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Our 2 1/2 year-old, 55-inch Smart TV quit working a week ago. The kids were home, watching something and—they claim—the picture just went out.  I’m not sure I totally believe them, but I don’t have any evidence to the contrary.

Also, I don’t really care.

I refused to do anything about it. Which means Dan had to because, you guys, FOOTBALL SEASON IS COMING. You know this, right? MY GOD!

Somehow, a guy who took 2 years to finish the trim around the kitchen door, took less than two days to find the television instruction book and receipt for purchase (impressive considering he usually can’t find most stuff in the house without me), and call the TV manufacturer.

I knew she’d tell him he was S.O.L. I might have smiled to myself when he confirmed that.

Aside from missing all the running events at the Rio Olympics last week, which, OK, that did kinda suck because, you know, we’re into running, I haven’t missed having a TV.

I should clarify that we have two other TVs in the house, but one is upstairs in the playroom and isn’t hooked into the antenna, and the other one is in our bedroom and we’ve been too busy/lazy to A.) relocate to our bedroom for evening TV watching, or B.) move the bedroom TV to the living room.

Last night, Dan finally decided to move the bedroom TV to the living room (accepting the measly 35 incher) and the same thing happened — sound, but no picture, which tells us that there’s a problem in the antenna or some connection or cable.

This is good because it probably means I won’t have to shell out another $700 for another gigantic, but oh-so-fragile, 55-inch “Smart” TV. Surely the master electrician in the house will be able to troubleshoot the problem now. (He’s probably working on it right now.)

In the meantime, I immediately seized on the broken-TV week opportunity (and impending start of school and…so…need to finish those summer reading books!) to institute a family evening reading hour.

It’s something I’d really like to continue, but know it will be nearly impossible to enforce once the great screen blinks back to life.

The machines…they really do control us these days.

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About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”