Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Miss Me?

Hi everybod!!! Sorry I have been MIA recently, but I just haven't had time to sit down and type one of these entries out. The last couple of weeks at work have been busy in preparation for our next release. Things are still going well at CaseNET, as long as I stay focused and on task I really love it. Besides work the only other thing that is going on in my life is preparation for July 2nd aka "Our Wedding Day" aka "A Real Difficult and Stressful Event to Plan For". First let me be clear and say it isn't really stressful for me and Jennifer is mostly bearing the weight of it all, but I indirectly feel the stresses of the event. Most of the stuff is already set except for the photographer, florist and cake, but there are also so many other things which are just plain annoying, like registering, building a guest list and trying to comprehend how much everything costs.

I have to address the whole registering thing first, because while this seems like a fun and easy task it really is the worst of all things involved in wedding preparation, in my opinion. We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond on Saturday and after about twenty minutes of looking around at bedding, we decided it was time to get one of the registry guns. Jennifer went to the Bridal Registry office and got sucked into filling out forms for at least a half hour before she returned to the sales floor. She came back with the gun and a list of things we "Need", I took the liberty of finding this list online so you can register along at home, Registry Checklist. The list is a bit ridiculous. What newlywed couple has enough space to store all of those things? If we were to receive all of the kitchen items I don't even think we could fit all of the stuff in our pantry. Also is it really necessary to have three sets of sheets for your bed. I mean seriously we have one set of sheets and when we wash them there is a quick turn around and usually have the sheets back on the bed within two or three hours.

Anyway armed with the registry gun and checklist we began walking around the store and trying to decide what we want to register for. One big problem I have with this is that we are registering for things we already own, they might not be quite as nice, but they seem to be doing the job. I mean we have two sets of plates that serve our non cooking needs really well and it seems silly for us to register for a set of twelve plates. On top of that we are registering for all sorts of cooking things, such as pots and pans. Call me crazy, but spending $500 for a 10 piece cooking set just so I can cook my macaroni and cheese or spaghettio's, don't sit right with me. I guess it all just comes back to tradition. Tradition is the driving force behind all wedding planning and it just drives me crazy. Of course the average human only knows a bit about the traditions, but thankfully there are bridal books which help fill you in on traditions, like who should pay for what, who should be invited, when to send out invitations, where the bride sleeps the night before the wedding and on and on. I have come to accept this whole tradition thing even though I will admit it makes me crazy. Either way I love my bride very much and have to say she is doing a wonderful job planning our special day.

Okay I have to hop in the shower, maybe I will have more ranting and raving later.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Toilet Training

For a few weeks now the toilet in our bathroom has been on the fritz. It all started in the middle of the night at around 2AM and I thought the water I heard was from the shower of the neighbors upstairs, but upon further inspection it was the toilet. A high pitched hissing noise was coming from inside the tank, so I took off the cover and everything looked okay. Upon further investigation of toilet valves on the internet that morning (yes still at 2) I found a users manual for the equivalent model from the company that bought the company of the toilet valve. From the manual I deduced that the valve had sensed that the water was near the top and closed the valve which lets water into the tank, but it was so weak it couldn't close it all the way so a small flow kept coming out of it. Luckily the flow in compared to the flow out of the overflow tube prevented the tank from overflowing. After flushing a few times it fixed itself for the time being only to return a week later and more often as time passed. Eventually it annoyed me enough that I would just shut off the water to the toilet and go to sleep.

On Friday night I walked into the bathroom and the tank had a lot of condensation on the outside. Upon further investigation the tank was out of water. I flushed the toilet and it filled back up and there didn't appear to be any leaks. The next morning the same thing occurred and I flushed the toilet, but this time the valve didn't stop the water and it started to flow at a rate greater than what the overflow could handle and I shut off the water valve. Now not only was the valve broken, but the gasket at the bottom was also leaking. I left the water off for Saturday night and planned to fix the toilet on Sunday. We ran into our landlord who said it would be okay if I tried to fix it and said she would reimburse me for the cost of the parts. I was ecstatic, because ever since getting a bunch of tools for Christmas I have been dying to do work around the house.

Sunday afternoon I went to Home Depot to getthe parts I needed, but they didn't have the brand I wanted, so I went back home and walked to the hardware store in Porter Square. They also didn't have the brand I wanted, but since my options were limited I bought it anyway and headed back home. I quickly drained the tank and began unscrewing it from the toilet. The first two screws came right off, but the third was being difficult. After about a half hour of messing around with it, Melissa came over and spent another half an hour with me trying to get it off. I had espresso that morning so I was a bit shaky and impatient so I went to the hardware store again to buy WD-40 and a hack saw just in case. I made it back home after what seemed like forever and sprayed the WD-40 on the screw, but it didn't improve the situation, so I just sawed the bolt in half. Once the tank was off I cut the giant gasket off the bottom, but once again came across another stuck screw road block. I fiddled with it for five minutes before just hack sawing through it too. Melissa and I moved the now clean tank into the living room for better work. Twenty minutes later everything was screwed into it and we placed it back on the toilet. It wasn't long before I turned the water on and did a couple trial flushes without a problem. I cleaned up the huge mess I made and put my tools away before checking on it again.

Everything was okay except for a small drip around one of the screws in the back. There wasn't anything noticeably wrong for it and let it slowly drip while we went to dinner. After chatting with my dad he suggested that either there was some dirt between the gasket and the tank or the screw was so tight it was pushing up the sides of the gasket. I drained the tank again and slowly loosened the screw to the point where I could clean underneath the gasket. After it was tightened I filled it up with water again and haven't seen a drip since. I have to say I am looking forward to this do it yourself thing.

