Thursday, December 28, 2017

Greetings from Olive Branch

We are in Mississippi for the holidays.   We would have been heading out today but nightingale extended (not surprisingly) our stay by one day.   The pragmatist in me would have liked to be heading home right one, but I am enjoying the extra day of do nothing.

Arkansas Visitor Center


Like most of my visits to this part, the weather is unseasonably cooler than it should be.  That is either the universe telling me that we shouldn't move here, or that it won't be as bad weather-wise as I think if we do.    

Not too cold to play

I packed running clothes for both warm and cooler temps, but not for sub 40s, so I haven't been able to get out for a run this trip.   Luckily I did manage to get my 300+ miles for the year in before we left.  

Somehow I never get the rare piece


There is a discrepancy between the DailyMile website and the app, so I wanted not only to get in extra miles to adjust for that, but also finish early enough in December that any extra running would be icing on the cake. 

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Thought of the Day: Childhood playmates I use to know

When I was a little kid, before 1st grade even, I recall playing with some neighborhood kids.  They succumbed to White Flight moved away and I barely remember any names, let alone faces. 


In 3rd grade, I went to Hansen Park grade school for a quarter. My mom worked nearby and we had some cover story about us living in a nearby apartment, the address of which I could not remember at 7 or 8 years old. 

And then of course there are the zillions of classmates that I barely knew in grade school, high school and college.  I'm connected with a fraction of them through FB of course but there are always the few that didn't interact. 

I sometimes wonder how many times I've gotten on a crowded bus or train, or passed them on a busy street without either of us realizing that we once played tag on a street called Washtenaw nearly 50 years ago.

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

























Thursday, November 30, 2017

November stats

Today is obviously the last day of November and barring a late evening run on the treadmill, I will finish Nov with 27 miles and need just as many for December if I want to crack 300 miles for 2017.  That isn't counting any rounding errors DailyMile apparently makes. The website says I'm at 272 miles but the app shows 269.91 miles.

This week was bad because we were on holiday Monday, Tuesday was too chaotic to bring running clothes to work (I swam) and my kids are sick.  I WFH yesterday but didn't want to take a break to run even though my mom was there.  I had got very little sleep the night before. 

Back in the day, 28 miles would have been one, maybe two weeks worth of work this time of year.  Sigh, those days are gone. 

Meanwhile, I've written 46 posts on ChicagoNow which means I need about 6 to keep my average of 1 a week.  I'm okay with missing that target since 46 is still a nice number.

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Might be better this way

A couple of weeks ago, I finally took down the rest of the deck furniture for winter including the gazabo we bought this summer.  I have to remember next year that I need to start putting things away sooner than late October because the weather turns quickly.  It's better to do it and have a few wasted weeks were you could have still enjoyed sitting outside than to have to fight with bitter cold while you try to put everything away.



For any project I need the perfect storm of

  • Appropriate Weather (not to hot, cold, rain)
  • Sunlight
  • Materials (nothing like starting a project and finding out you don't have the right something)
  • Energy to do it (after work is not optimal)
  • Kids out of the way 


I need to repair the deck railing but that will be a 2018 project.  Depending on costs, we will either put in a permanent pergola or  continue to buy cheap $100 gazabos, though hopefully we do a better job of securing it so it doesn't get bent and broken like our last one and we can re-use it.

We still don't know how much longer we will live in this house or what to do about the kids and school. 




Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Winter Training Memories

I was thinking of someone I use to run with back in the day.  We were group leaders for Winter Training.  One winter I was going out for a 20 mile run and looking for some people to run me in.  I
was training for one the many spring marathons I've run as such, was doing the bulk of my training solo. 

SF volunteered but she only wanted to do 5 miles.  On the surface that sounds like a great thing.  SF is gonna help me with 25% of my run. 

Couple of things here..

First, most marathoners do their LRs by going out and back.  If you are running 12, you go six miles in on direction and then come back.  This is a little game we play with ourselves so that we finish without quitting or cutting our run short.  [unless injured, inclement weather or just having a really craptastic run.]

