Sunday, May 14, 2006

The story of my desk chair

Last year, when Nathan built my computer for me, I bought myself a new computer desk and chair. Nathan did such an excellent job on my computer, and I love it. Love it, love it. I found just the desk I wanted on sale at OfficeMax. I also found what I thought was the perfect chair.

I placed my computer desk at the end of our dining room, in front of the south-facing windows. Our dining room is part of a "great room" floor plan, and it's a rather long and narrow area. Having the computer where it sits is convenient and pleasant, I can work on the computer and am not separated from the rest of the family. I can work on the computer and talk to Kev while he's making coffee in the kitchen, that kind of thing.

I liked the chair on first sight because it was a two-tone gray and black, and I didn't want a solid black chair. I also didn't want a cloth chair, because they attract and hold dog hair so readily. I bought one of those plastic floor things for the chair to roll on, but I found it was in the way in our dining room, and I just plain didn't like it. It was clear plastic, but it was ugly. Too office-y. Rolling the chair on the carpeting wasn't very easy, but since once I'm in the chair, I don't roll around the room on it, I thought it'd be ok. I hadn't figured on Sammy. Within a couple of months, 4 of the 5 wheels were broken. The wheels were ok, just the plastic housing holding them in was broken. So the computer chair sat to the side for a bit, then eventually was moved into our bedroom... because that's one of the 2 places where the kids put stuff they don't know what to do with... (the other place being my craft room downstairs).

After sitting in our bedroom for a few months, Kev indicated it was time to do something about it. I think he said something like, "will you please get this damn chair out of here, just throw the damn thing away, will ya." My response, as it had been for months, was, "I'm going to fix it."

And one day, I did. I think it was late February or early March. Sam and Kev had went somewhere for the day, and I spent all day fixing this chair. I started with an old chair I had gotten free from the company where I work. It was one they were tossing. The 5-star base is metal (chromed) with heavy-duty wheels. That chair base alone weighed about 10 times what my new, pretty plastic chair weighed. With much effort, & many trips to the pole barn and back for tools and supplies, I finally removed the chair base from the ugly, stained, one-armed chair it had been on. I removed the cheap plastic base from my new chair. I then attached the older, heavy-duty base, again with much effort, and trial and error, to the bottom of my new chair. It looked beautiful.

Then I sat it in. And nearly fell back on my head to the cement floor of our garage. Thankfully, the freezer stopped my descent. Albeit, painfully, but I reasoned less pain than had the freezer not been there. I realized the unit to check the tilt of the chair was not in place, once I removed the base from the original chair top it had been on.

What to do... what to do.... Again, with much effort, and a great deal of trial and error this time, I finally settled on a solution. I cut a piece of wood to fit into the tilty-back-mechanism spot (well, I cut several pieces of wood before I got one to fit correctly), and I screwed the wood piece to the bottom of my new chair. Presto! No more tilt. A little bit of rocking, but that's ok. The chair is very comfortable. I was so proud of myself! And with those bigger, heavy-duty wheels, rolling it on the carpeting is pretty easy. And heavy-duty enough to be Sammy-proof.

So happy with myself and my new chair. Spent a lot of time, long stretches of time sitting in it. I mentioned that it's not cloth, it's vinyl. Sit in a vinyl chair for a couple of hours in a warm house, and you know what? Your ass sweats.

I took to grabbing a cotton throw out of the cedar box in the living room and throwing it over the chair so it would be more comfortable. But then the edges of the throw would occasionally get caught up in the wheels. And it looked like crap thrown on the chair in the dining room all the time.

One day recently while walking through Wal-Mart, we went by the automotive section. That's when I saw it. The Solution. I bought myself one of those cheesy wooden beaded car seat covers that old people tend to prefer. Beautiful, yet quite functional! And very comfortable. And best of all, no more sweaty butt cheeks. Yay!

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