My Father, Technology, and Me

It’s a tad ironic that I work for an online electronics store, considering how I was raised. While my mom tried to keep up with the latest technology, my dad was the complete opposite. He just didn’t get technology, even when it could have benefited him. His aversion to all things tech was a source of irritation and friction between him and me.

I turned 10 years old before October 26, 1980. Why is that date important? Because it’s when Pac-Man appeared in arcades, party stores and other businesses across the country. I discovered the game on a school field trip to a roller skating rink. The bright colors, flashing lights, and sense of escape and adventure drew me in. After that day, you could definitely say that I had a bad case of this:

I didn’t even bother to put on a pair of roller skates that day. I spent the whole time – and the money mom gave me – playing Pac-Man. When I got home, I found out that my teachers ratted me out. Mom and Dad weren’t happy about this, either. They lectured me for what felt like an hour. Mom nagged me in her needling voice while Dad bellowed. I have to give the old man credit for creativity, though. As an English teacher, he improved my vocabulary while he chewed me out.

“Those games are frivolous!” Dad shouted. “And it was irresponsible of you to waste your money on them.”

“That’s right!” Mom echoed. “You should’ve been roller skating with the rest of your class.”

If there was one thing my parents didn’t get, it was a basic rule of raising kids. The more parents tell their children they can’t do something, the more kids will want to do that thing. Ever since my ill-fated trip to the roller rink, I would sneak off to the local arcade every chance I got. Part of the excitement was seeing how many games I could play before Dad burst through the door to drag me home.

My dad was just too old school. That’s what I thought back then. He was born in 1938, and he spent his high school years working on his sister and brother-in-law’s farm. It seemed like my dad’s generation believe that backbreaking labor was the measure of a man. That’s why he described me and my interests as “flighty” and “hare-brained.” He just couldn’t understand why I enjoyed the sense of fantasy that playing arcade games gave me, even though he was the reason I sought that escape.

I remember one time I tried to explain to dad that arcade games – and technology in general – was the future. I don’t know why I said that, other than a gut feeling I had that told me bigger and better things were yet to come. My efforts could only be described as an epic fail. He just scoffed at me, then asked me to pick up the remote control and turn it to his favorite show. I shook my head in disbelief at his inability to recognize that he had just proved my point.

To be fair, the ornery old cuss did recognize the importance of technology in his later years. He would always ask me to look up this or that for him on the internet. He also loved the fact that his favorite movies and shows could be found at the push of a button. He still handed Mom the remote control and asked her to do it for him, though. Sadly, Jacob Buckler, Sr. passed away three years ago. Despite my complaints about him, I really miss the old man. Sure, our relationship was complicated, but he was still my dad and I love him and have come to accept his shortcomings. The funny stories and memories he left me with are the part of his legacy I cherish the most.

Working for an Online Electronics Retailer

While I’m still an avid gamer these days, I’m a total newb when it comes to technology. This became very clear to me when I came to work here at Solid Signal. Being immersed in the fast-paced world of online electronics shopping has taught me a lot about cord-cutting, satellite TV, and so much more. I quite literally learn something new each day, and this adds to my ability to help our customers.

I’m proud to be part of a company that helps people like my dad. These are the customers who know they need something for their installation, but aren’t sure exactly what that might be. We offer plenty of information and help right here on this blog. Solid Signal’s sales reps are also available by phone to answer questions and make product recommendations.

There’s another tech savvy asset that we have here at Solid Signal and his name is Stuart Sweet. Yeah, I know I tease him a lot, but this guy is the real deal. He technological wisdom truly shows in his many helpful blog posts, white papers, and tutorials. He’s certainly taught me a lot, and I have absolutely no problem admitting that. (We still disagree about the entertainment value of Netflix’s Ozark, but I won’t hold that against him.) When you need to know about anything and everything Solid Signal has to offer, Stuart is the man. No doubt about it in my mind.

So, are you looking for a DIRECTV solution for your tailgate trailer or RV? Oh how about the ultimate powerbank to keep your family’s devices charged? Solid Signal has all that and more, and we’re just a phone call away if you have any questions. Seriously, folks. We want to help you get the electronic products you need at the best price possible. We’re here to help you. Just give us a call at 888-233-7563.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.