Friday Friday 
Friday, 2 May, 2008, 14:47
Posted by Administrator
Hooray, it's Friday!

On the drive to work I have concluded that "Forgotten" by Sworn Enemy is the most metal 2 minutes and 45 seconds I have had all day. That, of course, makes me happy.

I have also concluded that the Civic Hybrid is underrated. Yes, it has a slow 0-60 time, but I'm not racing anyone so I don't care. Yes, its fuel economy is not as great as the Toyota Prius, but I'd personally rather have a good car that doesn't draw attention to itself. Averaging over 42MPG combined is an added bonus, as is the built-in GPS.

In all, I'd have to say I'm happy with my decision to trade in the RAV4. I don't have the interior volume anymore, I don't have the moonroof, I don't think I even have the folding rear seats, and my engine is a full 1.1L smaller, but it's a good car.

Looked out the office window just now and it looks like it's raining. Weather radar says it'll be pouring soon.

Happy Friday!
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Thursday, 24 April, 2008, 02:02
Posted by Administrator
I want one of those shirts. That is HILARIOUS.

Richard -- do you know where I can buy one? :)
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Construction is Never Finished 
Tuesday, 22 April, 2008, 01:11
Posted by Administrator
Ideas. Lots of ideas. That's all I'm coming up with for this house Julie and I bought. Some are quite feasible, and some are bordering on criminally insane.

For starters, we have the economically feasible ones. Last week Jeff came over and we put up some ceiling fans, which required hacking some of the wiring in the attic -- at least over the master bedroom. Minor work, really; the worst part was that Jeff got all itchy from the insulation. While up there he discovered a burnt-out attic fan, which will be replaced. I thought it was going to be done this past weekend but it rained, so that was put on hold. Hopefully the weather will be nicer this time around.

Next we have the flower boxes in the backyard. Those need to go, because looking at them pisses me off, not to mention mowing around them. I like patterns, and work in patterns. The boxes break the patterns. Besides, there's a nice area for a garden near the patio. Grass needs to be where those boxes are, and therefore they will disappear. Still economically feasible, and will definitely happen.

Another one that will definitely happen is a new interior for the garage. I don't get why there is drywall in there, much less painted drywall. That's got to go, but not just because I don't understand the need for it to look "pretty" -- the insulation in there sucks. The two bedrooms above the garage take on the characteristics of the weather: if it's below zero out there, you cannot go into the rooms without shoes on, and if it's hot I need to remove clothing in order to use my computer. Not something I want to do. The ceiling fan in the northwest bedroom (for lack of a better term) should mitigate that, but the fact remains that the insulation is absolute crap. I'm going to bring down the ceiling in the garage, throw all the old insulation out, and put new stuff up there. The only thing I have yet to decide is whether or not I'll leave the vapor barrier exposed; if I don't leave it, I'll probably stick pegboard up there.

Now to an expensive proposition: to replace the siding with EIFS, a.k.a. synthetic stucco. I hate siding, but every single house Julie and I looked at a year ago had it, so it's not like I had much choice in that matter. Along with the EIFS, though, would have to come new windows, which makes this even more expensive. Even worse, I think a bay window would look pretty good across the front of the house -- I'd love to push this room out a little bit -- further increasing the potential expense.

The insane ones: to extend the top floor (not bloody likely -- it's a split level) or to convert the ceiling in on the main floor to a cathedral ceiling. Those will get me killed.

Good times.
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First Yardwork Day of 2008 
Thursday, 17 April, 2008, 01:08
Posted by Administrator

When I moved into this house, my dad gave me a Honda HR17 lawnmower -- new, and in the original box -- from the mid 1980s. My dad and I put it together, pulled the cord, and it started on the first try.

It was 70 degrees outside today, and slightly cloudy. So, perfect day to do some yardwork. Once again, and somewhat unsurprisingly, it fired up on the first pull again.

Ran down the snowblower -- don't need it anymore this season -- I'm going to "summerize" it and put it in the crawlspace so it's out of the way. Hey, if you can "winterize" a lawnmower, you can certainly "summerize" its winter counterpart.
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The Home Improvement Special 
Sunday, 13 April, 2008, 03:22
Posted by Administrator
Jeff came over to my place today ... we finally took care of the two ceiling fans I couldn't put up when Julie's uncle was over.

The first was in the northwest bedroom. When Julie's uncle was over, we couldn't figure out why we couldn't get power to the box in the ceiling. The wires were all strange -- we had black, white, and blue. It took a good 10 minutes for Jeff to figure out what the blue wire went to, but when we figured it out, it turned out to be completely unnecessary. We replaced the double switch with a single one, wired up the fan, and it worked perfectly.

The master bedroom was the other task ... that took a couple hours to do. The first thing we had to do was figure out why the double switch was next to the single one right at the door ... turns out that one controlled power to the exhaust fan in the attic -- quite stupid. We ripped that thing out and put a blank in its place. We then ran some BX from the single switch over to the middle of the bedroom, knocking a hole in the ceiling for a box in the process. The fan's on a remote control, which is totally sweet. Unfortunately, 3 15W CFL bulbs don't generate enough light in the master bedroom, so I left the 3 40W incandescent bulbs it came with in there. Perfect.

I replaced the 60W CFL bulbs in the other three bedroom fans with 15W CFLs. They generate just enough light for bedrooms of that size. I also replaced the four 60W CFLs in the kitchen fan with four 40W bulbs.

So, I had a bunch of 60W CFLs left over ... I put 6 in the light fixture in the dining room, one in the master bedroom closet, one in the coat closet by the front door, one in the northwest bedroom closet, and 3 in the old standing lamp my mother gave me (it still had the original 75W CFLs that my mother gave me with the lamp 9 years ago, which still work). That leaves 2 incandescents in the other two bedrooms, 2 on the back of the house (illuminating the back yard), 2 in the crawlspace, and a few small ones in the two upstairs bathrooms ... my plan to convert all bulbs in this house is working quite well.

Julie showed up not too long ago and Lilo jumped on my face ... Adam came here too. Tomorrow it's time to help Bob biuld a computer, which is going to be cool.

So ... busy day.
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