Saturday, August 26, 2006

Moving Day Is Over!

Wow, what a couple of days we've had around here!

We've been staying in the new house since Thursday night, when we got a new king-size bed moved into the house, along with Krypto's crate and some other essentials... and then on Saturday, Jessi was able to move some stuff over as well, so that by Saturday morning, we just had the last three bookshelves, the couch, the old bed (now in the guest room), Jessi's computer desk, the kitchen table, the washer and dryer, the extra refrigerator, and some assorted odds and ends to bring over, which (thanks to the help of my family and my co-worker, Marianne) we were able to bring over to the new house and set up in a few hours' time!

After that, it was time for the barbeque! I started the grill warming up, and once our friend Tifney (who'd helped earlier this week) showed up with some corn she'd grown in her garden, the burgers and smoked sausages started cooking, and as they cooked, I started putting out all the other food I'd purchased for the barbeque.

You know, one of these days, I'll have to figure out better how to plan how much food to prepare for these things... we could've had twice as many people to feed, and still not run out!

We did invite our neighbors (who live in the other half of the duplex) to join us, which they did, and we got to know them a bit better, too.

They're an interesting couple... both of them twenty-somethings, and the more they told us about themselves, the more they sounded like a Jerry Springer episode waiting to happen! To start with, the guy is the only one of the two whose name is on the lease -- originally he was going to move in with his previous girlfriend, but then this new girlfriend stole him away, and she moved in instead (along with her child from when she got preggers at 19). And then, there's the guy's friend, who is currently not working, and is staying with them, occasionally bringing his kids from his marriage (which is breaking up, naturally), and who has barely paid them any of the rent he's supposed to be paying them (yet another lease violation -- they're not supposed to sub-let at all). Oh, and this guy's driving around a new PT Cruiser that's a rental because someone else totalled his car, and that person's insurance is paying for a rental. And he's not working because he was fired by the rent-to-own place he used to work for (which the guy whose name is on the lease is still working for) for sexually harassing a customer there. And, last weekend, when the couple was vacationing down in Portland, he started a fire in the kitchen that burned cupboards and the kitchen floor -- which the couple is trying to fix themselves, because the landlords don't know about the fire (or the roommate). Oh, yes, and the former girlfriend still has a set of keys to the house, so she can let herself in at any time (and has done so).

There's probably more that they told us, but at a certain point, I kept hearing in my head a crowd chanting "Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!" so I had to go clean the barbeque grill.

Anyway... tomorrow (Sunday) is cleaning day at the old house, which may begin with our running our full garbage can and a beat-up couch to the dump (which I really hope is open on Sundays), and then while I start cleaning up, Jessi has to return the truck she borrowed, and then she'll rejoin me to finish the cleaning. We've got to finish the scrub-down and vacuuming and sweeping and so forth Sunday, PLUS I want to get all the tomatoes out of the garden so nobody else gets to enjoy the fruits of our labors (we're going to see if we can come back in October to harvest the squash that's been growing, but I have my doubts that'll happen).

Should be a busy day, but I'm hoping we can get all that done in about five hours or so, tops.

In other news... starting Monday at work, we're short an ad services assistant, so I'll be helping to cover that desk while doing my own work, and also trying to get the billing packaged up for mailing as soon as possible (and maybe working on some other stuff for that desk, as well). Probably will mean a lot of overtime, as I'll be coming in an hour earlier than normal starting on Tuesday (I can't on Monday because I'm meeting a carpet cleaner at the old house to finish the grand clean-up). I'll be amazed if I'm out of work any earlier than eight each day next week, so you can imagine how the hours will stack up then!

I'll be almost completely covering ad services the following week, as our paper planner (who figures out where the ads will go in the newspaper) will be on vacation, and the main ad services person will be covering that job, so I'll be trying to cover ad services... I just hope that things slow down a bit for us, work-wise, because even with working overtime, I could burn out quickly at this pace! But I'm sure it'll all be worth it.

Thank goodness next weekend's a three-day weekend, eh?

Anyway... my home office is really coming together nicely. I think I've mentioned before it's much, much bigger than I had at the old place, and it's nice to be able to have the space to properly organize stuff. Once it's all put together, I may do another photo essay to show you what I've done with it, and you can compare it to the one I did when I first set up my office at the other house if you choose to do so.

Oh, I should mention a big THANK YOU! to my brother Jeff, who was one of the people helping us move today. A number of years back, when I wasn't working and having to sell off almost all my collectibles to pay my rent and buy groceries, he very nicely purchased a number of my collectibles from me... and today, he brought them with him, and gave them back to me! What a guy!

During this coming week, I'll have to work up a few more weeks of Cover Stories columns (you did check out this week's installment, with the theme "Dance Crazes", didn't you? If not, hie thee hence to and do so now! Once I've got those written up and have some breathing space, it'll be time for me to work on checking out these old PCs I picked up a few months back, to see what I can put together into the best possible PC so I can start playing Roller Coaster Tycoon again -- the only computer game that's been able to hold my interest for a long time. Don't worry, I won't let that get in the way of blogging regularlly -- sometimes when playing RCT, one has to just wait and let the customers spend money, and that'll be a good time to go back to the Mac and blog!

