Monday, March 22, 2021

Something is always breaking around here

 In what I call the Parlor, which is really just the backend of our long living room, we have this full-length mirror covering one wall.  It's obvious that at one time a window was here, looking out on our neighbors' gangway.  I'm sure there was a practical reason for covering it up with a mirror inside and siding on the outside.




Last Sunday it broke.  We don't know how or why.  That is to say, we cannot pin it to anything.  Just one moment it was fine and the next we noticed a crack.  We did have Katness' kids over, as well as our neighbor's girls, but they all appear as shocked as we were and at their respective ages, lying isn't quite a thing yet.  



I don't think anyone was the explicit cause.  Maybe a large vehicle drove by and caused some vibrations?  or maybe it was just the mirrors time.

The irony is that when we first bought this house, I said I was gonna see what was behind that mirror and even get rid of it.  Instead, we put a bookcase in front of it, and then later my secretary desk and called it a day.  As we got rid of furniture and as the kids grew, it was nice having the open space.


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

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

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


Sunday, March 21, 2021

A touch of Spring

Over the years we have had some makeshift furniture.  We started out with a patio set I got on clearance from Bed, Bath and Beyond when we still lived in the condo.  I was proud that I had waited until just before July 4th to nab these because they were discounted by $100 and with the 20% coupon, it was such a deal.  



After those bit the dust, we made do with various chairs and lounges and whatnot.  Mostly because every summer might have been our last here.  And it wasn't always the best outdoor space.  But since getting the railings fixed and finding a more permanent pergola solution, our outdoor space is cozier than ever.  Also, now that our kids are older and play with the girls down the street almost every day, that deck is gonna get a lot of use.



Last year, I watched for sales on patio furniture.  I missed the window and everything decent was sold out.  This year I decided to act sooner.  I thought it would be a hard sell to Nightingale since I'm still unemployed and we don't know how much longer we will truly live here.  But then we realized that we are gonna use that space every nice day possible from Spring until late fall and even beyond.  And while it will not increase the value of the house, it will stage the home nicely to show that there is a cool deck that everyone can enjoy.



I showed Nightingale a few links and she picked one before I could refill my coffee.  It arrived last week and it took the better part of an afternoon to put together.  It isn't high end but it isn't cheap stuff either.  I'd say it's just below the middle of that spectrum.  We should get at least two seasons out of it, but I'm counting on more.  

I also bought a sunblock shield from Walmart and replaced the canopy that came with the Aldi's pergola.  I didn't take them out of their packaging until Saturday but was pleasantly surprised to see that they match.  I still need to figure out a good way to tie everything down for windy days so that nothing gets destroyed.  And we probably should get an outdoor rug just to make it look pretty and keep little feet from getting burned on the composite deck.


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

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

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

Monday, March 15, 2021

Attic Stairs painting project

I've wanted to paint the stairs that lead up to the attic for some time.  So I finally knocked that project out last week.  Previously, they were painted white but the paint was fading and the stairs looked dingy and dirty.




I used a grey-colored paint called Cyberspace (SW7076) from the Sherwin Williams shop a half-mile away.  Shop local.  Even with my 30% discount coupon, it still cost $30 for a gallon, of which I used maybe two inches from the top worth of paint.  On the plus side, I did not need a second coat.  




I didn't think it would take quite as long as it did.  In fact, I probably could have knocked it out in an afternoon if I really pushed myself.  But the window of opportunity requires kids to be at school and no other distractions or errands.  After doing the top stairs and the landing, I called it a day that first Monday.  



The second day I got a few more stairs done but was tired.  I skipped the next day and then finished up on Thursday.  If I had prepped better, the painting might have gone smoother, but sanding in that tight space isn't really an option because cleanup would be difficult.  And again, it's just an attic access.  Other than my Facebook friends, no one is gonna judge.



I thought about doing nice, neat lines of caulk where the grey meets the leftover white meets the purple walls but I'm not a nice, neat person.  

NoteI had typed up this post when my computer crashed before I could hit save.  This post is a shell of what that post covered.  

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

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

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


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Spring Thaw

It's been a rough February, weather-wise.  We got a whole winter's supply of snow in pretty much a two-week period beginning with a Groundhog Day snowstorm.  As soon as that snow was put under wraps, we got several more days of snow which disrupted our normal routine.  As snow does.  In Chicago, and I imagine most big cities, they plow the main arterial roads first, then the side streets.  


Also, the city does not plow alleys.  There are legitimate reasons for this.  If you see an alley plowed, it is what we call an anomaly.  Someone paid a private resource, or is related to the aldercreature, or has pictures of the aldercreature doing weird things to a goat.  


If your brother's girlfriend's, uncle's cousin's, baby momma's doctor who lived next door to an old class mate's mailman says "they use to plow the alleys back in the day," remember THEY use to do a lot of things back in the day that aren't done today.



We are very fortunate to have a driveway that we were able to shovel and keep clear so we could go out that way.  After the first snow event, we were able to come in through the alley and leave through the driveway.  The second time we had to back out of the driveway because the alley was just too high.  Garbage and recycling pickup was skipped last week.  I'm assuming Garbage will be picked up this week but they are skipping recycle (it comes every two weeks).  

