Up Tails All!

This seems to have been all I have seen this last week…..backsides in the air. Not, unfortunately, those of ducks…but human backsides…male backsides, the rest of the person hidden below my desk whence emerge mutterings, expletives and the odd shriek as Podge investigates the posteriors that are where, in her opinion, they should not be.

Under that desk lies the nerve centre of the household…telephone, modem, wifi, laptop, music centre and television. It has a forest of cables…most of them left by the electricity monopoly’s workmen as they cut off what had not worked and added what they assured me would work in the future. The man who came to install the security cameras took one look and left the mess well alone, adding his independent tangle to the Gordian knot.

The young man from the family across the road came to ask if our cameras were recording – on the pretext that his chainsaw had been stolen. As we had heard his chainsaw in action that very morning we lied and said that our system did, indeed, record everything. Shortly afterwards nocturnal traffic visiting his finca became rare…

All was working well, apart from Black Tot taking refuge under the desk in thunderstorms and detaching the plugs, until we had a humdinger of a storm in which you could smell the lightning strikes and which narrowly avoided the electrocution of the chickens. Danilo did explain how they had been put in peril – as usual, something touching something it shouldn’t have touched, as perilous in humans as in electricity – but whatever it is has galvanised the buggers into laying eggs after a long period of shortage of same. Remind me to give them ECT next time they go off lay…

However, the same storm burned out the television…..despite a surge plug. Costa Rican storms laugh at surge plugs…probably regard them as targets…and this one was right on the mark.

Could it be repaired?

Repairs locally are a gamble…you pays your money and it either works or it doesn’t, which you only discover when it has been torn from the clutches of the repairer weeks after being placed with them and when money has changed hands. The exception is the Cubano, but he doesn’t repair televisions.

After much sucking of teeth, the box was dropped off at shop of the far from heavenly Twins up the road with a promise that they would ring to tell us what the prospects might be.

Well, wait for a call from the Twins and you might as well shit in your hat, so the next day Danilo bearded them in their lair, only to hear that they would have to send for a new card, that they did not know how much it would cost or if it would work and no, he could not take it back as they had stripped it down.

He told them that if they did not call with the price of the card and a prognosis they could whistle for their money and returned with the news.

Council of war.

Did we need the television? Yes, otherwise we had to view the security cameras on a mobile ‘phone. Leo’s hands are paralysed so he can’t use one…I am waiting for a cataract op on the good eye and have limited vision.

Could we wait for the Twins? On current form…no. If they came up trumps it would be like Foinavon winning the Grand National

So…buy another one and if the Twins ever repaired the original it would do as a spare. Possibly the man who installed the security cameras could link them up to that and reserve the new box for less exciting things.

Leo and Danilo set off to town accordingly and returned in triumph with a thing much larger than the old box – and at a discount to boot – but which would not hang on the wall – it had to sit on my desk. The printer had to be removed to a shelf, thus displacing any number of files which lurked there, and the box was put into place.

Fine…except how to set it up. It had to be done as the shop would only accept a return within twenty four hours and the next day was a Sunday. Not a problem for the shop, which like most Costa Rican shops worships Mammon rather than God, but a problem for us as, thanks to the absurd vehicle restrictions imposed – supposedly to stop the spread of the bug but in reality aimed at imposing fines – we could not go out on Sunday to take it back.

No problem extricating it from the box…except that Carlos had to be called to assist as it was so large. I had cleared my desk top…finding several interesting things in the process – why do I have two masks and a staple gun living in a mug commemorating the ATS, in which my mother served during the war?

It was set up and then they started on the puzzle of matching up wires unplugged when moving the old box to slots on the new box…not to speak of the wires supplied with same….

At which point the backsides under the desk started….and persisted…..

Somthing was plugged in…did it work?

Well, what was it supposed to do?

How the hell do I know? Is anything happening?

Well, as it was clear that the thing worked…even if no one knew what to do with it, we called a truce.

On Sunday I fiddled with it but came up against the need for a password wihout a clue as to how one was to make the necessary input. No cameras.

Monday, the whole gallimaufrey had a go, Danilo, Carlos, Andres…….it looked like success but then I could only use my laptop if the cable to the box was removed and still no cameras…

Call the man who installed the cameras.

Tuesday it was his posterior under the desk while his assistant beat off the dogs. Then he had Andres under the desk while he fiddled above, finally achieving a very limited view on the cameras and a total absence of communication with the laptop…his assistant was occupied with cuddling Black Tot.

On Wedenesday Andres thought he had a solution….but it was not to be.

On Thursday the man who installed the cameras returned with a magic box….both he and his assistant disappeared under the desk while Carlos stood guard above, beating off Podge and Zuniga.

Success! We had cameras and action! I could watch the highlights of the Test Match! As long as I did not want to watch the cameras at the same time….

Should the Twins ever repair the other box could he set it up on another circuit?

Well, if the Twins ever get back to you…give me a call.

Talk about hedging your bets…

31 thoughts on “Up Tails All!”

