Monday, February 9, 2009

How I Spend My Free Time

I have over the course of our married life installed all the electronic components in our house for the past 20 years at least. My husband used to be a manager of a Radio Shack in his previous life and at that time he was able to hook up turntables, receivers, speakers, Pong (an antique video game), and car stereos. Somehow he forgot all of that when VCR's came out, etc. That's OK with me actually and I have set up all four televisions, two combination VCR/DVD players, one individual DVD player, and of course, the infamous WEBTV.

For Christmas I was able to convince my husband that the 14 year old television in the living room needed to be replaced and the perfect Christmas gift to each other would be a new flat screen television. The old one was a 25 inch model that had the tendency to allow the picture to casually slip halfway down the screen. When there was a breaking news event, I had no idea what it might be. That event wasn't on my screen but probably somewhere below the television screen and above the carpet. And if that wasn't enough, it started a popping episode where the whole picture would disappear with each large "pop" and when this ended, the picture was too large for the screen. It was as if I had hit a "zoom" button (if there was one). That was OK. I could still watch the television but now if it was a basketball game, the score was off the screen. Dan would call me and ask if the Pistons were winning and I might respond, "I think so. They look happy". And if I watched QVC the prices were halfway off the screen. All I knew was the item being displayed was something like 79? The dollars were missing. That could have been dangerous if I was a QVC shopper.

So, of course I went to (my favorite place besides the warehouse) and ordered a new 32 inch flat screen television that was delivered right to my door. It was a miracle! I could pick up the box by myself. Getting the old television off the stand was something else. Danielle and I struggled with the old monstrosity and got it as far as the dining room floor. There was a blizzard going on at the time and I figured I would get it to the curb around spring.

As I was preparing to take the new television out of the box, Danielle asked me, "Don't you want to wait for Dad to do that?" I looked at her in shock, and she smiled and said, "Mom, I was KIDDING"! OH, I get it she was making a joke! No I wasn't waiting for my husband. That was funny.

So, on my snow day from work, I set up the new television, hooked up the cable, hooked up the old VCR, and attempted to hook up the DVD player. I read the television manual, looked at the numerous diagrams, looked at the back of the television, looked at the back end of the DVD player. And scratched my head in disbelief. This was complicated stuff. Well, at least I could watch the television. And I had the whole screen, and just half. I could get used to this.

And that is the way it stayed for a while. Yesterday I decided to put the job of hooking up the DVD player on my "to do list". I never used to make lists but after being with my husband for so many years, I now make lists to go to the grocery store, and lists to decide what needs to be done over the weekend. Never thought it would happen to me. What spurred me on what that the library finally came up with Season 3 of Prison Break after making me wait for months on the list. There's that word again.

So, I get out my manual for the television, the manual for the DVD player, and the original remote for the new television, the remote for the DVD player, the universal remote for the television, and the Comcast remote. I look at the back of the television, and the back of the DVD player. I have lots of cables hooked up to each but there is no Prison Break going on. I read both manuals thoroughly. Then I realize that this is a manual for the DVD player that broke last year. In the trash with that manual! Then I start rearranging the junk drawer. OK, back to work. I follow the direction perfectly. Nothing. I unhook everything and announce to no one that I will have to call Comcast and pay a ridiculous amount of money to have some idiot come in and hook it up for me.

After dinner, I get out my manuals, and all my remotes, find the cables again, and try a different method. Maybe the Best Picture isn't for me. How about a Good Picture? And maybe Progressive Scan isn't something I need or want. It says to turn off both components. I do that. Hook up the black to the DVD player, run about the back of the couch and hook up the black to the television, hook up the yellow to the back of the DVD player, hook up the yellow to the back of the television, hook up the white to the DVD player and run around the back of the couch to the back of the television and hook up the white back there. Done! I turn on both and try a different source and Prison Break starts playing. Yay!!!! The cat just sits and looks at me. HMMMM. I wonder why I see a split screen with two images. I hit play. There are two Michael Scolfields and two Teabags. I pull the DVD player out and flip the switch on the back and I am in business. And people think I have a lot of free time because I don't have to cook dinner for my husband every night. And my kids are grown. Somehow, the time just flies by.

Now back to Prison Break.


T said...

Wow, you are my hero!! I don't even know how to set the alarm on my clock, or play a dvd, or set the timer on my coffee pot. OK, don't laugh, but really, you rock!!!

Oh, and congrats on the new TV!

Andrea said...

I set up all the electronics in my house certainly can be an adventure! Congrats on the new TV! :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

I always read the manual! The remotes can drive me nuts tho. You did great! Enjoy your new TV! :)

Jeanne said...

Old Dog gets really pissy about the fact that I spent years as a computer programmer but can't figure out all that wiring stuff. Or how to record TV shows. So you're my hero, too!

Enjoy the new TV. My favorite part of being divorced was not having to share the TV. Sounds like you get the gravy without having to go through the nastiness of a divorce!

Rick said...

I need you at my house.