The weather warmed somewhat over the weekend, inspiring me to take on a project that had been lingering on the "to do" list for a couple months now. Mrs. Geek has an antique phone table (from a time when a phone was so exotic that it deserved its own piece of furniture) and purchased a reproduction vintage phone to go with it for our living room. Problem was, our house had a decided lack of exposed phone jacks when we moved in; the one in the bedroom was the only one we could find. I discovered wires for several extensions under the house during my two-day marathon speaker wire installation project just after Turkey Day, but the jacks once connected to those wires have probably been buried by a kitchen remodel and wall-to-wall carpet.
So, the plan was to run a new extension
through the crawlspace under our house when I ran those speaker wires. I did this, but sore muscles and bruises across my abdomen from over a dozen trips under the house made me loathe the idea of one more trip under the house to connect the phone wire to the "Ma Bell" terminal on the side of the house. I ended up leaving a spool of phone wire under the house wrapped up in a plastic bag with the idea of getting back to it "eventually".
Well, "eventually" turned out to be yesterday. It was all very easily done, really. I had the phone wire run to the appropriate point on the house and connected in about an hour. About the only thing resembling a problem was that "Ma Bell" wire terminal -- decrepit pretty well describes the mess I found in there... but it was sorted out after a few minutes.
No, the problem finally occurred when I plugged in the phone, and heard Sunday afternoon sports talk radio about Jim Fassel, the Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys as well as a dial tone. I called my Dad who gave me one piece of the puzzle -- he couldn't hear the talk radio; only I could. I next called up my father-in-law, a man familiar with intricacies of many kinds of older technology. He ultimately gave me the key the problem; he had me try a different phone. I dug out a $25 Radio Shack phone I had buried in some boxes still left from the move, and it worked fine.
In the end, we had to get another phone. The Crosely Kettle Classic Desk Phone is cheaper, looks good, and doesn't pick up sports radio. We're still stuck with this other classic phone, though. Anyone want a possessed phone?
on 2008-02-11 at 2:22 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond