Charlywalker's Blog












I just spent the last week out West visiting friends and combing the old neighborhood.  Or should I say “Hoods”, as we owned a few places there during our eight year stint in La-La land.  There is an old cliche that I have heard in my youth from one octogenarian that carries a familiar ring to it, and it goes like this:

“You can never go home again”.

Meaning, once one makes a big change in ones life, things will not be the same.

Or will they?

What if you have lived and left so many places that you have forgotten which is the one place you call home?  Is home where the heart is?  What if I left my heart in San Fransisco……. well, maybe I’m an organ donor……….

  What if I sold a home in Los Angeles and took the  cold cash and left smiling with my heart pounding with profit……only to return to witness my ex abode had nearly doubled  in value since I left.  Which elevated the blood pressure that could produce a heart to linger in the old hood for a permanent stay.

Maybe some claim their home to be where their families originate from.  After I finish a trip out to visit my original clan, the cliche circling my head when I leave changes to :

” I don’t wanna go home again”.

When I enter my 87 year old mothers home I am blown away by the volume of her  55 inch HDTV  that stands four feet away from her  leather Lazy-Boy screaming re-runs of Archie Bunker  into her ears that are covered with wireless headphones that she neglects to turn on.

As I repeatedly tell her to turn the volume down on the flat screen, she motions with her hands that she can’t hear me  and complains ” how the new headphones my brother bought her are faulty”, while fumbling for the remote in the seat cushion, which she ultimately left on the kitchen table….

It usually takes a good 45 minutes to muddle through our initial HELLo’s as this is her morning ritual.  My mother’s hearing has been checked and has been determined normal by her Doctors.  Normal for who……all 87 year old ladies?  I can just imagine her annual physical with the MD who just graduated  cum LOUD from Medical school:

 Dr:   ” Well Mrs. C, we find your hearing is normal for a woman of your age, now here’s an Rx for some Q-tips and the nurse will equip you with a new volume controlled Remote at the front desk .  It has three settings: LOUD…..LOUDER……and LOUDEST.  We do offer our deluxe model that is assured to strike a family  members nerve and chase them from your home, but I believe it has yet to be covered by Medicare..”.

Every time I leave from a visit  with my mother  and her turbulent TV, I am left with voices ringing in my head for days.  The frequency and pitch that emanate from her GSN network  combined with a decibel level that could enforce an earthquake, cause my brain to short circuit, which leads me to a frantic rage to unearth the lost remote.   WHICH concluded my suspicion that it was  actually Rod Roddy’s voice belting in the back round  inviting me to  “C’MON DOWN”  to visit when I phoned her last………no wonder she was surprised to see me…..

It’s not just her blatant TV that drives me back into therapy, it’s watching her use her cell phone to lower the volume of the TV, and  then complain that the remote is as faulty as the wireless head phones….

Or watching her race around to locate where the ringing is coming from. She keeps her cell and house phone nearby, but sometimes they find themselves  traveling separately and end up in different locations.  My brother likes to tease, and  will dial her home phone and cell phone simultaneously.  He says it gets her out of the recliner……..a form of exercise……..Dr.’s Orders….

Sometimes when I have been out running errands for her I return to the Loud TV sitting alone.  My mother is nowhere in sight.  My heart started an anxious pounding of what I might find around the corner, but it was subdued by my slipping on a trail of green olives I found leading to the front door.  She had stepped out to the porch to enjoy a mid afternoon cocktail.  A  dry martini with green olives.  NOT Doctor’s orders.

I went outside and sat out front with her as she stared out  into the yard. I watched as she sipped her forbidden drink and was thoroughly amazed at how she could manage to locate and mix a  perfect martini for herself yet unable to turn off the TV or lower the volume.  I watched as she calmly enjoyed her surroundings even with the boisterous back round of Desi Arnaz babaloooing through the halls…

I went in the kitchen and helped my self to one of her Martini’s and found the remote to turn down the TV to a level below “Batty” and joined her out side.  As we sat and studied the gardens she turned to me and noticed I was lacking olives in my martini.  I told her she was out of olives.  As I lifted my foot to cross my legs she saw my shoes coated with olive and pimento residue smashed on the sole and stated:

“Most people use them IN the drink”.

