What’s The Points?
The computer screen told the story. A weather system, shown as a menacing blob of glowing crimson on the screen, was bearing down on us and about to engulf the whole damn island. Isla Nublar was really in for it. Gale force winds, 40 foot swells, the whole nine yards.
Communications were already out.
The control room shook as horizontal rain punished the windows creating enough background noise to decidedly get on my nerves. I took a moment to glance out the window. The tropical trees were whipping in the wind like piñatas under a baseball bat.
It was up to me.
I realized a voice was coming out of the high-tech radio I held in my hand. “Sqwk! Say again, say again, we are pinned down. No way out. Request immediate EVAC. Do you copy? Over. Sqwk!”
Sending out the chopper in these conditions would almost certainly be suicide. Yet there stood the flight crew, having already volunteered, now impatiently awaiting my decision. Risk three lives to save eight? I could barely comprehend the mathematics that involved.
The weather display was blinking now. It has just been updated with the name of the storm which was now closer than ever. “Fiona” they were calling in. Wow, I thought. They named the storm. That’s extremely useful information.
“Clever girl,” I said without realizing I was saying out loud.
Time was growing short. It was do or die. This command decision had to be made so I could triage the next looming disaster only seconds away.
“Send ’em out,” I ordered. I keyed the mic. “Help is on the way. Out.”
Remote chance of Christmas miracle
Ever since we added a Roku to our family, life has been pretty good. (But still negative, mind you! Don’t get too carried away!)
But there was still one little fly in the ointment…
The Roku was wired up to display a picture on our TV and the audio through our home stereo. Finally, Pandora through the big speakers and it sounded good.
Our state-of-the-art home theater system features a Sony receiver my wife cleverly picked up at a yard sale for only $5. That has got to be one of the best bargains we’ve ever seen.
But it did not come with a remote control.
So there I was, enjoying my Roku and living the good life with 42 different remote controls – and no way to remotely control the volume on my home theater! It was agonizing torture of the worst possible kind.
See, the Roku* isn’t perfect. One of its problems is that one channel will be quiet as a mouse, so you’ll haul your lard ass out of the comfy chair and adjust the volume way up. Then, when you switch to another channel, suddenly your head is blown off and the wife is yelling at you (even though you can’t hear what she’s saying).
I started to develop channel switching phobia due to this phenomenon. The volume level would sometimes change dramatically even while on the same station. Pandora even has the problem.
Apparently, as a civilization, we have yet to master the technology to make our devices work properly. That isn’t a component of the Information Age. I have dubbed the next age, assumed to be inevitable, as the Volume Equalization Age. Personally I can’t wait.
Anyway, you can easily imagine the living hell on Earth where I found myself stuck. I was literally forced to get out of my chair all the time just to make volume adjustments. Physically touching the home theater system was simply distasteful. The situation was unacceptable. And I was dangerously close to burning an actual calorie or two. Something had to be done.
I began to tell friends and family about my plight. I was hoping against all odds that one of them would put it all together and get me a universal remote that could control the volume level on my home stereo. It could happen, right?
Birthday came and went. No remote. Then Christmas itself came and went. No remote.
It was the most helpless feeling in the world.
And then, the miracle happened…
For some odd reason I actually stopped and looked at the remote controls I already owned, all 42 of them. The one we used to control the TV had lots of buttons. I squinted and tried to read some of the tiny print on buttons that were never used. Lo and behold, guess what? One of them said “Receiver” on it! What the hell?
I looked on the back. It had a web site! I sprinted to the computer. Conversation in the house paused as all watched me with a growing sense of dread. I never move that fast. The computer was already on and actually worked. Two more miracles! This was getting good. I punched in the web site and it actually loaded. Miracle number four!
Long story short, the web site gave me a four-digit code that I punched into my little remote control. I dashed back to the living room and gave it a test. It worked! It worked! It worked!
It was a true Christmas miracle!
It turns out that the answer to remaining the laziest human that ever existing was literally in my hands the entire time. It breaks my heart to think of the two years wasted getting up to adjust the volume when the answer was right there, within my grasp. Pathetic, really.
Now you can add me to the list of the true believers in the miracles of Christmas!
* Roku Glitches We’ve Seen So Far
- Volume levels are not consistent
- Some channels have long loading times
- Just like most routers I’ve ever seen, there is no “on/off” switch
- The unit has crashed twice requiring reboot by reaching behind and unplugging the power cord (again, just like most routers I’ve ever seen)