Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bathroom Crisis '08

I can say without a doubt in my mind that the worst thing in life to be without is... (drum roll please)


Two days ago, I noticed there was a spot on my pants that was wet after having used our downstairs bathroom. After carefully probing the floor, I witnessed fluids bubbling up from the seams in our linoleum flooring. After I freaked out for about 30 seconds, I called Matt, who proceeded to tell me that there was nothing he could do about it at the time and told me to wait until he got home. Waiting is not my style, so I called the next person in the chain of command: Mom. After talking with her, she referred me to my father, who told me to go into the crawlspace and have a looksy.

So, I donned protective clothing (read: biohazard suit) and grabbed the not-so-useless giant flashlight that came with our drill, and set out to conquer the crawlspace. However, I was surprised by how dry it was and by the lack of life down there. I only saw a handful of tiny spiders ( one of my biggest fears is getting bitten by a very venomous black widow or brown recluse) . It was only after a few minutes of crawling and slithering that I found the spot where the leak was.

My only indication that there was a leak was a very small pool of liquid. Following the drips, I found the spot where our bathroom sits. The insulation was pretty thoroughly saturated and, not having gloves on, I could only see a little bit of staining. I crawled out, called our real estate agent and asked what we should do. He told us to call our home warranty company to send someone out to look at it. So, I did.

Now, upon entering the crawlspace earlier, I was met with an odor and a valve for the main water supply. Fearing any type of liquid being sprayed at me while I poked around, I shut off the valve. And when I left, I turned the valve back on. After I had called Brian (our agent) and the home warranty company (who promised to send someone out the next day), I decided to take a shower and get the dirt from the crawlspace off. I jumped in and started to rinse. It only took a few seconds for me to realize that the water pressure was dwindling down to nothing and I am proud to say that I got my hair completely lathered and rinsed by the time the water ran out (It's nice to know I can take a quick shower if needs be).

I went back to the crawlspace and turned the valve and tried all different positions for the valve, but to no avail. The water refused to flow. We were only without water for approximately 24 hours, but I can say that it was truly uncomfortable. We could not use the restroom, we could not wash our dishes or our clothes, we could not wash our hands and did I mention that we couldn't use the restroom? And because I couldn't use the facilities, I had to go even more (why is that?). Any way, I have been in situations without power or without many creature comforts that I now enjoy, but I can say with all surety that water is number one on my list of must haves.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Pegboard Office Desk

What does an OCD do when he has an afternoon to kill and 3 computers to setup? He does what your about to see. Total cost is approx $20.

  • $10 pegboard
  • $1 for each bag of wingnuts, screws and washers
  • $10 for the nylon ties

So I have 3 computers. A linux box, windows box, and a linux router. They're all accessible via a 4-port KVM. This equates to a mess of power, monitor and network cables. My previous setup was with nylon zip ties, but I didn't quiet think them thru and tied & tightened all the zip ties after I was done. This didn't prove to be useful later when I needed to add or remove something. So I learned from my mistakes and hopefully this setup is much more useful.



Click here to find out more. Note, to follow the process, change the smugmug style to Journal.

My favorite things: the State Fair Edition

You know that song from "The Sound of Music"? Well here are a few of my favorite things at the State Fair:

  • The Food:

    • I am a self-proclaimed foodie and love all things gourmet and tasty, but I have always had a soft spot for absolutely ridiculous food. For example, a deep fried candy bar doesn't make a whole bunch of sense when you think about it. A candy bar is already several hundred calories and is basically empty calories, but dipping it in some batter and flinging it into a vat of hot oil seems to create a magical combination that not even Anton Ego could pass up. Other popular fair fare includes polish sausages, ice cream (from the NCSU Dairy Bar), roasted corn (from the place by the big strawberry), salt water taffy, kettle corn, cotton candy, candy apples, turkey legs, the free hush puppies at the grist mill... the List goes on. All of those delicious options, waiting to be explored... It makes me salivate just thinking about it

  • The Rides
    • Half of the reason the rides are so exciting is the fact that they are transportable and therefore not as safe or secure as rides at a theme park. Who else loves the fact that the ring of fire is the most rickety wobbly ride there?! Any body? Any body? The other half is that I, for some reason, can't seem to actually make it to a theme park with any kind of regularity despite my strong and vocal protests to that effect. I, my whole life, have lived within a 100 mile radius of at least one theme park. Yet, I have only been to them a handful of times. *sigh* So in lieu of actually going on a roller coaster, I ride the rides. (And enjoy the added bonus of the carnies)

  • The Giant Vegetables
    • I am a sucker for giant anythings (and really, really tiny anythings for that matter). I find it amazing that we can manipulate vegetables to be 300 times their normal size and that farmers can actually get said vegetation to full term (without it rotting or getting eaten). I especially love the pumpkins. I think it's because when I see a one ton pumpkin, it reminds me of Peter, the most famous of pumpkin eaters, and I wonder if I would be happy living in a pumpkin of that size or whether I'd divorce his butt the moment he presented it to me as a living option.

  • The People
    • So many people in one place is bound to present you with a plethora of interesting folk. I love making up stories about people I don't know and wondering what their life is really like. I also love that fashion disasters come out in full force for the fair. It amazes me what people will wear to the fair, particularly women. I have seen women on dates to the fair, wearing stiletto heels, a strapless cocktail dress and have their hair and makeup done. I can imagine that perhaps they didn't know where they were going on that date or maybe they dropped by after some fancy occasion, but if it were me, I would demand that I be able to go home and change. Heels and gravel do not mix.
*Le sigh* I can't wait until October. I love the fair so much that I will probably be going several times this year (if not once every day to scoop ice cream so I can go to Disneyland next year!!). If you want to come with me, let me know!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


What should one do when one cannot sleep? I am up for suggestions as I have not been able to get a full night's rest since moving into this house. Perhaps it is cursed, or I allergic to it. I don't know, but it's definitely getting old.

