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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

That Whole Writing Thing I Was Going To Do

Last year, I made this grand proclamation that the state of Mongo, Angry. Mongo Smash! blog was one of in flux. I was losing the bandwidth to post with regular frequency in order to focus on other, more important obligations. However, I was going to concentrate that whole writing aspect into producing some original work in the form of an ebook, perhaps.

That’s still on the plate. I have not forgot about that. Still, I’ve run into several problems.

For one, time. I don’t have time to write out all that stuff. Truth is, I have the stories. I have PLENTY of stories. Whether they are good or not is up for debate. The material is there . Actually sitting down and writing it out is a bit harder. I’m already two chapters into a book that is most likely going to be the lead off title.

I was originally going to put up some nonfiction but my original plan was to see if I could actually sell something and make a profit without compromising my business model of being a lazy, cheap ass entrepreneur. Unfortunately, the material for that book is kind of dependent on others actually selling. Not to mention that the nonfiction business related book is a static view of an otherwise constantly changing and evolving state of mind. What methods I document for today’s market may change tomorrow, rendering the book passé and not worth reading. The point is to generate content that is readable and adaptable in any year.

That’s why fiction works. It’s not meant to be a treatise of what is actually going on at the moment. It’s left to be interpreted by the reader and good fiction is something that can be written a thousand years ago and still speak to the nature of humanity and the odds we face today.

You also have to take into account your audience. Because I’m a procrastinating slowpoke, I could write an epic novel about the supernatural, vampires, or swords and sorcery elements and it may eventually get finished after the whole craze surrounding those genres have worn out their appeal. Once again, passé.

That’s why I like the t-shirt business. It’s not hard for me to knock out a pretty decent design for a current event or meme while it’s still relevant. But those trends will die out and others will follow and I can keep coming up with stuff because the turnaround is minimal. Writing for a blog has that advantage, too, though the ability to generate a profit from it is limited.

With writing novels, there is more planning involved and I want to stay true to my ideas and my process without having to say, “Hmmm, zombie love stories are trending on Amazon. I better bang something out by the end of next week for people to gobble up.” I don’t work that fast or in that manner when it comes to storytelling.

I’m always reminded of the production triangle when it comes to things like these. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s a triangle with three sides, or areas, representing the choices available for a production or business project:
  • I want it done Cheap
  • I want it done Fast
  • I want it done Well
You are only allowed to pick two. It makes sense, really. The same goes with writing. If you want it done cheap and fast, it will be crappy and riddled with errors. If you want it done fast and well, you going to have to pay more (as in time away from your job to work on it resulting in costing you more… or a publisher paying an ungodly amount for quality work, now.). If you want it done well and at a lower cost, you better be prepared to wait a while for it to be done.

The writing I hope to make money off of will probably fall into the category of “Done Cheap and Well”. Since I am lazy and a cheap ass.

A second problem is content. I have the ideas. I just haven’t got my arms around on the best way to present it. Do I write a short story and sell it for a buck, taking in around 30% of the profit? Do I plan out an epic series and hope that there is enough interest beyond the first book? How long should it be? Do I write a collection of short stories, perhaps with a common theme or interconnected to each other?

The work I’m currently two chapters in to writing is a basic haunted house story. I’m not trying to go and reinvent the genre. It’s simply a story that I had formulated based off of a weird dream I had a few years back. Consider it, Inception… lol.

What about marketing? Since I am planning on doing this on my own, I have my own marketing tools to rely on for some much needed buzz. Do I release the first chapter on my blog and then provide a link to download the rest of the book through Amazon or Barnes and Noble? What if it sucks? People may read that and not want to buy it. Then again, if I’m worried about that then I should feel really crappy if someone were to buy one of my books, sight unseen, and then write a scathing review. I may fool some people into spending their money but word of mouth will kill my chance at making a run at writing.

Lastly, it comes down to sustainability. DO I REALLY WANT THIS? Well, of course I do. If I can prove that even a hack like me can make a few dollars off of a book, then anyone can. But that doesn’t bode well for the industry I so often bash for having no originality or quality control. “Hey, look at me. I’m a complete and utter jackass and made money at writing.” If that works, I need to improve. I need to do more. I will be forced to stay on top of a little itty bitty experiment I tried to so if I could replicate the success of being a cheap ass, lazy shirt designer. If I can’t keep up with that and the time spent just to manufacturer a small amount of revenue is counterproductive to me being able to hold down a full time job, shirt design business, and family, then I run the risk of failing somewhere else, if I haven’t already.

