Adventures in technology


Neither one of us can remember when we bought the living room TV, but we do agree that it came from Circuit City in Jacksonville. Circuit City officially closed its doors in 2009, so we know we bought it on or before that year.

Our other challenge was the very large armoire that held the very large TV. No thrift store on the island wanted it; they couldn’t get rid of it. We had been discussing the armoire’s replacement for months, and finally resorted to the internet. We found a stand we could both live with, and for a few dollars extra, someone would assemble it.

The new stand arrived quickly, but the assembler was a no-show. With many apologies – and a price reduction – Shaun showed up and made the assembly look like a piece of cake. He was a nice guy, and he didn’t mind the help (and kisses!) of our little dog. He had never been to Fernandina before, so I gave him an abbreviated history lesson and directions to downtown. He was planning a day trip back here when he left, so I had done my good deed for the day. The living room TV had died shortly before Shaun arrived, and the smaller one in my Adult Supervision’s lair was fading fast, so off I went to capture replacements. I ended up at Target in Yulee, and what a pleasant experience that was! Of course, I forgot to get the clerk’s name, but she knew her merchandise and obviously enjoyed her job. I walked out of there with two TVs and a smile on my face.

That smile disappeared several days later when we hooked up the large TV. As soon as the power came on, we saw a lovely starburst crack in the lower-right quadrant of the 50-inch screen. Back in the box, back to Target. Another pleasant experience. I soon said good-bye to Starburst and drove home with its replacement in the back of my car.

The Cable Guy showed up the next day to troubleshoot problems we had reported before both TVs died. It was no surprise to learn that the salty air had eaten the cable running from the pole to the house. He replaced the cable and our ancient TVs came back to life, but we had their replacements waiting to be unpacked. We explained our predicament to the Cable Guy, so he installed new cable boxes to go with our new TVs. That saved us the drill of calling and waiting for another tech to install the boxes. Thanks, Cable Guy.

Yet more days passed before two friends arrived to unpack and muscle the TVs into their designated spots. It took me three times longer than it would a normal person to follow the setup menu so we could resume our viewing pleasure.

I am proud that it only took me one call to Technical Support. Who knew that the small cable box on the small TV wouldn’t work unless the large box on the large TV was plugged in to the electrical outlet? A very patient tech walked me through each step so the Curtins could watch their favorite programs that night. Bless him, whoever he is. (I really need to start writing down people’s names.)

The hinge on one of our cupboard doors decided to disintegrate in the middle of our TV fun, and said door almost landed on Andrew’s head. We examined the other overworked hinges and decided to replace them, too. It took a couple of days to find someone to do such a small job, but Otto’s Custom Woodworking (557-3100) gladly solved our problem. We now have new hinges and a new cabinetmaker. Thanks, Otto!

Our fun didn’t stop there. The water softener had been cranky for some time, but after one telephone call, the Culligan Man arrived in the middle of Otto’s visit. Poor Acethewonderdog – he didn’t know which stranger’s knees to sniff first!

After about a week and a half, things returned to what passes for normal around here. Andrew can now watch his shows on his own TV, and the living room TV is up and running for our shared enjoyment. New cabinet hinges mean that we no longer have to fight with the old ones, and the water softener is humming right along.

 But I have developed a paranoid twitch in my right eye. The plumbing, climate control, and automobiles have been suspiciously quiet during all of this turmoil. I am waiting for one of them to go up and die any day. Twitch, twitch.