by Jason Tudor
At some point in the spring of 2007, I decided I wanted to wire my house to have the same sorts of computing capability that you might find in the movie “Tron.” That meant stringing network cable from one side of the house to the other. When I’d finished, in my mind, I’d either end up with next AOL data center or, at the very least, one hell of a game of cat’s cradle.
In order to do this, most of the cable would need to be strung across the attic, dropped down into the walls and then connected inside the walls via a jack. That meant traipsing up to the attic like a free climber on El Cap and figuring my way around. Most assuredly, I’d be muttering phrases like, “Now, is the bedroom over there or is that the bathroom?” My sense of direction and Lindsey Lohan’s common sense are about on par.
There were other challenges. Some of my attic had plywood flooring, but the rest was a blend of fluffy insulation framed two-by-fours and a half-inch of sheetrock ceiling. Most of the work rested over those parts. All of a sudden, I wished I were Spider-Man.
I figured I’d wire my Mancave first. To do that, I’d need to run cable to the farthest point from the entrance of the attic. I mentioned those two-by-fours? They are spaced 16 inches apart and they are the only solid things I could walk on to reach my destination. In addition, the insulation hid the two-by-fours like guerrillas in brush. So, not only did I need Spider-Man’s agility, I needed Superman’s X-ray vision.
I poked a foot under the insulation to find the first beam. Success! Then the next. Eventually, I made my way to the Mancave wall. I dropped the cable down and cheered my own success. I started back toward the attic entrance and in those first few steps, I kept my ego in check, concentrating on 16-inch beams. It wasn’t until the last few steps I started patting myself on the back.
That’s when I smashed through the ceiling.
My left leg slid through up to my crotch, which then rammed into the drywall. I managed to catch myself before my full 200-pounds of stupidity crashed through the roof. Following the crotch ramming, I let out an audible yelp. My wife heard it in the garage.
“What was that?” She said.
“DON’T COME IN THE HOUSE YET,” I said in a firm, but even tone. I wanted the opportunity to pull myself out of the hole, examine the damage myself and then call her in for the bad news.
“Why?” she innocently asked.
“Just don’t …”
I managed to yank myself out, get down from the attic and look it over. It looked like someone fired a bazooka through my ceiling into the attic. Drywall was scattered all over the living room. I told my wife to come in. Yes, she gasped, but she understood. Eventually, we fixed the ceiling (and there’s another “Why did it takes eight months to do THAT?” story there).
Wireless connectivity improved, so I never finished the project. The good news? I made up for it by laying Spanish tiles for our kitchen counters and creating backsplash with the same materials.
Neither of which featured prominently, if at all, in Tron.
Jason Tudor dabbles in black magic, black tar heroin and Black Sabbath. He consulted Rebecca Black on her hit single “Friday,” manages a rest home for wayward Iron Chefs and challenged the Prince of Monaco to a game of Rounders. The Prince lost. Jason writes, too. He can prove it if you visit http://www.jasontudor.com