Rrroll Up the Rim

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Things were much simpler when I was a kid.

The TV had twelve fuzzy channels. Anyone could operate it. Even me. Even me as a child.

In 2014 we enjoy digital sound and pictures so clear it’s like being inside the tube, except there isn’t a tube. It’s a magical flat screen that beams fantastical images accompanied by digital surround sound.

It’s supposed to be a huge improvement over the old poor quality sets, but it’s not. Instead of facilitating relaxation, the TV has caused numerous hissy fits when I want to catch the final reveal on What Not to Wear only to realize someone left the remote set to something other than TV. If there’s no one around to help me, I press buttons randomly, swear and toss the remote on the coffee table before grabbing a book. At least I can still open one of those without assistance.

Along with my beloved books, there are a few things that haven’t changed over the years.

The fridge still uses 1970’s technology. You plug it in once and that’s it. To use it, open the door and voila–cold food and snacks!

The dog is another fun retro addition to our home. She works in much the same way as childhood pets of years gone by–add kibbles, apply cuddles and walk daily. Anyone can operate the dog. Even me.

The Roll Up the Rim to Win contest at Tim Hortons is another of those familiar things I enjoy because I understand it. It never changes and the rules are pretty simple–buy coffee, drink coffee, roll up the rim on the cup and claim your prize if applicable.

I drink lots of coffee during Roll Up the Rim time at Tims. Who doesn’t like coffee, especially when it’s accompanied by the chance to win cool prizes like a donut or a Toyota?

Everything was good and I was happily rolling up my rims until I noticed something that changed everything on my third cup–a big blue arrow across from the yellow one.

This year’s cups have TWO spots to roll for prizes!

I might have thrown away two brand new Corollas!

I’d be tempted to just hibernate in my house until Roll Up the Rim to Win time is over if only I knew how to turn on the TV.

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Not A Lot Goin’ On

007Technology is great. Mostly

For instance, recent advances allow us to be tied to our jobs in ways unimagined by previous generations.

Your boss will try to convince you this is a good thing.

Like when our school district switched to an extraordinarily complicated online IEP programme, our administrator told us with a straight face, “It’s worth all the aggravation of learning this new system because you’ll be able to access your work from home now!”

Right–because being able to take work home is the dream of every employee.

Believe it or not, there are other negative aspects to the mushrooming technology we enjoy.

TV on DVD springs to mind.

Sure, it’s great to be able to watch your favourite shows whenever you want with no pesky commercials. The downside: your favourite shows playing constantly in the background without even one commercial break for respite.

My boy is on a Corner Gas kick.

Don’t get me wrong–I love Corner Gas. It’s the best Canadian show I’ve ever seen. (If you’re familiar with the work of the CBC, you’ll realize this is faint praise, indeed.)

Corner Gas is a great family friendly comedy that’s actually funny. It has quirky characters, a unique setting and cleverly written scripts. The bluest language you’ll hear is Oscar calling someone a jackass. He’s usually right.

I proudly recommend this great Canadian sitcom.

When our boy discovered it, we bought the first four seasons on DVD because, well, there’s not much on TV these days that I consider kid-appropriate. Corner Gas is, and it’s a good enough show that my sailor and I like it, too.

But not constantly. It’s been running nonstop every evening since school started three weeks ago.

It’s enough to make me curse the jackass who invented DVD players.