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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Disclaimer Integrity & Silence


When I was just a wee lad I our family TV set was a huge, black & white, with “Rabbit Ear” antennas. Back then TVs didn’t just snap on like they do today. Vacuum tubes were used and they needed a chance to “warm up” before the picture would appear. (Wow, I'm really dating myself with these references but I don't care). In fact “warming up the TV” was all a part of the TV watching ritual. This process must have taken 30 seconds or so.

I have a strong distaste for TV commercials. I don’t enjoy being shouted at, treated like an idiot, or forced to listen to moronic jingles. My favorite button on any remote control is "Mute" and I use it often. I come to this anti-commercial stance honestly by way of my maternal grandfather, Harry. My grandfather had zero tolerance for commercials. But back in the the 1960's remote controls were very expensive, rare, and primitive. So what does a guy do when he detests all TV advertising? Grandpa, being a do-it-yourself kind of guy, built his own "Mute" button. The device consisted of a small metal box, with a large button on top, and a cord that connected it to the TV. (Nothing was wireless back then kids). The button made a loud “KAH-Clunk” sound when engaged, and it cut off the offending audio. This worked perfectly and my brothers and I enjoyed taking turns muting the TV at every commercial break.

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