Acoustiblok – Soundproofing

I did an installation in LA where the contractor on the project used Acoustiblok to isolate a home theater that was built on the 2nd floor. I had never heard of it and it looked like rubber roofing material to me. I could not believe how well the product worked. With the system off you experienced complete silence in the room because the rest of the home was kept out. You couldn’t tell when the system was on if you were not in the theater. During a recent follow up visit for upgrades the client told me how they spend a good deal of time in the theater with the system off because its so relaxing and quiet.

This video says it all.


job specific gloves :)

Decided to use this funny glove pic I took to test out blogging from iblogger. The gloves say “Landscaper” “Remodeling” and “High Performance” :).


[Posted with iBlogger from my iPhone]


The Dangers Of Zip Cord!

Many (16) years ago i worked at a high end 2 channel retail store. We used Sonance 16/4 speaker cable to the first speaker and then spliced on 16/2 ‘lamp cord’ aka ‘zip cord’ over to the second speaker. We did this A LOT in all sorts of residential and commercial installations. Years later i was hired at a Custom Installation firm where i have been ever since. Here we used 16/4 ProFlex and then 14/4 ProFlex for years until we started using Liberty for all of our cable needs. Since we have been using the right cable for so long i haven’t given brown lamp cord a second thought in over a decade.

Recently at AVSForum i suggested someone pick up a roll of lamp cord to wire up their new receiver and speakers to make sure everything is working the way they planned. When Neurodad brought up the fact that lamp cord should not be used in-wall i got curious and wondered why. I googled a little and decided to be lazy and ask at Remote Central . While there seems to be some debate about terminology i think its safe to say that everyone agrees that Lamp Cord should not be ran inside walls as Neurodad suggested in the AVS thread.

SPT-2 is a 16 AWG 2 conductor wire that is commonly known as lamp cord and zip cord. This cable is not allowed in-wall because it is not fire rated.

I learned something new today. Its information i don’t need but it’s still something new :).


HD Cable Troubleshooting

Last weekend i helped my cousin install a plasma in his father-in-law’s family room. We put it over the fireplace and i temporarily ran the cable line from the wall plate around the edge of the room tot he new HDDVR cable box.

The cable line was connected directly to a an old TV and worked just fine. After connecting everything and firing up the system i flipped around a few cable channels and packed up my stuff and headed home. That night i get a call about some of the channels not working.

Most of my clients are DirecTV subscribers so i rarely have to deal with cable so i had no idea what was up. The first thing i check is the connectors on the temporary cable i made, then i check the wall-plate connections and then i head to the basement to see whats going on down there. I discover an RG59 with a RG6 compression connector that’s not terminated, its just pushed on and the cable looks like someone stripped it with a pair of scissors :). The connector fell off as i grabbed the cable to look at it.

So i fixed the problem by pulling a new RG6 from the splitter to the new cable box location. The crazy part is that it was like this for more than 5 years and worked just fine with the existing TV!


How to keep the misses in the dark about the true cost of CE toys

I wrote this as a response to someone a while back. He was looking to buy a budget remote and i decided to share my tips for building a toy fund.

You start holding money back from wherever you can get it.

1.At the resturaunt.. when she gets up.. you grab the tip money that was meant for the server.

2.You offer to do the laundry and anything you find in her jeans belongs to you. Don’t tell her you found it! If she asks.. say “hmm.. maybe it got washed..” and if she lets it go.. its yours.. if she doesn’t let it go.. produce it later saying “i found it in the dryer”.

3.Offering plate at church. If you don’t go to church.. start going. Learn to remove money from the plate and make it look like your depositing money.

4.Street performing. Use your lunch breaks to fatten your wallet instead of your waste.

Ok.. so now you have the $ and she doesn’t know you have it. (Careful now.. if she learns of your creative accounting a pair of shoes or a trip to the salon may come to pass.) By now you should know exactly which remote you want. You must go to a store. Online means shipping.. shipping means she could possibly learn of its arrival.


Now that your back in your car with the giant yellow and blue electronic store sign in your rear view mirror… get rid of all packaging. Store the receipt in your desk at work. Use an emery board to rough it up.


Now that its roughed up.. wait until you have time at home alone to program it. Get it all programmed and ready to go and place it on the table next to the other remotes.


Put the other remotes away yet. Leave them all out on the table. Every time you 2 sit down to watch TV you have to spend 5 minutes pretending to read thru manuals and playing with the buttons. While your doing this you have to continue to say things like “i am going to get this figured out if it kills me” or “ill be damned if i am spending money on something i can do myself”.

This will help put her mind at ease. She will begin to forget about her death threat and your spending more than $100 bucks on a remote. She will think she has won. This is good. That is when you sit down one night and jump out of your chair and say “I DID IT!!! i got everything on this dingy old remote, i am sure glad i didn’t throw it out years ago”.

Now you can put your other remotes away and enjoy life again. I know it seems crazy or a bit involved but trust me…


If you spend $100 on a remote she gets to spend $500 on whatever she wants. That is how it works. I didn’t make the rules. All i know is that for every dollar i ‘invest’ on my stuff she ‘wastes’ 5 on her stuff 🙂


Stupid Video Awesome Products

Not sure who signed off on this goofy video over at Crestron but the products in it have my mouth watering. Goodbye Savant!


Super Greg Was A Lie!

I started surfing the internet on a regular basis back in 1998. SuperGreg was one of the first hilarious characters i ran into. This link will take you to a fan site where the original Super Greg site exists.

Today i found out that Super Greg was a fake!

I am watching Beat Boxing Videos on YouTube when i notice a thumbnail of Super Greg. I decide to click it for old times sake. I notice a response that says “for those who dont know, Super Greg is really Sascha Cohen” (ALI G, BORAT). My mind immediately begins racing in a panic. I google it and find this…

WTF? How could i have missed this all these years? I felt like a kid who just learned that Santa or the Easter Bunny wasn’t real. The internet officially sucks now :(.

If you want to control SuperGreg click the link below :


Wire Art

Artist from created something wonderful out of wire :). Only a CI can truly appreciate the beauty IMO.


Image hotlinked :