Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Little TV

I have a little TV. It dates back to my bachelor days, and for years now it has been in the bedroom. When we got DirecTV and the Bose Lifestyle system a couple of years ago I did not bother to put the satellite TV in the bedroom. I just hooked up the old VCR/DVD combo to the little TV and that was that.

The one problem with the little TV is that the power button somehow fell into the TV case, and you could only turn the TV on or off with the remote. I did manage, on occasion, to reach my pinky finger into the hole that occupied the space where the power button had been and find it inside the TV case and could operate the power switch that way, but it was difficult and hurt my finger.

(I will add here that my wife suspects the TV power button was broken some seven or so years ago by the fat super that used to work in our building, back when we lived in the city. She alleges that the fat super would come into our apartment and hang out and watch TV. No proof, however, ever materialized, save for his suspicious nature and his fat suspicious fingers.)

A few months ago I bought a new VCR/DVD recorder combo and a flat screen for the bedroom and the little TV was delegated to the garage with all the other stuff we no longer use.

Which brings me to today.

I decided to get rid of the TV (maybe ten bucks on Craig's List?) and so set about to repair the power button. I took the back off the TV and was surprised at the sheer amount of wires, circuit boards and other plastic doo-dads surrounding the picture tube on the inside of the little TV. I managed to fish out the power button from inside the casing but the space was too tight for me to adequately place it where it was supposed to go, so I went about removing the big circuit board.

With each bit of progress I made in guiding the errant power button back into its proper position, some wire would pop off, or one of the little doo-dads would roll out of the TV and onto the floor.

By the time I had the power button back in place, I had to figure out where all of the wires and doo-dads went, and set about restoring the guts of the little TV.

When the casing was screwed back into place I tested out the power button. Click. Click. As good as new. I was pleased with my resourcefulness and fancied myself something of a technical Mr. Fixit.

Plugging the TV in to test out my handiwork I found that, although the power button was back in its hole for the first time in nearly a decade, and went click click like it was supposed to, nothing else -- and I mean nothing else -- worked at all! No sound. No picture. No hum when the little TV was plugged in and the power button pressed. Not even the remote managed to turn the cursed thing on.

Now my little TV is dead, but far from gone. I will have to find a place to recycle it. It has become a burden now, sitting atop the dog's crate in the garage an eyesore and constant reminder of my inability to repair much of anything.

Oh, what I would have given for the talents of the fat super just one more time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where in the World?

This 16-foot tall brass rendering is the only statue of Vladimir Lenin ever created depicting him as a revolutionary. Other monuments to Lenin portray him as a statesman. His figure here is augmented by a stack of rifles and flames.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Does your dog have a license?

I saw a notice that came in the mail reminding us to renew our dog’s license. What is the purpose of the pet license? I can understand having a license to operate a motor vehicle, or to practice medicine. The state has a responsibility to ensure that those extended the priviledge of driving a car or stitching up patients more or less understand what it is that they are doing and are held to account by the government.

But a license to exist as a pet? After all, I noticed that the license is in the dog’s name, and not ours. The license is hers. She carries it around with her everywhere she goes. I do the same thing with my drivers license.

I suppose it’s a good thing to have a registry of pets centrally located in the event one’s pet turns up lost and finds its way into the pound. That’s worth paying for.

Could it possibly be that a dog license in the county is nothing but a …. TAX? A tax on pets? I can only imagine the first guy to think up taxing our pets driving around thinking, there must be thousands of dogs in this town. Hmmm.