atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3769: Remember when TVs and stuff just worked?

Today, after Mrs. Fungus left the bunker for work, I sat down to watch Van Helsing, which I'd set the DVR to record some days past. Actually, I think it's been sitting on the DVR for a couple of weeks now, but whatever.

It was, on balance, an enjoyable enough movie. It's always very satisfying to watch a vampire die; I can't stand the damned things and there were four main ones in this movie.

But once it was done I--having been awake since 10 AM on about 4 hours of sleep--decided to take a nap. I grabbed the remote for the TV and hit the power button.

TV: [merrily playing an ep of Star Trek: The Next Generation]

I flipped the remote over and massaged the batteries (which were fresh on Jan 2 and shouldn't be bad yet) and tried again.


I picked up the remote for the DVR, set it to TV mode, and hit its power button.

TV: [ST:TNG opening theme]

I shut off the sound bar so I wouldn't have to listen to an ep of ST:TNG I never liked all that much (the one where Picard goes home and fights with his brother) while trying to solve this crap.

Now, what about the buttons on the front panel? I found the labels for them and spent several minutes fruitlessly trying to figure out where the actual buttons were. As far as I can tell they denote touch-sensitive spots on the TV's bezel, but none of my prodding was able to evoke any sort of response.

TV: [Hooray! Captain Picard!]

I tried the remote controls again, fruitlessly, and finally decided I'd leave it on, hoping it'd regain its sanity later. But I couldn't just leave it; I figured out which plug to pull, and pulled it. After counting to ten, I plugged it back in. The TV came back on.

TV: [Who knew before this episode that Captain Picard had a nephew?]

I grabbed the TV remote, hit the power button.

TV: [off]


I can remember when TVs either just worked, or didn't. If you wanted to turn it off, and the remote wouldn't do it, it was because the batteries were dead, and the obvious button on the front panel would do the trick.

I can also remember when TVs had hard power switches, so if you pushed that one, the TV's power was disconnected and it was off. I can remember when TV remotes didn't need batteries, but instead had ultrasonic tone bars in them.

None of those TVs ever needed a freakin' reboot.

It's the nature of the beast, of course. Some TVs are built better than others, and those with "advanced features" have more going on in them than those that lack such features; it's inevitable that they'll get wonky.

It's still annoying.

* * *

The movers broke the stand for Mrs. Fungus' TV when they were moving it.

It was hard to see how they could have avoided doing so. The damned thing was made primarily of tempered glass 3/8" thick, with a thin plastic backing. The main structural support for the TV is a metal plate about 10" on a side, but lateral stability was provided by the glass.

Glass is a marvelous material, but whoever decided the base of this TV should be made of glass needs to be beaten with a stick.

...just try to find a replacement stand for that damned thing. You can't; it's a discontinued model and since the base is made of glass apparently they break easily. (Who could have seen that coming?) I couldn't even find one on eBay. What finally happened is--a couple of weeks after the move--I measured the old stand, then took it apart, saving out all the non-glass pieces. I went out to the garage and cut out a rectangle of plywood the same size as the glass, then drilled the appropriate holes and put it all back together. It took me about twenty minutes.

And then we were actually able to watch TV in our freaking family room.

The stand isn't really finished; I need to paint it or otherwise disguise the fact that it's made from a scrap of plywood--but in fact with the soundbar in front of it you can't even see it, so it's not like it's an emergency or anything.

I won't even go into the song and dance the moving company gave me about fixing the TV. What ended up happening was they sent us a check for a lousy $25, and we only got that because Mrs. Fungus tore the owner a new one over the lie the actual movers had fed me.

So: if you're moving and you have a blab slab, take the time to move the slab yourself. Don't let the movers do it for you unless the base of the thing is made of something sensible.

Glass. WTF.

* * *

WalMart email wonders where the money is. Karl Denninger discusses a story about WalMart's February sales, and they're not going well at all.

Quoth an email from a WalMart senior VP: "Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?"

Denninger's response: "That's easy. The customers are not in the stores because they don't have any damned money!"

And they don't have any damned money because they haven't got any freakin' jobs!

The economy is not improving, as much as D.C. would like you to believe it is. It's not improving and it's not going to improve, because it simply cannot with the government overspending by so much, to say nothing of the egregiously high levels of regulation.

Let's talk about that last for a bit. We've arrived at the point where one person cannot know the whole of the law. One of the founding doctrines of legal theory is that "ignorance of the law is no excuse", which means that you are responsible for the legal infractions you commit even if you're unaware that you're committing one.

This makes perfect sense when it comes to things that can be covered by common sense ("I had no idea it was illegal to drive through a residential neighborhood with my stereo on 'stun' at 3 AM, officer!") but it becomes less sensible when dozens of federal agencies begin making regulations that have all the force of laws passed by Congress and signed by the President.

