a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   living life in the Highlands of New Jersey

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lightening Struck Twice

At least that’s what they told us. After 2 weeks of people coming out here, arguing over whether or not our out-of-date underground cable was the problem, daily phone calls to complain,etc, etc., etc., we now know that lightening on the day of that hellacious T-storm was the cause of all our cable TV woes. Simply that our cable boxes BOTH got fried by a lightening strike. Why didn’t they think of that before? Too easy, I guess. I kept telling everybody everything was fine until the storm. Duh, get a clue folks! Yesterday two guys came out from Cablevision [yes, on SUNDAY, can you believe it??] and worked on the problem for about 2 hours. They were very thorough [one of the guys had been here 2 weeks ago and was the 2nd guy on the scene] and just started troubleshooting everything they could think of. Things weren’t making sense to them.

They took our cable box out to the street and plugged it directly in. Great signal, digital channels all there, etc. So, not a problem out at the box like they thought. Neither was it the cable coming into the house. We never would have found the problem if we had given them another cable box to experiment on. Rick gave them the one that we had switched out when we were having pixelation problems the week before all this started. We thought we had switched the boxes after the storm, but instead it was before the storm, so the cable box they tested was working in a way that the two fried ones weren’t. It hadn’t been hooked up at the time of the storm and it was working perfectly. ding, ding, ding—JACKPOT! That’s it; there’s the answer!

The sad thing is that we could have been watching TV all the time by simply by-passing the cable box and feeding the cable wire directly into the TV. Now we wouldn’t have had TIVO, or digital signal, or high definition [my mom is so cute, she tends to call it high deficiency instead of high definition, and in this case she’d be right!], but we could have had all the channels just the same. Sure wish we had known that. Why didn’t they tell us that before? or try it? Good questions.

They switched out the box in the livingroom but didn’t have a high definition box with them, so we’re missing out on that for the time being. But at least the TIVO works and we can watch TV. And none too soon, since Treasure Hunters started last night and it looks ike its going to be really good. Kind of like The Mole was, and we loved that show. Not really sure why it never took off like some of these other reality shows have. Anyway, I’m off the track again. They still couldn’t get the TV to work from the cable box in the kitchen area, so they just wired the cable directly into the TV and we can still watch it. They think the lightening took out the cable wiring within the house too. Must have been some strike! So, they need to come and redo the wiring in the next few days, as well as replacing the outside underground bit.

Lightening is a scary and strange thing. The only thing we can figure is that it hit the old TV antenna that stands tall, proud & pretty ugly on our chimney and travelled down the line. Now the antenna is not hooked up into the system anymore, so it doesn’t explain it completely. Both Rick and my Mom remember me saying “I think that one hit the house” after a particularly close-right-on-top-of-us strike. The thunder and the light flash were simultaneous. No wonder the dogs wanted in the basement! If we have one like that again I’ll be right down there with them.

Why they couldn’t have figured it out before this I surely don’t know. I guess people don’t normally start with the easiest answer. Anyway, the TV is working, and for that we are thankful.

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