forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Here are just a few things I've learned about smoke detectors this week:

Co detectors age out.  Two of ours did so within days of eachother.   The brand I have, despite having a voice, uses 5 beeps to tell you that.  In the middle of the night, you just assume it's low battery and then get confused when it doesn't stop beeping with fresh batteries.  (then you find the breaker, pull it's batteries, reset it and then look up on the Internet what it's trying to say, rather than reading the key on the back of the unit, but it's 5:30am and you aren't thinking so straight.)

Wired detetors will only talk to those of the same brand.   This makes swapping out one of our 11 detectors for something nicer, like a nest, impossible.

Very grateful they still sell our detector.  Hoping it comes soon, since the third is likely to age out soon. 
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Sometime after we moved in, they paved our walk. In the middle of the walk was a drain. The walk sank and the drain was floating above the path and was less than useful. We also have a low point in our driveway, so I decided the best way to remedy this was to get someone to dig up the asphault walk and for me to dig out the drain, replace it with a lower one and replace the walk with pavers.

This became a WHOLE lot more expensive than I had imagined. But I got it done, and while I was sore and discouraged, so far it seems to have come out well enough. Time will tell if I've bad the base stable enough and if the issue where the walk is now a little low compared to the stairs will be annoying.

I learned there is this new cool paver base stuff that saved me digging out and laying down 4-5" of rock base. I also tried using the polymetric sand for the joints. I'm also really happy with the stones I choose even though they were quite expensive and I was forced to buy way more than I needed. Getting the curve was harder than I had imagined to, but I did get away with not having to make any cuts. I did chip of one corner to fill a hole.

pictures )
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Been a little busy with the trip to Pittsburgh to help my mom buy a car and then Black Ships.

Taekwondo is doing well. This weekend I test for "high brown" which means just "deputy black" before black. In a lot of ways I'm really glad the master convinced me to not try to black this year. I means I can be more mellow and I'm forced to come to terms with the "maintenance" part of TKD, which is to say, after high brown, the amount you learn per year goes way down and you are expected to learn things with more accuracy and precision. I am such a passion driven person, though, sometimes I have to remind myself that TKD just makes me feel better and it's completely worth doing just for that reason and the other carrots are just crutches. I'm doing something that improves my quality of life and that's enough.

I put myself on a waiting list for a therapist again. They called back today and I have introductory appointment this Friday. I know it's going to be completely different this time, because I'm in a very different place. My depression, while still existent, is much better than it was. I want to work more on my anxiety and paranoia, which I feel I can get advice on and maybe some more tools in my tool kit, which feels more like something that someone else can help with. But we'll see. There are a lot of horrible therapists out there and the ones that take new patients are more likely to be the ones with high turn over.

Taiko is... odd. I definitely have the "you can't go back there" problem. I really don't feel like I belong any more to the group or to the community, but I'm still quite active and doing many of the income producing jobs. I can't say I want to be doing them, but I still can enjoy them when I have to do them. We're struggling to find students, however, and that's stressing me out. I'm currently teaching pro bono just because I was tired of canceling classes and I like my students.

I made another Overwatch themed music video. I've been slow about posting music videos lately, partly because I've been busy enough and partly because since it's not yet an income source, I want to keep it relaxed and fun. My first overwatch video has done much better than anything else I've posted, which is cool, but still just in the noise as far as income goes. I'm also not that happy with this one. The song didn't quite come out the way I was hoping, but the idea is that I need practice making music and videos. Video. ) I've also been playing a lot of overwatch.

No new instruments. I am getting another USB controller for Ableton tomorrow.

I haven't been able to hit school of honk much lately and I'm having ear inflamation that I think is caused by earplugs, so I might have to skip again. I got some new ear plugs that are cheap self moulded ear plugs and I hope they'll help some, but we'll see.

Been enjoying the AC comfort of the new house. Reminding myself one of the reasons I moved out of 133.
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
finally got around to using the extension on the power wash. Not only was it not tall enough, it was very hard to control and the tip kept spinning on me. Huge fail. Much disappointment. I think it's time for professionals, but so much wasted money invested in the machine and extension.
forgotten_aria: (nature abhors a vacuum)
Since I undeniably live in suburbia now and, more importantly, because my house is growing green stuff, I bought a pressure washer.

