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October 31, 2007

trick or treat

i haven't gone to any store and gotten a mask yet... probably because i'm scary enough when i scowl. i can just sit on the porch and look menacing.

we've got plenty of stuff to give out, and i emailed the b'villains last friday, and monday, to see what they were all up to, but got no response from anybody, so it looks like it's just me and Nala, unless somebody else shows up last minute.

i really hope it ends up being a fun night. i gotta remember to call in the pizza before i leave work, though.

something horrifying for halloween

being that it is halloween, i thought i'd post something horrifying. i'd been thinking about blogging this for a long time, but here it is -- straight from a store IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!

scary furniture

i cant believe they're destroying antiques to make a profit. to me, this is horrifying, especially since my great-grandfather's desk (similar to the piece on the right) has been sold by my extended family. the thought of it being painted white to become some girly china cabinet thing turns my stomach.

simply horrifying.

October 30, 2007

i realized what my mom needs...

She needs an easy-to-use program to visualize quilt patterns in different colors.

I wonder if Cynedd has any ideas that would be good for a computer-illiterate mom. (She can write email and use MS Word to type church bulletins and letters. And surf the web. I'm just saying the learning curve should be low. And if she ever reads this, I'm getting smacked.)

hate sprint, part 2

after i got home, nala and i took a drive up to the store for me to get my phone back.

i was not to be disappointed by the crap customer service team, again. i got the same sigh/eyeroll from the same young lady who waited on me 6 hours earlier, and this note attached:

sprint sucks

so, I'm out $6 in gasoline and (at least) 6 hours usage, all because you asshats dont do firmware updates before dispensing REPLACEMENT phones to customers, in store?

October 29, 2007

hate sprint

hate them, hate them, hate them.

ok, so they've got my Q. again.

i drove to the sprint store on Lane, and was told that their tech wasn't in today, but i could call back tomorrow and see if he was around then. but, if i didnt want to wait, i could drive 10 miles to the nearest sprint service center.

first, they said it would be 30 minutes. then, when i went back, they said it would be another 30. then, when i went back again, they said it would be another 10-15, at least. all to do a "software upgrade" which will "definitely solve your problem."

really? in my history with sprint, i think the only thing that ever "solves" a problem is my learning to live with the annoyance of whatever is wrong.

this is the same issue i had with the first Q, minus the death-at-BIOS, which, I can only assume, would be coming next. Could be solved by a software upgrade? Ok, that's what you said right before you replaced my device last time, and you apparently didnt upgrade this one before you handed it over? WTF?

poor management, poor customer service... and can't-be-bothered, big-sigh, eye-rolling attitude from their in-store staff. all three stores.

what this means? i didnt get to go home and strip wallpaper at lunch as planned. F*CK!

this time, with a piece of furniture


this time, with furniture
Originally uploaded by m-giga-t

I found a photo of one of our dining room pieces to throw in as an example. yes, the perspective is off, but i think you get a feel for the color.

northwest dining room - mayan treasure mockup (actual sample)

So, Nala took a photo of the Mayan Treasure in patches on these walls (we bought a gallon yesterday), and I sampled it for this mock-up.

It's growing on me, I think. Like the Two To Tango Orange from the last house, I think it will take some getting used to. It's bold.

Kelmeister, Kelmeister's Husband, and Jay all stopped by and said they liked it. MW and Max Power just gave their approval via email.

October 26, 2007

house and family updates

I made chili last night in the hopes that Chloe and Hawk's parents could come over tonight, but they're both out of town. I still need to find someone to help me yank out the washer/dryer from the basement, but I am willing to try it myself if the door closer has been taken off. At least one of em. I suppose I should try the washer first, as it is heavier.

We picked the color, after much "out of these 5, which one do you like least?" Finally, we narrowed it down to 3 golds and the carnelian, and settled on a gold. (Two golds were so similar that I thought one was better, and Nala thought the other was better... I deferred, since they were so close.)

Then, I realized we were out of white vinegar, and I cant figure out how. I know there's a bottle somewhere. I KNOW there is. I'm going to check the bottom pantry cupboard where NalaMatka put the sauces and such. Vinegar and hot water is to take off the old wallpaper. Since there is very little, and it's only one layer, it makes sense to not saturate the plaster with chemicals.

I set up the TiVo with the phone re-broadcaster thingy, and it worked great. I even watched an episode of Smallville (Bizarro) before going to bed. I still need to find the Lowes video cables, and finish putting the whole system together, but I need to do a wiring schematic, because I just cant see right off the bat how I had it all together before.

I need to find the wallpaper scraper, too. I think I'll go home for lunch, and stop at Giant Eagle on the way, to get vinegar.

