Column: Spring cleaning for geeksDuring one of the unseasonably warm weekends this winter, I scrubbed the carpets and polished all of the woodwork, so this year I decided to skip spring cleaning. That is, until a slight malfunction with one of my electronic gadgets spent me spinning unwillingly into a spring cleaning frenzy.
By: Mary Lebens, The Farmington Independent
During one of the unseasonably warm weekends this winter, I scrubbed the carpets and polished all of the woodwork, so this year I decided to skip spring cleaning. That is, until a slight malfunction with one of my electronic gadgets spent me spinning unwillingly into a spring cleaning frenzy.
My beloved console TV rests in a corner of the living room. Although there’s another TV in the family room downstairs, the only time I watch it is if I’m forced to retreat into the cool basement to avoid turning on the air conditioning. Usually that happens during the summer, but during one freakishly hot 80-degree day in March I decided to venture downstairs to watch TV.
I sunk into the avocado green secondhand couch, put my feet up on the IKEA coffee table and flicked the switch on the remote. The TV flared to life, but instead of a picture, wavy lines danced across the screen. I tried adjusting the antenna and a couple of switches, but nothing worked.
My husband, not only a geek like me, but an engineer to boot, tried several more fixes and declared the TV deceased. Since I hardly use the TV, I was tempted to just haul the dead TV out during curbside clean-up day and not replace it. However, there was one small glitch in this plan.
Invitations were in the mail for my graduation party, the focal point of which will be a video I’ve spent myriad hours editing into a masterpiece from hundreds of family and vacation photos. The big family room in the basement is the only place large enough to accommodate the viewing party. So I asked my husband to move the console TV to the basement temporarily, and haul it back up after the party. His solution was to simply order an inexpensive refurbished TV on the internet.
This seems like a pretty simple solution. But the downstairs TV is a 19-inch generic from 1996, resting inside a massive shelving unit housing hundreds of DVDs, the DVD player and tons of miscellaneous junk like my Richard Simmons “Sweating to the Oldies” VHS tapes. The cabinet has a square hole for a TV, which the 19-inch model fits into perfectly. The problem is, modern TVs are rectangles.
There was no way to get a rectangular peg into a square hole, so the shelving unit had to go. That realization was the genesis of my spring cleaning frenzy. If the TV cabinet needed to go, then all of my useless junk needed to go with it.
As I hauled Richard Simmons tapes out of the shelving unit, my husband engineered a shelf to mount the DVD player in the storage space behind the TV. This is a clever move, of course, and one only an engineer would make, but it meant we needed to clean all of the junk out of the storage space under the stairs. The storage space was jammed with Legos, dot matrix printers, an old Commodore 64 computer and hundreds of matchbooks emblazoned with our wedding date.
The end result was hours of sorting, assembling boxes of items to donate, and three separate trips to Goodwill. The new TV arrived, and it’s so skinny it hangs on the wall. (Guess the TV doesn’t need to do any sweating to the oldies like me.) Hopefully we’ll get it mounted on the wall tonight. Then we can collapse in front of it for a Star Trek marathon. While there may be not rest for the wicked, there is rest for the geeky.