Water Heater Blues


Last Sunday, I returned from a business trip, and on Monday, I went out to the garage to do the bags of dirty laundry. What did I see? Alas, the water heater was doing a steady drip-drip-drip from the bottom. Damn, it was dying.

Roses in our Yard


Upon moving into our new house last year, we knew there was work to do to the back yard. As I mentioned in earlier blogs, the yard was a mess when we bought it. It was clear that the owners spent nothing to maintain, let alone spruce up the house, and the yard was a dump. We quickly engaged the neighbor who runs a landscape business to clean it up, but it took almost a year to get to a good state...

Not going to happen – Comcast Solar


Over the last week, I have had three calls from Comcast. Trying to sell me on their "Energy" program. Apparently they want to install solar cells on my house, pay me $1,200 for the privilege of doing this, and save like 20% on my electric bill. Asking them who "owns" the panels brought about a lot of hemming and hawing. Apparently I grant them access to put them on my roof...

Mail Theft


A few months ago, we moved into a new (for us at least) house in South San Jose. After a bit (ok, a LOT) of work it was very home-y. One of the charms was that instead of a central mailbox shared by a block of residents, the mail delivery is personalized here. The carrier walks it up to your door. How quaint. Last Friday, late afternoon, I hear the doorbell ring. I opened the door to see a Santa...

House Journal – Failed Project


House Journal – Failed Projects Yesterday started innocuously enough, a trip to Lowes to get a few items we needed, and to pick up an under-sink water filter. There was a filter when we moved in, an old GE unit, that was so old, that filters were no longer made, and old enough that I couldn’t find cross referenced replacements. Perfect time to upgrade to a reverse osmosis system. A...

House Journal – New TV


I have been MIA lately, the move, unpacking, and some insane deadlines at work have meant that I had no time to write, but I will begin to rectify that. With the move, the trusty Pioneer Plasma screen was showing its age. When we bought it in 2006, the LCD panels at the time sucked big tool. Side by side, there was no comparison, the plasma kicked their ass all over the playground. It was a...

Prima donna Appliance Installers


We bought a house, and as the appliances were ancient, well used, and put away wet, we decided to replace the kitchen set. There were some difficulties finding a refrigerator that fit the space in the cabinets, but that was minor compared to the Bosch Dishwasher we bought. First, it was back ordered. Many deliver dates were promised, and missed. Apparently the installers would pick them up and...

House Journal – the Fence


As we settle into our house, I will be writing about some of the work we have done. I have already commented on the plumbing work that escalated, now I will talk about the fences. One of the first observations we made when we initially looked at the house was that the fences sucked. Actually two of the three sides of our yard were in pretty bad shape (the back fence is actually OK and serviceable...

Moving notes


Been a bit radio silent this last week. The move has been in progress since Tuesday, and the time since then has been a blur. Each day was at least 12 hours of shifting boxes, packing, loading the van, unloading, and finally unpacking. There is no graceful way to move. If you have beaucoup bucks, you can pay someone to do all the hard stuff (packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking) but...

House – Almost Ready!


As the sojourn of our house comes to a chaotic close, we are almost ready for the heavy lifting of the move. A good time to reflect on the travails to date. When we started, the house was ridden hard, and put away wet. The interior had some surface warts, including an odd paint scheme in the rooms that look somewhat haphazard, popcorn ceilings that were the rage in the 1970’s, a yard that...


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June 2024

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