Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The latest new normal

For the longest time, I was going crazy trying to get the kids to daycare and myself to work on time.  The older they got, the more rebellious they became.  It was stressing me out and I was taking it out on them and Nightingale.  My anxiety came from the work situation which I'll write a post about at some point.  Essentially, it was not doing my career any favors being late all the time especially since I could not really stay late either.

We just need 178 more drinks of water


So when the opportunity to WFH full time came along it seemed like a no-brainer.  Take the kids to school, get back home and maybe even have a little time to get a run in before work.  Alas, it did not go as expected.  It is as if they somehow knew that I have a little more cushion so they decided to delay getting up and getting ready for school.  I would say we have the following buckets:

  • Get to school with just enough time for me to get back in time for work
  • Get to school with me getting back with enough time to run/relax/mow the lawn
  • Get to school with me getting back late

I did finally learn that it is better for me to pick them up closer to 5:30 than 5 like I did most summer (I'm a slow learner).  The sooner I pick them up, the more time I have with them until Nightingale gets home and playing zone is so much harder than man-to-man when it's pre-schoolers.


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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Reached the unofficial goal

Last week I unceremoniously completed my unofficial goal of running 300 miles per year.  My official goal was not to have a goal but merely run whenever I could get it in.  As luck would have it, switching to full-time WFH helped provide more opportunities to get running in, although I didn't get to take advantage of it as much as I had hoped.

Oftentimes, I would think okay I'm going to go for a run at 11, which is noon at EST and people will be at work.  But something would come up.  Then I'd try for noon but then again, something would come up.  By then I'm starving so I'd eat lunch and need to let my stomach settle.  So then I'm running at 1 or 2 and then I have to wait until 4 to take a shower.  On the otherhand on those times when I could get out for a run before 11, it feels like I have a full day ahead of me!



More still to come 

I still intend to do some running before year's end, and beyond, of course.  But it is so refreshing to not have to use my lunch time to get in a few miles and instead run an errand or watch a show.

When I look back at this year there were so many months I could have easily got those miles in.  I only ran 10 miles in January, how hard would it have been to make that 13, 14 or 15 miles?  If I run 25 miles a month, I hit 300 by the end of December.  But running 27 miles a month gets it done in eleven so I can do better.



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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

averaging 26 miles a month

I think this year I won't have a hard goal other than to just run as often and as far as time permits.  I'll just run when I can and see where I am each month.

I said that I wasn't gonna have a hard goal this year for running other than to just run as often and far as time permits.  That said, I'm averaging 26 miles a month.  And that is including some months where I just didn't run much at all.  I should hit 300 miles by the end of next week if I can get in 3-4 more runs.  In fact, I'd be done by now if I hadn't skipped all last week.  But I wanted to give myself a break after the 10K I ran Sunday 18th in Lincolnwood Turkey Trot.

Neighbors across the alley had some issues


Then I really would like to shut it down to just maybe one run a week and if the weather in Memphis is good, do some running there while on holiday.



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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Not the best weather this summer

The weather this summer was, to use the technical term, sucky.  For every decent, comfortable day we had two days of either rain or hot and sometimes both.  There weren't as many sit on the front/back porch and enjoy my coffee moments like last year.  On top of that, it wasn't always possible to let the kids spend time in the backyard burning off energy.

With the weather so sucky, It was hard to get anything done around the house.  As I've said before to get things done around here, I need the intersection of appropriate weather, daylight, energy and my kids NOT being here.  I was often in short supply of three-fourths of those items.

Though I consider it done, I still have to touch up the porch somewhat.  I want to install the quarter rounds and I really should paint those lattices.

This summer I sold a few things using Letgo and Facebook Marketplace.  Yesterday I even bought something.  Nightingale wasn't sure when I showed it to her but she declared it a good buy once she sat in it.  The kids also like it, especially Natasha because she can get all cozy in it.




When I only WFH on Fridays, if I didn't get some project done, I had to wait a week.  Since moving to 100% WFH, if I don't get to it on Monday, I can try again on Tuesday.  or Wednesday.  etc.

