2012-09-13 12:24 am
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Hey! I don't own a home now!

It's true- the condo is technically a rental from the builders until around December; and the house sale became final as of today.

We've been ready for the house to sell for 4 months- and since it got repainted in beiges last month, it hasn't even felt to me like the home we had lived in for eleven years. It's a good time to move on.

The sale was supposed to become final next Wednesdy, except last Thursday our realtor emailed to say the buyers have requested closing a week early.

...Um, OK maybe, because this was 4:30pm, and [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball was to leave in 90 minutes for Slovenia.

Our lawyer indicated the change was likely possible, so we prepped a few things in lieu of d. being present at the paperwork-signing before we popped off to the airport. On Friday I spent a few hours finding documents the lawyer needed such as the survey, deed from our purchase and so on; and signing the revised papers with our agent. (And I will note that I'm quite pleased that our city has a single-phonecall service to handle starting/closing accounts with all of the municipally owned water and gas utilities, tax rolls, and rental hot-water heater. That call plus one to the power company was sum total of required calls to change the closing date).

In the evening I went to clean out the shed and attic, which the buyers had realized still had junk in them. Junk that mostly belonged to the prior owners. Ugh.

Part of this story is that a few weeks ago I had decided I was going to treat this weekend as a personal retreat- centered around a massage on Saturday. So I had a fair bit of grumpiness about upending the retreat in favour of mortgage paperwork and cleaning out junk I didn't realize we had to deal with. Friday after work, I went to the house and began hauling junk- meditatively. Believe it or not, it worked- I wasn't grumpy at the buyers, or us for not cleaning it previously, or the previous owners; the retreat now just had a physical labour component.

Would you believe that worked? I scarcely did. It kept me going till 9pm, at least, which is when I finished the worst of it, leaving the rest to handle on trash night.

And lest you think [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball was merely lounging around in Slovenian castles, by 4pm he had electronically signed and emailed back the legal documents fulfilling his part of the paperwork, which meant I just had to go into the lawyer's office Monday morning with some paperwork, and everything would be finished, save accepting a scary big sum into our bank account, which is now shifted over to a 1.8% savings account.

I'm still a bit impressed that it all came together.

And now my keychain is one key lighter, and we no longer own a lawn-mower.
2012-08-26 08:10 pm
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"Iles Flottantes", or, "Floating Eels"...

Last night Dan was going to make Iles Flottantes, which sounded tasty and decadent, but the eggs wouldn't separate, which meant he was either going to waste a bunch of eggs, or change plans. So he made pound cake, which is indeed quite tasty.

I woke up this morning hearing Monty Python-esque voices saying "Iles Flottantes", or in English, "Floating Eels..." Sadly, that's all of the skit that came to my waking mind. But someone else should run with it, shouldn't they?


This weekend has been a bit of a crapshoot. I have had a terrible backache, which has gotten better and worse in turns, but today I didn't need Tylenol with codeine, just regular Tylenol and Advil, which is an improvement.

This weekend I've gotten lots of walking in, just around downtown. I saw a twitter post yesterday that amused and amazed me: there are still apparently a bunch of people in town who are terrified of Downtown as being scary and crime-ridden. Perhaps 15 years ago it was? But I'm certain it's much less worrying than, say, Ball Square or other Boston-area neighbo(u)rhoods. A friend made a comment to the effect that such people form a distinct set of folks she is displeased to run into, in the OTHER (ritzier) end of town. And there is some truth to that for me too.

...I'd say eat the rich, but I'm not really into capitalism cannibalism.


We have an offer on our house! The inspection is tomorrow morning, after which we'll hear if they have any problems. The realtors had a showing today "just in case" and there was a lot of interest, if Party the First falls through. Getting this close-to-finished is such a load off my mind. And for Dan, too. There's a difference between knowing in theory that it will sell, and actually having it finally happen.


I've been trying to not think about work at home, but failed yesterday, when I decided I would just email the author of some code I'm using. His reply was both immediate and very useful, and at the same time I realized I: 1) had a bug in my alteration to his code and 2) knew the fix could be tested in about ten minutes. ...So I did that. And it worked!