Second,  anyone who has ever trained for a marathon and has run 20 miles knows that the first 5 miles is the "easy" part.  Heck, if you are a marathoner and have run multiple marathons, I'd say the first 10 miles usually isn't so bad.  It's the second half where the struggle is real. 

Third, when someone asks you to Run Them In, it's just understood they are referring to meeting up with them closer to the end of the run so that they don't give up. 

But SF didn't want to wait 2 hours or come back, SF was already there.  And SF didn't want to run 5 miles with me and then turn around.  SF wanted to only do 5 miles total, which meant 2.5 out and 2.5 back which doesn't really help me at all.

What SF should have done was done some fuzzy math and figured that if I left at X time and ran an 8 minute pace, I'd be turning around at 1:20 minutes, give or take and meet me five miles from our base two hours after my start time.  But that is a lot of work and not fun.  She didn't want to flesh it out over email the days before, saying we'll figure it out on Saturday but when Saturday came she didn't want to stand around in the cold trying to figure it out.

What I should have done was said okay let's go 2.5 miles north, turn around and then head back to base and I'll run 15 south on my own.  But I wasn't thinking of making the best of what a flake had to offer, I was trying to figure out how to get what I wanted. 

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

About that Great American Novel

"The book I have had in my mind since 20 is still there instead of on pages. I tell myself I'll write everyday but then one day turns to two then three and I'm still here not working on it. Why? Because I'm afraid of not being perfect. Of disappointing myself."Mahjabeen Syed


At ChicagoNow the bloggers fall into three large buckets.  There are the main, vocal, interactive group that I'm friends with on FB who support one another.  There are the ones who blog for a short time then fade away because bloggin is hard.  finally there is the group of people who post semi-regularly but go about life without interaction with the rest of us.  Sure, they'll reply to a comment, but they don't join our reindeer games or read our blogs etc.  And that's fine.

I decided to scan all the hard copies of my draft stories from the 90s that I never finished.  if nothing else it will get rid of the paper trail.  I figure I can always print it again and hopefully saving it to The Cloud will be just as good as putting it in a binder on a shelf and ignoring it for another two decades.

I have to say this.  It is hard to re-read all these story drafts because....they suck.   I'm not being modest or fishing for encouragement or reinforcements.  The writing is sophomoric at best, pedantic at worse.  I was trying very hard to sound like other authors and weave a story with too many genres and influences. 

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Friday, November 17, 2017

That must be some discount

my neighbor is getting new siding.  He's using the same shit-for-brains assclown who I hired to repair my porch stairs posts.  I hired him because he had dome some carpentry work for Sam and seemed to do a decent job.  He must be some relative or something because he said he gave them a discount on the work and is working on and off, presumable between other paying jobs.





They started the work on Sept 29th.  It is now Nov 17th.  Call me spoiled but it would have to be a significant discount for me to go this long without the work being completed.

I don't like the guy because he never came back to finish the job, nothing major but he was supposed to put a cap on the top which would have looked nice and might have kept the wood from splitting.  He used cheap, untreated wood.  He convinced me that because he was painting it, it would be fine.
Wrong.   Because you don't paint the underside, moisture gets in and damages your wood.  Worse than that, he started ignoring my calls and when I called from a landline, he actually pretended his wasn't the right person. 

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

An Actual Mystery


I’ve been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spider-Man’s control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don’t see myself upon that list




Today I scanned a few letters I received in the spring of 1990.  I feel like a spy at the office sneaking over to the copier to do the scanning, hoping no one comes along while I fight with the sometimes hard to feed letters.

It is interesting some of the things I've discovered while scanning these letters.  Pencil doesn't scan very well.  Also some people thought it was cute to write "Me" as the from or only their first name or nickname.  30+ years later I cannot always recall who Aslan was, although I don't believe anyone intended these letters would be re-read 30 years later.  Also some people folded their letters in such ways that it makes it hard to feed through the copier.  Some people used both sides of the paper, some only one.  Some left all the back pages blank except one.