Now, I tried an electric one in the past, and it was so disappointing, I found an RV brush did a much much better job.

But using the RV brush on the whole house seemed less than doable.

So I decided to get a gas one. This is my first non-car gasoline appliance, so I was a little nervous.

It was a completely different experience form the electric, but I still feel like a mechanical cleaning device, like a brush would likely work so much better and that people who LOVE their pressure washers just like a noisy machine and that if the people inventing liked quiet more, we might have an alternative.

That being said, I own one now and will try to learn to use it better.

here are some pictures from my first experiment. )
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Just some quick notes:

Got booed for the first time while playing taiko.

Bought a camera helicopter to inspect my gutters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewuQHcOxds4

got a peg board for the new house and remembered the joy of peg board organization.

In a little over a week, I am going to Cedar Point for the first time in about 14 years.
And the list continues... )
forgotten_aria: (Default)
Just thought I'd jot some quick notes:

Love the new house. Very glad I moved. I love walking to the store and seeing the pond every time I go to the end of my driveway. I keep forgetting it's there, though, so I should walk out more often. I also need to get my kayak a cart so I use it more often. I'm not being as good as I should be mowing and cleaning.

The elliptical is working out great. Both G and I are using it while watching TV. The season of Dexter is getting more interesting, so much so that I worked out a total of an hour and 10 minutes because I kept wanted to go watch more.

I still haven't found a good video game exercise replacement for DDR. I do like dance masters, but I don't play it enough. I've been using Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, but it doesn't really inspire me. I wish someone would port eyetoy kinetic to the kinect.

I'm still playing WoW and Mists is coming out Tuesday. I'm looking forward to levelling my panda and pet battles more than I am looking forward to levelling Cree, sadly. I usually enjoy levelling Cree a whole lot, so I don't know what's up. I am glad to be a cat again. I'm going to even be a flaming cat even though I have a better weapon already.

I've been playing a free to play pvp fps called Blacklight and enjoying it a lot. I haven't really played anything like that since too much CTF Quake about 15ish years ago. I guess that will stop when mists comes out. It's not that fancy, but it's super polished and has some fun in game toys (I love my turret.)

Cats and husband are doing well. I'm also doing so much better than a was a few years ago. I'm lucky that whatever has made me happier has continued to work.

I'm loving teaching taiko. One of the classes didn't run because of not quite enough people. I'm a little sad about that, but it's likely a good thing, since things might be changing soon. I'm also still loving performing at schools.

I've put my koto on hiatus for a few months for my own stress level. I love the instrument still, but I never seem to get around to practising. I'm also very glad that I bought the hapi drum and not a full hang. It sounds very pretty, is very soothing and was so much more affordable.

I have a half finished costume in the sewing room for koto playing. I should get back to that. I also have some stands to make someday soon.

My weight is still going up, which annoys me. I'm trying to figure out new snacking habits.

I got a new 3d monitor and I need to sell the old one.

Netflix broke streaming on my tablet with they're 2.0 app update. They're customer service was friendly and didn't script me too badly, but couldn't help me right away. They said they'd work on it and I should contact lenovo as well, but they require me to have an account.

Life is the good kind of boring.
forgotten_aria: (Default)
Grr... the pavers broke the sprinkler system and the builder has been such a pain in the butt that I'm likely just going to fix it myself.

Oh well, minor annoyance.

EDIT: scratch that. Woo! i have paving and a sprinkler system that can be broken!
forgotten_aria: (Default)
It's been about a year since we moved in. (We moved in several waves and apparently I didn't document exactly when we first slept here.) And so far, very good. The house cracks that scared me at the start haven't gotten much bigger, if at all. Most of the work the builders were supposed to have done got done and G has mostly adapted to driving without cursing my name. (Though he's yet to have any real snow driving.)

It's stopped feeling like a hotel, and my own bad house keeping is starting to catch up with me. The neighbors have mostly taken to ignoring us, pretty much. It does feel like our little mini-mansion. I'm still loving the luxuriousness of the space and everything being modern and mostly flat and level. I feel very lucky to have found the house.

