Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

A Comedy of sorts

Fedex delivered the new AV receiver at about 11 am, and I went about setting it up. Turned the TV stand (it's on swivel wheels) halfway around, pulled the old unit out the back and set it on the floor, and put the new unit in its place, after some serious dusting. The HDMI inputs were almost 1:1, there are two more on the new unit than on the old, but they are clearly labeled. Sort of. Subwoofer coax was next, I should have turned the woofer off first, but it was only a loud pop, no damage done.  Then the speaker wires. The old unit was connected with paired banana jacks, because Sony's terminals are nasty things to try to screw a bare wire into, and they are designed for push-in jacks. But when I tried to plug in the center speaker, there was a giant WTF. Sony had re-designed the +/- terminals to be farther apart than the standard. The paired jacks fit perfectly on all my speakers, which are made up of 2 generations of Infinity brand. Radio Shack makes these lovely paired jacks, one - and one + color coded red & black, molded into a single unit with some black plastic. I think what happened is the engineers changed the scheme from the pairs being vertical instead of horizontal, but kept the same spacing, which was designed to keep the pairs separate from each other. Because the paired jacks fit perfectly if you wanted to connect left - to right - and left + to right +.

I figured I would go to Radio Shack and buy single-unit banana jacks. But I did not want to leave the house until the TV was delivered, because I had to be there to sign for it. And now it was 11:30 and the TV delivery window was noon-4 pm.

I went out onto the porch, where it was shady and 70° with clear blue skies and a yellow rose blooming in the garden, and read from the Kindle app on the Nexus 7, which has been behaving itself.

The delivery folks called at 12:15 saying they would be there in 23 minutes. And they were.

So I had them park the TV set, which is wide but not very heavy, in the livingroom, and after they left I headed for Radio Shack, which suddenly became Fry's because they are closer and carry some audio connector stuff. And yes, they had Monster brand banana jacks, in packs of 4, for $13 if you wanted the not very reliable crimp connectors, or $20 for the sturdy twist-and-clamp ones. That seemed exorbitant to me, so I moseyed on to Rad Shack. Where the store has been stripped almost bare, but they did have single banana jacks. For $7 each. And only 3 of them. Not 3 pairs, 3 singles. All red. Tried next door at Orchard, but they only had one pair, for $14.

So back to Fry's, and bought 3 packs, $65.22 after tax. :-(

Home, got out my wire stripper, and a pair of diagonal cutters, and a pair of scissors. While removing the wires from the first pair of jacks, I noticed the wire stripper had a blade in the center which might possibly cut the pair of jacks apart. And it did. Quite easily. Needed a tiny bit of trim by the cutters, and then the wires could be screwed back into the jacks and the jacks slipped into the receiver. 

Since I had to remove the wires from the jacks to separate the jacks, I trimmed them up a bit, made better connections. This all took till about 3 pm.

Turned the TV stand back around, and tested everything with the old TV. Everything worked fine. Disconnected the power & video cables from the TV and moved it to the back bedroom aka library.

Opened the box for the new TV, took out the stand and the two pieces that came with it, read the directions because past experience has shown that left to my own instincts, everything gets done backwards and not very neatly. And this time was no exceptions. Following the directions, the TV was attached to the stand and on the console in 5 minutes. Attached the HDMI cable and power, and fired it up. There was an extensive setup routine, all on-screen, including connecting to my wi-fi. The AV receiver did this too, actually.

Things did not go well at first, because the TV and receiver and the blu-ray all talk to each other, and only the Amazon Fire box was dumb enough to work every time. Turning off the TV also turns off the receiver, and the TV wants to control a set-top box, which I don't have since I'm using Tivo with a cable card. The TV had 4 HDMI inputs, but only one is dumb enough to almost work consistently.

At about 8 pm I had re-programmed my Logitech Harmony universal remote about 12 times,  I was hungry so I called a halt and popped a frozen dinner into the microwave. And went outside to check the mail, because my W2 was supposed to be there today, but there was nothing in the mailbox. This has happened on a few Saturdays, I suspect the carrier skips us on some Saturdays. No worries, I can't file my taxes until I get the brokerage statements, and those may not show up till April.

Ate, did a couple more things to the system and the remote, and finally arrived at a combination which almost works, and when it misbehaves it can be made to work again quickly.

One of the iterations made the blu-ray inoperative, so this time I fired it up, and the only thing was I had to wait for the TV to negotiate with the AV and wait for the DVD signal. Popped in Enchanted blu-ray DVD and played about 45 minutes of it before I remembered this was just a test. Amy Adams close up on the new TV looks older than on the big screen. You can see the wrinkles under her eyes. But the video and sound were well worth the price & work.

While that was happening I was also re-cooking some unflavored pre-cooked turkey meatballs in Penang curry & coconut milk. I figure that may make a good snack for the game. 

Watched the NFL awards, which was a major WTF - how can you give best *anything* awards until after the Superbowl. There was one for Man of the Year, which was all about the player who gave back the most to the community, and that one went to someone who deserved it. Almost all of the winners started by thanking god. Gag me. If there was a god which brought you out of the slums and into a multi-million dollar contract, that same god put you and your family in the slums in the first place. And did not help the rest of your neighbors. That's not a god you should be believing in, much less thanking.

Plans for tomorrow:
Not sure what I'll do in the morning. Maybe go to Specialty's in my Seahawks jersey. I was wearing a 12's T-shirt today, got some shout-outs at Fry's and Orchard.
3 pm Janice will come over to watch the game.
No plans for after the game. If Seattle wins, I may go somewhere to celebrate. But I'm not counting on that.

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