Weekend Update 2006-03-19

It’s been one of those weekends where I putter about and do a lot of little organizing and putting things away, but the house seems as cluttered as when I started. I hauled a lot of the recycling in (I still need to work on the paper/cardboard recycling) but there are still major areas I need to get under control, like the “spare room” down stairs, which is where I store all my tools and household supplies, and the office, where I desperately need to get an organization scheme in place for office supplies and computer-related cords, cables, etc. I also need to consolidate items from the laundry room with items from the spare room and get them under control.

All my plans are complicated by my discovery that the bathroom sink downstairs has a leaky faucet, which is dripping down behind the vanity and making the floor damp. This is one of the really poorly plumbed utilities in the house (courtesy of the previous owner), so fixing it is going to be a headache. Even turning off the valve under the sink is a chore; the knobs on the valve are so old and corroded that they’re stuck.

Sisyphus
Futility

On the bright side, I just started watching the sci-fi channel’s new version of the Brit classic Dr. Who, and it looks smashing. (I can use that word; my sister’s British!) Watching this, combined with the BBC America production of Hustle, which is also set in London, so makes me want to live there. Why can’t we have red buses, black cabs and cool phone booths?

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-03-19

Weekend Update 2006-02-20

What I accomplished this weekend:

  1. Comment Code – I worked on the comment code on my site to accomplish:
    • Cleaner xhtml and css. This was hard, but I got it working well.
    • Displaying the number next to the comment. This wasn’t hard.
    • Displaying comments from me in a different color than others. This seemed to be fraught with errors, for some reason, but I eventually worked it out.

    The comments aren’t perfect yet; I want a more subtle look and feel. But getting the above out of the way was a huge step in that direction.

  2. Close examination of my error logs. I scoured through them to see where I had broken links within my own pages to correct them, and what pages that other people were linking to that had moved. Then I set up a huge redirect file to point other’s links in the right direction. I also redirected sections of my site that have moved into my content management system. All of this will hopefully clean up my error logs a lot, and, with any luck, increase my page ranks within Google.
  3. Moved more of my static pages into my content management system so I can update and control them more easily. There’s still a lot to do in that area, but I’m working on it.
  4. Wrote two book reviews that had been lingering around waiting for attention. I’m slowly but surely making my way through my reading list for 2006.
  5. Watched a lot of the Olympics with Stephanie. We are sad about Johnny getting 5th (not 4th, actually) place. This week is women’s figure skating, and I’ll be cheering Kimmie Meisner and Emily Hughes. They’re both too young to really do well, but both of them are great sports. I’m not a huge fan of Sasha Cohen.
  6. Went on a huge stocking-up trip to Cost Co. I could now survive a ten-day blizzard, no problem.
Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2006-02-20

Weekend Update 2005-10-24

The end of my vacation went out with a bang. On Saturday, we went up to Chicago to celebrate my friend Amy’s birthday by seeing the musical Wicked at the beautiful Ford Oriental Theatre. Then we had dinner and Rainforest Cafe and drove home. Sunday my friend Kathy came over and helped Stephanie and I do a bunch of activities around the house. We put stuff in storage for the winter, winterized some of the house, and did a massive clean-up of the attic by gathering up old insulation and putting down spanking new stuff. Kathy has a lot of energy; she got a ton of stuff done. Stephanie carried 15 trash bags of old insulation down to the patio. We had a small glitch when Kathy put her foot through the office ceiling, (d’oh!) but shit happens. We’ll have to tackle that project later.
I feel alot better about the vacation now; I got a ton of stuff done. (With lots of help).

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2005-10-24

Weekend Update 2005-08-29

We had out garage sale over the weekend, and it was a lot of work for very little result, unfortunately. I made $63, Stephanie made something like $20, and both of us practically killed ourselves preparing and tearing everything down. Most of it was that we didn’t have enough traffic; there were lots of people in the morning, but no one in the afternoon at all. I wonder how much advertising the neighborhood did… but that’s not really fair to blame the people who volunteered their time to set up the sale, either, because I know that’s hard work, too, and they deserve thanks for taking it on.
It’s also a little depressing to sell (or not sell) your own things, actually, which didn’t help my mood. I like all this stuff, really, it’s just that I have too much or it doesn’t work in my house or whatever. But I feel like it still has some value.
I should publicly thank our neighbors, also, for helping out. Patrick and Samika (I hope I’m spelling her name right) next door were great; they loaned us folding tables, and Samika helped carry stuff in out of the torrential downpour at the end of the day, as did our brand-new (as of this weekend) neighbor, whose name, I think, is Kyle.
Also, several of our friends showed up, which is hugely cool; Jen came by, Rachel visited, Bil and Jerame stopped in, Elizabeth and Joe were there, and Barb and Robin came by, too. Thank you all for supporting us!
Then I put gas in my truck this morning, and it cost me $36.19 for 13.715 gallons. That sucks, frankly. If I hadn’t been on fumes, I could have tried to shop around for a better price, but I haven’t been good with this vehicle about filling up before the tank is empty. I always was before. I need to get back in that habit quick, because the price of gas is too high to just stop at the nearest station out of necessity.
I kind of feel like Morgan Spurlock in the first episode of “30” where they were living on minimum wage, and the money kept going down the drain…

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2005-08-29

Chicago Pictures

We wound up our long weekend on Monday by going to Chicago with Stephanie and Lisa to visit the Art Institute, do a little site-seeing, and shop at the Fluevog store for some super cool new shoes.