While the noise from 93 is still noticeable when outside, and the loud thing can be heard, it's much quieter than Somerville. I still miss the convenience of Somerville, but I don't miss 133 at all, really, other than where it was, I can't think of one thing I miss about that house. I'm loving having a pond I can go look at (it would have been even cooler to be able to see it from the house, but then we would have likely needed and had to experience claiming flood insurance. I'd rather have a dry basement), a marsh with bids and a nice walk to the store. I love having an attic and a music room and an exercise room and bathrooms that are to code and not claustrophobic. And I love having closet space and good kitchen. And a garage! And someday I hope to have a shop setup in my basement (pending getting an electrician in.)

My mom has already had the chance to enjoy the guest bedroom not at the top of a very narrow, steep and winding staircase with a guest bathroom all to herself. I assume my mother-in-law will get the same opportunity sometime.

So far no regrets and I feel so lucky that life allowed me to have the opportunity to find my dream house. Here's hoping only the normal house issues (like the microwave, which, while premature, is mostly something to expect about home ownership) in the future. We're keeping an eye on the foundation crack.

Next year I'll see if I can't get my lawn in shape, figure out how I want to do composting, maybe make an herb garden, get the shop in shape, get my music/craft/sewing room all set up, get a shower door in, get the broken marble replaced, get a whole house humidifier before next winter and get myself to do actual spring cleaning to keep the house nice for a long time to come. I also want to figure out a way to mount wheels on my kayak so I take it out more often in the summer.
forgotten_aria: (nature abhors a vacuum)
So [livejournal.com profile] avacon happened to be getting rid of a over the range microwave, that happened to be the right size and he just happened to being going north today, so he kindly dropped it off.

The fan swap from external vent to internal was a snap.

Getting the old one down, was a brute. Those things are heavy. I had to go out and buy a drill bit and some toggle bolts and I was little worried by how many holes the wall and cabinet now has, but we got the new one in. It was almost as hard getting the new one in.

The "new" one (which is actually from 2005) has a dial control that we'll have to get used to. It's also an normal oven too, but I don't think we'll use that feature. But for less than the price of a repair guy, and a days of work and heavy lifting by both me and G, we have a microwave again.

Yay! and thank you [livejournal.com profile] avacon and spouse (I'm not sure I have her lj name)!

before and after photos )
The interior bulb seems to have not survived the transportation and it's officially not user serviceable and would require taking the oven down from the wall again to get at it! Way to go GE. Yeesh. There are some people on the web who think it's possible to do with it mounted and by the user if I can just figure out the part number.
forgotten_aria: (nature abhors a vacuum)
Our microwave just stopped working yesterday. Greg opened the door, and then nothing. No light, no display, no error code. I got the vent cover off, to discover that the plastic holding it on was shattered, but this seemed to have nothing to do with my the microwave stopped working. we checked the fuses, we unplugged and replugged it, we checked that the outlet had power. I've crazy glued the plastic that shatter back together.

This is the shiny, expensive over the range microwave that came with the house. We think they paid about $500ish for it. It's about two months past it's 1 year warranty.

I thought I would phone GE's repair number, 1-800-GE-CARES, and ask if there was anything else easy I could check or a reset button or anything but they're phone tree had no way to talk to a person, that I could find, including trying just pressing 0, which sometimes work, and the trees were designed around whether or not you had a warranty. Sorry GE, you clearly don't care, or at least you don't care about me.

Luckily a friend is getting rid of his microwave and will be bring it over today. Sadly it is also a GE, but it's been running for 7 or so years and it sounds like it will fit and hopefully installation is as easy as it seems to be on youtube.

As a side note, this doesn't really upset me that much. It's such a first world problem. But I like to warn people about companies with bad customer service and items that are bad deals.

lawn

Jul. 23rd, 2011 01:46 pm
forgotten_aria: (nature abhors a vacuum)
I'm a horrible lawn owner.

First, there was some weird miss communication and we didn't reprogram the sprinkler system soon enough, so the lawn went a long time with a lot of water and lots of weeds grew. I tried to mow but it was too mushy plus my mower was broken, shipped with a cracked wheel.

Then I got sick.

I mowed about 1/3 of the lawn a few days ago, once I was better, but since I didn't charge my mower before starting, it ran out of juice. The weeds have already grown mostly back.

Now we're in a heat wave and I'm still not fully recovered from being sick. Mowing in the heat is supposed to be bad for the grass anyway. So I hope to get a full mow tomorrow, but I'm likely driving my neighbors batty. She's already laughed at me mowing twice now.
forgotten_aria: (Default)
What is your favorite method/device for keeping hard floors grit free?

