austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Finger on remote control, we are wired to your soul

So two weeks ago while I watched a DVD, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Squirm. A bit later when bunny_hugger came home from work she asked why the TV set was all white and making crackling noises. I had been working in the dining room, so hadn't seen the screen issues, and just supposed the crackling was that we had to tighten some cable connections which is too tedious to deal with doing. Not so: our tube TV, after nineteen years of service, and mere hours after being perfectly fine, was dying. As best our tech-y friends figure it's the flyback transformer that went, and if we left the set on it would eventually explode and ooze a terrible tar-like goo. This may have been hyperbole, but we were willing to just leave the set off.

Competitive pinball served us well in replacing the TV: some of our friends in it work for a big hotel chain and bought a couple of the sets taken out of rooms being renovated or upgraded. He was happy to give us one and so we ended up with a 42-inch LCD screen that, he pointed out, six thousand people had watched before us. That's all right. My mild and completely functional obsessive-compulsive disorder doesn't work that way.

42 inches may not sound big to you, but it's bigger than our old set and far too big to fit on our TV table. We had sketched out an idea where to put a widescreen TV if our tube set ever broke, and used essentially that: move one of the bookshelves into the dining room, move the tower with all our entertainment boxes over, and move the record cabinet into the living room to be the TV table. This required that we take all the books and DVDs and nicknacks off the shelves, which took time but also gave us the chance to impose some short-lived order on them. Also we got to move and dust behind the bookshelves for the first time since time began. Besides a lot of dust we found where mice had chewed an ancient Consumer Reports buying guide into pieces, with just a couple miscellaneous pages remaining, as if they were trying to work out the best microwave to buy in 2006.

This would also be a chance to attempt the impossible task of untangling our many cables. That didn't really work, although since the Dish TV guy with the HD DVR to replace our old was able to replace the unit without being reduced to a homicidal fury I suppose we managed something all right.

And we finally achieved DVR Zero! By having a brand-new DVR with nothing on it. Also they left behind the old DVR, as it's too obsolete for the company to want it back, so we can theoretically hook that back up and watch what we had there.

The mysterious things about all this: first, that the week before our tube TV died we also lost our Wii. bunny_hugger had been taking a disc out and apparently the clips or something to hold discs in got twisted as the thing wouldn't allow a disc in or out again. We had just arranged to borrow her parents' Wii, since they're not using it anymore, when the TV died. The next most mysterious thing about this: it's not like Squirm is that awful a movie. Why should our TV die on that one?

Trivia: In the first Honeymooners sketch on DuMont's Cavalcade of Stars, Art Carney appeared as a policemen. He'd been by the window of 358 Chauncey Street when Ralph hurled a tin of flour out the window during an argument. Source: The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, David Weinstein.

Currently Reading: Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS, David J Barron.


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