Saturday, January 21, 2012

What's that? Was ist das?

When rearranging one of our closets, I pulled out my husband's tiny old black and white TV from his days as a grad student.  Veronika, Miriam, and Flora were watching and asked me what that was.  They didn't know it was a TV!  I told them what it was, but couldn't demonstrate how it works because it's too old, needs a converter box, and without cable you can't get TV stations in our area anyway.  Now we just have to see if somebody else has some use for such an old TV.

Als ich heute einen unserer Schränke neu organisiert habe, entdeckte ich den alten, sehr kleinen Schwarzweißfernseher meines Mannes, der noch aus seiner Studentenzeit stammt.  Veronika, Miriam und Flora guckten zu und fragten mich sofort, was das denn sei.  Sie wußten nicht, daß das ein Fernseher war!  Ich erklärte, was es war, aber konnte ihnen nicht zeigen, wie er funktioniert, da man in unserer Gegend ohne Kabelfernsehen gar keine Sender bekommt und ohne Konverter ihn auch nicht mehr benutzen kann.  Jetzt müssen wir sehen, ob jemand diese alte Kiste noch haben will.    


  1. We have one of those in our over stairs cupboard, Dave reckons he can still get it working!

    Sad to say the kids are familiar with TV, restricted use only... it does come in enormously handy when two sick parents are at the end of their tether trying to amuse the kids!

    Admire you loads for being TV free.

    San x

  2. San, our children have seen TVs at other people's houses and Jonathan has watched a few baseball games with his grandfather. But they have never seen such an old one! Flora still does not quite know what to make of it, she can't remember the name. She calls it radio! After Jonathan's birth I was very determined not to have TV in the house with him. So we never replaced this old one from Peter and simply put it away. I do understand that it can be very helpful in certain situations and I know there are some good programs (although you really have to look for them, at least here). I don't know what I would do if I were in your shoes! I would probably also make use of it. We do use CDs and also DVDs for the older children, but mainly for educational purposes. I guess it's also because I didn't really watch a lot of TV as a child. I think we got our first TV set when I was in early elementary school. Back then there was only one children's program (as far as I remember) and we weren't allowed to watch it. When I was 13, I was allowed to watch one show each week, but I first needed permission for what I was going to watch.

  3. Oh, how funny! It looks like the one I had in college in the 80's! Keep it for another 20 years and you may have a highly sought after collectible. ;)

    We watch the television here, but it's all educational. Olivia has learned quite a bit from the children's morning educational shows, and so did my son. My son and husband like to watch their DVDs, and I sometimes watch late at night. My favorite channels are Discovery and Animal Planet. Sometimes the History channel has something good. Yesterday they had the entire series of Wild Russia on the Animal Planet channel - just beautiful. It was all about the animals of Russia in the wilds. I rented Wild China from the library - well worth a viewing, especially part two. Anyway, our basic cable is very inexpensive, so we enjoy it. We have old fashioned televisions as well(giggle) They are color, but not flat screens. I don't think they even sell the old clunky ones new anymore. I haven't seen them in Walmart for ages.

  4. If we had more room, I would keep it, but we are running out of storage space. Our house was not designed for a family of seven, we neither have an attic nor a basement. So storage is very complicated here. I think you have to get a more expensive version of cable here -- that's what our neighbors tell us anyway. Actually, just a few streets down the hill, the reception is just fine. Weird, isn't it? Your programs sound great, and I do think that older children do fine with TV. Just before the age of 12, I'm very picky and restrictive, but that is because of all the reasons I mentioned above when answering San and because of all the Waldorf education readings I have done. You know, I haven't really seen a flat screen TV in real life. We don't have places like Walmart close by and all the people I know around here haven't bought a flat screen either. Don't you need a converter box for all the bigger ones? The nature programs you mentioned sound just wonderful! Jonathan would love them.

  5. I was joking a bit when I said to keep it. So many things become "antiques" in such a short time these days. Then you see people go crazy for them on secondhand markets, like ebay. It makes one feel very old. ;)

    Yes, I know Waldorf is philosophically television free.

    I didn't have much access to television when I was a child either - not many shows overseas in the 60's, 70's and 80's before cable and satellite. People played outside and read books - such an innocent time.

    That Wild Russia series was especially interesting...I had forgotten that Russia had tigers! They hunt the Seika(sp?) deer. Russia is quite beautiful. I would love to visit some day.

    I'm not familiar with the flat screens. I hadn't heard they needed boxes.

  6. oh my goodness, too funny! how the world has changed!

    by the way, eva, did you get a larger monitor?! you've widened your blog face! i have to scroll now to see the full sentence. i've noticed this with another website i visit . . maybe i need to get a new monitor!

  7. Alexandra, about the "antiques": When I was an exchange student in Canada, our little village had an "antiques" store. When I visited it, I was amazed about what they called "antiques." Those things would have been called junk in Germany! This is not meant to be condescending, it's just a different perspective on what counts among "antiques"! But you gave me an idea, I should try our "local" antiques store. They might want it.

    I guess I didn't express myself quite right, I meant the old TVs now all need the box, i.e. not the flat screens, don't they?

    Russia: I had a science teacher in Canada and he took a trip through all of Russia by train (back in the early 80's). He had made a slide show and I remember how amazed I was about the diversity of the now former Soviet Union. I don't know if I mentioned it before or not, but my great-grandfather was born in Moscow. He spoke Russian fluently, but fled during the Russian Revolution. I always thought that Russian music is very touching. Do you know the movie Dr. Zhivago? You get to see quite a bit of Russian countryside!

  8. Hello Dorina, how observant of you. Yes, I did widen it because I have a wide screen on my laptop! My parents gave me this laptop so we could watch DVDs as a family more easily. I just changed it back to where it was to make things easier for people with different screens. I just was tired of so much wasted space on my screen :).

  9. Oh, yes, the older televisions do need a converter box if you have no cable subscription. A cable box takes care of the conversion for you.

    I'd love to take a train trip across Russia! Sigh, I have such wanderlust. At least I can enjoy it through video, books, and the internet. I'm glad you great-grandfather was able to leave before the revolution, although I'm sure he missed his home (Mother Russia). I haven't seen Dr Zhivago all the way through...I'll have to get it again. I was too young the first time I tried to watch it.

    I just picked up National Geographic's 3rd edition atlas at Barnes & Noble today and had fun talking to the family about all the places I'd like to visit around the Adriatic and Black Seas. There are so many former Eastern Block countries(Balkans and Eastern Europe) that I feel I need to discover.

    1. It's so true, there are so many interesting places in the world! I traveled so much as a child, but now with five children our traveling is very restricted. Just going to Indiana seems to be a major accomplishment. It's getting easier, though, because Flora is no baby anymore. So maybe one of these days I'll get to go places again. I always wanted to see Ireland and New Zealand.


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