Monday, November 30, 2009

New kitchen light fixture.

While the turkey was roasting I replaced the light fixture in the kitchen over the island. The one that the builder installed was not giving off enough light.

We got this nice unit from Lowes. Jen and I figured that we could get some light over to the sink. If this doesn't help getting more ligth over the sink then I'll have to install a light there too.

This unit does put out a lot more light. It uses xenon bulbs.

Thanksgiving Turkey - Brined

This was one of the best turkeys I've ever made. It was very juicy and tender.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Even More Garage Mods

Over the weekend Jen requested that I make some shelves in the garage to help organize the place better. I wanted to make a space for the outdoor furniture cushions. I am fortunate enough to have a good amount of wood that I scavenged from the work sites' waste bins in the development.

As you can see, everything fits nicely and the cushions are out of the way. Pretty soon we'll be able to park a car in there. :) Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More garage mods

The other weekend I had a gentleman install and mount my HD (UHF) antenna on the roof and run a cable into the living room. I had planned to do this myself but for the price it was worth paying the gentleman to do the work. Plus I'm afraid of heights.

My goal in this project was to move my router, cable modem, and VoIP phone unit to the garage. This has allowed me to clean up the area behind my TV in the living room. The "cable guy" ran a separate line for my cable modem to the garage.

He also ran my Ethernet cable to the living room to accommodate my HTPC.

I wired my home phone lines to a block then connected my Power Phone unit to feed the house lines the phone connection.

Once the cables were connected I was able to scan for channels and with my antenna I found 30 channels. I installed a 2 gang electrical box on the wall. The four plugs are just enough for the units plus a feed to strip on my work bench. I mounted the strip in front of my bench which makes it easy and accessible for my power tools, etc.

My ultimate goal is to run my HD antenna into the TV tuner in my HTPC. Then run MythTV. I'll be able to record TV in HD and watch from any PC in the house. Then I'll run the cableTV line into the TV for live TV watching.

Monday, November 9, 2009

MUTEMATH weekend

The long awaited MuteMath weekend has come and gone in a flash. Jen and I had the best time seeing our favorite band on Friday and Saturday. Some thoughts: Rush has a song called Limelight where Neil Peart writes "I can't pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend." That may be true for Rush but not for MuteMath. I have never seen a band connect with their fans on a personal level before like MM does. Of course it's smart marketing to get to know the fans and be accessible, further solidifying the bond that is already made through the music. In my opinion MM is the type of group that doesn't patronize us. They really do want to meet and get to know the fans. We have seen the group more than a dozen times over the last 3-4 years and they have gotten bigger and bigger going from driving from venue to venue in a van to traveling in a tour bus complete with roadies to setup and break down. Each time giving the fans face time after the show to sign autographs and answer questions. I'm not sure how long it will last, as they keep moving up a notch but we'll definitely take advantage if it while we can.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Pictures

This year Collin wanted to again be Link from the Legend of Zelda video game. The last time (2yrs ago) I used that seaming tape that you iron together seams. It came out awesome but Collin wanted a costume sewed so he could wear it after Halloween too. (Cosplay?) The Shield and sword were made at my friend Brian's house because he has a ton of awesome tools for woodworking. The sword has a laminated handle and a piece of lattice wood for the blade. Collin helped design and sand the pieces. Conner drew the graphics on the shield and Jen painted it. I was impressed with Conner's ability to draw the Ocarina of Time shield from memory.
Katelyn and I sewed the the tunic. Yes, I did use a sewing machine. I'm surly secure in my masculinity.

Conner went simple this year and was a pumpkin. There's not much to say about C0nner's costume but I'm glad to only have made one this year.

Jen's just pretty. Did anyone notice the pumpkins there on her chest? I did.

Katelyn was Marilyn Monroe and won a contest for best costume. She starte to sew her own with a pattern but that was getting too involved. She got this dress from one of Jen's coworkers. It was an old wedding dress. My Mom and Kate modified it. She looks awesome. I'm glad JFK wasn't at the party she went to.

Jen is my little sunflower. Hot glue guns are awesome. What a fun costume.


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