That made made us laugh……and my heart flutter as the Home Shopping Network bartered in the back round noise……

 When I returned home I sat in front of my TV watching a travel show and contemplated  all the areas of this great planet  that I have had the privilege to call home.  The places I have lived and left, as far as I can see, actually remained the same, maybe over the years some have sprouted some urban growth, but the changes I witnessed came from the heart. I sat on the couch sleepily captivated by my thoughts only to be awakened by my daughter telling me to:

“Turn the volume down on the TV”……..

spread the humor.



{November 24, 2011}   To Err is Human, to Blog is Divine

My television is on it’s last tube and needed to be laid to rest. We owned this antiquated boob-tube for fifteen years and it followed us through-out our trans continental locations with out obtaining one scratch from the moving company.( Even the remote laid intact, batteries included…….).  This ancient analogue helped raise my children and provided entertainment(?) for our family  during Prime Time…………and not for prime time.

I don’t know where this TV ‘s final resting place will be, because…well….I don’t know where TV’s go when they run out of their power supply and forfeit their vertical stance for a horizontal time- base.  I guess the amplifier is out cold and syncing into the contrast as it separates the demodulator which will never flyback in order to transform…..

In other words I am  now faced with having to purchase a replacement.

I hate shopping for Large Electronics. Unless it is a life-like robot of Brad Pitt.    I particularly do not like to shop for  a large electronic  housed  in a giant ware -house that offers the Cost- Consumer, what they deem,  a  fair and balanced deal.  

  Unfortuneately, one day while unloading my five gallon olive jar onto a conveyer belt during checkout,  my membership was inadvertently upgraded to a higher level. This was LED by princess Leah wearing a yellow see through vest wielding a laser ,holding me at gun point, which I later found out is  disguised as  random price checks….

SO…. now I get to make  Executive decisions when I spend on items that nurture a shelf span of eternity and could possibly supply a small nation. 

I have been a member of this giant house of Cost-Containing surplus since their conception, and never took the opportunity to investigate their backlog of electronic offerings, until our faithful Panasonic died.

I entered the wear-house in anticipation of leaving with a new TV. A new and improved TV.  A   television of our times. A television that my children can be proud of that contains the current mechanisms to import whatever attachment they may need to export for their viewing pleasure.  Something that will tickle their little pixels…..

I spent two hours pacing through the television aisles with various brand names and notable features staring at me. I had fragments of the alphabet swirling in my head, with the likes of:

LCD…LED…HD..CRT….DLP..HDTV…..all those abbreviations gave me a thriving ADHDS………Attention Deficit (to) High Density Systems.  Soooo many choices and my time was running short.   I immediately ruled out Plasma,…….. who wants to watch a clear yellowish fluid flow out from the screen……..

Finally, a Cost-Courtious employee approached me, well I think it was an employee, this one had on a red vest. I was grateful that  it wasn’t security as I had been  occupying the  same area for  hours with out assistance, possibly raising a height of suspicion around the store.  (Yes…I’m sure to them, I was a candidate to conceal a 60 inch  SMART-HDTV under my  Victoria Secret Hoodie and shuffle out the wired doors wearing platform booties onto the lot, where I inevitably always forget  where my car is parked…… ). I guess I could have pitched a tent in stead of a fit, but I wasn’t in the camping aisle….

Even under non emergent  shopping days I spend a leisurely   2 plus hours trolling the hallways  of this giant ware-house.  One day in particular I noticed a tall  man with dark hair following me about as I meandered between the 50 lb coffee bags and dancing on through the plastic utensils that can service a table of 500. It wasn’t until I lingered too long in the women’s necessity aisle that I caught a glimpse of him eying me through a peep-toe shoe, and I waltzed my flat-bed of items to the front desk to complain.   I ranted about the blatant obviousness of their security methods and do they really think I can smuggle a frozen King Salmon in my spanks………unnoticed????  Chilling thought.

