Spare (me the) change

Funny-looking reindeer around here.

When I was a greedy and impatient young pup my parents granted the opening of one present each on Christmas Eve.

Now I’m a grizzled old mutt and there is just one present under the tree, period. And it’s for the both of us, Your Humble Narrator and Herself.

Opening it this evening seems silly, especially since we already know what’s inside: an Apple TV HD. It is to replace our Apple TV (3rd generation), which no longer pulls down HBO Now, Now having been rechristened Max, as in Mad, which I am.

We generally enjoy an hour of TV with our dinner. But should there be anything worth watching on HBO Max, which lately seems as unlikely as finding a sense of honor and duty in government, we have to bypass our old Apple TV — though, oddly, it seems to work just fine with everything save HBO Max (happy holidays, AT&T, you miserable pricks).

Dig that crazy midget Xmas tree, daddy-o. And the cool wrapping on the lone gift.

The workaround involves booting up the even older Mac Mini, lighting a candle to the shade of Steve Jobs, chanting our Video Mantra (“TV Input, HDMI-1, Receiver Input, AV-1”), switching inputs on both TV and receiver, launching a browser (Which one? I never remember), and finally shrieking, “Goddamnit all to hell anyway!” and running right back to the loving tentacles of Netflix, sister of Cthulhu.

Tomorrow we will have the new Apple TV, so, yay, etc. Herself’s gift will be watching it. Mine will be setting it up.

This is less enthralling than it might have been long ago, in the Before Time. After 30 years of providing my own tech support for personal and professional gadgetry I’m having trouble working up any enthusiasm for wrangling a new comosellama just in case HBO, against all odds, comes up with another “The Sopranos,” “High Maintenance,” or “The Wire.”

I’m for sure not holding my breath while waiting for a new George Carlin special. Neither is George.

Who might ask: Is newer always better?

When it comes to bicycles I’m much more interested in friction shifting, rim brakes, and the nine-speed drivetrain than I am in the latest shiny object making the registers ring, when customers and product can be found in the same place at the same time.

I have an Apple Pencil for my iPad Pro, but when I sat down yesterday to draw a holiday card for the neighbors, I used my old analog A.W. Faber 3H pencil, a fistful of Sakura Pigma Micron pens, and a sheet of Strathmore 300 Series Bristol paper. And yes, the card was in good old black and white. (I thought of making a quick trip to the art-supply store for colored pencils, and then I thought again.)

Speaking of iPads, there’s a metric shit-ton of e-books on mine, but I notice I’m mostly reading real books lately. The kind you don’t have to plug into the wall.

This is just the yelping of an old dog who’s tired of learning new tricks, pining for a day when he not only didn’t have to keep stuff running, he didn’t even have to buy the stuff. It just sorta, like, grew there, under the tree.

But time passes and things change.

“Nothing endures but change,” as Heraclitus observed.

Izzat so? Well, spare me the change, you one-scroll wonder. And gimme some George, goddamnit. I already got too much stuff.

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10 Responses to “Spare (me the) change”

  1. Dale Says:

    We use PBS, on air local news, and the public library’s DVD stash for 90% of our TV time. We still use Comcrap at her insistance for craft programs, but she is finding most of them on theTube now – so I am hoping to go clean and mean soon. Happy Christmas.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We can’t get much of anything over the air, being down at the bottom of this cul-de-sac. Radio, TV and cell signals all fly over our heads like hungry owls.

      We do have a ton of DVDs, and library cards, but with the Apple TV we can get most of what we’re interested in: Netflix, occasionally Amazon Prime, and (soon) HBO Max. It’s a whole lot cheaper than cable. When it all works.

      Happy Xmas to thee and thine.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    We got the new, improved Apple TV earlier this year. You gotta ask my better half if it is worth it. I might watch an hour of Tube a month. Meena scored a decent sewing machine since she has been heavily into sewing, quilting, etc, since retirement. I got my Christmas present a few months ago in the form of that titanium gizmo in the garage.

    Merry Christmas, all!

  3. Hurben Says:

    Merry Christmas from down under where we’ve just devoured a piece of home made Christmas cake.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Merry Christmas Hurben!
    The Apple bits around here, 2 laptops, 2 iPads, 1 Apple TV, and a iPod touch have been giving us fits with repeated requests and attempts to log into our Apple account. My laptop, recently updated to Big Sur which I now regret, is unable to sign in for messages because of an “unknown error.” The Apple is starting to lose its shine with me.
    Well tomorrow is guitar playing, eating, and drinking with our triple bubble which forms up every now and then. No software required.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Huh. You’re having issues too, Paddy me lad? I’ve gotten locked out of my Apple ID twice in a week and my iMessages are all buggered up. And I’m a couple iterations of the various OSes off the back, mind you.

      A true paranoid might wonder why we’re getting all this drama during the Christmas shopping season. I’m starting to think in terms of unloading a lot of Apple product and getting back to the basics.

      Meanwhile, happy holidays to you and Sandy. Enjoy the pickin’ and grinnin’.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Happy holiday weekend to yous guys as well! Hope Herself the Elder in hanging in there as well. What a year!

        Maybe Apple did the dirty and was using Solarwind Orion? Seems we are having the same problem.

  5. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Santa showed here at our garage party yesterday. By vacating all vehicles and plugging in electric heaters we could set up a large enough room for social distances and also wearing mask. Which wasn’t so bad since the feeble heaters only nudged the temp into the 40’s and no one had a cold nose. So we were at least able to eyeball each other although with masks and heater noise the conversation was laughable. But even sans hugs/kisses seeing our small family was great.
    Yessir, Apple has been signing me out of this and that for most of this month. But I never give in and do the sign in game yet somehow things work albeit creaky. Let us know POG how Herself likes the new remote with your newest A-TV. Got our new one back in November and we are still cussing it out daily. Siri as a program locator sounded real good but functions like an STI shifter with sand in it. But I will say this for the newer Apple TV -it works better than the older version holding off ATT’s slower than shit “Hi-Speed” connection. Rarely see the dreaded spinning icon anymore.

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