A technician came by the house today to swap out my old working-just-fine satellite receivers and DVR’s for new as-yet-untested-but-so-far-really-inconvenient versions of both.  He arrived early, about an hour into the five hour ETA window, stepped inside, took one look at the dogs and asked if I could put them in the other room.  No problem. They are, admittedly, a fearsome looking bunch:

May 14, 2012: The Adventures Of Mr. Fix-it!  Today’s Episode = Dvr Disaster!
Lulu working on her tan between kills.
May 14, 2012: The Adventures Of Mr. Fix-it!  Today’s Episode = Dvr Disaster!
Jelly and her jaws of death.
May 14, 2012: The Adventures Of Mr. Fix-it!  Today’s Episode = Dvr Disaster!
Bubba is so bad that he punishes himself with a corner timeout.

After the swap, the downstairs HD DVR will – I’m told – record high def programming like usual – provided I ever figure out how to set it up.  My home theater equipment is stacked on an unwieldy rack that teeters uncertainly whenever someone pulls it forward to access the cables in the back.  The technician found the whole rack thing too daunting and I assured him I could just call in another technician (aka Lawren Bancroft-Wilson) to drop by and get the job done on his way home from his real job.  Palpably relieved, the guy assured me that it would be a very simple switch.  All I have to do is take out the old DVR, plug the new one in and voila (“voila” apparently being the common tech term for “recalibrate the satellite signal by running something called a check switch, allowing it to run a 38 step update, then inputting a couple of numbers and locking them”).

It was only after he left that I figured out how to slide the heavy rack forward to gain access to the cables in the back.  It was a fairly simple procedure that involved me placing two side bars beneath the rollers, then placing two of my dumbells beneath each to support them.  I slid the rack forward, switched out the DVR’s and voila (“voila” in this case meaning “the sudden realization I had one leftover cable that didn’t seem to fit anywhere”).

I was mentally celebrating my (almost) success when the rollers collapsed beneath the weight of the heavy rack that suddenly pitched forward.  I reached out instinctively, stopping it with my left hand, pivoting on my butt from where I was seated, on the edge of the little alcove that held the t.v., and distributed all of my weight to my right foot, resting on the suddenly wobbly step ladder I’d used to climb up for better vantage.  As the ladder began to give way, I realized I had one of two choices: 1. Shift all of my weight to my left shoulder and give the rack a mighty shove in the hopes that it would buy me the time and restored balance that would allow me to swing my right hand around and right the rack, or 2. Kick away the step ladder and jump to safety while my home theater set-up came crashing down behind me. I opted for the former, delivering a mighty shove, then pivoting and swinging my right hand in, shoving the rack back only a few inches, but just enough to save its precious cargo.  I hopped off the alcove, then readjusted the rack and breathed a sigh of relief.

Now, all that was left to do was turn on the home theater and voila (“voila” being “the frustration felt upon realizing one is unable to get a satellite signal”).  In retrospect, that leftover cable may have been the key.

I’m sure Lawren will figure out when he swings by.

P.S. To those of you who checked out this blog expecting to read Cookie Monster’s review of Meteor Man as part of our Supermovie of the Week Club – apologies.  I received the following email tonight:

“Joe, monster sorry.  Me watch Meteor Man on Sunday and get ready to write review, but go out drinking last nite wit Grover and, on way home, piss off angry marauding baboon family.  Monster spend nite in abandoned hot dog food kart.  Now, me smell like hot dog water, pickles, and spiteful hobo pee (aka hot dog water).  Not complaning. At least not need fur graft for left butt cheek like Grover.  Anyway, me get back to apartment dis morning but diskover Snuffleupagus (who rooming wit monster while his place fumigated) got very sick last nite from eating placenta sliders at new Vegan restaurant on corner of Sesame Street and Blood Alley.  Monster spend all day cleaning.

Apartment still smell like voila. 🙁


24 thoughts on “May 14, 2012: The Adventures of Mr. Fix-It! Today’s Episode = DVR Disaster!

  1. 1) Do you put another notch on Jelly’s collar every time she gets a kill? Or have you run out of room? 2) Are you still reading Rising Stars? I was just listening to a podcast that talked about it was the greatest series for the first 6 issues then fell off. Hard. Thoughts?

  2. Joe, you sound as bad as hubby. For him, fixing anything other than a computer usually turns into a disaster. Although the whole tightening of screws on our car battery has worked well in the past few weeks so maybe….:)

    Have a great night!!!!

  3. Poor Cookie. That sounds like a rough night! Hopefully, he’ll be around tomorrow to get his review ready.

    The dogs do look kind of fearsome in those pics… “Release the hounds!”

  4. Yeah…I remember “Meteor Man”, Cookie, so whatever you gotta do, I understand 😉

    And Joe, good save on your entertainment center. Maybe the extra cable was one of the Sat feeds (depending on where your LNB switch is)? Most satellite boxes have a diagnostic menu option under “system setup”…or you could take pictures and invite us to comment on the connections 😀

  5. 😆

    Thanks, Joe…I needed that! 😆

    (I’m NOT laughing AT you, I’m laughing WITH you! 😀 )


  6. Good for you, Cookie! I’m glad that you get out every once and awhile to enjoy yourself!

  7. Oh dear!! Glad to hear you were able to get the rack back in place without expensive components crashing to the floor in heap of metal and plastic. Sounds like you need a new A/V rack as swapping components(apart from a large tv) should not be a two person job without risking total collapse.

    Hope you(aka Lauren) figures out how to get the sat signal working with your new DVR without risking life and limb!

