Ok, it wasn't a lot of toy, nor did it cost me anything other than a two-year extension of my DirecTV contract -- in fact, ignoring the extension of the contract, I actually got paid to take the toy, because I got it for the installation fee, but got money off my bill for the next year -- but I have now upgraded the HD receiver in the living room to an HD-DVR. This gives us three DVRs, which means that we can now watch and record up to six shows at a time with half-again the recording capacity that we had before the upgrade. Better yet, Katie and Julie can now pause live TV in the living room, which will reduce a certain number of howls of dismay when they are asked to do something. :)
In theory, I could have tried to get a Genie, but the five tuners in the Genie would have given me nine total, which is one more than my current dish configuration will support. All things considered, this was a rather sane level of upgrade and I even managed to get an HR24 instead of one of the older models which sometimes get wished on existing customers.
You know, I remember when I was a boy (TM), I lived on Guam where we had one channel of black and white TV that came on the air around 3 PM and if you didn't catch a show when it was on, you missed it...
I think if Katie was in that environment, she'd be reading by now. :)