Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Plodding Into The 21st Century


In the course of human events here at casa Billll, the kids decided that the wife's TV was in need of an upgrade. Not only the TV, but the furniture it sat on, which would have been too small for the new TV they were envisioning. They also figured that they could include us on future SILs family plan which would expand the available list of time wasters available.

The kids duly took the Wife out shopping to a furniture store where FSIL had some favors waiting and came back with a TV big enough to be watched from across the street. Call me an old fogy, but as a child, the TV was generally demonized as some kind of plot to produce fat, brain dead, kids who would be easy pickings for the onrushing hordes who were probably commies, and wanted our country and our TVs. Thus the admonition to “Go Play” with the word “outdoors” unspoken but clearly understood. The flickering screen was not called an entertainment center, but pretty universally “boob tube.” Oh yes, and back then that referred to the watchers rather than the programming.

They also noted that Wifey's phone was woefully out of date, and arranged to get her a new one. This seems to include new icons, new buttons, the discontinuation of tapping the icons, replaced by swiping them, and several other updates to the point that when the living room furniture had been rearranged to accommodate the new TV, very little in the way of operational training had been imparted. There also seemed to be no operating manual included. All updates were presupposed to be intuitive. Eventually we noticed that the owner needed to set up the phone so it would actually ring when called, something that was not automatically included. There is also some clever combination of swipes required just to answer a call, assuming you knew one was coming in. My daughter spent about 2 hours training d”wife on the phone, and left muttering that training time would come out of the time she would otherwise have spent finding us a nice nursing home. Also the remaining time before she started getting us installed in one.

Anyway, the old TV holder, some 5 ft wide, six feet tall, and 18 inches deep, and the bookshelf next to it had, over the years, become the resting place of every piece of detritus to float through the living room, and when it was replaced with a piece from the basement, 6-1/2 feet wide and 2 feet high, all the detritus got moved to the floor. Admittedly most of it should have been moved to a dumpster, but one was not immediately available and setup time was a-wastin'. The piece from the basement is ½ of a stackable assembly which served the same function as the now removed piece from upstairs, so it too was covered with “stuff” which now resides on the floor down there. Most of the downstairs stuff is of the same status as the upstairs stuff so the required dumpster is getting larger and more trips up and down the stairs are called for.

The new TV being installed, and the cables plugged in, it seemed that it wasn't giving us all the channels we had before. Much fussbudgeting and a visit from a technician later, it seems that although the TV was “smart” and “HD”, HD input was not asked for in the contract, so is not available. Cables from the box to the set must be the old RCA type and not the HDMI that came with the box upgrade. You would think that a “smart” TV would notice little stuff like this and put up a warning on the screen: “Yo! Dummies! Upgrade your contract or use the other cable set!” It also seems that due to better speakers, when the sound is good enough to be heard in the living room, it can also be heard anywhere in the house. I suggested some big styrofoam Corinthian columns, one on each side of the TV to deflect the sound away from the hallway, but this got vetoed. Even when I suggested a Temple frontage across the top with friezes and statuary of gods on top, say, Cthulhu and Aphrodite. Some people have no appreciation for the classics. All that's left now is the cleanup so I'm looking for a front loader that will fit through the doors.

2 comments:

Witold Pilecki said...

Hey Billll,

I went through the TV replacement saga in the fall of 2015. It started with paint on the walls and new floors in our living room. Our TV was a `90's vintage 27" Sony Trinitron that still had a great picture, sitting enclosed in a gigantic Kloter Farms solid oak entertainment center. The cabinet also housed my multi-component Sony stereo system. We had moved everything out of the living room, and decided it was time for a new HDTV, and to ditch the giant cabinet. We bought a 60" Vizio Smart LED HDTV, and a low profile entertainment center for it to sit on. The 27" Sony TV we had ended up in the town transfer station because it was large, heavy, and no one wanted it. The cabinet on the other hand was a different story. No one wanted to buy it, and I could not bear to destroy it. My wife wanted me to chop it up and burn it in our fire pit. I won out. The unit has been re-purposed to become my clothing dresser in my bedroom. Yes it's huge, but it is such a nice piece of Amish built cabinetry that holds a lot of clothes.

Billll said...

As Niccolo Machiavelli said: "Nothing is so difficult as introducing a new order of things." I have a large collection of VHS tapes which my wife is fond of even though she never plays them. Getting rid of those will be the big hurdle going forward.