Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Saturday, February 25, 2006

About 10 years ago, when I was still living at home, me and Ork decided to put up a couple shelves in my bedroom, as I was running out of space in there for all my crap. Ironically, marijuana was NOT involved and was NOT to blame for this woodworking. What started out as getting a few brackets and some wood for shelves became washing and painting that wall, which over the course of a few hours (no beer or weed involved) of impromptu design. We ended up pulling off the cheesy late 60's wood panelling from the wall, stuffing more insulation in there, adding some electrical outlets and lighting boxes, drywalling, mudding, taping, sanding and painting, putting down some mouldings and a new carpet. It ended up taking about a week or so, instead of an hour one afternoon. We decided to re-locate the coaxial cable at the same time, which was just hanging out of the wall, running across the floor and then up through my closet to my parents bedroom above me.

At the same time, I was scheduled for an installation of a Rogers Wave cable modem. Back then, if you said "Broadband" to someone, they would have thought you were talking about The Go-Go's. The technician showed up while the wall was wide open, and we had a piece of the old moulding threaded through the wall as a primitive fish-tape. He took a reading from the cable-end in my room and said that the signal wasn't very good, but that since the free installation was flat-rate, he would fix it for me. He ended up running a new cable from the pole to the house, and installing a proper demarc box out there. He cut off the old rusty splitter that was out there and used a good, low-guage, gold-plated splitter inside the demarc box instead. The entire run from the pole to the demarc, and then internally was with some heavily insulated, low-gauge wiring. Nice. From the demarc, he ran one cable direct to my room for the cable modem. He then split the other side and terminated it at a wall plate inside the house, and the other side of that split went to my bedroom, where it was split again so that I had two cable jacks in my room: the direct one for the modem and a split one for the tv that one then followed some conduit around the room, along the ceiling and then into my closet and up to my parents room. That was later covered up with a fake crown moulding. We had good strong signals at all the cable outlets, and a direct-line to the cable modem. Everything was perfect. We then finished off the room, moved all my stuff back in and less than a year after that, I moved to Grand Cayman and my old bedroom became another junk-pile for crazy-ebay lady. Those original shelves we had started out with never actually went up.

The other funny story from this reno that I got (and still get) a lot of mileage out of is the new circuit we put in. It was probably completely against code to do it ourselves, but we never let that stop us before. We decided to put in a new breaker and run the wire into the room to a 4-outlet A/C outlet that would ONLY have the computer equipment plugged in to it. We went to the home depot, got some heavy-guage wiring, a couple boxes, the outlets and a new breaker. There was a Home Depot free pamphlet on how to install a new breaker, so we picked that up as well. We fished the wire through the wall, we attached the box to one of the studs, wired the outlet in and grounded it, and then finally we shut off the main breaker to the whole house and following the instructions in the pamphlet, installed the breaker. Everything was done, it was all wired up, all that was left now was to turn the power back on and see what happened.

Mark: "OK, flip it on."
Ork: "You flip it on."
Mark: "No, you do it, you installed it."
Ork: "It's your house, you flip it on."
Mark: "Nuh-uh, you wired it, you flip it."
<Ork makes a face and reaches for the breaker...>

Just as he flipped it on with a "clunk" I stuck him in the back with two fingers and made a "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT" noise just loud enough for him to hear... The breaker turned on, power came back on, nothing happened to the wiring or the house, and I had to peel Ork off the ceiling with a spatula. It scared him SO BAD that he was shaking for a few minutes, and had a thin sheen of sweat on his brow. He turned around, called me a bastard and reared back to hit me. I recoiled like a turtle and fell on the ground laughing so hard it hurt. I think he kicked me once or twice while I was laying on the ground laughing, but I don't quite remember anything other than the laughing.

After all that, he still wants me to be in his wedding party this September. He's finally gotten around to proposing, which was a good thing, since his (now) fiancee had already booked the hall! :)

Saturday, February 25, 2006 10:06:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Misc#
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