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. Continue reading →

Frustrating Network Issues

Over the holidays, I bit the bullet and completed digitizing my DVD and BD collection in an effort to make it vastly more convenient to watch from the comfort of my couch. As part of this I bought the components for, and built an Intel NUC box into the Plex Media Server.

With me so far? Good. That worked great, and I had a quite robust workflow for creating the digital files needed. I had plenty (oodles and oodles) of storage, and apart from there being an insane Rat’s Nest of cables, power supplies and chords on my desk, all is working.

But that isn’t the point of this post. Continue reading →

Reflections of 2017, and looking to 2018

Ah, December 31, the year is about done, and there are some thoughts clanking around my head. Time to extract them before the temptation to eat myself into a coma wins the battle.

Number 1 – Work

It has been a good and busy year at work. I am currently in the certifications group at Cisco, and while it is product management, it is different from my prior roles. In many ways that is refreshing, as it brings new challenges, and opportunities.

I started the year as a contractor (or C-Worker, short for contingent worker), but in July I was converted into a full time employee, a pretty significant development. That reduced some (ok, a LOT) anxiety in my status. Being a contractor had some benefits (as in, 8 hours are done, turn off and unplug), but unpaid holidays and unsubsidized healthcare really made it touch and go. Continue reading →

The ‘Real’ Slurms MacKenzie

Lately my wife has been terrified by an invader in the garage. After hours, and well after dark, out of the crevasses in the garage, arises a monster slug, that we have nicknamed Slurms MacKenzie, the party worm.

It is pretty funny, she claims is has been chasing her around the garage. Once Slurms is out, she won’t go into the garage out of fear that it will hunt her down.

Here is the little guy who is terrorizing Vale Drive in San José

The real slurms MacKenzie

Wizzle wazzle wuzzle, let’s PARTY!

The Reverse Osmosis Saga Continues

As I posted about a couple of weeks ago, my under-sink Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtering system went tits-up. It was a Whirlpool WHER25, that had developed stress cracks in the manifold (where the filters attach). It was an injection molded part, and while it wasn’t terribly expensive to replace, doing a little of internet searching yielded that this system pretty much sucked, failed often, and the shipping costs were more than the cost of the manifold.

I could have just removed the existing unit, and lived with our tap water, but it is Great Oaks, it is pumped out of the ground, and it is horribly hard, and has a strange taste. Not awful, but after using RO water for years, you can tell the difference in your drinking water, your coffee, and your cooking. You don’t have to be a snob to know it. (the first place we had an RO system was when we bought our house in Tucson, AZ. The water there was awful, and it was a necessity). The reality is that living without it would be a non-starter. Continue reading →

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House Hunting Journal – looking forward to moving

We have found a home we liked, placed an offer, and to our surprise, won the bidding. Woot. Now closing day is 10 days away, and it is time to reflect on how nice it will be to have a house again.

Some of the downsides to apartment living will be lifted.

  • Having a pantry – As a former chef, and someone who enjoys cooking, the worst aspect of apartment living is the limited space for storage of foodstuffs. I.e. a pantry. Being able to stock up on staples, to have room for some esoteric ingredients, a true spice rack. Right now, all the space I have is a kitchen cabinet, and it is cramped.
  • Buying sundries at Costco – as much as I hate the zoo that is Costco, it is nice to be able to buy toilet paper in 48 packs, and paper towels in quantities that will last. And cheaper too. We will once again have room to store these quantities.
  • private laundry – I have bitched about the laundry rooms on the premises at our apartments, contention for the machines, having other peoples’ soap scents in your clothes, and the general filth of the facilities. Having our own machines hooked up again will be awesome.
  • A yard – A fenced off, safe place for our hounds. Having to leash them up every time they need to potty is a drag.
  • non-through street – not strictly an apartment thing, but we will be living on a street that isn’t a thoroughfare. We currently are at the corner of Lean Avenue and Blossom Hill road, with a highschool next door, and two elementary schools walking distance across Blossom hill. That leads to a lot of traffic, at all hours, and it is difficult to sleep.
  • Garage – while it is not the awesome three car garage I had in Tucson, we will once again have a garage. A priority will be to unpack enough to allow us to park in the garage. It is good to be able to park under cover. My S2000 has suffered in the 7 months we have lived here.

Yep, we can hardly wait. The list of things to fix/change is piling up, but soon, oh so soon, we will be moving. Yay!