Monday, January 19, 2009

Swings and Roundabouts

You have to admit that's a pretty cool hat! especially seeing as it only cost me 2 bucks at a garage sale yesterday. Sadly, the former owner had passed away, thus the garage sale proprietor wasn't in the mood for haggling (over the price of a small table, not the hat) but $2 was a bargain anyway. I don't think the previous owner was wearing it at the time (of his death).

At another garage sale I bought this very nice porch swing. Barry, the seller wasn't too keen on haggling either but I did get $5 off the asking price of $125. I rang him later to say I wouldn't be able to get back to pick it up until tomorrow (today) and he told me he could have sold it three more times after I bought it! Just as well I'd left a deposit! I borrowed Dave's truck and The Heir's muscles to pick it up this afternoon. I'm pleased (relieved) to say that Mrs Holt Press loves it! She has complained about some of the things I've brought home from garage sales in the (recent) past so I was a little nervous about it. I needn't have been.
Occasionally I get the urge to dismantle things. Sometimes to salvage parts, screws, odd bits and pieces that may (or may not) come in handy and sometimes just for fun. I've extracted some pretty cool magnets from things like microwave ovens in the past. We have a surfeit of 2nd hand X-Boxes at the moment, thanks to both myself and Dave buying bulk X-Boxes very cheaply at auctions. This week I managed to assemble all of the necessary cords, plugs, controllers and disks in order to get one of them working, much to Sport Boy's delight. I took apart a second one, and an old CD/Radio and you can see the results here!
In case you didn't know, I can tell you there are a lot lot of hidden, and very strangely shaped screws that hold an X-Box together. I managed to get most of them apart and scrounge a variety of parts that may or may not appear in future art projects.
This latest episode of seek and discover was prompted by the purchase of this small but very powerful stereo and amplifier for a couple of dollars at yet another garage sale a few weeks ago. I have now got it installed and functioning with the TV/DVD player. As there are some 8 electronic gadgets plugged in and/or attached to the TV I decided to write a simple set of instructions explaining the required settings in order to watch a DVD, watch ABC or SBS on the digital set top box, watch a video tape, play X-Box or Nintendo, record something on the hard drive, amplify the sound, or just watch TV. It all made sense to me but Mrs HP was unable to decipher it when trying to watch something yesterday. I'm hoping this says more about her technical aptitude than my communication skills!
I wanted to add photographic evidence to my triumph over the old CD player which I think I mentioned the other night. I was about to take it apart and see what interesting bits it contained when I discovered a loose disk inside it. Wondering if this could have possibly been the cause of the problem I plugged it in to test it. Alas it still didn't work, the disks spun but the laser failed to read them, displaying a message that no disk was inserted. Plainly that was not true but something wasn't right. Undoing the clamp I exposed the little fish-eye laser reader. More in vague hope than expectation I proceeded to wipe the fish eye with my finger a few times, just on the off chance that might achieve something! To my utter astonishment, it did! It read the disk and once I reattached a couple of speakers it produced music, Jack Johnson to be precise. Suddenly my dismantling job had become a resurrection triumph. Sport Boy was keen to have it in his room and Mrs HP was pleased because it also plays tapes and thus gave her a home for a bag of kid's story and music tapes that have been under the bed for the last couple of years. To complete the job I bought the afore-mentioned (and pictured) little table for $5 to set it up on.
Meanwhile Sport Boy is having so much fun at Ryan's place that he's staying for a second night. Favourite Daughter and The Hair have arrived home from Perth. He has a sore shoulder, possible from working on the harvest, a sore head and neck from head banging at the concert last night where he almost gave himself concussion by head banging the stage (accidentally I presume) and worst of all, with his nose pierced, gasp, shock, horror! Mrs HP's stress levels rose on seeing it, undoing the good work of the previous few hours when I took her out for dinner at tha Vasse Cafe then onto the movies to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" which we both enjoyed.
Hopefully a good night's sleep will help her regain her sense of calm. If not, The Hair may need to lay low for a while. I think he's planning to spend a couple of days in Dunsborough with Zac W just in case.
Tomorrow morning I'm going round to Dave's to watch the NFL and see which of Ben Graham or Sav Rocca becomes the first Australian to play in a SuperBowl when Arizona play Philadelphia in the NFC Championship game. With the Giants out my allegiances have switched to the Arizona Cardinals and ex-Cat Ben Graham who left Geelong a few years ago to give Gridiron a try. Having missed out on the Cats drought breaking premiership in 2007 it would be great if he played in or won a SuperBowl.

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