[ Late; outstandingly good reasons; will report later. ]
One of the sidelines of the big cleaning-and-shouting festival which took place a couple days ago: one of my father's urgent demands was that I dust the `entertainment center' -- the shelves with the TV set, Tivo, VCR, DVD player I got my parents for Christmas which they never use, Bose speaker, and 100-disc CD player only used to play Christmas CDs on Christmas Day, along with the very many knicknacks left on top of it. It's true that this needed dusting, since the layer of unswept dust as heavy enough to affect the apparent color of the wood and for that matter the books on top. But he also had this dusting glove so that all I'd really have to do is touch everything. I may be basically lazy, but I certainly have fine skills in touching things. I just avoid doing so due to my obsessive-compulsive disorder.
But one of the things to be dusted was the Tivo box, and I picked it up to dust underneath and the sides and back and such, and as I did, the picture blacked out. I set the box down, of course, and waited a bit since these sorts of things often fix themselves, and maybe there was a storm rolling in interrupting satellite reception. But it didn't come back, and the other TVs were fine, so I unplugged the Tivo and plugged it back in. It reported ``Welcome'' and ``Powering up'', but then didn't report anything past that. I did unplug it and try again a few times, with no greater success.
An hour or so later my father called the DirectTV troubleshooting line, then handed the phone to me because, he said, he couldn't describe the problem so they'd understand it. The phone rang a while, connected for a moment, started ringing again, then hung up. I tried a different number, and they had me try unplugging the Tivo and re-plugging it, which, surprisingly, didn't work. So they said they'd send a new unit -- not a Tivo, technically, but whatever system they're with now -- by Federal Express over the next few days. So if I weren't so busy with other tasks this would have been a great chance to catch up watching DVDs I haven't had the chance to, since there's nothing my parents would rather watch instead that they can, except in their room.
We get to keep the broken Tivo, which is nice for our efforts to collect everything in the entire world, particularly if my father's recollection that we bought it anyway is correct.
Trivia: On 22 July 1797 the Spanish milled dollar and its component parts were made legal tender in the United States. Source: History of Money, Glyn Davies.
Currently Reading: The Lawn: A History Of An American Obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins. I never got the whole lawn-care obsession, past a bit of watering and occasional mowing. Now, I get the sense that lawn-care fanatics are completely whacked out. Normally I grow more sympathetic to things with knowledge; this makes a curious anomaly.