Tomorrow I have to go into the office for the first time in a month and the second time since Memorial Day.  Our director is in for something and he wants to meet me in person.  I'm not sure what to expect.

I have to admit, this week and two weeks ago have been my best weeks at Big Audit Firm.  It's no coincidence it is because my colleague is out on PTO.


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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.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday Photo: Mr Steer Steakhouse

cheap steaks and cocktails

Back in the day, there was a chain of steak restaurants called Mr. Steer.  Think Sizzler but local chian instead of a national franchise.   It wasn't the best steak around but for the relatively cheap price, it was serviceable.  In the downtown area, you can still find vestiges like Ronnie's Steak House.

This was the one at the legendary Six Corners intersection of Irving Park, Cicero and Milwaukee Avenue on Chicago's northwest side. I think my mom took me there a couple of times for birthdays or when we were doing some shopping at the once vibrant Six Corners.

This is what it looks like today (2018)

 Apparently, once they removed that reddish flat awning, it exposed some windows as I cannot imagine those were retrofitted.  Notice the sign shaft was left behind.



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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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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Two Recent Bad Dreams

The last two nights I've had some not actual nightmares but definitely unpleasant dreams.

Monday night I dreamt some kid was bullying a younger me.  I could easily have kicked this kids ass except he was always surrounded by some friends who had his back.

Tuesday night I dreamt I was back in college in Kirksville and almost everyone was going home for the weekend.  Those that were around already had plans that didn't include me.  NMSU was such a commuter campus even though it was 3 hours from any major city.

I suspect my anxiety is coming from two places that intersect at my psyche.  One, I am worried my son will experience the same issues I experienced in life and be ill prepared for them (being bullied, not understanding the opposite sex, etc).  and Two, I've reach a point where I don't have very many friends that I hang out with or interact with on a day-to-day level such that what difference does it make if I stay in Chicago or move to Tennessee/Mississippi?



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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Might I recommend a couple of Low-Cost Tech items

Might I recommend a couple of low cost tech items.   
You can connect to the speaker with Bluetooth but also to your WiFi which should have a farther range and theoretically better quality audio.  Admittedly, this one is a bit of a challenge to set up, especially if you have several of them like I do, but you cannot beat the price.




In our next house I may spring for a stereo receiver with WiFi, but for now I'm using the Dayton Audio Adaptor, which does the trick.



I cannot get celestial radio or CDs into the into my speakers but I can play Spotify et al on the speakers the previous owner put into the kitchen ceiling.  The dongle also works with the QFX speakers so it's a PoorTechDudes solution to full home streaming.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Think of the Possibilities

In the fall of 1996, I was trying to decide between buying some property or going to G-school. I believe I made the right choice, especially since I could, no way no how, come up with the scratch to buy this house even at the 1996 price.



But man if I had, would I have kept it as is, converted into kick-ass SFH or sold to become condos, as is the most likely scenario.  It's ridiculous to speculate about what could have happened without a Delorean but let's play along.

This site says the Mortgage Interest Rate was around 8.5%.  Sites like CribChatter were not a thing back then and I was not a savvy buyer and didn't know anything about real estate.

According to the CCRD, this property sold in October 1996 for $315,000.  That means 20% down payment of $63K plus closing costs was very much out of reach for me on a $30K year paralegal salary.  But let's say they would give you a loan back then for 5% and there was some boutique lending program that let you roll up the closing costs or otherwise figured out how to help first-time buyers out.



HUD lowered down-payments from 20% to 3%, in 1995 and then to 0%. The Clinton Administration ordered Fannie and Freddie to expand their quotas of risky loans from 30 percent of portfolio to 50 percent.

The question then becomes could I have come up with $15-20K to buy this house.  Again, most surely NOT.  And if had, my life would not be the life I live today, which means no Nightingale, Natasha or Boris.  I think I'm in the better timeline.  

