I don’t think I’ll go into work today

Mother Nature thought our cars would look nice in a hard candy shell.

Knock Knock

Friday, Friday, Roly Poly Friday

I think the world really needs a mashup of Rebecca Black’s Friday and Barnes and Barnes’s Fish Heads.


Look me in the eye and tell me you’re not singing it to yourself right now.


Thanks a lot AT&T

It seems that whenever cell phone provider customer satisfaction reports comes out, AT&T rates at or near the bottom of the heap. The thing is, I’ve actually had very few complaints about AT&T. I rarely have dropped calls, call quality is just fine and I can always get a friendly support person on the line if I have a question about my service.

This, however, irks me: they keep sending me "helpful" e-mails suggesting I could save money by signing up for a $30/month text messaging plan.

Sure, it seems logical that a plan would save me money. I have no text messaging plan so I pay the premium, per-text message fee for SMS messages of 20 cents per text sent or received. For a SMS addict that could quickly rack up a bunch of charges and bloat your bill.

Thing is, we’re not heavy SMS users. Last month Paula and I spent a whopping $4.40 on text messages (and that was a busy month).

Hey AT&T, there is two possible outcomes to send a message like this to your customers:

  1. They’ll just trust that you’re correct and honest and fork over an extra $30 a month and might not figure out that they’re getting screwed.
  2. They’ll do the math (either ahead of time like I did, or after the fact) and realize that you’re trying to screw them, at which point they’ll instantly become less satisfied with AT&T.


I used to be someone who thought AT&T was a decent cell provider. This type of dick move has turned me into a customer who simply tolerates AT&T and will probably jump ship as soon as my contract runs out.


Yay, a ceiling!

WP_000383Well, part of a ceiling.

What started out as a simple matter of pulling up some carpet and scrapping off a popcorn ceiling exploded into months of demolition and reconstruction on my new home office. Tonight was a milestone… the room has started looking like a room once again.

New Year’s day meant a three day weekend for us, so we spent most of the weekend in my new office putting up the ceiling. The time we didn’t spend working was spent at home depot buying the stuff we forgot the previous ten times we were there. No amount of planning will ever prevent the return trip it seems. On the plus side, Greg in tools is now so fond of me that he’s making me the god father of his next unborn child.

DSC_3693New ceiling? We hadn’t intended on replacing the ceiling, it just kind of worked out that way. The previous owners, in their infinite wisdom, elected to paint over the popcorn ceiling. Normally it would be a quick job to scrape that ugly crap off, but once it’s been painted in pace, you’re pretty much left with two options: 1) tear down the ceiling or, 2) leave the popcorn up and gouge out your eyes with a grapefruit spoon spare yourself the continuous assault from the supreme ugliness of your ceiling. We debated it, but settled on tearing out the ceiling.

Turns out that taking a pry bar to your house is really quite satisfying. Paula was forced to take away my tools before I moved onto other rooms in the house.

This remodeling adventure hasn’t been nearly as well documented as our San Jose bathroom remodel, I’m trying to do a recap for myself so I can remember for next time (I have the level of project optimism that can only come from a memory as short as… you know… uh… one of those things with really short memories).

tl;dr: we tore crap out, and put different crap back

Paula and I are currently sharing a very spacious office. While we don’t get on each other’s nerves, we don’t really have enough space to also do hobby things (Paula likes to sew, I like to make a mess). Since we have two guest bedrooms and rarely have guests we elected to convert one bedroom into an office for me.

The room had three main issues: popcorn ceiling, ugly texture on the walls and an old carpet we suspect had been soiled in the past by more than one dog. The plan was simple: tear out the carpet, seal the concrete floor, scrape the popcorn ceiling and skim coat the walls. Simple stuff.

WP_000385The carpet padding was glued to the concrete floor. Easy enough to rip up the bulk of it, but it took a gallon and a half of Goof-Off to get the concrete clean. Luckily Home Depot does sell 1 gallon cans of the stuff. Also lucky: Home Depot sells heavy duty masks just one aisle over from the one gallon cans of liquid "good god! get all of the purple spiders off me!"

Better remodeling through chemistry.

The project hasn’t been all off-the-rails, however, the walls and wiring both went about as expected. We did have to lower our expectations a bit after coming to the painful realization that we weren’t going to be able to plaster our walls as well or as quickly as professionals. Turns out that no matter how many You Tube videos we watched, they wouldn’t make up for or combined lack of experience. Our walls aren’t the smooth finish we wanted, but we’ve accepted the upgrade from dated texture to "hey, that doesn’t look half bad". Lowering expectations does have a wonderful morale benefit. Perhaps I should try that at work too.

There’s still a ton of work to be done, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.