Monday, August 23, 2010

The Blinds Side B

Recap: If you missed it last week, I spent a lot of time and gas trying to find affordable blue PVC horozontal blinds for my bedroom and living room of my new apartment. Every store either had an extremely limited selection and/or were going to charge me an arm and a leg. The only good option I could find was to order from Sears online. So I did.

When I got the first blinds, I checked online how to install blinds. I would need wall anchors. I went to Home Depot to ask about them. The first guy I talked to was useless. He told me I'd need to find a stud.  [Insert joke about the stud being 'right here']  If I had wooden studs I wouldn't need anchors. Otherwise, I would.

In fairness to him, he might not have been talking to me.  He wouldn't make eye contact with me and he was speaking loud enough for everyone in a 3 kilometre radius to hear.

So I found someone else who was much more helpful.  In fact people were crowding around him waiting for their chance to glean some home-reno wisdom from him.  He showed me where to get the wall anchors, and a stud finder.  [Insert joke about the stud being 'right here'] He told me what I needed to know. I bought some wall anchors and a stud finder [Insert joke about the stud being 'right here'] and went home.

I wanted to install the blinds in my bedroom first. I put my bed by the window so I could stand on it as I installed the blinds. I drove the anchor into the wall with my screwdriver. It took a bit of effort at first, then there was no resistance.  I took the anchor out.  I looked in the hole and saw that there was a metal plate with holes in it. I managed to put the anchor through one of the holes.

I thought I'd better ask the Super about installing blinds before I go any further. He suggested I install the brackets a little closer to the window. The window sill is pretty deep. So I tried that and it worked. The blind went in without trouble or incident. I didn't install the other blind in the living room because I didn't have a chair, stool, ladder, or bed to stand on to install the brackets.

I ordered the two custom fit blinds. When they arrived I decided to install the blind in the bedroom first. This one took a lot more effort than the other one. In fact, I ended up tearing some skin on my hand holding the screw driver. It hurt. One of the anchors was going in vertically, until it encountered some resistance. Then it went diagonal. Then it stopped before it was all the way in. In my effors I ended messing up the head of the anchor, so I couldn't unscrew it. If anyone knows how to remove one of those, let me know.

At this point you're probably asking two questions: "Why didn't you use a drill?" and "Didn't you use your stud finder?" The answer to the first question is that I did use the drill and that's how the anchor got messed up. After that I didn't want use the drill until I knew things were exactly right. It's a lot harder to undo something that's been done with a power tool than something that's been done by elbow grease. 

The answer to the second question is that I did use the stud finder. [Insert joke about the stud being 'right here'] But, according to my stud finder, my window sill is one giant stud. So, I deemed it to be useless. It works fine on my walls, just not the window sill.

I tried again a little bit closer to the center. This time it worked. When I tried putting the screws in, 3 out of 4 went in easily. The fourth one stopped part way up. My hand really hurt, and I was sweating like that guy landing the airplane at the end of the move Airplane. I was tired. The bracket wasn't going anywhere. The screw wasn't getting in the way. So I left it.

Before installing the blinds in the living room I wanted to 1) let my hand heal, and 2) get a stool, or chair, or ladder to stand on. I figured a chair would be good because I would use it to sit at my table when I got one of those. Off to Ikea!

I must have sat in every chair in the kitchen area. I couldn't decide on a chair or a table. And I wanted them to be coordinated. As I sat there contemplating what to do, I saw a footstool. I walked over to it. It was new to the Ikea lineup. It was $15. It was solid wood. It was almost 2 feet tall. It was perfect! I could use it as a makeshift end-table, or rest my feet on it under my desk. I decided not to decide on a dinning set that day, and just get the stool.

Of course, they didn't have any of those stools in stock. The guy there said they didn't know when they would get any more. I checked their website everyday for two weeks until it was in stock. I bought it. I put it together. Due to a sharp edge in the packaging, I managed to cut my wrist. Now I look like an emo-kid.

This Sunday past, I was sitting in my living room looking at my blindless windows. I had marked out where I would put the anchors. I decided to get a start on it.  The skin on my hand had partially healed.  I had to install 2 blinds, 4 brackets, 8 screws and 8 wall anchors. After six anchors, skin had ripped off the palm of my hand again. I gave it a rest. Until last night, Wednesday night. I decided to takle the last two anchors. I decided I was on a roll, so I kept going. I drove in the screws holding up the anchors. I put the blinds in. Finally, my living room is dark. It might be worth trying to cool down my entire apartment with the air conditioner. My hand hurts. I have several blisters and cuts. I guess thats what you get when you try to do some manual labour after a lfietime of computer programming.

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