January 11, 2011

Oh vacuuming

Posted in Everyday, Home at 9:33 pm by ListenMaudy

We have a Roomba. It is totally awesome. We just pick up all the junk on the floor, move our socks out of reach, blockade areas the Roomba shouldn’t go, and let it rip. I hate vacuuming, and actually, before I met Muffin, my allergy specialist told me that I shouldn’t vacuum because I’m really allergic to the dust. He told me I should actually leave the house while my significant other did all the vacuuming.

Muffin is wonderful, but he doesn’t like to clean any more than I do. No one’s perfect! This makes the Roomba an excellent solution for our (lack of) housekeeping skills.

The other day, while Muffin was out of town actually, I had vacuumed half of the house to clean up all the junk that had fallen out of our vents and fixtures when the roofers were pounding around up there. Then, I ran the Roomba three times to get the rest of the house and all the leaves that have been getting tracked in. I went out to run some errands, and when I got back, the Roomba was stuck underneath a table, directly next to its docking station.

The Roomba is stupid. It can almost never seem to make it back to its home, and we can’t figure out why. This time however, the Roomba didn’t just get stuck, it managed to rip the Uverse cord out of the wall and pull the wires out of the back of the jack. The jack wasn’t really attached to the wall or anything, but the wires had been attached to the jack! That little wire was the only thing that connected our house to the internet, and since we don’t have cable, we watch Netflix pretty much exclusively. I was adrift with no internet and no TV!

Unfortunately, the jack has six pins, but the cable has eight little wires in it. WTF?! Who uses a jack with fewer slots than they have wires to put in them! AT&T apparently. Anyway, since I have an iPhone, I was able to use the internet in order to determine that no one else has ever had this problem. Great.

I decided I didn’t want to mess with it anymore since Muffin was on a plane, on his way home. Next time I talked to him, he said he didn’t care either way whether I tried to fix it. I wasn’t going to mess it up, but it didn’t need to be fixed. I decided I didn’t want to “fix” it, so I popped in a DVD my sister lent us and ignored it.

The next day, I spent a little time at work trying to figure out what the heck to do. All I could find was different configurations for Cat5 and other wires with eight pins; there was nothing about only using six pins. luckily I found a site that explained what each colored wire did in the whole setup. It turns out that two of the wires aren’t used (I can’t find the site that had the diagram of which wire does what, or else I would link to it.), so I figured that maybe I could just pretend those wires didn’t exist and connect the other six in one of the recommended configurations. I wrote down the pin assignment options and went home to try it out.

Muffin had recommended that I use tweezers to push the wires into the pins since they’re all so small, so I got out my super-sharp tweezers and went to work on the first configuration. Two minutes later, my internet was back up and running! I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to rub it in to Muffin when he opened the door a moment later. He was impressed with my mad skillz but wasn’t nearly as excited as I thought was warranted, go figure.

I was so proud of myself I had to spend the rest of the night asking Muffin if he could believe I fixed it and how totally great I was. He could believe it.


Here’s the final configuration that worked for our AT&T Uverse connection:

Six-Pin Assignment for AT&T Uverse

(Part of the reason I’m posting this is that I hope someone in the future who might have the same problem will find this page and get an easy answer. If so, and that’s you, good luck!)


November 27, 2009

Baseboards: Day 2

Posted in Home at 5:22 pm by ListenMaudy

Our house is way cleaner today. They didn’t make nearly as much of a mess, and it looks like they tried to clean up a little bit after themselves. Almost all of the baseboards are done, with only the areas we wouldn’t let them do waiting for baseboards. They didn’t finish all the door casings though, so it’s not like they were waiting around with nothing to do.

That means they should be finished today! The house looks great with the baseboards, and it’s strange how much of a difference they really make. Everything is starting to pull together and look finished, which is hard to wrap our heads around. When they finish today, we will be practically ready for the inspection. We’ll have to paint the fireplace and do some touch ups, but that’s about it. It is so crazy!

Here is a picture of the floorboards that also show off the blue we choose for the hallway:

It almost looks finished!

November 24, 2009

Baseboards: Day 1

Posted in Home at 6:00 am by ListenMaudy

Oh man, our house is a mess. It hasn’t been this much of a mess since the drywall went up. About half the door casings are installed, along with the baseboards in the hallway. Luckily, they didn’t get more done than that, since we didn’t finish the floors this weekend.

