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Labor Day Weekend Summary

What a fast weekend! Friday afternoon Liz and I spent most of the time on our computers working on stuff. So we didn’t do much of anything exciting then. One exciting thing that did happen Friday night and Saturday morning is that I sold a bunch of stuff on ebay and got the go ahead from Liz to get a wii. So Saturday afternoon I called around to try to find some store that had any in stock. I called Toys R Us on Fowler, and they said they had one. When I got the store not 15 minutes later, the red shirt told me they were sold out. I am kicking myself now, because I bet if I had asked him to double-check he would have found the one the person on the phone said they had in stock. So of course when I get home and call more places and repeated the process on Sunday, no one I called had any!

I’m not going to get off into a huff about the whole eBay thing with all the wii price gouging going on, but sadly, if I can’t find one at a store by this weekend, I may have to buy one online. I hope it doesn’t come to that, as I really don’t want to support the price gouging, but I’d really like to have ours by next Friday, as we are having guests over and it would be great to have for company.

I don’t think we really did much of anything great on Saturday again, just kind of hung around the house and spent time together. I think Liz and the girls watched a movie.

Sunday, we were supposed to get together with some friends, but one of their kids got sick, so we didn’t get together afterall. I did however, go help build a set for MOPS and spent about 5 or so hours over there doing actual work! 🙂

Monday, we had a last minute get together with some other friends, but I needed to cut the grass. So I ended up cutting the grass in the late morning, while the kids went with Liz to go swimming. I got done cutting the grass and had to get a shower, and get something to eat. Once I got there to meet up with my family, they were all getting out of the pool and about to eat lunch. Then it started to rain. So I took Abby home with me in the Miata. The kids love it when they get to ride in the Miata. And its nice to get that one-on-one time with them. Liz put on more of the movie they watched the previous day and then we got them to bed after dinner.

Liz and I had been trying to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy again, so for the past 2 nights we had watched as much of the movies as we could possibly stay awake to watch. We got half way through the third and final movie last night, so we have to watch another 2 hours or so tonight to finish off the trilogy.

I put together a list of store phone numbers within a mile of my work that I plan to call daily to check wii inventory. If I can find a store nearby that gets a wii, I can hopefully run over there and get one before they sell out so I can pay retial price for it. I plan to call every day around noon or just before to check and see what they have. I only want one, hopefully I will be able to find one around somewhere amidst all this mad rush and inventory shortage.

A wii frustration

It really bugs me about all this wii shortgage, none of the stores can keep them in stock and people want one but can’t find one. A quick check on eBay reveals many many wii’s for sale and the prices are of course higher than retail. You see auctions with 78 wii units available and its just not right. People are so greedy that will use whatever means they have to in order to snatch up as many wii consoles as possible and then auction them off for elevated prices due to the shortage they are helping create. I wonder if it weren’t for people like this, if we would still have such a shortage. I would immagine that if greedy people didn’t stockpile them for auctioning off, if everyone who wanted a wii would now have one, and maybe we wouldn’t have this shortage to begin with. I do want a wii, but I will NOT buy one from an auction site and pay more than retail. I wish everyone would boycott them and stick them with their large inventories of wii systems until they had to sell them off for less than retail. I also find the deception in the auction listings very irritating. People will list a wii for sale with 2 controllers, but what they really mean is that the set includes a single controller and a nunchuk. They get irritated when you point this out and are hoping to deceive people into buying one of these only to realize later that they still need to buy an additional controller and maybe more. This is all extremely irritating, and I hope Nintendo learns something from this, and manages their distribution chain better next time with better expectations for production and manufacturing.

UPDATE: I called a Toys R Us nearby, and they said they had one in stock. So I ran down there and by the time I got to the store, they had sold it. Or at least the guy at the counter said they were out. When I called earlier they said the store had one left. I guess I should have asked him to check. Oh well, I went to a nearby Target and they are sold out as well. These ebay people are really starting to irritate me even more now. There are probably thousands available on ebay and you can’t find any in a store, but if you are willing to pay about $100 over retail, you can get one online. This just stinks, and is really getting on my nerves. But when I do find one I will be happy I didn’t have to pay so much more for mine as people are paying on eBay and other online sources.

Weekend Summary

This weekend was a busy one in Tampa, with lots of things going on. This past Saturday, the Strawberry Festival kicked off. I really want to go and get some fresh strawberry shortcake, its soooooo good! They also sell flats of fresh strawberries for a good price as well. I was going to go down to Plant city and get some yesterday afternoon, but I was pooped and ended up taking a nap. (I must be getting old, I’ve been taking naps almost every weekend lately). It rained most of Saturday evening and night, so we stayed in. Amanda brought the kids over that afternoon (on Sat) and the kids played togther and we (the adults) watched Star Trek Voyager until about 8 or 8:30.