 In about 2 1/2 weeks daylight savings time starts – March 14, and less than a week after that is the first official day of spring – March 20 (the equinox)! Yay!

Honestly, like most parents of small ones, I abhor  DTS.  There is really no reason for it.  But we just cannot get rid of something once we invoke it.  Electoral college anyone?


The Job Hunt:  since being let go at Big Audit, I've had about a half dozen interviews or so.  In my industry, the options are law firms, financial firms or consultants.  I have been told by a bunch of incels that I'm not good enough to work with them.  These are the same people who use to come to me for the answers.  The same people who, if I were still working at Big Audit, would be begging me to hire them for our next upgrade project.  

There was one position I probably could have gotten if I had shown more enthusiasm but they were a screaming hot mess and I would be miserable there.  They wanted Associate Director level work at Manager level salary.  That is the reason they were looking in 2019 and their hire only lasted a year.

I'm trying not to get too down about it.  Trying.

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

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

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


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

What to do with this space

Every January hundreds if not thousands of bloggers refind their dormant blogs and make a vow to start blogging again.  I base this on the spike in emails I get at the start of the year from bloggers I follow.  Some make a statement post promising to blog more, others just start writing again.  And then they fade away.  Again.

I make no such declarations.  I write when the mood hitting me intersects with the opportunity to sit in front of a keyboard and clack away.  I wrote in a journal from high school until switching to a computer file post-college.  I kept that going until I started my first blog in 2006.  I tried to keep them both up but that was just too much writing.  Then the professional blog over at ChicagoNow came along and I wrote there for many years.



According to Google Analytics, this personal blog got 46 visitors last month.  I'm sure at least half of that was me reading old posts.  The professional blog gets about 1000 hits a month, even though I haven't written there in a long time either.  The benefits of the Chicago Tribune Ecosystem.

I'm not sure what to do with that space either.  it's nice to be able to have a place to vent my spleen and know that more than 46 people are reading it.  But here's the thing.  I am burnt out with the writing thing.  

A long time ago in a bedroom far, far away, I had dreams of being an engineer by day and a writer at night.  unfortunately, I didn't have the right resources to succeed in the engineering world.  And I didn't have the right circumstances to succeed in the world of Journalism.  I probably could have gone to some small town and got a job as a copy editor or Obits writer.  Perhaps worked my way up to the day shift.  

But leaving Chicago after college wasn't an option and besides, I didn't really have the balls to try and start in a new place where I knew no one and didn't have anyone to fall back on.  Hindsight is 20/20 and honestly, I really should have changed majors as an undergrad and either given Mechanical Engineering (instead of Electrical) a chance or gone to Computer Science in the first place.

Back to the blogs.  I do hope to write a little bit more.  This one will probably be a personal Web Log archive to look back on significant life events.  ChicagoNow will be where I vent my spleen and perhaps promote a book if I ever write one.

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

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

My New ASUS BE24E Business Monitor

 I bought a new monitor.  I just wanted a second monitor, but my MIL bought me and Nightingale each a new monitor for Christmas.  Since we share an office and a desk, it didn't make sense to have three monitors especially since my old monitor had to be turned on using a fickle remote control.



Unfortunately, I sold my old monitor before I realized that the new ones didn't have speakers.  Although they looked like they did and had the appropriate inputs.  I suspect that is because it is easier to use one Form Factor for your monitor design and simply enable/disable at the control board or driver level than to manufacture two completely different monitor housings.  

As usual, I crowdsourced on Facebook and got some advice.  

Okay Facebook hive, crowdsourcing time.   I need a new monitor for my computer.  I don’t need state-of-the-art, but I do want as much future proof as possible.  I’m thinking built in speakers and webcam.  Is wanting touch screen too much?

Anyone recently buy a monitor they are happy with, or have some thoughts on this?

My usual experience when I Crowd Source Question is that many of my friends can ask their FB collective for advice and get legit, sound recommendations.  Whenever I do it, I get people working on their Second City Comedy routine, snark, and maybe one useful comment in the bunch.  This time around, I got mostly post focused responses.

The summary is that many pointed out that touch screens are nonessential and you can get better speaker and webcam addons than built-in.  

Most of the advice came from people my age who are established and have enough disposable income to buy a kickass multipurpose monitor.  I could do that too, even though I'm unemployed at the moment.  

Ultimately I decided to buck my usual future proof algorithm and went with the monitor I need today instead of the monitor I might need tomorrow.  I did forgo the touch screen but did get a monitor with a built-in webcam and speakers.  To be fair, it's hard to find all of these in one monitor with the appropriate inputs for an older computer desktop.  

The ASUS BE24E suits my needs for the moment.  I wish the camera was adjustable but the monitor itself is so perhaps that is all I will need.  Perhaps by the time I'm employed again and/or we are in a new house, technology will make a leap and I can have a wall-sized monitor that works as a work screen, TV, and communications source.  


 ****************

Thank you for reading and I hope you will comment below. Do me a favor? Click my "like" button and join our Facebook community.
You'll find funny, informative links and interesting pictures.  Don't worry, your Facebook feed won't get overwhelmed.

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