Did any of you happen to catch the season finale of Psych Friday night? A lot of the action took place at a comic book convention, and there's a lot of fun stuff in there for comics geeks (like I presume most of us are) to pick up on.

Well, that's about it for now... got to get some sleep and let my back recover some!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Probably the Last Post for a Few Days...

So, the moving continues, as it can and will do.

So far, we've brought over eight carloads of boxes, with another load already in my car to run over in the morning, and more stuff we just packed this evening to load in my car during my lunch break (Jessi will be bringing larger stuff over, since her car can handle larger items).

Wednesday night, I'll be shutting off my Mac until probably Friday night... so that on Thursday, it can go over to the new house, along with the remaining TVs and some other stuff. The reason for that timing? Well, Friday morning, Comcast will be coming to the new place to turn on the cable (and by Friday morning, I mean that they said they'll be there between 8 am and noon), and we're supposed to have everything over there so it can all go on at once, or something like that (I don't know why we have to have all the TVs and computers plugged in, but there you go).

So, like I said, I have two carloads going over Wednesday, with more stuff being loaded Wednesday night. I'm not certain what'll be left to load in the car Thursday on my lunch break.

Friday, Jessi has the day off so she can meet the cable guy... and after that she's getting her adopted parents' truck. I'm not sure what all she'll be running over to the new house before my lunch break on Friday, but we'll load it up then and run stuff over (it may well be bookshelves, or it'll be the bed). We're looking to have most of the bedroom stuff, all the kitchen stuff (except probably the kitchen table and the second refrigerator) and all the bookshelves over to the house on Friday, and we'll stay there Friday night.

Then, Saturday, we'll go to Weight Watchers, come back to the new house for a quick breakfast, and then to the old house by 10 am to meet the people who are helping us move! We may end up only needing to run over one load per vehicle -- but I'm thinking at least half the trucks will need to make a second load. The dogs won't be going down to Tifney's house as planned, though -- they'll be able to stay in the bedroom of the new place, since we'll have all they need to feel safe and comfortable there.

This also means that the barbeque should be able to start up as soon as everything's been run over to the new house!

Anyway... like I said, this will probably be it until Saturday night at the earliest!


Monday, August 21, 2006

Moving, Moving, Blah Blah Blah...

Yep, we started moving stuff into the new house today... and I'm too tired to think of much to write about... so enjoy these clips from YouTube!

The Curse of Frankenstein Trailer

Young Frankenstein Clip

Abbott and Costello Meet Dracula

Super Friends cereal commercial

Red Dwarf opening

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Long Time, No Blog...

Well, three days, at least! Let's see what I have to talk about tonight:

The Move:

As the weekend's progressed, we've continued packing, to the point where the garage is full of boxes! We can't really put any more in there without sacrificing any space to move around in, so we're done packing for a few days, at least.

Saturday, as planned, we signed the lease, and I'll be getting the keys sometime on Monday. Assuming I get them before my lunch break (they'll be bringing them to me at work), I'll load up the car as much as I can while I'm home for lunch, and then bring those boxes in after work Monday. From that point, I will bring one load in the morning before going to work (perhaps loading the car the night before, when it's cooler out), reloading at lunch, and continuing to unload after work. If I get off early any night, I may bring a second load. Jessi, too, will be bringing loads of boxes over to the new house.

On Friday, Jessi will be getting a truck from her "adopted" parents, and we'll likely bring at least a load or two of bigger items Friday night over to the new house (I'm figuring on bookshelves, so we can unpack some stuff onto them, and thus be able to use those boxes for other items).

Saturday, of course, is the big moving day... we're anticipating at least four trucks plus my car and maybe my parents' van to help move (perhaps more vehicles, as well). Since parking is at a bit of a premium at the new place, we'll likely get the first vehicle loaded, and then I'll go with the first vehicle to the new place (probably taking my car with any boxes we haven't brought out of the garage yet), and directing where things will be brought to in the new house, while Jessi supervises and helps load up subsequent vehicles. In this way, we hope that we can keep a constant flow of vehicles from one house to the other and back, without taking up a lot of spaces on the street.

While all this is going on, KO and Krypto will be at our friend Tifney's house, playing with the dogs there. Once the stuff's all been moved, Jessi will have to retrieve the dogs while I try to get things started up for the barbeque to thank those people who helped out -- with luck, I'll be able to time things so it's all ready by the time she's back, and no earlier!

Sunday will be the full-day clean-up of the new house. I've already cleaned up one bathroom, and have been spending some time over the past few days filling in nail holes in the walls. We'll likely start at the "back" of the house, cleaning the master bathroom, then the master bedroom, then Jessi's spare room, my office, the hallway, the kitchen, the living room, and finally the garage. We'll also be needing to finish cleaning out the garden.

