Tags: home ownership

Me 2

Monday Update

Two items of note (I guess) for Monday:

Item The First

My AC at the house blew up on Friday. The external compressor, which we believe was original to the house and thus 20+ years old, is beyond repair. So now I'm without AC for a week and gathering quotes for a new unit. I have two of three quotes in hand - there is an $1100 difference between them. Quote #3 is due today. Yes, Virginia, it pays to shop around.

Also due to the lack of AC, and thanks to relaxations of the COVID-19 rules at work, I see a couple of days in the office in my future.

Item The Second

For a variety of reasons, including the lack of AC on a day in the mid-80s, I went to the grocery store on a weekend. I was reminded of how much I dislike doing so. I've never been fond of crowds, and less so as I age.

I started doing weekday grocery shopping when I was unemployed. I resumed it during the pandemic back when they had capacity limits in stores. Now that I'm working from home, it's easy to nip over to the store right after work. I shall resume that practice immediately.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/756392.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Me 2

Let There Be Light!

I don't usually blog about household products, but my dad found one for me that I just have to. It's a light fixture.

Some background. My garage at my house does not have any windows. It also has only one light fixture - a porcelain single-bulb screw-in, mounted in the ceiling. As a result, even with the brightest bulb I could find, the place is rather dark.

Then my dad found this: Universal 3-Panel Folding Daylight LED Light Bulb. Calling it a bulb is not especially accurate. It does screw into a regular bulb socket, but it has 3 moveable LED light panels, each about 6 inches long. Using only 36 watts, it throws out a TON of light! My garage went from dark to light.

I just got it, so I can't speak to durability, but now I can see what the hell I'm doing in the garage. Highly recommended for any dark corners in your house or garage. This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/749425.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Me 2


I've been fighting Comcast with regards to my intermittent lack-of-internet as of late. I've finally convinced them that the problem is with the wire, not my (now brand-new) modem. So now I get to wait for them to come out. Oh joy.

Over the weekend, I saw an article about the restfulness of taking sabbaticals. Since I'm unemployed and de-facto on a sabbatical, I can confirm the validity of the article. I'm to the point now that I miss going to work.

In my now-actually copious free time, I've been watching the Kavanaugh confirmation mess. As a child of the 1980s, I can confirm that sexual assault, even when blind drunk, was not okay back them. I'll go out on a limb a little here and say that, given the details of the allegations, if he at least admitted it and apologized profusely *AND* this was a one-time thing I'd be willing to give him a pass. Since he seems unwilling to do any of the above, no pass for him from me.

That's all for this update - more when events warrant it.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/708408.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Me 2

It's Always Something

I arrived at my house last night to find that my garage door opener no longer opens the garage door. The motor runs but the chain doesn't move. Since the door can be opened manually, it's not a broken spring, but rather something in the opener. Were I a Heinlein-ian Competent Man, I'd pop the cover on the opener and replace the failed gear. I'm not, so I'm going to replace the opener and hire somebody to do the work.

Parenthetically, did you know that modern (last 20 years) garage doors do not have handles on them? To open manually, one must hold onto a hinge with one hand and pull down on the emergency lever with the other until you get the door up enough to get your hand underneath the door. It takes a bit of grip strength to do this, and it was performed by me last night in the rain. At least my door has a manual lock on the inside, but that comes with it's own set of challenges.
Me 2

Better to be lucky than good...

For the second time this winter, a major winter storm hits Chicago on a day in which I don't have to leave the house. This fortuitous event is entirely by luck and not skill, thus the title.

In other news, I had a quiet and uneventful holiday downstate. Due to flooding rain, we were unable to shoot, but otherwise I accomplished all I set out to do. I need to:

1) Sort out what clothing is going to Good Will
2) What books are to be donated to the library
3) Review tablet devices and decide on what I want to look at
4) Fix a table lamp (which may require parts, hence defer until tomorrow)

I also plan to get some writing done.
Me 2

Monday Update

I had a quiet weekend. Saturday was largely given over to assembling my new grill, which cooked its first steak Sunday. I also finished Mary Robinette Kowal's latest novel, Of Noble Family. I found the book okay.

