Thursday, October 5, 2006


we are going on a trip this weekend- with 3 children. a long trip. they're pretty good road-dogs, but no doubt the hours in the car get a little old when you're too young to enjoy the book on cd and you're strapped in to a plastic carseat.

we're borrowing a portable dvd player from a friend. this is the first time they'll get to watch movies in the car. we hope they enjoy it. we have not purchased one for ourselves yet, for 3 reasons:

a. we would never ever use it unless we were on a long trip (4 times a year).
b. we will eventually, someday, own a minivan that already has one built-in, and the portable one will be downgraded to something we use as a $200 coaster, bookend, or doorstop.
c. we will probably just receive one as a gift anyway (see below).

i had a memory this morning that sparked a train of thoughts in my mind. picture this:

ZACH MORRIS- at the time the cutest guy i had ever seen, next to michael seaver. (i hadn't met jim yet). you have to remember this if you're anywhere near my age- can you picture him? blonde highlights in his hair, tight-rolled acid wash jeans, polo shirt, and his cell phone- are you picturing it? yeah, the cell phone- the size of a shoe box. it was sooooooo cool.

my parents got a car phone when i was in 6th grade and i felt like i was on melrose place.

technology makes something revolutionary and extremely valuable into something we throw in the trash faster than i can burn french toast.

i'm a child of the 80's. when i was small i remember the first vcrs- they cost like, $500 (back then! how much is that now??? probably the price of a flat screen tv....), and were enormous. i think we all had parents that had a huge box of 8 tracks and records sitting in the basement somewhere- they couldn't bear to throw them out (they'd spent so much money on them!) even though they never listened to them anymore since those fancy cassette tapes came out. i remember the first tape i ever bought- new kids on the block, hangin' tough. but i digress...

jim and i have both always seemed to have a pretty good handle on the truth that there's nothing new under the sun- in our society things are always changing and we realize that, so we've never really oohed and aahhed over new things that we can buy- fancy computers, cooler cell phones, ipods, portable dvd players, etc. the computer i'm typing at right now is pushing 10 years old and it's still working hard for us! (the midcontinent guy that hooked up our cable internet actually (in seriousness) asked if it had a usb port...).

in college, neither one of us owned a tv. we got a lot of comments about it. (at least i did) it's a little amish to not have a tv in our culture...but we liked it. you really don't miss much. when we got married my brother was appalled to find not only did we not have a tv, but no VCR to go with it! (note the vcr- dvd players were not something possessed by the masses just yet- they were still like, $200). now i don't think they will be making vcrs at all within the next couple of years (or have they stopped already??) and i see them for $5 at garage sales all the time. and dvd players cost like, $30. (ok, not the really nice ones, but you can get one really cheap. my friend beth got one in college for like, $250 and that seemed like a good deal...). it's amazing how quickly things of "value" lose their worth. ok, so anyway, my brother got us a matching tv and vcr for our wedding (by far one of the best gifts we got- THANKS MATT!!)

AND SO- we were thrust into the world of tv ownership.

we never did get around to getting that dvd player, since we knew they were going to get cheaper every year and we'd just wait a little longer until it wouldn't take half a paycheck to pay for one...and then jim's brother got us one for christmas a few years ago. (THANKS BRIAN!)

AND SO- we were thrust into the world of digital video.

when we had apartments, the tv was always in the living room. when we bought a house, we put the tv in the basement bc we almost never used it and it keeps you from being tempted to watch it too much when you have to sit in the basement to do so. this is funny-- we got comments ALL THE TIME about us not having a tv-- "where's your tv?", "do you guys have a tv?" "is this your only living room?" etc... i mean it. ALL THE TIME. when we were showing our house to sell it, we got specific questions- "why isn't there a tv in this room?" and, "are there cable hookups in this house???" etc. **we also never had CABLE tv, which was also a huge deal to lots of people, and finally did get it when we moved to rapid- because we got 6 months free when we signed up for cable internet. we tried it out. after all, we needed to see what everyone said we were missing. at the end of 6 months, we were positive we'd never need it again. i get my trading spaces fix every few months when we go back to our parents' houses.

****the one large purchase we have made was our little tv...bc in mitchell our kitchen had a little spot made for a tv and it drove me nuts not having one so we caved and actually bought one.

we also have never had a cell phone (oh, THAT was a big deal) either. how DID we survive?? we knew we didn't need it, we almost never call anywhere long distance so we don't need all the minutes, etc. we were fine with it. so, we never got one. until jim's parents gave us one for christmas last year. (we love it, THANKS KOCHS!!!). ok, it is really nice to have one, but we would never have gotten it on our own. the only time we'd need it is if we broke down somewhere in the middle of sd on a trip back home, and you can't get a signal out there anyway.

AND SO- we were thrust into the world of cell phone ownership. (i admit i love that one).

****ok, i just realized we've made 2 big purchases, not one- we bought a digital camera when patie was born- that was a big deal for us, but i take so many pictures it was really saving us money in the long run.

we never got a video camera, even upon the event of having a child, or two children...sure it would have been nice, but, you know, those children need to eat, and those things are expensive. so grace and patie's earliest experiences in life were not captured on video. but, patie's first birthday was, because jim's parents got us one when we moved to rapid city. they didn't get to see their grandchildren enough so we needed to start sending them memories in the mail. (THANKS KOCHS!).

AND SO- we were thrust into the world of digital video recording.

ok, the trend is obvious. we at the koch house are techno-forced by the ones we love. we don't mind (in fact, we're very thankful and use all of those gifts all the time-- we really appreciate them!). we really would have gotten (some) of those things ourselves eventually, we mean it. we just need time. we've stalled on getting a new computer for 3 years now...we will get to it, i promise. when we have to... and until someone gives us a dvd player for our car (history tends to repeat itself-- ha!) we'll just borrow paul's. (THANKS PAUL!).

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