It drives Junior crazy.
'It' is the ancient TV I have in the living room. It is one of those old 'bubble' TVs and Junior was horrified when we brought it home.
We had a flat screen, but it died so when I spotted an even bigger TV for free in a classified ad, I jumped on it.
Sure, it is at least 10-15 years old, but it does have one very important quality that won me over the second I saw it: it works.
And it was free, so I guess that is two things that won me over.
I am not a high-definition kind of guy I guess. It is just not that important to me, but it is to Junior and he has a high-def TV hooked up to the Xbox and is always ranting about the quality of the image.
Did I mention the bubble TV was free and lets me watch TV programs?
But being a teen, he is smitten by the latest and greatest. His older brother would settle for something that simply does the job.
When I was Junior's age, I wanted the best sound system money could buy for my car, but I had to settle for the best sound system my money could buy, which was pretty far from top of the line.
My first car's 'sound system' was a single-speaker boom box that sat in between the two front seats and ran on batteries. It was just slightly louder than a flea fart.
I eventually purchased a tape deck – yes, I said tape deck – with a built in 40-watt booster and my listening pleasure increased dramatically.
But it was still not good enough, or should I say loud enough. However, having a car to pay for, clothes to buy and bills to pay I had to get creative in building a sound system that could be heard from outer space.
I bought a tape deck from a friend of mine who upgraded to a state-of-the-art model, and hooked up a second-hand 80-watt booster to it.
It was loud, but for an 18 year old, it was not loud enough.
That is when my best friend stepped in with a solution: house speakers.
Not just any old set of house speakers, but house speakers with 14-inch woofers, tweeters and midrange that you could literally hear several blocks away.
Now that was a loud car stereo.
For those of you shaking your head and saying “Dumb kid, you could hurt your hearing” you will have to speak up because I was a dumb kid who hurt his hearing.
Of course at the time, we never thought about hearing loss due to excessive music volume, we just wanted excessive music volume (and excessive it was.)
I can honestly say I had one of the loudest sound systems in the city, and the whole thing cost me less than 200 bucks.
And it was not just loud, it was clear and we loved cruising through town blasting AC/DC at a volume typically reserved for landing jumbo jets.
It rivaled systems that ran into the thousands of dollars.
It did what I wanted it to do and I did not have to break the bank to do it. Which brings me back to the bubble TV.
The main goal of having a sound system was to crank rock and roll at a volume loud enough to wake the dead. The main goal of my TV is to watch programs, which the 'bubble' TV does.
It does not need to have the clearest picture in the world, it just has to show the picture. Besides, my eyesight is not that good these days anyway.
Someday I may upgrade to a LCD or plasma TV, but in the meantime I am enjoying driving Junior crazy with the bubble TV, and did I mention it was free?
Copywrite 2014 Darren Handschuh