Thursday, September 30, 2010

Building a Man Cave: A Tale of a Forty Six Inch Tub of Hummus

I'm a trial and error guy. Sort of a throw it up against a wall and see what sticks attitude. And that was often the way I taught - which I think may be a bit taboo today since T&E takes a lot of time. When faced with a problem - a math problem, fixing something or a social situation, I often just try something and see if it works, most often a disaster in the latter situation.
I often applied T&E in teaching - which made me an awesome teacher at times and  awful teacher at others. Probably not the best way to bring stability to a classroom, but it certainly kept the kids on their toes - and somewhat engaged in a guessing game of "what's coming at us next?"

When it comes to home projects, living with someone who is the exact opposite - who needs all the answers before tackling a problem – can be a bit of a challenge. And therein lies a tale.

I was out in Cedarhurst yesterday getting a special pair of computer glasses made up by my pals at Central Vision Care - maybe I will no longer have to stagger around half blind - a serious problem when you are about to drive. On the way back I stopped off at Costco to buy gum and a tub of hummus.

I've been looking for a 42" set to put in my work area while writing and doing video - guaranteed to make me even less productive than I am. Also a room for my buddies and I to watch Jet games without being disturbed. My Man Cave. I convince my wife to go for the 42. She measures and measures to make sure it will not be too big. I mean she is exact. She finds an Ikea TV cabinet that will be just the right height for the TV- to the exact quarter inch. I'm rolling my eyes. Just get anything and I'll do T&E and figure out how to make it fit. No dice.

First, I had to get a new carpet - it is the only room in the house with a carpet because it is over the garage and gets pretty cold in the winter. This part of the project took over a year. But with the old carpet turning green - and not with envy - my wife finally made the move and we ordered from Costco - a nice lady came to the house and the arguments started breaking out with the first sample. She wants a deeper pile. Hmmm. A good idea - she couldn't see all the the broken taco chips that get buried. But, no, better to just fess up and vacuum every 6 months.

Then comes the color argument. She wants light. I want the carpet to be the color of salsa so you don't see the stains. I win this one when the carpet lady pulls out a nice shade my wife likes. So we wait weeks and finally this past Tuesday the carpet guys come and do the installation. (Three hours late of course, which almost makes me late for Leonie's Parents Across America press conference at NBC's Education Shmation.) Carpet looks fabulous. So next on the list is the TV.

I always take a run by the TV sets at Costco but never buy. I've been researching this LG 42LD550 with internet access. Cheapest price was at Amazon for $750. So I'm strolling down the aisle and there it is. For the same price. Quick decision. Wrestle it into the cart. Is there still room for the humus and gum (and the special jumbo franks for my dad-  almost 93 and eating freakin Hebrew National crap, God bless him)?

Okay. Go grab the other stuff I need - phone calls are coming in with new additions to the list. Do I need 2 carts?" Buy a white shirt for the wedding this Saturday," (sorry all you guys going to DC on Oct. 2. I am really partying.) "What size am I?" Okay, you ladies, I know what you are thinking. And you are right. "I'll go look and call you back," she says. I want to get that LG sucker home so I get shirts with 2 possible sizes and will return the one that doesn't fit. T&E baby.

I'm on the checkout line when I notice the TV box. "46LD550." 46 inches? For $750? I assumed at that price it was a 42 so I never looked carefully. What to do? Ahhh, buy it and take it back if it doesn't fit. T&E.

So, I wrestle the humus and TV upstairs. And the battle begins. Out comes the tape measure. "Go look up the dimensions. I measured exactly and it won't fit." Oh, boy. "Why don't we just set it up and see if it works?" T&E. Nooooo. Printing dimensions for the 42 and 46. It comes to maybe an inch difference in the height. "I'll raise the shelves," I scream! Okay. That gets settled.

Then it's off to Ikea to buy the stand. That's another story altogether.

How am I going to put this sucker together? Don't need no stinkin' directions. T&E baby. T&E.

Right now I am surrounded by cabinet parts all over the salsa colored carpet. I'd take a picture and show you but if you know me, there's plenty of time. It will look the same in a week.

Update: Sat. Oct. 2: It's hummus, stupid
I knew something was missing when I tasted the humus. It was an "m". But just eat the stuff, not look at labels.


  1. Forget IKEA. Go to and get a wall mount.

  2. Hope you found Hummus at Costco and not Humus.

    I am sure Costco has fairly decent Hummus. As far as humus goes # 1, I don't think Costco sells it (perhaps the only thing that they don't sell) and some might say, you have plenty of humus already.

  3. I tasted it and knew something was missing. M&M's. Or just M.


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