Previously I mentioned some remodeling on the house. After the contractor-required phase it was time for me to wrap things up. This mainly involved new shelves from Ikea, which made a quick appearance an that previous update. The Kallax shelves from Ikea are popular among the snooty boardgaming clique of the world, as the 13" cubes are perfect for most Eurogame boxes. I'm all about hiding clutter, and the doors I've seen with these shelves would serve such a function as well as give a properly snooty look to the living room. As I was replacing the cabinets that stored my DVDs, and I have a good number of DVDs, I needed a lot of Kallax shelves. These things are supposed to be stackable. I hope they're stackable. I was going to stack them.
I stacked them 102" high.
I stacked them 7 rows high.
I really hope these things are stackable. They're damn impressive when stacked, I'll tell you that.
Once all the shelving units and doors were put together, I can claim to have somewhere over 1400 lbs of Kallax shelves in the living room. That include 86 doors. Each of those doors has 7 screws. I know this, 5 days after installing the last (8) doors, because it took a week to get all of those doors installed. Almost half got installed over a weekend - with a lot of Walking Dead + a couple of movies playing on that spiffy 75" TV on the wall. I had built in breaks, because for every hour and half of using my rechargeable screwdriver, it would need 2-3 hours of charging time.
Some shuffling between shelf/cubes was factored in, as DVDs had to be relocated a couple of times. The doors included an insert that gave each open cube a back, thus helping in crap falling behind the shelf. DVDs made their way to random cubes when vacating the previous cabinet homes (which are now out back in the storage shed). After all the doors were finally installed, I went back and grouped the DVDs in their proper alphabetical-ish order. I even managed to have 4 empty cubes, and that's with relocating the binders of TV shows from the cabinet in the bedroom to the top (nigh unreachable) top shelf.
The doors are installed. They're not all straight, but that's for a time when my Feng Shui OCD kicks in. It's sure not now, I can tell you that.
Now that everything is together and where it should be, things should settle back to closer to normal. I've still got to finish up those houses I was working on (they need roofs). I haven't painted anything in a little over 2 months. I miss it!
It's been close to 2 months since I had an update here. Although I normally post hobby related pictures and tidbits, the last 2 months have been more of life getting in the way.
My biggest "in the way" was some remodeling that I thought was going to happen closer to Christmas happened a few weeks ago. It all started with Prime Day. I had planned this year on Black Friday to get myself a "I turned 50 and paid off the house this year" present of a big honking TV. I contacted a guy about adding on a theater room for a big honking TV, and the estimate for that was about what I paid for the house. My fallback was to have the (non-functioning) gas insert fireplace ripped out, which would gain me some floor space and give a good spot to mount a TV. I had planned for an 85" TV, but it seems that wouldn't fit. Fine. 75".
From last year's Black Friday browsing, I had a range for what a 75"-ish TV should cost come this Black Friday. Prime Day gave me a gauge for this, and my estimates were about spot on. Then Costco jumped in, and offered the brand and size I wanted for $300 below the low price I was expecting. Never one to pass up a good deal, at worse I could buy it and just keep the TV in the garage until I got around to remodeling. So that became my plan. My only point of worry was when I saw Costco was using CEVA to ship the TV. CEVA was responsible for eventually getting me a bed 10 years ago. I waited a week past the "call us to schedule delivery" date that I had to hunt down, and when I did CEVA said they were handing off to a 3rd party for final delivery which they would deliver today and get tomorrow, then the 3rd party would call me to schedule a time. An hour later the 3rd party called me, evidently shipment in hand, to set up delivery the next morning. CEVA Logistics. Somehow in business 10 years later.
While doing all this, I contacted Contractor Craig about some extra stuff that I'd like to have done while he was ripping out the fireplace. Some fresh paint. Replace my broken back storm door. Little things a house needs after 10 years since the last concerted upkeep effort. Craig found some other things that needed some love - some cracks where the ceiling meets the wall from the foundation settling some. He read my mind a time or two: What about the living room ceiling fan, do you want to replace that? Yes, I do. I've been hoping that fan would die and it's why I've had it run constantly for 20 years.