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Even in dark times there is always some light









Thai cave rescue: All 12 boys, soccer coach freed from cave

slight Change of Plan

Remember these?
I went to Lowe's to get some quarter rounds yesterday.  I need the following sizes:


  • four 10 foot quarter rounds
  • one  95 inch quarter round
  • one 100 inch quarter round
Unfortunately, Lowe's only sells 8 ft and 12 ft quarter rounds (also known as shoes).  They also do not cut them because they are too hard to manage and technically pre-treated lumber.  That wouldn't be a problem except I had my Element instead of Nightingale's minivan so I couldn't bring home 12 ft QRs.



I did bring home the 8 ft one since that turns out to be 96 inches and I can see how things look and maybe practice on the one.

In the meantime I will work on touch-ups and clean up. In fact touch will be a never ending endeavor (at least until I run out of paint, which considering how much I bought won't happen) because I will always see a mistake here and a miss stroke there.

Given how much I hate to paint in the hot weather, I think the lattices will have to wait until Fall.


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Monday, July 9, 2018

Weight gains and loses

Because the weather has been so hot lately and I was unable to get out before work, I haven't run in almost 2 weeks.   This along with my usual bad eating and drinking habits make it hard to lose weight.   In fact I've gone the opposite direction.

June 8 Weigh-In


Above is what I weighed one month ago (210.8 lbs in case the picture is ever lost).  Obviously there was some oscillation between then and now but today I weighed in at 214.6 lbs.

Today: ignore other numbers
Now 4 lbs in and of themselves is nothing to get upset about.  But I'm already well past even the most generous BMI for a 6 foot 2 inch tall fellow.

The rest of the week is looking to be mid 80s.  If I can get out before work and beat the heat I can get some of that bloat off.  It wouldn't be the worse thing to run 3 miles mid-day or on the treadmill either. 


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some stuff I wrote about Facebook at the Other Place

I tend to write a lot about Facebook over at ChicagoNow.  Perhaps it's because our metrics are tied to social media and having a Facebook Page has revealed a lot about who your friends really are...or maybe I just overthink Facebook. 


Resources:


  • Facebook Take a Break Feature puts friendships on Life Support
  • http://www.chicagonow.com/mysteries-of-life/2017/09/facebook-friendships-on-life-support/

  • Facebook makes it easy to not Like it
  • http://www.chicagonow.com/mysteries-of-life/2015/03/facebook-makes-easy-to-not-like/

  • 11 things you are doing on Facebook that are secretly pissing off your friends
  • http://www.chicagonow.com/mysteries-of-life/2015/06/things-secretly-pissing-off-your-friends-on-facebook/#image/1

  • Giving up Facebook friends for Lent
  • http://www.chicagonow.com/mysteries-of-life/2016/02/giving-up-facebook-friends-for-lent/

  • The Stages of Facebook Unfriending
  • http://www.chicagonow.com/mysteries-of-life/2016/06/the-stages-of-facebook-unfriending/

  • You can show Empathy, Outrage and Restraint all at the same time
  • http://www.chicagonow.com/mysteries-of-life/2017/04/empathy-outrage-and-restraint/



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School decisions

We just learned that the local public elementary school isn't...bad.  It's not a top-tier school and people in the hood with the means send their kids elsewhere, which causes a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy in terms of enrollment funding, but it is a decent enough school.

When someone says Good School they usually mean top test scores and student resources, etc.  But they sometimes also mean less work for the parent.  If our kids go to Portage Park Elementary, we will have to put in more work than if they went to Beaubien or Walt Disney for instance.

 "Level 1" status means It’s a combination of graduation rate, attendance, closing of achievement gaps year over year, test scores, and student growth year over year. The levels also take into consideration parent involvement and other things like healthy schools status (athletics, wellness programs, activities in the school) and art programs (art, drama, dance, etc. )
 Portage park elementary is a level one school with pretty high student attainment levels and NWEA growth scores. Check out the CPS website for more information and definitely take a tour. I second what Tanya said above, there are some pretty cool things going on over there.   Source


Public education is immensely important and needs to be funded so that every student gets a good and useful education, not just the ones in the “right” zip codes.



