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October 5, 2014

Parents are ruining their kids

The recent death of a gun instructor by a 9 year old wielding an Uzi has made some big headlines.The usual comments range from  irresponsible gun handling/owners to child endangerment charges. It is an unfortunate accident and it is sure to become ammo for the agenda of whatever group is outraged by the shooting. While the mishandling of the gun ended in a very tragic way, had it not killed that instructor then, 1) we would have never heard about until the Facebook video went viral and stirred the usual outrage, 2) this little girl would have learned a very valuable lesson on gun handling, responsibility, safety and being independent. Unfortunately, she will probably need many years of therapy to get over it and probably become a drug addicted mess by the time she is in her 20's.

The whole incident got me thinking (again) about how more and more parents are shielding their kids from, well... everything. The reader comments for this story proved to me that parents today are much different than mine and that my peers are afraid of the world and are transferring that fear to their children.

"What the hell is a 9 year-old girl doing with an Uzi?!"
"I wouldn't let my kids within 20 miles of a gun range!"
"Another reason to ban guns..."
"Those parents should be tried for murder!"

The first two comments are echoed over and over and have more to do with the social atitude of protecting our children from everything we can think of. The last two, in my opinion, are geared more towards gun control.

I noticed something about the park across the street that I have lived next to for over 7 years. The only time I really see if full of people is when there is a birthday party. There are kids, off and on, who play there but the ones who do are usually teens. Rarely do I see 6 to 10 year-olds there by themselves, and I think that is a shame.

"But, TK, you can't have little kids like that playing by themselves!!", say the critics.

Yes, yes. I have heard all the snap judgments and paranoid reasons for not allowing kids to be kids these days. Here is the short list in order of frequency:

  1. Better safe than sorry (literally the #1 answer)
  2. It's a different world than when you were a kid
  3. It is too dangerous now to leave kids unattended
  4. Too many weirdos and pedophiles out there
  5. You never know...

The number one reason is the one that gets to me the most, because it means that person is too chicken shit to live life and enjoy the things that mold kids into what they will become as adults. And I'm talking about reasonable expectations, not the idiotic retorts that suggest I will let my kids just run around shooting guns and playing in the middle of a busy intersection. Pull the corn cob out, for crying out loud.

Kids are anxious, scared, dependent, devoid of common sense.

We are more safe these days than when I was a kid.

PSA: How to get rid of colored vertical lines on an LCD television

Every once in a while I find something on the Internet that restores my faith in humanity, or at least puts a little vanishing cream on the warts of society. No, I haven't succumbed to watching or posting cute cat videos, but rather found something that literally saved me a ton of money.

Exactly  what mine looked like
Ironically, the post that I found was a carbon copy of my issue with my 5 year old Samsung 47" LCD. I started getting random vertical colored lines that would go away if I jiggled the HDMI cable in the back. At first I thought it was my cable but after replacing it the problem did not go away.  The poster went to the manufacturer but since it was out of warranty there was nothing they could do. A local shop said it was a bad board and would require a $1200 board. Kiss my ass, $1200.

The solution is on the AVS Forums and the link is provided below, however here is the process. This will only fix your vertical lines if they look like the image above and jiggling or tapping the back panel of the HDMI connection area makes the lines go away.

  1. Unplug the TV and either move it or rotate it until you have an unobstructed working area of the back on the monitor.
  2. Remove all the screws on the back of the TV so that we can get to the actual plugs behind the plastic cover. I can corroborate the poster's remarks when I say that you must not force the back cover off. If it doesn't just poo off then you still have a screw somewhere.
  3. Before you touch anything on the inside of the TV, touch something metallic so that you can discharge an static electricity. i have seen many pieces of electronics become paper weights because of that little spark.Once the back cover is off, gently push all AV terminals back into the board with your hand. 
  4. Turn the TV back on and check to see if the lines appear. Jiggle the HDMI cord to see if you can get it to create the lines. If not, then you have fixed the problem.
  5. Put the cover back on and pat yourself on the back.
Pass it around!