Stocking the Electronic Pantry

Pantry CommentaryWe had the first snow storm of the season this morning. While the amount will no doubt cause some fender-benders, it isn’t enough to cripple the city or keep people home from work. If it was, I know I would not starve, because we have a well-stocked pantry filled with extra groceries we’ve picked up when items were on sale. I also know I would never get bored, because I’ve got the electronic equivalent of a well-stocked pantry of movies awaiting my attention.

When I made the decision to cancel cable, I realized on the channels I’d miss was AMC. I set out on a plan to scour the TV listings, recording as many movies as I thought I’d want to see one day, and either burning them as DVD’s, or saving them to my Apple TV. I organized them by decade, so I’d know where to go if I wanted a classic Hitchcock film from the 50’s, or a John Hughes film from the 80’s.

Of the dozens of movies I recorded, I’ve perhaps watched 3 in the past six months.

Instead of grazing through our TV channels, letting a constant stream of choices flow over us like an all-you-can-eat buffet, my wife and I now have to make a conscious decision about what we choose to watch on our PVR. With limited time devoted to entertainment, we weigh our options carefully. More often than not, we choose to catch up on a current TV sitcom or drama so we don’t get too far behind in the storyline. If we feel like a movie, we tend towards new releases, rather than the half-century of classics I’ve accumulated.

It is almost like we consume our perishable media first, as if it were like milk in the fridge at risk of going bad. Only after that is used up, do we head to the pantry to see what’s available.

What I need is a few more snow days to catch up on my viewing.

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