Piped in sound

Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.

One of these days, I'm going to invite you all over to my house to see what I do when I take time off of newspapering, child-rearing, studying and teaching. I went into this weekend buried. I had this week's cover story roundtable to transcribe, four stories to read and responses to write for my speculative fiction class, a must-do project to work on for my data journalism class, and my friend was coming over at 6 a.m. on Saturday to finish my hardwood floor.

It was a series of tasks impossible for anyone to complete. And there was also the little thing irritating the back of my mind. So, I got a bottle of wine, a few fittings for copper tubing, and I went straight from work to my home improvement project.

I have this room that's detailed with copper: outlet plates, door knobs, ceiling light. The walls are basically that aquamarine that was a popular color for Chevys back in the mid-'50s. The floor is stained concrete, about the color of fall peach tree leaves. The ceiling is white, until I install stamped copper.

Since it's on a slab, if I want to hide speaker wires for my surroundsound movie system, I'd have to run them through the wall—a helluvalot of work. So a few weeks ago, I had the bright idea to install copper waterpipe around the room and run the wires through that.

Well, that was also a helluvalot of work, particularly because the ceiling was one-inch lower at one spot than it was at the place I started. No matter. I'd hung the tubing without missing a stud before I was even halfway finished with the bottle. But then, that's when things got complicated. I had to buy a couple of hundred feet of 16 gauge speaker wire, which, of course, was all silver-colored on one side and copper on the other.

Well, that whole bottle was gone before I had even one speaker hooked up. And things went a little slower on Saturday morning when my buddy showed up for breakfast at 6 a.m.

But you should see and hear it now. The low ceiling and concrete floors make the movies sound great. I'll have to have you over to check it out.