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So what's been happening anyway??

January 06, 2008 03:18

Yes, I realize it's been a LONG time since there's been an update. Believe me when I tell you, it's not because there's a lack of things going on. I'll attempt to summarize what has happened since the last update.

First off, my father died in October. This followed a 5 year on-off battle with prostate cancer. He was a wonderful father and a hard worker. Even when he more or less officially "retired" he kept himself busy with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. His various technical professions and the presence of computers and other electronics in our house from my early age has contributed greatly to my current interests and pursuits. I miss him greatly. I will eulogize him further in a later news entry.

Also, the kitten Zuro mentioned in the previous entry disappeared one day. We hope that he wandered off and, friendly as he was, found some kids to play with who thinking he was homeless took him home with them. At least, that's the scenario we're hoping for. It's certainly better than other alternatives.

In lighter news, we got our kitchen remodelled. Several pages of pictures of the process are available on the house project page. Unlike the rest of the work done on the house, we hired a contractor for the whole project, with the exception of the electrical work which I did myself. I can say with utmost certainty that this is not something we will repeat. The entire reason for hiring someone else to do it was to save time, with the downside of having a greater cost. Well, they upheld the "greater cost" part of the agreement, but the entire project took 3 months to complete. It took several months longer if you include the time it took just to get them to get started. If I knew that we would be without a kitchen for 3 months anyway, I would have done most of the work myself and saved half the cost of the project. For future projects, we will hire subcontractors only for those specific tasks that we flat out do not want to do ourselves. There aren't many such tasks, but all of them can be completed quickly by a professional.

Speaking of doing it ourselves, we built a 10x12 shed in the backyard. Pictures of this project are also available on the house page, and a set of pages devoted to the methods we used to build it will also be available soon. The purpose of the shed is to store all the stuff we don't want in the house... which is a LOT of stuff. We're filling it up quickly, and we haven't even begun to dig into what we collectively have. Marjorie still has a waning interest in a playhouse, so we will probably build her one with the expectation that by the time she's no longer interested in it, we will have ourselves a second storage building.

In addition to storage, the primary purpose of building the shed was to give myself experience in building a structure from the foundation up as well as giving myself the opportunity to make some mistakes on something that wasn't as critical as a piece of the house was. It is our hope that this year we will be able to add a downstairs bathroom addition along with a place to house the HVAC for the downstairs. We are going to build it in such a way that should we still plan to add a master bedroom downstairs, the layout will allow for it, but will be completed otherwise if we don't.

As we now have a new kitchen, Gertie has been having fun cooking meals again. We hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas here this year for the first time. She also has been installing new kitchen appliances. Some of those she had saved from the wedding gifts, and some she got as gifts for Christmas.

I've been working long weeks for the last couple months as someone who works in the retail industry is likely to during the holiday season. As a result of this and time consuming factors with regards to everything else that has been happening, I haven't had much time to work on the site itself. Once the construction on the kitchen was complete, I let the tank loose again, but it has since developed some critical mechanical problems and I'm going to need to replace it with something else. Seeing how I've never been able to find a suitable toy to mod, I'm planning to build the next platform myself. It won't necessarily be pretty, but it will at least be more robust than anything that was supposed to be a toy that a child would lose interest in after a couple months. I've added an office cam, which will eventually replace the Restil cam (which BADLY needs to be replaced) once I resolve a logistics issue. Whether I rename it or just eliminate the Restil cam I'm not yet sure of. There were other projects I planned to tackle last year which just didn't happen, so I will plan to do them this year instead.

I made some configuration changes to the site statistics to not treat every deeplinked image access as a unique visit, instead only counting those who actually load a page on the site. This has reduced the apparent number of visits to the site by half. We also had a bit of drama which I couldn't properly deal with at the time because I had family issues to handle. Conversational activity on the site has since been substantially reduced, but I'm confident that with a little bit of free time on my part, we can easily reverse that trend.

Anyways, hope to have more frequent updates from now on. Thank you and have a nice day.