody really did unless you are talking about Suffolk County on Long Island--they did the right thing, and all the bashers are wrong this time.

And as I said, we received 17.8 inches of powder from the storm.

My wife and I did most of our shoveling, with our son finally pitching in when we had already been out there for a half hour.

It took the three of us an hour or so to dig our cars out and clean the sidewalk as best as we could.

Honestly, I have been in worse snow, but getting nearly a foot and a half was snow enough, I guess.

After clearing the snow, we went back into the house, prepared for a quiet afternoon--and I promptly fell asleep for about two and a half hours.

My back did hurt during the cleanup, so I think that this was my body talking to me and saying that since I hurt a bit, I needed to sleep.

And I did.

Also, the day before, after we were let out from work early, I came home and was eating a bagel, and my crown popped off my tooth, and I know I swallowed it.

I was not able to retrieve it--I will not describe what I tried to do to retrieve it, use your imagination--but I will have to go to the dentist to get that fixed.

So all in all, it was a storm I won't forget, more for losing my crown than anything else.

It could have been worse, and thankfully, it wasn't.

Let's all be happy about that, rather than crab about what was open and what wasn't.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Classic Rant #13 (May 21, 2009): Turn Off the Fawcett

I want to start out this entry by saying I have absolutely nothing against Farrah Fawcett. I have never been a fan of hers, never been enamored of her like so many people in the 1970s were. I respect her for what she is and what she has done.

But to record the near-end of your life for prime time network TV is a little much, wouldn't you say?

I don't want to be cruel. The woman is dying of anal cancer.

But, do we have to see this on network TV? Again, I don't want to be cruel, but is this the ultimate ego gratification?

You can say that this show exists to teach us something about the frailty of human life, or about a cancer patient's struggles to maintain dignity in what may be her final days. But do we have to see her throwing up on network TV?

Personally, I don't think this is educating us in any way. NBC is a fourth-place network, and in such a dire need for ratings that at this point, it will show just about anything.

And the ploy worked. NBC registered excellent numbers for the show ... and a sequel is planned!

My recent health issues aside, I don't think I will be tuning in.

Classic Rant #12 (May 20, 2009): Getting Old-The Eyes Have It

In another chapter of my unfortunate series about getting old, yesterday, March 19, became one of the most important days of my life.

I have been experiencing disrupted vision in my left eye for slightly less than two weeks. The only way I can describe it is that when it is raining, and you go in your car, you can see as the raindrops hit the window, but you can see better once you put on your wipers. That is what I have been experiencing for the past 10 days.

I went to my eye doctor, who sent me to a retinologist. I went yesterday, and just to make a long story short, I had the first of at least two procedures done to alleviate this problem. I later found out that without these procedures, I might lose the use of my left eye permanently.

Evidently, I have what is referred to as a "rogue vein" growing in my eye. It is sort of like a weed growing in the midst of a finely manicured field of grass. The vein was bleeding, but has now stopped, and the procedure I had will probably not restore my eyesight in that eye fully, but will alleviate it to the point where I can function pretty normally.

The first procedure involved lots of tests, pictures, and a ton of different eye drops, all leading up to a shot (not a hypodermic needle, but something similar for the eye) into my eyeball. The next is some type of laser surgery in two weeks.

I am resigned to living with this thing, but at least I can see to a certain degree. I do so much with my eyes--writing, proofreading, even typing this message out--and I have been so careful with my eyes for so long, that it is kind of depressing to know that something like this will impact my eyesight for the rest of my life.

The good thing, though, is that I was tested for glaucoma, and I don't have it. In fact, the doctor commented that my eyes, actually, were in pretty good shape for my age, other than this major problem.

I guess it is a sign that I am getting old. First the gall bladder, now this. It makes me wonder--what's next?

Hopefully good health.

Rant #1,365: Yes, We Got Hit

I am going to make this short and sweet.

We got hit, but at least at this juncture, not as bad as predicted.

It is still snowing, so we might eventually get the two feet that was predicted, but at least right now, at slightly after 8 a.m. in the morning, we didn't get the accumulation that we might have received if the weathermen had been correct.

