the story of how gertrude joined our family starts maybe six or eight months ago when josh and i realized we were having some big problems with our satellite service. no, no, directv didn't do us wrong. in fact, we really liked directv. on the contrary, the problem was with us and how much we really, really, really liked directv.
our evenings became a race to get the kids down in time to watch our favorite shows. and as if we weren't too into television as it was, for the low, low price of just $4.99 a month, we were able to add DVR that let us actually record those same shows (plus the ones we hadn't been able to catch during other times of the day) to watch at our leisure throughout the week.
we were hooked.
before long, we were watching a slew of talented idols sing their way into our living room, we were cheering overweight contestants as they tried to survive bob and jillian's last chance workout, and we were sucked into the fictitious lives of characters across a variety of medical dramas.
now don't get me wrong. do we think that television is inherently bad and we should all just do away with it? not a bit. what we do think, though, is that as a couple we were spending way too much time sprawled out on the couch with a bucket of ice cream watching "the biggest loser" contestants burn 5,412 calories a show (the irony of that is not lost on me). we got to the point where we needed to focus both the time and money we had been spending on our satellite service in another direction.
so we bit the bullet and canceled the whole shebang. no satellite, no cable -- nothing.
and you know what? we actually really enjoyed it (that is, after we got past those first few awkward nights where we just sat staring at each other with ice cream on our bellies and remotes in our hands). eventually, though, we realized that it would be kind of nice to actually have a channel or two in case we wanted to watch the news, so josh did some research and came up with this little gem. meet gertrude...
in his research, josh found a video on youtube that gave instructions on building your own deluxe antenna to pick up local TV stations. and in case you're asking the same question i posed to josh when he first presented this harebrained idea to me, yes, it's perfectly legal. that's right, my friends, depending on the weather, we pick up anywhere from 8-16 channels for free (never mind that most of those channels run 24-hour high school football or really bad music programs). it doesn't really matter anyway, though, because as long as we can watch our designated one-hour of television a week*, we've got all we need.
*josh just wasn't ready to part with jack bauer.
so there you have it. you've officially been introduced to our little gal, gertie.