Life

Uh, wow. It’s been three months since I last posted. So much for posting at least once a month…

In the home repair department, we successfully replaced our old bathroom ceiling fan. We are quite proud of ourselves!

Downtown flooded a bit in March, thanks to the excessive rain we’ve been having. We missed the worst of it, but caught some of the mess.

Life has otherwise just been full of board games and rock climbing.



With luck, it won’t be another three months before I post again…

Dryer, Water, Gingerbread

Our dryer adventures have concluded with a successful self repair, after an appliance service quoted $180 for someone to come out. We ended up not quite having to take the entire dryer apart… instead, we were able to glue the new seal on while the drum was sitting mostly in place (which meant we didn’t have to unhook any of the belts… huzzah).

The repair was completed just in time for the huge water main servicing our area to break, leaving us with minimal (and contaminated) water, foiling my plans to deal with all the laundry stacking up. Instead, we went out to investigate, and found some impressive remnants of the breakage.


Other than that, life has been going. I’m officially done with work for the year. After we got reasonable water back, I spent most of my first day off (Monday) doing 6 loads of laundry while sitting and playing Persona 5 in the basement to make sure the dryer didn’t catch fire. It seems to have worked properly, which is good.

Persona 5, by the way, is a pretty amazing game. I think the visual novel/relationship elements are integrated really well with the RPG elements. I’ve been kind of obsessed with it, and hoping to finish up the fifth palace soon!

Our neighbors had an ugly sweater party with gingerbread house making, so I tried my hand at making a gingerbread house. It didn’t turn out too badly, I think?





In any case, Christmas soon approaches, which will be nice. I’ve updated my photo journal given the free time I’ve been having. It’s nice having time off to catch up on errands and chores.

New Year, PWSA, LJ sadness

It’s a new year. Yay. life’s photo journal and stats pages have been brought up to date. (Also the new daily photo project continues, which I’m honestly surprised by.)

The PWSA continues to be incompetent. We’ve had repeated billing problems where they bill incorrectly based on a correct meter reading. (For example, a meter reading of “18” bills us for 18,000 gallons of usage, instead of subtracting from the previous month’s reading of “17” and billing us for 1,000 gallons of usage.) This issue seems to be getting harder and harder to resolve each time, culminating in this month where I went down to the service center in person, and ended up with a rude supervisor and a submitted (paper) letter that apparently schedules a formal meeting with an appeals board…? That’s still ongoing, so yay for incompetent public departments.
Seriously, this issue has stressed me out so much that there have been multiple days where I feel like we should just sell the house and rent again to not have to deal with them.
Blargh.

In other depressing news, Livejournal apparently recently moved their servers to Russia, which is causing an exodus of users from it to Dreamwidth. This makes me sad for a lot of reasons.
I’ve previously talked about how I hate social media and miss long-form writing. Livejournal was my first real “community” (before Facebook really took off as a way to share life updates). I got to know so many people better through LJ. That community has been mostly dead for years, but the few remaining people on it will probably move away now as well.
Also going through and deleting all of the posts reminded me of how much people used to interact, on a deeper level than just “liking” your photo of breakfast or whatever. We used to really engage with people. Stupid social media.

I’ve mentioned before that I like having control of my data (it’s why I use WordPress installed on webserver that I pay for). So in a lot of ways, I feel vindicated that I use this (and syndicate over to LJ) instead of primarily using LJ. On the other hand, LJ’s fine-grained access controls were particularly useful for things I didn’t think I should be posting publicly. So I’ve had to go through today and delete hundreds of posts of things I hadn’t posted publicly in this journal. I guess that’s no guarantee that the data is gone (they probably have backups), but at least it makes me feel better about it.

Anyway, yay for friends and board games and rock band?

Adventures in decks

The deck was originally thought to be a weekend, or maybe a week project. We’re into the third week now and still have only finished the posts and railings. So it turns out it’s actually really hard to find 72 hours rain-free in Pittsburgh in the summer, and also scrubbing and sanding a deck (particularly all the little wooden posts) takes much longer than you’d expect. I think overall the deck scrubbing took 27 man hours, and sanding and staining doing 1/5 of the deck takes about 10 man hours. Assuming you can find the consecutive days of sun to do it.