The garden's the most annoying thing about this move... there are literally dozens of tomatoes growing back there, and there's no way we can move the plants to the new place (unlike the strawberries), so basically, I'm hoping the tomatoes start ripening faster! If not, we'll just pick them all, wrap them each in newspaper, and stash them in a box, checking them every four to five days.

The squash in the garden, alas, will be lost to us, since it'll be late September or early October before it would be ripe, and we'll be long gone from here by then. We should be able to get a few more cucumbers out before we're all done with the cleaning of the property.

So, once we've harvested what we can, we'll be pulling out all the vegetation and disposing of it -- probably taking it to the local dump, unless it'll all fit into the two garbage cans we have available.

The Monday after that, if there's cleaning we haven't finished yet, we'll get that done after work, so that Tuesday or Wednesday we can have the carpets cleaned.

What does this mean for you guys? Well, chances are, after Thursday night, there won't be new entries here until that following Monday at the earliest, I'm guessing!

TV Talk:

So, have any of you been watching Monk or Psych on USA? We've been Monk fans for the past year or so, and have been watching Psych since it started a few months back. Next Friday is the "Season Finales" for both series, but if I recall, Monk returned with new episodes around January, so we're guessing the same will occur with Psych.

If you don't watch these shows... well, you might want to wait a week, and then start watching the reruns.

Monk is about an obsessive-compulsive detective -- the worst case of OCD you can imagine. He's always been a bit OCD, as we've seen in flashbacks, but since his wife Trudy was killed nine years ago, it got worse. He was a police officer then, but after Trudy died, he left the force, and is now acting as a consultant. Monk is a hiliarous show, and the characters are all fun to watch... if you see older episodes, like from the first two seasons or so, you would have seen Monk dealing with his first assistant, Sharona, but he's had a new one for some time now, named Natalie (I prefer Natalie, even though I would've thought by now she'd have stopped calling him "Mr. Monk" all the time).

Psych has a similar "feel" to Monk -- both shows are funny, and both feature characters with amazing powers of observation and deduction -- but Psych's twist is that the main character has a flawless photographic memory, but since the police don't believe that could possibly be the case, he pretends he's a psychic (which they do believe).

I recommend both shows highly -- Friday nights on USA, Monk at 9, Psych at 10 (and a House rerun at 11!).

Avengers Thoughts (the super-hero team, not the 1960s British TV show):

So, I've been re-reading ESSENTIAL AVENGERS volumes lately, and strangely, it's sparked some thoughts that don't directly relate to the stories I'm reading!

I remember some time back reading that active Avengers get a stipend -- said stipend at the time was usually provided by form of check, which members could use their Avengers ID to cash.

Now, this always seemed rather... well... awkward to me. Granted, you don't need an account at a bank to cash a check -- but that's usually presuming that the check was drawn on that bank's account. It would probably be a bit of a logistical nightmare for an active Avenger to set up a checking account -- can you imagine, for example, Captain America writing a check on an account with Captain America as the account-holder's name on the checks? Who would cash them?

So... that's something I was thinking about... and probably just because Jessi and I have been getting our new ATM cards for our new joint bank account... and then I recalled that the Avengers ID cards were also used for communications!

Yes, that's right... the photo on the Avengers ID card doubled as a screen, and somehow, even though they were still the size of a credit card, there was audio and video sending and receiving capabilities on 'em!

OK, I can buy that -- Tony Stark is a master inventor, after all.

So... why couldn't Avengers ID cards also double as an ATM card to withdraw their Avengers stipend? Granted, the members would still need to go to the ATM in costume to withdraw their funds (to help protect the whole secret identity -- those machines do have cameras, after all -- though I suppose Stark could include in the encoding some way of obscuring the camera image if he really wanted to). I'd imagine that Stark could have, oh, three dozen accounts set up as Avengers stipend accounts without them being tied to a specific person, and when someone joins the Avengers, whichever account is available would be assigned to that new member, and that info would be encoded on their Avengers ID.

Naturally, if someone were to quit the Avengers, or be killed in the line of duty, something would have to be done with the remaining funds in their account... and presumably, that would have been established ahead of time.

I figure 36 accounts should be plenty for Stark's accountants to use, and rotating the open accounts around to new members as needed.

Or am I just really overthinking the whole logistics of the superhero thing here? Too meta, maybe?

I can't see that this is something that could really be used in the comics themselves -- maybe just as an aside, more than anything else (i.e., Spider-Man heading for home, remembering he needed to get some flowers for Mary Jane to celebrate an anniversary, and stopping by a florist to buy them, using his Avengers ID also as a check card -- of course, then you'd have to decide if the Avengers check card/IDs were Visa or Master Card... and if the heroes were divided on which one they preferred... why, it could mean a civil war!).

Yes, that last bit was just snarking.