What about for washing them?

Be detailed. "mop" is a large category.
forgotten_aria: (head a splode)
This morning the house shook. Twice. I though something large had fallen somewhere in the house. After some searching inside, I searched outside and my neighbor was on the porch, she said about to phone me. Apparently it was the quarry blasting. She said the first time she heard it, she panicked and didn't want us to do the same. I was just afraid the house was doing something bad. All in all it wasn't that horrible a noise or feeling once you know what it is and apparently it doesn't happen very often, since this is the first time we've felt/heard it.

New houses always have surprises. Luckily as surprises go, that wasn't so bad.
forgotten_aria: (head a splode)
A very long two days, but long story short, we've bought a house in North Reading. )

The first open house was January 29th. 20 days from first seeing the house to closing.

And now the real work begins.
forgotten_aria: (Default)
I've not posted as much here lately because facebook seems to mostly fill that gap in announcing news, but I figure a longer post might be a good thing.

Still looking for the dream house. Still hopeful, even if the constraints get harder. I might have to relax my traffic noise restriction a little bit to find something. We'll see what the next season brings.

Taiko is going well. The next year promises to be interesting as Odaiko New England is undergoing some changes and the Boston area is looking at two new taiko groups forming. Taiko also continues to make me do woodworking and web maintenance.

I'm hoping to start up my koto lessons again soon. I still have so far to go on that.

I'm blessed to have a wonderful husband. Kitties are good too.

Still no job and no plans for one.

Still play World of Warcraft. Though I haven't had as much time for this as I used to. The cataclysm changes to old world are kind of awesome and I look forward to doing all the revamped zones again. I didn't like the level 80-85 section as much, but it wasn't bad. Also Stormwind is really pretty from the sky. I'm also happy that I'm continuing to raid with my completely awesome Wrath raid group.

I've been pining for a better DSRL after some nice taiko photos I took. I've also been dabbling in canon hacking to get an intervaolmeter for taking pictures of myself playing taiko.

Well that's all the update I can think of right now.
forgotten_aria: (Ninja egg)
To make the handles on the new cabinets match the old ones, I bought new handles for the whole kitchen. It was a chunk of change, but I'm quite pleased with the new look.

pictures )
I still have one more to install. One of them was stripped out so I'll have to get a replacement.
forgotten_aria: (Default)
When we moved in our first floor furnace came with a drip cup for the circulating pump. Now, over 10 years later, we decided the drip had accellerated enough to get it replaced. Our plumbers were fast, though we could hear things like "WOAH!" and "that's not good" through the floor. Now we have a pump which is half the size of the old one and doesn't need to be oiled yearly. I think we did a good job of balancing replacing it right away and not waiting until we had a serious problem.

I also think we've found good plumbers.
forgotten_aria: (Default)
Does there exist a check list of predicted ages of house items (like toilets, water heaters, etc?) because I think it would help things a lot to know when something was due to fail, especialy on things like "change the toilet botls before they rust out."

back scare

Jan. 16th, 2010 01:57 pm
forgotten_aria: (bloodstorm munch Kitty)
We were demoing the walls in the basement, because our contactors agreed to help us take away the debris. It was day two, and G's back, which has been bad for years, had already had enough, so I was doing almost all of the lifting and carrying. To leave, you have to duck under the back porch. While caring something, this is very unhealthy and on one of the trips my back gave out on me. Now the pain wasn't so bad, but I knew that G had hurt his back helping someone move and that with backs it only takes a moment and everything can change, so I started to cry, not from the pain, but from the thought that in that one instant I might have lost my ability to do taiko. G was super supportive, making me stop and go back up stairs and stretch the best I could. While reaching for the knob to the door at the to top of the stairs my back gave me a shot of pain all through my body, and that actually hurt a whole lot.

I stretched, slowly. And have since showered with out much pain, but a whole lot of tenderness. It feels very musclature, which is good, since muscles heal much better than the spine. I think I'm going to be ok, but only tomorrow will tell. G says we'll pay people to finish, but I feel a little back about paying someone else to destroy their back, but then they have those lifting belts, training and lots of friends.

If any of my taiko buds read this, discourage me from lifting heavy drums for at least a week, please.

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