Weekend Update 2007-02-26

We had a pretty quiet weekend around here. I went to water aerobics with my new suit, which is awesome. Stephanie went skating. Her dad decided against coming down to visit because Valpo got hit with a storm, which knocked out the power for Stephanie’s mom. We went over to my old house to check on the water removal from the basement and empty the dehumidifier bucket. The heat’s on there, and things are drying out fine. The plumber will come today, so I’ll be dropping by to check on things again.

We made lasagna for dinner last night, and fell asleep early and missed most of the Oscars, which is fine, since we saw barely any of the movies, and they’re all in our Netflix queue anyway. We have 470 movies in our queue. We’re very ambitious.

This is partially because for Valentine’s Day, I gave Stephanie a copy of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and she went through and cataloged what she’s read. We found lists of all the titles from the book on the internets, and put them in google spreadsheets so we could track what we’ve read. Then we did the same with 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. And then we started adding movies to Netflix, and now our Queue ensures that we will never die, ever.

I spent most of the weekend cleaning up data; going over my lists of books I’ve read, checking that the links are valid and that all the links go to current, in print editions of books on Amazon.com. I also played around with getting all the lists into an Amazon Store for my site. I’m trying to figure out if I want to spend the time customizing the hell out of it, and integrating it into my site seamlessly. I’m not satisfied with it; I’m thinking I need to work with Amazon web services and just build my own version of a store on my site, with my own database. But maybe that’s more work than it’s worth, considering.

I am happy that I have pretty up-to-date lists, though; now I need to plug those book titles into my book cataloging software to make some progress on my library database, which we need to have for inventory/insurance purposes.

I have made some great strides getting old site pages organized after the move. The major outstanding piece is getting my old photo pages updated. Most of the photos aren’t in place on this host because I ran into some annoying customer service issues with them that it’s not worth going into. I’m thinking I just need to bite the bullet and post most of them on flickr.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2007-02-26

Goofing Off

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One of the cool things about my new MacBook is that I could load several video games I own but couldn’t really play on my old machine – Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Black and White – so I’ve been goofing off playing video games all weekend. I did managed to write a couple of blog posts, hang curtain rods in the living room, clean up the kitchen and finally clean the Aquarium so the fish could see. I also updated my inventory of all of our electronics with models and serial numbers, to include my new stuff and all of Stephanie’s geekbling, too. We had one of Stephanie’s friends over for a tour of the house, and we used the snowblower for the first time here. I managed to run over the dog chain with it, so we spent 20 minutes untangling that from the blades of the machine. But it was fun. Normally I’d be excited about the snow, but I’m worried about our gutters still being undone.
I still have to write reviews of Fun Home and The Boy Detective Fails which I finished last weekend.
We cocooned in the house again this weekend. I went to water aerobics, we ventured out to go to the IMAX Theater 10 year celebration, (I had to go, it was Big Thing) and Stephanie went skating, of course, but otherwise we hung out at home and enjoyed spending time with each other and the kids.
It’s so lovely to finally be able to just hang out with Stephanie and enjoy her company – we spent so much time driving back and forth to one another’s houses before we lived together, and even the first six months of living together were filled up with getting things squared away, and so many obligations and activities. Now even doing simple stuff like cooking or reading is more fun because we’re in the same spot, sharing the experience. I love my girlfriend.

Continue ReadingGoofing Off

Weekend Update 2006-12-11

Stephanie and I had our first real social event Saturday night, and things went really well. It’s always a challenge to figure out the logistics (have a peek here to find the solution) of socializing in a new place – what rooms will people hang out in? How do people move around the house? How do we greet people, grab their coats, offer them a drink, and make sure all the food is out and ready? What the heck are the cats doing?
We only a had a few minor mishaps – me pouring boiling punch on my hand while serving, I completely forgot to take pictures – but in all it was pretty comfortable. I don’t think we have a big enough living room to really host watching Christmas specials well, but not many people have a living room that big. Otherwise, though, I think our house really allows people to move around and socialize well, and we coordinated socializing with hostessing tasks pretty well. I learned a lot about what to do and what not to — I think I have some much better ideas about food prep for future parties that will allow us more time to socialize with guests. It always sucks when someone gets stuck in the kitchen.
In general, Stephanie and I have some smaller gatherings planned for the future, which will be great for really getting to talk to our friends. We want to have some people over for dinner, and we want to resume having regular game nights. And I can’t wait until we have a front porch/back deck party in the spring or summer — our house will really rock for that, because our front porch is huge.
Sunday we had a really casual, lazy day for the first time in months. I read a lot, Stephanie skated, we took the dog for a walk, and played with the cats. It was great, and very relaxing. I really love our house.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-12-11

