Rabbit Ears Rock!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This will be our third summer with rabbit ears.

It always happens about this time of year - we want to, need to, get away from the TV. This year, there were plenty of clues:
  • Little Guy standing in front of a blank screen crying, "Mo Eah-go!" (More Diego)
  • Big Guy instructing me to "pause" live TV so he can go potty. (We didn't get topause live TV for potty breaks when I was a kid!)
  • A quick look at our DVR selections: Dora, Diego, Thomas, Dinosaur Train, Sesame Street, Curious George. . . hello, does our TV even show adult programs?
  • The realization that they only show Hubby and I enjoy these days is Modern Family. Reality TV is horrible. And, most nights, we are both on our laptops and the TV is off.
  • Hubby is not a huge baseball fan, so the sports channels are not necessary now. Of course they will be necessary come football season, which is why this change is temporary.
As these light bulbs went off, Hubby looked at me and said, "It's time."

So, I called DirecTV and put our account on "hold" for three months. Nothing has to be disconnected, no man has to come out - it just goes off, and comes back on whenever I say. Magic! Now this doesn't mean we have no TV. I got a digital converter box (yes, I sent off for the government coupon last year when "the switch" was advertised!) and that, plus the rabbit ears, gives us plenty of free TV. We can still watch Modern Family, the news, etc., in HD . . . for free. Plus I have enough cartoon DVDs for the boys to watch a new "show" every day this summer.

*Hint: I buy almost all of our cartoon DVDs secondhand. Soooo worth it.

And then of course the real bonus (in case I didn't use the word "free" enough up there) is that we will be saving the $$ every month that we would have spent on channels we weren't watching.

The only awkward part is when we have to explain to a new babysitter, "Yeah, actually, we don't have cable right now."
Blank stare.
"You have to change the channels standing up here. . . but you can still watch 5 or 6 channels!"
Blank stare.
"Don't worry, we have lots of movies."
Some relief.
"And we won't be out late."
Visible exhale.

So, maybe you think we are weird. We probably are. But we see this as part of the essence of summertime. Getting back to the basics. Staying outside longer. More time to talk. Turning off the noise and finding time to think. Summertime simplicity.

What do you think? Would this work for you? Does it work for you? Are you making a mental note to avoid our house until football season? Or does your family have any similar tips for getting back to basics? Would love to hear from you . . .

~ Dusting off some old posts and taking a blogging break this week. This one was originally published on May 19, 2010, and yes, this is now our FOURTH summer with rabbit ears.

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4 Responses to “Rabbit Ears Rock!”

  1. We haven't ever had cable (we're celebrating our 5th anniversary this Thursday) and while there are the occasional moments we wish we had it, we're glad we don't! We do have bunny ears but lately they aren't working well. We do have plenty of movies though and are trying to watch less this summer too. It seems the weather has been enough of a motivator because my son isn't asking for it much.

  2. We don't have cable either, and the only time I hear a complaint is after my daughter has spent the weekend with my mother. (She is a disney channel fanatic.) We aren't home enough to justify the bill. So we miss out on tv land... so what. We also have the cable box and rabbit ears. Any programs  we try to watch are usually interrupted by the bazillion trains that cruise by anyways, so no, the tv isnt on much. Now computer time... that IS something that we could work on in our house. Great post!

  3. We have  not had cable since our move up north nearly a year ago.
    pbs has great programming for the age of our children (3&6) and i enjoy a handful of network shows (most of which don't air in the summer either...Glee, Parenthood, Castle, Off the Map) I love that so many shows stream on-line!  we just connect our laptop to the HD-TV and we can watch them that way!  I've been watching 'Switched at Birth' a new show on ABC family this summer that way.

    We just got on the netflix train this winter - that has been a fun diversion too - several movies for children stream instantly for our boys to pick from for our weekly movie night - and there's a ton of cable shows that are available to watch that way too! 

    Last, but not least, the local library has plenty of shows/movies to check out as well. 

    Between all these options I don't even miss cable!  My husband, however would like to get it during basketball season on occasion though!  He can stream several games via ESPN 3 thankfully! 

  4. I moved our TV to the basement a few weeks ago, and I think I've watched about two hours of it since. I'm pondering getting our (basic analog) cable disconnected, because we've learned to have a life without zoning in front of some probably crappy show anyway. You're definitely not the only one!