Compartment3 - May 2004

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Speaker Wires

I have a home theater system with 5.1 surround sound.  For the non-geek, this means I have a sytem with five speakers.  The center speaker sits on top of my TV.  There are a left and a right front speaker.  There are two rear speaks that go behind the listener.  It's a nice system, not the most powerful in the world, but the Missus never lets me turn it up all the way anyhow.

Before we moved into our current townhome, and before it was drywalled, I enlisted the help of Ray Youstra (you know, the not-rich, not-talented Youstra brother), and ran some speaker wire from one side of our rec room through the ceiling to the other side.  It was a pretty simple operation, and we don't need to run any wires across the floor for me to enjoy Gladiator (or any other movie) in amazing 5.1 sound.

Of course, I wanted to do the same thing in our new house's basement rec room.  It seemed like an easy proposition.  The Missus and I headed to Leesburg with the speaker wire and a few tools and ere determined to get the job done.  However, I forgot a few things.  A flashlight, for one.  And I brought our stupid step stool instead of our ladder.  And most importantly, I forgot to bring my drill, which we were definitely going to need because there were a couple of 2x4's right in the speaker wire's projected path.  I should've gone home and gotten the drill and ladder and went right back, but I was sick with a cold that was in the process of turning into a sinus infection, so I stayed home and went to bed.  Failure.

A few days later, very early Sunday morning, I went back to the house, alone.  Had my drill.  Brought the ladder.  All ready to go.  Started by putting the wire up on the ceiling joist and hammering the clips in.  Then I got my drill out and put the half-inch bit on.  I stated drilling, but my drill wouldn't go through.  It would just not go through.   My drill is a 9-volt Black & Decker cordless model that I mostly use as a screwdriver.  It's pretty nice, but usually for jobs requiring more power, I used my big old corded drill.  With no electricity, I was stuck.  I took down the work I'd done, packed up and went home.  The sinus infection was kicking in now, so I went to bed.  When I explained to the Missus what'd happened, she said something no man wants to hear: "Maybe your drill is too small."  Insult and failure.

Tuesday night, equipped with a borrowed bigger drill, I headed back to Leesburg.  I arrived at the house just as the wrath of the weather gods was focused on my new neighborhood.  It was pouring, and enough water was flowing down the unfinshed streets of the development that people could've canoed down the road, if they didn't mind getting killed by the intense lightning strikes.  Maybe I just wasn't meant to do this.  In the end, the job was completed successfully—at least I think it was, I won't really know until I plug everything in.

I checked my drill and found that the battery needed recharging.  At full power, it turns out, my drill will get the job done.  That's good to know!


Today is the one year anniversary of starting at Lockheed.  In many ways, it wasn't really starting a new job, because I am working with quite a few of the same people that I worked with in the same building back in 1995, when it was called Loral.  I was even able to get my previous employment "bridged," which means officialy I started back in 1997, and have the extra vacation days to prove it.

In many ways this is a great job, and even the Missus has noticed that I am much less stressed out than I was at my last job.  Last May, however, was one of the best months of my life.  I knew I was starting my new job at the end of the month, but I didn't have to work!  It was sweet!  I slept in, worked out, watched movies, cooked dinner.  Except for the whole money thing it was great.  I think I'm ready to retire right now!

Saturday, May 22, 2004


They've put some brick on the front of our future house.  Looks good.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Missing Posts

Somehow, I managed, again, to make some bloggy goodness disappear somewhere between my computer and  Yes, I really do work with computers for a living, yet even I can't get them to do what I want.  Oh, well.  Please read below for some entries you might have missed....

Pre-drywall Inspection

We were informed today that it was time for the pre-drywall inspection of the new house.  This is an excellent sign, and bodes well for making the end-of-June target date.  

They only gave me about a day's notice—our inspection is Thursday morning.  I had wanted to bring a professional inspector along with me, but I guess I'll have to wait and bring one along at closing.  It is somewhat nerve-wracking making this big of a purchase.  It's like buying a car, except at twenty times the price—and twenty times the anxiety!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

House Pics

Here's the latest pics from the house.  There are piles of bricks in the front.  The bricklayers will be starting soon.  I'll miss the green, a little bit.


Here's another picture of the inside of our future home.

Monday, May 10, 2004


Congratulations to a certain Faithful Reader on passing the Bar!  Fantastic news!  The Missus and I want to take you out to dinner when you are available.

Saturday, May 8, 2004


Our azaleas are at their height and I commemorated that event with a few photos.  I think they turned out well.  (You can find out more than you'd ever want to know about "the Royalty of the Garden here.)


Tuesday, May 3, 2004

Weekend in Pictures

On Saturday, I drove the Missus over to my ol' alma mater.  She took her four-hour certification test to become an official Diabetes Educator.  I am sure she passed with flying blood sugars.  I took the opportunity to walk the campus and take some pictures.  The amount of growth on campus is incredible.  I barely recognized some sections, while in other places I felt as if I was an undergraduate again.  Except for some reason I know have alot less hair and a much bigger belly.  How did that happen?

My two favorite pictures of the day were of two objects that weren't around when I was schlepping my backpack between the Comp Sci building and my History classes in Francis Scott Key: the Jim Henson statue and the Sundial on McKeldin Mall.  (I used a cool Paint Shop Pro feature on the Sundial.)


On Sunday, we drove out to our new house and met our future next-door neighbors, a very nice family.  We also took a look inside.  The plumbing is in, the electricians are next, and we should have our pre-drywall inspection soon.  Here's a picture of our foyer of the future.