Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Up To My Ears In Wires

Yesterday, I pulled all the entertainment centers apart and hooked them all up again.

What's with that?

Well, our CD player died about two weeks ago. We've been listening to Happy Hour music on a boom box I got for 75 cents at a church sale. A great deal, huh? Well, someone blew the speakers out (no doubt blaring the bass at maximum decibels), so it wasn't a treat to hear our favorite music. So, off we went in search of a new CD player.

We already knew that CD players are hard to come by. (Hell, boom boxes are hard to come by, too--why do you think I bought one at a church sale?) As it happens, PLACES to buy CD players are just as rare. Now that Circuit City is gone, the only "chain" appliance store in the area is Best Buys. Only, when we got there, the shelves were strangely empty. They had floor models of two Sony CD players, but a check with the computer told us they had none in stock and didn't plan to stock them, even though both models won't be discontinued until 2010. "Wanna buy the floor model?" No. "Okay, you can order it online." And pay for shipping. Hmm.

Then we remembered The Stereo Shop. As it happens, we both bought our very first CD players from the Stereo Shop. CD player2They had one of the same Sony CD players in stock -- didn't plan to order any more. ("Not a hot item. Most people use their DVD players.") What the heck, we took it. (And $2 cheaper than Best Buy with no shipping charges. To quote my friend Krista from her Diva Dishes blog, "Five Cupcakes!") We bought locally, left a smaller carbon footprint, and had a good product by a good company. (Did I mention my 30 year-old Sony Trititron TV still has a great picture?)

We also had a bad (naughty) DVD player. It doesn't like us. You can fart around for five or more minutes just trying to convince the thing to play a DVD. The only reason to keep it is because it also has a VHS player in it, which plays beautifully. Too bad we play more DVDs than tapes, eh? As it happens, Aldi had a little DVD player on sale for $25. Aha! The answer to all our DVD problems. And, as it's soooooo tiny, I could put it on top of the CD player in my office (the one I bought from The Stereo Shop over 20 years ago and is still going strong). So I unhooked the JVC DVD in my office, opened the box to the new one (I asked the girl at Aldi, "Is this a good brand?" She shrugged and said, "Ya got me, but it's flying outta here like crazy") and hooked it up. (BTW, I never read directions. Why bother?) The thing worked like a charm.

Next up, the new CD Player and moving the JVC DVD player to the living room. But first, I had to Wires
unhook the old CD player (which was actually a DVD player--and one we hated from day one), and rescue the five CDs it had been holding hostage since it died two weeks before. Next, plug in the wires to the amplifier. Couldn't be easier. Next, hook up the DVD player. Only the cord was too short. Down to the basement to search for a strip plug. Back to the living room. The plug won't stay in the wall. Back to the basement to find another strip plug. Back up to the living room. Unplug the TV and lamp and plug into the strip cord. Back to the DVD Player. Find Harry Potter DVD in back of TV, which has been missing for two years. Hook up yellow, white, and red wires to back of TV (also a Sony). Loop DVD cord out the back. Too short. Back to the basement for an extension cord. Only it's a fire hazard to "daisy chain" an extension cord to a strip plug. Unplug the strip plug, plug the TV and lamp back into the wall. Move to the other side of the wall-length entertainment center; unplug the CD and tape players, plug into the strip plug, plug strip plug into the wall. Can't reach the extension cord. Haul out step ladder, climb onto top of Entertainment Center, using husband's cane (from newly installed full knee replacement) to hook the extension cord, haul it over to the side and plug into wall. Turn on all appliances: Yea -- they work.

Put Harry Potter DVD in DVD player, hit play. Nothing happens. Pull TV back out, make sure cords are in all the way; put TV back. Hit play. Nothing happens. Walk to office, call brother on phone. He's not home. Call back in five minutes. Call back. He's now at Sam's Club. Too noisy to talk. Will call back. Five minutes later, he calls back. Explain situation. He gives advice and says call back if it doesn't work. Go back to TV. Check wires again. Flip channels looking for an AUX channel around 90. No AUX channel, but discover we have the Hallmark Channel on our basic cable -- only it's on Channel 78. We have never flipped that high. (Do we NEED the Hallmark Channel? Will we ever watch it?)

Sit in front of TV pondering problem while Harry Potter-Gobletlistening to Dr. Oz explain how to grow a new bladder. Punch all buttons on remote. Suddenly, Harry Potter appears! Oh-oh! Forgot, when plugging directly into TV with DVR, must turn off TV button--switching to video! Yea! Back in business.

And that's why I didn't write a single sentence yesterday afternoon.