Thursday, May 07, 2009

TV Trouble

It's here.

The day of reckoning that I have been fearing.

My fifteen-year-old television set is conking out on me.

The picture looks like this when you first turn it on. Then, after five minutes it straightens out. Then it looks like this again. Then it straightens out, Then... well, you get the idea.

I have already ranted and railed about these new-fangled flat-panel digital TV and I really, really don't want to cave in and get one. And forget about buying a new analog TV! They just aren't out there anymore.

What to do, what to do?

Then, I had an inspiration.

With everybody jumping on the digital bandwagon, there must be tons of perfectly good, used analog sets available through the local freecycle website!

Yeah, that's the ticket!

So I put a notice up on the local Fayetteville site stating that I was looking for an analog TV.

I short order, I got the following response:

Hello Craig,
We have a nice medium-sized (portable, not the elephant-sized behemouth kind), 19" SONY, hardly used and works very well.
"Yessss!" I though to myself.

I emailed back and indicated that I was, indeed, interested in picking up the 19" Sony Trinitron he had offered.

He wrote back with two phone numbers, asking me to call him to establish a pick up date and time.

I called and we agreed upon a Tuesday, 7:00pm rendezvous.

"But call, first, before you come over," he requested.

"No problem, " I replied. Gosh, with two phone numbers to choose from, how could I go wrong?

Yeah, you know where this is going...

Tuesday evening arrived and at 6:30pm I dialed the first phone number. After a couple rings, the grating sound of a fax machine blasted forth from the handset.

"Oh, well," I reasoned, "I still have the other number."

Of course this was a cell phone number and of course it went straight to voicemail. I left a message that I had gotten a fax machine on the other line and that I was on my way out so as to keep our 7:00pm appointment and hung up.

I arrived at my benefactor's address at the appointed hour. There were two minivans in the driveway, so I figured somebody has to be home. I went to the side door and rang the bell.

After a small pause a man in a gray terrycloth bathrobe came to the door.

"You the guy for the TV?" he asked.

"Yes, sir, " I answered.

"Come on in, " he said as he waved me into the house.

Suddenly, I was in what looked like Hannibal Lechter's kitchen.

"I though you were gonna call first," he said as he traipsed out of the room.

"Well, I did." I squeaked. "But I got a fax machine..."

"Oh!" came a woman's voice from down the hall. "That was my fault!"

"...and then all I got at the other number was your message box, so I figured..." I trailed off as the more fully-clothed TV donor re-entered the Kitchen-O-Doom.

"Well, the TV's out in the shed." he said. "Come on."

The shed was a nice workshop that helped me forget about the kitchen.

"Here it is," he said, hoisting a 20 year old Sony off the floor. "Lemme carry it out to your van."

"Well, I can't thank you enough, blah, blah blah," I spluttered as we loaded 'er up.

Once home, I pulled the old MAGAVOX from its perch on our dimestore "entertainment center." After wiping down a few melon-sized dust bunnies and attaching the proper wires I powered up the "new" set.

Of course, the picture was messed up. The top third of the image folded down on itself and jittered.

Bonus points for the blown-out speaker!

I put the ailing MAGNAVOX back in place and dragged the SONY out to the trash bin.

Well, it was free, and one shouldn't expect something for nothing, I guess.

I'll be hitting the yard sales and pawn shops soon in my search for some trailing edge technology.

Wish me luck!


Blogger Allan said...

Is that the kitchen? Erm.

That sucks about the TV but there should be a glut of old boxes around. Good hunting!

May 08, 2009 12:15 PM  
Blogger furiousBall said...

i fear the day my TVs die... i better go take them for a walk and keep them healthy

May 08, 2009 12:29 PM  
Blogger Bardouble29 said...

We finally gave in a bought the flat screen TV's. My other half had been mooning over it for awhile. I vowed not to like it, not wanting to be unfaithful to the monster we had just gotten rid of.....

But the picture is really clear and....and...I have started to like the darn thing. *sigh*

Good luck on your hunt!

May 08, 2009 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

egg- the lcd pic is breathtaking. look at biglots. they had a great deal at xmas time. still kicking myself for not scooping one up, for my set is showing signs of age.

May 08, 2009 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had the same television for 20 years, the pisture got weird and it would hum loudly, almost as if singing. I was happy to let my ex have it when I got divorced.

May 08, 2009 7:14 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...


Michelle saw that the Mart of Wal actually had some "OLD SKOOL" TV sets left in stock. We grabbed a 20" Emerson for $144 last night.

COTW: Would your Ex want a couple more broken TVs? I can oblige.

Scott: Big Lots no gots. At least here, any way

Bardouble29: I'm sure the flat screen TV has a great picture. Give in to the dark side!

furiousball: Well, ours was an "inside" TV. He'd only chase cars once he got loose.

Allan: That is a stock shot of a messy kitchen. Hannibal's was not nearly so light 'n' airy looking.

May 09, 2009 8:15 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Congratulations on your (working) find!

May 10, 2009 6:56 PM  

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