The one big change I wanted to make with all of this was to cover the wall that the TV had always been against with shelves. The wall has a high (vaulted?) ceiling and I've always wanted to use the wasted space above the 5 ft or so that had cabinets with DVDs and a TV. I've been looking at Ikea shelves, the kind with cubes, and envisioned stacking them to cover as much wall as I could, which would give me more storage space. I always like more storage space. Over the course of a couple of weeks I put together an online Ikea order. It took 2 orders to get everything I wanted - the Ikea website isn't that great, but 2 orders with $180 shipping is a lot cheaper than a trip to Atlanta/Memphis and then figure out how to haul 1000 lbs of shelves back.
Over a week and a half, Craig ripped out the fireplace and patched in the wall and ceiling. Walls were painted. Floors patched/installed. Ceiling fans (I couldn't decide between 2 for the living room, so I opted to have 1 replace the bedroom fan) replaced. New TV mounted. Once he was finished I moved things back in to the living room and computer room and decided what to change. 4 days later my Ikea delivery showed up, which took up about 1/3 a car space in the garage. Then I spent a Saturday and put shelves together. Ikea shelves are heavy! The shelves got built, moved in, and stacked. I've got doors to add to the shelves, but there's 89 doors for me to install and I'm in no hurry. This is just my way of saying there'll be more updates about this later.
My last/latest hobby project has been taking a whole lot longer than I imagined, even without all of the life interruptions. At last report, I had 3 Walking Dead houses that I had added colored walls to thanks to Behr paint sample cards. Since then, I added some carpet to a house.
I'm not sure why/when/where I got the idea to try and use felt as carpet. I couldn't remember seeing it anywhere, and yet every rental house I grew up in had beige carpet. So I gave it a shot on 1 of the houses. I started by attempting to make a template of the floor plan with all the walls in place - having the felt run through doorways would be the most durable. The floorplan template took a couple of tries to get flush with the walls like I needed, but using it as the template to cut the felt worked perfectly. The only other tweak I made was to install the doors upside down, as the top hinge is a little longer than the bottom and that would allow for a little more clearance for the felt.
I got a little carried away adding textures (thank my mediocre 3D graphics background for that - fine, playing with Poser!). All the doors got actual door textures added. Window blinds in windows. Shutters on the outside of windows. I was sitting in front of the computer pondering "what does every room have" trying to figure little tweaks I could add. I looked at the light switch. Aha! And an electrical outlet. Aha! Then I leaned back and looked up and the air conditioning vent. Aha! I normally print out various wall decorations of framed whatnot to add onto walls. I would add these things too.
Once I got the felt and printed wall decor added to the 1st house, I didn't want to keep futzing with it all. I went old school and printed out some hardwood floor textures and added it to the other 2 houses. I left off there, unsure how far I'll go with putting stuff on the walls.
That last thing I have to do for 2 of these houses is make a roof. The roof that came with them is flattened on the top and makes them look like convenience stores. I'm going to try to make a traditional, steeped roof. I made a little template/pattern, but no idea how well it'll work out. It's next on the list, though.
And lots of other things happened. I had a batch of doctor visits: what looks to be the start of annual bloodwork, eye exam (new glasses, just because I'm tired of wearing what I've got after 4 years), colonoscopy (short version - I followed directions and wasn't cleaned out enough so I'm supposed to reschedule another one with a 2-day prep). I had an annoying sinus cold after the colonoscopy.
Right after this, Pawpaw was in the hospital for some upper GI bleeding which just didn't get any better, then he passed away after a week. He was 98 ½ While sad, it wasn't a surprise. Even though I was worried about my grandmother, they'd been married for 74 years, she held up better then I did. Which is what she does.
