Work on the nursery is finally coming to a close. Hopefully this weekend the tremendous task of removing inch-thick velvet wallpaper, washing off 30-year old glue, sanding down the “textured” ceiling, skim-coating everything with joint compound, priming all surfaces, painting the walls and ceiling, and installing wainscotting will come to an end. And hopefully a good one.

Of course the fact that we’ve got a baby girl heading our way soon is bringing out The Woman’s inner princess. Not that she hasn’t always loved the color pink, but the nursery has given her an excuse to really use it as a primary color. Her last attempt was in our stairway. She didn’t even get halfway through by the time I got home and could only tell me, “It’s really pink.” I concurred and eventually covered it up with a somewhat burnt orange color that I originally wanted (win for me!).

Since she is currently limited to painting in 2 minute increments, the task of “pinking” the nursery fell to me the other night. It’s a rather emasculating task – even for a closet metrosexual such as myself. I have a love/hate relationship with the color. On one hand it can look absolutely fabulous when used right, but on the other hand it isn’t used right 95% of the time. And let’s face it, I’m not necessarily manly enough to pull off pink (and a skirt) like some guys. Thus I remain torn on it’s use.

Thankfully Boris’s Pink was recently added to eMusic, and was readily available to ironically get me through the process with gusto. And if you don’t understand that, you are neither as metal nor as wannabe-hipster cool as I am


This weekend we (and since The Woman is 37 weeks pregnant, we really means I) had to get some painting done. That included:

  • Priming and painting the kitchen ceiling
  • Priming and painting the kitchen walls
  • Priming and painting the nursery ceiling
  • Priming the nursery walls
  • Priming the new linen closet
  • Pretending to prime and/or paint the kitchen trim

The Woman did, in fact, help out a lot. But she can’t be in the room when the primer is being used, and she can’t paint anything that’s lower than 3 feet or higher that 6 feet. Unfortunately our walls extend beyond both limits. The real shame is that she’s a better painter than I. But in the end it worked out – and for the first time in a while, I may actually be owed a tad more sympathy than she is. Holy crap does every square inch of my body ache.

To be fair, by now I’m already well on my way to recovery (until I paint the nursery walls tonight) while her feet are still ballooned to twice their usual size. And trust me, I’m smart enough not to try milking this for anything, anyway. Regardless, this was an incredibly rare weekend during which I was actually looking forward to returning to work on Monday in order to relax. Fool me once…

What?! I’m a old! I’m confused!

As I paid for lunch this afternoon, an older woman in a postal uniform walked into the Quizno’s. Without a word she reached for the largest cup behind the counter and headed for soda fountain. All three employees began to watch her. As one handed me my sandwich his mouth actually dropped open – she was filling the cup up with soda. There was a moment where everybody in the shop was frozen, wondering if we were all witnessing the lamest shoplifting ever…

Finally one of them spoke up, “So, would you like a large soda?” Of course she answered yes and eventually paid. But I couldn’t help but think about Uncle Leo and his claims that all senior citizens stole. Maybe they really do just walk into stores and see how much they can get away with. I mean, who really wants to accuse a sweet old lady of criminal behavior? It’s much easier to just assume there was a reason for their actions – something other than thievery…

And I shall call him… Bill

One day while riding my bike in preparation for the event which we do not speak of, I startled a heron who was fishing at the nearby pond. He took to flight and majestically headed towards another shore – only to be startled by a rather territorial Canadian goose and forced to double back to yet another shore. I couldn’t track where he landed, but was excited to see a bird I normally only encounter in the wildlife preserves of Florida hanging out near my house.

Flash forward to today…

An unfortunate series of events (don’t worry, nothing to be concerned about) found me driving out of my neighborhood at around 5:15 this morning. As I drive by the aforementioned pond, whom do I see standing in the water not more than 12 feet from the road? The very same heron… well… I’m guessing it’s the same bird. He’s a Great Blue Heron to be exact – which means he’s rather intimidating and awe-inspiring. I slowed down right by him to take a photo, but he was keen to my paparazzi-like motives and took to flight once again. Nevertheless, the encounter helped brighten a day that seemed destined for crappy things.

Looks like it’s time for an early morning bike ride this weekend…

Spread Firefox

Download Day is here! Yeah, kind of a dorky name – but isn’t that what you would expect from people excited about the release of a new web browser? I’ve been using Firefox 3 in beta form for a while on Ubuntu but am happy to do my part as they try to set a record for downloads with the final release today.

Download Day - English

Unless you’re already happily browsing on the likes of Opera or Safari, please do the web a favor and get yourself a decent browser. Firefox 3 has a lot of cool features and already appears to be running much better than Firefox 2. Just take a look at Webmonkey’s take on why you should download it NOW!!!