Public education needs to robust and useful to students Throwing money at public schools will not solve every problem, but adequately funding public schools removes a lot of problems and lets people focus on the other, different problems. Bottom line: Every public school in America should be a school you’d be fine with having your own child at.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Finally a break in the heat

Like anyone looks here
Holy Mole, this heat. Mid-90s since Thursday and that is no fun.  IF I could have got the kids to school early enough, I would have been able to sneak in a run but the little 3 year old terrorists put up such a fight getting up, out of bed and dressed that by the time I get back, it's just about time to start work.

Most mornings I only have a 10 am call but lately I've had little things here and there which prevent me from going out until lunch time when it is too hot.  Ironically in the winter I wait until lunch time so it is ever so slightly warmer.

One day I had enough time to trim the lawn which I felt was good use of my time and needed.  I have a lot of PTO to use up and I may start taking a random Tuesday or Thursday off here and there to work on house projects but also to be able to go for a run or bike ride without worrying about getting back in time.

I am 90% done with the porch painting.  I just need to finish the stringers, which should take less than an hour.  Update: it took less than 30 minutes although I think I might give the risers a second coat at some point.

I need to do the threshold as well.  I'm going to get a heat gun to remove the paint, since I also need to remove the paint I put on the pedestals and I can get one for $8 at Harbor Freight. Then I just have to decide if I paint it green or stain it to match the door.


I probably will attempt the wood lattices at some point too, since I have way too much paint.  Then it's touch and clean up time.

Since Father's Day, my mom has not been here.  We got into one of our Pushed the Other Too Far spats and she went home.  While we can definitely use the help she provides around here, we can also live without it.  Especially since it is much less stressful with her gone.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Project Paint the Porch: Stage 4 almost done

I am so close to being done with the front porch, yet I have so much more to go.  I have not been able to get myself out there before the sun hits the front steps so I work a little too quickly and call it a day before I complete every stage planned for the day.  But it's still progress.  I finished all but two of the risers earlier this week.  The lowest two were smaller than my paint edger so I had to do those using a regular paint brush like a cave man.

All that is left now are the stringers., but that is mostly for using up the paint.

After I get the last sections done, this week or next.  It's time for touch-ups and clean up.  I suppose I could have done a better job of being more precise but given that this is really just a stop-gag solution, I need to remember not to be so hard on myself.


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

First Day of Summer

I finished the spindles yesterday.  I almost didn't, thinking today would be better because of cooler weather but given the rainfall on this First Day of Summer, I'm glad I did.  Now I just have to tackle the risers which shouldn't be hard at all and then do some touch up.  Followed by some cleanup.  I still need to get some quarter rounds but that shouldn't be a big deal.

We had our annual Neighborhood garage/yard sale last Saturday.  It was, as the kiddies say, hot AF.

As long as I can remember, it either rains or is unbearably hot or both.  The first time we went to this sale, we didn't even live here, but knew we wanted to.  The next year it we lived here and it was awesome.  But in the following years I noticed that the number of houses participating was dwidling.

This year the person who normally runs it didn't, allegedly being out of town.  someone stepped up nearly last minute so it wasn't well promoted.  We didn't get a lot of foot traffic so they people who did show up got great deals because we were in purge mode and priced things to sell.  We made about $150 but might have done better if the weather was cooler and the event better advertised.  The important this is...we got rid of some stuff.




Sometimes I take the kids to daycare in their stroller, which means I return home with an empty stroller.  Inevitably someone sees me and makes a funny like "hey you forgot the kids".  It's always a chuckle but somehow after the 782nd time, that chuckle sort of loses its edge.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Two steps forward, one back, one sideways

Not sure how much progress I'll be able to make on the porch this week.  It rained over the weekend
and of course with my kids around, I didn't bother even trying to paint.  Monday and Today have been wet and humid.  I'm hoping that things dry up and I can do a little bit Wed/Thurs/Friday but it is expected to be hot, and maybe humid as well.

I do have a crew working on the deck rails.  This has been a bigger project than it really should be because of two reasons.  First, it's too small for deck building companies but too large for your run of the mill handynman.  I had a few people come over in late march to give me quotes and most either low balled the project, which showed they really didn't understand what was involved or ghosted me because they realized what a clusterfuck it really is, because.....

