May 27, 2005


With all the recent excitement, I forgot to make note that Thursday was the first day to vote in the sixth, and final, week of the Best Vikings Draft Choice Ever Tournament. Last week you voted to take the field of four down to two . Who will win to be considered the Best Vikings Draft Choice ever!?!?!

This final round ends 6/2 at 12:50:00 AM.

Let's break down the remaining match-up.

It is the The 60's vs the the 90's-Today Bracket

This contest will pit Fran Tarkenton against Daunte Culpepper, taken in the 1st round of the 1999 draft.

Voting is now open in the final week of the Best Vikings Draft Choice Ever Tournament. May the bets quarterback win!


And here we go with the fourth edition of SHOUT OUT! Friday. It's an idea I got from Stick and Ball Guy who will give a 'big kudos' to people via his blog every now and then.

Let me know if you liked SHOUT OUT! Friday by leaving a Commment at the end of this entry. And if you didn't, you can still leave one! Or if you'd like to give someone a personal SHOUT OUT! just e-mail me and I'll consider it for the following week.

This week's first SHOUT OUT! goes to SPC Tremond Miller
who is the first recipient of a double SHOUT OUT! Miller is currently serving our country in Iraq and recently wrote to me, "Thanks for the shout out. I have all the guys in my unit looking at this page now.I think the shout outs are great. Keep it up while we protect you guys back home. Oh Yeah Karbala and Baghdad now supports the Vikings." Now, if that didn't merit a double SHOUT OUT!, I don't know what does. And if you would like to e-mail Miller in Iraq and give him and his unit your own personal SHOUT OUT!, just send him a short note of thanks....and keep it clean!

A SHOUT OUT! to the inventors of the The Indipod. Tailgating may never be the same again.

A SHOUT OUT! to 9-1-1 Dispatcher Sandy McNeil who didn't hang up after receiving this call.

In a related 9-1-1 news item, a SHOUT OUT! to Dorothy Densmore who took it to those poor pizza delivery parlors.

And finally, a green thumb SHOUT OUT! to The Wife® who really has the gardens looking good this year. Very good. But then, I designed them so they should! But without her, they would look like crap since I don't have the touch with plants. Take a gander of the gardens as she just posted new photos over on her gardening blog.

Home Project Recap

On Monday, I had alluded to my lack of postings due to another home project that I was involved with. That project has successfully reached its conclusion and I wanted to share it with you. Some people may view this as a brag but I assure you, it is not. I'm simply into technology, especially the audio-video kind and I wanted to share this latest update into the Cheer or Die household so that you can benefit and share your AV updates so that everyone can learn and discuss what has worked and not.

Almost three years ago, The Wife® and I jumped into the biggest project of our lives. It was a eye-opening experience and it tested our mettle at times. We added 1200-square feet to our home adding space to both levels. The results were great. But for 6-months we lived in a very confined 3-rooms amongst sawdust, sheetrock dust, and other hastily arranged living conditions.

One of the original goals was to build a home theater area into the downstairs rec-room area. But after a dozen or so change orders involving other areas of the addition coupled with the fact that I felt the technology was not where it needed to be, we back burnered the project knowing we would come back to it eventually.

We still completed the plasma TV area in the Great Room. The components were all hidden behind custom cabinets. And the plasma was attached using a swing arm. This was important to complete the three functions of the Great Room which was 1) functional kitchen, 2) dining area, 3) media area. By doing this we were able to have a space to hold as many as 80-people (last years annual Halloween party) while being able to cook, feed, and entertain people in one space.

The 42" ED (enhanced definition) screen has been great. I highly recommend this Panasonic model. While not a true high definition, it is very difficult to see any difference between the two. And it saved me a great deal of money at the time. I also just upgraded this setup to a DIRECTV HDTV receiver (model HR10-250) from which I can now record up to 30-hours of high-definition programming or up to 200 hours of standard-definition programming from either the DIRECTV satellite feed or from local antennae high-definition broadcasts.

This Great Room setup allows us to to watch TV while seated at the dining room table as the plasma TV is built on a swing arm and can swivel in any direction. The components are hidden in built-in cherry cabinets and accessed via infrared remotes so that the doors can remain closed.

The Boy's® room was updated this spring to hold a 26" inch LCD high-defintion screen. It is a Sharp model and has a fantastic picture. I used the old Sony HD DIRECTV receiver we had been using in the Great Room to bring in the HD broadcasts. Infrared was also used here to keep the components neatly hidden from view.

The third, and final, piece to the puzzle was the downstairs level. Here is what the room looked like post remodel and prior to this latest project.

I then cleared the room to make way for custom cabinets as well as for the seating.

This far wall would have custom cherry cabinets extending from wall to wall to hold the equipment. The other wall would hold the projector via ceiling mount and down below would be the seating.

Day One

The custom cabinets at the end of the first day of work. As always, when putting in something between two walls adjustments need to be made. But they went in smooth enough. Above, you can see the valance that will hide the motorized movie screen.

This image shows the vent that allow the deep bass sound to escape from the subwoofer.

This image shows the space behind the valance where the screen will be placed. And this image shows another view of the entire wall while this image shows yet another view of the valance/screen area.

Day Two

This image shows the completed base cabinets. The center channel area can be identified by the black mesh screen. This image shows the finished cabinets and valance together.

The storage drawers are full-extension and will hold 60 DVD's per drawer.

Here is a closeup view of the center channel area. The center channel will be aimed slightly upward since it will rest slightly below the screen.

The component storage areas will hold everything needed to power up this great system. Infrared remote will be used to control everything while keeping the components neatly hidden within the cabinets.

Day Three was a rest day, so onto....

Day Four

The fully motorized retracable screen went in behind the valance. All the wiring went through the ceiling and over to the projector position. The projector is hooked up to satellite, local antennae feed, and DVD. So I can watch a movie from DVD, ESPN HD...whatever. I'm set.

The component stage can always be a little daunting and messy. Remember when one simply went out and bought a TV, brought it home, plugged it into an outlet and that was it?

And finally we were done. Here is the seating wall showing the motorized Berklines and overhead projector. And again from another angle.

Here is the screen shown dropped from the ceiling. And shown with the lights off with image.

When The Boy® got home he was enthralled. He had me pop in a Tom and Jerry and he stood by the screen because he could not believe how huge it was.

He also found an unusual way to sit in the Berklines. I think I recall doing the same thing in my Dad's recliner. Too funny.

And there you have it. My little spring project. Many thanks to Halsten Entertainment for all the AV stages and installs and to Handmade Houses for creating the magic with the custom cabinets. For those in the Minneapolis area, you should look nowhere else other than Halsten's for your home theater needs. Those guys are real pros and were instrumental on all phases of my projects. A special thanks to owner Mark Halsten for all his patience and insight over the last three years. And if you need home remodeling or custom cabinets, I give a huge thumbs-up to Frank Kaylor of Handmade House, Inc. Couldn't have done it without you guys!

For those locals looking to do something similar...just e-mail me! I'll be happy to give you the information needed to contact any of the installers.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Posted by maasx003 at May 27, 2005 10:11 AM