Broken Quotient

A day in which karma enjoyed a merry repast. I awoke in relatively good spirits, which is somewhat surprising: I had engaged in a dishonourable skirmish last night with my pillow. It was one of the continuing internecine battles in the war betwixt my head and the wretched pillow’s treacherous lack of comfortable support. It mocks me, this foam buttress. It taunts me, reminding me that my attempts at defection to one of its fellows always ends in a sullen return to the default, but still inadequate, downy disappointment. It seems that I cannot find a pillow which does not soon induce bellicose punchings, rotations and eventual ejections these days. Perhaps it’s a part of ageing. Maybe grey ear-hair will emerge next, and a predilection for butterscotch. Perhaps I should try one of those Nasa-spaceage-memory-pillows-for-the-year-2000.

Even so, a productive day, including throwing half a room into the council tip, and attending the Finchley Lido’s gym, whose chlorine fumes make exercising there tantamount to enduring a mustard-gas attack. So, homeward, a bit of telly slumping was called for. I mean, what with the manual labour and the gym, it was warranted. Sunday afternoon. Egg. Toast. Tea. Recorded plebtickler. Prostate-cancer-threat-reducing pomegranate. Nowt better. So I turned on the telly. And the sound seemed a bit muffled. Never mind. I turned it off and back on again. Upon hissing back to life, it revealed a stroboscopic image, scrolling, distorting, twisting and generally refusing to depict the stable figurative reality so desirous of one’s average screenful. Fiddling with cables helped not. Neither did kicking the thing. Or punching it. The cat tried to bat the coruscating image, but to no avail. The set is officially broken. This annoys me, as I was just congratulating myself the other day that my telly was better than Neil Levine’s, whose set is a flickering disgrace, its 60hz of epilepsy-inducing shame at odds with any vestige of geekhood the man professes. Only parents and district nurses would put up with a small 60hz set, surely? Ah well, evidently, some deity in charge of internal competitive gadget hubris decided to fiddle with my fate.

Still, with every broken telly, there beats in the heart of any true geek the happy realisation that repair is, thankfully, too costly to consider. Three cheers for the throwaway society, in which that hit of the purest crack Neophylia is never more than one blown capacitor away. As far as I can tell, I should get an LCD HDTV-ready set. Should last a year or two before it breaks in some gratifyingly necessary way, so I might then purchase the next one which, by then, will have lasers and talk like Kitt the Car.

With today’s bit of household entropy, then, the forces of order in the Manichaean duality ensconcing any Burnt Oak terrace required some balancing. And, lo, it was so. With loudspeakered instructions from Victoria’s dad in Leeds, spanners and an unhelpful feline, we were able to repair a leaking and cold radiator in our bedroom whose repair otherwise would have necessitated a plumber with his concomitant callout fee. So, one bit of household technology broken, another unexpectedly repaired. And the plumbing money saved might just help me to stretch to one of those new Sony tellies advertised with the coloured bouncing balls. The advert, apparently, was created with real rubber, and not CGI thereof. They really did release a dump-truck full of bouncy balls atop a San Francisco hill and filmed the ensuing Brownian-like cascade. Hooray.

3 thoughts on “Broken Quotient

  1. “Still, with every broken telly, there beats in the heart of any true geek the happy realisation that repair is, thankfully, too costly to consider.”

    That chimes. I felt a curious elation at the weekend when my faithful old DVD player died in a tumult of spark and smoke, an elation which suppressed any frustration I felt at not being able to watch the latest Veronica Mars. I could finally buy that superlative £350 DVD recorder with 160Gb HDD I had my eye on!

    But doubt set in as to its passing and without any real hope of resurrection I proceeded to dismantle the thing down to its most basic components. Much time – along with my sins, it seems – was absorbed by the player and finally it coughed, spluttered, fizzed and roared back to life, rising like Aslan to full strength once more.

    Satisfaction tinged with despondency followed and I still look forlornly at that bookmarked page of my intended new love, thwarted.

    But at least I got to watch Veronica Mars. She has a dog called Backup you know.

  2. To quote their own puff-pieces:

    “In an age when CGI is commonplace, this makes the commercial all the more extraordinary. Every single frame was shot over two days – with the main sequence involving a 23-man camera crew and only one chance to get it right.
    An entire block was closed off and special compressed-air cannons shot the balls into the air, while earth moving equipment poured thousands down the street. Not that you’d know it from the finished product, but these balls can do some damage, so all the cars were props and crew members went so far as to having protective shields and crash helmets.

    But when you get it right, you get it right. The goal at the beginning was to deliver a “really simple, visual celebration of colour”. We think you’ll agree the results speak for themselves.”

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