In the Back Yard, in the Garden

I really wish that my neighbor would realize that, honestly, I just don’t care. Our homeowners’ association cuts the grass often enough that I don’t feel like I need to go out and do it myself. And you know what, I pay them to do the landscaping. That’s great, because I honestly don’t care about that stuff.

But my neighbor doesn’t get that, probably because I’m nice enough to pretend to care about yardwork when she prattles on about it. [I listen so that she’ll tell me other things going on with her, things I might actually care about, like her lot in life, the state of her soul, etc.] So while she was awful joyful just now that her father had come to help her sod her miniscule back yard—and it’s small, folks; it’s not much bigger than the size of the patch of grass under the net behind the goal on a soccer field!—I was … non-plussed. I think that she picked up on it.

As Mom said when I moved in here, one of the reasons that she figured that I’d move into a place like this was because someone else would get to mess with the yardwork. She’s right!


About six weeks ago, I started seriously thinking about getting a roommate here at the house. To be wholly honest, I’m more for the companionship than the extra cash [which is all going at the mortgage, anyway]. I started asking some folks I knew through my few classes at UAH back in the fall if they knew anyone who was looking for a place to live. The answer I got back was that one of my acquaintances from school—someone actually older than I am ;)—was in need of a place to stay. Ande and I talked, and I just finished showing him the house.

He moves in the first bit of his stuff tomorrow. [He’s been crashing at a friend’s apartment for the past couple of weeks.]

Leaky Sink

Tonight, as I went into the kitchen for a glass of water, I heard a faint hissing sound. I stopped, localized the noise as coming from under the sink, and flung open the door. No snakes [as my crazy subconscious feared], but … mist.


I ducked my head into the cabinet. I could feel the mist but not see its source. I picked up the box of trash bags … soggy. I looked on the floor: puddle of water. I caught a glimpse of the puddle also in the base cabinet. :sigh:

I reached for the shutoff valves, and as I did so, I brushed one of the flex lines coming off of the shutoff. That abated the hissing, which led me to quickly deduce that it was that water line. Given that the water and mist was cool, I’m guessing it’s the cold water line.

Tomorrow, when there’s more light in the kitchen, I’ll look at it and see if I can find a source. Hopefully it’s just a bad compression fitting. That I might can handle on my own. If not, well, home warranty time! :sigh:

Stupid Builder!

I may go have to sleep in my guest room tonight. I woke up an hour or so ago, thought something was weird, and looked up …

… to see that the board that secures my ceiling fan to the apex of the ceiling had come loose, meaning that the fan is hanging only by the electrical cord. [I’d take photos, but I don’t want to turn the lights on the fan on and energize that circuit.] I hopped up in a panic, ran across the room, and turned off the fan.

As the fan spun down, I looked up at the board. Now, I don’t have a normal box connection that you see with fans to the ceiling because the fan is connected right in the apex of a steep ceiling that matches the pitch of the roof at that part of the house—there’s no “flat” for the connection. The builder had used a board, secured to the ceiling, to make the connection to the box.

The board was secured with … nails.

Yeah, that was real bright. Let’s use a fastening method that relies solely on compression of the surrounding material to provide a frictional and normal force to hold it in place, and then put a strong gravitational force in opposition to it … and then mount a rotating device to it.

Most anything that rotates, over time, does not do so uniformly. That wobble would have the effect of tugging side-to-side on that board, slowly but surely, on a daily basis.

I’d noticed that the fan was running a little roughly, but most ceiling fans do. NEVER IN MY LIFE would I dream that the builder was an idiot and used SIMPLE, COMMON NAILS to secure such a connection, when clearly screws or lag bolts were necessary.

What in the name of Norm Abram is going on here?!

The bad part is that sleeping without my fan on makes it stuffy and still in there. That, plus fear that the fan will fall even farther, is making it hard for me to sleep.

I start the GRE in seven hours.


Don’t Refuse My Refuse!

With a little digging—it’s nice when your community has its own Web siteI did find out that trash pickup is Monday and Thursday. My pile literally just went in the truck. Dunno why I’ve seen irregularities in that, though. At least my system isn’t as Byzantine as Grant’s.

Now, if I could only figure out why I’ve yet to get a water bill, I’d be golden.

