Friday, November 16, 2007

The Curmudgeon Mode

Oh Yes, I Hate Technology Too

We own a 24" Zenith television that somebody told me was the last American TV made back about a decade and a half ago so, wanting to be a patriotic American (and this was before the administration was hijacked by those nut cases who wrap themselves in God and Country, ignore basic constitutional rights and claim anybody who does not buy their dogma is not patriotic) I bought one. It cost more than the import and seemed 50 pounds heavier but once it was in the bedroom build out, it seemed to work well. Fast forward 15 years and poor Mr. T.V. Zenith is at his nadir. He crackles and sputters and shows a picture when he can and other times loses his audio. The grandkids think Mr. Zenith is some kind of antique video game and they love to watch him.

Today he breathed his last breath. When I had a government-type job in the previous century, they tried to get as much use out of a product as possible, fixing it with wires and solder and spit and scotch tape until it could no longer be fixed and was deemed BER (Beyond Economical Repair) and was sent to the scrap heap to be auctioned off. My Zenith was BER but since I am unable to dump my garbage at a public auction I said a few words over his dust-caked body and sent him to the happy hunting ground.

I then trolled the appliance stores for a new thin, lightweight TV, the kind that all my neighbors seem to have, as well as every airline upon which to place their delayed and canceled flights, and even every sports bar. Their drunken clientèle is able to chug beer and yell at icons of athletes half their age and many times their ability. Yup, that's the kind of TV I want. And there is no shortage of selection. Prices begin at just a few hundred dollars for one about the size of the frame that holds your wedding picture, to super sized ones that cost as much as a small Toyota. I chose one with an announced screen size just a bit bigger than the Zenith (Technology rest its circuits) and came with a build-in CD player. Great! Now I don't have to have another CD player - one more thing to go to the land of the midnight scrap pile.

Got it home and carried it alone (weighed probably less than one-tenth the Zenith) and set it up, plugged it in and followed the on-screen Wizard to allow it to program itself. When the Wizard stopped waving its wand.... nothing. No picture, no sound, no snow, no static. After reciting several standard sailor oaths I phoned the cable company. It took them more than an hour to determine they could not help, but agreed to send out a technician - but not until Monday. To be continued. Will keep you posted.

Dr. Forgot

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