Tag Archives: Life

On yard work

brush pile in front of house

One of the things I was a little concerned about when I bought my house last March, was the fact that I’d have to do yard work.

Since I moved away from my parent’s house many years ago, I’ve been living in apartments and condominiums where all that was done for me. But the idea of sharing walls with other people (especially bad neighbors) was something I was growing pretty tired of. That was actually one of the major reasons I moved last spring.

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Waiting… hopefully

The cabinets are in, the floor installed, the new lighting is in, the wall has been removed, and the plasterwork is finished. So far it’s looking great.

kitchen cabinets done

Now comes the waiting. Wait for the counter top people to measure (hopefully tomorrow). Wait for the appliances to be delivered (hopefully this week). Wait for the counters to be manufactured and installed (hopefully in a few weeks). Wait for the plumber to install the faucet, disposal, and dishwasher (hopefully soon after the counter).

If anyone needs me, I’ll be waiting… hopefully.

I has internet

Monday I was FINALLY hooked up with phone service at my house, and yesterday my DSL modem arrived!

i'm in ur internets cloggin ur tubes

That was 19 days I went without having internet access at home. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a week without some kind of online access since my days of connecting to computer bulletin board systems on my Atari 800XL computer. And talk about broadband, that was with a state-of-the-art, 300 baud modem. Yes, I am old.

Being without home internet access for so long made me realize how much it’s a part of my everyday activities: reading the online news in the morning with a cup of coffee, using it to find phone numbers, getting a quick map, listening to new music streams, and just keeping up with friends and family. I almost felt like I had lost one of my senses.

New home update

I’ve been living in my new home for five days now. There is a lot of work to be done, but I’m slowly getting settled in.

In the past four days I’ve made seven trips to a home improvement / hardware store, with still more things on my shopping list to pick up. I’m expecting the clerks to start greeting me by name soon. I already have people working on my kitchen remodel, which is something I want to get done fairly soon. The house is definitely a fixer-upper, but it’s going to be real nice once the fixing up is done.

Probably the most frustrating part of this move is the fact that I still don’t have internet access at the house yet. Since the phone company is having some problems (and I’ll be getting DSL through the the phone line), I’ve been suffering from serious internet withdrawal. Hopefully I’ll be plugged back into the matrix soon.

Packing up and shoveling out

stack of boxes

In a little over two weeks, I’ll be moving to my new house. My condo is starting to resemble a warehouse with all the boxes around.

Moving is always a major pain. You’ve got to find good boxes, pack, change addresses, coordinate movers, have painful conversations with utilities, etc. One of the good things about it though is it forces you to go through your stuff and do some “shoveling out” as my father likes to call it. In the process of looking at things I’ve accumulated over the years, I’ve discovered there is a lot of unnecessary junk at my place. Some of it was still in boxes from the last time I moved. I seem to be especially fond of things that probably belong in an electronics museum. In one box (unopened since my last move), I found:

  • Sony walkman (yes, that’s for cassette tapes)
  • A plethora of 3.5 inch floppy disks
  • A zip drive and a dozen 100mb zip disks
  • Several computer mice
  • Two computer joysticks
  • Computer trackball
  • Backups for Windows 98 and Windows 95
  • Enough coaxial cable, telephone cable and speaker wire to span the City of Madison.

On the bright side, I found a small pocket am/fm radio which I thought I’d lost years ago. Maybe I should unpack the boxes a little sooner when I get to the new place?

House shopping is like clothes shopping (only worse)

I’m not a big fan of clothes shopping. If I need a new shirt, my ideal shopping experience would be as follows: A few feet into the entrance of the store is a rack of shirts. This rack would have the exact size and style I need. It would be unnecessary to try one on. A few feet from this rack of ideal shirts would be the cashier. There would be no one in line, and I would be done shopping after a minute or two. Alas, the clothes shopping experience is usually quite different.

Now that I’ve got a good offer on my condo, I’ve been shopping for a house. I’ve come to realize that shopping for a house is a lot like shopping for clothes. First you browse the listings, then find houses to look at. Once you visit a potential house, you spend some time walking around and checking its comfort, not unlike a new pair of shoes. Like clothes, you wonder how long aspects of the house will last before they might need some mending. Will those sleeve buttons fall off soon? Will I need to replace those windows? If the house doesn’t “fit right” you move on to another house. Or you might think the fit is okay, but wonder if there is a better fitting house out there. You try the next house. You might also hear of a new sale (house or shirt), and try that one on for size. Does it fit?

Right now I’m just looking for a good fit.

Life changing books

Lifehacker asks the question, What books have changed your life?

Life-changing books are not just your favorite books… but books that altered your behavior, changed your mind, redirected the course of your life. Books as levers.

An interesting question worthy of pondering. Here are mine.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams’ wonderful novel (and subsequent sequels) became popular during my college years, when reading for me turned into a chore. It was hard to read just for fun — it was something I HAD to do to get good grades. The Hitchhiker’s Guide changed all that. It was the first book that made me laugh out loud. In addition to the humor, Adams includes many poignant life philosophies as well.

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About 4:40am this morning, the sound of my alarm clock rattling on the shelf woke me up. As I drifted into consciousness, I wondered why the alarm clock was rattling. Then I realized the bed was shaking. First I thought maybe a big truck was driving by, but it continued much longer than a drive-by. As more of my brain cells began working I realized, it was an earthquake.

It was the third time in my life I’ve felt an earthquake (the other two times I was also in Wisconsin). While the tremors I felt this morning were fairly mild, it certainly is unsettling to feel the earth moving under you.

The Chicago Tribune has a nice interactive map of the earthquake (the epicenter was near West Salem, Illinois). You can also email the Tribune your location to be added to the map. Did you feel it?

The neti pot

Over the past month or so, I’ve had a sister, two coworkers, and a friend recommend that I try a neti pot to help with my sinus problems. I’ve heard of them before, but I couldn’t get past the idea of pouring liquid into my nostrils and letting it flow out the other side. With some symptoms of the endless cold I had caught still hanging on for dear life, I decided it was time for drastic measures. Several days ago I bought a neti pot.

When I got it home, I took the neti pot out of the box, read the instructions, prepared the solution, and hesitated. Did I REALLY want to pour liquid into my sinus cavities?

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