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March 21, 2007

To Do List

This is the list of things I asked mom to turn her attention toward, in order. Until I run out of money or get tired of it.

Master Bathroom: Replace shower and shower tile.Reglaze remaining wall tiles white. Install a new toilet. Install new floor tile. Repaint walls and repair plaster in the hallway and bedroom where the shower leaked.

Main Bathroom: Replace sink with either a pedestal or hanging sink. Replace medicine cabinet. Replace the toilet. Replace or refurbish the existing tub and tile. Install new shower/bath plumbing and fixtures. Reglaze wall tile white. Paint walls, repair ceiling damage. Replace bathroom cabinets or at least fix them up. Replace attic pull-down steps.

Replacing carpet in back room with tile or wood flooring (Susan has some tile I can buy). Replace back door with full glass door. Reinstall other back door and finish trim. Replace linoleum flooring in the bay window. Remove old "window" air conditioner and patch over the hole. Replace all the vent registers in the house.

Replace flooring, countertop, and sink in kitchen. Replace refrigerator and dishwasher. Remove wall paper and paint walls.

Refinish floors in all 3 bedrooms. Replace wood paneling in guest bedroom with drywall (may need new trim and doors as well).

March 20, 2007

Mom the Builder

Mom has been on me for years to fix up my house. So she called me one day with what she thought was such a great idea that she was surprised she hadn't thought of it earlier. She would act as my General Contractor and find people to do work on my house and all I would have to do is pay and make any necessary decisions. She would research contractors, get estimates, meet people at my house, etc. Since I was really needing my roof replaced I agreed that would be a good test and then we would evaluate from there. She would charge me a commission for the work she was doing.

She didn't waste any time. A couple of days later she had lined up a couple of contractors to give her estimates and came over to the house to wait for them to show up. The first one was the guy who did Jeb's roof. I didn't even know Jeb had had his roof replaced recently. He ended up being the one we picked and his crew of about 5 Latino men came over today. They got to the house at about 8:15 and when I left at 9:20 they had most of the shingles off of the house.

Because Mom had to work the election today, she said she would send her "assistant" to check up on the progress at 11:30. Dad said they had everything down to the wood and were removing nails when he got there. When I got home at 5:30 they had most of the shingles up on the front of the house. By the end of the work day they had all but the sides of the roof and the ridge vent done. They had also installed new vents for the existing bathroom fans (previously venting under the eaves which I worried would cause moisture buildup and rot). Because they are putting in a ridge vent they were able to remove 6 existing attic vents and they also replaced a few cracked boards. Though Grant said I should have had them install new shingles over old, I think this turned out a lot better.

Anyway, the first job for Julie General Contracting (JGC) went pretty well. Now she wants a list of other jobs she can get done. As a bonus she took all of my screens to Ace in Tucker and had them rescreened (I took them down and put them back up). I wish I had more notice on what day the roofers were coming because I wound up rushing around to buy roof vents that I didn't end up needing and find a place to keep the dogs during the work. As it was, Austin was home for all of today, but Jenny picked him up so that he will have some peace and quiet tomorrow. Katie stayed at Susan's. And her assistant needs some help using the cell phone. He wondered why I didn't answer my phone, leaving 4 messages for me on my home phone (3 of them while he was at my house).

March 12, 2007

Y2K All Over Again

The media and computer people made a big deal about the switch to Daylight Savings Time (also known as Daylight Saving Time, either is correct; not sure where the "s" ever came from). I didn't see why it would be an issue and that Microsoft sends out so many patches that this should just be fixed without any effort on my part. Yesterday, after the time change, my computer at home knew the correct time automatically. I did install a fix on my Palm, but didn't realize that for it to work I actually had to run the program once. But I did that and it made the adjustment. So far so good.

But at work my computer was an hour behind. I thought it would adjust itself after a few minutes. It didn't. Everyone else's had adjusted already. So I adjusted it myself. An hour later it was back to the old time. Our computer people have a program installed that automatically updates the time to the server time. It was a leftover from when they locked all the computers down so tight that you couldn't even change the time without administrator privileges.

I went to Microsoft's website and ran the Windows update in case I had missed something by turning my computer off at night (it doesn't help that I'm running Windows 2000 at work, which is pretty ancient). There were something like 15 updates and many of those had errors as they installed, which is probably why they hadn't automatically updated in the first place. After all of that, and a restart, the clock was still off.

I went to Microsoft again and found a program that could be installed (tzedit.exe), but it didn't install with the correct settings. It still had the old Daylight Savings Time settings, but once installed it let you change what month, week (first, second, third, last week of a month), day, and time DST happens. Once I got those setting right, the computer's clock was correct again.

But I wasn't the only one having problems. This morning I had a meeting invitation for a meeting from 11:30 to 1:30. I thought that was a really bad time for a meeting, right during lunch. But I noticed the meeting invite had been forwarded and the original meeting time was 12:30 to 2:30. That's better, but I would still have to take lunch early. To be sure, I asked for clarification on what time the meeting was supposed to be and soon got the answer: 1:30 to 3:30. I have no idea how that happened, but a Blackberry was involved so it could be anything.

Susan said all of her appointments moved 1 hour.

So all of the preparation was done, the media sent a panic through everyone, and the systems still seemed to have failed.

It was stupid to change the time anyway. I heard one report that the value of energy saved was tiny compared to the amount of money computer support people have spent trying to fix the problem. I won't even go into the other questionable benefits of the bill that included this change, but the subsidies (corporate welfare) for alcohol were certainly one of the more expensive measures we are paying for.