Stimulation
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Actually this page should be titled Over Stimulation.

Remember when there were 3 VHF channels and one public station. And 3 or 4 UHF channels? Can you possibly remember having less than 10 different channels that had programs on them? And most of them went off the air at night? What about no remote controls? Or a remote control wire that ran to your TV to change the channel. Philadelphia was the last part of the civilized USA to get cable or alternate channels. This and no such thing as a VCR made TV watching more special. As a kid you had to keep track of what was coming on. And the only way was to watch cartoons or kids shows on Saturday morning. Sunday night was always Disney night. 9 o'clock bedtime instead of 8. And having mom run through the weeks TV listing to see if there was any special show to watch. Specially around the holidays. To miss a Charlie Brown special was agonizing. Sitting around after school watching TV was not only unthinkable but impossible since there were no real kids shows on till the mid 70's and even then they were off by 4. But there was Dark Shadows :) Not that I ever understood a lick of it. And then right before bedtime there was Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Strange but for someone that supposedly didn't watch too much TV I remember Beretta and Starsky and Hutch. And All In The Family and Maude and Rhoda.

It wasn't until Battlestar Galactica that I forced my schedule around a TV show. Here you had a movie that continued every week for an hour. The first 7 episodes I was right in front of a TV when it came on. Then my girlfriend had other plans the night of the 8th episode. I should have known. Should have stood my 17 year old self up to her. But I didn't. And we ended up breaking up 2 weeks later anyway. Only caught a few episodes after that. Since trying to find a new girlfriend took up so much time :)

Then in 1980 HBO came to Roxborough by way of Microwave TV and a little antenna. Wow, one extra channel with fantastic stuff and all for only $19.99 a month. And early 1982 finally brought the wonderful VCR. Way out of my range at over $600 but my parents got one of course. But only because they found out about a store that rented tapes. Imagine that. For $1.99 a day you could have any one of about 600 different movies. And this video store was 6 miles away. They also rented video games. You could buy movies but they were always $79 or more. Or snag used ones for $20. I didn't get my first VCR till they came down to $299 in 1984.

Blah blah, where was I on the over stimulation thing. Oh yeah, almost 100 different channels on "basic" cable? A 24 hour cartoon channel? Kids shows from 8 am to 9 pm? In 40 years are my kids going to look back when they only had 100 channels? 

I can happily say I do not watch any prime time TV.

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