FLASHING LIGHTS

I am an unapologetic geek/nerd.  Not only do I enjoy using the newest gadgets I also like exploring how and why they work or don’t work – usually. This week I threw in the towel and called for help as  two occurrences were beyond my control.

The objects are not themselves new so a good part of their failure to operate is due to wear and tear and the manufacturers’ design intent.  After all, if things worked forever the economy would ground to a halt.  Still, it is one of my ongoing frustrations to not be able to fix something myself (see previous post).

In addition, these operational failures seem to time themselves to occur simultaneously as if their systems are in synch – which amplifies the annoyance.  In the latter part of  year I have  dealt with:

  1. replacing the refrigerator
  2. replacing the fuses on my convection/convention/microwave combination oven which necessitated taking it completely apart and then rebuilding it
  3. replacing tires two different times which was more complicated than it sounds –

Unfortunately this pattern seems to be continuing and it is not a coincidence that most of these items were purchased around the same time which I believe is a conspiracy of planned obsolescence.

These new  issues are all the more exasperating as they exhibit a common theme:  the flashing epic fail light:

The lesser of two evils – Luckily for me the replacement of my flatscreen was resolved easily.  As soon as I determined that no amount of rebooting, unplugging/replugging the set was going to work I headed out to PC Richard, knowing that my car would most likely be able to transport me there and back (local).  You see, my first  encounter with my lit up and flashing car dashboard occurred two weeks ago during my trip home from the American Museum of Natural History after my behind the scenes tour.  While wending my back through Central Park to get back to the East Side, my “D” indicator started flashing while simultaneously the “VSA” and “Oil Can” lit up.  The car appeared to be running smoothly otherwise so I pretended not to see the lights and thankfully made it home without a mishap.

The next morning I dutifully drove to the mechanic who, after sticking a computerized diagnostic probe into something under my gaslock release, said a sensor has dislodged,  He reset the sensor, the “Danger Will Robinson!” lights went off and the mechanic said all should be okay.  However, if the lights went back on, then I should come back. (Remember this comment).

Back to PC Richard.  I already had narrowed down my choices from doing a little research online (of course) and after some deliberation decided on the Samsung 50″ Slim 4K Ultra HD LED Smart TV along with a Bose Sound Bar.  Before purchasing, however I had to have a serious discussion with the sales rep  as to potential installation issues.

Sound familiar?  Harken back to my post: “Houston, We have a Problem.”  I had to do workarounds then due to the fact that the power socket is on the bottom of the wall BEHIND a rather large wall unit that is frankly not moveable:

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I had designed this wall unit during my apartment renovations eight years ago specifically to house art collectibles, photographs, wine and my flat screen tv, and my contractor built it exactly to my specifications.  Giving in to my no clutter rule, he carved out one hole behind the shelf of  the tv and snaked all the necessary wires for the flat panel and cable box.  Then the rest of the wall unit was completed and items placed.

See the problem?  That hole is much higher than the actual wall socket which is at the base of the wall above the molding. How does one connect a new tv with a differently shaped connector and plug than the old one?  In addition, since this is a SmartTV it also needs to be connected to my router – which is in my office at the back of the apartment.  These are the barriers that must be crossed,

“NO WORRIES!” stated the sales rep – “our installers have dealt with all sorts of impediments and have always figured them out.”  Okay.  When I reiterated this statement to the  two installers  who came Thursday morning, their facial expressions telegraphed a less than optimistic opinion.  Undaunted,  they went to work and in a MacGyver fit of ingenuity used my Swiffer mop pole to coax the surge protector connected to the wall socket up to the wall unit’s hole exposure for the power connection. Et voilà!

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Ah,,, but all is not copacetic – now I have these three remotes staring at me – one for Time Warner Cable (battered and bruised due to a fall) one for the TV and one for the Bose power bar:

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My OCD kicked into high gear and I poured through the dreaded “INSTRUCTIONS ON USE” manuals for all three systems until I read this in the Bose manual:

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Easy Peasy. Victory!

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One problem solved – now back to my car’s tech fail which is more complicated.  On the way back from a fun time at music class, I hit a rough patch on the road – despite our rather mild winter the powers that be have not fixed all the potholes caused by last year’s snowstorms.  Lo and Behold, the lights are back. And now, my odometer does not register when I step on the gas,  Sigh.  Back to the mechanic who says the car now needs to thoroughly checked and will most likely need a new sensor – however he cannot get to it until Friday morning.

I am an early riser so it wasn’t too difficult to get to the garage when it opened at 6AM.  Since the mechanic needed  time to perform all the necessary diagnostics and retrieve the necessary part(s) for repair, I left the car there and walked home – about a mile – no problem. A few hours later I got the diagnosis: failed output sensor.  The good news:  it is not an expensive item and it doesn’t require extensive labor to replace.  The bad news:  not one Honda parts dealer in the tri-state area has the part – so the request had to go to Detroit!

Finally, two days later the part arrives – looking something like this:

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Ironic that just an itty bitty part wreaked so much havoc. All’s well that ends well and with my dashboard back to normal

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I can now move forward to my next adventure!

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