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20150210_161339Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.

“Wait, what? Let’s try this again.”

Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.

“Aww, c’mon! One more time…”

Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click…

“Alright, guys,” I shouted to the kids. “What happened to the TV?!”

I’d been pressing the power button on the remote control, but each time the device in my hand called for the TV to heed its command, the only response was a steady clicking.

“Oh yeah,” Jen offered. “It was doing that the other day. Something’s wrong with it.”

“Well, we have had it for about eight years,” I said, “but, how long are LCD TVs supposed to last?”

Thinking that the TV had finally met the end of its lifespan, “I guess it’s dead.”

I began unplugging all of the connectors and carried it out to the garage. But before I turned out the light, I took one last look and couldn’t help but think that these things should last a lot longer than eight years.

I grabbed my smartphone and did a search. Good news! This particular model from Samsung was involved in a class action lawsuit stirred by the use of faulty capacitors in the power supply board which fail prematurely preventing the TV from turning on and resulting in the annoying clicking sound that I was hearing. More good news: The fact that my particular TV was well beyond its warranty didn’t matter, and what would normally be a $300 repair, Samsung would provide for free. Easy enough. I called the Samsung help line and communicated the issue.

Bad news. Here I was, sitting in the middle of the month of May. The lawsuit settlement repair window ended in April. Go figure. Of course Samsung was more than happy to schedule the $300 repair. I told them I’d call them back.

The TV sat in my garage for another week before I finally decided I was going to try to fix the thing myself. I mean, how hard could it be, right?

I hopped online again and did a little more reading. While some write-ups dissuaded a do-it-yourself repair, even suggesting that there were some pretty dangerous parts in there that could electrocute or even explode, others gave encouragement and showed how to do it. I decided to go for it.

With the kids having overheard me telling Jen of the dangers, they were quite literally begging me not to try it for fear of a tragic ending (which at least shows that they do actually love me). Nevertheless, I made my way into the garage and closed the door behind me. I think I heard one of them say, “Guys, let’s pray for Daddy.” That’s good. Pray, because I wasn’t coming out until the TV was working again.

I carefully disassembled the TVs frame and gently removed the power supply board. Once I had identified the location of the bad capacitors, I set the board in a box and drove over to the local Radio Shack to see if they had what I needed. That’s where I met Shane. Man, this guy was helpful.

The particular capacitors that I needed were 10 volt in measure, but I’d read online that some had installed capacitors as sturdy as 50 volts and their TVs were working just fine. Shane had the two that I needed in the 35 volt variety, and since it was in range of what I’d read, I decided to buy them. But what really made this trip a success was that surprisingly, since no one was in the store, Shane was willing to work on it with me. We set the board out on the counter right beside the register and got to work. It took us about a half hour, but by the time we finished, the old capacitors were out and the new ones were in, and my total bill was $17. It would only have been $4, except it was necessary for me to buy a soldering iron with enough wattage to melt the higher grade solder used on the board. No big deal.

To thank Shane, I gave him a proof copy of my recent book, which in a sense is somewhat special because there are only a few and they are extremely unedited. Not sure that makes them valuable, but it does make them unique, and I truly appreciated his help. He asked me to sign it, and I was certainly glad to oblige.

When I got home, I went back into the garage/lab to do battle. I’m pretty sure that I could hear the kids gathering together again in vigil.

About twenty minutes later I emerged from the garage unscathed with the news that all was completed and the moment of truth was at hand. Grabbing the remote, I went back into the garage. I attached the power cable, plugged it into the wall, and from a safe distance on the other side of the garage, I pressed the remote’s power button.

It worked.

After a few high-fives from the kids because I didn’t die, and a hug from Jen because I saved us $280 (and probably a lot more because we would have eventually purchased a new TV), it was time to celebrate, and as the title of this review bespeaks, the Oban Little Bay was the trophy.

Oban has become a personal favorite over the years, and this particular whisky has even more so established my admiration.

The nose was phenomenally enticing, giving over a distinct citrus that seemed to mute anything else that the bottle might be preparing to bid. The palate surprised me. It was conspicuously malty and yet well balanced against what I sensed was a sweet and sour fruit somewhere in the wash. My guess: pineapples. The finish was medium in length, leaving behind the malt with a dash of cloves and an extremely distant shade of smoke. Nice. Very nice. Definitely celebratory and worthy of the occasion.

By the way, I was sure to call Shane to let him know that the TV worked and to thank him again for the help. He appreciated the call and replied that he’d just spoken with a friend in Detroit who owned a copy of my book and had razzed him about how cool it was that he’d helped fix my TV. While I was flattered and told him to tell his friend “hello,” I must admit that I’m not quite tuned into this type of attention just yet, and I’m entirely unsure as to how to respond to it sometimes. Either way, I guess what matters to me is that I had a challenge, and not only did that challenge provide the opportunity to meet a genuinely friendly guy who was willing to help me just because, but the challenge was met in victory and with savory merriment. I’d say that’s cooler than anything else.

Oh yeah, and I guess it’s pretty cool that I didn’t die.