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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Itís no good idly wishing you could relive a difficult period in your life. The better course is to accept whatís happened and move on.

But I couldnít help wishing, at the end of this particular day, that I could start over, because I knew exactly what I would have done differently. Given that opportunity, I wouldnít have an aching back tonight, and I would still have the digital audio from my TiVo, instead of humdrum old analog.

It occurred to me, for some reason, that this would be a good day to make room for the new TV set Iím getting. I donít know when Iíll be getting it, but I suspect I would have had plenty of time to prepare. That just wonít do for me, though. If something needs to be done, it needs to be done right now this minute. I wouldnít want the kind folks who are bringing the new set to show up and have to wait for me to get the space ready. Itís like offering to help someone move, and when you show up they havenít packed yet.

So (after the race, of course), I started. It was already getting too dark to see what I was doing, and I donít have a working flashlight, so as I was pulling the cables out of my component system, I should have been making notes about where they go back. I just yanked all the wires loose, thinking it would be a snap to figure out where they all go. Regrettably, I was mistaken in that assumption.

I got the old makeshift entertainment center moved out of the way, and all the components stacked up on what used to be my aquarium stand. They take up a lot less room that way, although Iím a little leery of what will happen during the next earthquake. But now all I have to do is move that stand a few feet to the left and there will be plenty of room for a big screen TV.

Then I got down to reconnecting the components, but for a long time nothing worked. I got the picture from the TiVo back, but without any sound. Then I got sound, but it wasnít from the digital connection. Then I had a picture from the VCR but sound from the TiVo. Then I couldnít get any sound or picture from the DVD player. I switched cables back and forth, then pulled them all out and started over.

Eventually I had most things working, but not as well as they were before I started tinkering. I still have no sound from the TV itself to the amplifier, so the only way I can watch non-TiV0, non-VCR, non-DVD sound on the TV (in other words, from basic cable) is to turn up the volume on the TV set and listen through the internal speakers. Talk about a comedown!

By this time I was exhausted and sore and ready to give up. If I could live the day over, I probably wouldnít have done any of this. So the one saving grace is that when and if the new TV gets here, there wonít be nearly as much moving of heavy furniture to do. There will, however, be re-disconnection and re-reconnection of the component cables, but this time Iím going to do what Iíd have done today, given a second chance. Iím going to label everything before I even start. Then Iím going to hope Iíve done that right, because you never know.

18 February 2007

Yard full of buzzards.
(Close-up of the ringleader here, and the three in the tree here.)

Iím not sure what was going on in my yard this afternoon, but maybe it should have served as some kind of warning. There were three buzzards in the walnut tree, and they all seemed to be paying close attention to a fourth bird, which was perched on a post in the middle of the yard with its wings spread. Whatever this assembly meant, it couldnít possibly have been a good omen. The buzzards have been circling low for the last few days, but this was the first time I can remember four of them landing in my yard at the same time.

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"I could get it done in a couple of days, I think, if I were really motivated. Or if I were really left alone."

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