On a completely different note, I think I might try mixing things up a bit. I thought I might might start blogging about things unrelated to my life in addition to updates about the goings-on in the Davis house. I think I'll start right now.

Have you ever noticed that there seems to be more and more people at the State fair every year? I know I've definitely noticed an incline in attendance and general craziness surrounding the most wonderful time of the year. Today, while looking up guidelines on some of the culinary competitions, I stumbled upon some statistical information on the state fair. Last year, over one hundred forty-five thousand people attended the fair on the last Friday it was open. One day, people!! The grand total for attendance for the two weeks was a record breaking 858,611 fair-goers. (For anyone who's interested, they have information about attendance going back to 1986 here)

While this may shock some of you (namely my husband who honestly can't find a single good reason to go other than his wife would disown him if he didn't), but let me assure you, there are good times aplenty to be had. Between the deep fried milky-ways and the opportunity to milk a cow, courtesy of the NCSU Animal Science Program, there is so much to do; it can't be done in a single visit. Here is a guide to help you optimize your fair going experience:
  1. Plan ahead: Don't wait until the day of to buy your admission tickets and ride booklets. If you buy in advance you will save two dollars on admission and eight dollars on ride books.
  2. Go during non-peak hours: Unless you love crowds (and the ridiculously high percentage of amputees in said crowd), try to go during the day, or on a Monday or Tuesday. Check out the previous attendance link to give you an idea about the best time to go.
  3. Have a loose idea of what you want to see: I'm not saying that you need to have your timetable all sorted out in advance, but you should try to figure out what is first priority on your to-see/to-do list and make sure you see those things first. Then, everything else is just gravy. It's amazing how much time it takes just to walk back and forth from places and to avoid disappointment, do the most important things first. If that means eating a deep fried twinkie first, then go forth and conquer.
  4. Give yourself a good amount of time to be there: Like I said before, walking around takes a lot of time and if your list of things you want to do looks anything like mine, you'll probably need to spend a good portion of the day at the fair. Plus, if you like to ride the rides, you'll be spending a lot of time in line, so bring a sudoku or something. Also, parking is a nightmare. Allow 45- 60 mintues to deal with parking and the accompanying traffic around the fairgrounds.
  5. Go with a group: Going with a group can increase the potential for having a good time. Granted, sitting alone in a bucket on the ferris wheel with your honey is sweet, but sharing the 20 minute wait in the line with a bunch of your friends will make it even sweeter.
  6. Be sure to people watch: Honestly, this is my favorite part of the state fair. People come from all over to be at the fair and it's interesting to see what North Carolina has to offer.
Ok, so I think that about wraps up general fair pointers. This year, the fair is being held October 16th through the 26th. It looks like it's going to be a great year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our Cat is Ginormous

I knew that our cat was not a small kitty. Even when we first got him, he was a pretty big cat... But lately hi has been putting on some weight. I think it's because he's moving out of adolescence and firmly into adulthood. We've put him on some weight control formula, but it seems to have no effect. We've tried feeding him less food, but it hasn't worked. Any way, it has gotten far out of hand. Hopefully, making him go outside will be good for him...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We've moved!!

We've moved into our new house, finally! We have most of our things in the house and are in the process of unpacking and putting away. I'm glad that we are finally here, although it doesn't feel like home just yet. I would have a bunch of pictures of everything, but we can't find the camera yet. I know it's in a box here, I just don't know which box!! As soon as I find it, I'll snap a couple of pictures of the new paint in a few rooms and how we've got furniture. :)

In addition to having to remember to go to our house when we go home (we've both forgotten a few times and started heading toward our old apartment), we're both going to ditch our cars in support of public transportation! I will be taking a combination of the city's bus system and my bike. Matt will be doing both or just the bike. He hasn't quite decided yet. We're hoping we save some money that would've gone towards gas. I rode the bus today for the first time and it was surprisingly pleasant. I've heard some horror stories about the CAT system, but I had my headphones in and it was great. Eventually I am going to ride my bike all the way to school, but I think I'll have to work up to that one.

Truman has had a really hard time adjusting to his new surroundings. This is him hiding while the movers came and took our furniture away. He just buried his head completely and sat there the whole time. Poor kitty! We've moved a couple of times before and generally he needs about half a day to a day to adjust and realize that he's just in a new place. This time, it's been a couple of days adjustment. He seems to be ok for now, but he's still pretty jumpy (not that he wasn't already jumpy). There were two other cats (possibly more) that lived here before and I think he smells them and is waiting for them to jump out and attack him. We're also hoping to transition him to an inside/outside cat (and in the process hopefully eliminating the litter box!! Yay!). I think I'm going to wait to start that journey, though.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The video

Here is the video of our house right after we closed. :) Enjoy!

EDIT: Updated to fix the link. The video should work now. Sorry for the trouble.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We are official

** So, I wrote this post on Tuesday and tried attaching the video but I think it was too big. I'm going to try to figure it out. But just in case you were wondering, everything with the closing went very smoothly and we've been hemorrhaging money ever since.... It's not been a good feeling.**

As of 3:00 pm eastern standard time yesterday, Matthew and I became homeowners. Yes, we closed on our house yesterday. It was really weird. They gave a us a huge check. I mean, like house huge, and then we signed it over and signed our lives away. But, on the brighter side, no more neighbor's 70 lb dog running laps back and forth on our ceiling everyday, no more having to stop playing the piano at 9 or feeling bad about cranking the volume on our movies. :) We are so excited that we went our yesterday and bought some paint samples and a rug. :) Hurray! Here's the video of my walk-through. Enjoy!
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