Monday, August 07, 2006

I succeeded in not blowing myself up

Okay, after installing 75 or so outlets, switches, and fixtures over the past three months, I managed to squeak by with only one potentially deadly explosion. Not all bad for an unlicensed non-professional, I think. And considering the plumber just called me as he was installing the shower faucet asking me if I knew where the direction book was (he needs directions? He's a plumber!!), I figure I'm doing ok.

So last night I was wiring the under-cabinet light in the dinette. The hockey puck-shaped light screws to the underside of the cabinet and plugs into a surface-mounted outlet. This surface-mounted outlet has a metal case with what I found to be a rather sharp edge. The edge must have pinched the black wire coming from the wall because when I hit the switch after I installed it, BANG! sparks everywhere, and an outlet that looked like it'd had a face-off with Elmer Fudd's musket. Back to Home Depot.

Speaking of which, I'm even more a regular there. I'm like Norm from Cheers:

Mornin', everybody.
Hey Mr. Daninhirsch, what's cooking?
Me, after blowing up an electrical outlet last night.
(insert laugh track).

Where'd I put that extended warranty?
So here's some information that's more a note to myself than anything else, but may be of interest if you're shopping for furniture. We bought couches over the weekend at Macy's Furniture. Included (for an additional $129) was their fabric care warranty. For 7 years you are covered if you get a stain on the couch. You call a number, and they suggest how to clean it. If you can't clean it, they come out to try. If they fail, they replace the upholstry with the same stuff. If that fabric is no longer available, you get your purchase price back on the furniture. Now here's the interesting bit. After 7 years, if you never use the warranty, you call a number and they give you the $129 back as a gift card to Macys.

I'm putting in an appointment for August 5, 2013 into my calendar....

Nice rack
At last it's time to take care of the one thing this who renovation has revolved around...hanging the TV on the wall in the new family room. Having done no research whatsoever, I happened to be in Best Buy the other day and, while there, picked up a "universal flat panel TV mount" for $80. It came in a box that was about a foot long. That was a mistake for two reasons. First, it turns out that the center point where the TV will hang is in such a place that this unit would only touch one stud, so I needed a wider model. Second, it turns out that Panasonic places their mounting holes on almost the complete outside corners of the TV, and this bracket wouldn't even come close to reaching the corners of my 37" screen.

So when all else fails, read the directions. I pulled out the TV manual, and it said to check for a certain model of mount designed for the TV. On Amazon, that mount was almost FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!

Scared for a moment that the whole purpose behind the entire renovation was a failure, I began surfing eBay for alternatives.

Gotta love eBay. There are TONS of mounts out there, ranging in price from nine bucks to over three hundred bucks, and probably even higher. but they are all designed for my TV, and sold direct from the manufacturer (or so they say). I couldn't find much difference between the $9 one and the $200 one, so I tossed a bid in for the cheaper one and it's on its way.

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