Thursday, September 17, 2009

Turn it like this, stand on your head and close your eyes

I am not a geek.

I am not technologically savvy, I do not subscribe to wired magazine, I do not drool at the latest windows whatever release, I do not contemplate the efficiencies of a dual monitor workspace, I do not know the difference between a digital coaxial audio cable and a RCA cable, and I certainly do not know how to make a TV work without the remote.

I know just enough to get by. Which is to say, just enough to convince myself I can fix things and then proceed to royally screw them up. It's a gift.

So when our purchase of a new flat screen HDTV included a complementary visit from the "Geek Squad" to set up, unpackage, install and make everything all pretty, I all but squealed of excitement.

The guy came, he fixed, he left. Relatively uneventful.

The next day, the husband comes home, brushes a kiss across my cheek and deposits himself in the recliner in front of his new TV. Sometime later than night between re-runs of Backyardigans and watching a new episode of Ghost Hunters (excellent show by the way) the remote stops controlling the TV.

We try everything. we power off everything, reboot the receiver, change the batteries, switch remotes, switch boxes, switch positions and stood ridiculously close to the receiver, but nothing works. We were stuck with a brand new giant TV and a remote that isn't even worthy of being a paperweight.

I called AT&T technically support 3 times in 3 days. Every time, I spent 30 mins chattering with someone who's probably half way across the world, getting the scripted answers to my problem and no solution. On the third attempt, I finally talk with someone who actually speaks English as their native language and seems as if he just might be geeky enough to solve my problem.

I run through my issues and he stops and ponders what I've just said.

"Sounds like it might be an issue with your backlight"
really? that's what I thought [eyeroll]

"Ok, your gonna think I'm crazy..."

doubt it

"But my buddy told me about a trick to try."

I love it when geeks have buddies, they always have the answers.

"Turn the TV away from the receiver, put the receiver behind the TV, and try putting a blanket over the screen"

your right, I think you're crazy
But it was worth a shot.

So there I was, cordless phone perched on my shoulder, the TV sitting whopper-jawed on the blanket chest, a waffle weave blanket draped over the screen, Tyler vehemently protesting against his ability to sit within a foot of the TV and watch Diego, the dog barking at the commotion, trying persistently to point the remote and make the menu button work, and the AT&T techie barking directions over the chaos.

Then it happened. The menu popped up.

My hands instinctively raised above my head in my own personal celebration. I had never felt more satisfied. I fixed something! Hallelujah!

I was giggling as I relayed my success to the techie on the other end of the phone. He congratulated me, requested that I respond favorably to the "customer service survey" I'll receive via email, and hung up.

Then it hit me. One can't possible watch TV with this set up.

What the hell am I going to do now?!?

By now, Tyler had figured out that he could stick his head under the blanket, lean on the blanket chest and watch Diego even closer. I pulled the blanket off his head, scooped him up under each arm and plopped him down about 3 feet from the TV.

"Stay" I motion to him.

I turn around to survey the situation and took a deep breath.

About 3 hours later, I had unstrung, unplugged, restrung, plugged in and shifted just about every component in our entertainment center and finally had a working system.

It looked like a hillbilly trailer park mess. Wires hanging everywhere, speakers propped up, nails punched into the walls and a plastic ficus tree attempting to hide a power cord. still worked.

I felt invincible.

Tyler and I celebrated my success with a bowl of pretzels and a cold glass of apple cider.


Julie September 17, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

Oh Lord, that is too funny! Hillbilly looking or not, at least you got the TV to work! Hysterical! :o)

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