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Thursday, November 19, 2015

First World Issues

This is Steven Petrick posting.

With the exceptions of a brief visit to Canada with my father's parents while I was growing up and a tour in Korea courtesy of my Uncle Sam, I have lived all my life in the United States. I have thus lived in what has become known as "the first world."

This means, but for some of the more arduous things my Uncle Sam asked of me, I have led a relatively complacent life.

As an example, I get to go home at night to a temperature controlled building, leaving for the day my temperature controlled office, and driving in home in my temperature controlled car.

I will then spend the evening in my chair, not really needing to move after having acquired my drinks and snacks to watch television.

Well, supposedly.

You see my apartment complex has a rather rapid turnover of occupants, being largely composed of college students who come and go.

Recently some of my new neighbors have apparently brought with them some electrical apparatus. The effect of this apparatus when it is turned on is to block the signals from my TV remote. Whether I use the original remote to the TV, or the programmed capability of the tivo remote, the TV will not accept the signals. At first I thought something had simply worn out in the TV's electronics, but were that so, it would not become operational again for extended periods. The only logical conclusion is that one of my fellow dwellers has some system that is jamming the signals of my TV remotes.

Now, the major effects of this are that I cannot turn the TV on and off, as most of the channel selecting is done by Tivo which is independent of the TV. So I can watch shows and record for later viewing what I wish. But if I want to adjust the sound (for example) I have to, and I know this sounds terrible, actually get up out of my chair and walk over to the TV! (Same thing I have to do to turn it on or off.)

I am aware of other lives in this world, people who do not know where or when their next meal will come from, or how they will stay warm and dry. So I cannot really look on this "hardship" one of my neighbors is unknowingly inflicting on me with more than a little annoyance. It is not really going to hurt me to lose this little bit of accustomed ease in my life.

But it is an annoyance, and I will probably have to live with it until next summer when the neighbors will probably all go home and one of them takes his little jamming device with him.