Some people would write in a page in the class notebook and then tear it out and send to me.  I've had to cut those edges off so the feeder doesn't get jammed.

The one thing about many of these letters is that they respond to a previous letter, but unlike email, there isn't much history to go on.  A vague reference or one line sentence is sometimes all I get.  OF course at the time it was probably crystal clear what we were talking about, but 25 years later?  No chance.

"you sounded like you wanted to tell me something when we talked." 

I probably did, but if I was hesitant to open up before, you cutting me off because you had to go absolutely guaranteed I'd never speak of it again.


The one thing I have to remember is that I'm looking at these now with more Life Experiences, Wisdom and yes even Maturity under my belt  than I possessed back then.  I need to remember not to be so hard on myself for missing subtle hints and hidden clues like Aslan inviting me to come to St Louis to see a concert.  That probably wasn't about using her spare ticket, it was a casual safe way of asking me out. 

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Monday, November 13, 2017

what did we do this weekend

Saturday we stayed in.  raked the leaves.  Our kids were not feeling well.  on Sunday we met Katness at the MCI and then went back to her house to watch the Bears lose another "close" one.

I'm at the point where I should know better than to get my hopes up about the Bears.  No matter what happens to Green Bay, they were not going to loss 3 games in a row especially to the bears.  beating the Bears has been indoctrinated in their DNA.  If you cannot beat a Aaron Rodgers less Packers team, there isn't much hope for you.



This team is looking like the 4-12 season (the 2nd one) the Bears had in the late 90s.  It's mostly because of internal politics...the GM wants to get rid of the current coach.  I'm convinced we lost more games than we should have last year in order to get the lowest draft pick possible.  Which means we have to suffer through another ugly season and then maybe have a decent rebuilding next year and beyond. 

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Memory replay

It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.  – Anthony Robbins

I have been reliving memories from the past, not to dwell in the past, but to learn from it.  To try and figure out what was my fault, what was gonna happen anyway and how to let it go.

While I always replay events from my past on my High Definition Pensieve, I'm sure a lot of this has been  caused by scanning and re-reading all those letters.  In order to save time and sanity, I may have to just scan and not read them. 




 In other news, I'm slowly chipping away at the 300 miles I want to run this year.  I ran 4 at lunch on Tuesday, bringing my total up to 254 for the year.  I know I could just not run if I really feel like it.  There were many years where I was running until December 31 trying to make some arbitrary goal but since my running ability is diminished, I feel like I need to keep fighting. 



not sure if i mentioned so I'll write about it here.  With our kids we had three battles to win. 

pacifiers (pacis)
sleeping in their own beds
potty training.


I knew we were not going to win all three at once.  for about six months before their recent birthday, we switched them to pacis only at naptime and bedtime.  the week before their birthday we went paci free and they pretty much accepted this without much of a fight.

On the potty training, Natasha is essentially there.  For those not in the know, PT has two components: the act and the cleanup.  It's gonna be a while before Natasha masters the cleanup but as long as she is going in the potty, we are happy.

Boris can do it but refuses except to stall bedtime or to get attention.  Everytime we buy a new box of pull-ups or diaper genie refills we wonder if this will be the last.

On the sleeping in their own bed, we lost some ground.  This is probably my fault for letting them sleep with me while NIghtingale's parents were in town using our bed and she was at a conference.



Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The best laid plans...

So today was supposed to be in the 60s.  I had hoped to put away the rest of the garden furniture and the Halloween decorations during breaks while WFH.  I also hoped to get a long, leisurely run in. 
Followed by organizing the attic a little better.

Unfortunately, it is raining but that isn't the kicker.  My kids are sick.  Boris woke up in the middle of the night and vomited.  A LOT.  It got on most of our bedding.  The kids already stayed home Wednesday because Boris allegedly had diarrhea on Tuesday.  We kept Natasha home as well because it was just easier than fighting to get her to school.

