January 06

icerabbit on February 5th, 2006

It is February already? Time sure does fly just as fast as last year.Between moving snow, DIY projects, iBlog 2 and a little bit of other stuff; I apparently did not blog much. Maybe I can use this entry to bring everybody up to speed.

DIY projects.

We started work on the master bathroom. What initially was planned to be a resurface floors + new electrical + new bathroom fixtures + paint job; quickly became a lot more. Peeling wallpaper & paneling away revealed cracked horsehair plaster beyond repair. Solution: 3 days of plaster & lathe removal followed by new drywall.

To tie into the old plumbing we had to get underneath the hardwood floors. Unfortunate but that meant we would have some extra flooring work. And, to make matters worse, back in the days they took some bad shortcuts in terms of structural support. Solution: Rip 1/5th of the floor up. Build a support frame in there + subfloor + hardwood floors. For the hardwood floors – to make up for lost pieces – I had recycled maple hardwood flooring from the hallway. If cleaning it up was not enough work, those boards turned out to be milled different. Then the boards were not straight … Long story short. It was a long stressful & painful week to work on that floor.

Kiwi / Averatec.

The story continues. After dealing with Averatec Customer Care in the past, our issue was upgraded to “Advanced Customer Care”. After reading through the notes & listening to the issues we have; Kiwi had to be sent back in for it’s third RMA. Our request for a new replacement machine was denied. A machine has to go in for service three times, this time with expedited shipping to avoid the 2 weeks East – West trip. Strangely enough, Advanced Customer Care requires you to hang up, call the
customer care # to get an RMA number, then call advanced customer care back with that number to set up expedited shipping. I can think of easier ways to handle this. While overnight shipping was promised (on a Friday) it was 4 business days (Thursday) later when I received the call with the shipping number. Thunderbird had not automatically downloaded the email from my spare email account on Tuesday, but that didn’t change anything really, as it didn’t have instructions or a shipping number anyway. Oh, and I had vigilantly tried calling Advanced Customer Care on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday; but could not get through at any time. I could only leave a voice mail; none of which were returned with a call-back by their department as promised. Kiwi should return to us next week. We’ll see how things go.

Car repair.

On Monday we finally should have our car back. It was legally parked out in front of our house, as it often is. One of our neighbor’s friends backed his vehicle up some 20 feet or so at a rather fast pace and smashed into the front. I heard the crash. Saw that our car was moved some & the front was severely damaged. Jumped out the house. Saw two cars taking off in different directions and spotted the driver who drove into our car making a U-turn 2/3 down our dead-end street with his big pickup.
Called the police. Then the insurance. Damage repair: short of $4500. Time to fix: 6 business days. I’ll be glad when I see Valentine fully repaired, with no damage down the road and I get a check for our deductible.

iBlog 2.

Some may wonder why it has been quiet after Preview / beta 1. Well, it is not that we all sat still. Quite a bit of midnight oil has been burnt by the alpha team on reaching an integrated 2 & 3 column design with a GUI interface so the user checks a few options and iBlog works the master template set. We did
come up with one easy and quite transparent solution. So we are currently waiting on the next iBlog build to support some of the necessities to make it work. Then we can hopefully test, debug, improve, validate … and Lifli can bring beta 2 forward.

Weather.

By one degree we failed to have the warmest January on record in Maine (which was 2002). Right now it is 48F out. Every few days to a week, we go through a cycle of freezing temperatures with
mild snow, followed by a serious thaw & rain. Historically we can expect a few big thaws, maybe one every month. But every week?

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