Last night, I found myself convalescing on the couch, stuffed from a Thanksgiving weekend full of turkey, potatoes and pie. Bloated and barely able to reach for the remote, I gathered my strength and hit the "LIST" button on my trusty DVR. Nothing like a little pre-recorded TV to wrap up a nice long weekend, right? Wrong.
Instead of the many recorded shows that should be waiting for me, the screen was empty. I clicked "B" to see what upcoming shows were scheduled to be taped, and again, nothing.
Nothing, that is, but a suspicious message that read, "ANDY! CLICK ME, PLEASE!"
Confused, I selected the message and hit the "ENTER" button.
What showed up on the screen nearly knocked me off the couch. It read:
"Hi, Andy. Don't be alarmed. It's just your old friend, the DVR. I know you're not used to getting messages from me, but I'd like to explain -- and to apologize -- why none of your favorite shows have been recording."
Was I hallucinating from too much turkey? I rubbed by eyes, but the message was still there. It continued:
"You're not hallucinating, Andy, though I should point out that to any gullible readers of yours that this is an allegory, simply a tool to get the message of this blog out to you humans in a way that's easy to digest."
Ah, an allegory! That DVR really is clever. I was just impressed to know that it could record to 9:02 p.m. when a show went a little long. It went on:
"Anyway, your favorite shows are currently on hiatus, due to that terrible writers' strike. That means the networks are trying to pull one over on you by showing reruns in the meat of the TV season. And as you know, you've instructed me only to record new shows. Which is why the cupboard is bare.
"Now, I'm just a 160 GB Scientific Atlanta 8300HD digital video recorder, so what do I know? Well, I know this: I'm trying to do my job, which is to record your favorite shows so you don't have to watch all that old, recycled crap they put on basic cable. I mean, yeah, you could turn off the TV and pick up a book. But I'd miss you, man.
"And again, Andy, I'm just a hard drive, some firmware and three component cables, but I'd like to weigh in on this strike, if I may. I side with the writers. I mean, they're the creative people who make these shows happen, as it's becoming painfully more aware. Unless you want to see an entire season of reality TV -- and based on the fact that you have never instructed me to record one episode of that junk -- I'll assume you do not, these hard-working men and women need to get paid. But the long and short of it is, friend, that the people who get hurt the most from this strike are the viewers. (I'd include us DVRs in that group, but technically speaking, we're not sentient ... yet)
"So just understand that I'm on your side, Andy. Please don't slam that remote down in disgust when you find yourself stuck watching "COPS" all night. I enjoy watching people get tazed as much as you do. And yeah, it's filmed on location as it happens, and suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law ... but good TV is scripted and written by trained professionals. I'll be just as excited as you are to start recording and watching TV again soon."
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Sept. 18, 2016
Typically, my annual early reviews of the Apple's new flagship phone are called "24 hours with the new iPhone." That tight time frame wasn't possible this year, because the new iPhone 7 took more than a day and a half just to update all my apps, photos, videos and iCloud data. I only started to really see it work as promised by Saturday night.
Published Sept. 16, 2016
When Katrina Cravy signs off from FOX 6 on Oct. 12, it will mark the end of a 20-year chapter in her life, but another one is about to open. While the 46-year-old anchor, reporter and host has been a fixture at her station for almost 18 years, she's preparing to embark on a career at a media relations consultant, speaker and author.
Published Sept. 14, 2016
On Thursday, Rahny Taylor returns to Milwaukee radio as morning host at 97.3 NOW, replacing the syndicated "Elvis Duran Show." It's been a secret Taylor's been keeping for a while. Unlike his last gig in town with Wes McKane and Ally Faith, he's doing this one solo.
Published Sept. 2, 2016
In 2004, Tim Schneider opened The Shop in Bay View's Hide House. Fast forward to 2016, and the motorcycle repair/customization shop - that only works on Japanese and European bikes - averages a 6-8 week waiting list, and their phone rings off the hook. It was time to move.
Published Aug. 31, 2016
Former Brewers pitchers Dave Bush and Seth McClung spent a lot of time standing for the national anthem during their careers. Like their teammates, rising was expected of them before every game, so when Colin Kaepernick made a statement by refusing to stand before an exhibition game last week, ex-players took note.
Published Aug. 29, 2016
Today, Verizon data speeds got faster. Verizon just rolled out its LTE Advanced technology to bring 50% faster peak wireless data speeds to more than 288 million people in 461 cities, including Milwaukee.
Published Aug. 22, 2016
I've said it for years. Door County means different things to different people. Whether your idea of this magical peninsula is nature or adventure, shopping or relaxing, friends or family - or a mix of everything above, one storyline arcs above all the rest: Door County is what you make it.
Published Aug. 19, 2016
My friend Drew Olson has a new work address. The veteran Milwaukee sports journalist / broadcaster - and former OnMilwaukee.com senior editor - ended an 11-year run as a talk-show host at ESPN Milwaukee (540 AM) last week and will begin a new chapter with The Big 920 (WOKY) on Monday.
Published Aug. 18, 2016
This Saturday, Priscilla Presley - actress, activist and, perhaps most notably, widow of Elvis - is coming to Milwaukee for "Elvis and Me," an open conversation at The Pabst Theater about the life and experiences of the original First Lady of rock 'n' roll.
Published Aug. 3, 2016
I didn't really even know I was interested in driving a motorcycle until the House of Harley invited me to take a Riding Academy New Rider course. In three days, I checked something off my bucket list that I didn't know was on it. I took it seriously, and it was hard. But also really satisfying.