When I lived in Cedar Rapids, towards the end of my time there a couple of barred owls had taken up residence in the bit of forest near my apartment building. One day I took a walk in the woods and found some of their feathers on the ground. Delighted, I picked one up; then I remembered a warning from my then-girlfriend about what happens to people who collect bird feathers--possession of non-game bird plumage is a federal crime--and put it back where I found it. I worry that I committed a felony just in picking the thing up. (I am willing to pay my $35 to avoid jail, though. What? That only applies to banksters who commit fraud on a massive scale? What happened to "equal protection under the law"?)

Read that again: possession of non-game bird plumage is a federal crime. Think about all the times you delightedly brought your mother a feather you found in your own back yard. Yeah.

(Well, most of us, at least, did that sort of thing before it was a federal crime. At least we have that much going for us.)

The writer of that last link says "conservatives" should do something about the immense body of federal regulation, but there are no conservatives in D.C.; at least there aren't any in leadership positions who are interested in reducing the power and scope of government.

Oh well.

* * *

The end stage of the blue model features various blue factions fighting over the scraps. San Bernardino, CA, is in bankruptcy, and it cannot pay all the money it owes. Pensions, civil services (police fire etc), schools--who gets how much? They're all fighting for as much money as they can get.

This is what happens when you finally run out of other peoples' money.

* * *

That meteor that hit Russia last week could have made for a much worse disaster had it been just a tiny bit more stable.

The meteor, when it exploded, released some 500 kt worth of energy--250 times that of the Hiroshima blast--and if it had blown up closer to ground than it did, Chelyabinsk would have been vaporized as surely as if a nuclear bomb had hit it.

There doesn't seem to be much data available on the altitude of the explosion, but it has to have been much higher than the Tunguska event in 1908; that was a meteor exploding at about 3-5 miles above ground.

And there are thousands of rocks near Earth. Whee!

* * *

Chelate rust away without nasty chemicals. I bet it costs $50 a gallon. *sigh*

* * *

A reason to vote for Debbie Halvorsen in the upcoming special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr? Anti-gun idiots oppose her vociferously. I actually saw one of those ads, and thought, "Well, hell! That sounds kinda okay to me!"

Still won't vote Democrat, of course, but it's a mark in her favor.

* * *

Speaking of JJJ, how does anyone justify spending $43,000 on a watch? I don't care who made the damned watch or what it's made out of; that's amazingly stupid. The anus should go to jail just for that: "I spent more on a watch than most of my constituents make in a year!"

I'm serious. How does anyone look at a $43,000 watch and say, "I'm going to buy that!" What mental process is required for someone to think that's a good use of $43,000?

WTF--if he had been spending his own money, money he was legally entitled to spend on his own damned self, I'd still think he was an idiot.

Karl Denninger calls him and his ilk "common thieves". Can't argue with that.

* * *

Speaking of stupid democrat policies, Gun companies are refusing to do business with states that ban private ownership of their products. Yahoo! Good for them!

Colorado is looking at losing Magpul if they outlaw large-capacity magazines. I'm sure a more-free state will gladly accept Magpul's filthy tax dollars.

* * *

Monday or Tuesday I get to go see my doctor; the Amox isn't working too well and I'm still suffering headaches, swollen glands, etc. After 10 days on the stuff I should be feeling much better, and I'm not.

This afternoon I had a panic attack; it was the "I can't breathe!" variety. I knew it was BS because I was breathing at a normal rate (about 30 breaths a minute) and was suffering no other symptoms other than the sensation that I couldn't get enough air into my lungs. (My earliest panic attacks were like that one, only I was a stupid kid and thought my yawn reflex was misfiring.)

I mean, if I really had been not getting enough air, I would have been panting and wheezing, not just laying in bed breathing calmly; what I was experiencing was the sensation of hypoventilation without actually hypoventilating. My body was fine with the respiration rate and volume.

So I took half a Xanax, and the sensation went away, and I went to sleep.

But before taking the pill (and for a little while after) I wondered if I might have pneumonia. I suppose it's possible, and Amox might not (probably would not) touch pneumonia. I've had walking pneumonia before, and it was not exactly pleasant; it would explain the fatigue and a bunch of other symptoms I have, but I'm resistant to the idea only because I'm not tired enough.

Hence, I must go see doc--not only for stronger antibiotics, but for a better diagnosis.

* * *

Well, it's mid-February, and that means spring is on its way--and that means I've got to get some motorized vehicles out in the garage back into operating condition.

I'm going to think about that, yes indeed. Whee!

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