Thing is, my dad wasn't a fancy guy; he was the kind of guy who spends the day bashing protons against each other, teaching the secrets of the universe to underappreciative med students as a course requirement, and then coming home to sog on the couch, have a Pepsi, do the daily crossword and watch "Two and a Half Mythbuster Baseballs". He didn't even *play* golf.
So he wasn't really interested in any of the fancy things in the fancy catalog. But I spotted a portable Audiovox D1718 DVD player, with built-in rechargeable battery, and I thought it would be handy to take on trips so I could watch movies in airplanes, hotels and bathrooms. So I asked him, if he selected the DVD player, could I use it? He said OK, and did that.
I think I used it once, on a road trip. I recall watching "Surf's Up" in a Best Western in Sonora, TX on the way to FC 2007.
Shortly after that, I got a Dell laptop. And I thought, hey, the laptop can also play DVDs! And it has a bigger screen! Plus it can play CDs! And it can play the internet! And give me a pedicure! So who needs a crummy ol' DVD player anyway? So I stuck the thing in a poncho bag and put it aside somewhere.
Next plane trip I went on, to Chicago for Morphicon, oh wait, Morphicon is in Columbus, I mean to Chicago for sightseeing before driving the rental car to Columbus for Morphicon, I tried using my laptop to watch movies. I managed to watch "The Producers" starring Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick... just barely; the laptop didn't have enough room to sit in a non-awkward position, and the front edge had to rest on my tummy.
Oh, and on the flight back, it was even worse. I don't remember what I tried to watch, because I didn't get to watch it. The whole laptop had to sit on my tummy! And laptops don't like sitting on surfaces that aren't hard, flat and smooth, which my tummy isn't; I'd need to buy a gym membership, a lifetime supply of stamina, a whole new metabolism, and a tummy waxing just to get it that way. Anyway, the thing started to overheat and shut itself down just a few minutes into "Whatever: The Nonwatching" starring That Guy With The Thing.
The next several trips I went on were road trips. Of course, on a road trip a laptop is no problem, because you're always in a hotel room when you're using it, with a nice desk and chair and everything. But for watching movies on planes, clearly my smaller, more compact Audiovox DVD player would be the way to go.
Well, Anthrocon is coming up soon, and I'll be flying to Pittsburgh. Audiovox time! Buuut... there was one worry in the back of my mind. See, the DVD's instruction booklet says that if you're not going to use it for a long time, you should charge up the Li-polymer battery every two months. Well, I haven't been doing that; I hadn't touched it since February 2007. So this weekend I decided to test it. Would it work at all? Would its battery hold the faintest glimmer of a charge? Or would it be ruined, RUINED, its innards melted into a gummy mess of electronic ectoplasm?
Here's the part of the story where I'm supposed to say "Guess what? OH CRAP IT'S RUINED AND MELTED INTO A GUMMY MESS OF ELECTROPLASM! So I had to have it fixed/throw it away and get a new one/throw myself to the floor and sob & whimper/other (please specify)!" ...Except nope, it works just fine. I charged it up yesterday, and today I watched all of "Horton Hears a Who" starring Jim Carrey & Steve Carell, plus all the deleted scenes and two or three featurettes (didja know Katie's supposed to be a tiny yak?), all on battery power, which lasted well past the two-hour mark the instructions say the battery is good for. I didn't even run the battery all the way down because I was starting to get a little bored...
So... it still works! Yaay! Anthrocon here I come, and I'll be bringing Mirrormask or Time Bandits or something. I gotta wonder, though... what's the deal with this business about charging up the battery every two months?