What Would Nicollo Do?

It’s been kinda boring around the casa-del-Sank-a-Ray the last few months. Semi-Empty Nesting means there’s not a lot of drama and angst. This is reflected by the mundane blog postings. Which in turn has resulted in a 50% drop in readership. It’s as if no one cares.

They don’t, she—it I barely care. About much really.

Because things are so slow I figured I should look for a way to add some spice back into my day to day existence. And so I asked myself “WWND”. For those of you who are new to this space or new to dealing with me, that’s my little bracelet acronym for “What  Would Niccolo Do?” As in Nicollo Machiavelli, my favorite philosopher. I’ll tell you what he’d do, he’d take matters into his own hands and bring interest back into the home.

This is the explanation I gave to my wife for deleting almost every show on our DVR. It was because I wanted to have something to talk about.

Hoo Boy we are cooking with gas now! Conversation a-go-go. That ole Machiavelli dude really had things figured out. We had a great conversation, albeit a little one sided, and maybe a tish louder than I’d like, but it definitely was one of those conversations that leaves you knowing that you are alive.

Fact is the DVR flashed a message that we were at 98% capacity and I panicked. I don’t like to have anything at 90% capacity except batteries and mental acuity. My last computer I bought came with a 750G hard drive. Last I checked I was using about 200G of it. I think I might need to delete something ‘cause you never know. Never know when the opportunity to download the entire catalogue of human knowledge to date might come along, I want to be ready for it.

Mrs S watches 90% of her television time shifted. I.E. on the DVR. She/we haven’t seen an ad on TV in 5 years. She has a pretty long list of shows she likes and her habit is to watch them when she’s peddling away on the laundry rack that looks like an exercise bike. Yesterday was a snow day for me, I worked at home. She noticed that the DVR had been “cleansed” at about 10:34, that’s where the clock in the kitchen froze anyway so I know I’m right.

I was in my office working and since we don’t have an intercom in the house she projected her voice through space, time and our walls to catch my attention and inquire as to why it was that every one of the shows she wanted to watch were not to be found on the DVR.

My default answer to hard questions, hard being those questions which everyone already knows the answer too are designed to make you incriminate yourself, there is no 5th amendment in our house. It’s natures way of justifying any sentence you could possibly receive My default answer in those delicate times is a firm “Huh?” “huh” is a nice pause point in male conversation. Gives you a chance to put your toe a little deeper into the hot tub of female emotion and get a better understanding of just how hot the water is so you can act accordingly.

Our tub was hot. Quite hot.

Fact is this isn’t the first time I’ve been counseled on DVR Management. It’s so hard to justify keeping Downton Abby when there are still friends of mine who are alive and who haven’t seen the Pacquiao-Marquez fight. I’m going to admit that I may not be capable of making the right decision in those matters. Well, I wasn’t until yesterday, now I am.

The other thing with the DVR is Mrs S keeps thinking about the boys. Our boys don’t have access to TV at school apparently. At Michigan Tech that’s understandable, the house he’s in was only wired for electricity in the late 90’s. TV is a long way away, and in Houghton Michigan over the air TV is pretty scarce. Seems that the kid in Alabama would have TV, the stinking dorm is wired for it. Rumor is he has to share one TV with 40 other people. Worse, 20 of the 40 are of that gender that is incapable of managing a remote control and at the same time insists on watching crappy TV.

See Downton Abby.

She like to save the episodes of the shows the boys like so they can watch them when they get home. Personally I think this is a horrible idea. It’s akin to feeding the bears at Yellowstone. You give them treats and food and you wind up taming them and they never leave your campsite. I want my kids to learn to forage for good television, like I had to when I was growing up. If we spoon feed them all good stuff there’s a decent chance that they might want to move back home when they grow up. Again, WWND? I’ll tell ya what he’d do, tell’um find their own TV.

Did I mention we have Hulu Plus? Lots of stuff there, nothing Mrs S watches mind you but lots of other stuff. Watch that.


I took my lumps like a man, getting all defensive and offering many examples of sound logic as to why deleting 11 episodes of Suits seemed like a good idea at the time. No avail, she was angry. One question I couldn’t answer to her satisfaction; if we’re at 98% why not take us down to 50% and save some things. Why do we have to go down to 5%?

You know, when she says it that way… I felt shame.

I felt we had come to the point of the discussion, and it was a good discussion don’t get me wrong, where further discourse would be pointless. Not knowing exactly how to extricate myself from the conversation I waited until she had finished her oral arguments about my mishandling of her entertainment happiness and interjected the following sentence guaranteed to move the conversation elsewhere:

“So does this mean we’re not doing it later?”

You know the rest of the day and well into the evening it was nice and quiet for me. And somewhere Nicola was smiling his ass off.

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