I say allegedly because they have a tendency to send one of our kids home every few weeks like clockwork.  One of the twins vomited.  Or has diarrhea.  Or a fever.  Or is leading the Toddler Rebellion demanding more cheese in the mac and cheese.   I sometimes think they just call to get the kid-to-teacher ratio down a bit.

I'm really lucky at this point in life to have a job where I can just decide to WFH without my drama.  At TopFive I would have been able to but I would have had to alert people.  Here at the new gig, I already work remote, so it doesn't matter if I'm at the Chicago office, my house or a Starbucks as long as there is wifi.

A job like this only comes once in a lifetime.  When I started out in Corporate America, WFH was not a thing.  Even if it were, the junior paralegal thing couldn't really be done at home because we mostly assembled files and redwells, bates stamped documents and got treated like shit by attorneys and other paralegals...hard to do all that remotely. 

A job like this only comes once in a lifetime.


Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.


 

Friday, October 27, 2017

I still love them

I have been late to work every day this week.  In fact, most days I'm between 10 and 30 minutes late.  All because of my douche nugget kids.  They won't go to bed on time so they are tired and don't want to wake up in the morning.  Even when one of them is more or less cooperative, the other one decides to put up a fight.  And we are already tired and sleep exhausted from 3 years of sleep deprivation.

It's no one's fault. It's no one's fault. It's no one's fault.  But it is what is going on right now.   Daycare is only half a mile from the house, it's a 5 minute drive and a 10 minute ordeal to get them inside, use the potty, go through the usually good bye ritual.  Unless Natasha is feeling clingy.  Then we are there for an extra few minutes that I know I'll want back when she's a teenager who cannot stand to be around me but at the moment  I need to catch a train. 


I get so angry.  Not at my kids taking too long to get ready in the morning.  I mean I get angry about that too.  But I'm already angry from 673 other things that I hold in so that a trivial thing just breaks the camel's back. I'd love to burn off some steam by going for a run but hey, my WFH mornings get shot to hell because I spend so my time struggling with them and then taking them to daycare.   I like to run before work so that I get it out of the way and I can use my "lunch hour" to run much needed errands.


Then there is my mom.  She is always here, especially on my WFH day.  She will eventually leave for a few hours or the weekend, but by the time she does, my morning, when I am most creative and productive is over.  It's not that I cannot do things while she is here, it's just that she puts her nose in my business and is in the way.  And somehow it seems more efficient to waste time reading the internet in the morning and using the afternoon daylight to get stuff done around the house. 

On that note, I need to remember next year that this time is too late to be putting garden and yard things away for the winter.  Do it a week or two earlier and if the weather is unseasonable warm afterwards, so be it.

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why am I doing this again?

One thing I’m working on, I have this box of snail mail letters received while in college and early adult years when people still wrote real letters. Initially I was going to re-read them, keep a few and pitch the rest. However, many of them have memory nuggets and other tidbits that despite my jaded and cynical self, I cannot bring myself to do so. Sentimental old fool that I am.





I started scanning them and then I got the idea to send the originals back to some of the people whom I’m still in touch with if they are interested (sadly I did pitch a few letters before making this offer). The project will take some time, probably longer than it took to write and read those letters in the first place.  It doesn't help that I pitched a few of the letters after scanning them, only to find that they went to google drive as zero byte files.  I'll go through the trouble of re-scanning the ones I still have, but considering I could just as easily pitched the whole pile I'm not too broken up about it.


Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2017 Running Goals update

So far this year, I have run 230 miles.  I'm not certain but I feel as if I am ahead of the pace for this time last year.

I need 70 more miles or 23 more 3 mile runs, which is about all I ever have time and energy for these days.  When I'm consistent I can squeeze out a 4 mile run but time still factors in.  I'm not gonna do 17 4 mile runs but if i mix a few in I can be done with my 300 mile goal by early December.

I would still run when possible but i wouldn't be trying to reach a goal by Dec 31 like I do most years.

Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Here's the part where I beg for stuff because we get paid in likes, shares, re-tweets and feedback. If you like my posts, funnies and random facts, please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

You cannot go back

so a couple of things are going on that I want to write down for historical value.  In no particular order....