There's an old story from when I was little (6 or 7?) and Pawpaw stealing one of my Hot Wheels for his children's sermon. I'm leaving that just vague enough for anyone to ask me to tell them the story next time we're talking, because it's an in-person & talking story :)
I finally got a paint shaker for my paints. I was supposed to make one with a reciprocating saw, some clamps, and unsure safety measures. Instead I got a tattoo ink shaker/vibrator that does a spiffy job. Overpriced for $80 just to shake paint, but I've accumulated a lot of paint over the years. A lot of it on sale, to where I probably saved more than $80 on paint.
Life is also beating me up more. I bruise easier, evidently a side effect of my attempt to take my blood pressure medicine on a Regular Basis VS When I Think I Need It. I'm going to convert back to When I Think I Need It to see if a couple weird physical issues clear up. When putting the Ikea shelves together I manged to get a good knot on my shin (that hasn't happened in a couple of decades), not to mention some impressive bruising on my upper arm from just lifting a damn shelf. Granted, it was a 125 lbs of shelf. And awkward. And I may have been wrestling with it more than lifting.
Paint shaker in action:
Things are starting to settle back into normal now. There's still some wrapping of of the remodeling I have to do. I've picked up a side-website to work on (more about that later). Keith needs some 3D printing printed. And I have to finish those blasted houses....
For my birthday this year Rynn gave me a Mitch Foust print that she had picked up some point in the past couple of years at a convention. I'd never heard of Mitch Foust nor seen any of his art before Rynn presented me with my present. Once I saw the hot & sexy Avengers group he had (drawn/painted/arted up?) I quickly became a fan. I framed the Avengers pic and put it up in my office.
A little time went by and one day while looking at Mitch's Avengers I wondered if he made other female focused super groups. A google search led me to his Deviant Art page which held a plethora of his art, including a Super Friends and X-Men equivalent of his Avengers.
A little more time passed and I thought it would be awesome to have a super group collection hanging on my office wall, instead of just some Avengers that might get overpowered in an evil assault where I not paying attention. I managed to find my way to Mitch's website where his STORE page listed books and prints for sale.
Except none of the prints were of the aforementioned buxom super groups I was hoping to get.
My hopes were dashed and thus our story is brought to an end. No, that would make for a lousy blog post. Instead I grabbed Mitch's email and asked him if he had prints of his work shown on Deviant Art for sale. Much to Mitch's credit he quickly replied and told me he did indeed! In fact, shipping for 1 print was the same as shipping for 5 prints. I suddenly had an excuse to go crazy, so I picked out the 2 super groups, plus 3 more.
This images below come from Mitch's Deviant Art page.
A little coordination and I paid Mitch and he shipped the art. Except there was a hitch, it seemed it was taking a long time for the art to go from Memphis to Athens. There was a lot of back and forth email with Mitch setting all of this up (part of why I so easily call him Mitch), so I asked him if there was a tracking number or something similar since it seemed to be taking a while. A frantic Mitch quickly and apologetically replied that he thought everything had shipped but it seems his son had put my package behind some things that had been shipped to Mitch. I actually found that funny but Mitch was still sorry for the delay, and I know he felt worse about it all than I did. To help make up for it, he even threw in a very nice book of his art from an earlier Kickstarter.
Now to be honest, I told him he didn't have to do that but I'm really glad he did, because it's a cool book!!!! He even put a nice little note in it.
A few days later I get 5 wonderful pieces of Mitch Art. Planning ahead, I hit Hobby Lobby when frames were half off (they're not always half off) so I could get frames to match the one I had hanging. Except I got 14x16 instead of 16x20. I should measure before buying!