Crazy Busy

We’ve been crazy busy, and we’re still at it — Stephanie is showing her house to people to rent, Mine is still for sale, we’re mowing all three lawns every week, and the gardening attempts are ongoing. In addition to the ball room dancing and the water aerobics, Stephanie is teaching basic skills in figure skating, and she’s nominated for the treasurer’s position for the neighborhood association. And our house is still half packed, and we need to clean. And I’m supposed to write a novel in November. Heh.
We’re pretty nuts.

Continue ReadingCrazy Busy

Weekend Update 2006-09-25

Friday night we went to Hogeye Naavy’s concert for “International Talk Like a Pirate day” at the German Liederkranz Club on Washington Street.
See the concert photo album
Hogeye Naavy is a really fun band that plays sea shantys and traditional folk music of Ireland, Scotland, England, and North America. Their instruments include concertinas, bagpipes, Citterns, Pennywhistles, Irish Flutes, Irish Tenor Banjos — things you don’t hear much in a traditional concert setting any more. Their fans tend to be really interactive with the band; singing along, banging beer bottles and steins on the table in time to the music. It’s impossible not to have a great time.
The German Liederkranz Club is a German singing society with mixed choir founded in 1872. Originally a male singing society, it now has a men’s and a women’s choir with 20-25 members in each. The public is welcome to join the choirs, which maintain German culture through music, food and dancing at each program. It’s tucked back off the street next to the Fraternal Order of Police building on Washington Street.
On Saturday, Stephanie went to work on her house with her dad, and I worked on the flower beds in front of the house. Last weekend, Stephanie’s dad helped us rototill the beds because the dirt was too tightly packed to do by hand. I’m not sure they’ve been worked on anytime in the last ten years or so. This Saturday I bought another load of compost for the beds and started spreading it out, and working on putting in edgers to keep the dirt in. It was pouring rain while I was working, and at some point in the process, I gashed open my finger, but I didn’t realize it until I noticed the blood. So I stopped for the day and worked inside the house instead.
More compost
See the gardening photo album.
I finished up spreading compost Sunday morning and washed the truck, then drove all over town looking for a swimsuit, because I’m starting water aerobics classes at the Y with my friend Chi. Of course I’m looking out of season, so there wasn’t much left, but I finally found something. So we’re ballroom dancing one night, and I’m taking aerobics the next. That should be good for me. Stephanie put the “For Rent” sign out in front of her old house. Yay!
south flower bed
And Sunday night we helped Stephanie’s friends move a couch, and they provided us with pizza and great conversation, so we had a pleasant evening. Busy weekend, but fun.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-09-25

An Inconvenient Truth

We went to see “An Inconvenient Truth” over the weekend.

You really want to see this movie. You may not know that you want to, but you do. You may be on the fence about the issue, or afraid that it’s boring, or unconcerned. You may think you disagree with the movie. Trust me. You want to see it. You’ll be very glad you did. You’ll agree with me when you leave the theater, and say “She’s right, I did want to see that movie.” I promise. You won’t be bored. You’ll be entertained. You’ll be enlightened. You’ll be inspired. You’ll thank me. Please just indulge me. Give it a shot.

If it isn’t in theaters after this weekend in Indianapolis (we saw it at Landmark, where it’s playing at least until Thursday) then please throw the DVD on your Amazon Wishlist, or into your Netflix queue. Or let me know, and when I get the DVD, I’ll have everyone over to watch.

We knew the basics of the movie before we went, but seeing the information spelled out in charts and graphs is really compelling. And seeing the photographs (2, 3) of the way the earth has changed in the last thirty years is astonishing. We went and bought the book after we saw the movie, because I wanted the charts…

One of the things I didn’t expect was a list of realistic changes that we can make to solve the problem. I’d shifted directly into despair mode that this is an unfixable problem, or that the changes we need to make are so radical that only hemp-wearing hippie nuts would tackle them. That’s really not the case at all.

Here’s one of my favorite parts of the movie… Regarding the argument that combatting global warming will destroy the economy, Gore displays the image below, which comes from a Bush Administration presentation on “global stewardship” and is a call to balance economic concerns with concerns about the environment. The image displays the absurdity of the argument.

Gore says in response to the image, “OK, on one side we have gold bars,” he says. “Mmm, mmm, don’t they look good!”