I will suffer from what most businesses suffer from in the world, inability to manage what works. Companies that do one thing well, can generate a good profitability when that’s all they have to focus on in the course of their day. When they start trying to take on more than they can handle, the quality of their core business erodes. Think back to the triangle. Quality vs. Money vs. Time. But in this case, it’s Quality vs. Offering vs. Money.

Do you want to increase your offering while maintaining quality? You will have to increase the amount of money you spend to manage those ideas.

If you want to expand your offering but cut back on costs, you will lose quality.

And if you want to maintain low overhead while maintaining the quality of your work, you need to focus on a core business and not worry about the white space.

So, in closing, I guess that while I figure out how to achieve what I want, I will need to prioritize that list of three items and figure out where I need to focus my attention. Hopefully, I can manage to figure it all out before the ebook industry tanks like when I tried to push Mongo out onto MySpace and it all went pffft.

OK, I’ve babbled on long enough and I didn’t even earn a cent for all that. You’re welcome… I guess.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here's What I Can Do For You - Smart Phones are Making us Dumb

I am one of the few remaining people in the civilized world that does not own a smart phone. I am as much of a gadget geek or tech head as anyone but for some reason I feel like smart phones are going to be the downfall of humanity. But, I’ll get to that diatribe in a bit.

As far as mobile phones go, I rock an LG Cosmos provided by Verizon. Prior to that it was the ENV2 which is now a piss poor Game Boy since I couldn’t transfer the games I paid for to my new phone. And, before the ENV2 it was a standard LG flip phone. I don’t even remember the name of it. I didn’t want that first phone. In fact, I lobbied against getting a cell phone. I didn’t need to have one. If I wasn’t home for someone to contact me, it was by design. I was at work, or out and if someone needed to get a hold of me, they would have to wait. It was my wife who made me get a phone. She was worried about me driving to and from work on the back roads of Deer Central, Southwestern PA.

So, I begrudgingly got one and I barely used it for anything but a few calls and mostly pictures. I have a generous plan with a lot of minutes and hardly scratch the surface of those limits. Then, I started texting here and there and eventually had to get a text plan which consists of 250 texts per month at $5.00 per month. I barely reach half of that on a regular basis.

Then, I got a call from Verizon Wireless looking to upgrade me. They wanted to upgrade me to a smart phone, offer data plans, and do all these wonderful things for me. They said all this after they examined my account and saw that I hardly used what I had.
“OK, I see you have an LG Cosmos which came with your plan at no extra charge.”


“We can upgrade you to one of our whiz-bang-smarty pants-phone made with a space age polymer and smells of strawberries. You can take pictures, text, use the internet, make a cartoon cat repeat everything you say in a cute voice, scan bar codes and find information that you didn’t care about before, search Google, make light saber noises and you can have it for $499 with a rebate of using it for a two year contract which makes it $99.00. Does that interest you?”

“Um, I’ve paid nothing for my phones since I started getting them, so, no.”

“OK, well, I see you use roughly 90 of your 550 minutes plan each month.”

“Yes, that sounds about right.”

“OK, here’s what I can do for you… We can upgrade you to that whiz bang phone that costs $99 and you get 700 anytime minutes for $69.99 for two lines. Does that interest you?”

“Um, no. I hardly call people now.”

“OK, well, let’s take a look at your data usage. You have 250 texts a month for $5.00. Of that, you use roughly 60 a month.”

“Yep, that’s pretty accurate.”

“You also have pay as you go MB usage of which you haven’t even used the Internet from your phone.

“Yeah, I don’t go onto the Internet from my phone.”

“OK, here’s what I can do for you. We can upgrade you to that whiz bang strawberry smelling phone and offer you unlimited texts and 2GB data allowance for $54.99 a month. Does that interest you?”

“Um, no. Look, you can see what I do with my phone now. Pretty much nothing. So, why would I pay more when I don’t do any of those things?”

“OK, understood. Thank you.”

Look, I understand that they are TRYING to sell me something. But, when you look at my account, which they do before they call me and SEE I’m not doing anything worthy of upgrading, there’s really no point in calling me, now is there? But then again, there’s no point in calling people, who are consistently going over their limits and paying a higher rate for the overages, to offer them savings. Because it’s more money in Verizon’s pocket.