After the kids went to bed Liz and I watched some of the episodes of Monk from Season 5 that we had missed since dropping cable. We sitll have 3 more episodes to go and we’ll be caught up. BSG was new last night, but I have to wait to watch it until it shows up in the newsgroups.

Its TOP Time!

Today is the day! I’m dropping off my poor little car to an automative shop at lunch time to have the top replaced. I sure do hope they do a good job and this doesn’t turn out to be a disaster. I am also going to ask if they can do anything (for an affordable price) to fix a few imperfections in my leather seats. Hopefully by Friday night, I’ll have my baby back as good as new (maybe better).

Miata tops

Yesterday I called around to several places trying to find a good price on replacing the top on my Miata. The first place I called wanted nearly $1,000, which I couldn’t believe. The second place wanted $650 which was better, but still higher than I had hoped. The third place I called is near to my office, the people were very friendls and knowledgable and only wanted $550 for the job. I still have a few questions for them, but once I get my tax returns back (any day now), I’m going to go in and put down a deposit to have them order the parts and schedule my install. It will be so nice to start the spring off with a new top on the car and not be embarrassed by my patch job for that terrible little tear!

Somewhat productive weekend

Over the weekend our plans didn’t quite turn out like we had hoped. We were going to try to clean out the garage and Liz’s sister was coming over, and then Sunday we were going to have some guests over to play some games. Well on Saturday Liz’s sister did make it over, so they planned some Pampered Chef party. Then we started to clean out the garage, which was a disaster, we tore everything out of its place, went through about 1 box of stuff then ran out of time and had to put everything back so we could fit my car back in the garage. That didn’t work out quite as I had hoped. Then my Sheet Fed scanner came in the mail that afternoon, so all I wanted to do was scan in documents and clean up my office area. I think Liz and I watched an episode of Deep Space Nine just before bed. Then on Sunday, our guests couldn’t make it over, so we changed our plans slightly, and I took Sarah (in the Miata), to a store to see if we could find a decent ceiling fan for their room. Their fan had worn out and was making bad sounds. So we picked out a fan and thought it was one price, but upon getting home I realize that it was actually $15 more than I wanted to spend. (OOPS). We also picked up a new doorknob for the girls bathroom which had also worn out. I got some light bulbs for their new ceiling fan and some more powerful bulbs for our light over our dining room table. So Sunday afternnon I ended up installing a new ceiling fan, changing a bunch of light bulbs and de-fuming the house (this is so dumb of me). On the way to the store, Sarah and I stopped off at a gas station to get some gas. I was looking at Sarah through the back window glass making faces at her, and wasn’t paying attention. I overfilled my tank and put about a full 1 or 2 cups of gas into the reservoir surrounding my gas tank fill pipe. There is normally a dran that allows any excess to leak out of the car. I didn’t realize it but it was clogged which is why it wasn’t draining. I got home to find once I got in the garage, it decides to trickle all over my garage floor causing my entire garage to stink of gasoline! I ran some water through the reservoir and flushed it out clearing the drain so it worked properly. I mopped up all the gas from the floor and wiped down my car. I sprayed some oust air freshener in there, but it didn’t help that much. The whole house started to have a hint of gas in the air, which was extremely unpleasant let me tell you! And when I got in my car to drive to work, it wreaked of gas, all the way to my office. Its going to take days to clear all that gas smell out of my house/garage and my car! What a dummy!

My amazing handyman abilities!

When we bought our house the existing dishwasher was tested and found to work. Upon moving in, we found out that the test that was run on the dishwasher was the last time it would run. So we were in need of a new dishwasher. Unfortunately, none of the nearby home improvement places had any reasonable prices for a new dishwasher. So Liz got on the computer and checked craigslist and freecycle. She found an ad on freecycle for a like new dishwasher and sent an e-mail asking about it. We ended up getting it and as soon as I got home last night I went to pick it up. I single handedly lifted the monstros beast into the back of the van and proceeded on my way home to install it.