We also had some fun… the first staining we did was on a weekend that called for no rain. But of course a cloud comes in from nowhere and drops a small amount of rain just as we put the first coat of stain on the railing. It turns out this causes little white spots to be permanently stuck in the stain. They’re fortunately a bit less visible now, and we applied a second layer of stain over it that seems to be doing fine.
Also, I spent Sunday morning sanding and staining some deck, only for the rain to come sooner than expected (overnight and Monday morning). But I guess ~12 hours was enough time for the stain to dry enough to be waterproof, because it survived the rain without visible problems, which I’m hoping means it’s fine.

It’s supposed to be dry now through Thursday, so hopefully we can sand the floor itself Wednesday evening, stain it early Thursday morning, and be okay for the rain coming Friday. That’ll be all of the functional part done.

Not much else happens in life. We had a work-from-home party last week where some people came over and we all worked together in the same room and got lunch together. It was a nice change from the usual working alone.

Russell was also around last week (For work), and there was rock banding and late night fooding. (No softball, unfortunately, as it was cancelled for the entire week due to field issues.)

Yay for life and things.

Life and links

Life is a thing. The parents came and went, and it was an awesome time, even though we didn’t really have many scheduled activities after the road trip. It was nice just generally having them around, I guess.

The latest house project is the deck. We fell behind on our time estimates (and also the forecast called for rain), so we’re only done with the scrubbing/cleaning part. We still need to sand and stain it at some point, but it needs to be when it’s going to be dry for a while, so we’ll see. It’s funny how much of a difference the cleaner makes.

I’ve had a lot of interesting reads recently, so here’s a dump of links to interesting things.

  • People that disagree with you aren’t necessarily wrong, or stupid – I think this is something that a lot of SJW (and other general) people are bad at recognizing. This is particularly true with things like abortion, LGBTQ rights, and Brexit… the other side has reasons for disagreeing, and digging your heels in is just going to make things worse. This is also why I feel strongly against things like the (successful) campaign to force Brendan Eich to resign over his prop 8 donations… he’s allowed to have opinions, however unpopular, as long as he’s treating people equally in his role as CEO. The fact that people bullied him and tried to force him to change his views to keep his job was completely unacceptable.
  • Inside private prisons – Just generally a super interesting read.
  • What if Harry Potter was a squib? – An awesome alternate reality fanfic. Massive spoilers (obviously), and requires a lot of background knowledge about the series, but this was super enjoyable.
  • What if Harry Potter’s twin was mistakingly thought to be the boy who lived? – Another alternate reality fanfic that is good if you get can get past the multitude of grammatical and spelling errors, run-on paragraphs, and strange writing.
  • Photographing landmark locations without landmarks – Super interesting from many perspectives.
  • San Jose displaces 670 people from rent-controlled apartments – Yay for yet more bay area housing problems. At least they’re doing the right thing by building more high-density apartments, but I wish there was more help in place for people affected by such construction.
  • Thoughts on Brexit and democracy – It’s always interesting to me to read things that argue that mass democracy is problematic… and what’s been happening lately around the world sure supports that. In particular, the leaders in the UK seem to have no idea what to do now that they’ve actually passed their proposal to leave the EU. I stumbled across the wiki page for Germany’s Basic Law recently, and I found it super interesting that they couldn’t remove the Chancellor without a replacement lined up. Seems like a lot of populist movements need better ideas of what to do what happens after they succeed… in the Brexit case, it seems the people in charge were using the situation for political gain without any expectation of actually winning. And now that they have, they are clueless.
  • Fired for a proposal for relaxing the dress code – After my initial impression of “What is wrong with you?”, I actually can understand a lot of why this made sense to the OP. Coming from an academic environment, it isn’t normal to assume that some people are more equal than others, and work is not a democracy. Still, hopefully she (he?) learned a lot of valuable lessons from this. (Also, that entire blog is really interesting and informative to read.) Also I feel bad for the other interns, since it sounded like she was the ringleader, and managed to really screw a lot of other people in the process.
  • Guy functions without most of his brain – Brains are super interesting and crazy adaptive, I guess?

Yay life.