As legend and lore have it, no DIY project can be completed in anything less than three trips to the store. Yesterday and today, I improved on that.
About a month ago, the local merchants were flogging perfectly spiffy UHD TVs at ridiculous prices, so they could get the newest models in with even more features I don't want, at prices I won't pay. So a big screen for less than half price for a NIB set was worth the trip.
Where, due to work schedules, it sat on the floor for about a month.
So with a few days off, it was time to upgrade my movie viewing (I have not watched broadcast TV since Fat Bill was president, and miss it not a bit).
Having assembled most of what I needed, it was time to get to work.
I've got three cordless drills, and two chargers.
I could find one drill, the battery was dead, and that manufacturer has planned obsolesenced that voltage out of stock forever. I'll deal with the hunt for the drill, batteries, and chargers another time, but I need to install the wall mount for Big TV today, as planned.
So Trip One:
I needed a couple of odds and ends, and some coax and HDMI, and to get around cordless stupidity games, I wanted an old-fashioned hard-wired simple drill for light work. Went to Lowe's (who thoughtfully killed my go-to OSH harware store chain with malice aforethought, after rescuing them briefly from oblivion). Lowe's has the HDMI and coax. And they have the perfect hand drill.
Except they're out of the one I want.
They have plenty of the bigger ones, starting at from 2-3X the price of the simple one that's perfect for my needs.
So, gritting my teeth, I go to Big Orange Hell, where they have the exact same drill, for a buck less than Lowe's. And five of them sitting right where they should be, on the shelf, unopened.
Chalk up one for Homeless Depot.
I dodge the 200 migras shilling for day labor in the parking lot, and return home to put up a stupid simple wall mount that's perfect for the TV I have, and the space intended for it.
Except, goddamn them, GE has selected hardware made from Chinesium (an amalgam alloy of zinc, recycled beer cans, Prius body panels, and seagull shit, apparently), which strip, while simultaneously destroying the Phillips bit used, at both ends, while only going halfway in.
And the size hole their instructions say to pre-drill for the anchor screws turns out to be laughably optimistic.
Homeless Depot winning by a nose, and being a wee bit closer, I return thence on Thursday afternoon, this time for actual hardware.
I selected a double complement of marine-grade stainless steel wood screws equivalent in size and length to one of the cheap-ass Chinesium pieces of $#!^ I managed to hand unscrew from the wall, with pliers, where it had lodged hallway in, totally striped. Because I needed a bicep workout anyways.
Then, not trusting things, I also secured large deck scews, heavy-duty common nails, and fender washers, in case it became necessary to explain the facts of life to GE's wall mount.
And a bit 1/32 larger than GE's recockulous instruction specified.
Thus supplied, I returned home for the next round of battle.
With the larger holes, the actual steel screws fly into the holes, and seat firmly.
The mount is nominally rated for 50#. The TV is maybe 10#. But I was putting it into mature seasoned studs, in a wall I'd added myself. And I weigh a bit more than 50#.
So after hanging on the mount myself, it didn't budge a millimeter.
That sumbitch isn't going to be dropping the TV on me this century.
Now the easy part: putting the TV on the mount.
I've done this with smaller monitors, and the mount itself is simplicity.
Line up the holes, and screw it down.
Flag on the play.
In their wisdom, the makers of a $400+ (sale price) wall mount television, have elected not to include the $2 of hardware for wall mounting.
That would be 4 screws, and 4 plastic adapter plugs.
What The Actual FUCK?!?!?
Maybe they thought I'd just carry it around on my shoulder like a ghetto blaster boombox?
I don't know.
But this is, bar none, the stupidest effing thing I've seen someone do.
And I live in Califrutopia, and lived in L.A. for most of my life, so that's saying something.
But they have a handy 800 number, for me to order the Wall Mount Kit for the giant flatscreen TV, it's lack being mentioned no-fucking-where on the package exterior when I purchased it. (I'm going to use that 800 number next week alright, but not to order the kit in question. I'm wondering how many times they'll hang up on me before I finish what I'm going to tell them.)
Who would do such a fucktarded thing?
That would be Samsung.
Samsung, you (insert the most vile racist anti-Korean slur you can imagine here, then triple it), as my old man used to say when he was alive, "the sonofabitch who thought that up should have the TV shoved up his ass, sideways." No, really, and actually.
At this point, I am this: close to taking the set to the range, and experimenting on it with 12 ga. slugs. But the mount is already installed, and I want my damn video.
So Trip Three:
But, I know the Three-Trip Rule, so I am only half surprised. So, I trot down to Best Buy, since they have a Geek Squad that does installations, where maybe I can buy, beg, or steal the celebrated un-included mythical legendary Wall Mount Kit that the (insert the most vile racist anti-Korean slur you can imagine here, then triple it) idiot f**kers at Samsung didn't include, to save themselves $2 cost.
