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The Basement (Part 12 of 184)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
More electric stuff!

Not very exciting, we just placed most of the outlet and switch boxes last night. But it's a Part, because we did it All By Ourselves.

The Basement (Part 11 of 184)

Monday, October 29, 2007
The electric work has begun! Tonight, with the help of our friendly electrician (meaning he's a friend who is now also our electrician), we measured and hung 10 out of the 14 recessed lights in the basement. And so it begins!

Chicken and Beer

Chicken and Beer.
Originally uploaded by avpjack
This has got to be in the top 5 things I've seen on the lawn.

The Basement (Parts 9 and 10 of 184)

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Part 9: The rough-in plumbing is done! Okay, it was done on Thursday, and I haven't gotten around to blogging it. I'd post pictures, but the pictures of pipes aren't all that interesting.

Then there's Part 10, the purchasing of massive amounts of electrical supplies. We took a 3+ hour trip to Lowes, where we spent about $1300 on outlets, boxes, switches, wire of all kinds, recessed lights, bulbs, fans, tools, tubing, wall plates, stuff. Fun!

Free Popcorn!

Saturday, October 27, 2007
For six bucks, you can get two bags of popcorn at

Comcast customer Mona Shaw Reached Her Breaking Point, Then for Her Hammer

Friday, October 26, 2007
Now THIS is great. Next time you've had it with lousy customer service, just pick up a hammer ...

The Basement (Part 7 of 184)

I finally have pictures of here they are! I'm very excited about the framing, because I'm lousy at picturing how things are going to look, so the parts that help me visualize it all are great...

This is the view when you come down the stairs - there are corner shelves on each side when you get down, so that you're kind of guided to the left and down the hall:

A close-up of the future built-in corner shelves

The entertainment center!

The water heater and furnace will be in one closet, and the laundry will be in another closet.

The bar room, the back door, and the door to the office

The office

The tiny bathroom (shh, don't look at the plumbing yet, that's Part 9)

The Basement (Part 8)

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Part 7 is the framing, but I don't have the pictures yet, so we're going to skip ahead to...

Part8: Permits!

Okay, so Part 8 isn't very exciting. But we have all of our permits (building, electrical, plumbing), so we're one step closer to having a finished, useable, legal basement...

Editors Still Doesn't Understand Grammar

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Wildfires Char Southern California
Multiple wildfires driven by powerful Santa Ana winds has forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes from San Diego to just north of Los Angeles.

Little Red Corvette: The pleasure and pain of technology

Monday, October 22, 2007
Imagine someone carjacks you and takes your Escalade on a joyride - only to end up smashing your gas guzzler into a wall during a high-speed chase with law enforcement.

In 2009, OnStar will have the capability of slowing your car down gradually from the comfort of a call center chair. Pretty awesome. Well...unless they accidentally slow the wrong car and you miss an important job interview or if George Bush just wants to know where you're eating for lunch.

Still cool though...

The Basement (Part 6 of 184)

The basement is clean and empty - woohoo! That makes Part 6 the last getting-ready part. Every part from now on will be a something-actually-got-done part.

Because I am, in a word, obsessive, there will be pictures of the empty basement at some point, followed by pictures of the framed basement. The framing started this morning - there's a bunch of men with power tools and lumber in our basement right now. Once it's done, that will be Part 7!

Lots of boring pictures:

Future bar room

Future living room

Future entertainment center

Future office

Future bathroom

Editors at doesn't understand subject-verb agreement

Thursday, October 18, 2007
I just love when things are wrong on the main under the Evangelicals headline.

socially responsible or evil jerk?

OK people, help me out. You get one of those completely false "Beware of this new carjacking scheme" e-mails from someone totally nice who thinks it's important to pass it along to 50 or so friends. You google it and discover, of course, that's it's been debunked on snopes since 2004. Do you:

1. delete it and ignore it
2. writer the original sender back and link to the debunking, and rely on them to alert everyone else to their mistake
3. reply all with the debunking link

How badly should I feel for number 3?


You ever have one of those days when you want to just reach over and strangle the prosecutor becuase she is unprepared and has completely wasted your time and a pretty important court date?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I just watched "The Cutting Edge" and loved every minute of it. The disease has taken over.

