Thursday, January 25, 2007


Here's some projects that have been done around our house while first my wife's parents and now my parents have been out to visit.

First, our upstairs shower started not putting out hot water again, so we had to hire a plumber to come fix that for $220. After that, no more outside help.

My father-in-law re-grouted the bottom of our shower and fixed the piece of rubber under the door that had split and was hanging down. He also fixed our broken wall clock and hanged it for us. He then hanged multiple pictures that we had never gotten around to putting up. My mother-in-law helped my wife (finally) organize her side of our walk-in closet. They both did a ton of cleaning around the house, including even light fixtures. Our house has never looked better!

With the arrival of my Mom and Dad this week, it was time to tackle putting up a ceiling fan. We purchased two fans at Home Depot more than a year ago when they had a good sale and we had a 10% off coupon. A friend helped me put up one fan shortly thereafter, but the other one languished in its box until now. Dad and I put it up today, in what I must say was a herculean struggle. We got it wired and put together in what seemed like fairly quick fashion, only to find that it didn't work when we hit the switches. We tried several more iterations of switching which house wires connected to which fan wires, all to no avail. Holding a very heavy object over your head for an extended period of time while balancing on a ladder is a pretty good workout. Eventually we even took down the previously done ceiling fan to check out its wiring. It matched what we had done the first time, so why didn't that work? I had ruled out a blown fuse because my computer was in the same room and had stayed on the whole time. Nonetheless, after all the futility, I eventually ran down and checked the fusebox. Sure enough, it was blown. I guess the overhead light and an outlet in the same room are on different fuses. So, I reset the fuse, we re-wired back to the original way, and everything worked. Whew. Dad then took a look at our lawnmower that hasn't been working, but which I had not had the right tool to open. Dad had already gotten that, and quickly diagnosed what needed to be replaced. However that part requires going to Sears, which we don't have immediately nearby, so that project had to be postponed to another day. Next, we tackled a toilet that has been intermittently refilling. After a quick trip to Wal-Mart, Dad had the flapper (is that the technical term?) replaced in no time. Unfortunately, the problem hasn't been solved so we return to that project tomorrow as well. I also came home from the Wal-Mart trip with a can of WD-40 (I'm not sure what happened to the can I had), so I went around the downstairs spraying all the squeaky door hinges, which were many. It is so nice to have those quieted. Tomorrow, the upstairs' hinges!

Both sets of parents also did all of the meal preparations while they were here. We will sorely miss all their help!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

No need to panic

In case you might be paying attention to car seat stories, it turns out Consumer Reports big news about most car seats failing their safety tests was due to their own bad methodology. This article gives you the whole story and a list of seats the NHTSA declared safe from their testing.

Software Engineer on American Idol?

That's right. It's even worse than you think.


You may have noticed less blogging on my part of late. That is due to the arrival of our daughter Emily on the 4th of January. Without any bias, she is obviously the cutest baby ever. My sister has an excellent post that pretty much covered the details of her birth. Since then there has definitely been less sleep, and a lot more time spent focused on poop, and bottles, and crying, but she is a lot of fun. And, other then a few minor glitches, she is very healthy, for which we are very thankful.

Her arrival coincided with a very busy period at work. Whereas I had been planning to take about a week off and then work some half days, I ended up only taking three days off and have been working extra hours since. I really hope things calm down soon. It has been nice having my wife's parents here to help out. They leave this Saturday and then my parents come in on Monday, so we won't have to be on our own for long!

Is my hair pointy?

Instant message conversation the other day, which started with me expounding on Bob Nardelli leaving Home Depot.
Friend: You sound like a manager
Me: I am a manager.
Friend: Yes, but now you SOUND like one.

I don't think that's a compliment, but I think it means I should be making more money soon.

one of those dumb quizzes

Your personality type is SCUAI
You are social, calm, moderately unstructured, accommodating, and intellectual, and may prefer a city which matches those traits.

The largest representation of your personality type can be found in the these U.S. cities: Providence, Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, San Antonio, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Portland/Salem, Nashville, Louisville and these international countries/regions Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Iceland, Norway, Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Japan, India

What Places In The World Match Your Personality?
City Reviews at

Apparently I didn't land in the right city in Texas. If you follow the link to the description of SCUAI, you'll find that, like most quizzes, this one is about 50% accurate. Yeah, I'm pretty worry-free, but let's face it, I hate to lose. And while willing to explain things twice, I pretty much hate having to do so. I do like having philosophical discussions. That hit or miss pattern goes on for the rest of the traits. Probably 50% of these traits apply to everyone on earth.