Thursday, May 7, 2009

MacGyver lives!

He is now a chubby middle-aged redheaded woman and blogs under the pseudonym Fiona Picklebottom. A couple of years ago, I bought a two-screen DVD player from Best Buy. It was not. My best buy, that is. It lasted about 4 hours before Beth snapped off the screen of the player side (there's a player side that takes the DVD and a monitor side). When I got to our destination, I found a Best Buy and returned it for a replacement. By not allowing Beth to touch the replacement, it lasted about a year before she forgot the 'no touching' thing and broke it again. In her defense, the player had a VERY BAD DESIGN in that the screen opened downward in a clamshell-like manner in order to insert the DVD. In the DVD player's defense, apparently that is a common industry STUPID design. These things are for kids, industry people. Adults are not (or shouldn't be) driving around watching movies. Use a little common sense when designing your products.

Anyway, we are taking another long car trip this summer (about 3 weeks), and since it's just going to be me and FOUR kids (Mr. Picklebottom can't take that much consecutive time off, so he's flying to meet us at one of our destinations for a few days), my sanity felt the need to do something about the DVD player situation. The screens for car DVD players are pretty small, so to avoid the kids possibly TOUCHING one another in order to all see, because the resulting whining for miles in a car would be hell on earth, the ideal situation is one screen per kid. I set out to accomplish this goal, keeping in mind that I had one extra screen from the broken set already.

I couldn't find where a 3 or 4 screen car DVD player existed at all, let alone for a reasonable price, so I had to purchase another 2 screen. This time, with prices having come down, I was able to purchase a better-quality player. I also purchased a cheap portable laptop-style DVD player for my oldest, figuring as a teenager she probably wouldn't appreciate having to watch the little kids' movies the whole time, so she could watch her own.

After getting home and unboxing everything, I discovered that the connections on the new player and screen were different from the ones on the old leftover screen. I looked online to see if I could find any adapter and splitter cables that would do what I wanted, but didn't have any luck since I didn't know exactly what the names of the cables were. So I hit the local Radio Shack (how does this place stay in business, no one I know will ever ADMIT to going there, like it's embarrassing or something), so I could peruse the cables and adapters and see if I could find anything that would work. Ultimately, because the salesman wouldn't just let me look, he HAD to help, I drew a picture for him, explaining what I was trying to do, and we found the cables. Actually, it took me a little while to convince him that yes, this would work, because he was scratching his head and trying to convince me otherwise. Then as I was leaving, he actually said, "I'm impressed that you knew how to explain all that." I answered (in my HEAD of course, I NEVER say these things out loud), "Why? Because I'm a GIRL?"

I put it all together, and IT WORKS!!! Even though I'm a girl!

12 comments:

parkingathome said...

Very nice, I was going to suggest you put a picture up of the two ends and see if any of us could figure it out but you did it all on your lonesome, nice job!

Nowheymama said...

Excellent!

Shelly said...

I am so totally impressed that it worked DESPITE your lack of the necessary "tool".

J and J Acres said...

You go girl!

Alice said...

HOORAY! i feel so good about myself when i figure things out by myself :-)

well done, mcguyver!

Jason, as himself said...

I knew it!!!

(That you were actually McGuyver, that is.)

Whimsy said...

Wow, you really are all Macgyvery and stuff.

And about Radio Shack (as my husband has explained to me several times when I have posed your EXACT question because dude, who wants to buy a RADIO SHACK COMPUTER): apparently they are STELLAR for **parts**, as in cords and connectors and boards... or something. So they stay in business selling that stuff. That, and the occasional RADIO SHACK BRAND COMPUTER OR CELL PHONE (oh really) to the unsuspecting buyer. Not that I'd know anything about that. Really!

Now. Do you keep spare rolls of duct tape and packs of chewing gum in your car for the random bomb threat?

citizen of the world said...

Good job on the elctronics, but a 3 week trip with four kids - good luck to you!

Astarte said...

Hooray for you, you poor, stupid little girl, you! Gawd, I HATE those people. WHY can't they just leave us alone?! And, why, oh why, do people whose highest level of achievement is working at RADIO SHACK think that the rest of the population is actually DUMBER than they are?!?! I mean, do they really think that RS indicates that they've reached the pinnacle of the food chain!?

Jess said...

Torsten and I went to Radio Shack recently and were also pondering how on earth that place stays in business. We could NOT figure it out. That salesman's attitude doesn't get me any closer to understanding, either.

Susiewearsthepants said...

Good for you! I absolutely love it when I am able to figure out anything electronic by myself. I bought a TV stand for the new TV we are getting. I opened the box and took one look at the huge bag of screws and surrendered immediately. The TV stand is still not put together, and won't be until I convince someone to come over and help me.

Chris said...

Awesome MacGyver moment! And re Radio Shack? I laughed out loud when I read that. No one will ever admit to going there and my husband (comptuer geek) cannot stand the idiots who work there. He (husband) is not the most polite person out there and he is downright rude when he has to go in there. I actually feel sorry for the idiots. It's not all their fault.

I'm glad you came and found our new place!