Welcome to the brave new world of 150 channels


MONTCLARION NEWSPAPER – JANUARY 23 2009

IT’S BEEN AN HISTORIC week for my family and me. In fact, none of us ever thought we’d see the day when an event could have such an impact — on the country and the world.

Yet, it makes sense that something like this would send shockwaves across America , as it was decades in the making.

We finally signed up for cable TV.

I know what you’re thinking. How could the last cable-less family in America have succumbed to the evil corporate giants who control our airwaves? How could we give in to the temptation of 150 channels of entertainment bliss when we resisted for all these years? After all, we raised two children and a cat without MTV, the Cartoon Network or Animal Planet.

The answer is simply economics. They made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.

“What will it take to get you signed up?” the man pleaded on the telephone. “You’re the last person on the planet with a rabbit ear antenna!”

I won’t tell you the deal I made, but suffice to say it was cheap — and worth every penny. I now know the joy of seeing my husband comatose in front of the flickering lights of a unit permanently affixed to Sports Center . And while I may have lost a mate, I’ve gained another half of the bed. My dancing legs have never been so happy.

Cruise Control: Warm, sunny weather brings out the best — and worst — on hills streets like Skyline Boulevard. Oakland police have been getting complaints from neighbors about noise, speeding and reckless driving on the popular thoroughfare that goes for miles without so much as a yield sign. Don’t be surprised to see cops cruising the area, ready to ticket modified motorcycles and other muffler-impaired offenders.Ticket Mania: Speaking of tickets, I’m getting more reports from residents who say they’ve been issued a parking ticket, despite having a valid receipt clearly displayed in their vehicles’ windshields. Realtor Rosie Nysaether says she even went down to Oakland City Hall with her receipt in hand —— only to be asked to fill out a dispute form. A month later she got a letter stating her claim had been denied. It’s enough to drive you to the nearest mall for your shopping.

E-mail Bag: My mention of the penny roundup at Lakeview School prompted this letter from Andrea Muchin with Good Cents for Oakland:

“It’s always a thrill to see our name in print,” she writes, adding the penny collection for St. Vincent de Paul shows what children can do when they put their heads — and hearts — together.

Illegal Dumping: Furniture, clothing, bags of stinking garbage — even a bathroom fixture — are part of the potpourri of debris being dumped along the canyon road between Montclair and Moraga . Pinehurst Road has always been a tempting dump site for people who find it too expensive or difficult to pay for trash disposal. Thankfully, there are folks out there who find it as offensive as I do, and pick up the junk when they see it. However, even I won’t touch that toilet that’s been sitting in the pull-out about a half-mile down the road.

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