GigaGrandma had her surgery yesterday, and it went well when they FINALLY got to her. She went in at 8, got settled and changed and they said they'd be in to prep her. 5 hours later, they prepped her, and finally got around to doing the surgery after 2pm. She was pissed.

Now, the pain had been causing her to not be able to think straight. My friend Felix says "I'd be pretty addle-brained too if someone was pounding a nail in my finger constantly," and I think that's a valid point. At age 90, when you've got pain so bad you want to chop your finger off to get it to stop, I can't imagine remembering much, especially when you've got memory problems already. In theory, this should all go back to normal as it heals.

GigaFarm seems to be still GigaFarm till spring. As of yesterday, the neighbor didn't find financing, and the plans for Florida are still in place.

Nala's pretty hurty, and swelling from the prednisone. And forgetful and mumbly and moody, as are all expected. As far as I know, no voices are telling him to kill me, though, from the pain killers. Which is good.

And now, you've had an update! Tonight the wallpaper and washer removal, tomorrow breakfast with Mr & Mrs B, and then perhaps the scraping, sanding, and spackling, followed by wine and nibblies at Mr & Mrs T's.

trick, or treat...

we picked a color last night, finally, as you can see below. it may look like crap and we may have to start over, but hey, we picked one.

next week is trick or treat and we've decided we're going to give out stuff. i've heard that target and big lots have multi-packs of mini playdoh tubs on sale for super-cheap, and i'm also thinking of digging out some batmen and supermen to give out, if i can quickly find them. this is, of course, in addition to candy.

however -- what kind of candy? i'm tempted to throw in some double-bubble, which everyone hates after 30 seconds, or some other old standbys, but i really want to give out some good stuff (for cheap, of course).

mayan treasure


mayan treasure
Originally uploaded by m-giga-t

ok, trust me on this one, the color looked much better in person. here's a ppg rough approximation. it came down to three golds and the carnelian red. this gold won out. but boy does this rgb monitor approximation look bad.

carnelian appears in another post.

October 23, 2007

garanimals

I like the concept of garanimals when it comes to interior decorating, generally.

Why? Because any given color may be perceived by my eyes as something contrary to what it actually is, and it causes much fear.

Once, when I was in high school, I went to a week long mock government event. I packed a bunch of clothes that I could wear together and look decent. I was very diligent and organized back then.

There was a day where we all had to dress for photos. I pulled out a pair of blue pants and a shirt that had a blue stripe in it. No tie, because it was high school and summer, too. I thought I looked quite good.

Well, I got the photo back later, and my mom was upset. Very upset. "What the hell?" I didn't understand. She handed me the photo and said, "what's wrong with that picture?" I still didn't comprehend. "Those pants were a purpley-blue and the shirt was aqua."

You know what I said? "You let me pack it." But inside, I was dying.

Thankfully, when I worked at the mall, at Jeans West, they had gone to a coded system, much like the garanimals of our childhood. You could pick a shirt and vest combo that went together! And socks!

I'm always afraid whenever it comes to color. I have a zillion color palette books, and I use online tools to help me whenever I need to find colors that go together. I double-check when I'm using Photoshop for web comps that the colors are at least close, numerically, to what I think they are.

Picking colors scares the crap outta me, even with Nala around. He's partly colorblind, too, which makes for lots of fun.

I just wish I could find a tool to enter the color values for the woodwork, the furniture, and the floor to come up with a ceiling white and several reds that might work in the dining room.

The living room is going to be just as much fun! Brown couch, gray chimney breast wall, amber leaded glass... at least those colors fit into my 1920s scheme book pretty well.

October 22, 2007

my first mockup

Using Valspar's color picker, and a screen capture, and a digital photo of the room, I made a quick mockup of what the dining room would look like with the color Nala, MW, and I all agree on so far.

I'm not 100% thrilled. Depending which monitor I look at it on, it looks brown, or pink, but never the richest red I think it is on the swatch.

But it's the best so far.

dining-northwest-carnelian

The other thing that Nala suggested was a stipple gold glaze... and I think that could work, too. It just scares the hell out of me, thinking it will never look even.

gigafarm update

(I accidentally posted this to the wrong blog last Thursday. Duh)

Well, the agreement ended yesterday, with no financing yet. so, my dad extended the term of the agreement, since they'll be here for a while more, because my grandma is having joint-fusion surgery in her finger.

They started looking at other houses. Coincidentally, the one they like best is being sold by the same lady they bought the farm from 30 years ago. Of course, 30 years ago she was a widow with 3 small children and a 96 acre farm. Now, she's married boomer with grandchildren, looking for a nice ranch.

