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» Saturday, June 03, 2017Crossing the Bar
We slept in this morning, and James walked Tucker while I snoozed, then we had breakfast and got to work on the only errand we had to do today: go to the Walmart up near the Big Chicken (Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road). He had reserved two pairs of pants there.
First I had him take me by the Dollar General to see if it's just the store close to us that doesn't sell scrubs anymore or if Dollar General has dropped them. It looks like the latter, as there were none to be seen. This was the store close to the old hobby shop and we got there by the usual way, down Frey's Gin Road. This has been all rebuilt since the last time we came through here, and the corner where the dentist's office was is gone. The dentist had paid to have a plaque on the building commemorating the lynching of Leo Frank for the murder of a mill girl at this location in 1915. I had heard that they were going to place a permanent historical marker at the site; I wonder if they still intend to do it.
It was already slammed at Walmart when we arrived, but we got lucky and found someone leaving a handicapped space in front. We returned the pair of pants that didn't fit him from last week and retrieved the two we'd reserved, plus I found two pairs of scrubs pants there. I like these to wear around the house or out in the summer. One of them will become my dog-walking pants because the waistband on the present pair is worn out.
Since we were now next door to Sam's Club, we stopped there for milk and mushrooms. We also bought a likely looking roast of beef to be crock potted or pressure cooked, some Skinny Pop...
...and a sound bar.
We've been looking at sound bars or sound stands for a while. Way back in the old house (which makes it at least twelve years ago, but probably longer) we had ditched James' old receiver from the 1980s and bought one with five speakers and a subwoofer for a home theatre system. It worked fine at the old house, but it went a little squirrelly when we moved: instead of the sound going from 0 to 50 (quiet to loud), it started going backwards (50 being no sound, 0 being the loudest). In the last two years, we haven't been able to use it because if there is a loud sound in any movie (an explosion, a burst of music, someone screaming, etc.) it shuts itself off.
Thus the soundbar. This came with a small subwoofer and two "satellites" that are used for surround sound. We basically got home from the stores and spent the rest of the afternoon setting the silly thing up. The hardest part was getting the old stuff pulled out and out of the way: the receiver, all the speakers, and the tape player, which doesn't really work anymore, and has nowhere to plug in on the sound bar because it's so old. Of course it was all dusty on the TV stand despite periodic maintenance and had to be cleaned and polished. We found wires back there that were no longer connected to anything, and a glut of RCA cables because originally each of the players were set up to feed individually into the receiver. We also swapped out an old surge suppressor with a new one, so basically the first thing I did was re-set up everything left (DVD player, the Hopper, etc.) and make sure that still worked, and then add in the sound bar. While it didn't connect automatically to the television as the manual said it would, we finally got it to work and even the subwoofer and the little speakers. I finished up by twist-tying overly long cords and even putting some Command hooks on the back of the television to hold up extraneous wires.
This took us till 6:30, and I almost didn't want to go out afterwards, but we got dressed and went to Fried Tomato Buffet for supper (it's barbecue ribs/chicken and dumpling night, after all) and then dropped in on Barnes & Noble with coupons. I used the one that came in e-mail on a book of supernatural mysteries and one of the 20 percent offs from the mail on The Royal Nanny, which is a fictionalized account of Charlotte Bill, the beloved "Lala" who took care of the children of King George V and Queen Mary, especially the youngest, Johnnie, who was epileptic and possibly autistic. (His story is also told in the television miniseries The Lost Prince.)
We came home and finished the project officially by putting a board (a Billy shelf we bought at IKEA years ago which was the wrong size but was never returned) under the television to boost it up. Otherwise the top of the sound bar covered about 1/2 inch at the bottom of the screen. It works really well! Then I vacuumed around the television and put the subwoofer and one satellite behind the rocker and the other satellite behind James' chair. (We tested this out later by watching Jaws and all the background sound is coming through fine. Tucker keeps staring into the corner with a perplexed look on his face. When we first tested the subwoofer he jumped and then ran over to stare at it accusingly.)
Tomorrow we have to dump the receiver and tape player in the garage. I suppose the speakers and the speaker wire can go to Goodwill; they are still good. The one thing left to do is get the old subwoofer out from under the window; we use it to hold the telephone! We'll need to replace it with the little teak table from the hallway and I will have to find a new place for Sherwood the stuffed fox, who sits on it now.
Spent the rest of the evening watching this and that on "real TV" (Room to Grow on Ion Life, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, the news) before trying out the speakers on Jaws. Need to test it with something with really cool sound, like Twister. 😀