Friday, May 7, 2010

ring of death

For those of you with an Xbox, you know what I am refering to.  The red ring of death appears on an Xbox when it has died, and is often followed by wailing and gnashing of teeth.

At least, amongst the youngsters in the house.  The parents quietly rejoice.

I have learned that the Xbox has a 55% fail rate.  And I believe it, since it has happened to us twice.  And we haven't really had it that long.  And it isn't on constantly.   As a business owner, I don't think I would be happy if my customers had a bad experience 55% of the time.  In fact, I would maybe go back to the drawing board and come up with a better product.  What does it say about us that we are willing to accept that?  Because when the machine fails, you have already invested lots of money in games, and perhaps you even have a one year subscription to Xbox live (that allows you to play on-line with others, and watch Netflix on demand...).  So it fails, and we get it fixed, and just move on.

Fortunately, they do make it relatively easy to send it back, and get it repaired.  They email you a label, and repair it for free if it is still under warranty.

My blissfully quiet days (our satellite dish has been out too, what are the chances?) are at an end.  Charlie has been tracking the UPS package since it left Texas, and each morning he would gleefully report on it's progress.  "Mom, it left Eagan at 6:09 am!"

He made sure I would be home the entire day it was scheduled to be delivered, as a signature was required.

And now it's back.  But on the positive side of things, you have never seen a child get his homework and chores done so quickly (a prerequisite to having any on-line time).  And so far, he has been really good about managing his time that he is allotted.

But it's only been four days.  We are ever watchful of attitude shifts and lazy habits returning-as soon as they do Xbox time will be gone, at least for a while.  It's almost as good as having Santa to hold over their head in December, when they are old enough to still believe.

Parenting a twelve year old in the electronic age....


  1. Raising's a fine art!

  2. As parents, we always have to stay one step ahead of kids and figure out what means the most to them so we are able to "negotiate" them doing their homework and chores. Bravo! It's hard. They're very smart!


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