So then I had to tell him I fixed the deficiency he had told me he'd never gotten around to fixing (but wanted to fix). And since he had a github account to share his code, and *I* have a github account I've never used, it made the most sense to figure out how to share it with him publicly, with all the public open-source accountability.

I expect you can see where this went (and so could I, even while I was doing it).

It took me about an hour to figure out the next part, since I've never actually used git before. But the end product looks pretty awesome to me, because something like 3 lines of code (and 1 line of documentation) means I don't have to spend at least a day writing a workaround for the (nonexistent) deficiency in the underlying system API.

Or, said another way, I made it so I can programmatically rename hosts in the campus DNS system, instead of having to delete the old host and re-creating all of its information in a new record.


So yah. Life is pretty good, and will be even better next week when the provisional house sale becomes final!

How's by you?
2011-10-15 01:42 pm
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In post-cold torpor. Woke up early enough to drive dan to the train station (he's working at a University Fair all day today) and was going to go back to sleep, but it turns out I'm not at all tired.

Discovered the basement has had undetected standing water long enough to mildew a few cardboard liquour boxes, and probably ruined a bag of flour, sigh. So I did the "dry out the carpet with the big box fan" dance (lifting a dripping carpet to put crates to air out underneath while trying to not get dripped on) along with the "eek, there are multiple spiders in there" shuffle.

And for the last few hours I've worked on pruning the bookshelves. Found roughly 20" of books to go to the thrift shop, along with another pile that aren't worth anything to anybody other than me-of-20-years-ago (Cornell Student Handbook for 1992?).

Haven't figured what to do with two thin books I bought even before then: "Young, Gay, and Proud", and "One Teenager in 10." Almost certainly as much use today as... hm... the Whole Earth Catalog? With less obvious charm?

There's a melancholy of going through bookshelves one hasn't touched in years, especially if one can remember, 4 or 5 years ago, choosing to keep some of the books based on a plan to actually read them. My pleasure reading for the last few years has been almost entirely the daily Globe and Mail and 3 monthly magazines that I am underwater on reading. I've been forging my way through the last six issues of Harpers, dunno what I will do about The Atlantic which I never seem to get to...

I could choose to spend less time browsing on the web, and more time with a good book. But why do I have the feeling that I won't?
2011-01-30 01:35 pm
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20 year appliances

We're replacing two of the last original appliances in the house ("original" in the sense they were here when we moved in.)

The water-softener is failing; it is 20+ years old, according to the repair guy. It's being replaced on Monday. This was the cause of what we thought was a problem with the dishwasher: no matter how much or little soap we used, there was a film left on the dishes. Well, in fact, the water-softener hadn't been regenerating or using ANY salt in possibly six months.

The garage-door opener is failing- it doesn't recognize the top or bottom limits, so it always reverses at the top and bottom of its cycle. It, too, is 20+ years old: hard to say how old, but that's when Stanley got out of the Garage Door Business. Both the opener and the door are in sad shape. At the top of the cycle, the opener is trying to commit hari-kari as the L-bar rams into the front cover for the motor-assembly. There are knobs, which are supposed to adjust the limits, and I took off the chain to see how far it would naturally go before stopping, but neither knob seems to do anything. [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j and I will be taking a look at it again this afternoon; and probably then we're going to at least replace the opener.

Sort of a shame to me that both replacements will probably last less than 20 years. Butwhatchagonnado.
2010-05-24 10:51 pm

Neither Russian, nor Orthodox.

Bless me LJ, for I have been quiet. It has been two weeks since my last post.

Hey, I'm 36! My birthday was low-key; bookended by food: takeout BBQ one night and yummy home-cooked shrimp scampi. And ice-cream on my birthday. 36 so far feels like 35 with more things falling apart.

I've lost track of how many times I've had bike flats in the last month. It's at least five.
Tomorrow morning might be exciting; I'm biking to work by way of the bike shop, to replace the rear tube (again) and tire (overdue). The tube/tire on the bike might hold long enough for me to get there.

On Saturday morning, I went to reinflate my bike tire to the recommended pressure... and didn't notice a hole worn in the tire sidewall. "Hey, that side's bulging. Hey, maybe I should let the air out before it - " BAM! My ears were ringing for a while. I had to laugh out loud at the absurdity. I immediately pictured birds flying in circles around my head.

