Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I just spent $80 to watch frickin' Project: Runway

My neighbors up the hall are moving into a new house. They gave me their old TV stand because they didn't want to move it and my TV was sitting on the floor. Since I was only moving my TV about a foot up (and a couple of inches to the right), I didn't think I needed to unplug it or anything. But when I situated it upon the shelf, the coaxial cable went taut and the jack to connect the cable to the TV snapped right off.

Not a big problem, I thought. I'll just plug the cable up to my old disused VCR and then run it through the RCA inputs and use it as a tuner. I get everything connected and discover that less than half of the channels are showing. It turns out, the VCR thinks I'm receiving the signal from an antennae and isn't set to autoprogram. I pick up the VCR remote and it's broken.

Only momentarily deterred, I get the TV's universal remote and the remote's instruction booklet and program it for my VCR. Once set up, all the buttons don't match the features. For instance, I can't get the tape timer to not display on the screen.

Now, I'm driving to Best Buy for a new universal remote. $13 later, I'm driving back home with a more richly featured remote. Now the buttons all appear to match. However, like the previous remote, the select up and down arrow buttons work fine. But the select left and right buttons, no matter how I rigorously I program the remote or how closely I follow the instructions, will only turn up or down the volume on the television. I still can't get the get the VCR to switch to cable or autosearch the channels. At this point, I see two choices: buy a new TV or buy a new VCR.

Cut to 24 hours later, I'm at Target, perusing their "selection" of new VCRs which totals exactly one. There are several VCR/DVD combo models, but only one solely VCR model. Fortunately, it's a decent four-head, hi-fi, auto-searching, easy to set up model. Unfortunately, it's $60. The cheapest DVD player is $27. There are two additional models priced between that and the VCR. Since when does a VCR cost twice as much as a DVD player?

Oh well. Faced with the choice of either spending $60 (plus tax) or not watching television, I pull out the Visa and mortgage a small part of my future for the pleasure. Once at home, five minutes out of the box everything is up and running again perfectly just in time to see the finale of Project: Runway (congratulations, Jeffrey).

The credit card has been seeing a lot of action lately, what with getting prints and framing for the show at Mediums and the occasional monetary shortfall. Fortunately, I'll have a bit of extra cash come mid-November when I get my first paycheck from Heifer on top of the cash value of my unused vacation time at Philander, so I'll be able to make a substantially more than minimym payment to the credit card company. Cash will be tight for a few weeks, but things are looking up already.

1 comment:

Conrad said...

Philander and Heifer! cool combo.

But then I am saying this as a white alumnus of Philander Smith.