Thursday, December 04, 2014


Eli 13.4, given his age, developed an urge for a man-cave like setup in his room.

Fair enough--I was the same way at his age. So when his 37" gaming TV in the exercise room died (out of warranty, too cheap to make it worth repairing), it seemed like an opportunity to change a few things.

I didn't realize we'd be changing all of them in one day, but whatever.

I found an excellent 40" Samsung TV on massive sale and brought it home. Then we went to Fry's and found, literally, one of the best pieces of home video furniture I've ever purchased.

Let me take that back. It IS the best piece I've ever purchased. It's the Sumar SM8161, and besides being cheap ($149) and quite attractive, it also came with the best documentation I've ever used for a build it yourself product.

Usually documentation for something like this is crap--badly written, poorly labeled, and flat-out wrong at some point. The Sumar documentation was crystal-clear, and there were labeled, individual pouches for all the hardware. Even an idiot like me had zero problems putting the stand together in fifteen minutes. I actually enjoyed it, and knowing me, how is that even possible?

Then we moved a lovely, firehouse-themed bookcase out of Eli's room that he'd had since he was three and didn't want anymore. This one:

Okay, I did feel a tiny twinge of sadness there, but it took up a huge amount of space and he's a teenager now.

Moving the bookcase opened up a wall for the new TV, so we moved the stand over and put the TV in place. Instead of calibrating the set myself, I decided to check CNET, and they had calibration settings for that model. I decided to try them, and they worked out great--the TV looks fantastic, and I input settings for ten minutes instead of calibrating for several hours.

Hooked up the Xbox 360 (he's asked for the XBone for Christmas), which took five minutes, turned everything on, and it looks terrific.

There's glare because the blinds were open. It looks excellent when they're closed.

Done. Total time for buying and building and moving and setting up: about three hours.

While we were in the middle of all this, Gloria said something about night projects being tiring (they are), and Eli said, "Mom, there's no time in the present."

"You mean 'no time like the present'," Gloria said.

"Let's not get dragged down by details," Eli said, laughing.
I walked into the house yesterday after going on a unicycle ride. As I started up the driveway, I saw our neighbor, who put up some holiday lights and an inflatable snowman recently. "Yard looks great," I said.

"Thank you!" he said.

I walked in the door.

"I heard you have a conversation with the neighbor," Gloria said.

"I did," I said. "Five words."

"I know," she said.

"To me, conversations are like elevators," I said. "You know where you're going, you get there as quickly as possible, and when you get there, you step out immediately."

"This explains many things," she said.

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