Currently Browsing: Personal
May 16, 2013
Been sitting in our new space all day waiting for PECO to show up to fix our power. After a few problems with a bad fiber splice to our building, FiOS is now up and running. But we still have no power. I’m having to run everything off my deep cycle marine battery and an inverter. Apparently PECO installed the meter, and it’s been spinning happily since they installed it two weeks ago. The only problem is that it’s not powering our bay, so we’ve been kindly providing power to another tenant for two weeks now. PECO says we’ll need to call an electrician, because all they care about is that we have power, but I’m pretty sure they activated our account with the wrong meter. It may be a bit of a fight to make them understand it’s their problem, and not ours. Then I suppose they’ll need to figure out who’s supposed to be paying for the electricity they are charging us for.
I guess the government isn’t the only bit of frustration when it comes to starting up a new business.
May 15, 2013
I didn’t have any time to queue anything up for this morning last night, and today we’re getting an Internet pipe delivered to our new location for our spinoff business. I’ve been waiting for the telco to show up to run the circuit, but got tired of waiting. I figure it was better to wait in the cafe of the nearby Wegman’s munching on sushi and drinking beer than wait in an empty space with no Internet all day. Wegman’s has WiFi, so let me see if I can find anything to write about while I wait for the telco to call me and tell me they are enroute.
Our current offices, for the main business, are located in an old mansion that’s been converted to office space. It’s nice that some of the offices have ornate fireplaces. Other offices have ornate fireplaces that’s been hidden behind drywall. We even have a dumbwaiter whose shaft is handy for running ethernet cabling through the building. I general, our offices looks like a place where you’d kill Colonel Mustard with the lead pipe. It’s a cool space. The neighborhood is a pretty rich estate community. We’re not far from Radnor Hunt Club, and on calm nights I can hear the dogs from the office. Lots of horse and hobby farms of the rich. It’s not unusual to see people on horseback decked out in whatever rich people wear when they get on horses. Something like this. The big downside is it’s in the middle of nowhere, and Comcast is pretty much my only bandwidth options, short of the ones that cost a small fortune.
The new location for the side business is located next to a junk yard, and our immediate neighbor is an auto mechanic. But for this spinoff we are going to be using it for, it’s perfect, discrete, and more importantly, I can get bandwidth. Speaking of bandwidth, the telco just called and they are on their way. I guess I’m going to have to pack up and head over.
Apr 25, 2013
We have a new toy in the house. A Samgsung Galaxy Tab 2. This is actually Sebastian, trying to get used to the piddly little keyboard , and setting up WordPress for Bitter. We got this to act as a substitute for a laptop when we go to Houston next week for NRA Annual Meeting . Not a bad toy for the money, when you compare it to the cost of an iPad. I’m still sore Apple end of lifed the iPad 1 two years after I got it.
Apr 8, 2013
This weekend I was looking forward to putting the finishing touches on my office, and getting it ready for the final step of new carpeting. The last part was to be putting up new baseboard covers. Got the first screw secured in the stud, no problem. The second one went in no problem too, except when I stopped the drill I heard the sound of hissing water. That was no stud. Shutoff didn’t stop it. Uh oh. Turns out my water main for the house comes in about 8 feet from where the main shutoff is and runs behind that wall, and right behind the drywall, with little room to spare.
The water company was out quickly, to shut the water off from the street, but no shutoff was to be found. Turns out it had been buried under the driveway, which I just had resurfaced (it was a previous resurfacing that had buried, and apparently bent the shutoff). They had to hack through my driveway to get to the shutoff, which fortunately had not been so bent by a previous resurfacing that it wouldn’t turn. It turned. This morning I ran to the Home Despot as soon as it opened at 6AM. The water company guy gave me a nice shutoff valve to put right where it comes into the house. I’ll have to make a little access door when I replace all the freshly painted drywall I had to pull out to get to the pipes behind. So now I’m not really all that close to being done, since I have to redo a good part of what was already done.
Apr 7, 2013
Sorry for the lack of weekend posts and for the lack of posts scheduled for tomorrow. You know those home improvement projects that just manage to need one more thing? Then, when you get that thing, something isn’t quite right, but you don’t notice something was missing from the package until you get home after the store has closed? Yeah, it’s been one of those weekends. We’ve got more time sensitive work to do today, so don’t expect much, if anything, on the blog.
On the positive side, Sebastian & I had been going back & forth over whether a decor idea I picked up from Pinterest was at all possible. I insisted it was, but he said no. Weeks of back and forth over this. He finally let me try it this weekend. Let me just say that it looks beautiful. :)
UPDATE (from Sebastian): The good news is that I now know where the water comes into the house behind the walls of my finished basement. This is the only good news.
Mar 26, 2013
A bit of writers block this morning. It’s been one of those couple of days when I feel like I’m doing too much. Additionally, today I begin the last year of my 30s. I don’t really like the idea of getting old, but I think it likely beats the alternative. My mom didn’t make it to 44, which back when I was younger I thought was old. Maybe old is what your parents are. When my mom turned 39 she was teaching me how to drive.
Mar 23, 2013
Well, the good news is that we’re on to finishing touches of real work in our basement renovation – shelving, picking out carpet, and other room details before buying the furniture. The bad news is that this means we weren’t around to blog. Here are some highlights we missed today.
