Friday, January 13, 2006

The grapes of wrath...

I picked up a Linksys Wireless-B Media Adapter for cheap from TigerDirect, and it arrived yesterday.

It's only 802.11b, and doesn't do video, but it does understand JPG and MP3 files, so it's a really handy way to play MP3 files from the PC on the home stereo. It also features a nice interface, and understands MP3 tags, so after you select the folder to share from your PC, you can browse on the TV via folder, artist, genre, song name and so on. Very nice.

I got it home yesterday, and set about hooking it up before supper. I was just moving the entertainment unit out from the wall to plug it in when Michelle voiced her suspicion that the kids might have been sticking things into the bass exhaust ports on the speakers. These are Monitor Audio Silver 8 speakers, with two bass drivers and one midrange each, and thus two exhaust ports each--one at the bottom and one at the top. I paid a bundle for them when I bought them in 2001 (or was it 2000?), and they're an amazing set of speakers. We've often found the kids sticking things into the ports, but usually it's items that are large enough that they remain sticking out, or they're not in far enough that we can reach in and grab them.

So once both kids were in bed, I pulled the fronts off, and started with the bottom driver. I unscrewed it and pulled it out. Behind it, nestled in the bottom of the cabinet, were a piece of chalk, a piece from a magnetic Caillou fridge puzzle, and a plastic harmonica. However, these were all things that had been missing for quite some time, and not what Michelle suspected was in there.

The next step was to open the midrange driver, as it's separated from the two bass drivers by foam inserts inside the cabinet--thus, anything dropped into the upper exhaust port is likely to stay up there behind the midrange. So I pulled that driver out and lo and behold, I found them: six grapes which had been stuffed into the upper exhaust port, and were sitting right behind the driver on the foam insert. Thank goodness Michelle had noticed the boys lingering around the back of the speaker while they were eating grapes. Now, to be fair to the kids, Nicholas did admit that he'd put grapes into the speaker when Michelle asked, and as far as we can tell, he's always truthful--we frequently rely on him to tell us what's happened if we come into the room and one or more of the kids is crying.

After recovering the grapes, I asked Michelle if they'd been near the other speaker--it's a little harder to get to, as the piano sits close to that side of the entertainment unit, and she thought not. But, I was already in speaker-opening mode, and I had the tools, so I thought I'd check. Clean of grapes, but behind the bottom driver, I found an AA battery that someone had slipped in there.

So my speakers are now gloriously free of all foreign substances. Short of covering the exhaust ports though, I'm not sure what I can do to stop them doing this. I suppose I'll have to resort to yearly checking of the cabinets--sigh.

And any comments talking about "sour grapes" run the risk of deletion by the anti-atrocious-pun filtering software.

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