Outbound calls are all about attracting new services and businesses, but there needs to be a smarter analysis of your existing customer base or you run the risk of alienating them more when you bother them with services that they clearly don’t even use that much. If you want to get someone into a higher bracket, examine the ones that maybe go over once in a while or come close to that overage. These are people that probably would entertain the idea of upping their plan in order to pay a little more but save a lot in the end. Don’t go after the little fish in the big pond. Go after the fish that is almost too big for his small pond and offer him a bigger pond where he is now the little fish once more.

But, this is why I probably would never make it in big business. I’m too concerned with the customers’ needs and not the shareholders’.

OK, now my rant. I’ve actually go on about some of this before… but that was REALLY doom and gloom stuff. This is a little more sarcastic.

Smart Phones are making us dumber. There was a time when having a mobile phone meant your parents had a rotary phone in the kitchen with a 100 foot tangled mess of cord attached to the handset. You could literally go into the garage and still be on the phone. After the wireless phone came into play, young kids could freely run through the house without the fear of being strangled by the cord that was stretched across the living room doorway.

Then we had pagers which sent us an alert to find a stationary landline to call whoever paged us. Cell phones that freed us up completely to communicate with anyone, anywhere, and at anytime. Eventually, texting became available. Now, we could have conversations without having to speak directly with someone. Email… for your phone. Human interaction became sterilized and devoid of emotion save for the few emoticons that litter the textual landscape of messages. Not content with having to be in front of a computer to surf the web or play games, phones began offering the ability to completely disconnect from reality… sometimes while driving.

We can now exist completely online with no human interaction at all. We can shop, learn, play, and communicate all from a phone. Moreover, there’s no need to even remember anything because our phones have access to the Internet. Phone numbers? That’s in my contacts. Useless facts about movies, sports, and history? You can now unload that from your brain because you can access it at a moment’s notice via your phone. We could lose all sense of direction because you can install an app that functions as a compass. And now, with the introduction of the iPhone 4S, we don’t even have to do any the searching for those things. We simply ask Siri, “What’s the capital of Iowa?” To which Siri should say, “I’m sorry. I don’t understand what you mean. Iowa doesn’t have a capital.” That’s a veiled Family Ties reference if you’re older than dirt, like me. Go ahead, use your smart phone to look that one up. I dare you.

Not only are smart phones making us dumber, they are allowing us to do dumber things, like texting and driving. Smart phones have turned us into lethal weapons out on the road. Even though it’s illegal, I see people every day in their cars texting while driving. It’s supposed to be bad to even be on a cell phone without a hands free device like a Blue Tooth. But I’ve seen police on cell phones all the time. Hell, I’ve come to a red light and sent off a quick text to a friend about a traffic snafu they may encounter.

Auto Correct not only makes us look like idiots because it sometimes throws in an inappropriate word during a conversation with our parents, it also frees us from having to know how to spell most words.

If you think about how much of our daily lives are impacted by the use of smart phones, it should scare the poop out of you to think about them all going away due to a catastrophic event like a terrorist attack or EMP discharge.

I’m surprised shows like The Walking Dead haven’t made a reference to the fact that cell phones are no longer around. There’s only one child on the show and he’s not a teenager, but think about all of those surviving teens and young adults out there who can’t text their BFF, “OMG, my mom is totally a walker, FML :(“

Of course, I have digital voice for my landline so, if the Internet and cable providers go down, I won’t be able to call for help from my home phone, but at least I don’t have to rely on some whiz-bang-smarty pants phone to tell me what to do in an emergency. I can at least remember that instead of asking Siri what the number for 911 is.

Funny, makes me kind of miss that 100 foot mess of cord that I used to get tangled up in when I was a kid.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Who The F**k Are These Kids?

I’ll admit that I did not pay too much attention to the Grammy’s. Award shows are becoming ridiculously overblown and phony. The one show I used to watch with great regularity, The Oscars, is slowly dropping off my radar with every year. James Franco nearly killed it all together, last year.

However, I did manage to see a few performances, like Katy Perry, who looked and sounded awful. I also saw Adele win for album of the year, which I applauded. Her voice is reminiscent of singers from decades gone by and whoever wronged her has now made her a rich woman.

Frankly, I really don’t give a rat’s hind quarters about half of those musicians out there. They all suck in my book. I don’t think I need to beat that dead horse like I have in the past. And another thing… what the hell is Country music doing infiltrating the Grammy’s? Don’t they already have 15 award shows throughout the year? Though, Taylor Swift losing made me smile.

But on a more disturbing note, a trend developed on social media services where people, mostly kids, said, “Who the ‘eff is Paul McCartney?” 