Another trip to Hobby Lobby for the right size, and hour or so cutting poster board for poor-man's mat board, and I've got everything framed and ready for the office. Once I get to the office, hammer, nails, and laser level at the ready, I realize I need to move some stuff around. The irony here is that it was announced we're moving to a new building around the first of October, so whatever I put up will only be there for a couple of months. But honestly, I don't care. I like my office to feel homey, or homey to me. So I pull down everything on the wall and hang it all back up, but better.
In October I'll do it all over again. I better have plenty of open wall space when they move me!
When I went to order my replacement refrigerator, I got a little carried away. On Friday I went on to the Home Depot site and started an order with the refrigerator and all the sundry items that would go with it (water line, haul way my old fridge, 5 year warranty) so I could see the price. On Sunday I went through the process again and picked a delivery date. When I got to the order summary, after paying, I noticed the total was double what I was expecting.
Crap. I looked at the order I placed. Yep, two of everything. My cart from Friday was still active when I added stuff on Sunday, and I wasn't paying enough attention to to notice.
A "Chat with Us" box was still on the page, so I opted to see if I could handle this with someone I hoped wasn't in India. I ended up having a nice chat with someone going by Michele who removed one of the refrigerators from my order and told me it would take 7-10 days for the credit to show up. I double checked that I was still going to have 1 refrigerator delivered Saturday, and she said I would, along with a smiley face.
Saturday comes and I'm first on the delivery list. (A single) new fridge arrives and the guys hook it up. I notice on the delivery sheet it says at the bottom:
@ haul away
@ haul away
Haul away is listed twice. This sheet has no prices. When Michele removed my extra refrigerator, did she remove all the extra stuff that went with it?
The delivery guys wouldn't know, so I went back to Home Depot Chat. Today I got Paul. I explained what originally happened with the multiple fridge order, how I got 1 fridge like I should have, but since haul way was listed twice I wanted to double check what had been credited since my lone invoice from my original order still showed what I had originally ordered (2 of everything).
Paul was helpful. More helpful than I would have thought ahead of time. He was even chatty and personable. In the end he told me that everything had been taken care of (as it should have been), and he would try to send me an updated invoice but their system had some limitations in what he could send. As someone who deals with nice and pretty front-end systems vs the hacked together parts of the back-end, I understood where he was coming from. It sounds like everything is just as it should be, I've just been a little paranoid since I initially screwed up and don't have anything documented that it's been fixed.
Mainly I've been pleasantly surprised by how well chatting with customer service has been. I think I (we?) have be conditioned to think any type of online/technical support will be a form of torture, where the person on the other end won't understand me or whose sole goal in life is to the exact opposite of what I want. But it's not that way. I need to not be so hesitant and belligerent-ready the next time I have to use customer service in that way.
Even better, I just checked my credit card account and Home Depot properly credited my account!
My garage door hates me. I hate it back. Yesterday when I got home from work the garage door wouldn't open. After entering through the front door, which is just wrong for me, I went into the garage and discovered the cable running to the drum on the tension spring was no longer attached to the drum. The door is stuck closed, which is what I prefer if it has to be stuck. The car is outside, the mower is inside. I need to mow, but can't. Awwww, shucks.
This has happened before, and I had to get Mike to fix it since it's more than I can manage with my set of hands, and if you look for instructions on the Google for how to fix such a problem every post/entry/suggestion you find will say "hire a professional to fix it or you'll kill yourself".
Over the past 13 years of living in this house, the garage door has broken 2 other times. The last time was the exact same problem (which Mike fixed a couple of years back). The other time was more traumatic, as the tension spring came out of the wall, causing the garage door to pretty much collapse since it's made of sections that are kept together by the tension. Even worse, the car was inside that time, so I was stuck at home until someone got the door fixed enough to open all the way. It was then I discovered how hard is is to get a garage door repair business to come to my house.
For as much of the house as I've renovated and replaced, I don't know what's keeping me from replacing the garage door. I hate that thing. Passionately, at times. Mike's supposed to come by tomorrow and take a look to see what it will take to fix (again). I'm going to see what replacement options I have.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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