I know that last night, they kind of changed course, and said that rather than the South Shore of Long Island getting the worst of it, as they had originally predicted, the Eastern part of Long Island would be the hardest hit, and right now, they look like they were right.

I have taken the day off from work, but I have other ills.

Yesterday, when I came home from work, I ate a bagel, and my crown came off my tooth, which I promptly swallowed.

So on Wednesday, I will have to see if I can get an emergency dental appointment to get that fixed.

Nothing seemed to go right yesterday for me, and later, I guess I am going to have to shovel the snow, which is fun, fun, fun.

So wherever you are, be safe, have a nice day, and enjoy your weather, whatever it is.

Right now, I'm not enjoying much of anything.

But as a bonus today, I have put up two Classic Ranting and Ravings for your reading pleasure.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rant #1,364: Snow Away

If you listened to the weather forecasters last night on TV in my neck of the woods, you would have heard nothing but glum news for this week.

We are supposed to get the mother of all nor'easters this week, starting later today and continuing into Tuesday and possibly even Wednesday.

We are supposed to get upwards of at least 24 inches of snow, and mixed with strong winds of at least 50 mph, we are supposed to get hit real hard.

So yesterday produced the usual panic prior to such a storm. People ran out and bought shovels, salt, and yes, the usual milk and bread.

I have never understood why runs on milk and bread are so linked with snow storms, but they are.

What I did was buy a new shovel.

It is simply for safety's sake, as now, my father, my wife and I each have shovels in their trunks in case of emergency.

Last year, during a major snowstorm, I actually got stuck in my parking spot at work. My place of work, as I have said before, hasn't a clue about weather.

We never close. If you can make it, fine, if you can't, fine too.

Makes no sense.

Anyway, I was able to dig myself out of my spot, and with some help, I was able to get out of the parking lot and onto the road.

So we all have shovels this year.

And I have told my son that he will be shoveling this year.

He is not from the great shovelers, except for excuses not to shovel.

I really shouldn't complain. I am the same way, or at least I was when I was his age.

So this will be a family effort.

I got my practice in this weekend, as we had a bit of snow mixed with a lot of rain.

I shoveled, but now we are supposedly in for something completely different.

Let's hope it isn't as bad as they say it will be.

Fat chance.

So shoveling I will go, but I am not so sure about going to work.

We shall see.

Classic Rant #11 (May 18, 2009): Heckling the President

President Obama walked into the middle of a storm over the weekend, and I think he pretty much got out of this storm unscathed.

However, the behavior of some people toward the President of the United States was a bit over the top.

The President gave the commencement address at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., which, if you want to be frank about it, is one of the great universities in our country, but is probably more well known for its athletic program (and Knute Rockne) than anything else it has done education-wise.

There has been great debate whether a pro-abortion, pro-stem cell research president should be making an address--or more importantly, and appearance--at a Catholic school, but he went anyway.

As he acknowledged the schism that existed between his Administration's views and those of the anti-abortionists, several people heckled him, and he had to stop his speech a few times, asking the majority of the crowd, which was now booing the heckler, that it was "all right," and that he could almost understand their disagreement with him.

He almost strode the middle ground by stating that everyone on both sides of the fence should work to reduce the number of women seeking abortions "by reducing unintended pregnancies and making adoption more available."

I have to agree, although I would have added that Hollywood is also to blame for the increase in out-of-wedlock pregnancies-- the glamorizing of this situation in both movies and television might add to this uptick in real life.

Back to the hecklers. Did they achieve anything? Well, I think they looked so stupid, and sounded so out of place, that they made our President look better than he has in a long time. Rather than get angry with their outbursts, he almost seemed to welcome them.

A better protest was adopted by several graduates, who respected our President but still disagreed with him by placing messages on top of their mortar boards.

Personally, I find hecking a tremendous waste of time, but in this case, it was great P.R. for a President who can use some slaps on the back every once in a while, telling him that he is doing a good job, especially with his plate brimming over like it is right now.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rant #1,363: My Back Pages

Have you ever looked back and wondered to yourself, "What if?"

