Finally, real progress today…but my back is sore

Date August 22, 2007

Julie took the kids to the Columbus Zoo today, which is very close to our house. It’s actually Jack Hanna’s base of operations, which is pretty cool! I hung around the house waiting for the cable guy. This was the specialist who was going to do a couple of tricky drops in the house. He was to arrive between 8:00 AM and noon…and arrived at 11:45 (of course). The key drop he needed to run was the dedicated data line from the basement to my office — we’ll use wireless for the family stuff, but I’m shooting for the highest possible bandwidth for work, which requires a hardwired connection. In the end, we wound up with a small hole in the ceiling in the basement that I’ll need to patch, but I’m still somewhat in awe of how he pulled both of the drops off. He wandered around muttering things like "air return," "one step," and "I-beam" for a while before he got started, but then he clearly had a plan and executed it (he asked me about the hole in the ceiling before he put it there — explained the wherefore and the why and got my approval).

While I was waiting for him, and while he was here, I tackled the garage. I made pretty good headway, in that there is now at least enough stuff on shelves to provide some floorspace and maneuverability. A lady is coming by tomorrow morning to pick up the moving boxes that are in a large pile in the garage (craigslist , I’ve noticed is a great way to get rid of anything that you’re willing to give away for free — I had two people e-mailing me within a half hour of posting that we had moving boxes to unload), and we’ve still got a refrigerator that we need to take over to Julie’s second cousin’s house. So, there is still plenty of work to be done there.

I made a Lowe’s run this afternoon for some pegboard, as the workshop still has a bunch of half-empty boxes that contain pegboard-oriented tools. That should be a fairly quick task, although I may not get to it until this weekend.

Julie tracked down a manager with Graebel Moving to talk through the claims process. She came away from that discussion feeling much better, so she is optimistic about how that process will go. She also talked to a Delta Tools authorized service technician about the spill my Unisaw took (courtesy of the Graebel movers). The service center is 15 miles away…but the guy she talked to lives fairly close to us and offered to come by after work or on his day off to have a look at the saw. He said that, while the power switch mechanism is a likely culprit, there’s also a chance that things got sufficiently out of whack that I shouldn’t run the saw at all until it’s been thoroughly looked over. We’re crossing our fingers that Graebel will play nice and I’ll have a functioning saw within a few weeks.

Later in the afternoon, we made a two-vehicle family run to the northeast side of Columbus where I bought a desk for the office (off of craigslist , of course!). It’s a monster — L-shaped, particle board, and definitely has signs of wear. The main part of the desk easily weighs 300 lbs, but we managed to get it loaded into my truck and transported back to the house. Julie took the kids to dinner and swimming (except they didn’t get to get in the water due to thunder), while I returned home and unloaded the desk. With the help of a piano dolly. Probably not the wisest move on my part, but I heard rumbling thunder, too, and was worried that the rains might return. It’s going to be a great desk, in that it’s got plenty of surface area and is a good configuration for the space that it’s in. Brett should be returning tomorrow so we can finish up the office. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

One other task from this morning was getting some netting anchored to the handrail upstairs. The spindles are a 1980s distance apart (read: wide enough for Alana to fit through), and Julie caught Alana hanging on the railing and swinging out over the stairwell. That, needless to say, caused her some alarm. So, getting the netting installed was a key safety update.

Random Microsoft Tip du jour: In MS Excel, if you highlight a set of cells, the sum of the values in those cells will display in the lower right of the window. Bonus: if you right-click on that sum, you can change it to be some other simple math function, such as the average, max, or min.

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