December 13th, 2006

frightful weather

New Furnace Installation...

As mentioned here, they started the installation on our new furnace today...

Marilyn mistressmarilyn took Monday off to help me prepare -- which meant gathering stuff off surfaces and boxing it up and then moving furniture. Thank God we did as much as we did in advance, by the way!

Marilyn had an early morning meeting (as usual) today -- which was a good thing. It got me up early to do what I hadn't gotten done last night. And to set up my bedroom as the place for the cats to be during much of the day. (Read that as moving in a cat box, toys and food.)

I had asked that the workmen not show up until after 9 a.m. -- which is why at 7:45 a.m. I had a knock at the front, I guess. Ryan the electrician was outside the door to have me greet him in my pajamas with my hair yet to be combed. It wasn't pretty -- and I'm not talking about how I looked! I let him get started while I fumed and finished and phoned the business to leave a complaint message... (Seriously, I wasn't all that riled with anyone. Shit happens when you're doing a job like this, so I was basically laughing about the whole thing.)

Today was a noisy, smelly (yes, I know that should be 'stinking' -- and that 'smelly' is wrong), cold and allergic day. The cats were freaked out and scared to bits during much of it. (They even howled for me at one point when I had to speak to the workmen, which was a frequent thing during the day -- and hid several times...)

The Power-Vac people had not been confirmed -- even though I'd been told they would be (and I'd personally spoken with them last week). But they came anyway -- and talk about mess and additional stress and noise. They had to go into every single room with a vent -- which meant my bedroom where the cats were, of course. So into the office we three went, with them trying to hide from the noise, poor things.

The guy helping Curt (Power-Vac) was young and quiet. He managed to step in animal feces that was in the back yard and track it all over the house, by the way. (Why is that there when my cats never go outside, by the way? Just lying in the damn grass to be walked in!) I was cleaning it up all over the place.

More furniture had to be moved around and so on. I just kept reminding myself that it was only three days.

Oh. Yeah. An easy job takes two days (which is what I was originally expecting). A hard job takes three. Guess what we are? (grin)

I took pictures that I'll download and share later. I'm happy to report that the old furnace has officially gone to 'furnace heaven' -- which in this case means being recycled for scrap, a good thing. So even in 'death' the old furnace will serve some useful purpose. It certainly did a good job for us over all these years, considering it was almost 60 years old!

I still want to share more about the incredible experience that commercial shoot was last Saturday, by the way! What an amazing day. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Tom brought more chips yesterday -- and I 'caught' him as he snuck across the lawn! So sweet! I peeked out through the office blinds and he saw me. We both pointed at each other and were grinning like fools! (smile) Later we talked for ages on our cell phones and he mentioned my bright red manicure. (Observant of him, no?) The box had many bags of my beloved Dill Pickle chips that he'd gacked for me, darling boy.

In spite of everything going on here, I did manage to finally finish one of the tutorials I've been working on! The 'glass button' effect, which looks like this:
glass button

Those interested can see the actual tutorial here.

I really want to get the snowglobe tutorial done, though! (Maybe tomorrow???)

Anyway, what a tiring and busy day. Thankfully I talked the guys into moving the bookcase that was blocking the TV (!!!) and shifting things enough that we could be comfortable in the family room for tonight. Hell, only two more days of this insanity and we'll have a brand new (working) furnace!

Tonight we're using the borrowed (fancy) space heater from our friends/neighbors, so it's plenty warm in here.

But the weather outside is frightful! We're having a huge storm locally -- rain and wind. (ugh)

Anyway, as it's headed toward 12:30 a.m., I'll close for tonight. Another 'big day' tomorrow! (Poor kitties.)

charlie 2012 beige

Holiday Starbucks Icons, Anyone?

I was in a creative mood, so I made some icons to share at seasonal_icons! (smile)

red cup  red cup
These plus more under the cut!

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ETA: I can't post to that community at this point, however -- unless I'm approved for posting by the moderator. So for now, these are obviously for my LJ friends (and anyone else who happens by)...

It's a tad cold in my furnace-less house today -- but the new furnace install is going well.

lj -- drive me crazy

New 'Update' Page...

As reported today here. (sigh)

Can you say 'I hate it'?

First of all, the font size in the 'body' section is smaller. Great. And that's because all of us are teenagers with really great eyesight, I guess. (So if you know me at all, you know that my biggest gripe about aging is that my eyesight is much worse. I've got mono-vision contacts, but there's only so much they can do.)

In my view of my journal, I increase the font size -- which is happily an option. But I don't appear to have an option for changing the font size here...

Before any of you ask, the answer is NO -- we don't have the option to go back to the previous version of 'update.' (sigh)

(How many sighs can I put into one entry? I think we might discover that soon -- don't you?)

I realize many of you use clients to post to your journal, so this doesn't impact you. Or you post from email (etc.). I personally like posting from the update page. Or I did, anyway...

I'm not the only one who feels this way, anyway. Not that it looks like that's going to matter.

