THE GOOD AND BAD OF HELP AT HOME – Marilyn Armstrong

The good news? About half a ton of dust and dirt left the house today. Though I know it will return, it is nice to know that at least the living room is clean.

The bad news?

“Please,” I said, “Don’t disconnect anything. I don’t know how it was put together because I didn’t put it together.”

Crash. Wires everywhere. Television is on, the sound system is on. There’s no sound. Worse, my back is so bad today I can barely move. I’ve been doing too much lifting and hauling. The spine doesn’t like it. But Garry needs sound. Okay, I need sound too, but this is not a good day for me to be hauling, twisting, and lifting.

Although I did not connect the sound system, I’m pragmatic about putting things together. First, I found the plug that attaches the soundbar to the TV and also, incidentally, the electricity.

I plug it in, and the three little dots that mean “It’s ON!” light up. Sadly, there is still no sound. I find one plug hanging off the back of the TV and the second end is lit up in red. The one on the TV says “TV/Audio Out.” It lives in a square hole and it’s the only plug on the TV that shape. The rest are standard cable connections. Sometimes you have to count them. One hanging plug goes into the one the looks like as if it is the right size. I find the plug for the bass speaker and I realize that all the plugs are loose, so I stick them firmly in their holes. I find two connectors — cable connectors — and I’m pretty sure that at least one of them should be connected to the DVD player. Probably both of them: one for visual to the TV and the other to the electricity so it will play.

Do we need the DVD player right this moment? I figure we can get through the day without a DVD. Garry is holding the flashlight and is beginning to look a bit bored. I’m sincerely considering beating him with the DVD cables, but cables are expensive. If you damage them, you have to find the right cables which, since the DVD player isn’t new, can be difficult. Sometimes, impossible.

My back is killing me. So instead of standing up on my own — it took me ten minutes the last time — I have Garry hand me the soundbar. Since I have determined that there is no plug on the TV where that audio plug can fit, it has to fit in the soundbar.

Yay! I found where it goes. Now I have to figure out which way it fits. It looks square, but actually, two sides have little flanges and they need to fit into their slots.

Where things go and what lies behind

“Is the television on?” I ask Garry. He tells me the TV is on, but not the Roku. I point out that I need something on with sound or I won’t know if I’ve fixed it. He turns on the Major League TV channel. I plug the little square plug with the red light into the hole with the flanges and suddenly — there is SOUND!

I then walk around the room picking up fallen items (Robbie the Robot was down), plucked the dogs’ balls from everywhere and throw them into the crate where they will eventually find them. Remarkably, I manage to get up and I’m still clean.

That’s the good part. The back corner behind the TV is usually a huge mass of dust, old oak leaves, dog toys, and all the pens you’ve been missing.

The DVD is going to wait at least until Owen shows up and I just hand him the cables and let him figure it out.

I can’t let her anywhere near my computer because everything is connected in this area and if she knocks those cable around, my chair won’t lift, my external hard drive won’t work and probably both Garry and my computers will be down. It will be clean, but life will not commence until I make it all work.

I can make it all work (I set most of it up myself), but all that bending and twisting and lifting will make me crabby. I think I need to get some crime scene tape to keep her out of the electrical corners!

19 thoughts on “THE GOOD AND BAD OF HELP AT HOME – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. My cable connections don’t sound as complicated as yours are but still a pain in the neck to reconnect everything. I had to move everything when the living rooms were painted and put it all back afterwards. Fortunately for me, I’ve done it enough times as David was never able to kneel to do the connections so it was my job under his instructions. I was the one that always hit my head crawling under the desk. The computer set up is not too hard except I nearly always get the speaker cables the wrong way round and have to switch them. In the living room, it is now just, TV, DVD/VCR player and Roku as I no longer have a set-top box. I don’t vacuum back there much as moving everything is a lot of work and I don’t find getting up from the floor as easy as it used to be, especially without David to give me a hand up. Luckily I have sturdy furniture. I am like a terrier with stubborn connections I might take a break but I won’t give up trying to connect the wi fi or whatever till I get it done.

