Thank Heavens for TIVO

Trina worries that after the regular season ends that she will not know what to do with me especially having my undivided attention until Spring Training begins. For the first couple of weeks after the Diamondbacks were finished I had the post season to keep me entertained. Once the World Series ended though there would definitely be trouble since going from no interaction with the family to full interaction would be enough to drive them all crazy. Luckily, around that time the holiday season started. First there were the decorations for Halloween then soon after that we were getting ready for out-of-town visitors who always seem to arrive when the weather gets nasty in the north while temperatures in Phoenix are hovering in the mid-70’s. Then of course there was Thanksgiving which for a family this size is a major undertaking. After Thanksgiving we went into full Christmas mode followed shortly there after by birthday mode and New Years mode. After that though things start to slow down and Trina is left dealing with me pacing the floor and counting days before pitchers and catchers report to Tucson. This year she took preventive measures which are paying huge dividends.

As I have gotten older I have begun to ponder some of the technological breakthroughs that have occurred during my life time. When I was a young boy in Idaho our phone system was a party line. That meant that several houses along our street shared a telephone circuit. Each house had a distinctive ring and there were times you would pick up the phone to make a call and one of your neighbors was on the line in the middle of a conversation. You would have to wait for them to finish their call before you could make one yourself. It was not until I was almost out of elementary school that we finally had a phone circuit to ourselves. Throughout my school years until I was a senior in high school we had only 3 television stations and it required a humungous antenna on the roof to receive any reception. My best friend’s family was the first to get cable television and with it came one of the brand new stations which was an all sports network called ESPN. At that time sports were defined fairly loosely since they included lumberjack competitions, mud bog racing, strongest man competitions, hunting, and if I am not mistaken there were even darts tournaments. ESPN also did not start broadcasting until 6 PM each night but that didn’t deter us from watching ever minute we could.

In college I got my first calculator and it was not until a couple of years after college that I got my first computer which could display 40 characters across the screen in upper case lettering in brilliant green and black. The storage consisted of a cassette tape which was light years ahead of having to program the computer each time you turned it on. The computer had 24K of RAM which I was told was more than I could ever fill. After Trina and I got married we got our first microwave oven which took up an entire countertop and was engineered to NASA specifications. The thing must have weighed more than 50 pounds and it lasted 22 years before a switch finally gave out causing it to cook inconsistently. I now sit here in an air-conditioned house working on a computer with processing power magnitudes larger than what was used to land a man on the moon. I have a 24” monitor displaying millions of colors serving applications and contents from over a terabyte of disk array to a server physically located thousands of miles away from my house to allow people around the globe to read these entries. I’m waiting impatiently for the microwave to perfectly cook popcorn in 45 seconds and I have a cell phone smaller than a plenty-pack of chewing gum which is capable of making calls, accepting email, and taking pictures without film. With all of these marvelous inventions there I pondered what was the most important and revolutionary that I have seen or used; without a doubt that honor goes to my TIVO. Nothing compares to a device that not only records what I tell it to in perfect digital format; but also analyzes my viewing habits to find other programs that might interest me. It is truly the perfect digital gadget.

Trina in her infinite wisdom scheduled our TIVO unit to record the final two games of the 2006 Diamondbacks season from Chase Field. (Another bonus point for TIVO since it is simple enough even for the technologically challenged to get things right with minimal assistance from the Lord of the Geeks). I happened to be at both of those games and thoroughly enjoyed Fandemonium weekend and the farewell to Gonzo. That seemed like ages ago and I had nearly forgotten what fun it was at the ball park. So today as I started complaining that it was still two months before Spring Training began and an eternity before we would be going to another game, Trina sat me down and fired up the TIVO. Soon I was back in Section 108 Row 14 Seat 20 watching the players take the field. I could almost smell the green grass and the aromas from Hungry Hill sausage. For nearly 3 hours (with commercial interruption) I was transported back in time to where life seemed simple again. In the dark ages of the off season I have found a haven. I’ve made a pact to watch these games every week between now and February 14 when pitchers and catchers report to Tucson Electric Park. Through the genius of TIVO and my wife, I may actually survive the 2006 off season. TIVO is possibly the best thing ever invented except for the double header.

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