Come on, parents! This is sad. This is my generation’s offspring running around out there praising Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga and they don’t know who the ‘effing Beatles are?   And not just because of Rock Band or Guitar Hero.

My daughter is four years old and she knows most of the words to “Eleanor Rigby”!   She loves The Beatles. She sees commercials that use Beatles’ songs and says, “Hey, it’s The ‘Yellow Submarine’ guys.” She loves that movie, even though The Beatles had little to do with the acting. I remember watching an intimate performance, by Scott Blasey of The Clarks, in our hometown a couple years back and his daughter knew all the words to “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” She’s roughly the same age as my daughter.

Folks, we are one step closer to Idiocracy. It’s pretty sad when Dave Grohl, of all people, has to come out and say, “Musicians, knock that autotune shit off or I will cut a bitch!” OK, he didn’t say that. In fact, his speech was a little hypocritical because he has done some electronic work on some of his music awhile back. Still, the fact that one of the Foo Fighters has to come out and shame you is ridiculous. That’s like putting Katherine McPhee out there as the poster child for saving Country music. “Y’all need to start drinking more and having heartache or Country will die!”

Rock is dead. I get it. One of the greatest rock bands ever found a replacement singer on YouTube. Another is touring with an American Idol winner. We get it. Rock died before Kurt Cobain did. But it only ceases to be memorable if parents do not educate their kids on what it used to be like for those of us who remember bands like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin and The Who. Kids need to know that Elvis Pressley was more than a guy who does weddings in Las Vegas and died on a toilet. They need to hear Jimmy Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn both play “Little Wing” and then have a healthy discussion on which version is better. Even though it was Jimmy’s song, I love Stevie Ray Vaughn’s version better. Though, I love Hendrix’s version more than Derek and the Dominoes’.

The point is that the current pool of artists, if you can call K-E-Dollar Sign-HA an artist, are lazy and are given fame and prominence for nothing. There was a time when you had to bleed and starve to get a sniff at stardom. You think Blues artists back in the first half of the 20th century were able to hit it big thanks to a hack singing contest?  No. John Lee Hooker was not auto tuned nor on Fox being judged by a British twat with a horrible haircut.  And yet, we should praise Miss “Tik Tok” because she can string together a mess of rhyming couplets about drinking some Jack and smelling of crack?

Who the ‘eff is Paul McCartney?

Who the ‘eff are you? What have you done to earn anyone’s respect. Go out and learn a little about the world. Get a clue!

Parents? Teach your damn kids about real music. Class dismissed!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lies I believed in Childhood

As a kid, we take the word of adults or at least those in our family as gospel.   We never question their credibility because we haven’t learned that people lie to us for whatever reason.  Sometimes, we formulate our own truths and those authority figures around us never correct the notion because the fact that we believe it makes it seem cute and adorable.  Meanwhile, we lie in bed, awake, worrying about the consequences of those actions that we believed to be set in stone.

Lie #1: Crossing your eyes for an extended period of time will cause them to stay that way.

I believed this myth well into my teens. But being of a rebellious nature, I always tried to push the limits of that timeframe

Lie #2: A swallowed piece of gum will stay in your system for seven years.

Growing up, I enjoyed stuffing almost an entire pouch of Big League Chew into my mouth but never had the need or urge to swallow it. However, when it came to smaller pieces such as Big Red or Juicy Fruit, sometimes you accidentally could swallow a piece and then dread set in, “I just swallowed my gum! It’s going to be in my stomach for seven years. CRAP!” Of course, the truth is that is does digest much, much quicker than that. It may be a week but it won’t be seven years.

Lie #3: If I eat watermelon, orange, or apple seeds a tree will grow in my stomach.

Apparently, at the age of seven, I had not learned the basics of horticulture. After ingesting a few orange seeds, I was pretty sure that I had a the beginnings of an orange tree growing in my tummy. I imagined the tree growing inside me, like an alien, and it would eventually burst a branch full of oranges out of my navel. I had no concept of the makeup of the digestive system containing acids or the fact that there was no light or soil for those seeds to grow in while it churned away in my stomach. Nor did I realize that it if not already dissolved, I would pass the seed naturally before it could germinate.
Now, the ingestion myths did not hold up as long as the eye crossing one, but to this day I’m still convinced that I shouldn’t swim after eating.  Worse yet, I still need to remind my father-in-law that going outside without a coat will not cause you to get a cold.  He continually tells his daughter, my wife, “It’s no wonder you’re sick.  Put on a damn coat!”  To which I say, “We have a four year old in Kindercare.  That’s why we’re sick all the time.”
Still, the worst lie my family had me believe was that I was the mailman's kid.   I'm sure they were joking but you kind of get a complex when they keep repeating it like they did, year after year.