"What if this happened, what if that happened, what if I went this direction, what if I went that way?"

Well, that is what Bob Dylan did in the upcoming issue of AARP Magazine.

He said that if he did not become a musician, he would have become a teacher, one who taught history to kids.

I cannot for the life of me imagine Dylan as a teacher, and I guess he would have been Mr. Zimmerman to the kids who he taught, not Mr. Dylan.

But everyone, even celebrities, let their minds wander at times, and wonder "what if?"

I guess that many consider Dylan a teacher, anyway, as his music taught a generation how to think outside the box.

But Dylan as a teacher? I don't think he would be able to get away mumbling as he does now, but I am sure he would have had lots to offer the teaching profession.

Anyway, have you personally thought "what if?" at any time?

I know that I have.

When I was in high school, I had absolutely no confidence in anything I did. I yearned to go to film school, but never really made that desire known to anyone but myself, so nobody really knew what I wanted to do.

My fault, for sure. I think I could have been a good filmmaker, but we will never know.

When I went to school, I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, but then, during my last year of college, I figured that teaching was the way I wanted to go.

I went to graduate school, got my degree, and went into teaching.

With no connections, and too much schooling, I found that the profession had basically locked me out.

After about three years of substitute teaching--the worst job in America, for sure, second to none--I had to leave the profession, because I wasn't getting anywhere.

So yes, I do wonder what if I did this or what if I did that, but I don't constantly think about it.

I guess things happen for a reason; Dylan became a musician for a reason, I became a writer for a reason.

Some people know what they want to do literally from day one, and they do it.

Others have a bumpier road, and their direction isn't as solid, or direct, as others.

But we all seem to get to an end point, and I guess that is where Dylan got to more than 50 years ago, and it is a point where I got to probably 30-plus years ago.

Some would call it destiny; I call it simply what I ended up doing because of circumstances beyond my control.

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Classic Rant #10 (May 15, 2009): Getting Old One Step At a Time

Twenty-one years ago today, I became a father for the first time. My then wife gave birth to my daughter, and my life has never been the same since.

No, I am not going to bring up the previous rant about child support (although I was assured again today that my stop-payment notice was in the mail), but I would like to talk about getting old.

(No, I am not the guy in the photo.)

Although I am not ready for the scrap heap yet, I feel that at 52, my body is beginning to betray me a bit. My hearing appears to be fine (although at times I do turn up the TV sound a little bit), but my eyes aren't doing as well. I have worn glasses since I am three years old, so that's no big deal, but I simply don't see things as clearly now as I did a few years back. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to have myself checked out, but my eyesight just isn't as good as it used to be.

After somehow managing to avoid a hospital for my first 50-plus years of life, last year, on my birthday believe it or not, I had my first surgery. After experiencing terrible pain in my stomach, my wife took me to the hospital and without going into great detail, I will tell you that I had my gall bladder removed.

But, still basking in my youthful dreams of not doing anything I am told to do, I actually tried to get off of the operating table during surgery, only to be restrained by the doctor and nurses. Now, an older person would not have had the strength to do such a thing, would they?

Today, current cultural references often pass me by, I often have to wait a split second before I get up off the sofa, and I have been called an "old man" by someone yelling out the window after I beeped him as he was cutting me off on the road.

Maybe I am not as old as I think I am. My hair went years ago, but what I still have left hasn't turned gray.

The last time I went to the doctor, he asked me a question that he had never asked me before: "How is my sexual performance?" I know that sometimes men lose their ability at my age--hence, Viagara and all the knockoffs--but at least right now, I can still do it with the best of them (what's the comparison--a porn star?).

I look in the eyes of my daughter and my teenage son, and I see youth and great potential. Me, I've been there, done that, and would love to retire in a few years.

Fat chance. My luck, I will be too old to enjoy it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rant #1,362: All Is Now Right In My Universe

Things seem to be getting more right in the universe I live in as we speak.