So my high school reunion is this Saturday. I'm not going.  But its interesting that someone reached out to me yesterday via Facebook Messenger to find out if I was.  Interesting because the last time I had any interaction with this person was after our reunion in 2007. 

K was my high school biology lab partner and we use to have the deep discussions and talks that freshmen have.  And then I hardly ever saw her again because, high school.  When we reconnected in 2007 we hung out a little bit but again drifted apart.  I don't know if she thought I was interested and I was just looking for friendship but we didn't stay in touch.  I do recall sending an email or two that went completely unanswered (she's a texter) and even a FB messege, also unanswered.

So the old me would have looked at it as an opportunity to reconnect and be been oh hey let's get together.  The new and improved cynical me is like "nope".  I was cordial and friendly but not overly inviting.  She obviously knows how to get in touch with me when she needs/wants some information but didn't feel the need to stay in touch or return my messages over the years so bye bye Felicia.

Next up, I'm scanning and re-reading some old letters that I received from friends back in the 90s when people wrote snail mail.  It's bringing back a lot of forgotten memories and all the feels, as the kids say.  A lot of these friendships once meant the world to me and now I'm lucky if we acknowledge each other's life achievements on Facebook. 

 Furthermore, it is turning out to be a tough task scanning these letters.  For one thing, I must have a thousand of them.  Some of them are folded in such a way that the industrial scanner sometimes misses a line at the bottom and I just don't have the patience to try and scan them manually.  So I might end up missing a transition sentence here and there.  But honestly, if I haven't read them in 20 years, does it really matter?

Finally, the inlaws have been in town all week and Nightingale had to go to a conference that started today. She left Tuesday because her coworkers talked her into going early to do the touristy thing.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How did I not know about this

 


It usually takes the better part of two hours to water our postage stamp sized city lawn.  Moving the sprinkler every 20 minutes.  I tried daisy chaining a couple of sprinkers and that sort of worked.  But then I remembered something and check Uncle Google and Aunt Amazon and found this:

Andrews 100-Foot 2 Tube Sprinkler Hose 10-12349

Andrews 2 Tube Sprinkler Hose



Product Description

Double tube construction with holes pierced on one side

Amazon.com

Made of durable yet flexible vinyl, the two-tube sprinkler is easy to contour around garden beds and varied terrain. The end clip can be removed and reset, allowing you to adjust the hose length either permanently or temporarily. And, because the hose lies flat, you can point the holes up for a gentle spray or down for a slow soak. Guaranteed for five years.

I ordered a 30 footer and found that it worked well for the side of the house, where I usually get lazy because I don't want to keep my neighbor's sidewalk flooded.  Then I went back and ordered a 50 and 100 ft  hose.  I use the 100 ft out front and the 50 and 30 along the lengths of the South and North fences, respectively.  There is still some hose switching but it cuts my time down in half if I'm being efficient. 




***************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below.  Please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

How a 5 minute difference cascades into an avalanche

Like many Wednesdays, Nightingale had to get to work early so I volunteered to take the kids to school.  I also opted to WFH because I have the next two day off work. 

Just as we were about to leave for school, Natasha had an accident and we had to change her close.  This delayed us by 5 long, excruciating minutes.  After dropping the kids at daycare I opted to forgo my before work run and take the minivan to the car wash that is 1.9 miles from the daycare.  When I finally arrived I was the only car at the place at the moment.  Score.

They always do a thorough job and I got out of there at exactly 8am.  However, because it is Cleaning Lady Day, and because I was too lazy to walk two extra blocks to the ATM last night (nevermind Nightingale forgot to hit the ATM in her building) I had to add this to my morning tasks.

Since I foolishly left the house without eating, I was making all the bad decisions because of low sugar.  Instead of just coming home, grabbing some food and then going out for a coffee and hitting the ATM, i tried to do it on the way home.  in more traffic.  while hungry.

So I get home and my mom is putting the house in order for Agna the Cleaning Lady.  She leaves exactly 10 minutes before my 10am call so i don't get to work on anything. 

