Rabbit Ears

When I was growing up, we had a large weighty console type television that took up real estate down in our family room. This was back in the day when there were only 3 television stations, you could trust that your anchorman was feeding you unbiased truth, and if you wanted to watch your stories, you needed to allow an extra 10 minutes for the TV to warm up.

Positioned atop the cabinet was an unsightly antennae.  Certain times during the year our rabbit ears sported strategically placed pieces of tin foil.  And if we were feeling particularly classy, a wire coat hanger rounded out the ensemble.

Coming from these humble television beginnings, it amuses me to no end when I see television sets that I can pick up with one hand which are no thicker than a picture frame.

For the last number of years we have spoiled ourselves by having cable piped into our house, so that I might have the option of watching whatever I chose from a vast array of nearly 90 channels.

We have been in discussions for some time about how to trim our household budget, and it was decided that the cable needed to go.  Fiddledaddy did the necessary research and decided that we would invest in an antennae, so that we could receive the major channels FOR FREE. And free is good in this economic climate.

However, our intrepid homeowners association states clearly in Paragraph 47, article 256 that no homeowner shall have attached to their dwelling an antennae.  But satellite dishes are okiedokie.  I’m guessing that whoever wrote this amendment prefers a satellite dish for their entertainment needs.

Fortunately, Fiddledaddy was able to procure an antennae that disguises itself as a dish.  But to be safe, he decided to attach the thing to the back of the house.  After acquiring all of the necessary tools, he set about the task of aiming the antennae in the general direction of our nearest major city.  After a number of failed attempts at getting at least the 3 major networks, he decided that he needed to go higher.

And so here is my handy husband straddling the rooftop, while I take photographic evidence, in-between hand wringing.  We now are able to receive 37 FREE television stations.  Of course we can’t understand the language of more than a few of them, but free is good.

Fiddledaddy’s selfless act of technological heroism is saving us $50 a month.  And btw, we’ve gotten rid of our landline and are instead using MagicJack.com which is a system wherein you are able to connect your phone via the computer.  And it only costs $20 a year.  Plus for another one-time $20 fee, we were able to keep our old phone number.  This is saving us another $50 a month.

But the day would not have been complete without at least one mishap.  Fiddledaddy inadvertently tried to access the interior of the porch with the business end of an extension ladder.  But not to be discouraged, he was able to patch the unsightly tear in the porch screen.

Using silver duct tape.

Which sort of matches the screen.  And is a good deal less obvious than the RED duct tape used to fix most of our other mishaps.

Really, it’s hardly noticeable, don’t you think?

I’m pretty sure that the homeowners association board members that live within rock throwing distance are going to see this as some sort of incomplete message aimed at them.

But for me, it stands for FREE IS GOOD.

September 5, 2011

13 Responses to Rabbit Ears

  • We can have the ordinary Aerial type on our roof. A few years back I bought a little TV receiver for my laptop,it picks up loads of channels, at least as many as the digital box thingummy connected to the TV. Ridiculous really because we had to get a signal booster for our roof aerial whilst this just picks up the channels with a tiny little knitting needle type thing that you sit on the windowsill indoors.

  • DeeDee, too funny. Thank you for the tip on the Magic Jack,I had never heard of such a thing! I excitedly told my husband what you said about it and he was like, “oh Yeah…it just attaches to your computer”, ok…we are trying to keep the budget down Mr. Anyway have a great day.

  • Yes duck tape fixes all things. Maybe we need to create a website to post pics of all the things our partners fix with duck tape. I have a few here and can only shake my head. LOL

  • You’ve already solved your problem, but it violates FCC regulations for a homeowner’s association to prevent you from installing an antenna. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-reception-devices-rule

    Also, if none of the screen is missing, and you have someone handy with a needle and thread (that matches the screen) that isn’t afraid of ladders (I couldn’t do this) you can sew shut a tear and it will be almost invisible. We have fruit rats that chew through our screens sometimes, the patches are obvious, but cut repairs are not.

  • Another reason why I am so glad that we do not have a homeowner’s association where we live. There are some in this state but not where we are and I am so glad! I’m glad you found a solution and the duct tape is wonderful! Yes, men with there duck tape!

  • ROTFL!!!!!

  • It is stories like this that reinforce my dislike of homeowners associations. I am so glad we don’t have one! Glad Fiddledaddy made it off the roof ok.

  • Haha! We have a big ‘ole HD antennae on the side of our house, too.. HOA hasn’t said anything…so I guess they don’t mind.

  • We ditched cable and got an antenna too. We also
    added TiVo to our mix. Free is good.

  • yes, indeed Free is good! I’m looking for cheaper internet, tv and landline for the fax machine we HAVE to have for the 1 fax a month we receive! 🙂

  • Ann, you can get faxes into your email. The business I work for uses E-Fax, but there are probably other ways. I would love to drop the cable BUT I can’t stand the cr_p that is on the “major networks.” I live for the Discovery Channel & the Food Network and the kids for Nick. We bundled with ATT UVerse and dropped Dish Network and regular phone line and are saving $50/mo. I have to have a good phone service for long distance etc. for work so I have not done MagicJack. I’m just not that familiar with it. We never go out so the cable is pretty much our entertainment. And I have fond memories of using tin foil and standing on one leg to pick up tv in college. Yes, that was memorable.

  • Free is good. We don’t even have an antenna. Guess how many stations we get for free? Zero. But we are happy with that number. Every time I am exposed to television, I am mildly nauseated anyway. So it is all good. And anything worth watching we can get on our Netflix account, which is not free. Blessings on your budget cutting. Free is good.

  • I love that the duct tape looks like an F. 🙂