December, 2003

31. December, 2003 - goodbye 2003

Here it is, the end of another year. I don’t really have a lot of “looking back at the past year” thoughts at the moment, but I haven’t in previous years, either. Oh well. Have fun tonight with whatever your planned festivities are, and try not to get caught in one of those sobriety checkpoints. Spending New Year’s Day in detox sounds like a particularly bad plan.

On the home front, I just finished cooking myself breakfast for the first time ever on the stove in my house. The kitchen isn’t quite ready for full production yet, but it’s getting closer and more boxes are empty. Woo!

30. December, 2003 - and now, in local news…

In other news, I’m updating the look of the site. If some things look funky, feel free to send me an email, telling me what browser you’re using and which page looked wrong.

The settling in process continues. Yesterday morning I got the desktop computer set up in time for the call from my payroll company at 10AM. The end-of-year paychecks are on their way, and they’re sending along a list of government agencies I need to send change-of-address forms to. That’s probably the biggest single task remaining for me, since not only do I need to inform all the companies that send me mail that I’ve moved, but also all the various bureaucracies I have to deal with for my business. And it would seem that the post office didn’t like my initial change-of-address form I gave them, either. No mail has been forwarded from the old place to the new yet, and I’m going to have to check into that today. My strategy on previous moves was always to just fill out the form with the post office, and then send corrections to companies as I get the forwarded mail. If the USPS isn’t forwarding the mail in the first place, that plan breaks down in a hurry.

I still need to get my kitchen unpacked, too. I could probably cook something if I had to at the moment, but it would involve some improvisation, since almost all of the cookware is still in various boxes (probably labelled “glassware”). I’m hoping that I can empty a box or two today, but if not, my entire plan for new year’s day is an “Ow! My Fucking Head!” party some friends are throwing, and unpacking the kitchen. Once that’s done, just about everything else can be dealt with as I get to it. Yeah, it would be nice to get things more organized in the living room and dining room, but it’s not critical. As for the bedroom, I still have to tear out the carpeting and figure out what I’m doing with the vinyl tile, so there’s no huge hurry there.

29. December, 2003 - Back to work

Monday morning. Yesterday was pretty much a day of rest. Aside from spending a couple hours trying to assemble the fridge I was given (which I really appreciate), I just sat around and looked at the TV. It’s not that I didn’t need to unpack some things, but I had just had enough for a while, and decided I needed to rest.

The only real problem is that I was supposed to set up the VPN and my desktop computer so I’d be ready for work things this morning. There are two things that need doing. The first is that I’ve got some updated code that has to go to a client (thus the need for the VPN), and the second is that I’ve got to get the end-of-year paychecks ready for my employees (and all the information about their hours is on the desktop computer). Neither has happened, and while I can do things like put together Dave’s Picks on a laptop, actual programming work really wants to happen on the desktop, as does all the payroll stuff.

I think part of the reason for not unpacking yesterday is that I don’t want to get back to work just yet. I’ve got plenty of other stuff I need to be doing (like unpacking pans so I can do some actual cooking) around the house, and the list continues to grow. And I’m afraid that jerry-rigged things like the ethernet cable I’m going to run to the desktop will become permanent, rather than getting things set up the right way. Specifically, I need to put in grounded outlets, move the network stuff into the basement, and put in a couple ethernet jacks in various locations if I’m going to have a happy work environment in the long run. I also need to go buy something to protect the floor where my desk chair will be so I don’t wreck the hardwood floor I just got refinished.

28. December, 2003 - down to the end

Here it is, the last Sunday of 2003. The Sunday papers are running their top ten news stories of the year stories. One neighbor has already hauled a very dry Christmas Tree out to the curb. The year is definitely winding down. Me, I’m just getting started on settling into my house. I have a feeling that’s going to be a theme for this year. There are so many things I want to do around here, but I don’t have the time or energy to tackle them all. I’m hoping I can just get one item done every weekend through the year, and as with the moving process, once I get acclimated to the idea, I’ll probably set the bar low enough that I can feel some success.

