A Forty-Inch Weekend

personal, media comments edit

Lots of stuff happened this weekend, culminating in my loss of a hefty chunk of change to the Gods of Technology. But, as usual, let’s start at the beginning, as that’s a very good place to start.

Friday night Jenn and I went to the Hawks game versus Spokane where Spokane promptly thrashed us, five to three. I wasn’t really disappointed, though, since the Hawks really played their asses off. It was a very exciting game, and I congratulate them on a game well played.

Saturday afternoon we went to a wedding reception for one of Jenn’s friends, Connie. Connie’s cool, but I’ve really only met her, uh, twice now, and the only other person I knew there, Derek, another of Jenn’s friends, left almost as soon as we got there. So I really didn’t know anyone at this thing, it was outside during the drizzle, and it was just slightly cold. But the food was really good - which is not something you can usually claim at a wedding reception - so I can’t call it a loss. I filled up my plate like three times with various and sundry goodies. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay for cake (and I did want cake) because we had been there for two hours already and the cake wasn’t going to be cut for another hour after that. Might have been good cake, but I’m not sticking around for hours on end just to have cake.

Saturday night we hung out with my friend Gerb, who is currently attending Western Oregon University to get his degree in Theater Arts. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while, so it was good to have him over to meet the new kitty, visit, and generally hang out. Good times.

Sunday we were going to get done all the crappy housework that we hadn’t finished all week long. I was planning on washing and waxing my car, shopping, finishing up the laundry, and maybe sitting down to watch Monsters, Inc. That is almost, but not completely, exactly unlike what happened Sunday.

Got up, cleaned the shower and the toilet in our bathroom, took a shower, got dressed. So far, so good. Cleaned up the living room a bit, then took a break to play a little Dynasty Warriors 3.

Finished up a couple of levels in the game, then went to my parents’ house to visit and wash/wax my car. My parents decided to go to Ethan Allen prior to us getting there, so I didn’t get to see them, but I did wash my car. I waxed the front end prior to the sun coming out and making the car too hot to finish waxing. I got the front end, which I think is the important part. I can see why people pay other people to wax their cars. That job sucks ass.

While I was finishing up the front end wax job, I got a call from the sales guy (Rod) at Magnolia Hi-Fi. He said that my TV was in, but because of the stupid Port of Portland strike/lockout/whatever that’s going on, they only have three of the sets until the end of the month. Needless to say, I headed down to Magnolia.

Got to Magnolia and waited - seriously - about an hour for Rod to finish up with some other customers who, it looked to me, didn’t actually buy anything. Maybe they did, and I didn’t see it. They did sit up talking by the cash register for quite a while.

When Rod finally got to me, it was probably the easiest sale he made all week. He knew I wanted it, I knew I wanted it, so we worked out a deal where I got the four-year extended warranty for pretty cheap, the TV, and a component video cable so I can see the progressive scan output from my new DVD player.

A lot of people have asked me questions about the TV, so I thought I’d answer them.

Travis’s TV FAQ:

  1. Q: How much did you pay for your TV? I heard it was expensive. A: It seems a lot of folks are genuinely concerned for my budgetary needs, and I have to thank them for that concern. Contrary to popular belief, I do not have any credit problems or any difficulties in planning out my budget to make ends meet. But, since you asked, it broke down like this: $2835 - Sony KV40XBR800 TV, with stand $200 - Magnolia Four-Year Performance Guarantee $47 - Middle-tier component video cables $3082 - TOTAL
  2. Q: Why would you spend that much on a TV? A: I like TV. I like my PS2. I like DVDs. Maybe you just bought a computer for $3000. Maybe you just bought a car stereo for $3000. I bought a TV. I like TV.
  3. Q: Why wouldn’t you just buy a rear projection TV like everyone else? A: If you look dead-on at a rear projection TV, it looks great. You ever stand up while trying to watch it? It fades out. Maybe not too much, but it fades. Now start walking toward the side of the TV. The closer you get, the darker the picture gets. That bugs me. There are only three TV types that don’t really do that - LCD, plasma, and tube. LCD is way too expensive. Plasma… I almost did that, but they aren’t quite to the point where the price justifies the performance. Which leaves tube TVs. The Sony KV40XBR800 is the largest tube TV made.
  4. Q: That thing must be huge A: It is, thanks.
  5. Q: What does a TV like that do? A: Lots of stuff. Check out the Sony page on it and read up. You’ll want one, too.

So anyway, I bought the TV and signed up for delivery between 11a and 2p today. I told ‘em that Jenn won’t be there until 12:30p, but Rod said not to worry about it. Fine.

The stand that the TV comes with isn’t big enough to hold all my shit. I have the whole home theater thing - amp/tuner, DVD player, CD player, VCR, digital cable box, PS2, turntable, tape deck… There are two shelves on the TV stand, and for such an immense TV, the stand shelves are two sizes - small and extra-small. I think I can put the cable box and the PS2 on each shelf, respectively, and the rest… uh…

With that thought in mind, Jenn and I went to Fred Meyer, where we found a pretty bitchin’ Sauder home theater system that had all the racks and stuff to hold our crap. Of course, they were out of them at the store we were at, so we ended up going to BFE to pick it up, but it all paid off. They loaded both boxes (it came in two boxes) into my car, and I was homeward bound.

I got home and… shit, that thing was 200 pounds per box if it was an ounce. I don’t know who at Sauder thought it would be a good idea to make it that heavy, but I can envision the conversation going something like this:

Designer: We’ve got this new product that will work wonderfully for folks with larger televisions. It’s got a couple of nice cabinets and a shelf over the top.

Boss: Great! Quality wood?

Designer: Only the best. Inch-thick finished particle board.

Boss: That’s perfect. Package it up.

Designer: I recommend putting this in five boxes - the pieces are too heavy to put in just two boxes. Most folks can’t just heave 200 pounds over their shoulders.

Boss: Fuck that! You’re fucking fired! Two box maximum. Americans are a bunch of pussies anyway. If people were in shape, we’d be able to put it all in ONE box. Just for that, I’m going to make all the pre-drilled screw holes just slightly too small so people won’t get any weaker than they are.

I ended up opening the boxes in the car and taking it upstairs piece by piece. That was, oh, 6:00p. By 10:00p my hands were feeling arthritic and my arms couldn’t move, but all of the stuff was out of the old entertainment center and into the new one. Not hooked up - hey, no TV - but sitting in there so the cats can’t get to it.

We thusly loaded up Jenn’s sister’s truck with the old entertainment center and hauled it over to her place. Merry Christmas, Danelle. :)

I woke up this morning, got in the shower, and am starting to think that my cat has opposable thumbs, and she’s using them to oppose me. The temperature in the shower fluctuated wildly between lukewarm and freezing cold, and the only explanation I have for it is that someone was in the other bathroom turning the hot water on and off. Since we lock her in the bathroom at night (otherwise she cries outside our bedroom door and tears things up - actually destroys stuff - because she’s lonely and won’t play with the other cat), that’s the only thing I can think of. She’s doing it to punish me.

Anyway, that was the weekend. Now I’m just waiting for the TV to be delivered and I will have completed the ordeal that started so long ago with a trip to Issaquah. Tonight, we party!