But no, Best Buy has never heard of it.
Neither has Le Boutique Targét.
I tried them first, this trip.
Don't even think about Sears; their aisles look like Florida after a hurricane, every day, as they lurch towards bankruptcy in a death spiral. They make
But the sales chick at BestBuy calls their Samsung rep (but diplomatically, doesn't tell them what I called their company, from CEO to janitorial staff) who used to be one of their Geek Squad installers, who is sure that my wall mount or TV must have the right adapters and screws to clamp the TV in place.
(He's as wrong as he can be about that.)
But, he suggests checking Homeless Depot, because that's what they used at Geek Squad, because their TV mount kits always have everything.
Ready to defecate kittens at this point, I've got no pride left, and nothing to lose, so I swing by Orange Hardware Hell yet a third time, as the sun sinks into the horizon.
So I go to their home electronics aisle, pry open a similar wall mount kit, and there inside, are the very screws and adapters needed.
Along with screws and adapters for every TV set known to man, in all likelihood.
And for the helluvit, an HDTV antenna.
I return home again, this time long after the last Julio or Pedro has departed the lot, to undertake Round Three of hand-to-hand combat with a simple TV installation.
The screws and adapters fit like a glove.
The set is now anchored and perfectly aligned.
I plug it in, screw in the broadcast TV antenna, and the set works like a dream. (At least Samsung got that right.)
So, on a roll, I put in a couple of other thingamajigs for another pair of projects, plugging into the nearest outlet, in the bathroom.
I get them finished, and settle down to check online, satisfied with accomplishing (finally) what I set out to do that day.
After taking a bloody day to get it done.
Except...the computer has re-booted.
Funny, since I didn't turn it off.
Try to re-start it.
Then everything in the room goes deader than canned tuna.
And the microwave clock is out. Looking around, I find scoring on the bathroom outlet.
It's old, and not GFCI, predating that requirement handily, but it's never given me any trouble.
The kitchen light is flickering, like the bulb is going to fail. Then it comes on full.
But the demand heater is dead in the bathroom. And so is one side of the kitchen.
And everything downstream from there, including the Blog Command Central room.
And the front room A/C?!?
Now this is serious. No A/C in August?
And the breaker won't reset.
Despite multiple tries.
This now officially sucks. And it's too late to do anything, because everyone is closed.
So Trip Four:
Back to the store again, this time for the multimeter I never had, some wire strippers, and a new commercial-grade outlet.
Get home, turn off the outlet breaker, confirm it's cold with the new multimeter, and open 'er up.
And find 2" of white neutral wire charred and burned away (it dates from the 1970s), which has cooked off all the insulation, and the neutral is touching the bare copper ground wire.
Which shorted out the breaker as intended, and killed 1/3 of the house circuits.
Happy to have tracked down the problem without needing to get a new bus for the panel, I chop all the wire back, re-strip and feed them into an outlet 50 years newer, wire it in, throw the breaker, the multimeter confirms 120V, no smoke issues from the wall, and the breaker resets.
I have spent every penny I saved on the big screen TV on toys and supplies to plug it in.
And rewire a bathroom plug that was about to burn the house down.
Without burning the house down.
Or paying an electrician a couple hundred more $$ for a service call.
IANAElectricain by any means, but I rewired my first switch when I was a teenager (I wanted a dimmer in my bedroom, so I read how to do it, and did it). I generally don't play around with anything electrical more complicated than plugging something in, on principal, because gas (octane and natural) and electricity send more people to the emergency room every week than I want to be. (It's also embarrassing to be treated by your co-workers for Stupid.) And my primary use for electricity is to defibrillate dead people, and let me tell you, they jump when you yell "Clear!" and hit the button. I don't want to do the home version, especially accidentally. I can still remember the experiment at age 3 with the table knife and the wall outlet, and as I recollect, it stung a bit.
But I had the book learning, and most of the toys, so I'm happy about doing the repair myself, and getting the TV ready to rock. But I'm happiest that some union electrician 50 years ago did his frickin' job right when he ground wired my outlet properly, so I could save it and not burn the house down last night, or today.
For an encore, I'ma get me a GFCI outlet next week, and re-do that job one more time.
The skills will come in handy when I start building the Castle Anthrax and Camp Snoopy, probably next year.
Which is my explanation for why my homework is late.
And I think I've earned a nice dinner out.
Followed by Zulu or Lord Of the Rings on a wall-wide TV in UHD, as God intended.
And I've got an extra TV mount now.