Banned magazine smuggler David Gregory is hosting a debate between Wayne LaPierre & Mike Bloomberg on Meet the Press in the morning.
The Senate voted in the early morning hours to ban the Obama Administration from signing onto the UN Arms Trade Treaty. Accused Underage Prostitute Solicitor & Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez thinks that voting to uphold the Second Amendment late at night is “irresponsible,” unlike his alleged late night activities with underaged girls.
Democratic leaders are complaining that their staffers who make $160k/year can’t afford to eat on Capitol Hill because of the sequester. Here’s a tip for those who are nearly destitute on more than $100k, on a very, very small fraction of that salary, even I could afford the Healthy Choice Turkey Breast sandwich at Congressional Liquor Store.
I’m sad to report that we accidentally participated in Earth Hour for at least a few minutes. See, Sebastian had to turn off the breaker to the basement so he can replace some plug faces that were black and clashed with our new color palette.
Obama’s weekly address was focused on gun control, including the gun ban that would likely cost his party any chance of winning outside of major urban areas for years.
Bloomberg is putting up $12 million to buy ads in pro-gun states promising that supporting legislation that will turn most gun owning families into felons won’t actually be a bad thing. The ads will supposedly run in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Feb 22, 2013
Monday we demo our new product to the first potential customer, so this is the culmination of a lot of work happening in the next few days. I just don’t have time for the blog right now. I’ll be posting a bit over the weekend, but until we pull off the demo, I’m a busy bee. If the potential customer shows real interest, then it’s going to be a crash program to get this whole thing ready for the real launch. It is tremendously exciting and scary at the same time.
Feb 18, 2013
I spent mine redoing the finish carpentry in my office. The original work had no finish. It was all cheap, knotty lumber butted up against rough, exposed drywall. You can see in the stairwell shot where my work buts up against the lipstick on a pig the first owners did. I’ve been slowing adding finish work to the house when I redo each room. I am no expert at finish carpentry, but I can get along well enough.
After doing all this, I don’t know how we ever managed to build civilization without the pneumatic nail gun. I borrowed it from sometimes co-blogger Jason, and it has been invaluable at getting everything placed precisely, quickly, and with minimal labor.
The Stairwell. That’s the kegerator showing on the upper level. We dare not take that out of service, as one needs to keep the priorities straight in any home project. The office is the lower level. It’s a split level house.
Around the edge of the stairwell. Originally all the woodwork looked like the horrid nightmare my unpainted work abuts. You can see nails! They weren’t even trying. I did my best to detract from the suck.
This used to be nothing but rough, knotty pine, with a 1×6 as the sill. The drywall just went up to the pine. There was no trim or finish. The window is level, the ceiling, you can see, is not at all. That is not my work.
Feb 3, 2013
My apologies for the lack of posting this weekend, but I’m getting tired having my office torn apart, and all my furniture scattered all over the rest of the house. I have decided to get to work and finish this. It’s one of those things that didn’t seem like it would be much, but like most things with home improvement, it always more work than you thought initially. I mostly wanted some fresh paint and carpet, because when I first moved in, it looked like this:
It looked like Rainbow Brite had a few too many tequila shooters and threw up on the walls. Without giving it any thought, and before the ink was dry on the settlement papers, I went and bought plain white paint, and covered over that crap before I moved any of my stuff in. Once my initial revulsion passed, I kind of regretted not taking time to pick out a decent color, and so started the current project.
Of course, it’s more than just a paint job. You can see the baseboard is in sorry, sorry shape. It hadn’t gotten any better with age. Has to get replaced. It turns out there was a 3 inch drain around the perimeter of the basement. They put wood in there to act as a bridge for the carpet around the edges. It’s not something you’d notice unless you pulled up the carpet. Surprisingly the carpet and padding was dry, unmolded, and in good shape. It doesn’t get much water in there, but it is moist. The support legs for their little wood bridge were in sorry shape. I replaced all that with a PVC wood-like product that won’t rot. There some paneling in the stairwells that looks like it was put in by someone who wore bellbottoms. Has to go. Turns out the paneling was put in before the stairs, and it extended all the way down. I had to cut out all the paneling at the stair level with a razor blade knife. The paneling was composite, and did not cut well. Pain in the ass.
For some of the finish woodwork, I had to borrow a circular saw from my dad, then get a new blade because I think my dad bought all the saw blades he’s ever owned in the 70s, and has never replaced any of them. Next up is to cut the drywall. I hate drywall. I can think of dozens of materials I’d rather work with than drywall. After that, on to the finish carpentry, which I don’t find as tedious. This house was a built-by-owner job, and he sucked at finish carpentry. I’m no expert, but I can do a lot better than he could. I’ve replaced a lot of his crap work already, but not in my office yet. After I’m done that, then Bitter can get started on the painting (painting is girl work). After the painting is done, I can put up the new baseboard radiators, then carpet. I don’t do carpet. I bring in contractors for that. I’m hoping to be back down in my office by spring. When I started this in the fall, my goal was to be done by the new year. Yeah, missed that deadline. I will say that the pneumatic nail gun is perhaps the greatest invention of all time.