As one gets older, one realizes certain things about oneself.
Just after Christmas (and I hope you had a good one), I finally gave in to 2009 and picked up a Blu-Ray player. This had been on my mind for some years, since I upgraded my amp (or is a tuner? God knows) and discovered my DVD player would no longer connect to it in any useful way. Because the crushing march of technology dictates that everything must be HDMI now. And that's good--don't get me wrong...when I am watching my tedious art films I want to see angst and despair at the highest possible resolution. So for several years I have had a basically useless DVD player sitting underneath my TiVo, and I have been watching movies on the Xbox. That's fine as well, as long as you don't mind occasionally being unable to hear anything the actors are saying over the droning whirr.
So anyway, my little Blu-Ray player arrived from Amazon (refurbished! 47 dollars!) and I eyed my component console thing warily. This is a unit with two side-by-side drawers on the bottom for storing media (read: absolutely full drawer of DVDs you look at wistfully from time to time and drawer full of video game peripherals that you're not sure if they still work but figure you had better keep, just in case you ever want to play a Gamecube pinball game where you speak into the controller and control Japanese feudal-age armies again.) Above the drawers, the unit has two side-by-side shelves where you store your components, and tiny little holes through which you feed a vast array of cables. I have wisely broadened those cable-holes over time, ensuring no resale value remains for the unit itself. The shelves are covered by those lift-and-slide cabinet doors that are exactly the height of my amp thing. So every time I slide the amp out to see what the hell is going on back there, the amp grates against the bottom of the cabinet door, leaving gouges and grooves that make it look like it has been the victim of a werewolf attack. Also, all the cables are just exactly the right length so that when you slide the amp out, half of them detach and you have to guess where they previously connected. Or, as I did, you kind of rotate the amp just enough to where the cables don't pop out and you can kind of see the markings on the 27 Ins and Outs, as you shine your iPhone in there, making sure to shine it directly into your eyes a couple of times and panicking you into thinking a migraine is inevitable.
So I am in there messing around with cords and cables and trying to remember if I have another HDMI cable in the garage (spoiler: I do not) and thinking I should really do something about this nest of cables under my component amp tuner console furniture thing because other people seem to have figured this out but I somehow have not, and what if I somehow used zip-ties and hooked all these cables to the back of the unit?
And it hits me: I love doing this. I love assing around with cables that connect various electronic things, and reassuring my family that I know exactly what I am doing, nodding to myself sagely before optimistically pressing several remote buttons, only to find out I have screwed up one of the 27 connections in some unknowable way. And swearing, of course.
The daddest of the dads.