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Friday, April 20, 2012 10:12:01 PM
Mood: Confused
Recaps, SomethingDrawn

A lot happens in over a year. Mandy and Luis are now married. Friends of ours had their first children. We went to Taiwan. I got a truck. The electrical work is done.

Recaps aside, I remember when this blog used to be fun. Nowadays if you're not on facebook and tweeting about your life, you might as well be talking to yourself. You're certainly not cool. Anyway, I've never been one to follow the crowd, so this blog entry is dedicated to those of you who still like to surf the web the old fashioned way.

somethingdrawnIn other news, I launched a new fan site for OMGPOP's very popular Draw Something app. I named it, and it's a place where you can share whatever you've drawn on Draw Something. If you enjoy Draw Something on your phone or tablet, go check it out. You can search for drawings by word or just browse and rate the artwork that people have already posted. I also created a bunch of badges you can earn by using the site. Have fun!

Is it still cool to share links?

Monday, January 24, 2011 10:40:47 PM
Mood: Drained
Home Improvement

Before I get started, let me just say congratulations to Mandy and Luis on your engagement. I love you, Sis.

This isn't a home improvement blog, but that's been what has consumed me in the past couple of months. Although most of it was not so much "improvement" as it was necessary repair.

melted wires and wirenutsThe most time consuming job has been rewiring our house. The main goal has been to replace all of the aluminum wiring in our house with copper, but along the way, I've found and fixed quite a few overloaded circuits complete with melted wire nuts and charred wiring. I found a box sealed inside a wall where aluminum and copper wires were connected, ungrounded outlets, ungrounded metal faceplates on plastic boxes, lots of exposed wire splicing, and countless other code violations and fire hazards. I've been getting a lot of use out of the attic stairs I installed and garage attic hatch I made.  It's been a lot of time in attic spaces, crawlspaces, and basements, but I'm finally done with everything but one outside light in the backyard and the outside outlet for our pool. I think I can wait for some warmer weather to tackle those, or at least for the snow to melt.

We bought a new kind of insulation that's made from polyester. It's called SafeTouch and it's made by Dow. I installed their R21 product in our attic after the wiring was finished and noticed that it didn't fluff up to fill the joists like it was supposed to. (When insulation is compressed, it doesn't work as well.) I contacted Dow and it turns out that I got a bad batch of the R21, which apparently was new and had a few problems. Dow went above and beyond to fix the issue for us by sending us some of their R19 product to add to our attic and make up for the lost R value. Unfortunately that means more time in the attic and the need to raise the catwalk floor up above the second layer of insulation. (I'm in the middle of that project now.) In the end we'll be better off.

Our garage roof had a slight sag to it so I built something like a purlin wall using a 2x6 horizontally across the rafters and 2x4 posts, notched and anchored to joists and a load bearing wall below. It's solid as a rock and seem to have worked a treat.

Our front porch roof was also sagging due to a sunken footing on one corner. I adjusted, bolstered, and built up the footing with cement making the roof level and fully supported once again. That was the first time I worked with cement but it won't be the last. The front steps need some patching in the spring.

Tocci Ponders: Is Windows 7 eighty-eight versions behind Windows 95? If so, we're in trouble.

I blew out our sprinkler lines with my new compressor just before the freezing temperatures settled in, saving an $80 visit from the sprinkler company. Just 3 more years of skipping those until the compressor pays for itself!

Tocci Ponders: Why do movies and TV shows run credits for production staff? Does anyone in the audience care who did the lighting? When I buy a snickers bar, it doesn't list who picked the peanuts on the wrapper. When I buy a sweater it might say "hand made in India" but it doesn't also say "by Rajiv". Why is it that only people in the entertainment industry get their names in front of the consumer?

In other news, xmas came and went. We cut down our own tree again but this year we went to Lantier Farms and got a blue spruce. The tree was beautiful with a grayish hue to it and the branches held up really well under the weight of the ornaments. The only problem was that it was really prickly. Still, I think I'd get another.

