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Saturday, October 13, 2012



Last year we vacationed two weeks at the New Jersey shore.  We stay at a small first floor apartment.  It is not a luxury apartment, but it is clean, air conditioned, has room for 6 to 8 people to crash, and is fifty feet from the beach. 

The apartment has a small TV with a remote.  Last year the remote was lost on the first day of vacation and not found until two weeks later while we were cleaning up to leave.    It was a lovely two weeks except every night I went berserk turning the place inside-out looking for the freaking remote.

Many years ago I did not need a TV remote.  There were only six channels and three of them sucked.  We always knew what was on without channel surfing.  Saturday at eight... “All in the Family,”  Thursday at nine…“The Adams Family,”…any day at eleven was the news, at eleven thirty it was the “Tonight Show.”  Without checking the paper or spanning the dial, given any day and time, anyone with a TV could pretty much tell you what show was on which channel.

These days watching TV without a remote is like ordering food at a Chinese restaurant without a menu.  The choices are endless and without a remote you know you are just settling and possibly missing a great show.

This year we returned to the same apartment.  I made a specific rule:


On the first day of vacation, my son Spencer left the black remote upside down on a black chair.  I came off the beach and went for the remote.  “Where the FRIG is the remote?”

“It’s in the room someplace.”

“Oh no…not this year, we are going to find that flaming flipping flooppteedooping remote TONIGHT!!

We looked and looked for forty five minutes and found nothing. 

“That is it!  SPENCER, you lost it, now you are the official remote.  Plant yourself by the TV and when I say surf, you start changing channels.  When I say volume up or volume down, you adjust the volume.”

With my new remote in place I settled down in the black chair and sat on that chameleon of a remote.  Crisis averted.

The rest of the vacation the remote was placed on the top of the TV when not in use.

Could someone please design an I-phone TV remote app so when the remote goes missing I could just call it up and follow the ring! 


  1. You might just be onto something with that app idea!!!! Quick! Keep it a secret or get a patent! THAT would be a cool app!

    This is funny because I remember the days when I was the remote. Dad wanted to change the channel, I was on the floor so I could do just that - crank that big dial to find something else among the half dozen or so channels. I only tried to be lazy ONCE and reach up with my foot to turn the dial. ONCE. Ha ha.

  2. We've all been there! I remember when I was a kid, I was the remote. So much for the "good old days".


  3. What an excellent idea! I could use an app like that. I'm always looking for the remote.

  4. It never ceases to amaze me that there isn't a button on the TV which will make the remote start beeping. We have a button on cordless phone base stations to find them. We have a keyring which will beep when you clap to find your car keys. Why no remote finder button?

  5. Both your idea & JOHN CHAPMAN's are great! Why hasn't someone invented something yet???

  6. As I was reading through I wondered why someone didn't just attach his phone to the remote with a rubberband. But, you went to print with it first.

  7. I remember having only 3 channels, 4 if the signal balanced off the mountains right. If the President had a speech, you might as well had only one channel because, he was on every channel.

  8. we were at the beach this yr during the olympics... the kids were trained to put the remote on top of the tv, or some other bigger kid would threaten them. so we had no prolem due to the established pecking order, but the older kids watch everything on their laptops anyway.

  9. I think this is true in every household ! When TV first came out we only had one channel with two hours a night - one hour english one hour afrikaans so there was absolutely no need for a remote !! Then things changed and we were the remote changing channels or volume - then we moved out of the house and I presume that my Dad became the remote !!!
    Have the best day !

  10. I agree! Happens all the time here. They have apps for everything now, or Maybe google or mapquest will come up with a new mapping to find remotes! Google could add it to the TomTom! :)


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