Dad would rather move to Florida, taking the money and leaving town, but apparently my mom won't have any of that. So, they're looking. He called last night to ask me about how realtors work, since he's never bought any of his 5 properties through a realtor or with a realtor. In fact, to look at these homes, they didnt call a realtor, they just went to the door and knocked.

Things work differently in rural areas. Or at least in rural areas 30 years ago.

October 18, 2007

more house news...

Toilet fixed, chair rail removed, cabinet delivered. Treated to dinner by Mr. & Mrs. Jack of all Geeks (who graciously decided they wanted the cabinet!). Up too late, but still got up at 5.

Hoont is going to the vet tonight. I'd like to get the returns to Lowe's and Target, and I need to buy coffee.

Need to find the wallpaper tools, and clean a little more in the basement. I should check the garage attic and basement joists for baseboard pieces. There may be more.

Gigafarm news: apparently the bank told the neighbor that he had financing, and sent 2 appraisers out yesterday, who appraised it too low to get financing. He's calling the bank today to straighten things out. Gigamom thinks they'll call the sale off till spring.

October 17, 2007

yowza, is this monday?

just a quick note.

i've been asked to write a letter to the editor and a letter to the dean of students at my old college regarding stupid things students are doing using trendy "networking" sites like facebook and myspace.

specific example? the hottest "group" in the old college network was started by some girl who lost her phone and needs all her friends "digits". and as you can imagine, she's getting them. so far, 80+ folks have left their number in a publicly viewable area. so, any stalkers in that area are getting the numbers, too, since they're posting them in a publicly viewable forum. they're also getting the people's names, their hometowns, their high schools, and other data! how stalkerrific.

i had initially wanted to just message the girl and say "look, stupid, take this thing down!" but then i didnt want to be seen as grumpy old alumni man. so, i contacted the university, and their folks said while they arent legally able to stop the activity, they think the dean of students and local paper should be notified by "a concerned member of the alumni community".

House notes: Corner cabinet removed, and being picked up tonight! (Photos on nala's flickr account.) I'm still half-heartedly looking for maple for baseboards. Gigamom said to check craigslist. Gigacousin found ALL his windows for his 3br cabin on craigslist for $200. ALL. There's like, 11 total. And they were new.

Tonight's agenda: fix downstairs toilet, remove remaining chair rail, and possibly remove wallpaper.

Ok, back to my hidey hole.

October 14, 2007

another week(end) gone.

ok... things I should've done this weekend:

0) Get with Nala and get a list of things to do before Thanksgiving, and prioritize it, since that will drive projects/spending.
1) Get furniture slides under EVERYTHING to avoid floor damage.
2) Get dining room set up. (NOT HAPPENING due to priorities in #0)
3) Finish getting living room television and electronics set up.
4) Spray for fleas. (Hooray)
5) Spray for fleas. (No, seriously).
6) Take clothes to charity.
7) Sort bins in basement into mine, Nala's, misc, sell, and give-away. (Sort of)
8) Vacuum and scrub at least one room's floor.
9) Make chicken soup. Made something else instead.
10) Make a short list of viable refrigerators and model numbers. (I got this started! LOVE LOWES website!)

11) Leafblower!
12) More boxes out of kitchen, foyer, and living room.
13) Found a spot for living room TV.
14) Started picking out cabinets with Nala.
15) Got to know one neighbor better.
16) Cleaned out half the garage (ok, almost half)
17) Took another load of cardboard to the recycling place (and loaded up again.)
18) Found a place to take the two misc tires from the house.
19) Cooked dinner!
20) Started reorganizing the living room for spaces for the dining furniture.

gigafarm will soon be gone, i think

it looks likely that i will be helping my parents move in less than a couple weeks. my former neighbor has told my parents that his son has found a bank that will finance the entire farm. of course, as my mom said, she's heard this before, but she said the neighbor sounded serious.

they have a 30-day agreement, which ends on the 17th. if he doesn't get financing by then, the deal is void till spring. if he does, then i'll be not only helping them move, but probably also have to help them find a place.

October 11, 2007

shootings and stuff

Ok, I'm not going to say much of anything about the recent shooting in Cleveburg, but this should not be a shock to anyone. There are more and more people in this world, and more and more "disturbed" folks, and more with easy access to weapons. Whether he was simply acting out or truly mental, we'll never know, and I'm not sure it matters.

Shootings happen EVERY DAY. They just don't hit the national news. Who still thinks this nation is the idyllic postcard of peaceful Pleasantville? I mean, are you retarded? Simple math will tell you that as the population grows, so will the number of violent crimes, etc.

