(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
8:23 PM, Tuesday, July 15th, 2008:
"I fucking hate you"
"You're a prick"
"Oh my good goddamn"
I swear to you all, this was because Donna wanted more room. For the love of this entire site, and the unabashed honesty I've lumped into this decade-long project, I am telling the truth when I say that this all started with Donna wanting more room. A regular flat-screen wouldn't do it because the components would still be there, but with a projector we could put the components on the wall behind us and open up the entire room. That was the only reason this whole house remodeling shit started - I was perfectly happy with my old set-up. I didn't mind the carpets, the popcorn ceiling or the entertainment set-up.
Now I say this because besides the first reactions (as you've seen above) the second line is always: "So this is what you do when you get a divorce". LOL. Granted, once she was gone I went into overdrive to finish the immense project Donna started last fall - but it was simply because I couldn't stand to live in the chaos anymore. Out of that has come a lovely site for any man alive:
This is actually 3 times larger than shown here - please click on me...
The nice thing is that when you draw the curtains close, and bring two chairs in front of it - the room is actually centered around the coffee table. It's quite... well "adult" in that sense as every place I've ever had has been TV centered - and if you ever want to sit and talk, it's a bit awkward. No longer. And of course - when you want to watch something, voila - the freaking heavens open up and you get to lose your mind. And gaming? Do I even need to say it?
What mighty big arms you have Marshall...


Simply put, it's better than any arcade I've ever been to. The technology has advanced so far, in even the past 2 years, that this relatively cheap projector (my last TV actually cost more) looks better than my computer monitors...at 10 feet. Yes, that's a 120" diaganal screen and it s as clear as any image I've ever seen. The blacks (usually the achilles heel for projectors) are so spot-on, that although I originally painted my white cloth screen grey, I went back to white because it didn't need any help. It simply has to be seen to be believed. And as you can see, "the boys" have been over consistently the past few weeks helping me "try it out". Planet Earth in high definition will make you cry.

Now I sang the praises of the Canon HV20 last year, and this year I give all props to Epson's 1080 UB (Ultra Black). If you have the space (incredibly you only need 10-11 feet throw distance for a screen this size) don't even bother with an LCD or rear projection TV. This will make your jaw drop. Daytime viewing is surprisingly good, however it's so unbelieveable at night - I just watch my old TV for day-to-day stuff so I'm always "wowed" when I fire it up.

So do the "I am Happy" entries make any more sense? Believe me, my initial instinct was of course to not spend the money. It seemed irresponsible considering my current situation - but a funny thing happened when I started throwing myself into my remodeling project: I finally felt like I was doing something for me. I labored over the hardwood and all the baseboard...and it looked good. It made me feel good. And truth be told, I saved tens of thousands on it. Before I started even Remo told me: "I wouldn't even attempt that shit by myself" and I googled a bit and the result is astounding:

It's so nice I'm selling the carpet as I don't want to cover the hardwood. Incredible considering the condition it was in. I saved a ton on the work since I did it myself and clearly added to the value of the home... but even after all of that it was still kind of difficult to buy a big ticket item with the economy the way it is and the way my jobs always come and go... but I took a good look at my situation. I've wanted, and tried for years, to have a family. I don't have one. I won't have one for a long time. And with that being said - the only positive to that is you can take bigger risks. And that was it. If I couldn't have what I really wanted - the least I could do was enjoy the freedoms that allows...

...and his is where Andrew comes in. A guy I know only from the internet...but have known for 8 years. Anyone else have these relationships? Like, I consider him a good friend. If we were in the same city we'd hang out - I trust him... all that. But have never met him. It's all tone gathered from words on a computer screen... for EIGHT YEARS. Crazy. Anyway absolutely none of this would've been possible without him. He's a techno-geek as well (he told me about the incredible HV20 high-def cam which was used during the Egos shoots). And through his his help (and his almost devilish delight in spending someone else's money) he helped me get the best deals available and finish off the room. All with no tax and no shipping. How wonderful is the internet? LOL.
Let me also thank Donna who not only was the catalyst for all of this (I swear, I swear, I swear) but who actually came back on her free time recently and helped sew the curtains and window treatments as we bought all that stuff last year and she had never gotten to it. She didn't have to do that, and it was a very nice gesture. She also helped me put the physical screen on the wall (wooden frame with taught blackout cloth stapled to the back, screwed into the wall) which was one of the more stressful things I've ever done. But it's up, it's perfect and one of these days I just might sit through a movie. LMAO.
Yes, the past few weeks have been filled with dumbfounded boys gaping at the screen going: "I just, I can't believe... how could look this clear, I mean I had no idea, it's just... dude - put in _____, I have to see what that looks like" - for HOURS. The picture of Paddy at the top was from the first night simply projected against my wall and we were so enamored we took pictures of ourselves in front of it. It's been a wonderful time man.

And my old setup? It somehow fit in my 2nd bedroom closet!?!!? Like, perfectly? As if it were meant to be there? So I just took off the doors and voila - it's now my office and there's plenty of space...

...for everything that was in my living room AND my den... all in a space that's easly 1/10th the size. Heh - how pimp is that desk. I need some extenders for the wires, but the fact that it's that close to the wall - and completely functional is just awesome. And I know at first glance that looks uncomfortable as hell but I swear to you I lean back in the chair and have plenty of room for my legs. You gotta love flatscreens man.
Anyway - this will all be leading to a renter in the guesthouse next month. Still have two weeks more shit to do before then...
...if only I didn't have this new toy to play with.