We enter the 21st century

High definition for our life

The weekend before last, we bought a big screen HD television because of the Walk For Hunger.

Every year at (apparently) around this time a large number of people in the Boston area participate in a fund-raising event called the Walk For Hunger.  What happens is a shit-ton of people start someplace and walk to some other place and people pledge money for each mile they complete.  It’s a good charity and a nice idea, but it shuts down random portions of the city for the better part of the day.

So here’s what happened.  Wife Deb and I decided to go into Boston to the Boston Flower Exchange because my wife secretly hates me and wants me dead.

I’m sort of not entirely kidding

I am allergic to nature.  Mostly, tree pollen but flowers and mold will do it too.  And every year at around the same time people are walking all over the city to feed hungry people I’m just basically trying to make it through the day without scratching out my eyes.  Once the trees in the area calm down and stop acting like a roomful of eighteen-year-olds on Viagra I can enjoy nature again, but until that happens the second worst place for me to be is around a large collection of flowers.  (The worst is an arboretum.)  

But: we needed to pick up plants to decorate the exterior of our house for reasons I’m unclear on, and so we drove to the Boston Flower Exchange, bought some flowers, and put them in the car.  (Because that’s the only place I was safe from pollen: the car.)

Our second destination was Best Buy so that we could buy a wet-vac in our latest desperate attempt to salvage what the pets have been doing to the rugs for the past four years.  The Best Buy we wanted to go to was in Watertown, and we, being savvy Bostonians, were pretty sure the Walk For Hunger stood between us and Watertown.

Not so savvy

Smartly (we thought) I hopped on the Mass Turnpike.  This is a large highway that doesn’t close for any reason and which cuts right through (mostly under) the city, and which has a Watertown exit that puts us a few miles away from our destination.

Did you know the Walk For Hunger goes through Watertown?  We did not, and it does.  It also shuts down the Turnpike exit to Watertown completely and presumably the road that leads from the Turnpike exit to Best Buy.

“Well, we’re facing Natick,” my wife pointed out.  “We could go there.  Do you want to go look at TVs?”

And I really, really did

You may not know this because you’re reading a fairly new blog site, but on my prior blog an annual rite of Spring was the “this year I’m buying an HDTV” post, in which I declared that this is definitely the year.  And it never was.  I always found a reason not to, from “you know, they’re still really expensive” and “I hear the regular channels look incredibly shitty on an HD” to “oh, um, we needed that money to pay bills.”

Also challenging was convincing my wife that a new television was needed.  Our television was perpetually threatening to die on us partly because the heavy magnet in the bass of our sound system (stored directly beneath the TV) routinely caused the picture to wash out.  But it wouldn’t die.  More importantly, for the longest time Deb insisted she couldn’t see a difference between our current picture and the HD picture.

But then we bought Deb some glasses.

Paul’s TV

The place we went was Paul’s TV, which is a chain that has set up shop in Jordan’s Furniture, a large furniture chain out here.  I needed a place where I could walk in and speak to someone who actually knew what they were selling, because I don’t know what I’m buying.  And the technical knowledge of your average Best Buy/Target/Wal-Mart employee frankly doesn’t go much past “I think this part plugs into the wall.”  

And it was a good choice.  We walked out with a 42 inch Panasonic plasma and a Blu-Ray player that has Wi-Fi for Internet streaming, and we spent… well I don’t want to say.  But there were fewer than four numbers to the left of the decimal point.


Actually we did not technically walk out with either the television or the Blu-Ray, as they didn’t have any televisions on-site and would be delivering it.  They would also be hooking it up for us, because there’s an outside chance I don’t know which part plugs into the wall.

The set was delivered a couple of days ago.  The same evening, son Tim came home from college for the summer.  So on Saturday night, taking the new TV out for a test run through the HD channels, I happened upon Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  If you ever want to test drive a new television, I highly recommend this film.  We’d seen it already, but there we were, standing in our basement rec room and just staring at the picture.  We had to leave to pick up Tim’s stuff from his dorm, but none of us could move.

So if you’re looking for me

If you can’t find me anywhere it’s probably because I’m staring at my new screen.  Either that or remodeling our basement.  Because while the new television is fantastic, we’re now thinking our room needs to be upgraded to look good with the TV.

Or, I’m steam cleaning one of our rugs.

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No Comments

  1. Tamson Smith on May 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Congrats!!! We’ve had a Samsung 42″ for a couple of years now and we still get a kick out of it! Around this house, you can still hear, “God I love our big-ass tv!” And we were forced into it as well, the two hand-me-down tv’s we had both crapped out at the same time.

    • genedoucette on May 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      Did you negotiate with yourself? “Okay, we really don’t need this but since we’re buying anyway…”

      We now have to change all of our DVR programming to record the HD channels instead. We watched the season finale of Fringe and it was noticeably blurry.

      • Tamson Smith on May 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

        We went back and forth on the size but not on the purchase – the tv we were using literally had this ever-expanding black spot in the middle of the picture. And of course, my egghead husband spent an entire month researching.

        We did get it home and feel a little sheepish as it was so much bigger than the previous tv. The old tv was 27 inches, I think, so when we set it up, we felt like we’d been really indulgent. But that passed quickly with the awesomeness of the thing!

        We didn’t have cable but were utterly dismayed when we hooked up the old dvd player and it looked terrible! So for Christmas (we bought the tv right after Thanksgiving) I bought Shannon a PS3 and that’s our blu-ray player.

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