“And on the other side, THE ENTIRE PLANET!”

The point of course, being that without the planet, where would we keep our delicious gold bars?

An Inconvenient Scale
Mmm. Gold Bars
Continue ReadingAn Inconvenient Truth

Weekend Update 2006-07-31

We spent the weekend doing lots of work on the house — unpacking things on Saturday, and with the help of our friends David and Garrett we moved quite a bit more stuff from Stephanie’s house. There are still a few more loads, but the bulk of the moving is finished. Our house is pretty chaotic, but I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

To change the subject entirely… have you ever known someone for a really long time and still been mystified by the contents of their mind? Like you find out things about your friends that are a complete revelation? I’m still sort of agog at something I found out today. In a strictly metaphorical sense, if you owned a Corvette, why would you ever borrow someone else’s Yugo? The human mind is a mystery to me.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-07-31

Weekend Update 2006-06-19

We had our shower plumbing (check out experienced plumbers at Sarkinen Plumbing here) worked on for the third time Friday, and they finally got it right. The “on” handle was leaking to start out with, then it was fixed but hard to turn on or get good pressure. Now it’s awesome — the kind of water pressure that almost knocks you over it’s so strong. I love that. Our shower rocks.
We spent Saturday doing some more moving, with Stephanie’s friends Barb and Ollie helping, and unpacking at home. I think we’re making progress, but it’s hard to tell. As soon as we get stuff unpacked and put away, more stuff seems to find it’s way to the house. We took a load of the crappy carpet from the basement to the landfill, which was pretty entertaining.
We spent some time trying to get the cats to like each other. That’s a work in progress. For now, everyone has their own room, and they get to roam the house at different times.
Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning we painted the laundry room. We decided to do it because the washer and dryer were pulled out (we replaced the crappy ones that came with the house with mine) and we thought it would be good to do before we put them in place, since the last people who painted didn’t bother to do it behind the appliances. Sunday morning I hooked up the washer and dryer, and we started washing the massive piles of laundry we’ve been accumulating.
Sunday afternoon we went to a cookout at my Dad’s house to celebrate Father’s day and all the June birthdays. Everyone has a better camera than I do — I want a good Canon. I’ll have to work on that. My dad gave us his 18′ ladder, which we toted home, and in the evening, we took a small load of stuff from Stephanie’s and grabbed Phoebe and brought her to live in her new garage.
It was a pleasant enough weekend, although it was overshadowed by some bad news from some friends that really kinda has me feeling down. I don’t want to write more than that out of respect for other’s personal stuff. But sometimes life really sucks.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-06-19

Weekend Update 2006-06-12

We spent the weekend moving and unpacking, and unfortunately we missed both Pride and the Talbott Street Art Fair in the process. (We have our rainbow flag out at the new place, though! So we’re trying to represent.) We did get a lot done, although there’s still a huge amount to do. I think I have my house cleared out down to just a couple more truckloads of stuff. Stephanie’s friends helped her pack lots of stuff Saturday and move five carloads over to our house, and Stephanie did a lot of packing Sunday afternoon. But most of Stephanie’s stuff is still at her old house, so we have several busy weekends ahead of us.
I managed to unpack some of my books last night. I’m hoping to bring over another load of stuff tonight, and get the washer and dryer hooked up, too. Currently, we have boxes all over the house; I’m hoping to get some of them put away.
We brought my cats over to the new house, so all the kids are in the new place. Mine are all in the guest bedroom right now, getting used to the new house. Lucy is still hanging out in the upstairs bathroom, and Spike has staked out the dining room as his territory for now. So they all sorta have neutral corners, although Spike was chasing Lucy around upstairs this morning. Poor Lucy.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-06-12

Weekend Update 2006-04-09

On the design front, I’ve been restructuring my cascading style sheets for this site; separating layout markup into a separate style sheet than the one for design (color, font face, size etc.) and doing a bit of testing on that. That will help when I finally get my new design in order and start building. So I’ve done a bit of work, but behind the scenes.

Also, on the home purchasing front, Stephanie and I are going to see eight or so houses this afternoon to assure ourselves that the one we’ve already picked out is right for us both price-wise and size-wise. We just want to get a feel for what else is out there to confirm our decision about the house we like.

Also, if you’re on Flickr and you’re in my “friends and family” contact list, you can see pictures of the house we picked out. We have the privacy turned on for it, so the pictures aren’t public (we don’t want anyone else to steal it from under our noses).

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-04-09