Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Stephen Stills 'Just Roll Tape'
It probably started when I was about 5 or 6 years old. That's when my parents realized that I had a certain talent. I could do wondrous things with a television back in the days before cable. I could take a simple set of rabbit ears type of antennae and pick up television stations in Lynchburg, Virginia… Raleigh, North Carolina… And Charlotte, North Carolina. Television stations hours away from us.
When my father was watching those damn ACC basketball games that usually preempted what I really wanted to watch… You could find me working my voodoo on my Zayre’s B&W 13” TV. I could usually pick up the network affiliate in either Raleigh, Durham, or even Roanoke, Virginia.
That little Zayre’s TV was probably the best television that I ever owned. We saw everything from Evel Knievel jumps to the morning of John Lennon’s death together. She was a good one… But I digress.
When cable finally made it's way into our home… I found the beast easy to understand. I could manipulate it to do what I wanted. I could even unscramble the pay channels enough to watch what all those other suckers were paying for.
When VCR’s came along… I was the “go to” guy when it came to hooking them up. I didn’t need any instructions. I moved on instinct. I even remember some teachers in junior high having problems with the top-loading VCR’s where my assistance wasn’t appreciated until they realized that I got those things working properly.
I could easily whip a TV, the cable, and VCR into shape within minutes. What caused others to claw at their eye sockets seemed like toddler puzzles to me. And the same was always true with stereo systems and other sound systems.
If it was electronic… I could just do it. If I didn’t have the necessary equipment, you could just give me what money I needed and I would take care of it. I’m the same way when it comes to hooking up computers, but when you start running programs and loading discs… Those jokers will always bite me in the ass. We speak the same set-up language… But something gets lost in the translation.
My services were requested for this afternoon. My friend Christine needed her daughter’s Wii set up and she had no idea what she was doing. And even if she read the instructions, she would be in total Lost Colony territory without me.
There was only one thing that threw me off about the Wii… The bar that picks up the wireless signal. I had to actually refer to the manual about that one. This old dog had to learn a new trick and it was the first time since I referred to set up instructions since I was about 6 years old.
Right off the bat, Christine was going to need another switch box. The one that she had only handled the cable and DVD player. So we made a trip to purchase one along with a power strip. And in no time at all… Gwyneth was playing on her Wii console.
I was playing with the damn addictive thing too! I was surprised how much fun I found the Wii Sports bowling to be. And I’m thinking that I’m going to have to be a Wii bit of a pain in their ass by going over there and playing it. I’ve earned it. After all… I set it up. I’m thinking about having a t-shirt made with a gentle reminder for Christine and Gwyneth telling them just that.