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August 3,2008 (WeekendEdition)

Since the microwave weighed in at about 85 lbs, we made sure we called in some muscle for this job.  With Steve and Jay on hand, we were pretty confident that lifting the microwave wasn't going to be the problem. 

The two steps where this project could go south would be: 1. drilling the holes for the mounting and 2. installing the bracket.  To make aligning things easier, GE designed the templates to be attached directly to the cabinet and wall.  Once attached, all we had to do was drill where indicated.  The giant hole in the wall did come in handy.  It meant we didn't need a stud finder :-)

The holes on top and the bracket on the wall had to be sufficiently aligned with those on the microwave for everything to be properly anchored.  The problem was we wouldn't know until we tried putting the unit in place.

Ever wonder "how many editors does it take to install a microwave?"  Apparently the answer is three.  Well, technically, it took two editors and an intern.  However, at least two of the three have to actually be able to lift things.

The problem we ran into was that a few of the top holes were a bit too much to the left.  We couldn't get the bolts aligned enough to tighten things down.  After a few attempts, a bit of grunting, and a lot of sweating, we finally got the unit secured. 

This installation was conceptually simple, but the execution required a bit of effort.  Next time we'll wait for maintenance.  We'll just make sure they know there will be beer in the fridge waiting for them when the job is done!  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


August 2,2008 (WeekendEdition)

A while back, a GE Advantium microwave oven showed up at the RainyDayMagazine office.  The folks in the RainyDayKitchen had been asking maintenance to install it for the past six months.  We finally got tired of waiting and decided it was time for the editorial staff to take matters into our own hands.  How hard could it be?

GE certainly made it as easy as they could.  With the microwave came all of the normal documentations (plastic-coated tip sheet, user manual, oven specific cookbook). 

In the box was also the installation booklet, templates, and all of the mounting accessories.  The one item which appeared to be missing was the wall bracket.  Fortunately, in prepping the unit for installation, we discovered the wall bracket was attached to the back of the unit, which in retrospect, made perfect sense :-)

As none of us had ever installed one of these things before, we thought it best to lay things out and review all of the installation instructions before proceeding.

Based on the directions, we only needed a few simple tools (drill, screwdriver, and a level).  The old microwave was mounted with bolts on top, vented to the outside, and supported by a wall bracket in the back.  Since the new unit will also be vented from the top, we didn't have to redo any duct work.

It would be great if we could reuse the same wall bracket, but most likely the mount would be a different size.  Getting the unit off the wall was not as "easy" as we had envisioned.  After removing the top mounting bolts, the unit should have just tilted forward and out.  It didn't happen quite that way. 

The wall anchor bolts ripped out the sheetrock.  BTW, the big hole in the wall was already there :-)  Our best guess was that the electrician who helped build the place made it when he ran the wire for the outlet in the cabinet.  In any case, that's the story and we are sticking with it.  Tomorrow we'll post the rest of the installation.  Next week, we'll check out the features of this Advantium Microwave...just in time for SausageFest!!!  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


August 1,2008 (FeedingFrenzyFriday)

Last night the Museum Of Science in Boston had a preview of Wild Ocean, the new IMAX film which opens today.  We love the MOS and we always want to help spread the word whenever we can.   However, we almost didn't go to it because the event was at the end of the day, we were tired, etc... Anyway, we went and were glad we did! 

Wild Ocean is a spectacular film about the annual movement of the huge school of sardines (were talking billions of them) which makes it way along South Africa's Wild Coast.  This migration also feeds many of the inhabitants (dolphins, sharks, birds, whales, and people) in that region. The footage is stunning, and shows what more of the ocean could be like if we humans were better managers of our sealife harvesting.

The film shows the interdependence of the ocean's large and complex food web, from the little sardines all the way up to the huge whales.  The IMAX experience immersed us in the feeding frenzy of sharks, gannets, dolphins, and whales on the migrating sardines. At times it was like being in the middle of the massive, undulating, school of sardines! (Note: Vegetarians may find parts of the feeding frenzy footage less thrilling than their carnivor friends.)

Wild Ocean also looked at the impact of man (industrialized fishing, global warming, etc...) in this ecosystem and stresses the importance of creating marine reserves to allow the seas to sustain its ability to regenerate and restock.  The message is that while the ocean's resources are vast, it is not limitless.  To share in this bounty, we must manage it at a sustainable level or damage it to the detriment of all that depends upon it.  Wild Ocean is showing exclusively in Boston through October 15, and will continue at MOS through February 2009.  Go see it today.  [Permalink] - Wan Chi Lau


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