Trash Pickup

You know, I really do wish that I could get a feel for the trash pickup here. I’m pretty sure that PJ told me Mondays and Thursdays, and in watch other folks’ habits, that seems to be the way it works, but … it just doesn’t seem like it happens those days. Last week, folks—including me!—had stuff out on Monday morning. Pickups didn’t happen until Thursday.

This week, people set stuff out on Monday. [I, however, suffered from a critical confluence of the dumbass and oversleeping, and failed to get my stuff to the curb before it’d already been picked up.] Things seemed to disappear during the day. That would probably make it pickup time again today, but … man. I think I heard the truck run at 0600, which it’s never seemed to do before.

I’ll get this rhythm at some point. Maybe. I’m not real good with rhythm—if you’ve ever seen me “dance”, you know that this is so true. [And speaking of rhythms, my sleep rhythm is screwy because … well, it’s me. That, and I took melatonin last night, but I didn’t take it until 2330 or so, which means I’m still way sluggish, even though I’ve been awake and sitting here at the computer for 45 minutes.]

Feh. Time to go spasmodically start my day.

I still hate computers.

As I just noted on []—where you can always check to see if I know the site’s down, rather than sending me an email, IM, or calling me on the phone ;)—I’m going to hold off on the backup-reload-restore process if the datacenter’s NAS backup isn’t online by 6:00 p.m. tonight. I want to have a day to do this, and I really don’t want to kill my weekend over this.

I’ve got other things I’d like to do and, well, have to do this weekend. Chief among them:

  • I’ve got to put together Part II of my summer SGA training session. Part I was a smashing success, and I have Part II on Monday. I’d like to get started on the presentation tonight if I can, because I’d like to build it tonight, then review it tomorrow with new eyes. [The payment for these training sessions is just about coming down to a mortgage payment. I like that. I’ll like it more if I get to do this again in the fall and get paid for it again—I’ll have laid the foundation for what I want to do, and I can also expand further on the two sessions I’ll have done.]
  • I want to take some “before” photos of the house. I’m contemplating a house-blog as I work on stuff. I spent some time last night working out things in my head about how I want the place to look when I’m done with it.
  • Before I can take photos, I need to clean up some, as well as do some laundry.
  • Take some time and pray to Jesus, thanking Him for fixing my air conditioner. There’s no rational explanation for a low Freon situation suddenly, um, resolving itself without evidence that anyone actually, you know, filled up the Freon. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk, and I’m cold. That just doesn’t happen in my world!
  • Do that whole church thing.

So yeah … they have four hours to get on the ball. I remain pretty unconvinced.

The A/C Fun

Well, time for a little A/C update. Last week, I just did without the A/C—it wasn’t worth it to me to mess with it, and it wasn’t that hot. Well, okay, at the end of the week, it was still pretty doggone hot. [I mean, right now, it’s 26C outside. That’s pretty uncomfortable.] When I got home tonight, it was so hot in my bedroom that my TiVo’s internal temperature was at 50C, which is 12C above where it normally was in the old apartment. When I saw that, I decided that I had to come down and put the A/C back on.

It’s a lot cooler in here right now—downstairs, the TiVo was 45C when I turned the A/C on, and it’s already down to 41C. I imagine that the upstairs is similarly cooler, which is good—I was sweating while lying directly under the fan. Now, I fully expect to wake up in the morning with ice covering the coils of the A/C. I can deal with that—I have spare towels, and with the Hurricane coming, it won’t get terribly hot in here tomorrow. I just need it to be cool to sleep. Now, maybe it’ll be cool enough to do that tonight—I have a full day ahead of me tomorrow.

A/C Out Temporarily

Ahhhh, there’s nothing like coming home from vacation to a non-functioning air conditioner. Before I left for Virginia, I raised the thermostat on my air conditioner. No point, I figured, in chilling the house to my usual bone-marrow-shrinking specifications when I wasn’t going to be around to enjoy it. [Well, the computers like it, but they can deal. They were going to be off during the time I was gone.]

My best intentions were met, however, with a situation where the extra added humidity of July conspired with the desire to have a modicum of cool and froze the coils inside the house over. I’ve had this happen before, though, and I know that the answer is to simply suffer the heat for a while, leaving the unit off with the doors open to allow air into the unit and putting towels underneath the coils to soak up the icemelt. By the time I go to bed, everything should be unfrozen, and cool air should again be flowing through my home.

[And yes, it’s totally my home in my head now. I had absolutely no problems getting here from the airport—my brain did the entire route entirely on autopilot.]