Maury, can I get a reading on this one?

Monday, February 6, 2012

YouTube Ad Fail… or Win

Let’s face it. YouTube ads suck.  I spent last year catching up on Yogscast episodes of Minecraft only to have to suffer through that stupid Xfinity… sorry Comcrap song, “Fun for you…Fun for me…” I was reaching for a gun by about episode 15.

ARRGGHH! YOUTUBE ADS SUCK. THEY SUCK. THEY REALLY SUCK! They suck almost as much as Zynga ads during games. Honestly, I have five seconds to harvest these crops before they die and the effers put up a pop up ad telling me to spend real money to get fake money. WTFBBQSTD!!!

Now, I am glad that the newer ads have a five second skip feature, but still, Who cares about the 5AM warrior, or whatever it is?

But are the ads targeted?  Is the video content I'm about to watch paired with an ad that speaks directly to the subject matter? 

If so, count this as a fail... or win, depending on how you feel.
I watched the trailer for The Hunger Games and the ad before the trailer was for McDonald’s.
I watched a stupid video depicting how bad Siri fails at understanding questions on the iPhone 4S and the commercial before it was for Android. 

The iPhone 4S thing wasn't even a good video.  I was expecting to find some humorous instances where Siri didn't work as expected.  What I got was a couple of haters, with bad accents, that Siri couldn't understand when they pronounced certain words.  Hell, I couldn't understand them.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sampsonia Street Samurais

Google Street View can be useful for a lot of things. If you want to know where the entrance to a parking garage is, or how close a parking spot is from where you need to be, it’s invaluable.

Then, there’s the sheer joy of just looking at the city without having to get real close. You can travel down the streets looking at the architecture from the comfort of your living room. After all, Pittsburgh has been given so many accolades over the past few years, it’d be a shame to not take in all that splendor. And this way, you don’t have to get involved in road rage incidents with jagoffs that make Pittsburgh lefts.

However, you have to wonder if Google does a lot of quality control in their selection of filming. Maybe they just turn the camera on and go. Perhaps they do a few passes to make sure that they don’t have anything inappropriate in the shots or a bug on the lens effing it all up for five blocks.

Sometimes, I think that the folks at Google have to have a sense of humor. Because otherwise, why would you let this be a part of your Street View scenic landscape?

Sampsonia St. Samurais

In addition to all the accolades Pittsburgh has received, I think we need to get an award for Most Samurai Friendly city.   Now, this, of course, is slightly less as prestigious than when South Union won the, “Best Place For a Ninjas to Break in Cars award.   But, it’s almost on par with Scottdale when it won, “Best City to Abandon Your Kids For Ninja Practice”. 

Now, my brother emailed me this picture, so he gets credit for bringing it to my attention.  But, it didn’t stop there.  Why would it?   You never know what’s around the next corner.  So, my brother sent me the link to this street corner.

Now, at first glance you might say…. “Oh, look, a whale tail!”   

But, more importantly, WTF is in the alley?

Here's a better view from the opposite direction.

It looks like a half assed Matryoshka doll or homemade Gloop costume for Comic Con.  For you kids out there, Gloop is from a cartoon called The Herculoids. 

Still, I have no idea what the hell that thing is. It’s got feet, so somebody is standing under whatever that is. And that guy, with the apron, must work at Doug’s Market and he’s unfazed by all this. Maybe he saw the samurai fight in the distance and didn’t notice the thing next to him in the alley.

So, if you’ve got time to kill, wander around Google Street view in your town and see what you can see. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

There Are Four Lights!

Home ownership, oh joy.

Over the years, I’ve talked about how I came to be a homeowner. My wife and I actually chose our house over many others. She even sacrificed a wonderful split level with an awesome back yard because she thought it would be too much. I didn’t even get to see the house, because if I had, I would have been begging us to get it. Unfortunately, with the taxes, we would have been one of the unfortunates who lost their homes to foreclosure. Still, when I think back at how much we’ve had to do or will do in order to get our house to where we are happy with it, it probably would have been worth the extra burden.

To this day, I find stupid things that make me scratch my head at what the previous owners were thinking when they did it.

There is the switch that does nothing.

Ahhh, memories.

