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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010, at 10:51 AM

This satellite system stands in stark contrast to its surroundings in the DeJournett Wilderness. In the foreground, the remains of several oak limbs await my son's chain saw. Madeline will have some good firewood for next year!
My sister sent me a new word-a-day this morning - "inexorable." When I saw it, I thought, "Yeah, that's a good word to describe PROGRESS - inexorable - Not to be persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer; firm; determined; unyielding; unchangeable; inflexible; relentless."

Yesterday I accepted the inevitable and gave in to Progress. I have mixed emotions about it, but I made the commitment, for better or worse.

Yes, those of you who've been popping in on my blog from time to time are aware that this rural Southeast Missouri reporter - this sometimes reluctant member of the fourth estate - this old-fashioned, history-loving, age-challenged retired educator has been living in the past ever since our Congress had the callous short-sightedness to legislate us out of our free public television.

When our local television stations made the BIG SWITCH, they switched me right out of this century and back into the 20th Century where I no doubt belong. Though I begrudgingly bought a worthless device called a "digital converter box," I remained disconnected from the rest of the world, sitting out here on my remote, wooded Tillman hill, mostly NOT watching two pathetic channels, both Fox.

Instead of local news in the morning, I had various children's programs of a most unnerving silliness. Instead of the local five o'clock news and weather, I had Judge Judy and other similar programs, designed to make me wonder where they dredged up such incredibly stupid people.

Don't get me wrong - I, in fact, LOVE Judge Judy! She is a strong, witty lady after my own heart. The word "ascerbic" comes to mind when describing her wit, which cuts like a big glass of acid! I'm sure there are those who will tell you that she runs her courtroom much like I ran my own classroom. (for better or worse) Nevertheless, one can watch only so much of this testiment to legislative idiocy without losing one's mind.

Yesterday, I opened my door to a nice young man from Scott City, who installed a satellite system out here in the boonies. I was reassured by his name - Matt - as that's my own son's name, and I admit that I have never known a bad person named "Matthew." He stood on my front porch, looked around, and said, "Boy, I'm surprised that my GPS could find this place! You're really OUT THERE, aren't you?"

Oh, yeah, that is an understatement if ever there was one.

So last night I watched my favorite program - "Lost" - on my own television. Gone are the trips to my sister-in-law's house in Cape to get my "Lost" fix. Last night I watched the local news and weather, and this morning, the local station is once more on my TV set -- muted, as usual, until I see something I like. My old remote, which was so precious to me, can be tossed in the trash. (No...not yet...let's put it in a drawer, just to be on the safe side...)

Did I say that I have misgivings about this big change in my life? Well, I do. I'm pessimistic enough to worry about any contact with high tech companies who employ foreign accents to explain the features of my contract. As I explain to them, "Could you please slow down and repeat that more clearly? I'm from the South, and we don't listen fast." However, my son has the same system and can help me adjust to this strange new world of menus and multiple channels. Later, I can purchase a larger television, so I can actually SEE the menu. Until then, I'll memorize them -- Channel 12 CBS, Channel 6 ABC, Channel 3 "Lost," Channel 200 CNN, Channel 120 History, Channel 122 Sci Fi.

As for the sizeable expense of having those tree limbs cut from over my house, my sister-in-law reminds me that the next bad ice storm could have brought them down right through my roof -- and the expense would have been significantly more.

All in all, I'm cautiously optimistic about the future. Now if our politicians can just get a handle on this economy, I guess I may survive to see another 15 or so birthdays out here on my ever-less-remote Tillman hillside.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Welcome to the wonderful world of satellite TV! Now get caught up on those Olympics!

-- Posted by farmwife2 on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 11:41 AM

Welcome aboard, I'm sure you'll miss Judge Judy, but she can be found somewhere in the various hundreds of useless and needless and useful channels.

After looking at your dish on the pole I thought I spotted your mysterious animal just to the lower right of the dish about 4:30 0clock. Look carefully, it's as if he has his had lifted skyward. Get the 410.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 1:00 PM

That's hand lifted skyward.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 3:14 PM

Ahhhhh, now we'd like to introduce you to a DVR! You'll never miss another episode of Gunsmoke again on Dish's TVLAND channel! I love my DVR (Digital Video Recorder) on Dish. I record kids' movies for my granddaughter, classics at Christmas, it's great.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 9:47 AM

Do you have the kind of DVR which can record more than one station at a time? I'm amazed at what my daughter can do with hers. She flips back & forth between "real time" and "recorded time" so much that it makes me dizzy! I'm not sure I'll EVER catch on!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 6:08 PM

Good luck with remembering the channels. Our channels seem to change a lot. The only two channels I know without looking them up are CBS and FOX! And...when all of the electronic equipment that is hooked up to the TV doesn't work for me I request the assistance of my teenage daughter. I have a certain way I call her name...when she hears me she knows she best come running or she might find the TV remote lodge in the TV! I simply have no patience with high tech gadgets!

-- Posted by fun2teach on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 5:32 AM

Haha! I can relate to that, F2T! I think it will only get worse as we age and technology advances!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 8:34 AM

I have no patience with T V period. I once had all the channels and all the movie channels, and most of the time I couldn't find anything worth watching.

-- Posted by mythought on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 10:35 AM

GL, 2600 is the leading computer hacker magazine, and their editorial this month is about how technology is causing humans to regress! So many things that people used to have to do manually and think about are now done automatically, so that it could be causing Evolutionary Regression! Fight ER! Keep a little black book instead of using an electronic phone and address directory to keep track of your contacts! Fight ER! Don't use your word processor's spell check! Fight ER! Don't use redial or have your phone dial numbers for you! Fight ER! Manually type in the number each time! Fight ER! Rely on your brain and your fingers! Fight ER!!!!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Feb 21, 2010, at 7:00 PM

Catchy slogan, FJ!

I guess I must be fighting ER, because i still put pen to paper and make lists, record addresses in an obsolete Rolodex, email friends and family, send Faxes, have a land phone line and answering machine, and drive a car with a tape player which doesn't work, even if I could find tapes for it. By the time I get around to getting some new-fangled device, it becomes obsolete.

As for "redial," I've never learned to use it, anyway. I figured it would ust go out before I got used to it.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 2:19 PM

I recently saw a documentary filmed in 1972 in the San Francisco area, and something about it seemed odd. Then it hit me. Not a single person was overweight! The obesity you see everyday now was completely unknown at that time. I remember as a kid there was a pro wrestler known as Haystack Calhoun because he was humongous. But now when you go to the Safeway store you see people as big as he was waddling around. Dependency on electronic gadgets is doing nothing but fueling that trend. Reminds me of Zager And Evans song from the late 60s, "2525" that goes in part:

In the year 5555

Your arms are hanging limp at your sides

Your legs got not nothing to do

Some machine is doing that for you

A Youtube video of Zager and Evans on a 60s TV show singing 2525 is on Youtube at,


-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Feb 24, 2010, at 3:56 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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