Thursday, March 31, 2016

Another House I think is Neat-O

Here's another house in Portage Park that I think is cool looking.  It is across the street from Portage Park Elementary and thus not exactly on my running course but occasionally I do run or drive past it.

I like home because it is a big, solid brick house on a corner lot with a large garage.  I'm not crazy about it being right across the street from a school because that means traffic in the morning and afternoon is crazy, but I could live with it.

I have no way of knowing what the inside looks like but I'm guessing I could live with it and if this house had been available when we were looking, we would have considered it.  Of course our next home will be either a suburban house with all the perks, or a house in some other city if we relocate to be closer to Nightingale's family.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Step Two in the Laundry Room Upgrade

Last year I wrote about two projects I wanted to tackle.  I only got the garage done last year because of money and time and money.  Earlier this year I got rid of that large cumbersome file cabinet that we were under utilizing. 



The other day I hired a plumber to move that annoying pvc pipe and connect the sink (along with some other minor plumbing repairs.)  He also moved the washing machine for me so now the basement works better for me.



Now I just have to get a new washer and dryer once these two finally die out.   And the rest is mostly cosmetic.  I only bought $100 worth of that Protile to test it out (and all I could afford at the time) and it hasn't come back on Woot lately.  I can find it on Amazon but for 33% higher price I think I will wait.

I would like to improve the lighting in there and maybe build that LAN/Cable closet.  We'll see what the next three quarters of 2016 bring.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

It feels good to accomplish something

This was a good weekend in that we got a lot of little things accomplished and one major project completed.  Nightingale's parents are visiting for Easter and the Adamas are joining the Tuesday there after so there will be lots of people freeloading off my wifi coming in and out of House Icarus.

When you have kids you essentially have three buckets of stuff: 

  • clothes/toys they are presently using
  • clothes/toys they cannot use now but will someday
  • clothes/toys they no longer use/outgrow

For the last few months, our basement was a children's toy graveyard. The only opportune times to do projects like sort through the toys in the basement is when Boris and Natasha are napping.  Most weekends are spent grocery shopping one day and cooking meals for the week the other. So every weekend this project got pushed off because of time constraints.  Luckily, with the Adamas and Cartwrights both being in our home at the same time, and the likelihood that someone might need to hang out or even sleep in the basement, this project finally got greenlighted.

I'm trying to keep my expectations low for this upcoming visit from the extended family.  In my mind, I think I'm going to get a break from the SAHD thing.  But in reality, it's just gonna be a lot of work and my kids might still want me to hold them 24/7.   I'm hoping the weather is decent enough that we can all get out of the house instead of sit around and just watch TV or read our iPads. 

Get use to it: It's all about us

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Catching up on movies

I'm finally getting around to watching Interstellar, one of the three sci-fi films of that I've been dying  to see.  [The other two being Gravity and The Martian.]  Which also means that I'm also reading up on articles published almost two years ago about it.

The thing is, this movie bothers me and I'm only half way through it.  When you are SAHD, you watch movies when you can and sometimes that means spreading out a 2:49 movie over two or three days.  As a dad, I can tell you there is no way I would leave my 10 year old daughter to go travel across the galaxy, especially if I thought there was a slim chance of coming back.

Technology in Interstellar only works as much as the plot needs it to work. Which is true in all movies, particularly sci-fi films, but it’s not supposed to feel like it.

I suppose we wouldn't have much of a movie if Cooper didn't leave but just the coincidences bother me.  He happens to arrive at the local top-secret NASA headquarters just as they are almost ready to launch and they hand him the keys to the ship because he's the best pilot around.  He hasn't flown in years, let alone ever flown a space ship outside a simulator.  Maybe a few months of brushing up on flying are in order?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sometimes it pays to buy the extended warranty

Conventional wisdom says not to buy extended warranties because they are usually a waste of money.  Usually if something is going to go wrong, it will happen while it is still under the manufacturer warranty or by the time it does, you might want an upgrade anyway. 

There are exceptions of course.  I bought a 2 year extended warranty on my grill which expires on the 17th.  I read some online reviews that said that certain parts tend to rust out or need replacing and the cost of the parts is more than the $40 I spent on the warranty so win.

Sunday Photo: interesting Portage Park House

I pass this house on my way back from my all too short runs around the park.  It is interesting because it is a large house on a corner lot.  The house has a mostly brick exterior and according to the information I can find on 5255 Belle Plaine, it is a 4 bedroom 1.5 bath with 2 car garage.  The corner lot allows for it to have a small drive way and still a relatively decent sized large for a city house.

The garden is in serious need of landscaping which makes me think that the house is not occupied.