In the last week, I've had high hopes for a long bike-ride after work, or on the weekend, but with the different flats, it just didn't seem like a good idea. Hindsight, at least two of the flats were caused by wearing through the tire sidewalls. One was glass, one was a bad patch (over a seam) and I don't remember what the rest were. At least I can still say Rapid Flat-Fixes Я Us.

The odometer did roll over another 200 km, Friday evening just after I replaced the n-1th flat on my way home from work; exactly 30 days after the last 200km.

Other stuff falling apart? Goodness. My laptop has been crashing (though I now have Time Machine running backups, so at least that's automated), my phone/camera has been acting finicky, my iPod has been refusing to update again, our front stoop has lost a chunk of stone and now looks a bit gap-toothed, and I think the front doorknob is possibly loose. Whee! Oh, and we're probably going to replace the car reasonably soon, as upkeep costs begin to approach trade-in value. I feel super-lucky, though, that none of these are dire situations, as long as everything doesn't fail simultaneously. (*glares menacingly at laptop, phone, iPod*)

Anyhow, this weekend included a batch of errands, a wonderful walk with [livejournal.com profile] roverthedog and [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball in a leash-free dog-park along a river, and a fairly recuperative Pilates session that made me feel all stretchy.

Work recently has included a foray into writing some C code, which is quite challenging for me. So many ways to screw up! But I've hopes that I (and colleagues I can rope into helping) will end up with a minor contribution to OpenSSH. Srs!

Since I last posted, I also went to Philadelphia for a Quaker thang, which was useful at unsticking some "how should I do this" sort of questions I'd been stuck on (and perhaps will post on eventually) and also for some good news about the Quaker Quest program- there will soon be funding to hire some number of additional staff. And then I spent a wonderful afternoon with friends in the Philly area, and we romped in the park with their dog and their 5-year-old, AND had a visit from NJ friends who came into town for the afternoon; and then they fed me soup and brownies and sent me on my flight back home with a big smile on my face.
2009-06-04 09:08 pm
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In this house, it hopefully neither rains nor pours.

Our water heater is apparently being replaced tomorrow.

It is a rental, as are most water heaters in this town, because the water's so hard people need to replace their heaters every 5-10 years. Or so I'm told. We've been here 8 years, never had a problem.

The puddle in the laundry-room couldn't be blamed on a rainstorm any longer... So I called the city after work tonight, and they sent someone around, who looked at the puddle, asked a few questions, and immediately shut off the gas and water to the heater.

He said, "the bottom's corroded. When the water is on, the pressure has a chance to blow out the bottom of the tank. I've seen it happen, and I recommend you keep it off until tomorrow morning. You have enough hot water for a couple of showers, and the contractors will bring you a replacement tomorrow."

So, right now we don't have a hot-water heater.

Our utility bill covers sewer, water, and gas. This week we've tested the city's response to the first two. I would like to leave the third one to 2nd and 3rd-hand stories, please? Thanks.

(The arrival of the guy who inspected our water heater was delayed by an hour for him to go across town and deal with a real gas leak; fortunately fixed with no explosions.)
2009-06-03 09:47 am
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Guess what!

The city misplaced our sewer pipe!

Apparently, their filing system involves relying on a stake that they drove into our yard last June, which seems foolproof to me.

Corollary: We're getting a big chunk of our lawn replaced, saving us the expense of doing it.

Second corollary: I am grateful that I could be home this morning, because they had to come inside to run another locate through the bowels under our house, after they had dug up a long trench from the road to where they thought the pipe was.

I think I'll just stay put, 'cause I've got a physio appointment down the street at lunch time.
2008-08-01 07:30 pm

World's most Trivial Poltergeist, Part IV

As mentioned, our dining-room is haunted by the world's most trivial poltergeist. Only, now maybe I pissed it off by soldering the clock?

[livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball returned home to discover the clock face-down on the dining-room floor, shards of pottery scattered around.

