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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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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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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Friday, June 1, 2018

Doing my due Diligence regarding Your Data and GDPR

I’ve had no one ask me how the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation law affects this site, but I do get the prompt below within the internal admin part of Mysteries of Life, so, let me talk about that very briefly.

European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used and data collected on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent. 
As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies, and other data collected by Google. 
You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you. If you include functionality from other providers there may be extra information collected from your users. 
Learn more about this notice and your responsibilities.

I am not collecting any information about anyone, other in the very general sense of reading and comprehending whatever bits of personal information people leave in their comments. Even so, I don’t do anything commercial with any of that — I don’t mine my comment threads for personal data, and certainly don’t comb through them for sales, advertising or other commercial purposes. It’s not that kind of site, and I’m really not that interested.

And if we are being totally honest here, I don't get the volume of visitors here that would make that sort of thing useful in the first place.  I don't get many visitors here and the ones who do generally comment anonymously so I don't have much relevant user data.

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One reason I don't like to travel


Since meeting Nightingale, I've logged more trips to Michigan than Missouri in a shorter amount of time.  Actually I'm not sure about that statement but too lazy to fact check.  It's probably about even.



Anyway, the hardest part about the drive is getting in and out of Chicago Metro traffic.  It doesn't seem to matter what time we leave here or Grosse Point, there is always traffic and it's ugly cousin Construction to impede up. 



Take our return on Tuesday. 



With our GPS app telling us we had 43 miles and 1 hour 9 minutes to go. 




Eight minutes later we have 33 miles to go.  Then with only 15 miles to go, it is still estimating another 43 minutes!  even with only 10 miles to go, it will take us 38 minutes to get home.



The closer we get, the slower we move because of traffic.  Oh and guess what!  There was a car accident that closed 3 local lanes to punish us for not taking the express lanes both chances we had. 


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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Project Paint the Porch: Stage 1 begins

I wanted Atlantic
I have done the first coat on the porch though not as far as I had hoped.  The edger I got, from Aldi of
all places, held up pretty well until I was almost done and then it came apart with two small sides left.  It isn't an easy thing to fix with paint on it so I did the best I could but decided not to do the steps and just focus on the whatever the formal name of the porch platform is.


I didn't start as early as I could have for a couple of reasons.  First, I went for a run before work because my kids miraculously woke up early and we were able to get them off to school.  My New Normal is to log into the office around 7 am or earlier and just check emails though I officially start at 8 CST.  I got back right at 8 and decided to cool off and then mow the postage stamp sized amount of grass in the backyard. 



I didn't start on this yesterday because the humidity was right at 79-80 and I didn't want to take a chance, especially since I had just power-washed the porch on Tuesday.  Today was much hotter but the humidity only about 40 right now. 



I also couldn't start on the painting too early because part of the prep involves using a leaf blower to clear any dust and debris.  While it only would have been for 5 minutes at the most, I don't want to be the neighbor that makes that kind of noise before 8 AM.



I need to do a second coat, which I should be able to do this evening before nightfall.  When we get back from Michigan, I'll have all summer to finish though I do not plan to take that long.  The weather looks decent next week so I should be able to get the spindles knocked out then.  After that, it's the railings and risers.



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Monday, May 21, 2018

Project Paint the Porch: Stage 0

The time has come to paint the front porch.  This is actually a stop-gap solution because we
eventually will have to repair/replace the porch at some future date.  I'm hoping that future date is sometime after we sell the house.

My neighbor used a product called Deckover and it looks pretty good on his old steps.  I thought I'd give it a try.  I wanted to change the color of our house and shift from Green to Blue or grey or something that isn't green because our house has an overabundance of green.  However Nightingale pointed out that it would look too funny if we didn't paint all the trim around the house and it would be too much work to do so.  Hence we are going with Mountain Spruce.

My plan is to do this in stages since I need to do it when the little DN are at school and the weather cooperates.


  • Stage 0:  power wash and prep the area
  • Stage 1:  paint steps green.  Two coats.  
  • Stage 2:  spindles (another color)
  • Stage 3:  green railing
  • Stage 4: risers
  • Stage 5:  install quarter rounds on the six steps and paint those green as well.
  • Stage 6: Touch up and cleanup.

