I have never fully subscribed to the idea that electronics are inanimate objects mostly because they seem to have the ability to collude against us. I am in the process of modernising my television system, I say system because there is more to it than the device itself. The television is currently languishing in some parcelforce warehouse following the debacle of getting the delivery date changed but because it is HD there is more to the project. I have a new freestat box which safely arrived, well I think it did but I can’t connect it to the current television so I am not actually sure. Various leads have arrived over the weekend to support HDMI connections and a new stand is on its way.
I concluded that the final part of the puzzle was to move to a Blu-Ray player, although I rarely watch DVDs. I found a suitably cheap device and ordered it yesterday so that’s job done, well nearly. Before any orders could progress I had to go through the security process with my credit card company again. I explained that we had carried out all of this verification when I had purchased the television but was told that “all purchases of electronics” set off the fraud triggers. I fail to see the convenience of a credit card if every time that you use it you have to telephone the fraud squad to discuss the transaction. They actually blocked the card due to the television despite the fact that I had already had the call and explained that transaction!
Having cleared all the payments I spent a delightful day wiring a telephone extension for a friend. Note to self: don’t leave jobs outstanding or people will but the wrong bits out of frustration. There is a difference between telecoms cable and extension cable, one is made of solid copper and quite workable whilst the latter is made of copper coloured angel hair that fractures as soon as you breath on it. Never one to be defeated the addition of some quickly fashioned jumper cables produced a workable solution whilst I procure more appropriate parts.
After a few beers I wandered home, cooked a pizza and retired for the evening. This morning I gave the microwave a wipe out and cut my finger, closer inspection revealed a piece of glass on the turntable. I carefully inspected the turntable and it was undamaged, the glass fragment was too small to have come from it anyway. I had cooked the pizza on a metal tray so that wasn’t the source of the glass, had my pizza been tampered with? Tipping the microwave on its end I inspected the grill element with a torch and the glass tubes were intact over the whole length but I did find several more shards in the enclosure. I stripped the device down and withdrew the two quartz glass grill elements still puzzled as to where the glass had come from.
Only when the tubes were fully extracted could I see a long hole in upper face of one of the tubes, completely hidden when installed. I suspect that the microwave was jealous, perhaps it had aspirations of being upgraded to HD? I have known products to fail in quick succession in fact when I was in the dairy there was a stores booking code that related to “while I’m there” , used for relatively cheap components that were critical or hard to access. The theory was that whilst you were carrying out a task that involved accessing an area you may as well replace certain parts. But this seems more sinister the microwave, apparently of its own volition, tried to poison me.
For those of you saying that this is simply a mechanical failure and the elements are notoriously fragile I have something more to add. When you break the top of a tube of glass the glass falls down into the remaining tube, or it should. There was not a single fragment of glass within the tube, it had all blown out and the remnants remained on the small grill ready to drop onto an unsuspecting meal. It is lucky for me that I had drunk beer yesterday and so was more than capable of digesting pizza with an extra crunch otherwise the outcome could have been a lot worse.
Despite the microwaves attempts to dispatch me I have chosen not to upgrade it. Had the machine got a better grasp of sentient thought then it would have realised that the challenge of rebuilding beats the fun of purchasing. I have ordered new elements, after debating the purchase with the credit card fraud department, and will recommence battle next weekend there will be only one winner.