Aug 28 2004
Just in time for the moving weekend, a heat-wave arrived in Maine. It’s
been a busy few days already, moving some items, starting to prep the master
bedroom and familiarizing myself with the local Home Depot a bit
more.

We landed in some miniature “if walls could talk” / “restore
America” / “this old house” episode / series. I wanted to reinstall one of the
original antique French doors in the living room, only to discover it didn’t fit
anymore. Odd. Too many layers of paint? Yes, there’s only 7-8! Out of the top
of my head: top = dark green | white | yellow | off-white | salmon | tan |
light green.

We removed a less than stylish fake fireplace (some
ugly recent add on) and discovered some of the earlier wallpaper they used. In
some places we could see tiny samples of the 2nd & 3rd style; and I
carefully uncovered 2 somewhat larger patches of the original. Quite exciting.
It’s surprisingly dense in details & colors. (will take a
close-up).

Just with the wood trim work that has 7+ layers of pain, I
will already be busier than I thought. Hopefully paint stripper can do the
toughest work ;)

Here are two quick snaps of the front of the house:

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Aug 23 2004
It’s not always been easy to keep this quiet the past weeks, but today I
can finally announce the news: we bought a house. Nothing big or extra ordinary.
Just a charming small house in town, that could use a bit of TLC and updating
(the more I look at things, the more I know I will be busy with a capital B for
quite a while) It really is amazing how big a small house is, when you have
lived in very compact quarters for several months.

We actually have
been house shopping for a while, but I didn’t say it out loud. A few months
back, the day I was about to make an entry that we bought a house, we backed
out, because of structural issues. So, that’s where I kept things under wraps
till we actually had the key in hand.

If you haven’t been home
shopping for a while, this a very fast moving market now in New England. If you
don’t jump on a property right when it hits the market, you hardly stand a
chance of buying anything. Quite frustrating, because it doesn’t let you pause
and “sleep on it”. Really, by the time it’s printed anywhere, it’s under
contract, really overpriced or has some issue(s). This is actually the third
property we had an offer on. The first one had a unsatisfactory technical
inspection (structural issue a.o.) and the second one had 13 offers (we could
have won, but we didn’t want to make a third offer outbidding other
candidates).

So the third one was the charm. We were on the mark on
day one, and now, one month later we finally have they key. We thought to close
on the property some time earlier (1 – 1.5 weeks ago), but the were some
communication issues (too busy realtors, FedEx temporarily lost track of a
package) and an unfinished project that – even though the contract said it had
to be fixed – never got finished. Anyway. That’s all history
now.

Time for a toast, and I’ll post some photos and detail some of
the projects later on.

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Aug 20 2004
Ever wonder why you wake up tired in the morning?
You may be
working in your sleep, as I appear to have been doing:

F: “You know
something funny about last night. You put the covers higher up on me, so I
wouldn’t be cold, but then a little later you rolled over and the covers were
gone. ”
C: “Oh, sorry.”
F: “That’s all right, I Just thought it was
funny.”
C: “You know that you were moving around in the bed?”
F:
“Huh?”
C: “Yes, right before then, in my sleep I heard something move
around, thought it was the neighbors, then as I woke up a little bit more, I
realized you were dreaming & moving around in the bed. You stopped when I
told you, then started again later.”
F: “I don’t recall anything”
C:
“I asked you what you were doing, and you replied you were remodeling something
…”

No wonder I woke up tired the past mornings. Home renovations at
night!

It’s interesting how daytime activities and/or stresses will
affect your sleep. Your brain just stays active while the rest of your body
rests (unless you’re remodeling, fighting, …) and generally you don’t know
about it in the morning; unless you wake up during a nightmare or you answer
questions in your sleep.

In my case, I’m clearly further processing
planned DIY activities for the next weeks, and starting to execute them. Good
thing I don’t sleep walk and start operating power tools ;)

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Aug 17 2004
Our thoughts are with the victims. So many people have damage to their
property, car, … I can’t tell you how relieved we were when our neighbor
called that the hurricane had passed and our house was fine. We have a pretty
solid house, but you never know. I don’t like to be away from home when there’s
a big storm. You see the hurricane plotted on the map, moving over Florida and
just feel powerless. I want to be able to take some precautionary measures,
respond to things if at all possible.

