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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