I fixed it, and I did it my own damn self!! I am so very proud of myself right now.
Of course, it’s not totally fixed, but anyhow…
Tonight I was out with J while she refereed both junior high girls’ varsity and j.v. basketball games. A girl from the away team was up at the line shooting a free throw when the power went out. Of course, being girls, they all shrieked, but then the power came back immediately. It took a while for the lights to come back up, but they did and the game went on.
So I knew the power went out not only at the junior high but also at my house. It’s not a guarantee, but it was REALLY windy today. I saw a thin girl walking home from school and I swear the wind was going to carry her off, it was so strong. But sure enough, I found out there was a power flicker at our house — enough to turn off the computers and reset the cable box.
I have digital cable in the living room (which I adore), and extended cable in the bedroom. We don’t do much with the bedroom tv except to use it to tape shows and to check to see if a problem, when one arises, is in the cable service itself or just the digital portion.
When I got home, the cable box wasn’t showing a time, which meant it got reset. I turned on the tv, like I always do, only my picture was really, really fuzzy. I went into the bedroom to compare, and the extended cable in there was coming through crystal clear. Right there I narrowed the problem to the digital. I tried turning the tv off and then back on, no change. So I unplugged the co-ax cable from the box and plugged it back in. No change. At this point, it’s time to call the cable company.
The first man I spoke to asked me to make sure my tv was on “cable” instead of “tv” or “ant” in the settings. Good point. And it was indeed reset to “tv” when the power went off. But when I set it to “cable,” no change. He also asked me to make sure my tv was set to channel 3, and that sort of annoyed me. I’m smarter than that. But anyhow. We went through a couple more steps, and nothing worked. So he suggested that I make sure all the connections are tight, which I can’t do while I’m on the phone because the wires have little slack to them, and I need both hands. I hung up with him and went to work.
At that point I realized that I needed to check to see if it was the box or if it was the co-ax cable itself coming into the tv. To do that, I unhooked the co-ax from the box and plugged it straight into the tv, giving me extended cable and no digital in the living room. Presto! Clear picture. But then I didn’t have digital, so that would never do. I called the cable company back.
That’s when I talked to Ms. Chatty Kathy (not her real name), but boy, could she talk!! She told me about her sons and all kinds of things. Pretty funny, really. She didn’t think I was dumb, especially after all the trouble-shooting I did on my own. She thought it had to be a problem with the cable box since I could get extended cable through completely clearly. So she made me an appointment for a technician to come by tomorrow to check on everything.
But the fact that I couldn’t fix it sort of stuck in my craw. That completely annoys me when I can’t do it myself. So I went back to work.
The first order of business was to figure out what the hell was wrong with the VCR. While I was messing with the tv, I noticed that the VCR wouldn’t turn on AT ALL. I know one of the plugs on the power strip is bad, so I tried to change the VCR power plug to another place on the strip to see if it was in the bad plug. No luck. I started yanking out the VCR from the entertainment center to work on it some more when I noticed the tv picture flickering as I yanked.
So I went to work on the co-ax cable that routes the digital cable signal through the VCR. This VCR is a dinosaur — probably at least ten years old, and twice as big as most modern VCRs. But my newer Samsung that I bought in college does not interface well with the DVD player, so that’s why we still had the dinosaur set up in the living room, on the off chance there was something on digital cable we wanted to watch. Let me also mention that we haven’t used the damn thing since we moved here, I don’t think. We don’t tape stuff off the tv much.
Once I had the co-ax re-routed straight from the wall to the digital box and then into the tv, I turned the tv on and voila! Clear picture. Obviously there’s something wrong with the VCR, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. I know it’s not totally fixed since all I did was take the VCR out of the circuit, but dammit, it’s fixed enough for me! :o)
Of course, you may be wondering where my electrician whiz of a husband was while all this was going on. At sea, of course. Why would anything break while he was home?!?!
