Journal

Spring 2004

Monday, June 28th

I finally got started on the drainage project, extending the downspout in the back with drainage pipe into a trench. That leaves two more gutters and the sump pump line itself. I still haven't heard from my new tenant, now three days from when they are supposed to be moving in. This is a serious cause of concern, because she may have changed her mind and not told me. I've called her a couple times, but I haven't actually talked to her. I may be glad I haven't paid for the carpetting yet if I wind up not getting the security deposit and rent and have to relist the unit.

Monday, June 21st

Let's see, what's up with me? Jeff, his wife Shannan, and their baby Adin came all the way from Rhode Island to visit family and friends. It's been a year since Mike and I drove down to their wedding in Florida, so it was good to see them. We went to a baseball game and the Safe House among other things. It was good to see them, but it was over too quickly. I also saw Dan last week, whom I hadn't seen in around a year, so that's been great.
I've gotten my house back in order, finally. Things look pretty nice, and they'll look even better once I get on the stereo cabinet project. I still have the drainage project, and the downstairs unit needs to be finished up since I painted down there this weekend. Sarah was a big help with the cleaning, so it is looking good down there, excepting the bathroom. Otherwise it's been life as usual.

Monday, June 7th

This weekend Sarah and I celebrated a wonderful year of companionship. We went down to Chicago and squeezed new bookshelves from IKEA into my car, then went downtown for some dinner at the Penninsula's outdoor cafe and then drinks at the John Hancock building's Signature Lounge. Sunday I put together the first bookcase, and this evening the second. Now I have a huge mess of cardboard and plastic that needs to be cleaned up, but I'm too tired to do it now, and besides, the cats are having tons of fun frolicking in the paper and skidding on the cardboard.

I have a seemingly ever-growing number of personal projects right now, including but not limited to the Drainage Project, Project Chumps-No-More, the last nagging bits of Project Upheaval, ongoing work on FIRE CM and the DD-DB, as well as minor efforts like Operation: Glassware.

Monday, May 31st

Have I mentioned that I love storms? Right now I am looking out the window at lightning and listening to the thunder and intermittent splatter of fat rain drops on the roof. It is Memorial Day. I am officially grateful for those that have defended the American experience from the Indians, the British, the Canadians, the South, the Spanish, the Pirates, the Austro-Hungarians, the Nazis, the Japanaese, the Communists, the Panamanian government, the Iraqis, the Bosnians, the Croats, the Serbs, the Afghanis, the terrorists, the Iraqis again, and any others I may have overlooked.

Moving on, I went down to Indiana this weekend, installed ceiling fans for my mom, saw my sister and husband's awesome new house, and saw my dad, stepmother, and grandmother. Now, after many hours of driving and two nights on an air mattress, I am glad to be home. I still have a lot to do to get my house back in order, but that will keep. I am looking forward to seeing the fruition of our efforts at Mike's house, where their upstairs is now painted and tomorrow will be carpetted. In Mike's words, "It looks like we didn't do it!" which is outstanding, since our carpentry skills are less than professional.

Finally, I got an unexpected call from my manager on Sunday saying that one of my coworkers had died of a heart attack. He was only forty-three, and we weren't aware of any medical problems prior to this. I have still not quite come to terms with this. I think it will start to settle in tomorrow when I go in to work. It's just so hard to believe.

Monday, May 24th

Well things are feeling a bit better today than my last entry. On a positive note, I've had a bunch of people prospective tenants through to look at the unit. It is mostly clean, with a laundry list of things to finish up, not least of which is to buy a refridgerator, but I'm waiting until I get a deposit to do that. Things are feeling a bit like home upstairs, with a lot of unpacking and cleaning left to do, plus both bathrooms still need to be painted. Work is better. I've closed all my tickets and taken care of both of the packages. I've been designing my new stereo cabinet, which Mike says seems like an obsession. I need AutoCAD or something, because I've been making it in MSPaint and getting annoyed that the measurements are inaccurate.

I am faced with an extensive trenching project to manage the sump line and downspouts so I can eliminate the never ending cycle of water and the ever-sinking back yard. I bought a lawn mower, this weekend I'm heading to Indiana to see my family, plus see my sisters new house, but my wheel (bearing?) noise continues since I haven't taken it back in yet. Maybe I should take the train...

Sarah got a job, then got two jobs, then one turned out to be part time and the other was a job she could apply for, so she's trying to work through that. I guess something is better than nothing. It still seems like there is so much to do, with the house, with work, with my creative writing (I made some progress on my book, after all this time), and with Dog Detail (our new company). I think I need a vacation.

