Monday, February 28, 2005

Dena & I were busy this weekend, we demo'd the West side of the guest house. The boards were all rotten and termite ridden. Now, we just have to put it all back

It's so green!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The money pit

It's been an exciting few weeks in the remodel business of our house. The original remodel project is essentially finished with only a few little items on the hit list and a bid completion meeting remaining. The exterior painting job is continuing nicely, despite the setbacks because of the rain. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of our lovingly restored, green spanish bungalow.

The rains, ah how they have changed people's lives in sunny southern california. Economists talk about how the rain has cost the Los Angeles basin economy 500 million dollars. How in the world is that possible you ask? Well you take the .01 % of people that lost their homes, the 20% that had some sort of other major damage from water and then there is probably another 50% of people that have minor damage/leaks/etc. We are one of the 50%. The money we might have spent in our area now goes to repairs. We are getting a new tile roof (or at least the underlay for the roof and the old tile will be salvaged and put back) and we are getting new gutters. I suppose you could argue that the money we are spending is really going back into the California economy because we are paying So. Cal companies to do it. But its just not as much fun because I can't buy anything enjoyable......I'm buying a roof.

Another part of our exterior repairs/restoration is the guest house. Long neglected and the west side is severely water and sun damaged so this must be repaired. Pictures will be up on the blog of what Dena and I had fun doing Saturday afternoon.

Friday, February 25, 2005

What I learned in college

stupidity --- there are lots of stupid people in this world and some of them are even going to college! In my computer security class the other night, the fellow sitting beside me was dumb as a doornail. You would think, oh, these people are in computer security, they should have some basic knowledge of editing text files, booting off CD, installing software, hmmm even navigating with a mouse! But NO!!!!! I had to help him the whole way through. I know, you optimists our there are thinking, well at least he's going to class, that's what he's there for, to learn. Well, I got news for you bloody optimists, he should be in a BASIC computer class, not a class on computer security. I'm sure he has no clue what encryption is, why you would want it, what malware, spyware or anything else is let alone anything else.

There are some laws of human stupidity, were you aware of these?

The first basic law of human stupidity asserts without ambiguity that:
Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

The second law of human stupidity is:
The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

Well, I will let you ponder those 2 laws and we'll discuss some others at a later time. Oh, and to add to the stupidity factor, our street has a closed sign at one end (road construction) all day long for 2 days people drive down our street anyway, get to where the bloody street is actually closed, and in their little minds probably say, "oh, its really closed?" and make a U-turn.
I'm thinking of handing out signs on the street where they make the U-turn that says, "I'm stupid, stay away from me."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

My rain gauge runneth over! @ 5.5 inches, I think I should empty it. Hopefully the rain is done til next week!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Rain Gauge 2-21-05 Only 40 hours after I installed it -- 4.3 inches of rain had fallen. Amazing....

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Dawn's new rain guage -- 2.3 inches of rain in 18 hours, that's alot. 2/19 3:00p - 2/20 7:00a

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Sad state of community colleges

I'm taking a Security course at the local community college, West LA community - and its sad. I took one last year and then a public speaking course a couple years before. You'd think that over these last few years, since fees have increased double that things would be better. They are not, they are worse.

In my public speaking course, you basically got up and spoke, no projector for a laptop to do powerpoint, you could use an old overhead transparency projector though. How archaic. For one speech I wanted to use a powerpoint slide show because that is how most presentations are done in business. I had to go get the projector and it was so old and the lens so damaged that it was useless. This was one of 2 projectors the entire school had for transient use. Totally sad.

The computer courses are popular but they are in small classrooms that are crammed with computer gear (very old stuff) and very old, uncomfortable, gross chairs. About 6 or more classes share a hard drive and with 20 gig drives, each class gets about 3 gig. That is insane since Server 2003 takes about that.

Its just such horseshit what the US government (both state and federal) does to our education system. Educated should be a very high priority, This ensures that tomorrow's workers are prepared for the job markets of the future. If you are charging the lower and middle classes more and more money for their secondary education you will eventually price them out. This is the beginning of the extinction of the middle class. Thanks President Bush. Oh and by the way, that 40 million $ that he spent on his second inauguration could have been used for something of more value.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What color should we paint?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Aren't we lucky?

In my short lifetime I have seen many things. The world has changed so dramatically and at such an exponential rate its hard to imagine the future. When I was a baby a man was walking on the moon and now there's a space station orbiting earth. We don't even really think about that anymore its so commonplace. The other day a spacecraft dropped a CD of some band (I can't remember who) on one of Saturn's moons. Who would have ever imagined. The Berlin wall has come down, china is fast become a world power, America is the world's police and the other day there were free elections in Iraq. Who would have ever thought.

I'm 41 years old and am bombarded by information 24 x 7. Somedays its just overwhelming. Can you imagine being 7 years old in this new world? What will it be like 10 years from now? 20? The kids of today have to cope with so much information/knowledge and stress that I'm not surprised that they are put on drugs to control their behavior problems.

Do I really need to know minute by minute what Michael Jackson is wearing to the jury selection hearings? Please, don't tell me! Don't tell me what time he got out of the limo and what he did when he got out.

Are we lucky? Or, as Dena would say, luck has nothing to do with it. You make your own luck. I know I am lucky. I am lucky to have Dena, my family, a roof over my head and enough disposable income to be totally lazy and eat out 3-5 times a week. Can I be a better person? I'm sure I could be. Could I go farther in life? I'm sure I could. What is life all about anyways? There was a joke on the internet a while back that happiness would be sliding into the St. Peter's gates with a martini in one hand and chocolate in the other. I think life is about happiness. You must find your place in life and be happy in it, no matter what that is.

Well, that's deep enough for now.......

Monday, February 07, 2005

The quest for architectural integrity

Keeping the integrity of a 1924 house can be challenging and daunting, especially financially. We felt strongly about keeping that 1924 imported from England pink tile in tact throughout the bathroom. It cost us more money than I care to admit and more time than was anywhere near reasonable and caused me to wish on many an occasion that I had a prescription with unlimited refills for xanax. All of this I rationalize, has been worth it. We are so close to finishing I can taste it. We're down to the nitty gritty now, but I draw the line at $68 double hung window thumb latches. This price was courtesy of Liz's Hardware on La Brea. These $68 window locks are antique of course, I've found a picture of them here. They are East Lake Victorian latches. They are obviously much cheaper on Ebay than @ Liz's. Although, Liz's is great for looking at stuff. Come to think of it, so is eBay.

We also are thinking of replacing our 1950's style drawer pulls in the infamous pink bathroom with something more "period". We were thinking glass, similar to these. These are $18 each @ Liz's. I suppose there is something to be said for patience and shopping to find a bargain. If you want something NOW, you're just going to have to pay for it.

Oh goody gumdrops, maybe eBay will come thru. I'll let you all know....

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dena hugging Toby with her baby (Maggie) in the background on the left