I guess you could say that this all began with my fascination with movies back when I was about 14 years old. You see, I am visual learner, so I learned a long time ago that I got a lot more out of a story through film rather than through text. It was about then that I began collecting VHS movies. By the time I was 20, I had more than 400 movies on VHS tape (never actually owned a Beta-max!). Most of these tapes are still in boxes in my basement.
I was a perfectly content person with my VHS collection and thought I was pretty hot stuff with my 27 inch TV, my Dolby Pro Logic receiver, and a speaker in each corner of the room. Then along came Ned Vogler. I like to refer to Ned as "The Enabler!" (this helps when I have to explain to my wife why the bank account is empty). I met The Enabler! (yes, it has to be capitalized and the exclamation point is a must) through my father on that now historic day back in November of the year 2000. We began to talk about the next big purchase I was going to make. You see, at the time, I had just gotten a new apartment and was deciding between the luxury couch with fold out sofa and twin recliners and a big screen TV. A few weeks later, I decided on the couch. But The Enabler! wouldn't have it. He invited me to his house to see the big screen TV that he just happened to have for sale. It was a 4:3 45 inch Mitsubishi with an impeccable picture I might add. To make matters worse, he demonstrated the TV with a clip from Titan A.E. (you videophiles know the one I am talking about)... at that moment, my life changed (and my bank account vanished). I not only had to have the big screen TV, but the audio was UNBELIEVABLE! Until that moment, I had been a video person. The picture was always most important. However, the meld began on that day in November of 2000.
Now, as any good enabler does, Ned made me an offer on the TV that I couldn't refuse. I was hooked. Next thing I knew I was a member of the Home Theater Forum (see my links page for more on HTF) and I was collecting DVDs by the dozen. I should also point out that I was still single at this point in time, so my priorities were easily swayed. However, I must also point out that the first time my wife came over, it was to see the apartment and get a demo of the home theater.
We now go to the year 2004. By this time, I have more than 300 DVDs and have invested several thousands of dollars into my home theater. I was married in 2003 and we purchased a condo shortly there after. The big win was that we used the spare bedroom as the master bedroom and used the master bedroom as the theater with comfy couches and the 45 inch TV. But, unbeknownst to me, the last stage in home theater was about to happen. At the time, I was saving for a 65 inch Mitsubishi HDTV. After all, the only thing I was missing now was the ability to view anamorphic widescreen. But after saying "no" three or four times to The Enabler!, he talked me into going to the Home Theater Forum's National Meet in Hollywood, California (or as my wife likes to refer to it, "The big Star Trek convention out West") It was during a tour of Widescreen Review that I decided that I HAD to have a projector and screen. No TV would do the ultimate experience justice. I spoke with some of the people at the meet and it just happened that one of the meet's sponsors was Carada Screens and they just happened to have a sealed brand new in the box 92 inch wall mount projection screen. They offered to sell it to me at cost and shipping if I would have it shipped directly to my home. After several long distance phone call negotiations with the wife, I was given the green light. The screen beat me home from California and it was several months later that I found the deal I was looking for on the then new BenQ PE8700+ projector. I finally had a true home theater..
Is enough enough? I guess we can ask The Enabler! In 2006, my wife and I bought a house. But as my realtor will tell you, the first priority in our new home had to be a place to build the theater. The house that we bought had 2 essential elements; an 18.5 x 13 foot room in the basement with perfect rectangular shape (being right next to the already existing bar made it a plus) and a breakfast nook (my wife has always wanted a breakfast nook). And so, after paying way more than we wanted to pay for the house, we had a new home. But it wasn't until a year later that we would begin creating Mark's Man Cave. It killed me to have my entire theater sit in boxes all packed and stored away, but the house needed some work; interior painting, hardwood floor sanding and refinishing, curtains, art work for the walls, etc... So, it was not until this year, 2007, that we were able to invest the money into finishing off the basement into the movie heaven that currently exists.
While everything is just great in Mark's Man Cave, it will continue to be a work in progress. The Tequila and Cigar Bar needs a name, a new parquet floor, a new finished wall, and some paint. The theater will have lights installed for the custom built DVD bookcase, curtains hung, and the window will be tinted to keep light out during the day. As for this site, it's something to keep me sane. It allows me to put down the 3 jobs, stop worrying about the City's Board of Education, on which I serve, and just zone out, be silly and have fun. MarksManCave.com was a brain child of mine a few months ago and I made it a reality today (July 4, 2007)... my independence day.
I hope you enjoy... Thanks for stopping by!