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And this one wasn't even for work. :-(

I awoke in the middle of the night. Went to get some water and something to eat. Noticed the cheese was not as cold as it should have been in the fact the fridge is not as cold as it should have been...

Crap. (Actually I used another word here but I shall refrain.)

So as is my wont I Googled it and found that it was most likely a defrost issue in that the condenser coils were clogged with ice.

Found this video:

That actually happens to show the exact model fridge we have.

Watched all of it and immediately set the defrost timer into defrost mode. Waited. Nada. Still frozen. So here at 3 am I am taking apart the freezer section of my fridge to find that it is a veritable cornucopia of frozen coils.

Grab the heat gun - cord's too short - down my wifi for a power strip. Thaw the coils completely. That officially buys us a week to get parts in. While I'm putting it back together it goes back into regular mode. That means the defrost timer is probably good.

So I stuff everything back in the freezer, noting that I need to put a water filter on it as the icemaker is covered with minerals, and get on E-Bay and promptly order a defrost timer and the freezer thermostat. Those are the two most likely candidates but I also put the heating element on my E-Bay watch list so I can order that when I get paid.

So I'll replace those parts, straighten the fins that are bent, and we should have a working fridge again. (How do fins even get bent behind a complete cover anyways??)

Were we in better standing I would prefer to buy a new fridge. A side-by-side with a dispenser on the front for water and ice. Black or stainless as my wife wants a cranberry colored kitchen. But...we're we get to repair the ancient fridge with no Energy Star rating on it. Glad I'm already used to my electric bill being high with all the computers. ;-)

And's 4 am and I have to get up for work in a half hour to an hour.

Crap. (Again...another word here.)

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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Well that one was new...

...pecked to death by zombie flamingos.

Thanks brain. Thanks a lot. :-(

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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So far so good...

Taking a slight break. So far...

Paid the main bills.

Bought some replacement stuffs and repair parts. Ordered tire for car on E-Bay. Gasoline for the car.

Moved boat motors into the garage from the 'cave.

Filled 5 gallon gas can and gave half to our neighbor who plowed our driveway all winter. Will give him more gas next 15th if I can.

Started dishes in dishwasher with citric acid included.

Soaked and unplugged dying showerhead. Again using citric acid. The tiny rubber sprayers are breaking off so it's time to replace it. I did get a replacement mount for it though for about $3 as the current one is cracked and will break soon.

Did beginning bathroom cleaning. Need to get cotton makeup strips and bleach as well as a replacement toilet seat and more toilet cleaner. (A solid plastic seat this time. I'd love to replace both toilets but good ones cost and I kinda want to get one with a bidet built in eventually. Properly configured those don't make a mess and cut WAY down on toilet paper.)

Treated myself to McDonalds sausage McMuffin this morning and am trying not to go to Wendy's today for lunch but probably will. I don't eat a lot of beef any more but I do like a greasy burger every so often.

Also I did buy one completely frivolous thing. I bought a small sign for the kitchen that says "Remember as far as everyone knows we are a nice normal family". I just couldn't pass it up. ;-)

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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Glorious Sleep

So...been a bit busy since December 21st. Thing haven't slowed down really. Family stuff both close and extended, work stuff - company rebranded - no not bought out just name change, money troubles, adopted a Lhasa Ahpso named Bartek, weird weather, etc.

So today and tomorrow I'm off work and after helping get the kid off to school and taking the dogs out I puttered on the computer a bit until 9 am Central. Then I crashed until my wife called me about 30 minutes ago. The body must have been worn out a bit because I hit the bed and didn't move or shift that whole time. Of course that leaves me sore a little.

So now I've eaten something and am vertical again sort of. Going to try and get moving on stuff here a little but seriously sluggish. I think it's just the wind-down from being on top of everything for 3+ months. Think I'm gonna start playing the lotto. It's about time I won. ;-P

Read On MacDuff!Collapse )


Ponyville must be late with Winter Wrap-up again. ;-P

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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Went shopping in my garage attic tonight...

Lucky I did too. I found two pieces of 2" pink foam insulation board. Took them downstairs and the one when cut into pieces and patched back together was enough to cover all the gaps in the wood of the basement door to prevent airflow. The other was enough to completely cover the leaky egress window.