Monday, January 9, 2006

It's Dave's Birthday Once Again

January 9th is here again today and that means its Dave Matthews' birthday. So in honor of his 39th birthday I am going to reveal all of the song statistics from the 48 shows I have been too. My Personal Dave Matthews Band Statistics

It was another great weekend. On Friday night I met Scottie at Margaritas after work and then we watched a whole bunch of Howard Stern OnDemand. Since we don't have Comcast at our house I haven't been able to watch the new OnDemand show, so I was pumped that I finally got to see some of the stuff on there. On Saturday, Jennifer and I checked three things off our wedding to do list. First we picked out invitations at Paper Source, I can't believe it costs $80 for just 50 invitations. Next up we drove down to Romm and Company and picked out wedding bands, I learned that I have really fat fingers after trying on the first ring and barely being able to pull it off. Finally on the ride home we got a call from Melissa's friend Jeff Tuohy about DJing and it looks like he will be able to do it. Here is a link to Jeff's Cd on CD Baby, its good stuff. So we are moving right along and are on pace for July 2nd. Jennifer is wedding dress shopping this weekend and next week we go meet the caterer. So the major things left to do after these two are the flowers for the bouquet, a photographer and a wedding cake. This wedding stuff is easy, I don't know why people hire planners ;o)

Okay now moving on to Sunday, I woke up and since it was snowing out I decided it woulddn't be worth it to drive up to Sunday River, so I stayed in bed. Finally we went to the cafe down the street and then Jennifer left for dance stuff. I hung around the house for a while and then went for a walk in the sunshiny afternoon. Later on I looked over some cookbooks for something new and clever for dinner and decided to make Kung Pao Chicken. So we went to the store and grabbed all of the ingredients at the store. Jennifer and I worked the wok together and put together a fantastic meal. I have to say I am a huge fan of the wok.

The Stern show today has been phenomenal, I don't know how I am going to pull myself away to go to work this morning.

Friday, January 6, 2006

The Revolution Begins 1-9-06

I finally joined the revolution on Wednesday, when I purchased my Sirius satellite radio. You see Howard Stern has moved to Sirius and the first show will broadcast on Monday. It was tough finding a radio in the Boston area because they were sold out all over the place, luckily I used Circuit City and found the two pieces I needed in Burlington and Salem, NH. I drove all the way up to Salem, got my new toys and headed back to Somerville to install them in time for the Howard 100 news at six, basically this a real newscast, with all Howard Stern related news. Within ten minutes of returning home I was listening to my first satellite broadcast and I was so excited. Once it was up and running I moved it into the bedroom in preparation for Monday morning when I will wake up at 6AM, fire up the radio and listen to history being made. I know most of you don't like Howard because of what you have heard from others or maybe even listened to yourself, but I personally think the guy is a genius and damn funny. Its nice to hear honesty for a change in the mass media instead of all the sugar coated crap you hear from most celebrities. The next time you watch Jay Leno pay attention to the lame softball questions he asks and think about questions you wished he asked them.

Anyway that is my little rant for now.

Wedding Update: We sent in a deposit for the Smith Barn in Peabody for Sunday July 2nd, 2006 from 1PM to 5PM. Save the Date!!!

Monday, January 2, 2006

Happy New Year

Another year has passed and things continue to get better and better. The last few years of my life have so amazing and it only appears to be getting better. I want to thank everybody who has helped contribute to such a great stretch in my life, especially my bride. For the New Year's this year we stayed in and worked most of the morning and then went in to Boston for lunch at Fanieul Hall. It was crowded in there, but the Indian food I had was top rate. Afterwards we walked up to the Common in the snow and checked out all of the ice sculptures. I had never been in the city on December 31st and aside from the annoying kids with horns it was a good time. We finally went back home and I did some more work before we hopped on the T for free and went to Marisa and Beth's party. It was great to see the State Street girls again, I felt like I hadn't seen them in forever. Jennifer and I left around nine because we wanted to be home in time for midnight. At the actual hour of midnight we opened one of the bottles of champagne we had recently received for the engagement. For the second year we filled out a questionaire I came up with last year and reviewed our answers from last year. It was funny to reminisce and look back at all that has changed in just the past year and think about what is going to change over the next twelve months.

I did work on a couple projects around the house over the weekend. For Christmas I received a set of tools from mom and Jon, which included three saws, a drill, a flashlight, a sander and a dust buster. Using my wonderful new tools I put a new shelf on my old desk so it could now be used as an entertainment center and also cut a new shelf for the coat closet in the front entry way. I read the manuals for my tools as I used them and quickly realized I didn't have safety glasses, I improvised though and ended up using my ski goggles. Both projects turned out well, except in the beginning I used screws on the entertainment center, which caused the wood to split. Hey I'm still learning.

Okay thats it for now. Happy New Year!!

Oh yeah I almost forgot, we checked out a wedding site on Friday, but it proved to be too expensive and not very "us". So instead we put in a request for a date at a place in Peabody. On a whim I had asked about dates before September and we got the crazy idea to have the wedding in June or July instead. So the date we have asked for is July 2nd. We should know by tomorrow afternoon, keep your fingers crossed. Once we get confirmation of the place and date I will be sure to post links for it.