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    • Connecting stuff is easy if you know what is supposed to go where — which I didn’t know because I hadn’t done the original setup. Ours is only more complicated because there are two of us so instead of one computer, there are two — plus various tablets and the TV and the sound system that goes with the TV and the DVD player. And then there are all the chargers for all the batteries for all my cameras. And the cable that makes my chair go up and down. And then there are all the other connections — lamps and heating pads and telephones. They NEVER install enough outlets in any house ever built, either, so there are extensions and more extensions.

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      • Modern living requires way more power outlets than in the past. Back then you thought you were well off if you had a double power point. I expect we’ll be installing extra ones at the new house as soon as we’ve worked out where stuff will go. Luckily I’ve already heard of two sparkies who live locally.

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  2. Story of my computer related world. Couldn’t get rid of my table top computer because I was just unable to take off the right cables and put them together for the person who got the computer. And it had various external speakerboxes. And cables for external disks (several). And – And – And. Of course, I also had to disconnect the table lamps (two), cables meandering along the walls, leading to ‘multiprises’ which then had the job to give me light elsewhere, make the printer work, give warmth and joy to the light chains around the large mirror etc etc….. And that doesn’t include any cables of the sound system – where, I’m sure – dust cities have been erected…. And same as you Marilyn, once I’m on my knees, I take a looooong time to get up again.

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    • Sounds like home to me. That’s the way it is. When we had desktop computers, we had even more wires, but we didn’t move the computer, so everything just stayed in place. When we had to move them, we lost our minds. There are rooms that need painting — REALLY need painting — but I can’t move all those cables and devices — modems and routers and printers and that’s the storage room! The living room and bedroom are much worse.

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  3. I can feel with you. Luckily my household “help” is only for the wet areas responsible (shower, bath and kitchen) so no dust or cables. I can imagine the nightmare with the cables. I have no idea how it is organised here. We have a corner with the computer stuff, and the TV is in a cabinet with the wiring. The TV and music is all Mr. Swiss. We had to have a new TV last year and since then even he has lost the grip a bit. He no longer watches so much TV, but I do. I discovered for my simple tastes I actually need no video thank goodness. Mr. Swiss is still trying to understand the new TV and continuously tells me how much better the old one was.

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    • Made me chuckle, Pat…. I too can fully identify myself to all of this cable-muddle
      Was going to use the word rely/relay and couldn’t decide which one I should use – help?!

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    • Past a certain point, you really CAN’T organize it. There are just so MANY cables for so many things — and even stuff that is wireless still have cables that connect them to electricity … and from TV audio/out to Audio/in. Maybe someday that will go wireless, but right now, it’s al wired. It used to be worse when we also had a separate tape deck (also for recording) and all the cable TV equipment. But my computer and Garry’s computer, the back up hard drives and all the chargers for my camera batteries — AND the cables for the chair lift, too. If at least all the cameras used the same or similar battery chargers, but it seems like each is unique,. And I also have to STORE all the batteries — usually in the case with the camera or I’ll totally lose track of what goes where.

      If you ever get into a TV studio, you REALLY get to see wires and more wires and wires on wires and you dare not even breathe near anything lest it come loose and the station goes silent. You can’t really clean in areas with so many cables without knocking at least some of them loose, no matter how hard you try.

      On the upside, she really CLEANED! In three hours, she got dust cleaned off EVERYTHING in the living room AND vacuumed too. I have to clear away the dolls before she comes next time. All the dolls need cleaning anyway and after that, I’m going to crate as many as I can — at least half of them.

      I’m waiting for boxes to show up from Amazon! I need BIG boxes and padding, too.

      AND, for a little more complexity, both my Christmas Cacti are budding. STILL no buds on the orchid stalks. They are there and growing longer with more and more stalks … but no buds. But when everything starts to bloom — and I have a feeling that is going to be soon, what a mess THAT will make.

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    • We finally got a newer TV because ours was 14 years old and we couldn’t get a lot of things everyone else got because we didn’t have the connections. We are lucky that ours isn’t nearly as “smart” as some. I can find almost everything I need. The smart ones are too smart for me.

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