Several weeks ago two things happened. I received a Nintendo Wii, and my TV died.
These are not two events most people would want to combine. And I'd imagine few people would want the latter to happen at all*.
The TV just stopped powering on. For an hour or two I messed with it, pushing the power button, unplugging and replugging it to the surge protector, and the wall, and even had broken out the screwdrivers, and removing two of the outer case screws before giving up to sleepiness.
I'd looked it up, of course - there was a slight chance all I'd need to do was get a three dollar fuse from Radio Shack, and I'd be back in business. However I didn't check it the next day, as the TV turned on and seemd to be functioning normally.
It's easy to begin projecting emotions and intentions on frustrating things - I began to wonder if it was trying to spite me by working for Jessica and not for me.
It remained in complete working order (well, except for the already dodgy S-video plug on the back) for over a week before shutting down completely again, and this time for more than a few hours.
In the weeks that followed it would occasionally work, sometimes for half an hour to forty five minutes at a stretch, but more often than not my hopeful attempts with the remote and power button were greeted with nothing but sad silence and darkness.
Last Thursday I broke down and hauled it to a nearby repair shop, and they estimated it would be just over a hundred bucks to fix it. I'd been pricing out my options for a similar set (size-wise, at least. I now know that the two-tuner picture-in-picture and home automation features are much more than I need from a TV) and nothing was anywhere below more than twice that. The really intriguing ones were about five hundred bucks, which is close to what I'd paid for this set those seven or eight years ago.
The TV stand looked particularly forlorn without the TV, which, though it isn't turned on much, is nevertheless a large fixture in the room. The cats were more than happy to have a new surface on which to play, but the stand soon became a shelf and then a pile for cords, video games, and other things that shouldn't have been on the floor.
All of that's cleaned up (or at least moved elsewhere) now, since last night i picked the fixed TV up and put it back. Jessica and I got to finally watch the first half Mission Impossible III - it had died in the first few minutes in what I had at first thought was just the lights being turned off onscreen - which frankly, from the looks of it so far, wasn't worth waiting to see. But now I can finally get the Wii connected again, and maybe convince Jessica to join me for a few frames of bowling or other fun.
That is, of course, when I'm not actively keeping Natalya from climbing the furniture and eating the cords, and reading the 20-odd books I'd reserved from the library, most of which only showed up yesterday. Oops.
* Having spent a week or two pricing out tube TVs, I had gotten a little bit excited at the prospects a new set could offer. I know someday I'll need that digital tuner that's now built into most sets, but the chance of replacing my TV with something widescreen, or HDMI capable (so I could plug my computer into it and use it as a really, really big monitor) certainly intrigued me. I can't imagine considering buying a new TV without having the old one die, so I guess that would be a good thing, almost.