#369–What do TVs, computers & stairlifts have in common . . .

Note: My next post will go live at 6 a.m. Sunday morning, February 12.

All three played a big part in my life this past week and have been on my mind for the past few months. All three needed to be either fixed, replaced, or done away with. I had some decisions to make.


I only watch TV in the evenings, unless it’s something really special. Since early December, my TV on the kitchen counter, that I use for 80% of my TV watching  time, had started pixelating the pictute some of the time. And the remote no longer turned the TV on. That wasn’t all. The TV no longer recorded and the saved recorded programs had disappeared. I was not a happy camper.

I called Spectrum and was soon talking to a tech support person. I spent a couple hours with him, where nothing was resolved. He did send a new remote. Now, I could turn on the TV, but it didn’t fix anything else.

So, I tried to figure out the problem, and fix it. Ha!  I just made things worse as far as the pixelization and then I pushed the wrong thing and there was no picture at all. And I couldn’t get it back. It was time to call tech support again. But it would have to be a day when I had the time and patience. To add insult to injury, the Spectrum bill arrived with a $15 increase. That provided the needed motivation.

Tuesday, January 31, I called and spent 40 minutes with tech support, but only after 15 minutes with a recorded voice, and 10 minutes more with music. I explained the problems with the upstairs TV and that I wanted DVR capability installed on the downstairs TV in the living room.

I moved two bookcases and anything breakable that might be in the way of the Spectrum support tech.

Appointment was set up for the next day, February 1, between 3 and 4 p.m. I had cleared the counter in the kitchen and moved furniture and anything breakable in two bookcases to make access easier in the living room. The tech support person arrived at 5:20 p.m. I didn’t mind waiting.

Within the first 10 minutes, he had the upstairs TV working with beautiful picture and set it to record. To install the DVR, we went to the basement where he followed the wiring to see where to go and then out and around to the side of the house, where he found a box with the connections he needed. He spent about 10 minutes working on it while I held a bush out of his way. Then he came inside and spent another 10 minutes or so making connections with a new box. Then he checked the upstairs and the program had been recorded. He got everything I wanted done. I was a happy camper.

The picture was perfect with no breakup into pixels. And the recording worked! Wonderful!

Since I also have phone and Internet service through Spectrum, I asked him about a stray connection for the phone and he plugged it in. Problem solved. Then I asked him about making my Apple circa 2013 computer work faster. He said I’ll have to get a new one for that. Dang! I figured that was what he was going to say.


Over this past weekend and on Monday and Tuesday, I spent hours deleting photos, emails, and cleaning out folders. I also trashed most of the photos that, when not stacked, filled the entire desktop screen. Since most are already in my photo file, trashing them from the desktop did not delete them.

These were chores I have been going to do for months. I got them done so the computer would be ready for a major tune-up with  Jolene at FTS Computer Repair. She is my go-to computer person. Whenever she gives me a computer turne-up she scolds me for having so much open and so much on my desktop and so much unnecessary stuff in my emails and duplicates in my photos and so on. This time I would bes ready for her.

If this appears on your computer screen, supposedly from Apple, don’t fall for it. It is a scam.

Then on Thursday, when I was going to call her, I opened up my computer and saw what looked very official. More than one blue and white window filled my screen with Apple logo and Apple Security Center and a voice telling me my computer was locked and I was to immediately call a certain 800 number and if I was to hit Shut Down or Restart, I might lose my data and be subject to Identity Theft. I called the number and the heavily accented voice caused me to hang up immediately. I texted Jolene, asking her about it, and she texted right back, saying that it was a scam and just Restart the computer. So, I did. Everything worked fine. I hate these scams.

Some time back, I received a message that I needed to upgrade my computer. I went through all the processes until it came time to “install.” It would not install because my computer needed to be a newer model. AARRGGHH! That’s when I realized I probably needed to bite the bullet and buy a new one—or at least a newer one. Then when the Spectrum guy said I needed a new one if I wanted faster speeds, that was the motivation I needed.

This is one of two stairlifts I had in my home for the past 23 years.

So. I went on Jolene’s website to see if she had any newer, refurbished Apple desktops newer than mine for sale. She did. She had one. I texted her that I wanted it. She said she could meet me tomorrow, and we set the time. I will bring my old desktop and have necessary info with me. I will also get the service and security plans to go with it. And I need a new back-up disk, since mine is full and probably have to update my Microsoft Word. I will get it all done in one fell swoop. I was ready to make an appointment anyway for a tune up. Now I’ll be getting a newer––not brand new, but newer––computer! I’m excited!


Back in 1999, I had two stairlifts installed––one for each of my two sets of stairs for my late husband, Walt, when he could no longer do stairs. They were a Godsend during his last two years. After he passed away, I continued to use them as dumbwaiters, as well as during two different health situations, I was very appreciative of them. In 2014-15, when, during the five months of chemo, I didn’t always have the strength to do stairs. And in 2020 when I had a total knee replacement, the stairlifts made it possible to stay home after surgery. Without the stairlifts, I would’ve had to stay in a care facility. So, they came in very handy more than once.

As of February 1, have no more stairlifts on the stairs.

But for the last year or so they haven’t been working. First one quit, then a few months later the other one. So, they have just been sitting there. I finally made up my mind not to replace them. l would have them removed.

I mentioned this to my renter, Carole, downstairs earlier this week, and she thought her son might be interested in removing them. Yesterday, he did. It took him about 20 minutes to figure out to remove one of the chairs. Then the second one only took a third of that time. Then with a drill, he got all the screws loosened and Carole followed along behind and collected them all. Within minutes of being loose, he wrapped the cords around the rails and got them and the chairs into the garage. It took him less than an hour.

These stair treads are similar in style but the colors will be different, to what I have ordered for my two sets of stairs. They will cover the screw holes where the rail supports were..

I swept and mopped the stairs and after 23 years, I have the whole stairway back. The only problem is that on 10 of the steps there are four small holes where the supports for the rails were screwed in. So, I have ordered stair treads to hide the holes. And I need to part with the two chairs and two rails presently in my garage. Do any of you know anyone who would want the two stairlifts that need to be worked on? Maybe Restore would be interested.

Quite a week, I got both TVs taken care of, will be picking up a new computer tomorrow, and have my stairs back and can hardly wait to see how they’ll look with lovely new stair treads.  My “to do” list just got a whole lot shorter this week, and that makes me happy too.

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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