I’d like to say that when I got home I unloaded it and immediately began to install it. I disconnected the old one and easily connected the new dishwasher and found no problems. I did it all by myself and with no external assistance. Thats what I’d like to say. The truth is that I had to call Ray (my handly master plummer father-in-law), on several (ok – many) issues I encountered. First, I didn’t see how the water line on the old dishwasher would connect to the new one. Then I didn’t see how the drain hose would work with the new one. Then I realized I had to hand wire the electrical leads to power the thing. Ray calmly opened my eyes to the simplistic answers to all my questions and with a good understanding of how it all works, I got to work. I was able to get the old one out with relatively no problems. Although my kitchen floor got quite a bath as there were several inches of water that was stuck inside the old dishwasher. Then the power cord got wraped around one of the legs and Liz had to help me get it off while I lifted the unit off the floor. Out to the front porch it went and is where it still sits. We’ll probably list it on freecycle or dispose of it through the county.

Ok now the fun part. I started to connect the new dishwasher to the electric, water and drain. First, I decided to attach the copper adapter needed to connect the water line to the new dishwasher. I was doing good until the last 1/2 turn of the adapter when I heard a loud “Snap”. Turns out I broke the electric valve that controlls the water intake to the dishwasher. I tried to be McGuyver and used duct tape to seal it back together, but this didn’t do much to hold back the flood waters that came out of the water line when I opened the valve under the sink. Liz and I ordered a new intake valve online lat night. Actually she found it online and found the best price for it while I was watching Heroes on TV.

So we have a dishwasher now that didn’t cost us anything, its in good shape, and the only cost so far is the price of the new intake valve that we have to get because I don’t know my own strength. Ok, because I was foolishly holding onto the wrong area of the valve while turning on the copper line adapter with my wrench. 🙂

This all reminds me of another story. This has to do with a GFCI electrical outlet. Our home inspection also said there was a faulty GFCI outlet in the garage that probably controlled both bathrooms. Which we found was correct (you’ll see why in a minute). I went to Lowes and bought a new GFCI outlet and attempted to install a new one. A word to the wise, make sure you check out the wiring pattern before you disconnect the old outlet. If you have ever done electrical, you know what I’m talking about. So I put the new one in and wire it up, which is a major pain by the way, since the wires are very high grade and solid copper. I got it all put back in the wall and turned the power to the outlet back on at the breaker box and went to test. I had power to the outlet itself, but both bathrooms were dead. I didn’t find out my bathroom outlets were dead until later that night when I went to plug something into my bathroom outlet. So just before bed I run back out in the garage and take it all apart again. I tried several wiring patterns and just could not get that new outlet to work for the bathrooms. I ended up having to put the old one back in, but not until I had wired and re-wired about 6 times. Once I put the old outlet back in, all the outlets worked just fine. The GFCI protection may not work, but at least I have power to the three outlets.

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E-mail server during transition

Moving presents some unique challenges you don’t run into any other time. Specifically regarding hosting my own e-mail server. Over the past few days, I’ve been contemplating how I should handle moving to a new location with an entire weekend where I will not have internet access or a location at which to setup and run my e-mail server. I started checking into online paid mail services and searched for some open source solutions for a free solution. I stumbled upon a free beta service from Google. I think its under Google Apps for Domains. What this lets me do is setup my MX records for mail delivery on my domains, and route all mail to servers hosted by Google. I can pre-configure my accounts and settings so that I can do an immediate switch over. Once I had all my settings configured, I proceeded to change my MX records. I was surprised at how many servers are available from Google, they have 7 or 8 servers available for mail services. I configured all of them plus my two backup mail servers at no-ip.com. This way in the extremely unlikely event that the godaddy mail servers go down (all 7 or 8 of them), mail will still fail over to my backup mail servers and queue for later delivery. The good thing is that POP3 access is available from Google, so I can get to my email during the weekend transition. I plan to export both my mailbox and Liz’s mailbox in Exchange to a PST file, then configure outlook on my laptop with profiles for both of our personal accounts. I can setup the PST files so we can get to all of our old messages, and still access new mail through POP3. I am going to leave the mail on the Google servers, and once I am all moved in and have my mail server setup and running, I can have my Mail Essentials POP3 downloader get all the mail I left on Google’s servers. I may take my time getting it set back up at the new house, since I want to have Verizon come install FIOS so I can drop Road Runner. With FIOS I can get twice the upload speed of Road Runner, plus 5 more MB of download speed. So its a way better deal and about the same price. Once I have tested FIOS and made sure it will work ok for my needs, I’ll drop RR.

Home for Sale!

More good news. As of today, our house is officially for sale! I met with our realtor today and signed some papers and got the ball rolling. Hopefully it won’t take long to sell so we can move soon. I like the potential homes in our price range and the areas are so much better! Maybe we can even get a home with a pool! This is a very exciting time for us right now, even with the bad stuff thats happened lately, things are definately looking bright for the not so distant future!