Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Sunday, January 24, 2021
Late Nights and Electronic Neep

 I remember all those Saturday nights years ago when we used to do chat after episodes of Remember WENN (and long after it was cancelled) and yack long into the night, sometimes until three a.m. when the last fan logged on from California. We’d be plugging at the computer so long that poor Bandit, desperate for his night’s sleep, would fly behind me and cling to the blinds that covered the glass door and window that looked out on the driveway. And I would comment: “Gotta go, guys. Bandit’s hanging upside down on the blinds.” (Everyone would chorus, “Good night, Bandit!”)

This weekend we didn’t actually keep three a.m. bedtime hours, but we did stay up a lot later than usual.

Gawd, how did we do it back then? (Well, besides being 25 years younger!)

The week started triumphantly: I finally got Christmas put back up in the closet, and all the winter decorations up. On the up side, my new shoes (black Reeboks as always) came. On the down side, now I have to break them in. And that will hurt as always. James had a nurse visit as well.

The weekend ended up being dull, but enjoyable, since we had only one doctor’s visit this week: getting James’ PICC line maintained. We were so hungry afterwards and it was so gloomy–it had been raining and we had to take the car to Publix, as well as to Kaiser, and I had to push James in a wheelchair because we can’t take the power chair out in the rain–that we stopped at Capriotti’s for lunch. I had their “Bobbie” sandwich which is a Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce with mayo). I only had the turkey and stuffing and it needed gravy. Their chicken soup is okay, but not as good as Panera.

Friday we hit Kroger for mushrooms and milk (and a few other things), had to go by Kaiser Cumberland for the isosorbide that the pharmacy didn’t have last Thursday, and finally got to have some fun by going to Hobby Lobby. All I bought was a doily to replace the one I can’t find that goes under the light-up autumn tree in the downstairs hall. I have no idea where it vanished to. Must be the “blue guys” again.

Saturday we had nowhere to go, and, thankfully, nothing to buy. I definitely have too much month left at the end of my money this January! Did some laundry and a couple other things that have been needing doing for a while: I mounted a hook in the storage closet to hold the bag of tinsel, got a bag of lights out of my way by putting it up on a nail. But it was finally time for the one thing I’d been wanting to do for ages: re-scan all three televisions. The living room TV I scan every couple of months to see if we’ve picked up any new channels, but the little TV in the spare room and the other little TV in James’ “mancave” haven’t been scanned in several years. Since a year or so back they re-assigned frequencies on about half the channels, neither small TV was getting many channels. In fact James’ TV hadn’t been scanned in so long he was only tuning in whatever channel Svengoolie was on and a couple more, and he didn’t get that many in the first place because the only place we can mount his antenna is in the northwest corner. This is the reason I disconnected each television, one at a time, to bring in the living room to connect with the antenna upstairs, which points in the correct direction and will pull in the most channels.

Well, I was totally gobsmacked to discover that we are now receiving Georgia Public Broadcasting! Many years ago, when we used to use a set of rabbit ears as antenna, we’d get GPB sporadically (and never when it rained), but once we put up the Leaf antenna it went bye-bye. And now it was coming in clear as a bell. They must have installed a new transmitter or some type of booster, because I scanned the big TV back in November and there was no GPB to be seen. Plus we get all three PBS subchannels (Create, Knowledge, and Kids).

Since I’d already cleaned up the cords when I switched the spare room gadgets to the Ikea cart from the old microwave cart, it was easy to unplug and re-plug that TV and hitch it back up to the VCR/DVD and the antenna. Less so with James’ TV, which was trapped in a tangle of cords that rivaled Laocoön. Once I extricated the TV from the spider’s web, the tuning was nearly as confusing. I think we got his TV so cheap because it was a DC model made to go into RVs and/or boats. When it‘s tuned in, some of the channels appear on other channels (CBS46, for instance, is on channel 19 on his TV, and Quest, which is on 11-4 ordinarily, is on 10-9 on his). I also set up the new Fire TV stick he bought himself back on Prime Day, as the old one decided it didn't want to talk to the internet anymore. I just plunked the TV back downstairs and tested it when I finished, but on Sunday went back down there and sorted the cords with patience and zip ties, plus re-positioned his antenna so it received most of the channels (GPB, too, to my surprise), and replaced the power strip everything was plugged into, because if you picked it up, the plug slots were so loose half the plugs fell out. Alas, there was a casualty: when I tried out James’ old VCR, it wouldn’t even turn on. I thought it was the power strip, but it wouldn’t come on even in two different plugs, one in the library, one in the garage. Tried turning it on with the remote, in case the physical power button was broken, but that didn’t work either. Worse, it’s stuck with a VHS tape in it, but it was minimal loss, a half-hour anime pilot he doesn’t even remember.

[Later: You’d figure I was done with this, but no. Monday I went in the spare room to finally take care of unfinished business. I’ve had the antenna in there hung in three different places, and today I found a fourth place where this TV, too, would get GPB. So I permanently tacked it up with Command hooks, took out the 3/4 inch brads in the other three places where it had hung (depending on what year it was, the signal to the TV came in better from a different location!), and zip tied all the cords on the Ikea table: the TV, the antenna, the radio, the VCR/DVD, and the RCA cable between TV and player. It looks like an electrical store back there, but now it’s a neat one. Plus, to make sure James’ old Fire Stick was dead, I tried to set it up on the spare room TV. Guess what–I guess it reset, because now it works again. Okay.

One disappointment I did have was the Proscan. This was a recorder/tuner I bought back in 2015 hoping to use it to record Doctor Simon Locke off RetroTV and other programs off broadcast TV. It would record to a USB stick. I discovered it was so old it would only discover about 40 channels, and was really almost too much work to record on, so it’s not a future option for using as a DVR when we “cut the cord.” So we either need to watch the few network programs we watch (Young Sheldon and stuff on PBS) at the time it’s broadcast or invest in a TiVo or some other type of DVR. Heck, the PBS stuff we can get through PBS Passport. All I have to do is keep pledging $5 a month!]