We now have TV at our house, after a hiatus of two or three months.

I arranged it online. I got a message from some place in east Texas (I know, because the email had “easttexas” in its address line) telling me that I had an appointment for Nov 2, between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. I was to have someone over 18 at home and my animals secured so that the cable guy could have access to the outside and inside of my home. I was to have money ready in small unmarked bills — no, actually, it just said they wouldn’t take cash. I just got carried away there.

So I stayed home, skipping the gym, and knitted a completely incorrect repeat of the bawk’s cable pattern. Along about 9:30, I heard a truck pull up and thought they had arrived. But no one came to the door. I did housework, fended off Jehovah’s Witnesses, and got cross with the cable guy. At 9:45, I called the store to say I was going to wait until 10:00 precisely before I left, so I would be late.

At 10:00, I left for work, leaving a note on the door for the tardy cable guy, seriously cross because I would be late to work and would also have to go through the whole thing again later. And I didn’t even want TV.

After school, my sons both called me — one from work and one from home — to say that the cable was working. The Poster Queen said that she didn’t think the cable guy needed the householder. “They need you to sign a paper,” I said, “and give them money.” She said they just bill you.

I think she was right. I don’t know what those folks in East Texas were thinking about. I do however have a mental image of the cable guys. I see them gathered after their workday, with a few beers, sniggering.

“I like to arrive just exactly at 10:00, so they have had to wait the whole time but I’m not exactly late,” says one.
“Yeah, but it’s better to get there and do it, but not tell them, so they still have to keep waiting,” says the second.
“Yeah!” sniggers the third. “That way they might even call the office and complain, and the people in the office will tell them that their cable has been on all day. Hng, hng.”

That’s the sniggering.

Where I live, there is no TV reception without cable. My menfolks had agreed that we could do without cable, but when football season began, they changed their minds.They had the TV on all yesterday evening. I was at work and at choir practice for some of the time, but I still was present for quite a bit of TV. The thing I found interesting was that the programs being broadcast appear to be exactly the same as they were three months ago. Not just the same schedule. They seem to me to be the same movies, the same episodes of the situation comedies, the same stand-up comics, and the same basketball games. This last can’t be true; I am sure that the game was a new one, but it did look exactly the same to me as all previous ones.

#1 son judged a dance contest on public access TV, though, so he claims that we can watch him doing this. I know that #2 daughter used to be on public access, singing, every few days after they had filmed her once, so I guess we will have myriad opportunities to see #1 son judging this dance contest.

As for me, I have a meeting this morning with the trainer at the gym. This should be a novel experience. I have no idea what trainers at the gym do. The first chapter of Unweaving the Rainbow is a lovely sort of hymn (famed atheist Dawkins actually uses the word “blessed”) to the marvels of the world and our great fortune to be alive. If you are feeling at all depressed, you might just pop down to the library and grab a copy and read it, because it is quite a joyful thing. It is so beautifully written, too — Dawkins is wonderful with words. He is in large measure saying what Stevenson did: “The world is so full of a number of things/ I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” With an added measure of pleasure because of the sheer statistical improbability of our being alive at all, when we had so many opportunities to be dead. While Dawkins is offering squid as an example of the kind of new and amazing experience that should thrill us, I think meeting with a trainer could be just as good.

If it is, I will resist the temptation to tell the young man that I found him as thrilling as a squid.


Here is an update. I did meet with Evan,. and I cannot tell whether he is more or less thrilling than a squid, but I will tell you that my meeting with him was very useful. He was competent, knowledgeable, and bright, and I intend to introduce him to my daughter.

If you have the opportunity to meet with a trainer yourself, do it. I already knew the Frequency Intensity Time bit, but he explained how to tell whether you are working hard enough, how to tell when to increase the intensity of the workout and how to do so, how to keep track, how to use the machines correctly, and how to organize a workout. He gave me a paper to list things and check them off (and you know how I like that) and showed me where they are filed in the gym. I feel as though I had a really good workout, as opposed to merely doing the 30 minutes the doctor said to do.

Now, I may not get as much magazine reading done as I have hitherto. If it weren’t for the gym, I wouldn’t even know who Mary Kate and Ashley were. But I do think I will enjoy my gym time more, and be more fit.

I also am watching TV — The Daily Show, in particular. So I will quit whining about the boys’ forcing me to have cable.