I bought everthing I need (except the quarter rounds) over the weekend so I should be able to start if the weather cooperates.  The temp needs to be between 50-90, with less than 80% humidity and no rain expected for 24 hours.

It's raining today and it is also supposed to rain this weekend, starting Friday.  This is what my phone app says right this minute, it's always subject to change.  That gives me a slim Tues-Thursday window, depending on when the rain will come friday.  We are also traveling to Michigan for Memorial Day weekend so I won't be able to finish (or start) until next Wednesday.







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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Changes at the Office and home

So I made it through year number two at Big Audit.   It has been rough from almost day one.   I realize belatedly that one of the reasons Headless Nick was so cold towards me was, from his perspective, I was replacing him.

 So a week or so ago my PML forwarded me an email from the person who manages hoteling in the Chicago office.  Note: they reach out to our PMLs instead of to us directly.  This is one more sign of how dysfunctional things are at Big Audit.

I'll miss the white board and coat cubby
The issue was they wanted to move some tax group into my area, which would mean relocating me.  At the same time,  Hoteling Dude asked if I really needed a permanent seat since my utilization was under the threshold.  I could come to the office and hunt for a desk, but that doesn't make sense.  I do not work with anybody in the Chicago office and coming to the office is really just a thing I did to make Headless Nick happy and provide me some structure.

When I started in 2016, we could somehow get the kids to daycare and get to work between 8 and 8:20, especially with my mom helping out in nicer weather.  However, as the kids have gotten older and are learning to test limits, getting them to daycare has become a longer battle ordeal in the mornings.  I simply cannot get to work anywhere in the zip code of On Time.

Anywho, I'm giving up my desk at the office and WFH more.  Until they officially take my desk away, my plan is to go into the office a couple times mid-week.  Eventually I will switch to full time at home, unless and until the rumored restructure impacts me. 


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Thursday, April 26, 2018

What I am watching these days

It's not easy for me to watch anything on TV these days. Movies involve a babysitter and a tight window of opportunity. Our TVs are usually streaming Octanauts or PJ Mask (and whatever the next cartoon moose and squirrel find appealing). The intersection of time that I'm in front of a TV and there isn't a small child usurping it is extremely scant.

So when I say that binged watch anything these days, I really mean that I watched consecutive episodes in a finite amount of time spread over a couple of days versus the more conventional definition of completing a season in an afternoon or a series within a weekend.
That I was able to watch 10+ hours of Netflix Lost In Space is an achievement in and of itself.  Luckily I didn't have to rewind episodes like I did with Altered Carbon because of all the AC Universe jargon that is shoved down your throat.
I am able to stream stuff on the tablets though.  In fact I rather prefer it this way. The Close Captioning helps my old man hearing and it can somewhat multitask.  
  • The Expanse  
  • The 100
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Westworld 

Haven't seen Handmaid's Tale  yet and cannot get Westworld yet until I figure out how to get HBO without a subscription.  Maybe it will be better to wait until I can binge watch it on Prime or Netflix.
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Monday, April 23, 2018

Not doing the push ups anymore

The second half of march -- Ides of March forward -- was almost perfect.  Something like 14 for 16. And April started off stellar but then crashed and burned.  I have not done my 10 push-ups a day thing for over a month. 

Part of the reason was many mornings I'd wake up with my back sore from sleeping in a twisted position because one of the kids was sleeping with their feet kicking into my liver. 

The rest of the reason was pure laziness.  I'm should resume the endeavor, even if it's just unofficial but what are the odds that happens.  Maybe once the warmer weather arrives and I run outside more.








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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A touch of the Writer's Block

It is probably very obvious that I haven't posted much here lately.  Usually by this time of year, I've surpassed my lowest years (2010 and 2011) of published posts.

Writing in the morning works for me because I have access to a brain that doesn't exist any other time of the waking day. Think about what the brain was doing just minutes before that alarm clock went off. It was dreaming. Creating storylines with strange plots, strange casts of characters, and no real sense of a structured plot. That's the brain you can tap into at five or six o'clock in the morning. Peak creativity. -- Chris O'Brien, Medium Rare.

I have been in a slump since the start of the year. First off, my daytime paying job has been busy, stressful and more demanding than usual.