Ok. I'm done with that.

October 9, 2007

it's a day-after-columbus-day miracle

rebate! really!

I bought the phone from the pin-drop company, over the telephone. I documented the name and ID number of the lady I bought it from, along with the date and time of the call. She told me to go online and download the rebate form.

The next day, I went online to download the rebate form, but the rebate started THE DAY AFTER I ordered the phone. So, I called the company to ask if it would be honored. I was assured it would be, not to worry. I got the name and ID of that person, too.

A week or so later, before I mailed the rebate, I called the folks again, just to make sure, again getting all the pertinent info, having spoken to someone in the rebate department itself. I then wrote the name, ID number, and date and time of the call ON THE REBATE FORM, and made copies before mailing it in.

Friday, I got the email that the rebate was not being honored because it wasn't within the dates specified on the rebate form.

This time, I called in to complain (and to tell them i was prepared to call a lawyer), and everything went smoothly. According to "Irwin," (whose ID number I also got), I should have the rebate within 15-20 days, despite the 30 day term displayed above. I even got a tracking number.

Of course, it's not done till I actually GET the check.

October 8, 2007

microwave shelf removed! and more progress.

well, i removed the microwave shelf, only to find bare plaster behind it, along with a hole in the plaster where they wired it in. the outlet hole is too far down to be hidden by a hood, and too far away from the stud to be re-installed where it was. as near as i can tell, they made a hole in the plaster, then broke the lath when they jammed the box in, right on top of the knob and tube. i am hopeful there is enough slack in the wire to move the box to the stud, at least.

the important thing? at least i can cook there now. i just need to be careful about the steam.

Nala made the pepperoni dip (the oven works!) and miseria to take to the football party on Saturday, and both were well received. yes, this is a strange and different neighborhood, but it's wonderful how all the neighbors can hang out and all have a good time. There's a new recipe I have to get, too -- buffalo chicken dip.

I've managed to get all but a couple kitchen boxes put away, and I'm literally down to the last couple. I had to buy lazy susans for the cupboards to be able to functionally store the spices, and I still need 1-2 more to get it completed. I tried, at first, to arrange them alphabetically, but realized that wasn't the most time-efficient way, so I ended up throwing them in where they fit, but keeping the peppers and chili powders and curries in their own place.

I can see floor again! That means it's almost time to start on the dining room. Impending rain is going to force me to clear a spot in the garage to keep the folded cardboard boxes from getting mushy. Must remember to find a recycling place.

Also, I found a couple blue valances for the bathroom (to go with the bright blue shower curtain and rugs) and curtains for the kitchen (for now). I found patterns for new dining room curtains, too.

doubling up

I dropped my class this quarter -- I knew it would take us a month to unpack, and get things straightened up with the house, so it was best to double-up in the winter or spring, and still graduate on time.

Also, in researching my old college and a new location it has in Cowtown, I found a degree program which I should be able to finish in an additional year. Sure, it's another bachelor's program, but I think I could finish it in only 4-5 more courses, depending on how many of my classes already apply.

I don't know why, but this other Bachelors degree sounds perfectly suited to get me ready for the masters program I had been investigating.

October 5, 2007

did i tell you

about the stupid chick at work?

OMG I will be so glad when she has the baby and leaves. She's loud. She talks on her cell phone whenever. And she's monumentally stupid.

I know that if I hate her, the poor, smart kid who works next to her has to despise her.

The sun is made up of reflected light.
The moon is made of green cheese.

Oh wait, the sun is a big ball of flame.
And the moon is made of ice.

Yeah. College graduate. Welcome to Ameriduh.

new shelf, new trash can, new pizza

So I managed to find a shelf unit to go in the part of the pantry that I assume was the old broom closet, to make that space more usable. I'll try again @ Target to find another piece to go above it (connect to it) to fill the space with 1-2 more shelves. I also got a new trash can for the kitchen, and picked up a cordless wall-phone without thinking that there's no place to plug it in near the kitchen phone jack. DUH. So, even though I love the phone, without an outlet, it's done. Back it goes.

We tried a local pizza place near us, and it was fantastic.

I got 2 more boxes unpacked.

I really think we're making progress.

I emailed my parents, who said "we still dont have your new address" along with "we'll be in town Tuesday afternoon" and "mom's making you a housewarming gift." I, of course, emailed back with the address, directions, and a thank you, along with a note for Dad with a new bookstore to try selling at.

