Monday, March 15, 2010


I don't exactly remember how the topic came up. I don't know how long it took Jon to convince me. And I'm not really sure what I was thinking, but at one point it seemed perfectly logical to let Jon disassemble our 48" HD projection screen TV in the name of touchscreen pioneering. The "surface" he said, was perfect.

His angle was, as it usually is, that we could get a much better TV, at a much better deal. "Besides" he'd say, "Our back light is going to burn out eventually dude and technology advances so fast that it wouldn't even be worth it to fix this one."

Anyway, I agreed. And as luck would have it, we did manage to upgrade to a 52" flat screen (which I realize is absolutely ridiculous.) At the time Jon was working for a company that recognized our electronic sacrifice. They gave him one of the brand new flat screens that they bought for a convention and just had us pay the difference in cost. I know that their accounts payable team was a little perplexed at the whole thing, but in the end everything seemed to work out just fine.

Until one day the screen was hit with a "think fast" remote control throw and caused a cluster of small black spots. Dead pixels. And woe. The mark grew bigger and bigger and bigger. It grew until we were sure it was going to creep all the way across the screen until we could no longer bare it. We got used to it, but it was a glaring fault line in an otherwise perfect TV. What more can one say?

And then one day, miraculously, the mark started shrinking. It took weeks, but it shrank and shrank until it was no longer there. The self-healing television was back to its original splendor. Numerous high-fives were exchanged over this development.

But all good things must come to an end I suppose. About two months ago, as I was getting ready for work, Jon told me that the TV was taking fifteen minutes just to turn on. I chose to ignore it.

Over the following weeks he would tell me that it was only getting worse. That not only was it not turning on, but when it finally did turn on, the picture was sometimes fuzzy and he'd have to start over. "You don't want to hear it dude, but the tv's on it's last leg." But what could I do? dwelling on the issue would only cause stress and worry at a time that a new television is just not in the cards. I knew that there would come a day when the TV would simply DIE. And on that day, and not a moment before, I would worry about it.

And last Saturday morning, I awoke to a quiet house. No Skip Bayliss spewing off his morning bullshit. No blaring commercials. Just the gentle tap tap tap of Jonny typing on his computer.

"Well dude.....Todays the day." He said. "The good news is I found a YouTube video that shows how to fix it."


"Relax Honey, I think I know what the issue is, it's really common for Samsung TVs, thousands of people have had this problem. We just need to take the TV off the wall mount, take it apart and replace the capacitors in the power supply bypass."

"I'm hearing a lot of "WE" in this process."

"Dude. We're a team. And I can't get it off the wall without you."

"Fine. But I want lunch first."

When we finally took it off the wall we placed it upside down on the dining room table, and rested it on a few blankets.

I busied myself while Jon took the back off and exposed the "power supply board", the part that handles the, "you know, incoming power". The guts of the tube.

I looked over every now and then as he pulled out all of the old dead capacitors and soldered in new ones.

When he was finally done we screwed in the million screws that keep the front and back panels together. We pulled the tv up on end on the table and I hit the power button.

And not kidding people the bitch did not turn on. It made the bloopbeepbloop sound to turn on, and then - nothing. I wish I could tell you more, but that is all I remember about that moment, it was so traumatic.

But Jon - Ever dedicated, was not defeated. He took the back off again and low and behold, we had left one crucial wire unplugged.

We plugged it in, high-fived AND IT FUCKING TURNED ON BABY.

and all is right in the Universe.

Or maybe we need to get off the couch and gain a little perspective.