One last hurrah

We’re taking advantage of a wedding this weekend and staying at a bed and breakfast. It’ll be the last getaway until parenthood destroys our souls fills our lives with joy…

Nothing big – we’re just heading out to “Western” New Jersey. But it’s an excuse to pamper ourselves one last time. Most importantly, it’s a time to pamper the expecting mommy as the intense heat has made these final weeks a tad uncomfortable. Once we get back, however, it’s nonstop again as the kitchen and nursery renovations are full steam ahead.

Maybe I’ll get to see you guys again sometime…

Instant karma’s gonna get you

I believe it was right in the middle of a sentence explaining just how lucky we were to have not lost power that… you guessed it… our power went out. Somehow our block managed to make it through the heatwave that blacked out 75,000 houses in the area and then the monster storm hit over 200,000 houses only to be taken out in the aftermath. A quick call to PSE&G let me know that they would have power restored by 6 PM. Friday. Joy.

Apparently they must use some sort of default message to make sure nobody gets their hopes up. Instead you’re forced to start contemplating how quickly you can eat everything in the freezer. Fortunately it never came to that. We never even lost Internet connectivity. That’s because my own twisted priorities have made sure that all networking equipment are on battery backup while the equipment that provides us sustenance are on $10 surge protectors at best. But otherwise what else could we do in the dark but surf Cute Overload?

You could say that the power failure was a blessing in disguise. It kicked me into high gear and forced me to finish some of the demo work that was waiting in the kitchen. By the time the lights came back on, I was amazed at how much we had been able to accomplish around the house. With the TV out we became excellent workers – prepping our house for the work that awaits it in the coming weeks.

But then the electricity returned, and it was time to run around the house turning on every appliance we could. Ah, modern living…

The incredible leaking house

Just remember, when you stop one leak, God will provide you with another… I think that’s the proverb. At least that seems to be the appropriate one for this house.

For those of you not currently enjoying the wonderful heatwave up here in the Northeast, you’ve also just missed out on one frightening bit o’ thunderstorm that hit these parts. We’re talking non-stop thunder, lightening strikes that seemed only blocks away, winds that sent rain horizontal, and hail. That’s right, freakin’ hail. I don’t know about you guys, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw hail around here. While it may be common elsewhere, that’s freaky weather for me.

Thanks to our recent gutter cleaning, all of the basement leaks appeared to be holding well. No big deal considering how quickly these vicious storms can pass. But I kept hearing some strange noise along with the howling winds. Eventually I tracked it down to a window at the top of our stairs – one which we, of course, just recently talked about replacing. I’ve seen it leak a little before, but after five minutes of the torrential downpour outside the sill was overflowing and a stream of water was heading down some steps. Oh joy, because I just love every square inch of my house constantly being under threat of a random soaking.

Fortunately a bunch of extra towels and an old comforter stopped it up. But it got me thinking of the water issues in this house and how they keep staying one step ahead of me:

  1. Initial water found in basement.
  2. All boxes are moved to dry locations.
  3. Dry locations quickly become wet, too.
  4. Front gutters are cleaned stopping the leaks.
  5. Major storm dumps enough water to cover the entire basement floor – outright mocking my previous work.
  6. Basement is cleaned to the point that only major storms will affect it – good enough for me.
  7. Damp sheet rock is discovered in soon-to-be-built nursery.
  8. All gutters are cleaned, no more dampness in soon-to-be-built nursery.
  9. Water heater EXPLODES filling basement with 2-3 inches of water.
  10. Water heater is replaced. Everything in the house is now dry.
  11. Upstairs window starts flooding stairwell…

WTF! Could I just go back to some of the non-water related homeowner problems? Wait, we’re just about to renovate the kitchen. So please, a reprieve on homeowner woes. I beg of you!

From the new digs

The move is complete… Wait a minute… I moved? Not me, but my company. Well, part of my company. And that part included me. So… uh… yeah… I guess I moved. This has been a long time coming and now finds me sitting in my glorious new office. A very nice place to be considering the sheer amount of stress that has been hitting me (and, to be honest, still is hitting me) as a result.

No details here. Maybe I’ll post a photo when my office is a tad cleaner. It’s a pretty sweet setup, but I probably shouldn’t be showing photos of our “data center” to the entire Innerweb. Let’s just say that the actually network/server room is probably twice the size of my previous closet… er… office. And right now I’m living proof that a good working environment goes a long way. So much more can be accomplished when you don’t have several servers and an A/C unit blowing noisely on you all day.

In case you couldn’t guess, this move would be one of the major reasons I’ve been such a bad blogger of late. One of the other reasons would be that I’m frantically working on the nursery. And yet another reason would be that I’m frantically working on the kitchen. And all of these things require me to run around from place to place in total ignorance of current gas prices. On top of all of that, I also have a shiny new toy to show off and haven’t even had time to demonstrate it’s awesomeness.

More to follow, including photos of me covered in plaster and breaking wooden boards with the power of my mind…