Thursday, September 13, 2018

Quick Catch-up on the last couple of weeks

On our trip to Michigan last month, we blew out a tire on the highway.  Luckily we had the car manual and were able to figure out how to get to the spare tire and change it on the road.  It set our trip back at least an hour and that was after getting on the road so late because we had so much to do that Saturday morning.



We drove on the doughnut longer and faster than you should but we made it.  We got new tires for the minivan that Monday and it didn't cost as much as we thought, but it did consume the $500 gift card I got at work for a summer bonus.



The next day, Nightingale sprained her ankle thanks to Boris insisting she carries him at the Science Museum.  She turned it going up some stairs.

On the morning of August 30th, around 3 am, we heard this sound.  Our natural thought was one of the kids was getting a drink of water and perhaps fell off the step stool in the bathroom.  But then we quickly ascertained that the kids were with us.  Then we heard the sound again, only louder.



I reached for my gun and then realized, hey I don't own any of those, so I turned on the hallway light to see what was the cause.  If it was a break-in perhaps the light would scare them away.  Turns out it was just the plaster in our front hallway falling to the floor.


It took a few weeks to find someone because they people who do this are busy, busy, busy.  Many either flat out told me to try someone else or said they couldn't even come to look at it for a month.  I did end up finding someone who could start that week and I wish I had paid more attention to my initial gut reaction and kept looking.



For one thing, he was supposed to show up the Friday before Labor Day weekend to look at it.  He called me the following Tuesday and said that he tried calling me twice around 5 pm.  My missed call log only shows once.  And no voice mail or text message.  This in and of itself isn't unusual as my phone has been wonky since mid-August.  But then he really pushed to start on Friday and asked if his crew could work on Saturday too.


He quoted me a price of $1100 and I wanted to get a few more quotes.  I did get one that was higher and one that was lower, $830.  So I figured it wasn't a bad deal especially since he could start sooner than the $830 guy and there was pressure to get this done well before the twins birthday as we would have people over.



Let me be clear, his crew did a solid job of fixing the hole.  It's just the customer service experience left a lot to be desired.  There was dust everywhere and it got to the upstairs bedrooms because we didn't think to close those doors and the crew didn't either, nor did they suggest it to us -- something I'd expect from people who do this for a living.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Minor bathroom update


The upstairs bathroom had this vintage looking knob.  Unfortunately, it rubbed up against the porcelain, so much so it actually scratched it.  We had to disable the cold water.  Obviously, we could not continue this indefinitely, especially if we plan to put the house on the market.






So I found something decent on Amazon which also has an option to hire a professional installation.  They are doing this with a lot of things from video doorbells to wireless routers.  Most are things I can easily do myself but this was something I just felt a pro should handle.


Good thing because the actual spigot that came with it was too small for the sink.  It could work but would look kinda funny since it didn't have enough of a base.



So I had the guy use the old spigot but as many of the newer parts as he could.  You cannot tell that these handles don't go with this spigot.  And now we have cold water again.  I brought Boris and Natasha upstairs and explained to them that they have to be very careful with the new hardware but they could enjoy cold water now.

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Faucet issues

In our upstairs bathroom, we have a clawfoot bathroom (not vintage) and vintage looking sink, along with subway tile and tin ceiling (faux).  The sink has these handles that look cool because they have vintage Hot and Cold labels on the knobs.  Unfortunately, the holes in the sink where the knobs fit in are not perfectly centered and the Cold water knob rubs against the porcelain.

I ordered a new set of sink hardware off Amazon* and also checked the box that included professional installation at a set price ($109.07 don't ask me why not just $110).  I knew that the price was based on average time to install something like this and having a 106-year-old house, I would do better with this fixed price than hiring a plumber who would charge by the hour.  Also, I didn't want to learn Plumbing 101 and install it myself.

So they schedule a 3-hour window and the guy shows up 1 hour into it.  He is a nice enough fellow and he figures out pretty quickly that some parts (spigot) aren't gonna fit or look normal with the current sink basin.  My choices are order new part but I'm still on the hook for his time -- he gets paid whether or not he installs anything.