Monday, May 10th

I've been really busy the past week or so. The tenants moved out, but they still have things in the garage, the keys, the garage door remote, and they haven't given me the Surrender of Premises yet. That hasn't stopped me from enlisting Sarah, Mike, and Jessica's help in tearing up the old carpetting and padding on Thursday and painting all day Saturday. The new carpetting is going in today, it may even be done already. Then there is a bit of trimming and the bathroom to do to wrap up the painting. A last little bit of cleaning and it is a done deal. Now I just need to get new tenants in there. Oh, and move almost completely out of my unit, tear up the carpetting and paint the whole thing before next Monday, when the new carpetting goes in upstairs.

I picked up a pressure roller to hopefully speed up the process. When I do move back in I'll be left without an entertainment center, since the one I have is collapsing. Thank you Sauder, thank you Two Men and a Truck. I have spent a great deal of time designing a replacement that I hope to build with the help of Matt B's dad, but that won't happen for a while.

Sarah and I watched the Godfather yesterday, which neither of us had seen before. We'll need to see the second part sometime. I'm also trying to refinance my house to a fifteen year loan, so I faxed out about thirty pages for that today. Work has been busy with trying to update the image to eliminate our ongoing IE problems, but that project seems to be a failure as of today, when the new image had the same problem. I also need to rebuild a troublesome Engineering system and repackage two pieces of software, while keeping up on patching for the Sasser worm and all my other normal responsibilities.

Finally, my front right wheel is making a noise that Audi says is not damaging, but after swapping the wheel for the spare, still happens. So I need to investigate that. For some reason I haven't found time to work on FIRE, or on creative writing. Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 27th

So, what's going on with me? My tenants are going to be gone -hopefully- in the next three days. I've been going to West Allis landlord training, and it has already been helpful. I am helping Eriq with PHP even though I don't feel like a very good teacher. Mike, Eriq, and I have started another company, this time in the mmm...lucrative field of pet waste removal. Yeah, we're putting our technical skills to good use...

I got a new hard drive for my server off of eBay and am getting it set up tonight. I just fired off an email to the seller politely demanding he refund some of the outrageous shipping charge. For work I've been doing store visits to Kenosha and Manitowoc, which have pushed my car up over 5K, making it due for its first service. Our brief spot of warm weather has drifted into the 40s, but I'm hoping that it picks back up, since a taste of spring coming out of winter just makes you want more. I'm really looking forward to summer, as usual.

Sunday, April 11th

Yesterday was kind of a crummy day. I woke up late because Friday night we took it upon ourselves to watch all three Matrix movies, then got a late start, so we didn't finish until nearly 3. Then as I was sitting at my computer, browsing the web, my server made a loud thunk and the system drive crashed. Instantly my web pages, email, and data were unavailable. So I found another hard drive, replaced the power supply just in case, and started installing Windows. But there's a scratch on my Windows CD that was never there before and it won't install. After trying several different methods to fix this and getting frustrated enough to walk away for an hour at a time, I finally just installed the server software on my desktop to buy me some time until I can get another Windows CD.

Somewhere in the middle of this the carpet store called and let me know it was going to cost me $500 more than previously quoted because my measurements were off. That means it will cost exactly double what I expected it to. Considering I'm still at basically step two of ten on my server, which I thought was running great, I didn't accomplish anything yesterday.

Thursday, April 8th

Unfortunately I only required thirty days notice for my tenants once the lease goes to month to month, which it had. As a result, I am facing some unexpected upcoming expenses, namely carpetting for the whole house, since there is no better time to rid myself of the purple, plus paint, plus appliances, since they have their own.

On the plus side it means that I'll be able to increase the rent, provided I get some new tenant in relatively short order. If anyone is looking for a Milwaukee area two-bedroom with a garage and in-unit laundry, let me know. This delays my basement project, which I was hoping to do before the carpetting and such, as well as my complete elimination of credit card debt, but those are only postponings. I'll get there regardless.

Thursday, April 1st

Well I attended Eriq, Michelle, Ian, and Cheryl's housewarming party last Friday. That was a lot of fun. They made a giant candy bar and there were many people in attendance. Sarah showed up after the show she went to and we stayed for a buit before turning in. This week I've been in Cisco training for work. I've learned a lot, which is good considering that I've wanted to take this class for three years or more.

The other remarkable thing that happened just a few minutes ago is that my tenants announced they are leaving. They only gave me 30 days notice, which I will now need to approach them about.