After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

Troubleshooting at Ye Olde Folks Home

“I’m a genius!”

That’s a line from a classic anime that I like to quote to myself whenever I try something difficult and succeed.

Today’s outing from Ye Olde Folks Home was supposed to be Oasis restaurant in Stillwater, but only myself and Chuck the retired Navy guy signed up, so our driver asked if we could save on gas and just go to the North Pole restaurant in Newport, MN, a beloved favorite.

We had a challenging time there because all the spacious tables in the back were full up. So we had to block an aisle with Chuck’s walker because he has to sit on that.

Chuck mentioned he had accidentally set a chair leg on his TV remote, which made an ominous cracking sound—after which he could only get the weather channel. Oops.

So I asked him to drop it by and I’d take a look. “Only a 3% chance I’ll be able to fix it but I’ll give it a shot,” I promised.

“That’s 3% more than I’ve got at the moment,” he pointed out.

So! Let’s check this bad boy out. No obvious cracks, so I checked for any stuck buttons.

Nope. Let’s clean all the keys in case something’s stuck in there, then blast it out good with compressed air.

Swap in some new batteries and, say… how do I test this? Oh, right, some models of iPhones can sense IR through the camera.

My newer iPhone had an IR filter on both cameras, but one camera on my iPad didn’t so… aha! I see the blinking IR transmitter. Theoretically we should be good to go.

I took it down to Chuck’s apartment, we tested it, and all was well!

“I’m a genius!”