Gene Weingarten vs. Ann Coulter

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Okay, this is old, but pretty good.
As I stood in court today slightly inebriated becuase the big bottle of white merlot had not yet evaporated from my blood, I started to day dream about how much I loved the month of October. My love for this the tenth month of the year and gateway to Fall-ish weather (remember I live in Florida) isn't for either of forgoing reasons nor is it for Holloween (since I have never worn a costume or trick-or-treated in my life). I have come to discover that my love for October is rooted in its celebration. We spend thirty one-derful days celebrating breasts, boobies, knockers, dirty pillows, fun bags, jugs, squeezers or whatever you call them in your time of joy or glory. It is at this point that an impish grin slowly crept its way across my face and I noticed that I was staring into the rafters. I was suddenly disturbed by the sound of a gavel, a very loud, "Mr. Berry!," and the question, "Where were you just now?" Still with the impish grin that had morphed into full blown smile mode, I responded, "My happy place, Your Honor. One day, I should take you there." Then we proceeded with the rest of the court day no doubt a little happier.

I just thought I should share that story and remind everyone to buy, eat, wear, touch or combo them all something pink. Do your part to help the cause. SUPPORT BOOBS!

Perfecting Ann Coulter

Monday, October 15, 2007
An update on Ann Coulter, from Maxim Online.


Yo listen up: here's a story
About a little guy
That lives in a blue world
And all day and all night and everything he sees is
Just blue like him inside and outside
Blue his house with a blue little window
And a blue Corvette and everything is blue for him
And himself and everybody around
'Cause he aint got nobody to listen

The Basement (Part 5 of 184)

Saturday, October 13, 2007
We're going to call this a part: We have all of our people! The plumber came by today, gave us a (very good) estimate, and that almost completes our lineup - we have a framer and trim guy, a plumber guy, an electric guy, a drywall guy, and a painter guy! All that's left is someone to do the carpet and tiles near the end.

The framing will happen next weekend, the plumber can come out the week after that, and hopefully we can do the electric in the weekend/week after that. Barring any unforeseen events (which yes, always happen with stuff like this), we could be ready for drywall by November!

You know, for not actually having a single thing done yet, I'm pretty darn excited.

Anne Coulter vs. Bozo the Clown

Friday, October 12, 2007
I think it's time for some celebrity boxing. In this corner, fresh from her Nationwide Perfect the Jews World Tour, it's Ann Coulter, champion of wing-nut incendiaries. And in this corner, returning to the small screen (again), your locally-franchised Bozo the Clown!

Maybe not. It would be hard to tell them apart. Plus, there would be three of them in the ring: Bozo the Clown, on the left, Ann Coulter, on the right, and Ann Coulter's massively oversized, larger-than-life, Bozo-the-Clown-looking character. Does anyone take her seriously anymore? Can it be possible that anyone in America can still spout the kind of inane anti-semitic babble that she does, and actually mean it, and still be sane? Given the kinds of things she says (generally timed to coincide with book releases), I expect her to be a raving, lower-lip biting, snot-dripping, toenail-chewing lunatic of the kind only found in publicly-funded mental institutions or on San Francisco street corners. And yet there she sits, on national television, smartly dressed and ready to go, like some high-class Republican pimple. She can't possibly be for real.

What's amazing: some people I know, let's call them Republicans, take her seriously. And agree with her. This is why, as a general rule, I don't trust Republicans. Come to think of it, as a general rule, I don't trust Democrats either; after all, those on the left take Ann Coulter at least seriously enough to take her personally. She's not a personal insult folks; she's not even a person.

Ann Coulter is Bozo the Clown with better hair, make-up, and costuming.

Why, yes, yes I am ...

Thursday, October 11, 2007
1. more stubborn than sheet vinyl

2. more persistent than wallpaper

And, for a look at awesome inspiration for your walls, that gives all new meaning to the words "wall sticker", check out these sites: (Click Wallpaper)

Doomsday Approaches at AOLMMBC

Since no one asked, allow me to share with you my take on the current climate at AOLMultiMegaBiggaCorp.

For background, read these articles (the headlines alone will give you an idea of what's going on — er, not that the subject of these articles is in any way the same as MultiMegaBiggaCorp, Inc.):
At AOL's Dulles HQ, Preparations for Mass Layoffs
AOL (TWX): Pick the Departing Senior Exec Game!
AOL Fires All Its Contractors?

Steady drumbeat rumors of layoffs began months ago and now appear to have all but beaten down the last of anyone's productive spirit. All but the most critical work has ground to a halt. Across the hall, people are wearing black and dying their hair iridescent shades of pink and green. Okay, the people across the hall have been doing that for years.

