Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Power of Tivo

Here's why I love Tivo.

Horses have to be fed more or less on time, and so do dogs and donkeys. The rhythms of the country have their own insistent timetable, and cannot be denied. Marriages are the same way, they need to be nurtured and cared for in their own time. Earlier tonight Annie and I were having a great conversation -- nothing major or deep but good and satisfying -- when it was time for American Idol to come on.

Yes, we love American Idol. Deal with it.

But we didn't have to stop talking to watch it. We finished our conversation and, when we were ready, cranked up the Tivo to start watching the show. We were enjoying it, but it got to be time to feed the dogs. You can't just ignore that kind of thing because "your show" is on. So we paused it, she got their food ready while I got some dinner together, and when we were ready, we picked Idol back up where we'd paused it.

Later during the program my sister Diane called. I love my sister and don't get to talk to her very often. Normally though I'd be distracted, trying to follow the TV and the conversation and doing a piss-poor job of both. But thanks to Tivo, I just paused the program, Annie went up to check e-mail, and I had a great conversation with Diane. When we were done, Annie came back down and we finished the show.

Tivo is liberating. I don't feel like the TV is in control of what we watch and when any more. Now WE are in control. It's cut way down on Annie's obsessive news-watching and on my rabid following of sports. If we feel like watching TV, we watch what we want when we want.

I think that's particularly important out in the country, where you can go for days without interacting with other people. Feeling that you're not totally cut off from the rest of the world is key, and Tivo helps with that, all while ensuring that both your animals and your marriage get the proper care and feeding.

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