more home projects

We more or less finished the kitchen (sewage plumbing of the kitchen isn't quite right so I'll have to redo it eventually but the leak is minor so no big rush).

I've put in ethernet cables, so now I have to pretty up the walls covering the big holes left over from electrical work we had done before -- which I took advantage of for the ethernet wiring. I also brought in outdoor TV antenna from bedroom to living room using the same hole as the ethernet wiring. We've gone cheap by cancelling cable and watching only off the air HD programming: we have a PC with HW encoder to convert the analog signal to digital TV and has 1.5TB of diskspace to record plenty of hours of TV.

Our TV PC will also serves as our majicjack host. I was using an old Pentium 4 @ 2.4 GHz which was too slow and produced garbled line quite often. Newer PC is core 2 duo with 2GB of memory so it should handle the phone better. I also set my router to prioritize the media PC since it doesn't
normally need the bandwidth. Plus the media PC is on all the time so we didn't have to keep 2 computers on always.

BTW: Fixing up drywall isn't something I'm looking forward to. One of those have to do but not fun work.

Copyright, 2009, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.



Attempted break in

Last week two low lives tried to break into our garage. We were in the process of replacing the door so even though it didn't close properly, I didn't bother to fix it.

Well, the criminals noticed it as an opening/invitation to enter the garage. So they tried to pull it open (and broke the some bolts and broke the frame). The old garage door was one piece but also had a regular door cut into the middle and they tried to force open the door, too (and jammed it in the process).

Our neighbor approached them to ask what they were up to and apparently they claimed to be deliverying something and pretended to leave a message and took off.

When I came home, the neighbor informed me about it as soon as I got out of my car. I glanced at the garage and did noticed that it was open a bit more than usual but didn't look into it. Well, my wife insisted that something wasn't right so I tried to go and open the door and couldn't. I called out my younger son to craw through the opening and open from the inside but he couldn't just unlock and push open. It was jammed such that he had to kick it open!

When I got in, I saw the various damage done and tried to close it up. My neighbor came over with craw bars to help me put the door back to the point where I can nail/screw in the door to the frame.

Apparently there are criminals who knock on doors to see if anyone answers and then rob the place if no one appears. With our home, they only went for the garage before our neighbor got nosey. My wife tells me that she has seen in the local news where some of the nicer neighborhoods, they would go to the back and break in the house.

At the time of the attempt, neither my wife nor myself was at home, but our sons were (we do homeschool our children). We have told them to keep out of sight so they did and they didn't get a look at them. At least my eldest has permission and training to unlock the shotgun and shoot at "targets". When we talked about the incident, my youngest wanted permission to wield a 9mm handgun, but I said no since I don't trust his shooting abilities (yet). Maybe after we take some self defense training course (I hope take one on shotgun and another on handgun with my sons later this year).

Copyright 2009 DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.



Relearning the joys of home debtorship

Now that we "own" a home, we have the "privilege" of fixing and upgrading our own home.

Since our home is over 50 years old, there's a lot that needs to be upgraded and repaired:
  1. Replace our heater: first thing to get replaced since it was old and some black stuff (smoke?) were coming out the output of the machine.
  2. Sand and refinish our hardwood floor: we removed all the carpet (seemed new just to sell the home) in the house and then hired a general contractor to sand and stain the floor. They didn't do a good job of staining (smeared some on the walls, here and there) but we did get what we paid for and can't really complain.
  3. New blinds for all the windows.
  4. Replaced the shower head from fixed head to hose kind with multi-spray.
  5. New external door locks (4 doors).
  6. Replaced 2 bedroom door knobs. 3 more to go (2 bathrooms and 1 last bedroom)
  7. Various electrical work: we hired electrician to add GCFI to our bathrooms, kitchen and garage. We also had wiring added to support garbage disposal and dishwasher in the kitchen. We had 2 electrical outlets converted from direct wiring for garage door opener and kitchen vent. And 3 prong wiring to our sons bedroom and 2 to our living room (one for entertainment center and one for treadmill).
  8. Replaced the vent hood with microwave/vent.
  9. We replaced a ceiling fan in the dining room and added a new ceiling fan in the kitchen. (We paid our son to do the work.)
  10. Put in a new sink.
  11. Put in a new garbage disposal.
  12. New refrigerator. (The house came with an old one [which we just dumped] and we got rid of our old one in Austin: the past 3 years, we were using my sister's hand me down: here in SoCal, our electric company is offering $50 rebate for turning in old frig, so we made money on ours :-)
  13. Replaced the garage door and opener
  14. This past week, we: Replaced the kitchen countertops, replaced the cooktop (from old electric with heating elements to smooth top), put in dishwasher, new kitchen faucet and reverse osmosis water filteration system. For a while, our kitchen was a mess with various appliances in and out of the kitchen and tools all over the place.
  15. We bought a new front door but haven't installed it yet. Maybe this week sometime.
This is on top of unpacking our stuff from boxes and organizing them. And bolting down things like bookshelves (for earthquake safety) and gun safe. And hope to start normal up keep like mowing the lawn.

And to think we're just getting started...

Copyright 2009, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

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