Link overload:


Friday, October 08, 2010 11:38:04 AM
Mood: scatterbrained
pool closed, giant zucchini, home improvement

As far as the end of summer is concerned, for us it's not about Labor Day or the autumnal equinox. It's all about the pool. If the weather cooperates, we're jumping in. However this past Sunday was autumn capitulation day when we abandoned all hope and closed the pool for the winter. Fortunately, fall is my favorite season, so I didn't take it so badly. This year I used a PVC elbow in my jet return so that I didn't have to drain the pool as much to close the lines. I think it worked well. I guess we'll see next May. Great or brown = fail.

giant zucchiniIn a stark contrast to the most dry summer I can remember, we've had a lot of rain lately which has kept me from tending to what's left of our garden. This weekend, we discovered a giant lurking in one of our zucchini plants. I didn't even know the zucchini was still growing, but one the size of a watermelon was happily plumping up under our noses. I picked it, skinned it, dug out the seeds, and Jenny turned it into a ridiculous amount of zucchini bread.

I put down a new kitchen floor in my mother's home the other day. After weighing the options, we went with the new Allure flooring from the Home Depot. It was pretty easy to install but it still took a while due to the prep work and odd cuts involved. My dad helped me the whole time so we were able to finish it in one day. It looks really nice!

I'm now back to working on the electric in my house...

S&*t to do. No time for links this time. :(

Friday, September 24, 2010 06:51:41 PM
Mood: Tired
Rubik's Cube

Rubik's CubeI can finally solve a Rubik's cube! Check that one off my bucket list. I can get the first 2 of 3 layers in place perfectly without using any algorithms, just by understanding how it works. For that last layer I still need to use algorithms to solve it consistently, but hey it gets the job done. Here are a few helpful links if you'd like to learn too. And here's a video of a three-year-old solving it in 114 seconds to make you feel stupid.

Tocci Ponders: Why do people still say "backslash" when giving URLs? It's just a slash. And there's no reason to say "forward slash" either. If anybody really needs clarification as to which direction a slash goes in a URL, they probably have never seen the Internet anyway.

Congratulations to newlyweds Chris and Amanda Dzwilewski! Enjoy the honeymoon in Italy, guys!

This link list consists of a few commercials that I find amusing. It's kind of sad that many commercials these days are more entertaining than the programs they interrupt.

Friday, August 27, 2010 09:53:06 PM
Mood: Amused
Cat Story, Finished Super Mario Bros Wii

The other night I went to bed around 4AM, which is not unusual for me. I brought the cat upstairs and put her on the bed. She likes to sleep on the bed with us but has trouble jumping up there. I grabbed a pair of mesh shorts and a t-shift from the drawer in my nightstand before heading off to brush my teeth. When I got back to bed, the cat was gone. Sometimes she disappears to use the litter box or do whatever cats do, but she usually comes back and starts tapping me from the floor until I pick her up and put her on the bed. After a few minutes I assumed she found a different place to hang out for the night so I went to sleep, closing my nightstand drawer which I had inadvertently left open. I was woken up around 7AM by Jenny who could hear the cat meowing from my side of the bed. "Where is she?", Jenny asked. I had no idea. We looked under the bed, under the nightstand, and behind the bed. No Leia. I called her and we heard her meow again from under the nightstand. I opened the bottom drawer to see if she was stuck behind it. No Leia. Then I opened the top drawer and she popped out like a jack-in-the-box! Apparently she hopped in there from the bed when I was brushing my teeth and was sleeping comfortably in there for a few hours. I didn't notice her when I shut the drawer because the room was dark and her coat camouflages quite well against just about any background in the dark. I guess when she had had enough, obviously she couldn't open the drawer by herself, so she asked for assistance. Poor cat. At least she wasn't hurt at all and didn't seem traumatized in the least, so that's good.

Tocci Ponders: Why is marijuana called weed? I've pulled plenty of crabgrass and clover from my lawn but I have yet to find any purple haze growing out there.

With the help of Eric 1.0, I finally finished the last two boards on Super Mario Bros Wii. That world 9-7 is a motherf&*ker. Basically the plot of the game ends at the end of world 8, but that opens up the bonus world 9. I assumed after you beat all of those levels and collected all of the star coins, you'd get some special little cut scene or something, but that's not how it goes down. Basically you finally beat the last board and a message pops up that says "You have completed everything in New Super Mario Bros Wii". Not very satisfying.

Tocci Ponders: Do the girly magazines in the Harry Potter universe have photos that come to life like the newspapers do? 13 year old wizards have it so good.

UFC this weekend!