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Archive for April, 2007

Something is wrong with the medical system

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Something really needs to be done about the medical system.  It is simply insane.  A few weeks ago I got sick.  This one really got me.  Late one night I decided I better go to the emergency room.  I was there about 13 hours.  I got 4 liters of IV fluid, lots of needles, a chest x-ray, and a CT scan.  I really was in bad shape.  I haven’t felt that bad in a long time.  Anyway, the bill finally came.  Well, it came in 2 parts, but the total so far is just over $11,000.  I say so far because it seems these things tend to be sent in multiple parts.  Maybe this is it, I just don’t know.  We’ll see how good our health insurance is.

2007 Spring Vesta Home Show

Monday, April 30th, 2007

We went to the 2007 Spring Vesta Home Show on Saturday.  Having been to the South End Home Show last weekend I wasn’t sure how much walking this was going to be, but I was prepared for a lot.  It turned out to be unnecessary.  The show was well organized and setup.  It justified the ticket prices a bit.  There were 7 homes to see and each were basically next door neighbors.  It turns out that the show was more than just seeing what’s out there, it’s a giant for sale ad.  The homes are already sold, but the contents seemed to mostly be setup specifically for the show.  Some things I’m sure will be staying in the homes (ie, garage flooring systems, cabinets, appliances), but much of the other stuff I’m not so sure.  Anyway, we got to see some really cool stuff and have a lot of ideas for the house.

First and foremost, I wasn’t really impressed with the appliances chosen for the homes.  I’ve done a LOT of reading.  It seemed to me that each house pretty much chose each of the major appliances one shouldn’t.  I was a bit surprised.  At least they looked nice.  There were some nice features to the kitchens in terms of cook tops, cabinets, islands, counter tops, and back splashes, but none of the kitchens stood out and made me go “wow”.

If there were a single thing that was consistent among the homes (which do vary widely in theme and content) it was hardwood floors.  Hardwood floors were almost everywhere.  That’s not to say there wasn’t carpet, there certainly was carpet in some rooms, but I believe ALL the homes had hardwood floors for the majority of the lower level (with various kinds of tiling being the other material).  I’m starting to get convinced of it’s value.

Garage floors are something I am interested in, so I made sure to see all of them.  Particularly, I was looking for something done by Ultimate Garage Solutions.  There appeared to be two homes that they did.  I was pretty happy with the flooring.  I kind of wished the homes had chosen some of the more exciting coloring options, but they were still good.  They also provided their cabinet system (which was cool).  One home didn’t have their garage flooring done at all (and having seen the other homes it made it seem incomplete).  Another home had a really interesting flooring that I had not found in my research.  It was done by Victory Swiss Floors.  This flooring consists of polymer tiles that interlock.  It’s a bit hard to describe beyond that.  You just have to see them (take a look at the website).  I don’t think we’ll use them for the garage, but maybe when we get around to doing the gym and maybe even the patio.  They’re cool.  The other homes used flooring systems from a couple of other vendors.  One type was the Williams floor paint (basically).  The other was some sort of flaked system that didn’t feel very durable to my hand.

Home media systems were an interesting thing to see too.  The type and size varied.  There were a few with dedicated media rooms, while others simply had large TVs in the family room.  I recall two having projector systems.  One was large, the other was larger.  Interesting setups.  The others all had LCD and/or Plasma screens.  One, that I think was cool, had the TV mounted up over the fireplace in such a way that at the press of a button on a remote, a screen came down in front of the TV making the setup look like a framed painting print setting above the mantle.  I may try to replicate that.  It was awesome.  The modern minimalist style is really starting to appeal to me and it would be a great way to help accomplish that.

Something I’ve been thinking about is a screened in porch/patio.  I haven’t figured out how to do such a thing with our house, but it’s simmering at the back of my mind for the future.  Each of these homes had some sort of shaded outside sitting area.  Some were more extravagant than others, but they each had them and now I want one.  A couple of homes had these really cool retractable screens.  I didn’t even know such a thing existed.  At the press of a button, these screens come down from small bays running the edges of the roof and completely enclose the porch.  It’s awesome.

Another something I hadn’t really thought about, but now want are organizer systems.  Each home had all kinds of neat little (or not so little) organizers.  Every master bedroom closet had something and most other closets, pantries, and cabinets also had something.  These don’t just look neat now, they look necessary.  Once the house is done, looks like I’m going to be building a bunch.

All in all, neat show and I’m excited to see the next one.

South End Home Show

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

On Saturday, we spent many hours at the South End Home Show.  We wanted to get interior decorating ideas.  Several of the places we looked at won awards at the 2006 Vesta Home Show, so we figured they would be some good examples.  One word: wow.  Very cool.  It was lots and lots of walking, but worth it.  I had no idea condos in this area would cost so much either.  I’d say a majority of them cost more than the house we are building.  Not all of them, for sure, but the ones that weren’t were mostly of the studio apartment sized variety.  If I were big on urban living and didn’t have hobbies that could use large spaces, they’d be pretty appealing.  The way the south end is developing I think those properties are probably pretty good investments too.

Rough Wiring and Plumbing Nearly Done

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

We stopped by the house Sunday to see what’s up.  Looks like the major progress has been the rough wiring and plumbing stage.  I’m not sure if they are done, but if they aren’t they are pretty darn close.  Here’s a couple of examples of what we saw:

Wiring example from 4/22/2007 Plumbing example from 4/22/2007

At least somebody gets it

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Found a link to this article today. I must say, I’m a bit surprised to see something like this on any of the big media outlets, but if one would have it, it would probably be Fox News. That or something by John Stossel (spelling?). It’s kind of preaching to the choir for those of us that “get it”, but maybe it will help some others see the light.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,264896,00.html

ZFS imported into FreeBSD tree

Friday, April 6th, 2007

I just saw the exciting announcement: ZFS has been imported into the FreeBSD tree. Awesome work by pjd@ . It’s amazing what he’s done basically by himself. I’m not brave enough to run -CURRENT, but I’ll certainly be trying out the 7.0 Release. By that time someone might have added the ACL support so we can have fully featured Samba shares. I’m excited to try it out and see where this goes.

http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-current/2007-April/070544.html

More building…

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

We stopped by the house again today to see the progress. Looking good.

House Status on 4/5/2007

House is really moving along

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

We went by the house again today to see the progress. Wow are those guys quick. They’ve started framing the second floor. Here it is:

House status as of 4/1/2007

I Think I Love My Wife

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

We went to see I Think I Love My Wife today.  We picked it because I wasn’t sure if it would even still be in the theater next weekend.  Its box office sales haven’t been that great, but I thought the trailer looked good enough to give it a shot.  Besides, I like Chris Rock movies.  Anyway, I see why it hasn’t done well at the box office.  It’s not really a very good film.  I get the feeling that Chris Rock wrote it and hopes to get enough money to pay for it (I never even saw them plugging it on the late night shows).  That way he got to do all the various scenes with however many cuts and do it for “free”.  I don’t recommend it.