Don't get me wrong, please. Tons of what was done to LJ recently is clearly wonderful -- and will address any number of issues. I think a lot of hard work is put in on making LJ a great place for us to blog and interact with one another. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of LiveJournal and can't imagine life without it.

But. But. But...

I guess I wish there had been a beta in place. Or something. I think allowing for feedback before the change might have been nice.

My eyes are now freaking out from the simple act of typing out this one small entry. Great.


How likely is it that I might just write up my entry in NoteTab Pro or Word and then cut and paste it here? (avoiding expletive)

Heaven forbid it bother any of the rest of you. I sincerely hope that none of you have vision issues, for starters. (And I wish I didn't!) By the way, I do know several young people who have issues with their eyes -- it's not just those of us who are over 40... I'm really pulling for this to work out for most users with no problems -- and it probably will.

I think I'll try to limit myself to this one complaint entry, anyway. Going on and on about it would be pointless.

But, hey, I'm sincerely dreading those times when I'm private-posting one of my many (many) tutorials that needs testing and tweaking -- then trying to sit here and do that with this tiny little print! (ouch) I'd hate to decide I couldn't post those Paint Shop Pro (and other) tutorials in the future, because I really love doing them!

Oh well.

charlie 2012 beige

Can't Nap...

I just can't nap tonight, for whatever reason. My mind is just too wound up, I guess!

Our new furnace was installed yesterday and today. Tomorrow the guys will be back to put in the final new vent (in the hall by Marilyn's mistressmarilyn bathroom) -- and to attach the air conditioner unit that was set up in the back yard today. They put in the new vent in Marilyn's bedroom today -- along with finishing the install and putting in the new thermostat, which is the very latest model and quite fancy!

The Power-Vac people cleaned out all the air ducts yesterday. (I think I may have already mentioned that!) It's been very exciting, anyway.

They guys need to do some clean-up -- and I need to vacuum like crazy downstairs. I've already picked up several sharp shards of metal out of the carpet in the family room -- where I walk barefoot and Marilyn walks in stocking feet! That could be a major pain, obviously.

I need to be finishing my November 2,000 words, considering our Writing Circle is meeting here at the house tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m.! (yikes) I have a good start (around 1,300 words so far) -- but must finish it, pronto! I'd hate to be the only one who didn't have a finished work, after all...

Marilyn and I went shopping right after she got off work. She drove home and honked for me and I ran out to join her. We were both afraid if we waited until after dinner that we wouldn't want to go. Besides, we needed to shop for something to fix for dinner!

We bought eggnog and Seven-up so I can fix my eggnog recipe for drinks tomorrow. Plus we got mixer for the gin (which we were missing last time around), some Mike's Hard Lemonade, Hickory Farms sausage, chips, dip, cocktail rye bread and cheese. Plus pre-cooked meatballs we'll serve in Enchilada sauce (with melted cheese). After all, the guys will be coming directly from work and will be hungry. Hell, so will we! It should make for a mini-holiday party, as well as reading and discussion of our work.

Speaking of eggnog, I've got George Washington's recipe for the same. Wow, did that man like to put a lot of booze in his version! (grin)

I need to do the garbage and recycling (thinking of you, Dad, as always), which of course I couldn't get to during the hours before darkness. It's dark and raining out, but what the hell!

I want to try and decorate a little for Christmas before tomorrow night, too. We didn't dare do so before the furnace install -- and I'm so glad we changed our minds about putting up our tree last weekend! I don't know where we'd have moved it during all this. The spot we put it is one that had to be accessed more than once for cleaning the vents/ducts!!!

I need to both dust and vacuum the living room, too, by the way -- which is where we have company. The family room is downstairs -- and we rarely have people down there. We have our exercise equipment and older furniture down there -- and it's all very comfy and homey and wonderful. We generally eat dinner there, for example, while watching TV. We're quite lucky to have two fireplaces in our home -- one downstairs and one upstairs (in the family room and living room, respectively). We want to burn a log tomorrow night -- and fortunately we still have one, as we forgot to buy them while at the store!

Just like we forgot to buy dry cat food and tuna for the kitties! (yikes) Even though we managed to spend a quick $200... (sigh)

We're skipping Christmas gifts this year, due to the furnace purchase. We seriously can't afford it. But that's okay. We don't like to focus on the gifts, anyway.

Saturday we have the bday party of our friend Dennis. They'll have a live band and a dance floor, so it should be fun. He's a party dude of the first order... (grin) And we both love to dance, so...

Marilyn's Christmas lunch with the festival staff is Friday. I was trying to get together some friends for lunch (maybe at the Olive Garden) for the same day, but I don't know if I can quite pull it off. We'll see! No gift exchange -- just friends going dutch and visiting over pasta! (heh)

This entry is probably long enough -- and I should either get to the garbage/recycling or my 2,000 words! (Stalling, stalling.) I still don't like the Update page, but what can I do about it? (sigh)

My sister Sue sent me the funniest video today. Condi Rice and President Bush and their version of "Who's On First?" (Being a lifelong Abbott and Costello fan, I was delighted by it...) I'll have to share it at some point, I think!