Then during the call cleaning lady comes an hour early!  Because of course.  And the guy I hired through Angie's List, who canceled twice shows up to aerate my lawn.

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below.  Please also do any and all of the following:
Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Friday, September 22, 2017

First day of Autumn 2017

In the coming weeks I am really hoping to do some major purging at home.  The in-laws will be in town for Moose and Squirrel's 3rd birthday party.  They are going to take a crap ton of baby stuff for SIL who is pregnant.  That should clear up some space in the attic to create a play area that the kids can hang out in (supervised) for a few hours on cold winter days).

I also found somebody who is interested in the bookcase and my old queen bed.  The only catch is I have to deliver and ordinarily I'd be like M'mmm nope.  But she lives 2 miles from us and is a cancer survivor so I can cut her some slack.
Some creative rearranging

I've had that bed for 20 years and some odd months.  I got it as a Christmas present to myself because previously I had a full size which just wasn't good for a single guy.  The only reason I had the full was the bedroom in my first apartment had a radiator against the South wall which prevented me from having a bigger bed.  There was no way to orient a bed any other way either because there was a closet and bathroom door against the West wall and the entrance door against North Wall.

Once these items are out of the house, I get my home office back.  The advantage of that is that I can work from home a bit more and also our living room will have more room for the kid's toys and crap.  Not that I cannot WFH now but it would be nice to have a separate room away from everything, especially when my mom lingers before going home for a few hours or the weekend.

***************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below.  Please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lucky Girl

I wasn't going to write a September 11th related post because many bloggers write posts like that to drive traffic to their site and I already did that.  But while looking through old files, I came across a quote that I cut and pasted into my archives.  I suspect I wanted to write something as profound or maybe it just struck me as prolific. 

Time passes. Life goes on. We move forward, and it’s so easy to forget. It’s important to remember, not only what we lost, but what we discovered. The goodness in our hearts. The generosity, selflessness, kindness, love, and unity we are capable of.

Why is the nation debating the right of a mosque to stand near Ground Zero? Many innocent Muslims died that day, as did innocent Jews, Christians, and people of all denominations. A debate such as that is the antithesis to the lessons which should be culled from remembrance. Such a debate is host to the same kind of hatred behind those attacks. I hope, in remembering, that we can be the people that everyone’s god, spirit, guide, or humanity meant for us to be.
-Lucky Girl

I'm not 100 percent certain, but I believe it was written by Staci on a site called  How Very Lucky to be a Girl which no longer exists but I was able to find some remnants on Internet Archive Wayback Machine 

In retrospect it is very possible it was someone else who wrote the text above.   Her old Facebook Page seems to be gone and her twitter is dormant to say the least.

Time passes.  Life goes on.  We connect with someone on social media and then we lose touch.

****************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below.  Please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Next Year's Possible Projects

Today FB reminded me that last year I had the driveway gate and basement wizard of oz doors painted.  I also had a new backdoor and two screen doors installed.  There's a long story about that if I haven't told by now, just don't want to relive.  Maybe someday.

So last year was doors.  This year was electrical.  IF we are still in the house next year, it will be windows.  Specifically the north-most kitchen window.  The Casement currently expands over the deck railing.  Whomever installed the deck realized this and made the railing smaller than the others, which I'm sure is a code violation.  The entire deck is a code violation but I can address that after I fix the window and raise the power-line.

I will see if I can change out the window for one that expands vertically or just an ordinary window.  There are a couple other windows that could do with updating/replacing.  But if I do nothing else, I am replacing the heavy wooden monstrosity that are the blinds in the kitchen. 


***************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below.  Please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Post Labor Day Weekend Report

Ll
So Jesus installed our new electrical panel last week.  It took him over 10 hours to get it done because of the complexity.  Which is a nice way of saying a previous owner used cheaters to configure the old panel in a complicated cumbersome fashion.  Because he worked so late, he didn't install the LED
lights in the laundry room that night. But he did come back Friday to finish those so now the small cramped space has much better light.  I think with some rearranging of things, I could design a very functional laundry room without sacrificing storage.  Something to do on a rainy, cool autumn WFH day.