Actually, he’s not at sea. He’s not going very far from home, which cracks me up, but it’s his last “at-sea” time with this ship. He was supposed to go out yesterday, and therefore had to be at work at 3:45am. Since I didn’t want to get up at 2am to take him in to work, I took him in Sunday night. I figured he left! Imagine my surprise when he calls me at 4:30pm wanting to come home because they never made it out of the harbor! There was a problem with the engine, a part about the size of the plug to a cigarette lighter cell phone charger! I’m assuming they found the replacement part since it’s after 10pm and he hasn’t called me to pick him up yet.
We hope, anyhow.
So yeah, I had a birthday last week. It went pretty darn well, considering Kurt almost didn’t get off work to take me to dinner! We went to this place downtown which is a pretty nice restaurant — casual enough for jeans, but fancy enough to charge somewhat high prices for their entrees. It’s okay, though, because the food is DARN good. I had a postcard from them for my birthday giving me a free entree, and I assumed that they would give me the cheaper entree free. Au contraire! They actually gave me my $16 seafood fettuccine (and worth every penny) for free instead of Kurt’s $10 dinner salad!
And why is it that when a tall robust male goes out to dinner with a heavyset young woman, and one orders a salad, the salad is almost always set in front of the young heavyset woman instead of the robust male?! Kurt loves large dinner salads, and they keep trying to put it in front of me! I do try to eat healthy when I eat out, but I just can’t get into salad so much that I want to buy one in a restaurant. *sigh*
The celebration went on again on Saturday night since Kurt barely got off work in time to take me out on Friday, and we went home straight after dinner. We decided to go bowling on base because it’s much cheaper than a civilian bowling alley. We paid $6 a person, shoes included, for two hours of cosmic bowl, unlimited games. I’m such a cheap date. :o) No, really, we went with some friends to an alley in Tacoma once, and between Kurt and me, we paid nearly $40 for three games plus shoe rental!
Back to Saturday night. If my sister attracts ethnic men to her, I definitely am a magnet for dorks. Not just any dorks. Military dorks. *shudder*
Since it was only the two of us, we were put on a lane with a solo bowler. First off, it says A LOT about you when you go to Saturday night cosmic bowl BY YOURSELF. Secondly, someone needed to inform this guy about something called deodorant. Yuck. Also, he was painfully socially inept. I mean, since he shopped at the Exchange for his clothes, he was somewhat trendy with slightly baggy carpenter’s jeans and a nice sweatshirt, but he just tried WAY too hard. Plus I knew right away we were in for it when the guy mentioned that one of the songs playing during cosmic bowl you can sing along to in “Karaoke Revolution” (the bastard sibling of that famous “Dance Dance Revolution” video game). One should never reference video games unless one is in the presence of another fellow gamer, which Kurt and I aren’t. Before my sister so kindly gave us a N64, our game system consisted solely of the Super Nintendo my husband nearly wore out when he was in high school, more than ten years ago. And the Super Nintendo hasn’t been hooked up since we moved here.
So this guy knew most of the songs that were playing during cosmic bowl, and he would start singing them at me. It’s really disconcerting when a guy stands there and sings while staring you in the eye — kind of freaky, really. It made me very uncomfortable. And it’s scary when a guy’s falsetto goes high enough to sing with Evanescence’s female singer on the high notes, something *I* have trouble with on a not-so-good day, and I’m a bona fide soprano. This guy just completely creeped me out, so Kurt and I split perhaps before we were ready. Both of our arms were dying from playing three or four games, but had it been just us, we would perhaps have taken a break and gone for a couple more.
The cool thing is there was a group of people next to us that was bowling, and the lady had a five-year-old and a newborn, and a guy with her had a two-year-old boy. The boy was in cornrows, which I think is goofy on a guy (ANY guy, even famous basketball players and rappers), but this little boy was just TOO CUTE. He would just stand there and bop along to the beat of the dance music playing, and it was just adorable. I fell in love with him instantly. As we were leaving, the little boy was cuddling with his dad, who held on to him as he sat on a tall table. I went up to say goodbye, and as I did so, the little boy stretched his arms out towards me like he wanted me to pick him up! My heart totally melted.
I could have taken him home with me. :o)