I Fought The Electronic Octopus

Several months ago I was forced to upgrade my TIVO from the 40 hour to the 80 hour machine. I had no desire or intention to do so, but the unit died and I have become addicted to it.

I love being able to fast forward through commercials, replay key moments (especially sports) and the convenience of being able to tape things without any hassle. And it has made it very easy to watch shows that are inappropriate for the children at my convenience.

The day that the old unit died is one that I will remember because it was Superbowl Sunday. Now you have to understand that my TIVO is part of my DirecTV receiver, so when it died I was left without a television set on Superbowl Sunday. To make a long story longer once I confirmed that that there was no reason to say “Mechayeii Meytim” and that it was appropriate to say Kaddish I headed out to the nearest Circuit City to acquire a replacement. Got there, grabbed the new receiver and headed back home.

I then engaged in an hours long battle with the new receiver. It was a modern day version of the Old Man And The Sea. For some reason the &#%#%&#%& thing did not want to work and their technical support was less than helpful. If I was Catholic I would have spent three weeks in confession for wishing the things that I thought upon the DirecTV people.

Eventually my family came in and bore witness to my struggle, but like Yaakov I prevailed, I beat the Angel of TIVO and eventually my labor led to a cold beer and football. Not a bad reward.

Evidence of the epic struggle remains in the house. During the fight the DVD and VCR were disconnected in the living room. For some reason I couldn’t get them and the receiver to work. For an extended period of time I let that go and avoided a new confrontation, in large part because I was afraid that I might make like Samson and crush them each in one hand.

At some point in time I no longer looked at them with malice in my eye and determined that it was time to try to heal old wounds, but just didn’t have time to get into it. I felt a little bit like Hercules trying to overcome the challenges, but there was no river to redirect to clean the stables and burning the heads of this hydra would just cost me more time and money.

There are a couple of problems.

  1. My television does not have as many jacks as I really need, so I have to Macgyver things a little bit.
  2. My entertainment center looks great, but it is not constructed in a user friendly manner. It is a pain-in-the-ass trying to get at the cables and to run them in an organized fashion.

This evening we decided to watch The Incredibles and I was determined to watch it in the living room as opposed to my bedroom, so I girded myself for battle and went to war. Unfortunately my plans were laid by Robert McNamara and LBJ. We tore the place apart, terrorized the populace and raised hell and in the end were chased out. If we had been smarter we would have could have won the war, but this time we had to give up.

But I am not done yet. I will reclaim the DVD and the VCR and they will work in my living room. The next time I attack this will be when I have real time to devote to it. I have not yet begun to fight, but it is coming.

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  1. Jack's Shack June 7, 2005 at 2:39 am

    Jihad on the appliances. Sounds like fun.


    I know that story, I hate to admit it, but I have done the same thing.

  2. PsychoToddler June 7, 2005 at 12:38 am

    Saturday night I spent 4 hours trying to figure out why the sound on my computer, (the one that houses all my band’s music), sounded like it was coming out of an AM radio that had been run over by a monster truck.

    I tried everything. I rebooted, I installed and unistalled drivers, I switched speakers, I scoured message boards. I did a system restore to two weeks earlier. I tore out a few handfuls of hair and taught the psychotoddler some new words.

    Finally, my son said something like, “that’s what my headphones sound like when they’re not plugged all the way in.”

    I jiggled the plug in the jack a little, and the the sound returned to normal.


  3. Workman Chronicles June 5, 2005 at 3:31 pm

    That’s the problem with not being Muslim…we don’t have any equivalent to their “jihhad.”
    Because that’s what it sounds like, a holy war in your living room.
    Be sure to use lots of threatening when trying to rewire, but be careful not to go too far.
    Kicking or attempting to flush the instruction manual may cause your other appliances to rise up in violent protest.
    (Before you know it, you’ll be facing a firefight with your microwave oven, which is still seething with a grudge after that exploding pot pie incident.)

    *Morris Workman

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