Thursday, September 24, 2009

Big Brother

Portable color LCD televisionFor my bar mitzvah over 12 years ago, Aunt Flojo bought me a portable color LCD TV. On the rare occasions that I left my couch on the weekend during football season, I brought my TV with me. I cursed at the little thing in 2003 as I watched UVA lose to N.C. State, 51-37. I remember heading to Aunt Flojo's Hanukah party in 2002 and watching beer bottles rain in Cleveland after the referee overturned a last-minute call, giving Jacksonville the victory. "We feared for our lives," Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith later said.

This past Saturday night, as I rode with my parents to my cousins' house for Rosh Hashanah dinner, I turned on my portable TV. Virginia Tech was playing Nebraska in a close game, and I wanted to see Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor continue to throw poorly.

I turned it on. The TV scanned for stations, but it didn't stop on ABC like it was supposed to. It didn't stop on any station. Then I remembered that the government forced broadcasting stations to go digital in June, leaving my wonderful bar mitzvah gift useless.

In 1997, my technologically-advanced LCD TV probably cost Aunt Flojo $200-300. Calculating for inflation, that would be $267.25-400.88 in 2008 dollars. After accounting for depreciation and technological advancement, I estimate it is currently worth $30.

I'll be expecting my check, Obama.


Postscript: According to some websites, I may be able to get a government coupon for a portable TV converter box. I take back what I said, Mr. President. I will accept public money to purchase a converter so that I can use my twelve-year-old television once every year or two. Thanks for the money, my dear blog readers.