Ever since my last office move, I've kept two empty boxes in my office, just in case. This is fairly ridiculous, since the senior management I report to, while not actually making any promises, has given every indication that my position is secure (at least, more secure than most): my VP has thanked me for the job I've done on some projects (pretty rare), and has commented on how she's looking forward to the work I'm going to do in the future (even rarer). So, I have no cause for alarm, and yet I'm alarmed.

All around me, people are reacting to the rumors as if there were banshees wailing in the hallways. The supposed date of the next big "employee action" is coming soon, and the proximity of the date weighs on morale. It's as if we've all been given a death sentence, which is strange, since not everyone can be laid off all at once. But maybe one reason that everyone feels marked for death is that it's really unclear what would be worse: to be laid off in this round, and have some sort of severance package to fall back on while looking for new work, or to keep a job working for a company that, by some accounts, might not have enough money to provide severance packages the next time around.

But just to put all of this in perspective: the median annual household income in the US, as of 2006, was $48,201. I don't think (but I don't know for sure) that any of my coworkers make less than $80,000. Salaries here are, if anything, a little low as compared to the market; the market is still grossly overcompensating individuals for non-transferable "skills" that largely have to do with pushing bits of data around between computer systems. We should be laughing our asses off every other week when our paychecks clear, but instead we're bitching and moaning about how unfair and uncertain life is.

It's times like these when we should all remember the words of Benjamin Franklin: "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Or layoffs at AOLMMBC.


Monday, October 08, 2007
The city of Miami sucks. However, COWBOYS WIN!! Good try Buffalo Bills Head Coach with your strategery. EAT IT! COWBOYS WIN!!!

The Basement (Part 4 of 184)

Sunday, October 07, 2007
We have a shed!

This morning I sealed the concrete, then this afternoon we assembled the shed (the Big Max Jr from Home Depot). The directions say it takes 30 minutes - that's a lie (well, it might be true if you've already assembled this particular shed before and don't have to learn how). It took about an hour and a half, which is not so bad.

Seems pretty sturdy, and it is the perfect size. For our tiny backyard, it's great.


The freshly laid foundation (aerial shot!):


vexing nutritional dilemma

Thursday, October 04, 2007
vexing nutritional dilemma - n.

1. Should I have the Double or the Baconator?
2. Krispy Kreme or Dunkin
3. Chocolate or Double Chocolate Fudge
4. Appletini or Cosmo
5. Guinness or ... (not really a dilemma here)
6. A Google Nope until it was recorded on the TM (this blog).
7. Does a Bacardi and diet coke actually contain 0 carbs or should I just have a Fresca?

The Basement (Part 3 of 184)

Well, we've made one more step towards finishing the basement: we laid the foundation for the shed. And holy cow does my back hurt. Allied Concrete delivered concrete blocks for us (very happy with them), and I think they must've each weighed 200 pounds. Well, near the end they felt that way...

We dug out the dirt behind the house to make a relatively level surface, poured sand, leveled, tamped, laid concrete blocks, picked the blocks back up and releveled the sand, laid blocks again, picked up all the blocks in the middle because they were too high, removed some dirt, put the middle blocks back down, picked them back up because now they were too low, added some sand back in, releveled, and finally put the middle blocks in for good. Big fun.

Up next: We'll assemble the shed (part 4). I'll post pictures when it's done, including some pictures of the foundation, because I am darn proud of that thing. It's nothing pretty to look at, but I'm gonna show you anyway.

(We've also gotten estimates for wood and framing and stuff, but nothing has actually happened with that yet.)

I Have A Question...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007
...about this article.

The article itself is not the important part. It's the following statement:

"Shifting data and advice on how women's consumption of fish and seafood affects brain development of fetuses and infants, the most vulnerable groups, have produced one of the more vexing nutritional dilemmas of recent years. "

Leaving aside the concept of a "vexing nutritional dilemma," my question is this: Fetuses and infants are the "most vulnerable" groups? Are there other groups whose brain development is affected by women's consumption of fish and seafood...?


Before I leave for a Drug Court Conference in Miami (AKA state paid drunkfest), I had a thought. Only the one and it required rest after its passage. For those of you familiar with T-pain, you are aware of his recent musical success (If you have not heard of him, no worries, you aren't missing that much). His big song was "I'm In Love With A Stripper," which was followed by the smash hit, "I Like The Bartender." I would be remiss to ask, am I the only one who sees that his next song will be something to the tune of, "Man, I Want To Bang The Bouncer!"?

Conference in Miami, Volleyball Tournament when I return and then trials Monday morning. Weeee!