Handy Man

mannywaveHandy man, I am not.

Today I found out just how unhandy (word?) I can be when it comes to trying to fix the proverbial “stuff.” I never learn, I guess. It all started when I was copying last weekend’s Eagles’ game to DVD and the recorder just died on me. One minute it was copying away like a good little machine, and the next it was flashing zeroes at me. After I picked my jaw up from the ground (it had never done anything even remotely like that before) I pressed the eject button. Nothing.

Thus began my cajoling. I tried my best to be the DVD Recorder Whisperer, begging and pleading with it to turn back on, to eject the disk, to just come through for me like it had about a million times before. But it turns out that the million-and-first recording time is the one that broke the Panasonic’s back, so to speak. It didn’t respond to my please, so I unplugged it and let it sit there overnight to think about what it had (or hadn’t) done. If I had a dunce cap I would have placed it on top of the machine, thinking that in the morning it would be embarrassed enough to work for me again.

It wasn’t. And it didn’t. Work, that is.

d5f67646_vbattach120598I plugged it back in the next morning, ready for the magic to begin. But there was no magic. Those endless zeroes began to haunt my days and nights until I decided to unplug the recorder again and perform a type of surgery to try and revive the patient. I read all the how-to websites, watched all of the videos, and got significantly prepped enough to get the screwdrivers out and open it up. To extricate the disk and to see if that wouldn’t fix the mechanism.

I was able to get the disk back but it won’t play, and the mechanism remained stuck.

So I did a bit more surgery, getting the first broken DVD recorder from upstairs, sliding it open, and doing a transplant of internal drives, sacrificing one machine so that another could live on. It hurt to start taking out parts, but it felt good to place them inside the other machine, making a new whole out of what had been torn asunder. I felt like a god, creating something new from the ruins of something that had no future. Then I plugged it back in and pressed the button.

Nothing. I am no handy man. Now both recorders are waiting at the curb for someone who knows what he’s doing to take them and give them a good home, with a screwdriver that can work a magic I wasn’t able to work. And I’ll miss them.



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