Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Red Screen of Death

If you have a PC, you've likely experienced the Blue Screen of Death. And if you have an Xbox 360, you may have heard about or experienced the Red Ring of Death. But here in my house, we are experiencing the Red Screen of Death!!!

About two weeks ago, we finally hunkered down, bit the bullet, and bought a High-Definition Television. In our research, we were looking for something that was at least 37", at least 720p, and under $800. We basically had a lot of TVs in mind, but the prices were never right. It turned into a waiting game. But with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption coming out on the Wii, we wanted to hurry the hell up and get a TV so we can play that game in all its 16:9 480p widescreen glory.

We heard from a friend that CostCo had a Vizio 37" 1080i TV for only $750. Our only concern became... "Vizio who?" Asking around, we learned that many people in our inner circle have Vizio televisions and that they are very happy with them. At CostCo, they have the Vizio sitting right next to a Panasonic equivalent, and when you compare the two, the Vizio ain'tn't looked too hot. The colors were all orangy and washed out, while the Panasonic was crisp and beautiful. But, the Panasonic was also about $200 more. At our friend's house, we showed us what his Xbox 360 looked like on his Vizio and without any other TVs to compare to, it looked awesome.

So we bought the Vizio.

I've been playing Resident Evil 4 in glorious 480p for about two weeks until something disturbing occurred. After playing and returning to the Wii menu, the TV suddenly became awash with red. Fuzzy redness. After a long while, the TV returns back to normal, but after a session of Resident Evil it was flooded again with the red sea. So obviously, I suspected the Wii. Specifically, I suspected the Wii component cables that I bought cheap from I thought that maybe it was frying something in the TV. But the same thing happened while just watching TV and also with the included Wii composite cables. So the TV is definitely faulty. We're going to exchange it today and pray that the replacement works as intended.

It had better work before Metroid arrives or else.

In calmer news, I went out for a nice birthday dinner with Erico Suave and MacArthur. My first time (finally!) at Cheesecake Factory. Their extensive menu makes it hard to choose, so I went with what was proclaimed as "[their] most popular chicken dish": Chicken Madeira. From the description, I sort of expected something different from what I got, which was two chicken breast pieces in a mushroomy sauce and two giant heaps of mashed potatoes. It sure was a lot, but I couldn't really see how this was so popular. It was good, but not great; rather salty actually. I wish I got something mor pasta-y or maybe even Erico Suave's plate: giant portion of chicken tenders. But I would definitely go back because I wish to try a lot more of the menu.

Then after, they showered me with gifts: a Wii points card (I'm loaded now!), a very nice pair of dressy pants, and a white fitted shirt. I had been really dying to buy just a white dress shirt, but for some reason I could never bring myself to buy it. The only white shirt I have is egg shelly with an iron burn right in the middle. Every time I've worn it to work, it's embarrassing. I could throw on a tie to cover the stain up, but my co-workers would only make fun of me more for the tie. Also, they gave me a fitted shirt because I had complained that my current shirts were all too big for me and it made me appear fat. I had a serious muffin top in my work clothes. But trying on this new shirt, it might be a little tight in the front which means I have to lose the gut I've been nursing.

Lastly congrats to Ellvin Kelvin for completely finishing eye doctoring school! He comes home in T-minus 3 days!

Packing up faulty electronics,