Saturday, July 31, 2010

Successful Project!

We changed the light fixtures in two places and it went according to plan. Miraculous! The hallway had an old-fashioned hanging fixture with "candle" lightbulbs in it. Not really my thing. Swapped that out for one of those flush-mount boob-looking things, and it looks great. Plus we put in CFL bulbs so we can save a few bucks. Those things are great but they don't get bright very fast, which is frustrating.

This is the old hall light:

FYI - CFLs on ridiculous sale at Costco thanks to a manufacturer's rebate. $0.99 for a four-pack. We have enough to last us for years!

The whole process went really well, from removing the old light, to hooking up the bracket and wiring, and putting up the new light. The hardest past was how I had to hold up the new light, statue-of-liberty-style, for several minutes while Dave hooked up the wires and screwed the bracket into the junction box. Nobody brought me any tired, poor, or huddled masses while I was holding aloft my light fixture, although Mojo did bring me a rubber band he wanted me to play with.

For the record, the manufacturer is obviously encouraging me to call it a boob-light, because the instructions refer to a nipple. I have proof!

We put an identical flush boob-light in the office, too, replacing the old glass square that was up there. The new fixtures were on sale at Lowes so we got two for the price of one.

Restaurant Night: Uno's

We went out to Uno's for dinner last night. We discovered that their boneless wings in the "Wowza" sauce are actually pretty yummy, despite the silliness of the name "Wowza sauce".

Dave got a lobster wrap from their special summer menu and was pretty impressed with it. I got steak skewers, which I've gotten before and really liked. Partway through the meal, I bit down into a peppercorn and took it out of my mouth so as not to chip a tooth. It was a shiny, translucent peppercorn. As hard and clear as glass. In fact, it was glass. I poked at the rest of the food on my plate and found a half dozen more millimeter-sized shards of glass coating my steak.

The waiter was properly horrified. The manager, on the other hand, told me it was probably just the coarse salt they use to season their steaks. Right. Last I checked, salt was salty. And dissolves in liquid. And is not glass.

They comped the meal and our appetizer. I guess they must have known Dave enjoyed his lobster wrap, because they still wanted us to pay for that. I guess they couldn't pay for the lobster meal because then they'd be expected to put out? They were going to make me a fresh plate, or a free dessert, but I was too preoccupied with wondering how far the shards of glass I'd probably already consumed would make it in my intestines before cutting me up inside. Sort of lost my appetite, you know?

Shit happens. Maybe someone broke a glass back there and didn't get all the little bits swept up off the counter. But please don't try to tell me that was salt!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Home Adventures

We have a lovely new home in a fantastic area. Big yard, swimming pool, 5 minutes from the mall and in a great school district for the eventual kidlets. Unfortunately, we're discovering that it's a lot more of a fixer-upper than we had bargained for. They let the place go a little, and it's also a pretty old house, so we've got a lot of work to do. I'll be posting about our adventures bit by bit - there have been dozens of stories so far, and I'm sure I'll have enough for a whole lot of blogging this summer.

We need a new air conditioner, because ours isn't working right (when it works at all). Luckily, we have a home warranty! Unluckily, they are stinking weasels and refused to cover any repair or replacement because the last tech who serviced it messed up and overloaded it with freon. This was long before we moved in, obviously. Who knows how they can get away with this, but we argued with them for over a month and got nowhere but frustrated. It would feel so good to take them to court or something, but making it into a legal battle will take more money and energy than we can manage right now. And fine print's a bitch - they'd probably win.

So. Got a few estimates for replacing the unit. We even got one from the warranty company, who's happy enough to do the work as long as the money comes from our pockets. Even the best estimates are in the thousands, which sucks, but we resigned ourselves to kissing our money goodbye and wishing it well. But when the company we were going with came over to have a better look at the situation, they said we need to cut a hole in the ceiling to get at the old air handler. It looks like it was installed many many years ago when the roof was being replaced, and they just stuck it in from outside. The access hole we have in the closet isn't big enough for the guys to work with. And, of course, they upped the price because our attic's so tiny and they'll need two days to install everything. Back to calling for more estimates. Meanwhile, a handyman is coming tomorrow to hack at the ceiling anyway, because unless we can find a midget HVAC crew, we need a bigger access hatch.

I'm trying not to be discouraged, but at this point we'll have the a/c unit installed by September.

I guess whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm going to be goddamn IronMan by the end of this year.