I’ve tried to figure out what sort of year-end wrap-up I could do on the blog. I looked through my “cheese sandwich” postings for the previous year and tried to see if there was any real pattern, and it doesn’t look like an especially happy year. There was plenty of griping, and I’m glad that’s behind me. No need to bring it up again.

One thing I’ve discovered this past week was that it’s nice to have a break from the daily blogging. Not so much the writing, as that seems to have become a habit, and I write something nearly every day whether I want to or not, but taking a break from reading the usual newspapers and blogs in the morning was nice. But here I am settling back into that habit again, and I think it’s one I might try to break. You may get more ramblings like this in 2004, and fewer links. I guess we’ll find out together.

But anyway, I don’t really have a good summary of 2003 yet. I may find something in the next few days, but I suspect it’s going to take me a while to write something more substantial than “I bought a house.” for the 2003 entry for the About Dave section of the website.

27. December, 2003 - back in the saddle

Well, I’m kinda back at the regular blogging. I woke up this morning, and started the day by surfing around the web a bit, and putting together some links. I still don’t have my desktop computer up and running (that’s on the list for today, along with moving a fridge), so I’m not fully in the swing of things, but life is getting closer to normal again every day.

On the other hand, I have to move a fridge today, and one guy I thought would be helping hasn’t responded to email. And on top of that, it’s raining out right now. It’s melting some of the snow off the sidewalk where we’ll have to bring the fridge in, but I’m afraid it’ll leave behind a layer of ice that’ll be much more treacherous than the snow was. Oh well, wish me luck.

26. December, 2003 - updates - online

Well, that was certainly a clusterfuck.

Here’s what happened with my DSL. When I called Qwest to tell them I was moving, I specifically mentioned to the guy who was taking the move order that I had a Cisco 675 as my DSL modem, and wondered if I needed new hardware. He said that I didn’t.

So Qwest transferred everything on the 23rd. When I called in on the 24th, I got someone who again misinformed me by saying that the DSL wouldn’t transfer for two to three business days.

In fact, it was transferred on the 23rd. I just didn’t have the right hardware on hand, and I hadn’t ordered it from Qwest because I was told I didn’t have to. Today I ended up running to Micro Center and buying a Zoom ADSL X5, which with a few phone calls to Bill at Pro-NS, I got working.

So I’m online now. But I’m not expecially happy with Qwest, even though they’ve credited $50 to my account for the hassle they caused, and there’s now a DSL modem on its way to me. It won’t get here until Monday, and I’m going to pay something like $50 for it. There may be another credit to my account, but I just don’t know at this point, and I don’t really care. I just wish they’d pull their collective heads out and get their systems so their left hand can know what their right hand is doing.

Anyway, I’m posting the updates from the past few days that I wrote while I was offline at the same time as I post this update. Sorry for the lack of linkage, but it was out of my hands.

Now I have to go try and find the DSL filters so I can keep this connection alive and be able to use my phone, too. I wonder what box those are in…

25. December, 2003 - Merry Christmas

Well, here it is the late afternoon of Christmas Day. I’ve been to mom’s and back, and stopped by the apartment to pick up the mail from yesterday, grab a few things from the fridge, and chat with the neighbors I’m moving away from. It was a beautiful day outside, and when I stopped by to pick up things, Pamela was outside chipping the ice and show off her sidewalk. We talked about the commercialism of Christmas and the fact that the 25th is the first day when you can notice (with stone-age tools) that the days are getting longer again.

I also visited mom today. We were going to go out to lunch at a restaurant that’s had a buffet for Christmas for many years. Unfortunately, they apparently decided not to do that today, so we ended up eating at the casino. It was a pretty good meal, and it was nice to get mom out of the house. I think she’s not doing enough of that on her own lately, so I guess I’ll have to pick up a bit of slack there.

