austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

With Frankenstein and Mister Ed

With the task of putting the new television set into my parents' bedroom done we moved on to replacing the living room set. This set had been in loyal service since around early 1995 when my father won it in a raffle at the credit union, if you go by the production date on the back of the set, or since around early 1984 if you go by my father's recollections of when he won the raffle. In fact, the set we got in early 1984 was obtained the old-fashioned way, by buying a piece of furniture from probably someplace that took the place of a closed Two Guys discount retailer in the hopes of not paying full price, and that set was destroyed the next summer by a lightning strike.

Anyway, this set had served pretty well, and my own philosophy held that while it may need something like twenty minutes after being first turned on to warm up so that the top half of the screen wasn't a distorted, blurry set of parallel lines, hey, it was still perfectly functional and all you had to do then was turn the TV on before you showered and brushed your teeth and so on. And yes, it might have a pale orange-red glow around everything, but, honestly, I kind of expect that from the television sets in my parents' home, possibly because of a long history of buying television sets from successor stores to Two Guys that occasionally have a picture tube explode in a lightning storm.

My expectation was that the replacement set would be either the one from the study, which had been sitting idle since nobody uses the study except to print out stuff from their laptop, or the one which had formerly been in my parents' bedroom before High Definition got them scrunching farther away in bed from the set so the picture doesn't look quite so huge. Instead we used the one my sister-in-law and her husband gave away following their purchase. The set, after careful measurement, was found to be just the same width and only a bit taller than the old one, and it fit in neatly. And, yes, most shows do look better when they don't have an orange-red haze around all objects or streaks of parallel lines all over the screen.

However, when you turn it on, the set starts this annoying whiny beep while it ``searches'' for its remote control, even when the remote is set on the coffee table in front of it. There is hopefully a way of handling this which does not involve slapping TV, remote, or both silly.

Trivia: In 1954 ABC (properly, then, American Broadcasting-Paramount Theaters) bought a 35 percent share in Disneyland for $500,000 and a commitment to assist financing the construction (estimated then to cost about four million dollars) of the theme park. Source: Inside ABC, Sterling Quinlan.

Currently Reading: Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center, Daniel Okrent.


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