Art Institute
Fluevog Store
Continue ReadingChicago Pictures

Weekend Update: King Kong at IMA

Stephanie and I saw King Kong with Dan and Doug, Josh, and David and Garrett on the Terrace at the IMA. It was great fun; the sound was much better than in the past, and I love seeing movies with Dan and Doug; I haven’t done that much recently, and I miss it. I spent a few minutes in the giftshop of the IMA while I was waiting around to buy tickets. They don’t carry as many art books as they used to, but it all looks very nice. I’m looking forward to visiting the IMA to see exhibits.

George and Timmy enjoy Kong

George and Timmy enjoy Kong

Photo Set: Pictures from the King Kong.
On Saturday, I got a lot of weeding done (I filled my entire trash dumpster with weeds) and managed to put a few items on eBay, so I rewarded myself with playing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Xbox. It’s an older game I got used, but it’s a lot of fun. Stephanie and I caught up on watching Big Brother 6 in the evening.
Sunday morning, I mowed the lawn for the very first time since my surgery. I felt fine and really had fun doing it. I love mowing the lawn. I also did more weeding and cleaned up the side of the house where we broke out the stairs a bit. There’s lots more to do there, but it looks better. And I spent the afternoon at Stephanie’s house helping her and her dad get her basement organized and building shelves for her VW collection.
I’ve been feeling much better lately; like I did before the surgery, only with more energy. There were times before where I was doing something active and I felt like I was climbing a steep hill; now I can do the same things and have energy left over. I’m not as strong as I used to be; I can’t lift things like I could before. But that’s just because I was fairly inactive for four months. I’ll regain muscle as I keep working.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update: King Kong at IMA

Weekend Update 2005-07-11

We received a company e-mail this morning to tell us that one of our company’s employees from their London offices has been missing since Thursday’s attack. That’s very distressing news. I was discussing in an e-mail with my sister, who lives with her husband in a town outside London, the terrorist’s choice of targets. They’re incensed at the attack on the double-decker bus because it’s such an iconic symbol of London. Which made me think about the World Trade Center — they wanted that target so badly, they attacked it twice; once from below and once from above. If they were truly trying to attack our freedom, they would have blown up the Statue of Liberty, but they went after the twin towers. I’ll bet money Bush has never really sat down and thought about that, and why. Because I think it says a lot about what bin Laden is really after.
Stephanie and I went to Kathy’s softball game on Friday. Saturday we did some reading (we’re both re-reading the current Harry Potter books) and some work around both our houses. I had two birds in the house on Saturday morning, which was fun for the three cats, but not so much for me. I think they came in through a hole in a screen in the spare bedroom, so I fixed the screen.
On Sunday, Kathy came over and started breaking down the concrete stairs beside my house. I worked on replacing the burner and igniter for my gas grill, and on painting the lawn furniture that Amy gave me. I also talked to a gutter guy about giving me estimates on getting my gutters fixed on the front corner of my house above the front door. I’ll have to see how much they are.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2005-07-11

Weekend Update 2005-06-13

Stephanie and I went to Valparaiso for the weekend to attend her 15 year class reunion. As a couple. The only gay couple there. It was like a mini pride celebration all by itself (since we missed the big event downtown). We even slow danced together during the evening. Very fun. No one seemed to have much of an issue. It was cute that several of her class mates asked how we met, went through the list of the gay people they know, and asked how to find other gay people to set up their single gay friends.
One of the interesting things is that one of Stephanie’s fellow graduates of Chesterton High School class of 1990 is Nick Smith, the Press Secretary for Bill Frist. Stephanie would not allow me to cause a scene. But I so wanted to. (I have his e-mail address!!! I’m thinking of selling it.)
We got back yesterday afternoon and still face a monsterous number of tasks. Stephanie’s refrigerator went out last week, and we have to buy a new one. But this evening we’re going to the Bosma protest, and we also have to schedule stuff around her surgery. So we’re both a bit frazzled right now.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2005-06-13

Weekend Update 2005-03-14

In addition to the rally we attended last week, Stephanie landed her loop during her skating lesson on Thursday, which is a major breakthrough and something she’s been working on for a long time. One of her fellow skaters filmed her doing the loop on his digital camera, so I’m hoping to see it soon. So congratulate her when you see her; she’s doing great.
Read on; this is a long update:

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2005-03-14

MLK Weekend Update

Stephanie and I had a busy weekend; we did a lot of shopping and a lot cuddling up at home trying to stay warm. We went to see Finding Neverland, which was a much sadder movie than I expected, and had I known that, I might not have gone to see it. We bought a winter coat for Stephanie at Eddie Bauer, then when it turned out to not be very comfortable, we returned it and got an equally-cool looking but much more functional coat and less expensive one at the gap. I also got a nice wool coat at the gap for more dressy occasions. And we shopped at Target.
And I got the Trivial Pursuit Book Lovers Edition for 1/2 price. I’m really excited about it and want to play.
It’s really cold, and I’d like to note that I did NOT order this weather. Damn it.

Continue ReadingMLK Weekend Update