Time for grilling
Second, I'm going through what I refer to as the Groundhog Day Phase with my kids.  Everyday it's pretty much the same thing:  Fight with them to wake up in the morning, get them dressed and off to daycare.  Then scramble to get to work at a time that is in the ballpark of "Start Time".   Hope that things are quiet enough that I can leave on time and meet my wife at daycare and bring the mini-tyrants home, feed them and fight with them to go to sleep at a decent time.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Finally, as the quote above suggests, I do my better writing first thing in the morning these days.  But my mornings are chaos and by the time things settle down, the day is half over and my energy and creativity are depleted.  

On a side note, I've opted to take advantage of my job privilege of flexible schedule and working from 
Home more often.     I should probably cancel my gym membership.    

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Monday, April 9, 2018

These old letters are pensieves and horocruxes

I've been working Project Ancient Letters since September of last year.   These letters have lived in a box that I've carried around from apartment to apartment, condo to house.  These old letters bring back memories long forgotten. 

Some people can look at that box and just say yeah I don't need these anymore and toss them without reading them.

Some people will re-read them but still throw them away. 

Then there's me. My original plan with these letters was to re-read them and then pitch them.   But someone suggested that I scan them which seemed ridiculous at the time.  But then I realized that I have free access to an industrial sized scanner at the office and had no set timetable so why not.  I'm certainly becoming very good at working that scanner.  If my current job doesn't work out, I guess I can find work at a Kinkos.

These letters were very much like Pensieves (or Horocruxes in some cases), transporting me back in time. 

I just scanned the last ones before the end of last year, so now comes the next phase.  Returning them to the senders that I'm still in touch with.   I'll keep a few that have some special meaning for me, at least until the next time I need to clear some clutter, and the rest get bonfired.

It's interesting how people will reference something I obviously wrote in a previous letter, or perhaps mentioned on the phone, but it is just vague enough that I cannot tell what we are talking about.  I can see traces of when my confidence started to erode and my depression setting in.

If I had the bandwidth, I'd write a post about some of the key writers.  Maybe I still will even though I've already returned some of the letters to their senders.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

One More WiFi device at this house

I purchased a Zmodo Greet Wifi Video Doorbell With Beam Smart Home Hub And Wifi Extender off MorningSave at the start of the month.  As is my life, I only today got it installed.  The device cost $59 (plus $5 shipping) and to get a professional electrician to install was another $95.

I probably could have figured out how to install it myself.  But I don't think I would have done as good a job of mounting it as the pro did.

To be honest, I'm a little disappointed in the device.  I don't expect a lot from certain tech.  It's nice if it has extra bells and whistles but I generally buy something for a specific purpose and if it is lacking in functionality that would make that tech meet that need, I feel cheated. 

The camera does not come with a zoom and tilt.  Also, I would expect the part that attaches to the actual doorbell to be more modular, so that you could swap out for a more enhanced version later. 

I'm still tinkering around with it so maybe there is a way to get some zoom or tilt.  Stay tuned.



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Friday, March 23, 2018

Deck Rail Project

We’re having a cold spring here. The relentless chain of nor’easters probably has something to do with it.. In late afternoon, it’s usually in the mid to high 30s, and with the sun out, that’s not too bad.
It’d be a gift in January, but in late March, it feels like I’m being robbed of something. And it’s all because of the light. We’re well into Daylight Saving, and I’d like to take an outdoor run from time to time, maybe work in my garage or backyard, but it’s so cold. And I'm so old.

This time of year when I need to address home improvement projects.  We have many.  We can only take on a few.  So I have to choose the ones that add value to the house, or more realistically maintain it.  Secondly, things that improve the comfort level while we are here.

This year's big spends will be replacing the railings on our backyard deck and if there is any money left over, some type of cooling system, either split ductless or space pack, because I'm tired of window units and NG is tired of them too.   Included in that, we hope, will be some resolution for our cold basement.

I actually tried to get this resolved last year but I contacted people who like to build new decks, not do maintenance on them so it didn't go anywhere and I updated the electric panel instead.

So I reached out to my neighborhood handyman, just asking if this was something he did or if not, could he recommend someone.  He wrote back saying:

"My guys are tied up and will not be able to get to your work in any kind of timely manner."