True, this morning, I tweaked the clock's batteries because it had stopped overnight. (This time, the pendulum was running, and the clock had stopped. Why? No idea. Electrically, they are on the same circuit and every other time it's stopped, the hands kept going and the pendulum stopped.)

True, every time the Via Rail train comes through, the whole house shakes. And true, the nail on the wall is loose in the nail-hole, because it's plaster and I've re-hung the clock more times than I could count. But- I hung it on the nail, and it stayed there, like every other time I've hung it up. And then, some time in the day, it leaped to the floor, in the process landing on a single ceramic bowl on the shelves underneath, but not hitting anything else on the way, and remarkably not smashing into a pile of wooden and glass shards. Even though the d-cell batteries were flying around inside the case.

And dan came home to a clock in a pile of ceramic shards. And I came home to survey the damage (the poor bowl!), and the clock is fine, in fact it was still ticking. Even though the two D-cell batteries were sitting in the bottom of the case (*boggle*)

...And then I remembered the 3rd battery, a rechargeable, which I had stuck into the mechanism as a shim, but had stuck tape on the contacts so it wouldn't mess things up electrically. And the tape had worn through.

And now the clock is rehung, and I'm slightly on edge waiting for it to leap from the wall again.

Perhaps we should take [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j's advice and permanently attach it to the wall. Perhaps I should just countersink a sturdy screw into the wall. [Stop looking at me like that, [livejournal.com profile] dawn_guy...]

Perhaps we should declare the house haunted and move to Tahiti.
2008-07-11 11:28 pm
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Plumbing and landscaping, ct'd

So, we had the owner of Bodhi Tree Landscaping come and consult on our yard, and frankly I'm underwhelmed. He suggested we might consider using roundup to wipe out the front yard, which goes completely counter to his website's claim of pesticide-free installations. All I can figure is that he pegged us as wanting the fast route. And the do-it-yourself route, even though we did say a few times we don't want to do it ourselves, we've been not-doing-it-ourselves for 7 years.

He didn't have any photos of some of the ground-cover he suggested we consider. He said we were at the very start of figuring this out, and we should talk it over amongst ourselves and get back to him when we had a course of action for him. Um, hello?

Perhaps if I had more assertively tried to put money into his hands, he might've tried harder, but I really thought he was gong to re-offer what he said on the phone, an hour consultation for $50 or so; he didn't, and I suggested it, and for whatever reason he didn't want to. Oh well.

So that's Bodhi Tree.

On Tuesday, the city came back and gave our house a colonoscopy. The pipe looks fine (except the city's portion has the remains of tree roots, almost certainly from the tree the city removed two years ago). And they put a stake in the lawn at our property line. The city will replace their pipe, possibly next summer, and they will pay for any sewer-line repairs between now and then. The two guys who came were mid-50s seen-it-all guys. The more assertive one said Hammonds Plumbing is owned by a crook, and he sees them in court almost every week. Hm. I'll pass it on to you all, but I'm not sure I wouldn't hire them again; they did show up on Saturday morning early and did call the city for me.

And now it's bedtime for Bonzo. And me, too.
2008-06-26 11:51 am
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City Sewer, ct'd

After Saturday's sewer fun, I got a call from the city. Since the damage was caused by a city tree, they're taking responsibility for fixing it. They want to send a camera down the pipe to determine what's wrong. And they will pay for any further unclogging that needs to happen before they can replace the pipe (likely not until next year).

I didn't ask whether our house needs to fast before the procedure, or whether it requires general anesthetic.

I hope they're gentle.
2008-06-22 12:15 am

Saturday Wrapup

For the curious:

Today I learned that if your house has an access-panel in the basement, with a grungy pipe head behind it, that is probably your house's main drain to the city sewer. And if that pipe starts gurgling, that means water is backing up from the street. And if the panel fills with water, that's another sign water is backing up. And if you're lucky, the plumber will get to it before things become really messy.

We were lucky- I called Hammond Plumbing at 11 last night, their rep (who sounded knowledgeable) booked someone for 8:45 this morning, who showed up with a power auger, and two hours later the problem was (temporarily) resolved.

