Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Tale of the Sonic Screwdriver That Would Not Sonic

Hello! Welcome to my blog, I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, now new and improved and lemon scented.

Dave-El here and you may notice that the look of the blog is different. I started poking around with the formatting a bit when a very odd problem popped up today.

I was reviewing yesterday's post and I noticed that all my text was just running up to edge of the text field and jumping down to the next line, resulting in some very odd, disconcerting and totally incomprehensible breaks.

When I went into to see if I could fix the problem in the draft mode, nothing looked amiss. But the minute I went back to View Blog, it was "run on sentence hell".  So I figured, "Screw this shit!" and just reloaded a new template.  Damn if that didn't do the trick AND I think I prefer the new template anyway. So there!

So my daughter and her mother were at Barnes & Nobles tonight for their monthly Mother-Daughter Book Club. (I had to go once in lieu of mom and it was kind of weird. I was the only guy there and a couple of the moms are kind of hot. So... awkward!)  Anyway, while there, they saw...nirvana, paradise, utopia...it can go by many names but in short, it was...

The Barnes & Nobles Doctor Who Table!

Yes, a Doctor Who table! Filled with Doctor Who stuff! So mom & daughter went total bat-shit fan girl nuts! And among the goodies they brought home was a sonic screwdriver.

Specifically, the 11th Doctor's model. Sweet! We've all had a lot of fun making the end of it pop open. But that's all we can do.

There are three little watch batteries that need to go in to make the screwdriver do all the other lights and sounds that go with being a really cool toy action accessory. Simple enough to accomplish, right?


First of all, my daughter in her excitement had opened the package in the car and did not realize the instructions had fallen out. So I spent several minutes trying to make head or tails of the inscrutable diagram on the side of the packaging. Finally my daughter found the instructions in the car. Great!

Then I spent several minutes trying to make head or tails of the inscrutable instructions. 

So I'm supposed to grasp the housing in one hand while turning the handle with the other hand "anti-clockwise" approximately "1/10th of a turn".

I'm not really that passionate about the issue but I'm sure I don't feel very "anti-" towards the issue of "clockwise-ness".

All right, "anti-clockwise" means "counter-clockwise". God knows I love Doctor Who and all things British but I really wish they would learn to speak English.

But this 1/10th of a turn stuff? That seems awfully precise for my ham-handed approach to fixing things. (My favorite tool: the hammer.) Still, I gave it a go...and nothing happened. I'm concerned if I twist too hard, I'll exceed the 1/10th turn mandated by the instructions and suddenly brand new sonic screwdriver is shattered into little plastic bits. But if I don't put a little force into it, nothing will happen.

The wife and daughter take turns with the same non-results. I gave it another try, didn't really feel like I did anything different. But this time it opens. Well, that's nice.

OK, we're getting somewhere! Now we need to open up the section where the 3 batteries go. This involves unscrewing 2 itty-bitty teeny-tiny screws.

Oh, of course the first screw came out pretty as you please. Of course, no problem at all.

This was, naturally, just getting our hopes up that maybe, just maybe we can play with it test its functioning this evening.  Because, to the surprise of none of us, the 2nd screw would not come out.

Now we were concerned we might be stripping the screw. Sonuvabitch, we're gonna need a sonic screwdriver to get inside our sonic screwdriver! Argh!

My father-in-law has some really small tools used for watch repair (which have, to my knowledge, never been put to use in any endeavor of actual watch repair) which might be effective in loosening the last offending screw.

Meanwhile, I'm sure that others who have procured their sonic screwdrivers from the Barnes & Nobles Doctor Who Table are running about with bow ties and fezzes and overcoats and scarves and what all, zapping this and that with their sonic screwdrivers.

We will have to wait another day.

I'm so glad my suffering amuses you. 

"Hmmm, my sonic screwdriver's working just fine."
"Same here. I don't really see what the problem is."

Doctor Who: The Second Half of Series 11

Back on November 10th, I posted a walk back through the first half of Doctor Who Series 11 .    Today, we take a look at the 2nd half of S...