Thursday, November 01, 2007

House Update

Well, things seem to finally be heading in the right direction. We have gone an entire day without anyone coming to fix something in the house. This is not to say that there isn't still much to do, just that I am starting to feel like I live in a home instead of a vocational arts project. Some things that have improved in the past couple of days:

1) My health. I only needed the Ambien for a few nights to get my brain out of overdrive, now I seem to be sleeping pretty well (other than a nagging neck ache from sleeping in the wrong position last Saturday - not sure how I did that, but it makes everything else more difficult). Saw my doctor yesterday and had a variety of BP readings, from 136 up to 152 for the systolic reading, and 70 up to 88 for the diastolic. 152 isn't great, but it's a lot better than 168, which is approaching head popping range. I'm now on beta blockers to try to control my blood pressure and reduce stress, which I've only used before to deal with rare performance anxiety. No, not *that* kind of performance, I mean singing technically difficult Bach arias in performance. So far today I can't even tell that I'm on something different. I am seeing a cardiologist to look into some basic heart issues, but so far all signs point to my chest pains being something more like a hiatal hernia.

2) We've fixed several things in the house as of this morning, including getting up towel bars in the master suite, putting up the rest of the light fixtures in the master bath and closet, and getting that one last hanging bar for the closet, which takes the last of the wardrobe boxes out of the dining room. I got all of my games out of boxes, even the Euros, and to my surprise they all fit in my bookcases. It's an impressive collection with everything more or less in one room, and now I just need to get the other boxes in that room either emptied or removed, which will be much easier once the Room of Death has been refloored, drywalled, insulated, and returned to service. We have also ordered 3' tall bookcases for the 14' of hall in the Skybridge that is going to no good use, with a very good chance we'll order another 11' worth for the other side. This will get rid of the 12-15 boxes of books that we have nowhere to put right now. I also installed a new thermostat once I realized our old one was 17 years old. Strangely, the house seems a lot warmer, especially this morning, probably because I set on/off times and temps that were logical for us instead of a 90 year old. They had their thermostat down to 62 at night, that's just asking for frostbite.

3) We seem to have finally found a good balance for work/relaxation. We'd gotten down to just a couple hours of disk space free (for HD material, which takes up about 8x the space as standard def), but we've been aggressively going through the various programs. It may be very difficult to get through five or six hours of Dexter, an excellent Showtime series about a "good" serial killer, but I think that we're just a few nights away from having the TV shows back under control. Of course, I expect quite a few to be cancelled before that time, but for now I'm enjoying most of them. We did drop Bionic Woman, despite the relatively glowing reviews, and I'm pretty close to dropping Grey's Anatomy with Private Practice right on the edge. Damages ended with a bang (as you might expect), and I strongly recommend you watch it on FX's web site or pick up the DVD set when it becomes available - it is perhaps the most compelling television I've ever seen, and these 13 episode seasons eliminate the whole "what do we do for an entire 26 episode season?" problem that most network material falls into (24 is an excellent example - a show that would have been twice as good had it been "12").

4) Our Bad Inspector called me yesterday as I was leaving the doctor's office, saying that his boss is still under various meds for pain, muscle spasms, etc, and isn't in any shape to make a decision. I've given them a little more time, until next week Wednesday, but then I'm going to have to start insisting that someone make a decision. I get the sense that there is a little shining on happening, but the simple fact is that I have them by the short hairs and they are fully aware of it. If it takes them a little time to figure out how to proceed, that's just fine - I've documented everything I need to document, and know I will win a court case. I can't imagine any of them want to go to court over the holidays...

5) Finally, while I'm not expecting to get out and do a whole lot of gaming between now and next week, I fully intend to spend a good chunk of Saturday playing *something*, probably solitaire. That will be the moment when I start to feel normal again, I think.

We have a few more projects that need doing between now and the end of the year, including reinsulating the ceilings, replacing the plumbing between the valves and the faucets, getting the electrical system looked at and the circuit breaker replaced, and maybe replacing the crap fridge we have if there's any money left over after all of that. Unlikely! The big project for next year will be replacing the back deck and putting in a normal roofline where the upstairs deck/water leakage source is now. That will be a chunk of change, and we'll have to put off the kitchen and bathrooms for now, although I'm already thinking that we may need to redo the master bath sooner rather than later.

Like I say, there's a lot to do. Today, at least, I feel like we're moving in the right direction. Hopefully my next post will be about gaming again. Remember when I thought that was getting to be a boring topic? :-0

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