Father’s Day Eve

Our weekend weather forecast called for sporadic thunderstorms, so I opted not to work in the yard yesterday.  Terry and I did make it out of the house in the morning, visiting the local farmer’s market and our favorite grocery store.  After we woke up from our lunch food coma, I got the notion in my head to relocate the plasma from the old bowed coffee table where it had languished for over five years.

Lexy watching Incredible Dog ChallengeSeveral months ago (yes, months), Terry had ordered a wall mount for the television.  He was prompted to pursue this avenue because when Lexy joined our family, she glued herself (and her nose) to the front of the plasma.  She’s the only pet we’ve ever had who actually watches television (myopically, like Mr. Magoo).  Keeping a clear view through the dog slobber became a daily household chore.

Thus began an afternoon of rearranging furniture, cables, heavy objects and lots and lots of dust.  Our new vacuum cleaner saved the day more than once.  Eventually, we found the wall behind the coffee table and plasma.

Plasma Up
Lexy sniffing around in search of her lost plasma.
Plasma Up
Ah, she found it.

Next, Terry and I had to find the framing studs behind our tongue-and-grove paneling in the great room. We could see one of them through the large return air vent.  Assuming, correctly we hoped, that the builder followed code and the studs were installed every sixteen inches, we got out our measuring tapes, levels and pencils and dredged up our elementary math skills to hunt them down.

Plasma Up
Drilling for studs

After finding three studs and drilling six holes, Terry and I positioned the wall mount, properly aligned and leveled.  I held it in place while he drilled the six lag bolts (and washers) into place.  This mount, properly installed, should be able to hold almost two hundred pounds.  Our current plasma weighs in between one hundred and one twenty pounds.

Plasma Up
Securely fastened to the east wall of the great room.

Terry was concerned that I would not be able to lift 50-60 pounds from the floor to shoulder height.  I wanted to argue with him, but I also didn’t want to drop a three thousand dollar television either.  Per Terry’s suggestion, I returned the coffee table to the middle of the room and we lifted the plasma from the floor back on to the table.  His reasoning was it was less distance (bending over) from the coffee table to the wall mount.

Plasma Up
Staging the lift

Six years ago this situation would have been a non-issue.  Derek at one time set a school record for bench press.  Had he still been living with us, he probably could have lifted the plasma by himself from the floor to the wall mount and not broken a sweat.  As it was, both Terry and I may have strained our lower backs getting the plasma from the floor back onto the coffee table.  I succumbed and gave my dad a call to see if he could spare a few minutes to help us wrestle the thing up to the mount.

Dad arrived just before the thunderstorm did.  Our power had blipped once already.  Lexy made a bee-line for the upstairs main bathroom, her ‘safe place’ when the thunder starts rolling.  I urged Apollo to take a nap up in our bedroom so that the great room would be Rottweiler-free during our lift.

While Dad and Terry lifted the plasma, I held the old base down so it would slip easily away from the device.  Then I moved quickly around the coffee table and took the center of the plasma to steady it and so that Dad and Terry could make sure the hooks on the back of the plasma found the bar on the wall mount.  They also needed to secure the safety latches.  Once mounted and adjusted, I re-installed the HDMI cable from the home theater system to the back of the plasma and struggled with the power cord for a few minutes.  Then I pushed our ancient rolling entertainment cabinet back against the wall and crossed my fingers, turning on the home theatre system first, then the satellite DVR and finally the plasma.  I heard audio first and then the plasma warmed up and we had a picture.

Plasma Up
Thank you Terry and Dad!

Things left to do:

  • New shelf for the center speaker.
  • Donate coffee table to Goodwill.
  • Donate entertainment cabinet to local dump
  • Purchase new furniture to house the electronics under the plasma

The first thing Terry and I noticed was that the plasma actually appeared smaller now.  Sigh.  Maybe it really is time to move up from fifty inches.

Bonus points to anyone who can guess what movie we found to test the new setup with?  Hint:  It’s one of my all-time favorites from the late 80s, but we only caught the last fifteen minutes of it.

Great big thanks to the two ‘Dads’ in my life a day early but never too late: 

Terry (father of my children)
Dan (my dad for nearly fifty years now).