I say temporarily because the problem is likely to recur, though it hadn't happened in the last seven years; his clearing the pipe brought up a lot of tree-root material, and his educated guess is that the pipe has a bad crack in it (we think from the big tree that the city replaced, three summers ago). And foreign material in the pipe will clog it eventually.

This extravaganza cost us $230, though at one point there were also two city sewer employees in our basement, being paid overtime by the city, because it seemed that the blockage might be beyond our property-line and therefore the city's problem. The two city guys took measurements, converted them to metric, reported them back to their supervisor, and eventually the city will probably turn that into a bill for $295 plus tax because in fact the blockages were under the old tree, which is on our property. However, they might not charge us, possibly due to the detail (also reported to headquarters) that the tree causing the blockage had been a city tree.


This wasn't the ickiest thing to happen in our house, but it was icky, at least until I bleach-mopped the basement floor, and it was all over by noon, thankfully.

...meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball was off talking to a sales rep for a condo, which seems a bit funny in the juxtaposition, especially considering d's been saying he wants to move to a loft every time there's a maintenance problem in our house, though this time it was an appointment I had set up yesterday afternoon. The "eco-loft" condos going in on Bridgeport had some new openings we wanted to check out. In the end, they aren't right for us; probably the condos going in at the Barrelyards will be, in a few years.

And then d. made strawberry jam and I ran errands:

- picked up a hold at the library
- bought coffee beans
- bought shoes, shorts, pillows, and pillow-cases at the outlet mall
- got back and crashed.

...and the rest of the afternoon has been lazing about, eating leftovers, giving the dog a long walk, and watching more of Angels in America from HBO. How was your Saturday? :)
2008-06-20 11:29 pm

Since I'm up

On the balance, this has been a good week, (and it still can end up a good week assuming the drain augering and fixing goes smoothly tomorrow morning, but I'm trying to not think about it).

A few high points in the last week:

- Work has been rewarding. This week I worked on: php, shell scripts, sql, perl, and WebObjects. I have challenging tasks, and more importantly, I have a plan; and the things I do will make my group's jobs easier. This is most excellent.

- Last Saturday afternoon, I participated in a community witness that went more smoothly than we deserved (given the weather forecast, number of participants, and the structure of the event). And the food at the reception was excellent. And it included home-made lemon meringue pie.

And we learned that our Quaker Meeting is going to have another wedding, next year. The couple met on Lavalife. He's 70, she's 50.

- Ye's sushi with my sweetie.

- semi-wild strawberries from the front yard. I've eaten a few, and they're delicious.

- In a week, I'm seeing a huge pile of Friends at FGC Gathering, in Johnstown PA this year. I'm fairly intentionally making the week a challenge for myself, as instead of taking a workshop, I'm doing service work. Which could be draining, and it could be extremely rewarding. The only thing I know would make the week better would be if [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball were able to come, but I expect we'll both do OK. My car will have at least one rider, and possibly 1-2 others if they get their acts together. I don't know any of them, but that's fine. We'll talk about workshops and figure out who we know in common...

- And not one but two successful real-estate hunts among friends! [livejournal.com profile] chezmax & [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j bought a house locally that sounds well-suited to them, and [livejournal.com profile] sulle_stelle bought a stunning-sounding house in Tampa! Both were long shots, of a sort. Congrats, guys!
2008-04-06 12:02 am
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What I learned today by Daniel

(Via a comment in [livejournal.com profile] sqrt_joy's journal)

What have I learned today? (By "today" I mean Saturday, technically from midnight to midnight).

* My 15+ year old Converse hightops are still in good shape and comfortable. I dug them out to go dancing to 80s music with [livejournal.com profile] hotcabanasauce, [livejournal.com profile] chezmax, and [livejournal.com profile] indigofire_net; and my feet didn't hurt after two hours- wow. Why did I ever stop wearing them?

* I still enjoy dancing. I'm less self-conscious a dancer than I was the last time I was in a club, whenever the hell that was. (2000? Underworld in Boston?) (Is that claim sensible, or is it wishful thinking? Well, I know that last night I was indeed dancing like nobody was watching... Yay self-confidence?)