The Knicks, after losing 16 straight games, have actually won two games in a row. They have a total of seven wins for the season, and maybe they will actually get to 10.

I predicted that they would finish 13-69, and I still believe that.

Of course, their second win in a row was against the Philadelphia 76ers, a team which has been tanking since Day One and has won a total of eight games, so the two-game winning streak is really nothing to get that excited about.

The Knicks have a chance to make it three in a row against the Orlando Magic on Friday. While the Magic aren't that great a team either, they are worlds away from the 76ers, so it will be a challenge for the Knicks to come out victorious during this game.

But with a two game winning streak under their belts, maybe the worst is really behind them.

The other big New York sports story isn't yet taking place on the court or on the field, but in the backrooms of two major broadcasting entities.

It appears that the Yankees are moving back to WPIX Channel 11 as their over the air broadcast outlet for a slate of games during the 2015 season.

This is huge new to anyone who grew up watching the Yankees on free TV from the late 1940s to 1998, when things changed and the Mets, not the Yankees, were on Channel 11.

The Yankees have been pretty nomadic since then, as their over the air outlets have been WCBS Channel 2, WYNY Channel 5, and WWOR Channel 9, the last of which was the Mets' over the air broadcast outlet for decades.

What made everything so out of alignment is that the Mets ended up on the Yankees' old outlet, Channel 11.

Of course, all of this has to do with YES, the Yankees' own mega-money sports network, which was negotiating these rights with Channel 11.

The Yankees' original pay TV broadcast outlet was MSG Network, the home of the Knicks, but the team saw how lucrative such a station could be, and when their contract ran out, they created their own network, which has been paying dividends since its start.

Now, it appears that 21 games of the team will be broadcast on WPIX, which as I said, is the Mets' home, too.

The Mets have about 25 games on the station, so between the two teams, about 46 games will be broadcast, give or take one or two if the station decides to broadcast the annual Subway Series of games between the two teams, when the teams play each other at mid-season.

Anyway, the other games might pose some logistical challenges, but there has been a precedent that I know of--the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox share WGN, and while the station doesn't broadcast as many Cubs games as it used to--it used to broadcast nearly the entire season on this station--any logistical challenges between the two teams have been worked out, and the marriage between the teams and the station has worked out just fine.

And let's face it, the Yankees don't belong on Channel 9, they belong on Channel 11, and it appears that that is where they will be for 21 games this coming season.

So in my world, the universe is somehow righting itself.

Oh, how I wish the real world could right itself so easily.

Classic Rant #9 (May 14, 2009): Digital Television Changeover

Why are they changing the way we receive television? The changeover from analog to digital reception is one of the most ridiculous things that has been foisted on the public in years.

Yes, digital transmission brings better picture and sound to your television, but honestly, if you don't have a large-screen, top of the line receiver, you will never know the difference.

I understand that the government wants to use the analog channels for other things, but as the date grows closer to full digital transmission — June 12, I believe — does the general public really need this?

Cable and satellite viewers are pretty much covered during this shift, but those receiving their signal from the old fashioned rabbit ears are in for a shock when they can't get television by mid-June. And even if they sign up and get the converter box, from what I hear there is no guarantee that they will be able to receive the broadcasts, because the digital signal does not travel as well as the analog signal does.

The government has funded a program to allow the public to buy the converter boxes at little or no cost, and when the program ran out of money, the President pushed back the changeover date from February to June. But I will bet that many people still don't understand what will happen on June 12.

Not only that, but don't you think the consumer electronics companies had something to do with this changeover from analog to digital? I mean, they are benefitting from the hysteria around this, as people trashed perfectly good TVs to purchase new ones that can get the signal, and for this ability, they paid five or six times what TVs used to cost.

The whole thing seems to be unnecessary. Why can't stations have both analog and HD transmissions? The public won't have to cave into hysteria, and there is plenty of available bandwith for the government to do whatever it has planned for the analog area.

Yes, sometimes I long for the old-fashioned Channels 2 to 13, the rabbit ears, and the old circular UHF antenna. It just seemed so much easier — even with the ghosts.