Breaking In the New Year

So Happy New Year to everyone . . . it’s been a smash so far!

Literally.

We got back from our vacation to New Mexico on Saturday evening (I didn’t mention the vacation to New Mexico ’cause I haven’t blogged in a while) but yeah, went to Los Alamos to spend a week with our niece – the whole family, sans one niece and her new hubby – it was lovely. COLD and sunny. Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Albe…quirky something, I can’t spell it, was beautiful, cold and snow-covered.

More on that later, when I have the photos figured out.

But then we came back home to blessed, beautiful grey skies and rain. My sister and I don’t usually buy each other Christmas presents, what we do is buy something together that we both want, for the house usually. This year it was a new LG flat screen HD LCD 47″ television.

Cool, eh? When you consider what we had been using was a 26″ old CRT, the kind that takes up a massive amount of space and weighs as much as your car. So the old TV was in this beautiful corner hutch, with doors you could shut to hide it from view. Only our doors wouldn’t shut all the way because the friggin’ TV stuck out too far. But it was nice. There was no way this cabinet could hold a new flat TV, so we knew we had to do something.

MY idea was to cut off the top portion, and let the new TV sit on the bottom half. It would save some money, using the old furniture with the new TV, but we’d have to “earthquake proof” the unit. And by earthquake proof, I mean cat-proof. The new kittens are 7 months old now, and holy terrors, and I knew they could destroy anything I put up.

In fact that’s what they say as they tear around the house. “DESTROY! DESTROY!” while the two adults (the Titans) can be heard replying “EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!” (did I mention they don’t get along?)

Anyway, where was I ? …. Yeah, new TV. So we went out shopping on Monday, figuring we’d hit some cool New Year sales. And sure enough we did. Found what we wanted at Best Buy for a good price, and my sister spots a really pretty cabinet there. More of a table really, with a big metal bar that bolted to the back side, for mounting the new flat screen. The nice sales lady told us we wouldn’t have to use that if we didn’t want – so I explained “I have cats” she replies “Oh but these TVs are solid, on their stands. Lemme show you.”

She proceeded to demonstrate on a smaller TV how “sturdy” the table stands are. HA. It would take only one kitten to knock that over, let alone 3. Nevermind the fact that one of the Titans weighs an angry 20lbs. So we decided on the new table with the big heavy metal bar. You mount the TV on these wall mount-type bars, and that secures onto the big heavy metal bar that’s bolted to the new table.

Easy peasy, right? The new TV fit just fine in the SUV, along with the box the cabinet was in. I didn’t pay the extra bucks for assembly – seriously?

Then comes the New Year. Tuesday. We knew we had to lose the cabinet, and the old TV first, and the “plan” was to take it all out to the garage, where our new exercising area is. Who wouldn’t rather walk a treadmill while watching a movie, eh?

My sister cleaned off/out the cabinet, then I started to disconnect all the cables from the DVR and the theater system – then the tricky part – we laid out a huge (faux) bearskin rug we have to set the TV on the hardwood floors and “drag” it out to the kitchen, where we could heft it onto a cart and wheel it outside, through the yard, to the garage. First I had to take the cable off the back, and the power cord, so we eased it out just enough, turned it around a bit, and I unhooked everything.

Then the scary part.

Okay, you know what happened next. It fell from a height of about 4 feet to the bearskin (thank God), “face down” and shattered.

I’m talkin’ explosion, too. The plastic housing smashed, I don’t think the picture tube broke, but it was a horrifying mess. Stressful, to say the least. Now honestly, I don’t care that the old TV broke, big deal, but the shock and surprise, and subsequent stress, just about ruined me for the day.

Now the cabinet is moot, so I sent a text to my other sister asking if she wanted it – sure, she says – so after cleaning up the MESS that was once a television set, we managed to get the big cabinet out and into the garage, where it can sit until my sister picks it up.

Gawd. Then I had to assemble a new piece of furniture AND install a 47″ flat screen to it.

Needless to say, I was stressed out the whole way. First that old TV had fallen, then the earthquake … er … kittens broke an old Magellan thermometer – spilling that oil from the inside that the balls float in. I’d though that was glycerin, but it ain’t ! Whatever that crap is, it stinks. And the smell is hard to get rid of, so it made us both a tad light headed and sick all day.

The cabinet went together pretty easily, except one *#$@ screw. It’s always one screw, ain’t it? But it went in solid enough in the end, and it’s somewhere you can’t see, so whatever. Got that all put together, got it into position in the living room, and now it was time to mount the bars to the back of the new TV.

Holy crap, people – – can we NOT label things?

They told me “the back of your TV will have these four holes to put bolts in for wall mounting brackets. Easy peasy, anyone can do it.”

Well Frak me. By now it’s late, I’m freaking paranoid about breaking things, exhausted… I open the box carefully, exposing the back of the TV without taking it out of it’s protective foam thingies, and what do I find?

Four holes, sure, but they have bolts IN them. I freaked. I’d expected to find these four open, empty holes, maybe even a label that said “wall mount” or SOMETHING. What I didn’t expect was to have to take OUT four screws in order to put four bolts in.

I panicked, I don’t mind saying. I sat on the kitchen floor (where all this assemblage was taking place) and surfed the ‘net on my iPad, desperate to find something that would tell me “YES, this is where you put the brackets.” or at least “It’s OKAY to pull out those four screws.”

No brainer for the interwebbies, but damned if I could find ANYTHING that answered my question.

Finally just too desperate and frustrated, we went for it – took out the four screws – and discovered they were in fact simply bolt-holes waiting for a wall mount bracket.

GAWD. We decided a man designed the system. Sorry, guys, you know I love you, but really – a woman would have slapped a label on the back of that TV that said “Put Bolts Here” with little arrows.

We found the right bolts (this kit gave us massive numbers of various sizes to pick from) then attached the brackets … then I think I peed a little when we got ready to pick UP the new TV. Sure, it was light. I swear, these flat screens are something else. More than twice the size of the old TV and only a fraction of the heft. We had to carry it from the kitchen to the living room, I was scared spitless we’d drop it … but alas, it went up !

Now we don’t have an HD receiver or HD DVR just yet – I have to order those and have them installed – so we’re using an HD TV to see regular signals, kinda weird. But it works ! I fainted down onto the couch, watched some old black and white Twilight Zone eps on the Syfy channel and then crawled to bed, determined that the destruction of our old TV was NOT going to be an indicator of 2013.

Out with the old, eh?

Gawd.

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