October 15th, 2008

krazy koati

You think it's some kind of mistake that you made

I'm forced to conclude the cable company is trying to drive me crazy. We don't actually have cable, but the sentence doesn't sound right by calling it the satellite TV provider. I'm also forced to conclude that 'cable box' is far better a name than 'box for turning satellite signals into actual television'. But I'm just going to say 'cable company' and 'cable box' because even if you don't precisely understand what I'm talking about you understand it well enough for my point, which is the cable company trying to drive me crazy.

Like most cable boxes since about 1994, this one has a guide option to say what's coming up on the forthcoming channels. The problem is about a week ago it started losing the schedule. It's irritating but not exceptional if one of the channels hasn't got an accurate schedule, or if it hasn't got any at all. But this creeping network of 'To Be Announced' or 'Information Not Available' labels slipped into the program listings, and it hasn't gone away.

As a further irritant, it's not just a couple of channels, but a pretty broad scattershot of programming that the cable box can't figure out. It's Turner Classic Movies, and BBC America, and Discovery Science, and the Military Channel, and Disney Channel, and Boomerang ... some more, yes, but it's the channels I watch all the time. After two days of this it expanded to the network TV channels too. Channels I never watch are just fine and I can tell what's on Spike for years to come. It would be one thing if everything were wiped out, but when it's only obliterating the programming information I need then I know it's personal.

In the meanwhile, I realize I've gotten very good at pinning down which battle they're talking about on the World War II shows on a quick glance, and know on the Discovery shows whether they're blathering about how coins are minted, metal is mined, or quarks are blown up almost before the channel's changed. Maybe I don't actually need the TV guide after all, but I still want it.

Trivia: Worldwide ethelyne production in 1960 was about two million tons per year. Source: Molecules At An Exhibition, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: An Outline Of Man's Knowledge Of The Modern World, Editor Lyman Bryson.