The manager listened intently and had me describe the man to him that was following me throughout the store. I did this with intense detail from his cologne  all the way to his fake pinky ring.  The manager gave a slight chuckle and exposed to me that his store only has  women security agents employed today.  I  thanked the manager and asked him  that when I am ready to check out would he kindly furnish me with an escort to my car as I do not want to end up sleeping with the frozen fillets…….

Meanwhile, I was LED back to the Electronic ranch to listen to the courteous  attendant start to describe the differences in the various makes and models of the HD haven that was spread out before me.  I stood there in my TV trance and I snapped too when I heard him utter the word “Smart Television”. 

  Hmmmm.. I am tired of that adjective being attached to items of every day use………… Smart tv, Smart phones, Smart washers & dryers, Smart clocks,……. Smart Alec’s………..I’m not playing this Panel Game Mr. Smarty pants…..

I don’t want to own anything that is smarter than me.   I might lose control. And God knows how often the Control’s get lost in my house……

After a long and arduous meeting of the neurons, I opted for the Smart -TV costing a bundle and causing my wallet to smart.  The Cost-Conscious employee loaded the flat screen into my car and off I drove into the sunset toward the reluctant  teen at home awaiting to help me assemble this work of art.  This ART that carries a 90 day return policy. This Smart -piece-of-crap-de-resistance hung flawless in our home up  until the 99th day when it decided to use it’s craft and emit distortion and ghost figures followed by pixel interruptus……

My Panasonic never gave me any back talk…

I went through the proper Channels to remedy the problems which ultimately LED me to dismantle the Hair-brained TV and lug it back to the giant Cost-consuming store.  I stood in line with receipt in hand and was approached by a Blue vested worker who loudly announced that I was “past the ninety days for a return”. ( At this point I was thinking maybe  I should have opted for the Plasma, at least the blood pulsating through the veins in my head would have been replenished….)

The large mouth bassy flopped over her deck of returns and handed me a business card with a toll free number of a concierge unit belonging to the giant Cost-conglomerate and fished out the words “good-luck”.  

Luck I don’t need….a working TV…..I do.

I tried to remain calm and not activate the spare key on my key chain to the wine cabinet…….but I  realized I was  not in the confines of my own  home, and I don’t have key roaming…..

I was instructed to “step aside” for the other customers as I stood guard of my flat screen and dialed the number issued to me for problem resolution.  I explained the situation to this Cost-concierge in grave detail and was LED to the  call center of the manufacturer of the Smart-TV,who told me to:

“Go home and set the the TV back up and we can troubleshoot and call the repair person for replacement parts”.

O.K.  let’s re-cap: “I spent mega-bucks on an electronic item from a Cost-corrupt environment that is barely 3.5 months old, who is waiving their responsibility to assist me in exchanging this faulty TV and passing me on to the Maker who produces this product , who want to send someone to replace a part which has not yet been determined if that is the root of the problem?  In other words….you are telling me that my  brand new  recently purchased smart -TV  is in need of repair”.

I buy a Brand spanking new TV.  I go home and plug it in.  I turn it on and it works, it works for the first 90 days.  Now they want to put parts in it with out investigating the TV.  They will not give me another one. They will not give me my money back.  I am stuck with this Brand New HDTV that, even if parts are exchanged or repaired , could still cause issues after the warranty expires. Then what? More repairs?  Hmmmm…..how very Smart of them……

I walked over to the Armoire sitting across the room that carried the old Panasonic in it’s cupboard and looked at the bare shelf and pondered at the changes over those 15 years. Changes involving the advancements in our society.  Changes in the products,the people, the customer service from Neverland, the hand-off of accountability, no more dumb TV’s…….

Changes that LED me to turn that empty cabinet into a wine closet where I will sit and toast my Brand New Flat Screen Smart HDTV  with all it’s ghost like manner  spewing  fireworks of distortion, while I wait for the Smarty-Pants repairman……..

spread the humor



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