So hoping that helps warm things up down there. My only concern is that it'll keep getting colder outside. Now I'm not particularly worried about losing heat in the basement when that happens but rather the opposite.

See I recently cut the ducts down there and installed registers to blow heat into the space at the expense of heat in the hallway and library upstairs. (Not really because I don't have the upstairs registers closed all the way and the floor joists aren't insulated so any heat heats the room above.) Ran this by a friend who does HVAC and he cleared it so we are good there.

This normally isn't an issue except that the furnace has no feedback for that room down there. So what happens is that the furnace runs longer when it gets colder out and it pumps more heat into that room.

Freeze Cave becomes Steam Cave.

That said these are normal registers so I can just close them if it gets too hot or open the ones upstairs all the way again. There is some regulation.

Worse comes to worse I open the cover to the rest of the crawl space and use a fan to exhaust excess heat into the uninsulated floor joists of the rest of the house. I'll run that by my HVAC friend too just in case it could cause some weird furnace feedback loop with the furnace installed in that space and all.

Hoping it starts to warm up here soon. I need to shuffle things between the basement and the garage not the least of which is the main server rack if I can get it to fit downstairs that is.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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Moving right along...

So as of Friday that was officially the last day our company had a physical office presence. We are waiting to see if the bid on the new office is accepted. If so that means we'll have an office in downtown Chicago for client meetings and company functions. Regardless that means we're working at home from this point on.

Not a bad thing as we're getting to expense out several things that shall help greatly. And I won't have to really drive anywhere so that's good.

Still that means I have a lot of work to do today. I need to dig out the path to the garage so I can put the boat motors that are in the basement out there and bring the couch that is out there into the basement. Then I have to dig my way to the shed and unbury and set up the two desks in there so I can get all my monitors working with my notebook. (For the record I'll be up to 5 total for one machine.)

That means I won't be able to plug in the heater but since I put the register into the heating duct it's only a degree or two shy of 60F down there now. And the colder it gets out the warmer it gets down there because the furnace runs more often. That said I'm going to put a second register down there in the other run so it adds just a little more.

Finished Chapter 10 of Becoming Twilight and posted it last week. Starting to get into the swing of things again but still slow going. I have to figure out where I'm going with Conversations with Raava as well as all the other stories I've let sit fallow.

Got a second Barnes and Noble gift card from my in-laws yesterday for my birthday. As I was within range of a store I ran over and got myself one of the nice hardback versions of The Hobbit (the green version) and a five book set of the Percy Jackson novels. (I put $25 on the credit card to do that but that should get easily covered by my expense check when it comes in.)

Currently driving on a donut still. The one tire that had broken a belt finally gave up the ghost and broke the bead on the rim. Gotta find a new tire come payday. Hopefully that won't be too expensive. I should buy two but that's likely not gonna happen.

Iritis is all but gone. Still on steroid drops but weaning off. Two a day for this week then one a day for next week then done. After that I go back for a visit and among other things get an updated prescription. Thinking about trying contacts again so I can use conventional eyeware things like sunglasses and such. Contacts have come a long way since when I first tried them as a kid so I'm hoping it'll be a totally different experience.

All of the above aside I really just want to go back to sleep but I can't do that. I need to get moving for a lot of reasons. It sucks but I haven't really had a break since Winter Solstice and am not likely to get one until after March 1st as I'm on call again. Still if I can actually motivate today despite the cold I should be able to get things done.

But honestly I'd love to stay inside and read my books with some hot chocolate.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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So the hits just keep on coming.

Well besides my 40GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD suddenly not responding in my Dell D620 I also ended up in the ER yesterday evening and at the ophthalmologist today.

So yesterday midday or so I got a sharp pain that I described to my co-worker as a tiny gnome stabbing the back of my eyeball. Took some Advil and it went away. Took a nap after work and after waking up I was all of a sudden re-attacked by said gnome every time the light levels changed. Did some digging and tested and sure enough if I covered the right eye which hurt and shone light into the left eye it caused pain in the right eye. Only thing I found with that symptom was Iritis or internal inflammation of the eyeball.

So we go to the ER and spend a couple hours there while my sister-in-law watched our daughter. The ER doc mis-diagnoses as a corneal abrasion. I've had those before and this felt nothing like that. So they send us home with topical drops and the number for the optho for tomorrow.