OK, so the light above the vanity has bugged me for about three years. It’s this brass looking metal frame with fat based candelabra bulbs. There is no real ventilation in the bathroom because they bricked up the window in order to put in a wrap around shower. They painted the ceiling with only a flat coat of white paint that rubs off when you clean it. This was possibly a cosmetic necessity in order to prep the house for sale. Honestly, these folks did the bare minimum to make the house look decent. The sad truth is the half inch thick of old paint that has built up on one of the bedroom walls because they continually repainted instead of sanding or stripping.

Now, because of the lack of ventilation and crappy paint, mold started to grow on the ceiling and the metal light box began to rust. Additionally, every year, a bulb stops working. I don’t mean the bulb burns out. I mean the actual socket stops working. So, after three years, only one light was still functional on the set. Time for a change. Besides, the previous owners thought it was somewhat cute and fun to paint bugs and alligators and spiders on the horrendous lily pad wallpaper in the bathroom. Seriously, when guests would come over for the first time we’d tell them it’s a game to see if you can find all the bugs and stuff. Of course, they would have to open up the medicine cabinet to see the ladybug lounging poolside.

For Christmas, I got my wife a new vanity light. After Christmas, my father-in-law helped me install it. That’s when the fun began.

First off, there must have been no light above the sink. Why? The box was put into the wall and the light was over top of wallpaper. Not only that… the box was attached to a stud three inches behind the inside edge of the drywall, with nails. Who the hell does that?

Now, before we could do anything we had to burn a day because the light was missing three of the four shades. Turns out it was a return to stock item that nobody bothered to inspect before taping up and putting back on the shelf. So, one day gone on that trip.

After ripping out the old fixture and wiring up the new one, I couldn’t get the damn thing attached to the box because the bolts were not long enough to reach the holes. So, we had to wait until my father-in-law was able to grab a few things from work to aid in our task.

After a few days, he brought over a few shims and some nuts to try and brace up the mounting bracket as well as keep the screws from sinking too far into the electrical box causing my ire over the fixture not being able to be screwed down.

I would like to take this opportunity to address how hard it is to do any kind of electrical work if you do not have small hands. Also, if you only have two hands, it’s hard as hell to hold a large fixture and try to wire it up when it’s above your head. The bathroom isn’t that big and I only have step ladder. My father-in-law couldn’t really lend a hand to hold onto things while my banana hands tried to put on wire nuts or wrap ground wires around itty bitty screws. That’s why little people would make great electricians, plumbers, and general handymen. I could maybe call one over to replace the batteries in my daughter’s toys. Those little screws on the back of toys are the worst.

Anyway, after straining and working hard to get at least three threads deep on the little spherical shaped nut (Don’t go there, I know how that sounded) on the support bolt, we added a light bulb and turned the bastard on and… nothing!

What?!?!? What the ‘eff? We already burnt a day returning the damn thing because it was missing shades, now the stupid thing won’t light up! Oh, my head. I give up. Where’s my obligatory puppy that I kick? Two weeks later, after much debate and inserting contacts in near darkness that is my bathroom with only one working ceiling light, my Father-in-law brought more stuff over and we waited until this last weekend where we said, “We’re hanging this bitch!” He brought self tapping screws, a punch, and some wooden blocks over.

Now, the plan was to use the punch to put a small divot into the nail head so I could get in there with a drill and remove the electrical box from the stud. Then we’d screw a block or two to the stud and then put the electrical box onto those blocks, bringing it almost flush with the front edge of the drywall.

Because we eventually plan on repainting the bathroom, with more than a flat coat, I figured it might be nice to get rid of the wallpaper around the area where the new fixture will go in order to minimize the chance I’ll have to pull that bitch back off the wall later. I bought a Wagner Wallpaper Steamerfor $50 on Amazon. Truly, an awesome buy. I highly recommend getting one.

Fill it up with water, wait till it starts to steam, place it on the wallpaper, and give it a few minutes.  Then, just use a putty knife to peel away the paper.  Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. 

Before we even tried to hook up the light, I suggested that we somehow test it to make sure it worked, since it didn’t the last time. I found an old lamp in the garage and cut the power cord. We then wired up the light, giving it a sort of bench test.

I kept thinking of this after every failure.

And the four lights have two separate wiring circuits. So, if we test the one side and it works… and we test the other side and it works… one would think that if we made a complete circuit connecting them all together, it should work, right? Nope. We had to combine all the white wires and all the black wires together. That’s not so bad but the wire nuts they give you in the box are not exactly made to hold three wire ends. So, we used bigger and better wire nuts and the sonofabitch works like a dream!

And it only took three weeks to hang the bastard.

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