Unluckily, they had to rasp drywall and didn’t bother to cover any of our stuff. Everything is so dusty now, especially in the bedroom. That’s the worst part, that it’s primarily in our bedroom. They didn’t even bother to close our closet door. It also looks like they used the new comforter my mom just gave us as some sort of drop cloth.

I had forgotten how much I hate having construction workers inside my house. They make a mess. They use all of our stuff. They don’t clean anything up. The move all of our stuff around, making us wonder where they found it. It’s so annoying.

We didn’t finish the floors last night either, since I didn’t get home until almost 8pm. Muffin did a ton of work while I was gone, but there were two tons of work to do. Since they only got through half the door casings yesterday, I can’t imagine that they actually could finish today, so I’m not too worried about it. There will be some baseboards that they’ll need to install on Wednesday. Then, our baseboards will all be installed, and the construction workers can get the hell out of our house.

November 23, 2009

Flooring ends

Posted in Home at 6:19 am by ListenMaudy

We worked pretty hard yesterday. Granted, I was still slow to get moving in the morning, but so was Muffin. We didn’t get started until about 9 o’clock, I think. We decided to start on the floors, since that way we could just get them over with and not have to worry about them anymore.

We cut the long strips of floor that we needed to finish off the edges that we hadn’t done when we were installing the floors because we’d “just do them later.” Much, much later apparently. Those long strips went surprisingly well and were surprisingly easy. In the end, they look surprisingly good. I’m actually quite shocked at how well they came out.

It's almost like this was on purpose

You can see that the skinny piece along the wall looks pretty good.

Unfortunately, they also took quite a long time.

Then we moved on to the short skinny pieces on the other ends of the walls. These are a total nightmare. Since our cuts weren’t that straight when we were installing the floors, it’s almost impossible to match the cuts with other pieces of wood.We didn’t think the cuts would need to be straight, since they’re supposed to be covered by the baseboards.

Not quite so nice

They just don't line up that well.

There are two main reasons for this problem with the lengths of the floorboards. 1) The instructions for the flooring gave some ridiculous calculation that basically meant we should leave an inch and a half of space between the floor and the wall. 2) We didn’t have our baseboards picked out when we were doing the floor.

Number 2 is only an issue because it turns out that baseboards really don’t come in many thicknesses, and the thicknesses available really aren’t that thick. It makes sense to me now; it’s really annoying to have thick baseboards so that your 8′ bookshelf has to stand an inch away from the wall at the floor and then leans either farther away or right up against the wall at the top. Either way, it’s not a great situation. Totally reasonable that no one really wants thick baseboards, so they aren’t an option. I wish we had figured that out before we did the floors.

That leaves us in the situation where we have to carry a baseboard around the house and figure out where there’s a gap underneath. Then we have to go around and put little strips of flooring in the gaps and glue them in. Luckily, Muffin had started on them earlier this week. We got most of them finished yesterday, but we ran out of time before we had to go to my parents’ house. We got enough done so that Javier should be busy today, and we can finish the rest of them tonight.

November 22, 2009

There’s a lot to do even without the baseboards

Posted in Home at 7:24 am by ListenMaudy

We worked all day yesterday, but I still don’t feel like we got a lot accomplished. Muffin wasn’t feeling well for part of the day, so he took a nap. It was only fair since my alarm went off at 5:30am. I went back to sleep, but he couldn’t. I felt bad about that, so this morning I didn’t set my alarm at all. Of course, I didn’t get out of my pajamas until about 10am, so there’s that.

I spent pretty much all day yesterday painting door casings and doors. We had 28 8′ pieces of MDF for the door casings, so that took quite a long time to paint. While I was waiting on one batch to dry, I started to fill in the fireplace. It will need at least one more “coat” since it isn’t all the way full. It needs to be basically flush with the front of the bricks, but you can see that isn’t the case yet. I need to build it up over a few coats, because one thick coat wasn’t working.

Not so even yet

ET says, "I love hugs."

Our main goals for today are finishing all the floors, since we still are slacking on that, and filling in the fireplace. If we can get those two things done, I’ll be pretty happy. I would like to finish painting the doors; I only have two left to paint. I’m not expecting to get that done today because we’re driving to my parents’ house for dinner, and we have to run some errands on the way. That means we should stop working at about noon.

Oh, we may also need to move a ton of furniture and crap. Javier is coming tomorrow to do the baseboards, so we might need to clear the walls for them to work. I really hope they will move everything though; that would make our lives so much easier. You know, on top of them already being easy because we’re not doing the baseboards.

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