Monday, December 12, 2011

moving/dad week[end]

I spent most of this weekend moving in and setting up my living quarters. I'm still missing crucial pieces of furniture, like everything in the living room, but luckily Travis's futon was available for sitting needs.

It's kind of a strange feeling being in a house and realizing that you own it. It's nice, too.

My dad was in town for an extended weekend, so with his help we took care of a few things around the house, like replacing outlets and light switches. No, the outlets weren't bad, but the previous owners painted over them completely when painting the house. This gave the outlets and switches a gross painted/crusty look. They were sorely needed in the two rooms we painted, because the outlets would be the absolute wrong color. I went ahead and bought enough to replace all the painted ones in the house, though, since they're relatively cheap.

We did some house shopping, too, and he gifted me a nice gas grill. It's burnt orange.

On Saturday night, we had our traditional "get everyone together for dinner at Benihana when my dad is in town" dinner. The only problem was that Benihana closed (how?!). Luckily, there is a Benihana-alike right down Anderson Mill called Kobe. It turned out to be more than satisfactory for us, as we were all able to get more or less what we usually do. Went back to the house and gave a quick tour to new people.

My dad stayed through Thursday morning, but sadly I had to work this week. I was able to leave a little early on most days, but he had to keep his time in various ways.

On Sunday and Tuesday I spent a couple hours or so studying for a final exam in one of my work-sponsored graduate classes. The professor is not good, so we don't typically pay attention during the lectures (whoops). I spent those two hours+ each day rewatching lectures at 1.8x speed (nice). Final exam was on Wednesday and I think I did alright, but not great. His testing style is questionable at best, giving us curve ball questions that don't really make sense. Oh well.

I really need to get some living room furniture.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

house weekend 1: painting and wiring

Well, I spent the majority of last weekend at the new house painting and wiring.

Since I had Andy's help on early Saturday, we started with the Ethernet wiring. My plan is as follows:

-Cable jack in the living room going to cable modem on TV stand.
-Cable modem hooked to wireless router, also on TV stand.
-2 of the ports on the wireless router will go to the PS3 and TV, located right by it (short cables).
-The other 2 ports will go into plugs in the wall, which will route to the master bedroom and the office.

That means we needed to run two cables through the walls: one from the living room to the master bedroom, and one from the living room to the office. I bought a kit at Fry's that had everything I would need for the cables themselves. I also needed a drill to make holes in the joists to feed cables, and basic tools like wire strippers, wire cutters, etc. One thing that proved invaluable was Mark's wire snake tool. It's basically a long metal wire that winds out so you can fish cables up and down walls. It's stiff enough to go straight down walls without coiling in the wall. Even with that tool, Andy and I had to do some clever things still to get the wires up and down the walls. It wasn't hard, but it definitely wasn't easy.

Overall the job was a 6/10 on the difficulty scale, which I just randomly devised.

For some reason, I naively thought that painting would be a few hour thing at the most. Man, was I wrong. Masking the rooms itself took a few hours...

We started with the office, which is half dry wall and half wood paneling. We decided that, for now at least, we're going to paint over the wood paneling instead of removing it. Removing the wood paneling could have easily turned into a huge project that we did not want to handle right now (it could require dry wall replacement).

When masking the room, we realized how poor of a job the old owners did at masking the room. It's akin to them not coloring within the lines of a coloring book. There was paint on the baseboards, moldings, and door frames. We masked it all anyway, but knew we would have work ahead of us to fix their mistakes. After masking, we laid down drop cloth and began work. The first coat took a few hours, as we learned how to effectively use the paint rollers and also get all the details with the paint brushes (the window sill areas, etc). That took us until around midnight to do.

On Sunday, I worked on my own for the majority of the day. I masked the master bedroom, laid out the drop cloth, and got to work. I tried to work more systematically after learning what I was doing with the office. I worked one wall at a time, painting the edges and then rolling on paint over the surface. It took me a majority of the day because the room is so big, and it still ended up looking uneven. Good thing we were planning on doing two coats, right?

I started doing the second coat in the office when Taylor got off work and helped me finish it up. Another day in the books.

I was originally going to take a half day on Monday, but that magically turned into a whole day off. After getting a much needed haircut, it was time to begin the end: finish painting.

I basically repeated what I did on Saturday for the master bedroom, except I didn't need to mask or lay drop cloth because it was already there. I did the edges then filled in. It's amazing how much the second coat helps. Going from the first, uneven coat to the second coat basically evens the whole thing out. Thank goodness.

Once we had the coats done and dried to touch, we started un-prepping the room by removing all the drop cloth and masks. As we expected, there is a fair amount of touchup work to be done around the edges. But honestly we're so tired of painting that it'll be one of those "when we get to it" things. I'm more interested in getting myself moved in at this point.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm leavin early today!

 Thanks Mark

It just so happens that I'm leaving work early today. Supposedly the house is officially ours, and we no longer have tenants. I haven't heard anything from the previous owners, though, so I'm hoping this is still the case. Our lease was only for November 30th through December 1st.

What's on the docket for this weekend? We hope to paint the two rooms (master bedroom and office), and I hope to run Ethernet through some of the house. This weekend we should have most of our utilities up and running (aka we'll have internet), and we have a few more companies dropping by on Monday to take care of remaining loose ends. Another half day? Smells like it.

At that point, the house should be ready to move into. I'll be starting this weekend, but will move more next week and finally move the big stuff the following weekend. Coincidentally, my dad is coming into town when I need to move the big stuff. What a lucky break for him, he gets to help me move!

What else do I need to do? I'm sure there's a lot that I haven't thought of yet. Oh, that reminds me, I need to buy a drill.

Thursday, December 1, 2011