This morning saw a few more boxes unpacked. I managed to unpack enough to find the silverware, as well as a bunch of cooking utensils. I’m almost unpacked enough that I could cook a real meal if only I had unpacked the box of food. But it wasn’t a bad start to the day before breakfast. It’s been a little tricky though, since I’ve moved my fridge to the basement, and am waiting until Saturday when I get a cool new fridge from a friend. Meanwhile I’m mostly living out of the freezer and “cooking” things in the microwave. So it was nice to go out for lunch for me, too.

There’s still no network here, though. I didn’t really expect Qwest to turn it on today, but it would have been a nice Christmas present for them to have given to me. Instead I’m writing this on the laptop and figuring I’ll get around to posting it eventually. Hopefully tomorrow. If I don’t have DSL back until Monday, it’s going to put me in a bad way for some work I need to get done before the first of the year.

Oh well, tomorrow is mostly going to be a day of cleaning up the old place. I’m not sure if I’m going to haul the old computers out early or not, but I’ll probably take out the recycling. That also reminds me that I need to figure out when recycling day is here at the new place. I think the trash gets picked up on Tuesdays, but recycling is only every second Tuesday, so I need to figure out which week is which.

I guess if I still don’t have a network here tomorrow, maybe I’ll stop by Dunn Brothers’ in order to use their wireless network in order to post this and also to check my mail and send mail reminding folks that Saturday is when we move the fridge. I’d have to have that go wrong because I couldn’t email people to set everything up.

24. December, 2003 - moved

Well, here it is Christmas Eve. I’ve moved in, and tried to hook up the DSL, but a call to Qwest reveals that in spite of their promises when I called in to move my service, they haven’t actually transferred the DSL service to the new place, even though it’s coming from the same CO. None of my neighbors have wireless networks set up within range of my powerbook, either.

I’m feeling a bit crabby about the lack of DSL at the moment, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to get back on the net. I’m hoping it goes live on Friday, but I have little hope for anything tomorrow. Not only would I like to post this, but I’ve now been without email for two full days, and I’m starting to feel a bit itchy about that.

Yesterday went okay, I guess. The movers showed up about 8:45 and were done about 4. In spite of them taking lunch for about an hour, I got billed for 7 ¼ hours. I’m not sure about the math involved there, but they’re done and gone, and that’s good enough for me. I may not have Graebel move me again, though. I was less impressed by them this time than the previous two moves. The DirecTV guy did a fine job on the install during the afternoon. The only real problem was that he left his fish-tape behind.

I didn’t have a great night of sleep last night. First night in a new house, and I woke up multiple times due to strange noises. Guess it’ll take me a while to get used to that sort of thing, but it’s nice not having a stereo waking me in the middle of the night.

One effect of this move (and lack of network) is the amount of time I’ve spent watching TV. Yesterday evening I was physically just worn out, and after a dinner at Manning’s, I watched TV until I was tired. Today I’m still sore, so I’ve been taking it easy, which means spending a lot of time in the recliner watching the tube. And I find myself wondering what the hell is up with the Cat in the Hat commercials? The Cat says “Bling Bling”?!?

I did manage to unpack some boxes today. One box of networking stuff, one that was clearly labelled “plates/glasses” that didn’t actually have any plates (it did have some saucers, but that’s not as useful when you’re trying to find something big enough to nuke dinner on), and then another that also had glasses on top and some plates underneath. Jackpot! Once I’d found a dinner plate, my verve for unpacking abated.

There are two things that have moved way up on my frustration list for the house. Almost every outlet is just a two-prong outlet, which means I’m going to need to pull new wires in a lot of places, but there is some conduit in the house so maybe I can ground outlets to the conduit and still be okay. Speaking of wires, there are only three phone jacks that I can find in the house, and only two of them seem to work. That’s not such a huge deal, since I had planned on running some wiring for a home network, but where the phone wires come into the house is a mess. I’m guessing that means that I’ll be pulling both network and phone wires all at once. I’’d hoped to be able to put that off for a while, but I guess not. I definitely want to do the two at once, though.

