Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We've been doing a lot of shopping these past few days - though I am regretting the fact that the Euro has taken a tumble. And it's been funny watching C's reaction to everything - we went to Sam's Club today and he couldn't believe the size of everything. I had to stop him from buying half the store - like what on Earth would we do with 50 rolls of scotch tape? But he did get permission to walk out of there with a 12-pack of Mac & Cheese.

He's also not using to watching TV at all, so he keeps getting caught up in the ads. I'll be in another room, and I'll hear "Oh, I want the Ab Blaster. And it's only $99 for a UV teeth whitener! Whoa, look at that steak - we should go to Outback Steak House. Oh, look, a 25 horsepower lawn mower!" And I'm all "Dude, we don't even have a lawn!" He's normally such a conscientious shopper, so it's funny to see how much of the super-consumer tendencies he's taken on in such a short time. I guess the US will do that to ya.

Speaking of buying things, does anyone have any experience with the SlingBox? I'm considering getting one for my birthday, but I'm not 100% convinced I'll use it enough to make it a worthwhile purchase. I'd want it mostly for the evening TV line-up, but my mother doesn't have TiVO and I don't really feel like staying up until 2 or 3am to watch my favorite shows. Nor do I want to spend $200 on the SlingBox plus $300 on a DVR. So if anyone else out there has used one, please let me know what you think.

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Blogger Global Librarian said...

We LOVE SlingBox! Love it! Been using it for the last 3.5 years that we have been living in Europe. Also useful when staying in hotels as we can access it on our laptop and not have to watch bad hotel tv, which is usually a choice between CNN in English and a bunch of channels in languages we do not speak!

Of course, the hotel tv didn't matter as much before we had 2 children who are in bed by 7 pm, so it may not matter to you!

We originally got it so that Fred can watch Cleveland based sporting events, but we use it a lot. In the end we also purchased our own dedicated DVR cable box, which sits in my brother-in-law's spare bedroom and is not even hooked up to a tv. We also paid extra for them to add HBO & Showtime because we love the series they show on those channels.

If your mother doesn't have good cable, pick someone who does! It is also important that the person has a pretty fast internet connection as that can impact the speed at which the shows will play on your laptop.

Periodically it needs to be rebooted (couple times a year). But other than that we have had no tech difficulties with it whatsoever.

If you have more tech questions, let me know. Fred is the tech guy and he can answer your questions!

June 16, 2010 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger PigletinFrance said...

Hello. I though I'd comment that the US had exactly the same affect on Hubby & me when we went. We bought so much stuff and would spend our time in the hotel room watching the ads... we wanted to buy everything!

Never heard of a Slingbox but it sounds fab!

June 16, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Animesh said...

Haha. Good to see C's reactions to American things. I remember it when I went there, was housed in the univ. hostel, and went "can I really have as much soda as I want to??".


P.S. Google's word verification in this comment -- "falic". teehee :)

June 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

I have a slingbox and it's the most wonderful thing EVER. My parents bought it for me 3.5 years ago so that i could watch the New England Patriots games on tv (instead of listening to them through the Internet). I've even gotten Damien addicted to it - every morning while he eats breakfast, he watches the Daily Show from the night before. I think he knows more about American politics and culture than most Americans !!

In order for it to be worth it, the person in the US has to have a DVR. Because of the time difference, it's must easier to program the DVR to tape all the shows you want to watch, and then when you have time, you can just turn it on and choose what you want to watch. Because of the relatively low price of the sling box (ie - no monthly fee), paying $13/month to watch unlimited American tv is worth it.

The only issue is when you can't get a good signal. I've been trying to watch the world cup games on the slingbox to hear the american commentary, but if they're highly watched games, my connection is lousy and i end up watching the french streaming websites. It doesn't happen very often though!

Email me if you want more info about my experience!

June 16, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so funny about C's reaction. I have a French friend and his 2 sons coming to visit us this summer and I have been wondering how they will react if I take them to a Walmart or Target. Maybe I'll rethink that Pandora's box!! Actually, we will be spending most of their visit at our cabin in the Adirondacks so the shopping will be limited!!

June 16, 2010 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger MISS YURI said...

your description of c watching tv ads literally made me laugh out loud. both the first time i read it and when it i reread it aloud for au!

June 17, 2010 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Quantumhollapena said...

The reaction to the TV ads is hilarious!! I guess since we're bombarded with them from such a young age, we're used to being brainwashed, but can also ignore it somewhat. I usually get mad and then DON'T want to buy whatever product, but I must admit that there are times when I really want to buy that brownie pan insert that makes all brownies corner brownies. I also love the Magic Bullet...

June 17, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

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