bk2w: (Default)
Since we bought our house, we've been asked several times if we had a recommendation for home inspectors.

We found ours through some friends, and were really pleased with our inspector. And we hope he's still around when we next buy a house down here. His report was more than 40 pages, included multiple pictures with specific comments about issues he found. He crawled around in both the attic and in the crawlspace, and did an impressively thorough inspection. He was quite happy to walk me through all the issues he found and talked about a bit about what could be done to fix them.

So, if you find you need a home inspection, be sure to look for Louis DeFonzo (408-379-5902, louis.defonzo@pillartopost.com), a Pillar to Post franchisee that operates out of Campbell. I don't think I can recommend him enough (now that I've finally found his contact information).

Ditty Bops?

May. 2nd, 2009 09:40 am
bk2w: (Default)
I found the Ditty Bops when Wil Weaton blogged about one of their music videos. I've been wanting to see them perform since then, but they rarely come up to the Bay Area.

Well, they're at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley tonight at 8pm, and I have two tickets.

I also have a cold. Which means I can't go see them.

Anyone want two tickets to tonight's performance?
bk2w: (Default)
After 29 days away from California and home, I'm finally back. The work part of the trip went really really well. And [livejournal.com profile] tshuma and I had a great time touring York, Bath, Paris and London.

And now we're home. Sick. At least it didn't strike until the very end of our trip, but poor T had to suffer through air travel with a heavily congested head. I started to get the first symptoms as we were driving home from the airport. So now we get to convalesce at home.

No idea if we'll be in good enough condition to see people for New Years parties, sadly.
bk2w: (Default)
Because I keep forgetting it:

Pie Crust Recipe )
bk2w: (Default)
Trying to make flight plans for a couple when the procurement of tickets for one of couple is completely out of the couple's control? Extremely frustrating.

I just can't seem to get my work to do things in a timely fashion. More than a week now of "Yeah, you're going, just hang on a bit" ending with "Yeah, we'll book your tickets today" on Friday, but zero evidence that said tickets have actually been booked. And options for the other ticket for us are rapidly disappearing. And trying to decide if we should spend nearly $1k on a ticket when we don't know what kind of flight schedule I'll be on is the height of frustration.

Am I already on the Virgin flight that is almost completely out of seats? Do we have time to shift me to a United flight that has more room and is now cheaper because the Virgin flight has gone up in price? How much is it worth to fly home on the same plane? And if we're on the same plane, what are the chances that we'll be able to sit next to each other?

All for a vacation partly funded by work. It's making me want to avoid trying this again in the future.

Lemonade

Jul. 5th, 2008 03:26 pm
bk2w: (Default)
this seems to work well with our backyard lemons:

1 part sugar
3 parts lemon juice
8 parts water

Lost Phone

Apr. 18th, 2008 12:19 pm
bk2w: (Default)
Managed to lose my phone somewhere on the trip to Pittsburgh. Possibly Minneapolis, maybe Pittsburgh, maybe it ended up elsewhere.

If someone call you about my phone, please ask where they (it) is, and ask them for a number we can reach them at.
bk2w: (Default)
A month or so back, [livejournal.com profile] tshuma picked up a copy of Cooks' Illustrated that included a somewhat unorthodox recipe for a "fool proof" pie crust utilizing vodka. I finally got around to trying it in an apple pie today.

Making the crust (last weekend) took some effort as I kept failing at halving the recipe in my head. Once I got that sorted out the consistency looked right, and the crust rolled out very easily. This weekend I added a bunch of Granny Smith and Braeburn apples to make the full pie. While the apples were sadly overdone (but still very tasty!) the crust turned out just about perfectly. It was nicely light and crumbly.

I'm definitely going to be using this recipe again in the future.
bk2w: (handfasting)
It's been over a year since our handfasting, and [livejournal.com profile] tshuma and I have been thinking a lot about what we promised back then and how the subsequent year progressed. And we both came to the realization that we wanted more.

Hence, I've asked [livejournal.com profile] tshuma to marry me. She said yes.
bk2w: (GT)
I took the last couple of days off so I could focus on getting the 3000GT put back together. I finally got the cylinder heads back from the machine shop a week or two back, and a long weekend would give me the time needed to put it together again.

Finishing the engine assembly took me most of Friday. Saturday evening [livejournal.com profile] tshuma helped me move the engine into the car and get it mounted properly. Sunday was spent at a Sterngrove concert. Monday was full of reassembling the parts into the engine bay. Tuesday was more shopping for parts, oil filters, oil, etc, then more car assembly. Tuesday evening I started to put in oil and water, and found a water leak somewhere. had to pull the radiator and much of the air pipes back out to track it down to a loose water fitting on the front turbocharger. Fortunately, it's easy to get to, and I've become quite adept at taking the car apart. But it meant I didn't get the car assembled enough to start the engine early enough.

Wednesday morning [livejournal.com profile] tshuma and I pushed the car out of the garage, hooked up the battery, and while I held a flashlight and fire extinguisher, she started the car. We saw the expect smokes from the exhaust parts, as they started burning off the oils they'd gained during the work. But nothing else. No apparent oil leaking, no apparent water leaking. We got the hood back on, and I washed the car to rid it of 2 years accumulated dust. It's looking much better, now.