23. December, 2003 - moving day - posted early
22. December, 2003 - Happy Solstice

Farther behind

Well, it’s gotten to the point that my to-do list is bigger than it should be. I don’t think there’s any way I’m going to get everything done that I’d wanted to before the movers show up, but I’ve figured out how to deal with most of that. Here’s what remains:

It looks like a pretty full day, and I’m sure something will be undone when I trundle off to bed so I can be ready for the movers at 8am tomorrow, but I’ll just deal with that when it happens.

21. December, 2003 - handy phone

More moving experiences

I had a couple friends coming over yesterday afternoon to help move a couple dressers and whatever else would fit into the minivan, so I got cracking fairly early in the morning, and by lunch-time had sorted all the old T-shirts in my closet into “worth keeping” and “throw ’em out” piles, and thrown out four or five bags of garbage, including the t-shirts that weren’t worth keeping. The keepers are split about evenly between conference-wear and product Ts for dead products. At some point, I’ll probably give them all away, but I have to figure out exactly what’s there, first. In any case, other than a beat-up coffee-table that I’m going to set on the curb, the closets just have things that the movers can pick up and carry to the house.

I also packed up the last few DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes. They’re all in boxes now. I find it more than a little interesting that I’ve packed over thirty boxes of “entertainment,” and have quite a few books left to pack (at this point, the movers are going to get to pack those, but I think it’s about twenty-five more boxes of books) and I could carry on just fine without any of it. Yeah, there would be moments when I’d want to get at a book I remembered buying, but I’m starting to think that maybe I’ll set up an account on and thin the collection a bit. Then again, I will have a lot more space to store crap like that, so…

After we moved a minivan full of stuff to my house, I came home and decided it was time for a nap. All the plans for the afternoon faded away, and I napped for a while, and then stared at the TV until it was time to go to bed. I feel a lot better for it, and I also managed to get more than eight hours sleep last night. I’m definitely not going to get everything done in the order I planned, and I’m going to be paying more to the movers than originally planned, but I think it’s the only way to keep sane at this point.

The other major hurdle I face is that I haven’t figured out where things are going in the house. There are quite a few things that are obvious, such as all the tools and such that will go in the basement, but I haven’t even decided which room is going to house my books. And what about the TV? I don’t want it in the living room, since TV inhibits conversations, but I want the stereo there. That's complicated by the fact that the DVD player is also my CD player. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell the movers where to take which things, but at this point, I suspect everything is just going to get piled in one room, and I’ll sort it out after the holidays.

Oh well, enough yammering on. I’ve got to get some breakfast in me, deal with the last two “piles of crap” (one of which is mostly bike panniers and laptop bags) and then head up to mom’s for lunch. If I can be a little organized, I can probably even drop a load of stuff at the house on the way to mom’s and pick up some more boxes on the way home.

20. December, 2003 - am I done yet?

The continuing saga of the move…

Yesterday was not a good day.

I had grand dreams of getting many things done. I had a pretty good morning, picking up a case of furnace-filters, the Lexan for the basement windows, and some storage tubs for some clothes. I also spent a half-hour paying for the carpet (and installation) I wanted to put in my bedroom. But I haven’t been sleeping well, so I decided to take a nap after lunch. And that’s where the day started to unravel.

I got woken from my nap by Home Depot calling. I’d knocked the charger cord loose for the wireless phone in my bedroom sometime earlier in the week, so when I tried to answer, the phone died. I went to check voice-mail, and the quote I’d gotten that morning for carpet installation, and which I’d written a check for, was wrong. I called back, and the guy who’d just called me was nowhere to be found. But the core problem is that not only does the bedroom have the carepting glued down, it’s glued to 9″ vinyl tiles which most likely contain asbestos, and I’ll need an extra $500 of underlayment because of the tiles.

