Monday, January 26, 2009

Electronic Problems Get me Charged UP!

You know that video I sent out awhile back about the little old lady trying to change her converter box? I made the smart alecky remark about that being my mom? Well, I better eat my words, because that little old lady is ME!!!

I've spent a friggin' hour this morning trying to get one hooked up to the little tv in my crop room.  When I took it out of the box and saw the remote control, I knew I was in trouble. We've been having problems with our remote to our sound system for a month now---and you can't watch tv without it. It's so darn frustrating.  I came home after the Celine Dion concert to the television blaring.  Butch had gone to bed.  I fought with it for at least 15 minutes before just unplugging the darn thing. We couldn't get it to turn off or adjust the volume.  It has been so aggravating---sometimes it works, and then sometimes it just won't respond.  This weekend, I asked Butch to put new batteries in it. He said that he'd checked the batteries with our "cheapo" battery tester.  I asked him to humor me as I don't think the stupid battery tester works.  He replaced the batteries and presto, chango, the thing works again.  

I just told that story to let you know that we are electronically challenged to begin with, so anything remotely complicated is darn near impossible.  The kids can attest to that as we really "wig out" when they push a bunch of buttons and get the remotes (3 of them) all screwed up.

After getting all the wires hooked up properly (of that I was sure), it came time to program the remote control.  The directions were so darn small that I had to get my mega stitching magnifiers to even see the print. The first thing to do was to select your tv brand and the corresponding 3 digit code.  There were at least a hundred brands to choose from.  Being that this little tv is so old, the brand was not listed.  The alternate instructions (if you did not have a code) was to hold down the power button and press the "up" button once every second until the tv shuts off.  If it doesn't shut off after holding and pressing 105 times (yes, you got that right, 105 times---hell, what's with that little extra "5"---seems like 100 should be enough), then hold the power button and press for another 105 times the "down" button. OMG, I nearly lost it. Here's the "rub".  There are TWO power buttons.  Have you ever seen a ****** remote with 2 power buttons? Of course, the directions did not specify WHICH power button to use. Sooooo, I had to do the whole friggin' thing TWICE.  That's 420 presses and all the counting that goes with it. A couple times I got confused and wasn't even sure what number I was on.  None of it worked.  The instructions said that if that didn't work, then I had to go through each of the 3 digit codes to see if any of them would work. If that didn't work, then there was a special note at the bottom in microscopic print that says: "apparently, this tv is not programmable."  

Oooookkkkkaaaayyy.  I start down the list of the 3 digit numbers.  Once I got to about the 6th one, I lost my place.  After doing a couple of them twice, I said to myself, "f*** t*** s***" and planned to go out and just buy a new tv.  I kept thinking, this is ridiculous that you have to have the remote to make this thing work.  The tv has to be on channel 3 now, so using the channel selector on the tv is not an option. I'm getting madder and madder.  Then I notice that there are 3 buttons on the actual converter box.  One is the power---easy enough to see as it's slightly raised---and 2 other buttons with up/down triangles---flat to the box and just etched (if you know what I mean---barely visible). I pressed one and voila' the channel changed. Why in the heck was there no mention of those buttons in the instructions?

All of that hassle just so I can watch "Antiques Road Show"! 

So, my big question---If a man can walk on the moon, then why can't we have SIMPLE electronics?? 


  1. I swear I haven't laughed that hard in years!!!!!!!!! The girls kept asking what was so funny, and I was laughing too hard to even tell them it was your blog. The most hilarious part to me [that you left out] is that the converter box probably cost you more than the tv is even worth, especially since you only get channel 3 anyways!! This blog was so funny I am going to read it to the girls!

  2. Just read it to the girls and we are all in tears! And I missed it the first time through, but you know dad's "cheapo" battery tester? Well, he just used it on the battery in my smoke detector in the garage. You know, the one that has been beeping for about a month? I'm sure everyone knows that if it is beeping, that means the battery is going dead. Well, dad tests it, and says, "This battery is still good. I'm not sure why it's beeping, but clearly it's not the battery." I didn't attempt to point out that his dollar store tester could possibly be wrong. Instead, I just asked him to replace it anyways, now that he had it all disconnected and everything. Guess what... no more beeping!

  3. I too am LMAO!!!! I love the comment about the extra 5 would think 100 would be sufficient! Don't you sometimes wish we didn't have all this technology.....there would be less headaches!!

  4. Barb, you are not alone - I rented 3 DVD's from Blockbuster last weekend and had to watch the first one in black and white! And ever since Jim had Zachary and Mike try to figure out our surround system, it only works when you watch a DVD. At least I had good sound watching my black & white movie! A few days later I wanted to watch the 2nd DVD and told Jim I really would like color so he disconnected the Wii and used those ports and presto - color! We have a new TV and there are so many ports that I think we shouldn't have to unplug anything ever and all the components should work properly.

  5. All I can say is thank God I married a mechanical engineer!!! I don't know what I'd do without Greg! He not only solves all electronic problems, but he loves to do it too! He just hooked up our new tv and surround sound system in the basement and got everything (tv, stereo, cable, wii, playstation 3, ipod dock) working from ONE remote! It is way cool! Now, anyone who comes over can pick up the remote and work our system perfectly. Honest to goodness, even Elizabeth knows how to work it all. We were amazed that she could, and when I asked her how she knew what to do, she said "Mitchell showed me how".

  6. P.S. I have no idea how this picture got on my comment posting. I was looking for a picture so I could be a blog follower, but I never selected anything because I couldn't find a picture of just me. Now, how do I get rid of the picture? See, that's what I get for trying to do something on my own without waiting for Greg! Electronics...uugh!!!

  7. You all make me feel sane! I'm glad everyone is in the same boat!

    Well Sandy, the picture looks cute and is not showing up as one of my followers, although, it would be just fine! It's so tiny, you can't hardly see it here anyway.

  8. Sandy - you should never have bragged about Greg! I am super-jealous... I went without my surround sound and DVD player for 3 months after I moved and had everyone I know look at the darn thing. In total, I would say that over 6 hours was spent between me, dad, Tucker (he needed to borrow my computer, so I said he could pay me back by fixing my stuff), Jimbo, and Rob. Finally Jimbo got it to work, but I have silly cables connected to the front ports on my tv, 4 remotes, and the sound option selections don't match properly (like I have to have it on VCR to watch a DVD - I don't even have a VCR!)!! Ok - so Greg has a new task next time he's in town! :o)

  9. Sandy, when are y'all coming to St. Louis?


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