So we opted to keep the old spigot and use the new handles (which are different from knobs apparently).  He could not use the drain piece without taking the sink off the wall and we decided this might open up a bigger can of worms so we opted not to do that.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Did I mention its been one long week

This has been one long week.  I thought that when I started working from home 100% my running would increase.  Indeed, it has but not nearly as much as I assumed.

Usually, it's the weather.  With moose and squirrel taking so long to get ready in the morning,  I don't have the hour before work.  If it's a quiet day I can usually sneak out for a quick run between 830 and 900.  but lately, there has been one thing or another that prevents that.


sometimes I wait until my check-in call at 10 and then rationalize that I'll just go at lunch when the temperature has already climbed.  I've vowed to use the treadmill on really hot days but somehow I just seem to find ways to put it off until its too late to go for a run.

I'm still on a good pace this month, I've already run 24 miles, which is what I ran in all of July and there are still 14 days left in the month.  Of course, we are going to spend the next 5 in Michigan and although I'll pack running clothes, there is no guarantee it will work out.  Update:  did not run at all in Michigan.



I think I vowed not to count miles so much this year and even got off to a slow start with only 25 miles in Jan and Feb combined.  I ran 156 miles in the first six months.  I'm definitely on pace to beat that in the second half assuming inclement weather or injury doesn't impede me.

This has been one long week. A friend was supposed to come over tonight, cook us dinner, then head out to the Green Mill and stay at our place overnight instead of drive back to Hinsdale.  However, Nightingale thought it would be rude to wake them up early with our packing so I canceled.  A younger me would have felt guilty about the comment "we did already buy all the ingredients for dinner and hoping to crash at your place after the Green Mill, but understand that things come up."



But older more cynical me knows they are more disappointed about missing out on the Green Mill (or they may still go to the GM but have to drive back to the burbs late at night) than our company.  This dinner was promised to me back in 1999, another few months, years or never won't make a difference at this point.

Friday, August 10, 2018

They love this water fountain

As part of our new morning routine at school, we have to stop and get some drinking water.  Although Boris can easily reach the shorter water fountain, he wants the higher one.  Natasha is happy with the one she can almost reach without a step stool but the stool does make it easier. 







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Monday, July 30, 2018

Halloween in July

Our daycare does this thing in the summer where it switches to Summer Camp and has more fun activities like the title of this post.  I'm not sure why they didn't make it July 31st since Halloween is, much to my objection, held October 31st so it would have some symmetry.  Not to mention parents would more likely forget to bring candy and put their kids in costume on a Monday after a weekend of not having to deal with daycare.





We spent some money recently on baby sitters.  We found a college kid who is reasonably priced and can handle our two D-nuggets while we go off and run errands.  We also have a 12 year old girl down the block who can also watch them.  Keep in mind neither of these are Super Nanny as that is just as staged as the HGTV shows about buying and flipping property.

A lot of things that need to be done around the house require the intersection of appropriate weather, daylight, personal energy and someone keeping moose and squirrel occupied.  Often we have two or three of those but not the last element.

We did a lot of gardening that we had put off for frankly far too long.  I learned how to use an Edger, although I still need more practice.


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Friday, July 20, 2018

Embracing the Treadmill


Yesterday I tried something new.  Since I have so little time before work after I drop the kiddos off at daycare, and it was going to be another hot one, i decided to try something new.  I embraced the dreadmill.

3 lbs, I was hoping for more


I got on the treadmill every hour and ran one mile.  At least that was the plan.  However, it turned out to be more practical to run 2 miles each time.  I need to work on my fuel intake so that I'm not dragging on the last run.

So Thursday  I ran as many miles (6) as I did Tuesday and Wednesday combined.  I've basically lost 3 lbs though that might be more fluctuation and water weight.  I'll know better if/when I do this next week, as it looks to be in the mid 80s and I don't expect to get out before noon.



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