  8. BTW, did you check if Mercury was in retrograde..?

    Meanwhile, I’m waiting myself for a couple HD tuner thingawhatevers from RogerRabbitEars to arrive by “Courier” [..in 3-5 business days — it’s been 9!]. Rumour has it that’s it’s to be a *simple* “attach-the-blue-cable..” ordeal..?

  9. I’m glad you and the components survived the swap! Next time you might want to put little pieces of tape indicating the name of the connection as you are unplugging them. Works for me. But I’m kind of a control freak. 😉

    On the other hand, you can just get a friend (aka Lawren) to take care of it…

    re: dogs. I never lock up my 82 pound lab when repair guys come over. And everyone gets along just fine. You have a wienie satellite guy, Joe, if he was unnerved by your adorable pups!

  10. So, the old axiom, “Those that can… do, and those that can’t… teach”, needs another addition…”Those who think they can, do more damage than if they didn’t”. My husband is like that. Every time he decides to do repairs to our house, he ends up doing more damage that needs fixing by a professional.

    Also, an FYI for you. Found this Vancouver foodie thing advertised on Twitter: http://tastingplatesyvr.com/


  11. Sigh.. every fracking new DVR (am on 3rd in 2 yrs, that is 3rd model, plus 3 replacements of same models) I go through hell. The incompetent idiots that are Comcast-in-general finally figured out the issue was a PROGRAMMING one and sent out info the all boxes, except I had 2 at that point and it… never mind. Let’s just say I feel your pain. Since I have a complicated set up, all this involves said idiots setting it up just to the tv and cable and once they get that working I then have to disconnect and set it up myself to the other things because they are not capable, I end up having to redo it anyway after they waste hours trying… so I just make them do that and then redo it right.

    LOL on the dog removal. I always crate mine because I don’t think workers should have to deal with my dogs trying to help them. But people who are afraid of dogs, size isn’t the issue. Your cute little guys, well, the tech’s loss not to meet and greet!

  12. That was a close call! Glad you and the electronics are okay. Good to see the dog babies.

    It finally happened. We were afraid all those bad movies were going to drive Cookie Monster over the edge. 🙂

  13. I usually have to put my husband in another room so he won’t badger the tech guy.

    Ah, I am so glad I was an ET in the Navy, I understand how to set crap up, although programming channels and feeds is not my best skill set. As for racks…. why have an expensive set up installed in a less than serviceable rack? It is all about the access. And earthquake readiness. If it can withstand the rock and roll of a ship at sea and your average sailor can wiggle in behind to get at the connections, that’s what will do the trick.

    And you can hide your bottle from the chief.

  14. Hey Joe! I recently viewed a Food Network episode, Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives and a Vancouver eatery was featured:
    The food looked fabulous. Have you ever visited this place?

    And my synpathies dealig with technicians messing with your stuff. They always mess up my custom connections too.


  15. I would have been more worried about the tech guy stepping on one of your precious pups! I’ve never met anyone who had good experiences with their TV/internet provider. My hubby works from home and needs a reliable high speed internet connection. He finally upgraded to business class because they take him more seriously when he has a problem. Hubby deals with the lower paid contractors for a short time and then they bump him up to the “real” tech guy. Apparently, they only send out their good guys when the crappy ones piss everyone off. Some business strategy huh?

    Deni: I looked up those dishes. The Pepian de Pollo sounds good to me! Or the Jocon and Paches de Papa. The online recipe says it has Cinnamon and Tomatillos. Sounds very intriguing.
    How is Elway?

    Cookie needs to go to an AA meeting. Just saying…

    The local police say there is a fake cop shooting people in their cars. Always something isn’t it?

  16. Hi Mr M!

    The kindness of Sci Fi fans, SG fans and indeed Mallozzi Fans in particular is always a sight to behold.

    I put a call out recently on Twitter to see if I could track down “Dark Matter” in paper form.

    Sure enough, the incredibly kind regular on this blog, Luis heard my call,

    Guess what the postman delivered this morning? Despite driving rain and howling winds? All the way from the US of A?



    Many thanks to Luis!!!

    Best from Ireland


  17. @ Deni – Crap. Thanks. I mean, thanks a lot. I had read Cookie’s comment as ‘polenta sliders’, which sounded kinda good at the time. Not so much now. 😛

    @ 2cats – The red wagon looks (and sounds) great! But I think Joey might be too afeared he’d be accosted by a tramp, or dare I say, a teamster, if he ventured out to that place. 😉


  18. The following comment, although kind of funny (if it’s not you) is GROSS, so if you’re offended by dog poop, don’t read on. 🙂

    So, Elway got diarrhea from the new medication. He went outside this afternoon and exploded, the poor guy. After his nap, he went out again and it had stopped, so I figured maybe it was a one-time thing. Well, this evening, just as I was finishing up cleaning the floor for the third time today (it’s been raining and there’s mud everywhere, hence the constant cleaning of dogs and floors) when he got kind of whiny. He whines a lot, so I didn’t think much of it, and he walked toward the back door, where his water dish is. Well, it wasn’t about water. The poor guy went right there, then fell in it. He’s never gone in the house, so he felt terrible about it, to top it all off. The ataxia is terrible today, but according to my vet, it will be for a few days until he adjusts to it and the potassium bromide is out of his system. Well, I was picking him up, getting covered in crap, when Riley decided THIS was a good place to play. Oh yeah, she came racing/sliding through. I thought I was in hell, I shit you not.

    Placenta sliders don’t sound THAT bad to me right now. 😉 Baths done, floor cleaned up, I’m next. Night, all!

  19. I looked at your pictures and laughed. I had a couple of beers (micro brews of course) and looked at the pictures and laughed harder. As I type this I am listening to Dennis Miller show. The food expert suggested eat only grass fed beef, Dah.

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