Friday, September 29, 2006

And A Color Television [CCR]

Recently I booked a trip to Baltimore. I really don’t like the large cities even though my job requires travel to these bustling jumbles of crossroads. I have had my share of experiences on the Long Island Freeway and around the Washington, DC Beltline. I have become more interested in the business at hand than sightseeing. I was hoping to avoid a rental car and find some better way to my hotel and the meetings. Being “modern” I looked up the hotel website to find my options for travel from the airport to the hotel. There wasn’t much to see. Disappointing for a hotel that costs $255.00 per night. Even the amenities were somewhat curious. I don’t know why, but the list mentioned the television three times: Television, Cable Television, and Color TV. I will spare you the disparity of the remaining amenities for now.

Why would a hotel list color television as a feature? Do hotels still provide black and white television? I might be more impressed with the modern “high definition” television which I have not seen in any hotels. But many of us do remember the bright flashing neon sign pronouncing color television and air conditioning as an attractant to the passing motorist.

My parents grew up without the luxury of a noisy blaring box to dull their mind. Many generations before me hoped to complete their chores with a little time to spare on some schoolwork. But times changed and my generation found things a little different. Each afternoon my sister and I rushed off the school bus with hope to catch a glance of some television program. We rushed to get our homework and our chores done. And then we sat in front of the television. We really didn’t even understand a need for color pictures for the antics of the Three Stooges or the saving cry of the Lone Ranger did not require color. Before Dad added the “booster” our antenna only picked up Channel 15 and Channel 36 in Florence unless the weather was very good and we picked up a Huntsville station. But that was sufficient for us.

Times were changing and the color television was the wave of the future. The fine folks at NBC still had a relationship with RCA and used their fanning color peacock to sell new color televisions. Our life changed when Dad finally traded our old black and white set for a color television. We were in synch with the modern world. You actually watched for programs presented in color.

Today we can’t imagine a world without television. We have a whole generation of adults who don’t know a world without stereo sound and compact disks. Anything less than thirty channels is not acceptable and most cable networks tout hundreds of channels as they compete with satellite receivers about the size of a Frisbee. I’m not sure if I have really seen all the channels available on my television and I doubt time will avail me that pleasure. Now high definition widescreen broadcasts mean you must purchase another television to keep “in tune.”

My children play a video game on a network with thousands of people around the world. That network and even my telephone comes to me courtesy of high speed cable. I sat down at my daughter’s computer last night and found a great website. It featured “old” television shows. My children gathered around me and gazed at my glance into my teen years. I heard the snicker.

When I get to that fancy hotel I think I will gladly take a deduction for the room with the black and white television. After all, it is listed as an amenity. Oh yes, it also mentioned the room included a private bath. I think I am getting a bargain.