Saturday, April 30, 2005

The poor plumber

There is an old saying that an poor plumber blames his tools. Well today I learned a corollary of that - With the right tools even a poor plumber can do a good job.

Today I was painting the trim on the house (where the gutters are going to be - read prior postings) and I took Friday off - which was good because it took me the whole day to chip the loose old paint off. This morning I used a big roller brush to apply the primer and it did a horrid job. So for the real paint I decided to use a rush. About two hours later I was not even halfway done when my neighbor Jim drives up. Jim paints houses on the side when he has some free time and wants to generate some extra cash) and he brings over a small diameter roller (about a half inch compared to the to inch diameter roller I was using earlier and mannnn I got the rest of the house done in a half hour flat.

I promised Jim next time I will knock on is door before I start any more painting projects.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Roof, favorite pictures, an arguement for the dark side

The insurance adjustors were over Wednesday and they totalled the roof - which is good because now we only have to pay for the deductable and upgrades. That is very good because it was going to cost way more to replace our roof than I imagined (we are talking somewhere around the $13k range).

For upgrades we are getting powered ridge vents to replace the three turbines. The roof contractor did the math and said for the size roof we had we would need seven turbines! I wished we could have gotten non powered vents but we don't have enough ridgeline over the main portion of the house. Also while they are working on the roof we are getting the gutters replaced - the front is barely holding on and we are extending the ones in the back.

As far as our website goes I have just went through the pics from 2005 and 2004 and put my favorites in the photogallery. When I get a chance I will go through the prior years and perhaps cull down the pictures some.

Today I had my one-on-one with my new manager. He's new because its the first time I am a direct report to him. I have worked with him for about four years, half of that time he was a developer. Its sad to me when developers (good ones anyway) go into management, its a waste of a good programmer, even if they become good or better managers its still sad to me. I all but said that to him during the one-on-one and his theory was that as management he has a better chance of getting his voice heard higher up in the chain of command - any of you who have told your boss something needed to be done a certain way and they go off to a meeting with other managers and come back and decide to do it completely different can relate. Plus you get to run things your way (from loose to micromanagement - as long as you don't raise the ire of HR they give you a free hand). I had to admit that the arguements made logical sense though for now I will stick with programming and let the managers have their headaches.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Back from Germany

I got back from Germany Friday. I have updated the photogallery with the pictures I took. Its very interesting to be in a city whose buildings are older than the US. While I have never been to New York it is also nice to be in a town with a massive public transportation (they even had bicycle lanes in the road).

I do wish that our education system was close to the German education system. Most of the people over there spoke English (better than most Americans). I had to laugh a couple of times when, in meetings, they would apologize because the only English they learned was from High School but then kept on talking in flawless English. I had a semester of Spanish when I was in school and forgot most of it before the next semester started.

I won't be mad about the price of gasoline again. The cost over in Germany was 1.08 Euro's per Liter for cheap unleaded gasoline. That works out to about 5.82 dollars per gallon. And with the Kyoto treaty they are saying the price could go higher.

An interesting thing about the Kyoto treaty is that for each trip you have to pay the cost of cleaning up the environment. While I am wholly for that the problem with the treaty is that it applies differently to different countries. So developing countries don't have to pay anything while US and Europe would have to pay out the nose. If the US signed the treaty you would see even more jobs leaving the US to countries that don't have to pay anything to clean up the environment. So while I wish we had something like the Kyoto treaty I am glad we didn't sign it until its fair and equal across the board.

I'm just getting over the jet lag. Fortunatly it was a short trip.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Haircuts today

Well I am mostly packed for my trip to Germany. Today Chris gave me and Nate haircuts and I posted some of the pictures in the photogallery.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Getting ready to go to Germany

This week was a busy one! Around about Wednesday a couple of managers asked if my passport was up to date and when I asked why they said they were sending me with a team of people over to Germany for a couple of days!!

Being the first time out of the country for me I am still trying to make sure I have everything I need. I got a power converter yesterday and tomorrow I am going to try and go to a book store to get a German to English dictionary and phrasebook.

On the homefront we had a contractor out to look at the roof and there is definitly some hail damage up there. The problem is that the last hail storm to hit the area was two years ago, so the leak had to be very small to start with and gotten worse over time (sigh). Right now I am hoping its only a single leak. Hopefully the insurance adjustor will be out next week and we can get started on the roof work.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Disappointing weekend on the homefront

We didn't get finished stripping the texture on Nate's room. Because there was a layer of glossy paint on the texture we couldn't use water to strip it. So we had to use scrapers and sanders.

The big problem came when we started to strip the texture on the ceiling. It was then we discovered that one of the pieces of drywall was wet! I went up into the attic but did not find the source of the leak. But I will call the insurance company (Allstate) tomorrow and see what our next step will be.

So now we have held off getting the house insulated until we got the kitchen drywall fixed and now we gotta hold off on that until we get the roof fixed.


Friday, April 01, 2005

Today was a busy day!

This morning I took Nate to Thomas Day out. He had a blast! The only problem was it was so windy Nate got cold (but I got him some hot chocolate and held him until we got on the train so he did okay).

Afterwards I took him to McDonalds where he played with the kids on the slides. There was one two year old who followed Nate around (and called him Thomas because he was wearing his Thomas shirt). It was nice to see kids follow nate instead of Nate following the kids.

After that I brought Nate home to stay with Grandmoo (Chris and Lexi went to pick her up this morning). And Chris and I dropped my car off at Carmax for its 30000 mile check up - to keep it in warranty. Then we went to Home Depot to pick up the rest of the supplies we will be using tomorrow to scrape the walls in Nate's room and paint it in two weeks or so.


I just posted all the photos in the Fotki photogallery. Enjoy!

I will let y'all know how the clean up goes :)