Thus I was told, in the coded language of handy man customer service, to go fuck myself.

so then I decided to use Yelp to find a handyman who could do this.  I got almost a dozen responses.  Even though you include all your information, most of the responses asked for numbers and addresses.  I sent pictures, descriptions to both the Yelp proxy and the email addresses they gave, and even texted a few people.  I narrowed it down to half, based on my sense of whether they truly understand the scope of the project.




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Sunday, March 18, 2018

March weather

Every so many years, we get an early spring in Chicago.  This year is not one of them.   St Patrick's day was too cold to take the kids out to see the parade given how much of a hassle it is to take them out in public when we have to these days.  

It did warm up enough to let them play in the yard for about half an hour yesterday when the sun was shining upon our deck, though the temp dropped quickly once the sun went behind my neighbors tall evergreen.


Today will be in the 50s but the rest of will barely crack 40s. Next Sunday's shamrock shuffle looks to be a tights over shorts day.   I prefer that because my cold weather tights have pockets but I hate the shivering afterwards.   

We missed good weather though because Natasha was feeling a bit under the weather and wanted a nap.  She insisted that I nap with her and since I was up since 2 AM, I obliged.  Of course the sleep I got was not quite enough.    


There are some around the house projects I need to get started on but I need the weather to be just slightly warmer without being too hot. 

Chicago Weather always subject to change....unless you need it to



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Sunday, March 4, 2018

New garage door opener

A month or so ago our inner garage door opener started failing.   The last time I had maintenance on it I was warned it would happen.    They predicted it would happen soon so going more than six months turned out a small win for me.

We made the decision to replace both door openers so they would theoretically be on the same Life Cycle.  Plus that allowed me to get the latest bells and whistles.  The doors open from a single remote so no more having two different remotes in each car.  There is also a phone app that lets me check the status and also open or close them.  No more driving around the block because my inner voice says Dude the door isn't closed.  


The surprising feature is just how quiet these doors are.  The Craftsman we had on the alley door was fairly quiet already (the Genie not so much) but these Liftmasters are practically silent. 




















The only downside is that I was told that I could only get a 3/4 HP opener if I wanted these features and was quoted a price.  What was installed was a 1/2 HP opener with the features at the same price.  Unfortunately I don't have the bandwidth or the chops to call and complain.

Also, the installer did a great job but he threw lots of stuff that could be recycled into my neighbor's garbage bins.  Not cool Robert's Garage Door Professionals.




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Monday, February 26, 2018

Just another weekend

The intervals in posting both here and at ChicagoNow are the longest gaps I've had in a long time. A confluence of events have created a Perfect Storm of obligations that left me with no time or energy.  

This weekend I found a nice buy at the Salvation Army which motivated me to start working on the laundry room.  I finally laid down a portion of the Proslat tile I bought three years ago (almost to the day).  

It appears that Proslat tile has gone the way of the dodo so shame on me for not just buying more at the time, especially of the color i wanted.  Lesson learned.

I was also able to do a little O-P  Organizing and Purging.  I managed to get rid of lots of useless things I've been keeping in the garage and my work area looks a lot nicer.  I hope to continue and get my tools better divided between the garage and the laundry room.  

May not reflect final location
Winter seems to be retreating, with the usual skirmishes as Winter does.  While there have been a plethera of warm days these last two months, generally this time of year the day starts out cold and by the time it warms up enough, I'm too beat by work to go for a lunch run.  Soon I will be able to drop the kids off at daycare and then do my run before work.   Assuming the kiddos cooperate.

We actually got the kids dressed and downstairs by 655.  We left the house at 710.  By the time we left Daycare it was 725.  We get in our train at 745.  we get to Washington Station at 8:10 and ten minutes later I'm at my desk.  And this is a good day.

on the plus side, my scale says I'm 208.8 lbs today!  I want that to drop closer to 200 but it's a bit better than the nearly 220 I was clocking near the end of last year.  I have one month before the Shamrock Shuffle and I need to get more consistent running in just so that I can run it non-stop let alone defend my preferred start that I keep getting thanks to legacy status, which may not last forever. 

This time of year when I need to address home improvement projects.  We have many.  We can only take on a few.  So I have to choose the ones that add value to the house, or more realistically maintain it.  Secondly, things that improve the comfort level while we are there.  This year's big spend will be some type of cooling system, either split ductless or space pack, because I'm tired of window units and NG is tired of them too.   Included in that we hope will be some resolution for our cold basement.  

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