What a day.

8:00am
The painters show up...on time.  I was told the painting would only take another couple hours and then after an hour or so of dry time, then I could start putting up the drop ceiling wall mounts.  Mark offered to help me out with the drop ceiling since he was also off work on Wednesday.  So I called him up and asked him to come on over around noon.

10:00am
I head to Lowe's to pick up all of the tiles, tracks and brackets I need for the drop ceiling.  This was by far, without a doubt, no question...the single worse experience I have ever had at a "big box" store.  Usually I love Lowe's/Home Depot/Best Buy.  But Lowe's dropped the ball today.  Not only did they drop the ball, they then tripped over it, twisted an ankle, fell on their face, while tearing ligaments in both knees, and suffering severe brain damage from cracking their head on the concrete floor.  To make a long story short, I was passed around to five different associates, none of whom seemed the least bit interested in helping me.  One guy even complained about Lowe's and their business practices while failing in his attempt to help me.  Another guy left to "go get an expert" and never returned.  Another guy tried to use some software program to calculate the quantities of all of the ceiling parts I needed.  When he printed out the info sheet, the quantity column was "na, na, na, na, na".  I told the guy, "this doesn't help me at all.  I know what I need, I just don't know how much of each item I need...and this printout just says "na" for each item under quantity."  He said I was out of luck...he couldn't do anything.  That was a pointless 15 minutes of sketching out the basement floorplan with dimensions and sq. footage.  Idiot.

10:45am
Finally someone was able to help and I got what I needed.  The only thing that saved the entire trip, was that I ended up getting the ten boxes of 16 tiles in a box, that normally sell for $65 each, for only $35 each because pretty much all of the boxes were damaged in some way shape or form, and you could tell a tile or two in each box were damaged as well.  But at $30 off, I was pretty darn happy about that since the tiles themselves regularly cost $4+ each...PLUS, I will need to cut some tiles anyway, so I can probably still use the broken tiles for the cut pieces.  I saved $300 on the tiles...plus I got 20% off on everything else I bought...the Champion 4 toilet (worth every penny of the $269 price tag...best toilet ever), two interior doors, and some other miscellaneous stuff for the ceiling (tracks, wire, pop rivets, etc)...because of Lowe's coupons (thank you ebay).

11:15
Since I had been at Lowe's over an hour already and Mark would be over soon, I decided to call him and see if he could swing by Lowe's with his truck on his way in and help me haul this stuff back to my house and save me the $60 delivery charge.  That worked out pretty good.

12:15
After over two hours at Lowe's, I pay for everything and start loading up the Jeep.  Mark shows up right on time and we load up and head for home.

12:40
Arrive home.  Realized I forgot to stop by Grand Rental Station and pick up a rotating laser level to help put up the wall tracks.  We also noticed that the painters were still working.  I asked them about how much longer they would be, and they said the darker brown needed a 2nd coat as it didn't cover completely and they were getting ready to put it on.

1:00pm
Ate lunch.

1:30pm
Run back to Lowe's so Mark can look at a lawn mower cover.

1:45pm
Lawn mower cover was $80...Mark laughs and we leave.

2:00
Arrive at Grand Rental Station to pick up laser level.

2:30pm
Arrive back home with laser level.  Painters are finishing up.

3:30pm
The painters have left, the paint is dry enough to put up the ceiling wall brackets, so we finally get in the basement and try to set up the laser level.  After 20 minutes of reading the instructions and trying to figure this thing out...we realize they gave us the wrong device.  (SERIOUSLY??) They gave us something to find the grade of the land outdoors.  It looked like it could have been a laser level, but it most definitely was not.

4:20pm
We arrive back to Grand Rental Station, they apologize and actually give me what I ask for this time.  The guy tells me, "I'll tell you what, I'll mark it due back at 4:30 tomorrow instead of 4:20."  Ohhh...10 minutes extra.  I was going to complain about your employee's inability to hand out the proper tool and how it cost me over an hour of time during a day where I was already running behind schedule...but since you gave me 10 whole extra minutes, we are are now officially best friends.

4:40pm
We arrive back home and setup the laser level and start work on the basement.

6:15pm
Break for dinner.  (excellent dinner by the way...stuffed chicken breast...mmm)

7:00pm-ish
Resume work.

10:30pm
We finish putting up the wall mounts for the ceiling while listening to the Cardinals lose to the Phillies.

What a stupid, crazy day.  But we got done what I wanted to get done...it just took a few hours longer than I expected.

The painting took longer on the last day than they told us, but I appreciate them taking the extra time to make sure it was done right.  It looks great and I am very happy with it.  Davis Reliable Drywall did the drywall, mud, sanding, and painting.  I highly recommend them.  They were great to work with.

Thanks to Mark for spending the day and helping out.
Thanks to Mom for looking after Zoe all day while I was on crazy laser level goose chases and while Teresa ran her errands and went to her appointments/meetings.
Thanks to Teresa for going the extra mile and taking care of Zoe in the evening (dinner, bath, bed...usually all of which are my duties) all by herself while we worked late. 

Friday & Saturday will be spent putting up the grid for the ceiling...and if that gets done, we'll hang both interior doors.

This weekend has to go smoother than it did today.  It has to.

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