Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Thermostat and Curtains

Travis, the gadget boy, decided we needed a new thermostat. A high tech one. So off on another adventure. First to install this thermostat we need wireless. Amazingly we do not have wireless. We also will have to change where the thermostat is located. Good, it isn't in a good spot. We will also need curtains for the window so the light doesn't heat up the thermostat. Yeah shopping.

In order for us to add wireless we need a new router. Ours has wireless but is so old the encryption isn't good anymore. After lots of research Travis sends me to Best Buy to pick one up. He, however, forgot to see if it was sold in stores. It's not. So that got ordered. When it got here Travis was like a child on Christmas morning. He immediately hooked it up, added high encryption, and set up the computers. He also plugged the printer in to the router. I told him that the printer needed a network card for this to work. Apparently I was wrong. The printer is now hooked up to the router!

Next problem, the curtains. Now anyone who has seen the game room knows why this is easier said then done. We needed curtains in the game room (a black wall) and on the windows above the patio door next to the game room (a white wall). Big problem, they need to match somewhat. So lots of searching later and I find white curtains for the game room and white curtains with a tan pattern for the other windows. Yeah for JC Penny's. Putting up the curtains in the game room was a breeze.  Step ladder was all we needed. The breakfast nook was a totally different story.

Problem one, the windows are about 15ft from the floor. Problem two, after putting up the curtains in the game room Travis thinks the curtains aren't going to be enough to block the light the way he wants. I suggest leaving the curtains closed all the time, after all the neighbor behind us recently informed us that he can see everything in the game room through the windows (which probably means us walking around naked). So Travis decides the best solution is to tint the windows and then put the curtains up with tiebacks. Good idea I think. So off to Lowe's for the second time today.

Left one is tinted, the right one is not.
So window tint is supposed to be easy. Spray the windows with the solution they give you, then apply the tint, spray again, and squeegee the bubbles out. Try taking a five foot by three foot piece of tint up a fifteen foot ladder without it attaching to itself. It was fun to watch from the safety of the floor. Travis, after about three hours, finally gets both windows tinted. Yeah! We walked outside to see what it looks like to our neighbors. Good news, they can't see in the house now. Bad news, they can see the bubbles and creases. Hopefully those all go away as the tint cures.

Finally ready to install the curtains. Too bad the drywall mounts are pieces of junk. They deform when hit with the hammer. The holes are too big for the screws now and there aren't any studs conveniently placed. Travis adds some Lock Tight adhesive and we let it sit overnight to dry. The next day when we go to install the curtain rods, he puts his hand on one of the brackets and it pulls from the wall. So more Lock Tight and more drying.

Twenty-four hours later we finally get to put up the curtains. I have never been so excited. I have curtains!

Next up, thermostat.

So easiest project we have ever done. We decided to do some prep on Friday to get ready for what we figured was going to be an all day project Saturday. Since Travis couldn't fit behind the furnace I got to drill the hole. We did have to run to Menard's for a longer drill bit. Since Travis already had the light off in the bathroom it was a easy to see the hole I made. All we had to do was line the hole up on the other side where the stairs were and Travis drilled a quick hole. The snake and some string pulled the new wire through easily. What we thought was just us doing some pre-work ended up with the whole project done in three hours, and no yelling. Now we have a nice, new, smart thermostat.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Computer

So my motherboard finally gave out. Not bad for being at least seven years old, more likely fifteen. So out to Fry's for a new motherboard, upgraded memory, and a bigger hard drive. Sadly my hard drive is currently only 320MB. Opened up a very dusty computer case. I get all the basics plugged in, get the hard drives plugged, and go to plug in my dvd/cd drive. Minor is so old it won't plug into my motherboard. Guess I will go to Best Buy for a new one.

So everything is plugged in and ready for the test turn on. I hook up the power supply and hit the on button. Yeah, it starts! Bad news, it turns off after ten seconds. Finally figure out that I didn't completely plug the power supply into the motherboard (not used to these new ones). Now it turns on and I can get into BIOS just fine. Next step is installing the OS. Put in the cd and get the blue screen of death. Apparently my cd is damaged. Have to buy a new version of Windows and while I am at it probably should update to Microsoft 2010. Out to Fry's for that.

Yeah, everything is finally up and running. RAID set up, Windows loaded, and starting to load programs. I have a nice, new, clean computer to work on now. Yeah!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blueberry Cobbler

Mmm dessert. Always my favorite to make. I was excited about the cobbler, having never made cobbler before. I did have to exchange for blueberries for the blackberries.  The batter was very simple to make.

No way this is taking an hour to bake.

It came out wonderfully. It really did take an hour to bake. Travis and I have it half eaten in two days. This is defiantly a keeper.

Tremendously Delicious Marinated Steak

So I am finally back to my routine. April and May kinda went by in a blur. Taxes and then school and work. So now that I have some down time, we started cooking again. We were excited to try some grilled options because we just bought a grill. For our first PW meal was the Tremendously Delicious Marinated Steak. Travis was worried since it was only his second time on the grill.
Travis, the grill master.
I had marinated the steaks overnight. I was a little skeptical. The spices were an interesting mix.
Looking good.

We added another PW favorite to our meal, twice baked potatoes.
Despite the cheap steak, the steak was good. It definitely made the cheap steak much better. The spices came together very nicely, to my surprise. This recipe is on our rotation any time I buy cheap steak.