This morning, I was in need of a mattress and a desk, as both items are crucial to my effective living in my apartment. So, to attend to this desire, I went to IKEA. I've never been to one of the stores, but visiting is an interesting experience. The fact that the store is a one-way (well, supposed to be one-way) path is neat. I wondered if they used a space-filling curve, or just winged it. The food sold at very good prices is a fine way to keep patrons in the store for longer, as well as get those with low blood sugar into a sufficiently pleasant mood to close sales.
I purchased a fairly soft queen-size mattress (I'm pretty skinny, and I tend to sleep on my side or my stomach). It fit (with some effort, compression, and adjustment of seat locations) in the back seat of my car, thanks to the fact that it was rolled up and sealed in plastic. The thing reeks of freshly-constructed mattress, which gave me a headache this afternoon. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep okay tonight; otherwise, I'm going back to the air mattress until this thing airs out.
My other significant purchase of the day was my desk. I really wanted a LARGE (gotta put my 30" monitor on something), very stable desk with as little around my feet as possible. Basically, I wanted a nice table. I found a roughly three by five foot desk with narrow legs and no other nonsense. Initially, I wanted the one with black glass, but they were out of stock. I almost opted not to get that desk, but convinced myself that if I got the white-glass one instead, I could also use the surface as a whiteboard. So I got the glass desk and four legs (they make an A-frame, sorta).
My car is a large sedan, but neither the trunk nor the cabin can accomodate a solid three by five chunk of glass. Thus, I hung it out the back of my trunk with the trunk open, and secured the box with twine tied to two anchor points in the car's chassis. When I got on the highway and finally broke 30 MPH, the wind slammed the trunk door shut-ish on the desk box. I feared that it had broken the glass, but it turned out just fine. Andrew and I took several trips upstairs, dropping off our newly acquired wares. Then, I set out to assemble my desk. It was at this time that I discovered that I also needed to purchase a frame for the desk.
So, I said I went to IKEA today. In actuality, I went to IKEA...twice. On the bright side, I got to use the coupon that I got on the first trip to save some seven dollars on the second trip, so that's a plus. After retrieving the appropriate frame, assembly went sensibly, and I set up my desktop and a good deal of my electronics. My room is much neater now that I have a horizontal surface other than the floor to put things on.
Andrew had found someone on Craigslist who was moving out, so we dropped by to see what stuff he might have for sale/free. I really wanted to get the piano, but I realize that I have no good way to move it, and our apartment complex doesn't like people playing musical instruments, in any event. The guy also had an IBM Thinkpad T40, minus hard disk and broken backlight for free. I grabbed it - maybe I'll put a disk in it, or make it netboot with NFS root. Both would be fun. I also bought some shelves from the guy, and Andrew got a couple of mugs.
I'm excited to have my desktop up and running again. I'll probably write more on this blog now that I have a proper keyboard to work with.