Still need to get the flat tire fixed (a damaged wheel that needs to be replaced with one of the freshly restored wheels I've had sitting in the car), get the car smogged, and get the registration updated.

But we're extremely close to having the car back into service.

Picture )
bk2w: (Miata)
Finally got pictures of the Miata uploaded. Not captured in the photos is that the front tie bar has been pushed back far enough to bend the upper pipes of the AC condenser. The only body panels that need to be replaced are the hood and the bumper cover. The bumper itself was apparently completely missed in the collision, and is fine.

Pictures, if you care )
bk2w: (Miata)
Finally heard back from insurance company regarding the Miata. Now I need to figure out what we're going to do.

Mumbling about options )
bk2w: (Default)
Last week woot.com had another batch of Roomba's for sale. Granted they are refurbed, but they're also wickedly cheap.

So now we have a low-slung robot running around our living room attempting to clean up, succeeding in scaring the cats, and generally making noise. Watching it clean the kitchen earlier was quite entertaining, leading to much pondering about the algorithms inside, and whether it actually maintains an obstacle map through the whole cleaning cycle.

Perhaps this will encourage us a bit more to contain our clutter, since clutter severely impacts the Roomba's ability to clean. In the mean time, we have a much cleaner kitchen floor.
bk2w: (Default)
4 cups macaroni, dry
1-1/2 lbs sharp cheddar
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 quart buttermilk
8 eggs
1 tsp salt

Cook macaroni til not quite done. Grate cheese. Mix eggs, cayenne, salt & buttermilk well. Layer mac and cheese in a lasagna pan (9” x 12” or 13”). Pour milk mixture over. Layer with a bit of cheese on top for a brown crunchy texture. Bake at 375º for 45 – 60 minutes, til firm & browned on top.


I still don't quite understand why this makes it past my "don't like cheddar" reaction, but dang is it tasty.

Zombies!

Mar. 6th, 2007 08:52 pm
bk2w: (Default)
We woke up early this morning thanks to open curtains, and streaming sunshine filtering into the bedroom at 5am. This despite the fact that the curtains were closed when we went to sleep.

Seems at some point during the night I opened the curtains. I suspect it was when [livejournal.com profile] tshuma and I had to fight off the zombies that were trying to reach in through window to get at the latch so they could open the windows the rest of the way. Fortunately for us they were zombies, and none too bright. Otherwise they wouldn't have had such trouble working the latches, or would have realized they could just, you know, break the glass.

Screen!

Feb. 22nd, 2007 12:39 pm
bk2w: (Default)
Our replacement projector screen arrived this morning! And, thanks to the screws that [livejournal.com profile] jd5p helped us put up 2 weekends back, mounting the screen took about 30 seconds. And this time, I got them to put the screen material on backwards soI don't have to futz with anything.

Except the locking mechanism is about 180 degrees off from where it was when we mounted the screen earlier. Which translates to the usable screen area being about 3 inches too high or 3 inch too low. I'll have to drill and install new screws a bit lower in order to compensate, but that should be much easier, since I've got the older screws to use as a reference.

But screen! And even as it is, it looks great. Now we can start scheduling times to have friends over to share fun movies, like Hoodwinked. And [livejournal.com profile] tshuma can play Lego Star Wars while she convalesces.

No more TV

Jan. 25th, 2007 10:11 pm
bk2w: (Default)
It's gone. After more than 6 years of Big Television, I finally sold the old Sony TV. It was just too big and imposing for our house. [livejournal.com profile] tshuma termed it a shrine.

I've acquired a front projector, and I'll have a screen on order shortly. Half the cost of the new setup is being offset by the money I sold the Sony for. The young fellow that bought it seemed really pleased to get such a nice and large TV for a cheap price, and I'm more than happy to have gotten rid of it for as much as I did.

Perhaps once I get the screen mounted we'll have a movie party. Cause
bk2w: (Kitten)
CostCo has 6' cat trees for sale for $99. We purchased two of them for our cats, and they absolutely adore them. At one point CostCo also had 4' for $60 and 5' for $80, but the San Jose CostCo only had the 6' as of the today, others may have the shorter towers.

Anyways, if you're looking for cat furniture, this is a great tower for a great price.

Pictures within... )
bk2w: (Default)
Another visit to the dentist yesterday. A final one to replace the last 4 silver amalgam fillings with white resin fillings. They not only look vastly better, but they'll show evidence of any continued decay much easier than the silver ones will.

I'm sad that I needed so much work, but I'm very glad to have it all done. I've been quite happy with my dentist. He's not chatty, and everyone in the office is all too eager to turn on a TV for my "entertainment", but they're quite competent at their jobs. Dr. K in particular is very deft with the needles used for anesthetic, which is usually the most uncomfortable part of the procedure.

Once all the work was done, though, I still had the worst part ahead of me: lunch with half-numb face and tongue. I have be very careful, as it's incredibly easy for me to chew on my numb lip or numb tongue for a while and not notice. I was ever-so happy to have that wear off later in the evening.

But yay for having clean teeth in great shape again.
bk2w: (Default)
Happy birthday, my dear [livejournal.com profile] tshuma. You may have aged another year since your birth, but you are as always young. May you always be so at heart.
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