email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Minor But Annoying Problems

I am fortunate to not have any major health or financial problems.  But minor ones add up and can be really annoying. 

The tire pressure light is on in the car even though I made sure they were properly inflated and checked to make sure they are staying inflated.  That means a couple hours sitting around the dealership.

A tooth has gone bad and I had going to the dentist.  Its not the dental work that bothers me.  It's the bite block.  I have a small jaw AND I can't hold it open voluntarily.  As soon as that bite block goes in, I start swallowing.  Just try to swallow with your jaw wedged open!

It's January, so all the cats have to go to the vet.  There goes $800...  And I'll have to isolate each one to get identifiable stool samples.  It's amazing how long they can go without pooping when they are enclosed alone in a room!

I had an older Mac Desktop cleaned because of fan noise a few months ago.  Last week, I learned that my router is wireless-capable, so I decided to set up the desktop and move my Mac Mini to the TV room so I could visit cat blogs while watching TV.  After 5 minutes the "repaired" desktop was buzzing loudly again!

But the intolerable annoyance is that my HDTV died!  It had been turning itself off randomly for several days.  Sometimes it came back on by itself, sometimes I had to turn it on manually.  But tonight it just stopped completely.

Anyway, the Panasonic support (phone and website) is a joke!  I called the number on the manual and was informed the service department was closed.  Hours are 9 am to 9 pm Eastern Time.  The time was 8:50 ET.  WHAT?  They were supposed to be open.  So I went to their website find a local authorized service center.  They wanted the model number and my zipcode to find  service centers within 100 miles.  My model number was not on the list.  I manually entered the model number (checked it on both the TV and the manual).  I got a message saying "no such model number".  Hey, its only 6 years old!  But then the message was to choose the closest model number on the list.  OK.  But when I entered my zipcode, it deleted the selected "close" model number!  AARGGHH...

After several tries, I found a model number on the list that stayed listed when I entered my zipcode, and got a list of "servicers".  One is right here in town.  Good thing, too, because the next nearest is 30 miles away!  Naturally, the local "servicer" has no answering service, so I will call tomorrow.

The TV is 6 years old (I was shocked when I found the receipt and discovered that - my guess was 2-3 years).  If these HDTVs are anything like computers (and I suspect they are), I might just be better off buying a new one.

I LIVE with the TV.  I'm home all day and it's too damn quiet.  So when I get up, I turn on the TV before I even make my morning mug of green tea.  I always look for science or nature shows first, then switch to MSNBC for political talk (sometimes I put on science/nature DVDs and I have a 5' shelf of them).  But I have to hear some voices!  Fortunately, tomorrow is Friday and I can listen to rational talk from 10 am to 2 pm, and then science discussion from 2 pm to 4 pm on PBS radio.  That's almost as good since I mostly listen to the TV most of the time.   In fact, if I could simply listen to cable TV channels through radios throughout the house, that would be fine with me.  There used to be radios that received the sound from TV stations.  Are there any that do that with cable TV?

I'm looking at Consumer Reports reviews of HDTVs, talking myself into buying a new bigger HDTV, aren't I?

Then I'll tackle the other issues.  Like, if I am going to have a tooth pulled (which is likely), I will damn well have a working TV to watch through the several days of pain.  And if I have to ignore the cats scratching and meowing at the room doors while waiting for them to poop, I will have a TV to watch cuz its too darn cold to sit outside to ignore their pleas to be let out. 

UPDATE!  Bought a new HDTV.  80" Sharp LCD/LED.  Sharp and LCD isn't my favorite brand or type, but I really couldn't  see the difference from the better plasmas and the plasmas don't come that large.  If I'm buying a new one, it ought to at least knock my socks off.  The only step up from 80" has to be a whole wall (probably 5 years from now).  

I may go back for the sound enhancement.  They showed me the sound on a regular HDTV playing a tiger roaring (from The Life of Pi).  It was good.  Then they showed me the same scene with the sound enhancement speakers.  I JUMPED BACK and I bet every cat tail within a mile was POOFED!!!  It was astonishing.  But I want to see if hooking my stereo to the new TV is nearly as good.  I bet it is close. 

BTW, there is something called "4K" now that is way better than HDTV,  I wanted to reach in and touch the person in the screen.  It was "that real".  But maybe next time.  For what I watch, I don't need that.  And it was "super-tech", which I also am not.  But when this HDTV wears out, there may be even better stuff.  I can wait.

Should have delivery Saturday afternoon.  I can't wait. 


Mariodacatsmom said...

"When it rains, it pours." Or, so the saying goes. Seems like you are having a flood right now. Little problems can be very annoying. Just pick away at them one by one.

Thumper said...

80"...I am so jealous. When our current TV croaks, I want a giant 80" LCD HDTV. The room is really too small for it but I don't care. GIANT TV!

I keep it on for noise all the time, too. If I don't I hear all the odd little noises a house makes, and that creeps me out...

Megan said...

Yep - I hear you. The seemingly constant activity arising from all our household technologies (and bodies) requiring maintenance!

Dentist: I have particularly poor teeth AND drink a lot of soft drink, so I've spent a lot of time and money at the dentist over the years. Keep the tooth - have root canal/crown, whatever it takes. Ask for happy gas and plenty of pain killing injections.

Televisions: ours is 14 years old and not even a flat screen! LOL Even my 80-year-old mother upgraded some years ago to a bit flat screen. Admittedly, we don't watch it all that much but ... it would be nice to have a bigger picture. LOL

Sydney, Australia

The Cat From Hell said...

Mark, I am just as bad! I have an 18" in my bedroom, a 24" in my office and we have a 48" in the living room. Mostly I just listen to them too.
When I get a new TV, I want to hook mine up so it is connected to the internet. When I was in Calgary, the TV in the condo is hooked up to a computer,you have to use a wireless keyboard and mouse but I did not miss cable at all.

The Cat From Hell said...

Oh Yes, good luck with the tooth! They have to wedge me open too, I hate it.