A TV alcove is a pretty cool thing. I saw a number of them along my Tour of Homes last summer because they’re in a lot of the higher end homes nowadays. I was therefore delighted to have the opportunity to jet up to Battle Ground to assist Joe in putting one in over his natural gas fireplace. He’d already done a fair amount of prep work with the internal electrical and cable TV wiring, so that gave us a head start. After some conceptual discussions about all the odd angles we had to deal with, we built the frame of the alcove, mounted the various switches and outlets inside, and sheetrocked. That makes it sound a little easier than it was, because we spent a good 4-5 hours on it.

And I’m probably making it sound like I contributed more to this effort than I really did. I’m confident that my presence was helpful, and with a lot of the work it was very useful to have two sets of eyes and hands. But make no mistake: This is Joe’s baby. He deserves the kudos.

By the end of the day we were able to move the TV and VCR into the alcove and to situate some furniture around the living room to take advantage of the new layout. Joe’s got some finish work to do before the project can be called complete, but it’s already clear that it’s gonna be a winner. Building it was a heckuva good time, too.

Carol was home for dinner then off to her book club (this month’s read: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold). We had an engaging talk about a variety of topics, but the thing I’ve been turning over is that when asked for book recommendations I didn’t have nearly as many as I would’ve thought. Most of you already know I love M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled and Further Along the Road Less Traveled. I’m also high one Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families. Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August (Non-fiction Pulitzer 1962) rocks. Ditto John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces (Fiction Pulitzer 1981). When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner is excellent.

Given how much I read, I’m surprised that I don’t have more that I like. I’m going to do some digging and see if I can come up with more recommendations. Maybe my standards are too high. Or maybe I’m getting forgetful in my old age. Surely there must be more works I like.