Tonight? Maybe, finally, removing the microwave shelf. Based on what's behind there, we can see if a recirculating range hood is a viable option, or whether a pot rack will be a feasible route. If the cabinets were more functional in the rest of the kitchen (meaning, not so insanely skinny or short) then I'd suggest ripping out that whole wall of cabinets and moving the range and fridge and hang a pot rack and be done. But, because of the current state, I'm thinking, for now, a $100 or less range hood (if there is wiring there for it) will do the trick.

We just don't have the huge lump of cash to redo the kitchen right now.

October 4, 2007

the friendly neighbors

Ok, so the neighbors in the cape next door invited us to come watch the game on Saturday at their place. BYOB, but burgers and brats provided.

As you might've guessed, living for the last 10 years in neighborhoods close to Buckeye football, and living in Cowtown for close to 20 years, has jaded us both a bit to the experience. We seem to have moved into Buckeye Fan Central, with every house having a pennant or flag or banner outside, so it's a bit intimidating.

Tudor-guy asked if we liked the Buckeyes. What do you say to that, when they've been the cause of so much stress over the years? Well, you skirt the issue. And then he moves on to asking if you like beer, and all is good.

I grew up watching and cheering for the Buckeyes. It's what Cowlanders do. My mom and I would spend our Saturdays watching the game in front of (and shouting at) the tv, or if we were out of town or it wasnt on any of our 3 channels, listening to it on the radio. I could easily slip back into that, probably, if I had to.

Welcome to suburbia (even though it's in the city).

w/d and stove revisited

went to lowes, got the ductwork, got both washer and dryer working. nala got some of the screws holding the microwave cabinet removed, and it's going to take 2 people to get it out of there, since they seem to have stuffed in the outlet in the back.

I knew it was low, but I didn't know how low. code apparently says 30" above the cook top for flammable surfaces, and 24" for non-flammable (such as a vent hood, etc). Care to venture a guess at how low the cabinet was? Well, to be honest, I didnt measure the current distance. I measured up 30 inches from the stove top, which was to the top of the microwave cabinet. That means the bottom of the cabinet was around 14" above the flames, if that (it was a tall microwave.)

I got a couple more boxes put away. Tonight I have to remember to take the garbage out, and I'll try to finish putting the rest of the kitchen away. That may be difficult with the pantry missing some shelves, so it'll be back to Lowe's again after I measure.

Oh, and my debit card is gone. Fantastic.

And the cable Internet repair guy is supposed to come out at 3pm. We haven't had Internet since we moved. Between that, and no cable upstairs, it's been odd.

October 3, 2007

new w/d, and stove stuff

WOOHOO!

Got the new Washer/Dryer downstairs last night. Gotta get to Lowe's tonight and get new ductwork for the dryer, but the washer seems to be in ok, and no leaks. I'll check it again when I get home, but just in case, I put a bucket under it.

After I get the dryer hooked up and make sure the washer hookups are not leaking, I'll start laundry and haul the beasts (the old w/d) upstairs. UGH. That's going to suck, lemme tell ya.

We're making progress. I also want to run the dishwasher, clean the stove, and load the pans into the drawer beneath it. I want to make sure the drill is charged and get the cabinet above the stove removed, so that we can USE the stove.

(Note: Flammable surface above the stove needs to be 30" from stove top. Non-flammable needs to be 24". And side cabinets? See range mfr suggestions.)

parallel universes

So, we moved into the Twilight Zone. Or, maybe, Wisteria Lane. I haven't yet decided which. Neighbors keep being neighborly, introducing themselves, welcoming us to the neighborhood, and sometimes bringing gifts. It is WEIRD. Seriously.

The neighbors in the cape next door are young, mid-30s, and have 2 dogs (wire-hair terriers, I think?) and we haven't seen much of them yet after I asked them Friday if they could move their car so we could pull the moving truck in front of the house. They have a walnut tree which keeps dropping nuts on our garage and cars.

The neighbors directly across from us in the tiny ranch are very friendly and older than our parents. I cant remember their names. They're nice, though, and have been there forever. I get the feeling the husband might be the "Bill" of the new neighborhood.

The neighbors next to them, in the first noteworthy tudor, are probably mid-40s, and are first-year empty-nesters. They have 2 kids in college. He works at OSU, and I can't remember where she works. He's into muscle cars, the Buckeyes, and beer. They moved into the neighborhood about the same time as our previous owners.

The neighbors 4 doors down on our side have 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a huge house. They brought us homemade muffins and a gift bag of moisturizers.

The neighbors on the other side of us are a young couple with kids who will be moving out soon, making way for their parents'. They have a wonderful back yard which makes me jealous.

Seriously, we moved onto Wisteria Lane. We're the outsiders with the deep dark secrets that they're all trying to figure out.