Today we call and get an appointment with the optho late afternoon. I stay off work and hide in the dark hissing like a bad vampire every time I'm exposed to light.

We go to the doc and she does tests and comes up with the same thing I self-diagnosed as - Iritis. No cause that we can come up with though between us.

So now I have to put Prednesone drops in my eyes once an hour and a dilator drop twice a day for about a week. Advil seems to be keeping the pain away for the moment but that's not what concerns me. What concerns me is that these steroid drops have a 50% change of causing white cataracts down the road.

For now though I'm just going to roll with the punches and stick with my new found look of an alternate universe Golden Age retired Nick Fury sporting an eye patch over my right eye and prescription sunglasses.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.


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Holiday Whine....

Sorry but I need to vent a little. I've put all the venting behind a cut so feel free to ignore this post. No. Seriously. Ignore it.

The whining begins here...Collapse )

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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Conversations with Raava - Chapter 1

Conversations with Raava - Chapter 1 - by Mike Hebel

The sky was clear and blue above Air Temple Island and a small breeze blew Korra’s hair into her face as she meditated atop an outcropping of rock overlooking Republic City.
Read MoreCollapse )

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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Rainy Day Dreams...

So...I've come to the horrible conclusion that I'm going to have to completely shelve or even give up some things that I'm either trying to do or doing. This isn't because I don't want to do them. Far from it! In point of fact there are far too many things I want to do and too little time to do them! (BTW - I know I've probably been repeato-boy on this subject before but please indulge me.)

First. The things I'm not giving up.

1 - writing. It costs me nothing but time and sanity to do and is near to my heart. And that's not going away any time soon. (A side to writing is sketching. I'm a visual person and sometimes the picture writes the story.)

2 - Jewelry. I have so many drawings and ideas of things I want to do and actually have most of the materials to do what I want that I will never get them all done.

3 - Fishing. I find that not only do I enjoy going out on the boat but I enjoy the solitude of night fishing quite a bit.

4 - Computers. Programming will likely never be a skill I'll come to know more than in passing but I do enjoy putting them all together and keeping them running and running odd things on them.

5 - Growing things. Not sure where or when but I will have a garden again even if it's a shelf of tiny herbs somewhere in the house.

Those are the big five. I'm not saying those are permanent because people change their minds all the time but those are the four I am going to try and focus on from here on out.

Things I am going to stop doing for now:

1 - Music. Trying to learn an instrument, or music in general, is something that I've come to the conclusion I don't want enough yet. Down the road if I decide differently it'll become number 6 but for now it's on hold.

2 - Craft Woodworking. I enjoy it. When I take my time I'm even good at it. But it requires time and resources that I just can't spare and like the music I just don't want it bad enough.

3 - Metalwork. I love the smell of heated metal and the sparks from a welder or hammer. The problem is that I don't have the time or space for it. And right now no money for it either.

4 - Electronics work. Hobby circuitry and even some repairs are now on hold. I'll still have a workshop space set up for them but it'll be for repair mainly.

5 - Paper/Journal making. Yet another thing I don't have time or resources for and frankly don't want it bad enough to keep it within even a secondary focus.

6 - Animation. This is something I've got the software and skills to do but not the time.

7 - Video Editing. Same as animation. Both take up extreme blocks of time that I just can't spare.

8 - Prop making. I love it and it often can be done on minimal resources but requires more time and a better workshop as well as a focus. I can't spare any of those right now.

9 - Singing. For years I've been trying to work on my voice and frankly unless I want to sing bad Country it's not anywhere up to any par at all. Again. I don't want it enough. It's not like I'll never utter another note it's just that it's no longer on the plate right now. (Strangely this one seems to hurt more than the others. Probably because it was higher up years ago but without the music thing, time, and will I can't keep it up at this time.)

10 - I've said this one before No matter how hard I try and how hard I know the realities of it my mind still wants to go to the stars. I know that unless they develop anti-gravity and warp drive tomorrow I'm unlikely to ever leave this planet. This is unbelievably hard for me to give up on. I keep thinking..."someday"... But it's never going to happen and it's taking up mental cycles I could really REALLY use elsewhere.

All said that's the list for now. Things shift and change so this might not be the list a year from now.

Right now? Sleep. Then cleaning the house tomorrow so it's clean for visiting friends.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( ) but feel free to comment here as well.

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