Next up will be the garage.  I've decided to just use plug in lights and extension cords instead of pay anyone to hard wire them.  There are two light switches that enable/disable corresponding outlets so it's effectively the same thing and I save labor costs.  Between the panel, the outdoor outlet, replacing a 3-way switch in the kitchen and the new lights, I've spent almost $2k on electrical projects this year.  Money well spent I will add because it will improve things while we are here.   [I'm going to light up our front porch for Xmas like no one's business.]



I've been going to the Taste of Polonia, more or less, for the last three decades.  In my 20s it was pretty boring for a Polish-American who didn't speak a lick of Polish.  There wasn't much to do and the food was essentially what my grandma made or I could buy at any polish deli.  It was basically geared for FOTB Poles.  Luckily enough members of the board died and younger people took over and made the event more young people, non-pole friendly. 

I try to go every year now just to support the event and this year was no exception. We usually buy a 2-day pass but only used one day this year for Reasons.  Our kids are still too young to enjoy or even understand it but I like to check it out. 

We did go to the fest on Sunday and met up with a couple of friends, one with a 1 year old, the other who is 14 weeks pregnant. We hung out for a little while, then got some food and came back to our place to drink for free (those that could).  We are super excited that she is pregnant with a girl because now we have a place to send some of Natasha's stuff that she will outgrow.

***************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below.  Please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Home Repairs are like Matryoshka Dolls

We have two major electrical issues with our house.  We knew about these issues when we bought the place and we did receive some monies to deal with them.  and that time has come.The first is the electrical panel is not up to code.  The second is the power line supply from the pole is too close to our deck.  Our deck should not have been built they way it is and likely did not have a permit.


At this point its' a Matryoshka Doll situation.  If we are going to change the panel we might as well upgrade to 200 amps.  But to do that means a bigger "pipe".  And the only option is to put it through the roof soffit because we have too many windows to simply move the wire, or so I was told. 

However, it took talking with 4 or 5 electricians to determine that "well code doesn't allow me to do that" really means "that's a lot more work and I'm going to make it cost prohibitive for you to do so".

Here's where things get a little murky.  For one thing, we don't know if we are going to be in this house for one more year or 10 more years.  If we are staying, I might seriously consider paying the extra money to have the panel and the pipe moved.  Except we aren't just talking a few hundred dollars more.  The work involved is such a headache that even if I find an electrician willing to do it, it won't be cheap. 

And then there is the paying for the work.  I've received quotes for the entire job ranging from $3k to $6k and most of these guys don't take credit cards or offer financing (except the $6k guy).  I thought I'd be cleaver and buy a panel upgrade from Angie's list and then get the same guy to do the rest of the work.  However, the guy I got told me it would be an additional $2800 to do the rest of the work, which puts me in a pickle.  I got a quote from someone who said they could do the whole job for $2600 including the panel.  So which guy is lying?

The guy I'm going with couldn't explain to me why the job is going to cost more than the other guy.  And the first guy isn't returning my calls to see what it would cost if I did the panel first, because why would he.

Jesus suggested that he simply install the 200 amp panel but leave the 100 amp service.  Then I could get whoever I want to do the rest of the work at a later time.  I'm going with this approach because it gets us further along.


The typical Angie's List panel install is $875 (allegedly marked down from $1100).  Panels cost about $100-200 at Home Depot.  I'm guessing you can buy more expensive ones but not not $1k more so the rest I assume is installation hours and some profit.  Assume $150/hr for an electrician.  I was told it will take about 5-6 hours for the panel installation.  There isn't a lot of profit involved so my guess is that this is a way to get into a customer home and get some other electrical work while you're there (i.e. the upgrade to the 200 amp service, the new lights I'm gonna have the guy install in the laundry room while he's there).

****************
Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below.  Please also do any and all of the following:

Follow Mysteries of Life on Twitter (@MysteriesOLife), Facebook or subscribe via email.