Now that’s not good news, but the worse news is that Home Depot’s installers can’t remove the old carpet, either. Because it’s glued to the tiles, they may disturb the asbestos while tearing up the carpeting. Professional abatement will run between $3 and $6 per square foot, or I could tear out the carpeting myself, hope I don’t stir up any asbestos, and have them hide the tiles under carpet for the next person to worry about. No matter what I do, it’s more work that I have to do, taking more time I don’t feel like I have. And the old carpeting simply has to go. Not only is it butt-ugly, but it’s also torn up in one of the corners where I verified what was under it.

In any case, I had to run to Home Depot to get a refund. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the floor, but I wanted my money back while I think about it. On the way there, I almost got hit by a bus pulling away from a bus stop. His brake lights were on, and as I started to go around him, suddenly he was pulling out. And then his turn signal went on. I stopped the bus and yelled at the driver, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea. He called the cops, and I called the complaint line and hopefully that’s that. But for all I know, yelling at a bus-driver is a terrorist act now.

At Home Depot, it took nearly another hour to get my check back. Apparently, I should have paid with a credit-card and they would have just credited my account, but there’s a ton of hoops to jump through to pull a check out of the till.

Back to the house to empty the car, and the floor people had just finished up the final coat of polyurethane. The floor looks good. I shoveled the sidewalk while they were hauling their stuff out. Hopefully there’ll be enough sun today to melt the rest clear.

Home again. Pack some more stuff. Move a carload of things, and have some dinner and beers at the bar. It was much-needed relaxation.

The most frustrating part of the whole floor problem is that it popped up out of nowhere, burned half a day, and sapped my energy. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that bedroom. I’m tempted to call in professionals and get the asbestos out of there for good, but that’s going to mean more disruption. Or I could just carpet over it and put it off to later.

Today I’ve got to start dealing with the various “piles of crap” around the apartment. If I let the movers pack them, I won’t be able to find anything, and they’ll be moving a bunch of stuff I should have thrown out years ago. I’ve also got a couple friends who are going to help me move the now-empty dressers which used to be filled with summertime clothes. I need to move the contents of my mini-freezer, so I can defrost it before moving it. And I need to find a place to stash a bunch of computer equipment I’m going to throw out that I can’t put on the curb until the 29th.

I’m sure it will all work out in the end, but at the moment, I have too many things that I think I should be doing, and the looming deadline of the professional movers arriving on Tuesday. Guess it’s time to get to it.

19. December, 2003 - feeling much better
18. December, 2003 - hitting the wall
17. December, 2003 - housing hassles, spam
16. December, 2003 - busy

Life’s been pretty busy lately with the house-purchase and all. Yesterday, after doing the walkthrough (and discovering a busted window on the back door where someone broke in over the weekend), and dealing with lawyers on another matter, and meeting with one of my employees for our annual review, I spent six hours chasing down a bug, explaining it to all involved, and FedExing off a CD to Apple so they can see the bug happen. Got to sleep, and then an ex called. Twice. I was awake for over an hour.

Glock Perfection

Today I close. I also fix the window (if the sellers haven’t already fixed it), put on double-keyed deadbolts so sticking an arm through a broken window won’t let ’em open the door, and maybe stick a sticker (seen at right) on that window as a warning to the scum. I’ve got guys refinishing the hardwood floors beginning this afternoon, the carpet guys coming by later in the week, and movers next week. Oh, and there’s some holiday everyone seems to be getting worked up about in the near future. I’m pretty sure buying a house and moving is the most stressful thing I’ve done, and I haven’t even started moving yet.

15. December, 2003 - Bill of Rights Day
14. December, 2003 - Saddam Hussein captured
13. December, 2003 - late update
12. December, 2003 - music, fun & music fun
11. December, 2003 - Punk Karaoke R.I.P.
10. December, 2003 - snow
9. December, 2003 - mixed bag
8. December, 2003 - Weekend Wrap-up
7. December, 2003 - follow-ups
6. December, 2003 - they had credibility?
5. December, 2003 - weekend fun
4. December, 2003 - one more day
3. December, 2003 - the world’s policeman
2. December, 2003 - good day
1. December, 2003 - home stretch
Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:55:39.