* The navy jacket which my Mom bought me in 1990, and which has sat in my closet for 15+ years since it's not appropriate for dinner-wear or other semiformal purposes, by virtue of ill fit and ugly buttons, still fits well enough for dancing, looks fairly snappy, and as a bonus, the inside breast pocket fits a water-bottle.

* The local production of The Importance of Being Earnest is worth seeing (it also runs the 10th-12th).

* As much as I wish Home Hardware were open after 5:30pm on Saturday, it ain't.

* That my new boss bought me a nice new computer for when I start my new job at the end of the month. Mmmmmm, brand new iMac with 2g memory...

* That our lawn possibly still exists, and might be visible in another week of warm weather like this.

* And I learned that our new back-yard neighbours are German and have not one but two small humans in the house.

What did you learn today?
2008-01-03 09:33 am
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Our furnace died some time in the night. It's -18°C outside right now (0°F). [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball has stayed home to intercept the repair people, who should arrive within the half-hour. Fortunate thing, that, since it's around 16°C in the house.

Meanwhile, I have a minor head-cold. But I'm at work, and feeling fairly OK.
2007-12-31 10:11 am
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two questions after returning from a trip

1) Why do airplanes need a separate kind of headphone plug? If they didn't, people would be more inclined to use their own headphones, and the airline wouldn't have to hand out disposable headphones on the flight. (They are disposable; if you give them back, they go straight into the trash). This bugs me. Why does it make sense to them? Economically: say 300 pair x $0.50 cost to the airline = $150 could be saved on each long-haul flight. How much would it cost to retrofit the planes for regular 3.5mm stereo headphone jacks? Say a highball $100 a seat- it would pay for itself in 200 flights. I remember when the airlines used to sell the headphones, but now they just give them away. I'm sure it's not an image thing; it sure isn't glamorous to rip into a packet of headphone.

2) Why do washing machines have a separate dial for clothing colour when they already have a setting for temperature? If I set "hot/cold" and "colours" does it modulate the hot temperature downward? I don't tend to think it does, since the water feels just the same whether it's on "whites" or "colours."

To tie these two questions together, if I'm going to accidentally send a piece of electronics through the wash, I'm really happy it was my headphone airplane adapter.
2007-12-19 04:18 pm

Totally Seasonally Inappropritate

This is partly a post for me to link to in my todo list for next spring, because I want to think about longer days (wah, it's so dark at 4:20...)

Via [profile] speedyima:

One Straw Revolution, written by a guy who's doing permaculture in his subdivision.  (He wisely got himself elected president of the neighborhood assn first!)  He also has a basic essay on "Ecological 'Yardening'", covering the basics of lawn maintenance/eradication, vegetable gardening, etc.

His tips on how to get started reducing grass lawn appear sound and reasonably simple.  Though I think the title "yardening" is too twee. Perhaps re-reading this in the spring will inspire me after I never did get started on replacing any of the yard with attractive perennials last year.  Though- I did encourage the ivy to come out from the house into the yard, with careful mowing.  And I'll revisit this in April.

Also: the Eat Well Guide is a database of local farms, stores, and restaurants, from Canada and the US. It's an interesting find, and I'm curious if their overall coverage is better than for our area- it completely lacks most of the local sources I know of; but it would be neat to see this grow up to be a proper international guide.  I'm going to point them at the "Eat Local Eat Fresh" "Buy Local Buy Fresh" database, which is slightly less user-friendly but much more complete for locals.  The Eat Well Guide is from the folks who did the "meatrix" movie(s), which means I have mixed feelings about it- the movies are histronic and a bit misleading, but... it's not like there needs to be a monopoly on media messages about organic cruelty-free meat farms.
2007-12-07 04:15 pm

Buying things

This week I've bought art, a chair, and framing. And I'm looking forward to how my den's going to look in a few weeks.

[livejournal.com profile] catbear is making me a largeish print from a photo he took in Ottawa. I'm so looking forward to seeing it.

I have a large satellite photo of Lake Ontario. I love the photo- the blues and greens, the topography, the clouds. You can see where we live now, where my parents live, and Ithaca, from a 450-mile height. But it's been in an unflattering plastic frame for the last five years, because I was afraid to find out how much it would cost to do properly.