Set in Antigua, the novel is largely an exploration of 18th Century race, slavery and family relations. In the afterword to the book, Mary wrote that she wanted to make the conflict bigger, but the geographical realities of Antigua meant she had to make the conflict smaller. It shows, and some of the contrivances needed to make the story work I found a bit irritating. So, it was an okay ending for the series, and I'm looking forward to a new series from her.
Me 2

Monday Fire Drill, Redux

So far, Monday has proven to be a real fire drill at work. Fortunately, I got one of my issues put to bed and look to close on another. Go me! Other thoughts:


I decided to tell my inner cheapskate to STFU and so I bought this Weber grill. It really is nicer than the Char Broil, and not that much more expensive.

Sad Puppies

I favorably linked to this article by Eric Flint on the "disconnect" between award-giving SF and popular SF. The more I think on it, I'm not sure the gap is as big as Eric thinks it is. John Scalzi, recent Hugo winner, just got back from a large tour of Australia and an appearance as a big-name guest at the LA Book Festival. In short, somebody's reading him. Mary Robinette Kowal is a featured guest at this weekend's Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. We're told "all the kidz go to comic-con."


Speaking of comic-cons, as part of my ongoing, hard-hitting investigative report of same (and if you believe that, call me about a bridge for sale) I will be attending the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for the day on Friday. Then I'm heading to Davenport Iowa to play Rotarian. Updates to follow.
Me 2

More Random Thoughts

Random Thought - Hugos

Marko Kloos and Annie Bellet have both pulled their Hugo-nominated work from contention. I had read the Kloos before this mess - I enjoyed it but it didn't wow me enough for a nomination - and I have never heard of Annie Bellet. In any event, I'm sad that the two of them got caught up in this shit-storm. Sad enough that I ordered one of Bellet's books.

Random Thought - Social

After a few weeks of non-attendance, my usual group of triva-players made it out to Shanahan's for trivia night. We took first place, despite me blowing a 10-point answer. We also got lucky - several of our guesses (including a Simpsons-related question) proved right.

Random Thought - Grills

I'll be buying a new grill this weekend. Unless the Weber goes on sale or otherwise convinces me that it's $100 better, I'll be getting a Char-Broil. My inner cheapskate is winning out.
Me 2

Rainy Monday

It's Monday and raining here in Chicago. Rain's actually a good thing - I put down mulch yesterday, so a nice soaking will bed it down.

On the Sad Puppy front, Torgersen's gone full-wingnut and invoked the specter of 9/11. Sayth he: I remember in the wake of 9/11 there seemed to be two camps forming. The first camp devoted itself almost entirely to the question: What did we do to deserve this, and how can we say we’re sorry? The second camp asked: How can we bring the perpetrators to justice, and what can be done to stop them in the future?

Sayeth I: what planet are you on? If I were your CO, a "random" piss test for drugs would be in your future.

From Puppies to grills. I've been looking at a low-end Weber gas grill to replace my old Char-Broil. I was hoping they'd go on sale this weekend, but no dice. My inner cheapskate is asking are the Webers really $100 better than the comparable Char-Broils? I mean, my $200 Char-Broil served me well for over a decade.
Me 2

Good Friday Thoughts

In an effort to avoid this blog becoming all-Hugo, all-the-time, herewith are some non-Hugo thoughts. (Hugo-program-related-activities will resume Monday, after the slate is released.)

The First American in WWII

Over at Gin and Tacos, the proprietor has some interesting thoughts on Pearl Harbor. First, he notes that in 1941, before cheap air travel, Hawaii was terribly isolated and a colonial backwater. Then he notes that the first guy shot at in the Pearl Harbor attack was a civilian, Ray Buduick, out for a Sunday flight in his open biplane. An interesting read.


In 2000 or 2001, my dad bought me a propane grill. It was perfectly-serviceable CharBroil two-burner unit. Well, 2001 was a long time ago, and said grill is showing it's age. Most of the age is external cosmetic stuff, but the real problem is the burner is crapping out.

Now, I could replace the burner, but then I'd have a tacky-looking grill with a new burner. I'm sitting on some gift money from Xmas, (thanks Mom!) so I'm leaning towards replacing the whole unit with this Weber grill. It's a bit of an upgrade from the old one, but the reviews I've read speak highly of it, and for what I do, a two-burner unit is more than big enough. Thoughts?