  1. Egads this reminds me of the days when televisions, even the b/w ones, were the same size as the van that they were delivered in – and there was an entire “professional” trade working just to repair them. Hackney Carriage Lamp Wick Trimmers*, chaps who removed Boy Scouts from horses hooves, and television repair men. The repair chaps often had a couple of very sad-looking old sets in their Vauxhall Viva Estate cars, to leave as substitutes when the repairs required valve surgery under anaesthetic back at base. Do old cathode ray tubes go to Heaven or to Hell? I remember when The Powers That Be allowed a second channel – BB2, of course, nothing overtly commercial – and we had to tune in using a screwdriver on the rear of the set. I miss that screwdriver.

    *Incidentally the self-same profession that I gave as being my own on this year’s Census return. Ian H., Hackney Carriage Lamp Wick-Trimmer, living on boat or barge near Aston Juxta Mondrum (a village). The system insisted on the lovely address, I thought it only right and proper to come up with a suitable profession.

  2. CCTV? Good grief! Guy tried to get us to fit them, along with wire fencing, when we had the cabin built. Our neighbour was sitting with us at the time so I asked him, “Do you have thieves come around here?” He looked suitably horrified so we declined the guy’s invite to line his pocket. Never lost so much as a lettuce or a carrot except to the odd rock marten, squirrel, or appreciative golden jackal! On the tv front we have a locally produce internet box that gets thousands of channels in hundreds of languages including all those expensive ‘paid-for’ ones for the equivalent of less than £10 a year! We are able to afford that from the money we save from tax-free alcohol! Cheers! Just keep on truckin’ you guys – the end of the world is pretty well nigh anyway 😉

    1. CCTV…the original idea was to have a way of seeing if there was anyone at the gate when the dogs erupted…it is a long way to the gate and you can’t see it from the house without trecking out there which is a pain for Leo if he is on his own. Then we thought that we could keep an eye on the sheep shed as well……
      The installation really worried the family across the road, though, and, as I said, nocturnal visits have decreased markedly…..

  3. Nothing worse than seeing backsides, hearing mumblings and seeing no picture. Hope it all gets resolved soon. A lady has her priorities afterall. I’ve learned to take a picture of the wire mess before disconnecting everything so I can put it all back together again afterwards.

    1. That is a brilliant idea!
      All working now, hank goodness so now I can see if the barking is caused by a woud be visitor, a passer by, dogs in the road or whatever else arouses canine disapproval.

  4. So happy to hear that cricket is once again available at the Finca. It was frightening to think that you would be deprived of that strange game for an extended period. The dogs feared for their lives. I won’t make any cracks about the electronics installation since you have been exposed to enough cracks already. But I do sympathize. When we moved into this house the previous owner(s) all practiced the same idea of using new cables in lieu of tracking down where the existing cables connected. I went into the attic and it looked like a wire warehouse because the modus operandi was to simply snip the cables at the wall boxes but never pull them out of the wall and ceilings. Fortunately I’ve been doing this stuff for some time and was able to strip out the old and wire in all the goodies: security cameras, 4 TVs (don’t ask), internet/ethernet connections, and all sorts of home intelligence products. But it was a hot, dirty job and all bent over to boot.

    1. That sounds the most beastly of jobs….we had to completely rewire the last house in France, but took on a chap to do it…every coffee break he would be shaking his head and saying that we would not believe the state of it all.
      Even if I could untangle all the wires it is the bending that would get me…the knees are anything but co operative these days.
      Still, cricket has resumed its sway now that the Olympics are over – at last – and relative harmony returns to the finca.
      Max is looking good after his grooming session…so glad to hear that his new regime seems to be helping him, even if not pleasing him.

  5. The last time I moved I had a very fortunate encounter with the cable installer, who kindly hooked up my pc as well as my television. I hope I am so lucky again. Or, it will be tails up, sorting the wires under both the desk and the TV stand.

    1. That was lucky! Fingers crossed for you!
      The up tails all came to mind after hearing one of the chaps making a sound like a duck when he was reaching for something under the desk and encountered Podge nosing about. It was a real honking sound!
      My under the desk days are over…the knees forbid it!

  6. You always make me smile and then laugh out loud. Your descriptions are so vivid I see it all happening right before me.
    Sorry that you have to have your eye seen to, hopefully, sooner rather than later. In my last eye test I was told I had a cataract starting but I only needed a check up in 2 years so hopefully it will not happen any time soon.
    You obviously get to see more cricket than we do. We can listen but rarely can see, sad as we both enjoy our cricket.
    I hope that all remains working well for you, with luck the other TV may come back but I hope that does not have to go on your desk as well!!
    Hope all goes well for Leo on Monday Take care both of you Diane

    1. I’ll keep you posted on Leo….
      I can’t see much cricket as I donlt have Sky – and if i did it would be American stuff – so, likeyou, I listen! Good test match at the moment….
      I can see The Hundred on BBC, but the presentation is so hysterical that I get turned off by all the hype.

  7. Perhaps there is something to be said for the UK’s benign, grey and cloudy weather. We rarely have violent weather with its’ devastating effects. At least you got to see some cricket, but now that we know the result, was it so good after all?

    1. Whatever was Root thinking about! Throwing the game away so that he quicks could get revenge for Anderson’s pummelling! And who had the last laugh!
      I despair of the state of English test cricket…..all the ECB thinks about it commercialising its blasted Hundred.
      We are up in the clouds now…it reminds Leo of his time in Ceylon visiting the tea plantations but unfortunately affects his breathing…so closing the doors on it all.

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