Toilet Trek

A bunch of us are going to see Star Trek on Saturday May 9th. I love the recent theatre innovation of reserved seating at the MegaPlex Cinemas. It’s very reassuring to know that not only will you actually have a seat (yes, I have been to oversold movies) but you know right where your seat is. I waited until advance ticked became available for Star Trek and nabbed the much coveted bar-in-front-of-me-for-my-feet spots. I was kind of surprised when I hopped on yesterday to grab this picture that not a single other seat had been sold. A bit odd, given all the hype. I’m sure it will fill up more as we get closer (so far only one Friday show is sold out- maybe no one knows about online reservations!?).


That’s a roll of tape you see there on the right. Mike decided it was the perfect thing to try and flush. Needless to say, it didn’t make it though.  I managed to let the situation drag on for a good month or two becuase the toilet still flushed (sort of) but numerous “incidents” prompted me to finally take action. I had to remove the fixture and snake some cable through. Then I used a wire clamp on one end and pulled the wire through the pipe to dislodge the tape roll (a home made router). Money saved: $347 (no plumber and  no router, but I had to spend $3 on a wax seal).


Speaking on plumbing: Construction has started on our new building! I went by and they had ripped up part of the floor to put in bathroom piping. They should start framing as early as next week. I am not looking forward to moving…

Pong and Song

We’ve had a ping pong table on our wish list for awhile. I’m not exactly sure why but at some point last week it rose right to the top and we got one. Fran did all the legwork on this one- she picked it out, ordered it and drove up to the warehouse in West Vally in the middle of a thunderstorm to pick it up. It’s a two part design that sits right on top of our pool table- practical and convenient.

Initially I thought that the ceiling fan hung too low in relation to the table (we kept hitting it at first becuase we sucked), but I think “Wind Pong” might turn into a fun variation. I want to try playing with eye patches (“Pirate Pong”- very hard with no depth perception).  Fran also proposed putting in black lights and playing with a glow-in-the-dark ball (no name yet).

So far we’ve had three “tournaments.” It’s  nothing organized enough to determine if there is a definitive champion (not everyone has played everyone else), but so far it appears that Apana is the King of Ping (or Kong of Pong- whatever you like).  Jake has vowed to dethrone him and I will be holding secret practice sessions each Saturday. Anyone up for game? Bring it.


A couple of days ago Justin and I finished the stereo wiring in the car! Ultimately I had great time and I learned a ton of fun stuff, but the stereo upgrade was a way bigger project than we had thought. Running all the cables and keeping them hidden was really tricky (we ended up pulling out tons of the body paneling). The mess of wires behind the head unit was intimidating but we got everything wired up a-ok. I will confess that it was a little frightening to see my car in so many pieces.


I got everything put back together earlier tonight and spent some time road testing it. For the most part I’m really happy with everything.  The two subs (JL Audio 8″) are fantastic. They give off nice tight base (which is what I wanted) but still sound very full. I replaced the stock speakers in the rear with some 5 1/4″ Kenwood Exelons (nothing fancy) which have a nice bright sound that complements the subs. I left the 10″ stock speakers in the doors- for now they get the job done just fine. Everything (subs and mids) run of the two Alpine amplifiers (both 250 watts).  As an aside, cramming everything into the trunk and still leaving room for the removable roof was difficult, but we pulled it off! Visually I think the set up is very appealing.


There’s a lot of tuning left to do, but I think the final result will exceed my expectations. Sadly I’ve got  humming noise that parallels the engine speed. I need to figure out where it’s coming from and what’s causing it. My initial hunch is that the ground wire is too long (the chassis of the car is fiberglass to we had to run the ground wire back to the battery- nearly 16 feet). It may also have to do with poorly shielded wires in the engine bay (i.e. spark plug wires). This, coupled with my Blu Ray sync issues, has made it a bad month for sound! Ah well- it makes me feel manly when I fix stuff.


Egg-citing Stuff

Saturday we spent the morning coloring eggs for Easter. One of these days I’ll have to take time to research the origins of coloring eggs and how that might (read “might not”) relate to the Resurrection of Christ. No idea- but coloring eggs is fun. We used an Transformers coloring kit we bought last year after Easter (I think it was marked down to a buck). Funny thing- the red dye pellet didn’t make it; I guess its shelf life was less than one year. We made our own ready dye with food coloring and vinegar. The kids had a blast (well, not Gabe- he was napping).