One person we know, lost his
house in Punta Gorda. In the morning, you leave for work, when it’s a cat. 2
hurricane that’ll make land fall an hour away. The local forecast is rain &
storm winds. In the afternoon it’s a cat. 4 heading for your house. By the end
of the work day your house is ruined, disintegrated …

I rounded up
some links to local newspapers:

Lakeland – The Ledger | Fort Myers -
News-press
| Orlando – Sentinel | Winter Haven -
Newschief
| St Petersburg Times | Sarasota – Herald Tribune | The Tampa
Tribune
| Naples Daily News
| Port
Charlotte – Sun Herald

and TV stations:

|
Baynews9 WFLA WFTS Tampa | ABC7 WINK
NBC2 Fort Myers | WESH
Orlando | WTSP St. Petersburg |

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Aug 14 2004
Talk about a very humbling experience.

I will very honestly
admit that I could not sit still any more Friday afternoon. When tornado
warnings went up for our home county, the hurricane strengthened to category 3
and would make landfall near Fort Myers; they didn’t have to draw a map for me
that this thing was heading straight for our vicinity. Needless to say, I was
increasingly worried. A few hours later, when they announced it was a category 4
and confirmed the new trajectory, I feared the worst. I’ve seen a few hurricanes
& storms, but none this big, while away from home. All we could do from a
distance is wait and hope for the best.

The hurricane did pass over
our home town, but the true core was just a few miles east. Our house did not
sustain any damage. We only lost some fruit and my windsurfer vane went surfing
a little. (retrieved by a neighbor) Many others in our neighborhood have some
to considerable damage. So, we are very fortunate.

Everybody we’ve
been able to reach by phone is doing well. Some do have damage to their
property. Getting detailed information is still hard. Throughout the day there
were still wide spread power & phone outages. From the limited number of
photos I saw of our hometown, I can say that our town was lucky. Only minor
damage was visible. I do however fear for the surrounding communities that got a
direct hit, of which I haven’t seen any images yet.

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Aug 12 2004
Air travel tomorrow made me look closer at the weather conditions in the
Southern US. After going through some of my bookmarks, I discovered the CONUS
Area Experimental Graphical Forecast
from NOAA – NWS. This may be
online for a while already without my knowledge (disadvantage of direct
bookmarks and watching the weather channel), but this is top of the line weather
viewing, imo.

Click on one of the national areas to load a regional map, hover over the
table on the left and instantly the data appears on the map. Scroll vertically
through the table and you get everything for a time slot. Horizontal scrolling
shows you trends. All of them for the next 5 days, including (!) wind speed
& direction + wave height forecasts. A straightforward detailed 5 day US
marine forecast has been on my request list for so long, it makes me jump up and
down in my chair. Thank you NWS!

Hopefully they get lots of positive
feedback. I’d like this thing to stay around ;)

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Aug 10 2004
Suddenly, on Saturday evening, I was just out of it. Tired, achy, hot
& cold, not feeling well, just dragging myself along. What’s that so out of
the blue in mid summer? I hardly got out of bed on Sunday, just taking something
against pain & fever. Things were slightly better on Monday and finally
today I start to feel like normal again. I’m still tired and my head still hurts
somewhat, but at least I’ve got some energy again.

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Aug 10 2004
Just what a computer
needs:

A
cigarette lighter – beer can holder from Thermaltake to mod your PC. Doh!

Thermaltake 5.25″ Bay with Cigarette Lighter & Cup Holder

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Aug 5 2004
I added our digitized CD collection back to the iTunes library the other
day and have since enjoyed quite a bit of our music again. I can’t help but
wonder how random the Shuffle feature is. The Beatles (with 80 entries in the
3500+ library) popped up 7 times now in not too many hours, while there’s a few
artists with multiple CDs I haven’t heard once. That must be part of the
randomness, but, how about shuffling forward 3-4 songs from a Beatles tune and
getting another Beatles tune? At 80/3500+? Someone at Apple must really like the
Beatles ;)

… Maybe I should get a Lotto or Powerball ticket!
;)

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Aug 4 2004
We laughed, we cried, it warmed our hearts, this tale of Yorkshire
ladies baring it all for charity.

What started as a fundraising
effort in a small community in Northern England, mushroomed into a major motion
picture that earned the organization nearly a million dollars for cancer
research. A real “feel good” flick.

Calendar
Girls
– 2003 – English – PG13 [ Netflix - Walmart ]
Bonus includes footage of the
real life calendar girl stars

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