|Our Trusty Receiver|
To be fair, the thing has operated more or less trouble-free for several years now. It just went on the blink the day before the election. I'm not sure if we were lucky or not with that because it got fixed in time for the big day.
Fixing it was easy. All it took was several phone calls - long distance ones too, I might add. There's an online self-help section where you can hit a button and get your 'receiver' reset. Weird that you're limited to four times in a day to do that. Did I mention that that didn't work? Well, it didn't.
The next step involved the first of several of those long distance calls I mentioned. Without talking to a real live human being you can get their 'great computer' (this has to be said with the 'tone and voice of Doom' for best effect.) to do some sort of magic reset of your 'receiver'. This I did three times, and lost my patience.
At that point, I decided it was necessary for some human intervention, but first, I thought I'd check the TV and the 'receiver' just on the off-chance that the thing was fixed. This was on the morning of the election.
Whoa! it was. It worked great. In fact, better than great. We were able to look at channels that we hadn't been able to see for months. I guess it's not unusual to have the system drop the odd channel now and then. If you're on your game, you can use the online bit to reset your 'receiver' and regain the use of the missing channel. I obviously wasn't - and wasn't for some time as we had probably over half of our channels that were non-functioning.
It's easy to convince yourself that the problem is related to weather. I mean, we're just coming to the end of hurricane season and that would likely spawn all kinds of problems. Plus, it's the tropics, it's hot, humid and it rains a lot during the rainy season, which is the same as hurricane season.
Well, since the channels were all working, there seemed no need to seek human intervention, right? Right. So, we enjoyed unfettered television for the rest of the day. We could, if we wanted, watch every pundit on Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, CBC, BBC (At times, I swear, the Brits and Canadians were more into the election than we were... Not that we were really all that 'into it', but you know what I mean), and the Comedy Channel, especially the Daily Show with John Stewart. Oh, my mistake... That's where we get our real news.
I managed to stay up real late and watch the election until 9:00 PM Belize Time, which is more or less, the Central Time Zone, except we don't follow daylight savings time down here. At that point, I decided sleep was the most important thing that I could do. I'd find out who won and who lost in the morning. I went to bed confident that I'd be able to get up in the morning and be gloriously surprised at who did what when it hit the fan, or didn't, as the case may be.
Well, I was surprised alright. Tuesday morning turned out to be a repeat of the day before the election. Did you know that in Singapore, the day before an election is called the 'Cooling Off Day'? That sounds like something that would be worthwhile to consider here... Maybe make it a month or so, instead of just a day.
Man, these digressions just get the best of me. So, the 'receiver' is up to its old tricks again. And again, I tried three or four times for the online reset method. Naah. That didn't work last time, nor did it work this time. Ok. Time to call for the human interface.
After I made connection with the human (Didn't even have to wait in an electronic queue), things were progressing well. the human had me accessing screens and punching number sequences. It felt good, I tell you. A few more key strokes and... Click. We got disconnected. I should have known. Back to the tried and true methods.
A few more times of logging-in to the reset section and a couple more calls to the automated reset bit. Waited about a half hour. Drank some coffee, got distracted and happened to glance over at the Tube. It's working. Once again a miracle has occurred. All that day, it's fine.
Then comes the night. We actually considered leaving the thing on all night just to keep the 'receiver' happy and full of channel selections. No, we were confident that we had cracked the nut and everything was going to be fine, so off it went.
Here comes the following morning. Guess what? You know the drill. Nothing, nada. Just the 'Standby. We're reloading your frickin' channels once again' message on the screen.
|May I Have Your Attention Please|
Well, we got nowhere. the human at you-know-where, was convinced that the problem was somewhere outside - which meant that in his mind, the dish was misaligned or the cables were shot or something, even though I swore on a stack of user manuals that I had already checked all that and everything was copacetic.
After, about a half hour of wasted long distance time, we hung up. Vivien had given us the name of somebody down here in the 'remote jungles of Borneo'... Oh, wait, that's in the book I'm reading. He's here in Corozal and apparently fixed Vivien's satellite TV problem not more than two or three weeks ago.
Well, what do you know? A local expert.
I wonder if he has duct tape?