At [livejournal.com profile] catbear's suggestion, I'm having it laminated and plaque-mounted here at the University- for only $50. Gee, I should've done this years ago.

Finally, I bought a chair, which will be delivered in January; I've meant to have a second chair in that room for ages, and this one is super-comfy. And gold-coloured. And reclining.

It's... a bit weird to give myself permission to spend my own money. On myself. "Frivolously." But not, because it will bring me joy for a long time.
2007-10-30 04:31 pm
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What have I done?

I was just in the Student Centre, and one of the groups that was tabling is giving out free compact florescent bulbs. The goal is giving one bulb to every Canadian household, and they say they have the sponsors to do that.

I took my bulb, looked at their website, and was impressed enough by it to go back and ask a few more questions and whether I could give some out to my non-student friends and colleagues. For my troubles, they handed me a teeshirt and a bag of 50. :)

If you see me face-to-face in the next month, ask for your free bulb.

I might just start carrying a few around and giving them to strangers- I see very little downside to that, other than a little bit of talking-to-strangers phobia, which I'm trying to counteract by talking to strangers (win!). The package has non-embarrassing marketing materials, and the form-factor of the bulbs is smaller than a regular incandescent, which is an improvement on most of the CF bulbs in our house. They also claim to be instant-on, which is also an improvement. [edit to add: not instant-on, but maybe half a second, which is acceptable.]

(Boy, they might have made a mistake by handing me 50... how many unconverted lights does our house have?... hm, OK, not many.)

The women I spoked to said roughly half the people who took bulbs were also putting their names down to be contacted about becoming a volunteer.
2007-10-28 09:22 pm
Entry tags:

Who Ya Gonna Call?

The good news: the world's most trivial poltergeist is no longer haunting our clock.

The bad news: it has lept to the garage-door opener.

When the door fails to go all the way down, it has an auto-reverse that opens the door back up and flashes the ceiling-light at about 3 times a second forever until we happen to go check on it. Which is oh so fun when we come home from an evening out and our garage is a disco inferno without the inferno (or the disco really, just the strobe).

This thing is supposed to be adjustable, and I think I even adjusted the tension once so it wouldn't *always* think it was hitting a small child / car when in fact it was hitting the ground. But, roughly a week and a half ago, it started frequently re-opening quite some time after the door was closed, and usually when we were out.

Which, if you think about it, is a superb neighbourhood announcement, "Hey! The house is open, just come on in! But knock first, and if anyone answers, say the garage is flashing, and they'll thank you for your trouble!" That is, if we don't remember to lock the garage door.

So, tomorrow's project is to remember where that tensioner is, but not right now, because d's sleeping the sleep of the recently-returned-from-Germany.

If it isn't the poltergeist, I also hope that the problem isn't that our driveway's gotten more buckled, since replacing the driveway sounds both expensive and a pain this time of the year.
2007-10-16 04:03 pm

(no subject)

So our house is being haunted by the world's most Trivial Poltergeist. Particularly, the very pretty wooden clock in the dining room is haunted (see the top-right of this photo from d's citizenship party). The pendulum is entirely for show; it's powered by a battery. The Trivial Poltergeist will stop and start the pendulum at random intervals. Recently, the pendulum has been mostly still, and it bugs both d. and me that it won't work. For d., mostly because it looks bad, and for me because it looks bad for my mechanical abilities that I can't figure out a fake clock pendulum.

On Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] bats22 jokingly wondered what would happen if I doubled the voltage. Ding! (actually, *clonk*): two batteries increases the electromagnet's pull, but it doesn't change the frequency. So it swings rreeeallly wiiiide now. Next I'm nudging down the voltage, now that it's kept itself going long enough for me to know this isn't a transient fix (like the last 8 or so have been). Poltergeist bug us not!

There is a punchline, which is that this morning I was going to simply post this entry as a haiku:

The pendulum swings
Under doubled batteries
Faster than we'd like

...I reconsidered, on grounds that cryptic poetry in livejournal may look more dramatic than I intended.

...Not connected to the previous, a note to myself: If you find yourself saying, "I am a river of peace, water washes over me goddammit." You're Doing It Wrong.