Second, I don't really want to talk about all the issues but let's just say the deck was built wrong.  I cannot be certain, but I think they put in the swimming pool (that we had removed) and then built the deck, which made for non standard length railings.  There is one railing that is shorter than the rest because of a window.  They really should have just made the deck shorter but they wanted the extra footage.



Anyway, I had one or two people give low estimates but my gut told me that either scope creep would occur and the price would go up anyway or they would take shortcuts to keep costs down and that would come back to bite me in the end.

The other thing about this, or any project really, is I don't want to learn a trade in order to get what I want.  Tradesmen aren't gonna tell you that you have option A, B and C unless you ask because Option B and C is more work for them and might cut into their bottom line.

Like when I did the electrical panel.  I really wanted to move the location but that is more work so every time I got a quote, the price got increased.  Oh it will cost X.  X is fine.  Did I say X, I meant X + Y.  That's okay.  Plus Z.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Not much more done this week

It was supposed to rain Tuesday and didn't.  It wasn't supposed to rain Wednesday and did, albeit not too much and not very long.  I painted one of the six sections of spindles.

I didn't work on it Thursday because it was a bit warm and I had other things on my plate.  Today it rained and even though my porch roof does a great job of protecting most of the porch including the spindles, I didn't want to take a chance with the moisture in the air.




I probably won't get much more done this weekend because the kids will be in the way and it is also supposed to rain.

In my perfect world, I will get up in the morning and get everything prepped while my mom takes moose and squirrel to daycare.  Then between calls and issues, I take a break and work on one of the spindle sets.  The challenge is that the Deckover doesn't spread as easily as traditional paint so it is slow work.



It is forecast to rain a lot next week.  Figures since the people from Home Comfort are supposed to come and work on my deck railing.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Caught a Weather related break today

It didn't rain as expected so I was able to get a second coat on the steps.  The railings look fine with just the one coat so except for touch ups I'm essentially done with the Mountain Spruce part of this paint job.  Though I'm debating if I want to tackle the lattice or skip it entirely.  I seem to have overestimated the paint I needed though I probably saved some hassle by getting the 5 gallon instead of single gallons.  I was lucky that I waited until Home Depot had a pre-Memorial Day sale which was exactly like their Memorial Day sale and got some rebates on the paint, along with a 10% off coupon I had because they think I just moved or something.


If the weather is cool as expected tomorrow, I can work on the spindles.  These I need to take my time with and use painters tape so it might be a case of working one set at a time.  If i can finish the north end of the porch, I can put the porch swing up.  I should be able to the other porch furniture out now since it shouldn't be in the way or can easily be moved when I'm working on a section.

 I'm settling into a New Normal around here, or at least trying my best.  Weeks ago I cleaned out my desk and moved everything that is staying at the office into my storage cabinet and now I work 100% from home.  If I have to be downtown for something or a friend wants to met for lunch, I can go into the office and hunt for a seat or just use the cafe areas off the breakrooms.


The good news is I can log in at 7 and check emails so I'm not as ambushed when I get started as before.  My hours are still 8-5 CST though but I figure the extra time justifies when I run an errand during lunch that goes over an hour or the Traffic Gods don't favor me.

 On that note, I tried to cancel my gym membership.  I expect the process to be painful but not as bad as some of the lower end gyms in the world.  They wanted to charge me for June's billing cycle even though I let them know well before the end of May (they would try this even if I canceled May 1).  luckily the credit card they have on file expired though I'm sure they will still try to go after me for it.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Project Paint the Porch: working as I can

As expected, the porch painting is going slow.  We were out of town for Memorial Day (including the days that bookend that weekend for traveling), though the weather was so hot I would not have been able to work on it anyway.



At least as far as the steps are concerned, I want to work under the required conditions of not too hot or humid and no chance of rain for 24 hours.  For various reasons, I decided to skip to Stage 3 and finish the railings before the spindles.  I still have to do a second coat on the steps though I'm debating if I need to do a second coat on the railings.



I'm hoping that I can do the spindles with more patience and care so I don't drip paint all over the green part.  I want to be finished by Father's Day so it looks good for the neighborhood yard sale.  Plus I want to get our front deck furniture out.



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