That afternoon I commenced the wiring portion of my subwoofer / amplifier install. That’s going to be a big job. Mike was a huge help and we got the seat and some panelling out and and started running the ground wires and RCA cables. This coming week I’ll have to remove the center console and the actual receiver (from the instructions I’ve got it won’t be fun). But hey- that’s what life is all about: Doing things that aren’t fun with the hope that later something not fun that you did will result in fun.


And finally Easter. We hid chocolate eggs in the living room and the real eggs outside. Mike and Claire put the eggs in their baskets but Gabe just put everything in his mouth. Another holiday successfully celebrated!


Where Does the Lime Go?

As always I feel compelled to apologize for my  haphazard posting schedule. Who am I apologizing to? Probably myself. It’s been a busy couple of months that’s left me feeling more tired than usual. I’m glad spring is here- hopefully the nice weather won’t be far behind.


Fran recently got back from Reunion Island, where she grew up. She spent about two weeks there visiting her family. She has two sisters who live here in Utah, but her parents and two brothers still live on Reunion. Fran was able to go to the beach, hike, visit with her childhood friend and extended family. She took our kids with here (a bold maneuver considering the trip involves over 20 hours of flying- each way) so I got to kick it by myself for a while. Sadly I’m not as cut out for bachelor life as I had hoped. It’s so nice to have her back. Oh… and the kids too I suppose.


Above is the house where she grew up. It’s in a pretty isolated spot on top of a hill. The view is incredible; That’s based on pictures I’ve seen. I’ve never actually been to Reunion. It’s on my list, but the thought of flying there hurts me. I might be able to do it in first class, but the guilt of knowing my family is crammed in coach would eat at me. A little. Plus Reunion has some bad mosquitoes and I’ve had my share of them for now (I’ve got a post on here about being eaten alive at Utah Lake). One day for sure but I’m not ready yet.


And an exciting announcement: We’ve got a new store!  This is actually the same building we were planning on moving to last year, but construction delays pushed it back until now. In some ways it will be sad to say goodbye to our old shop– it served us well. Progress is an emotional mercenary.


The outside (shell) is finished and they should start work on the interior later this month. If  we can keep everything on schedule we should be in sometime in July or August! We’re trying to plan a bit for the future so we’re getting over three times the space we had before (over 7500 square feet in the new building). The buildout will be two stories:  a storefront and a warehouse on the first floor, and  offices on the second floor. This should give us plenty of flex ability no matter what opportunities come along.


March was chalk full of birthdays (I turned 31 on the 22nd), but the highlight was probably Jim’s party (he turned 30). Cindy rented out a room at Noah’s and threw an awesome surprise party (check it out on Cindy’s blog).  Pictured above from left to right: Tom, Andrew, Rachel, Cam, & Jim.


The one thing I was able to do while I was a bachelor was start my new car stereo! I’m not an audiophile or anything like that, but I do like to turn my music up pretty loud while I drive.  My friend Justin suggested that we add some sub-woofers and a couple of amps.  He made some custom speaker boxes for the trunk area of my car (it’s hard to tell from the picture, but the boxes are sunk about 9 inches into the trunk bed). We put two 8″ subs in each box and we’ve got two 250watt amps (one for the subs and one for the mids). All we have left is the wiring (which will be the hard part) and I’ll be ready to blast out my ear drums.


I got to see “Fast & Furious” on opening night last week (thanks Fran!). Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a fan of the series (and a little nutty about tricked out cars). I hosted a Fast & Furious party the Tuesday before the movie came out. I had hoped to make it through the first and third movie (I don’t care too much for the second), but there was so much action in the first that everyone had adrenaline overload and bailed. I felt like “Fast & Furious” was a nice addition to the franchise- it filled in some gaps in the movie arc and provided a few unexpected twists and turns. Definitely worth a watch.


And I have finally made the jump to Blu-Ray (we actually  watched “The Fast & The Furious” on Blu-Ray). I’m thrilled with the picture quality- it’s really a night and day difference between the DVD and Blu-Ray resolutions. My projector is  720p/1080i so I’m not getting the full benefit of the Blu-Ray picture quality, but even so… wow. The sound has been problematic. I’m having a sync issue that I haven’t had time to resolve (a sound lag problem) and the mids (voices in particular) are very difficult to hear. I’m not sure if this is a problem with the Samsung Blu-Ray player I have or the Onkyo receiver I’m using (or both in conjunction). I’ll post my progress.

And that’s about it for now. Long live Power Lime!