Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Little Front Room




I have finally taken some pictures of my living room because it is as done as it will be for awhile (minus the unfinished painting on the wall). It looks a little plain in these pictures but it doesn't feel that way to me at all. I really love the way the room is turning out. I am trying to maintain a combination of the old and new. I love my "curtain rods" that are wire, and I love the wall heater behind the chair. I love the old moldings, doors, and windows and the clocks and pictures on the wall.

This one is a view from the front door.

This one is a view from the hallway.

And this is a view from the small window opposite the front and hallway doors.

Now, as soon as it is cold enough to get out the new comforter, I will post pictures of my finished bedroom as well. Getting the laundry closet in the kitchen fixed up, and the water line to the house replaced are hopefully the two big projects for this fall -- that fortunately, require nothing more than my being home and paying for them! I am keeping myself busy this fall with school, work, church, and training for another marathon, so time for house projects is nonexistent!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Magic Box


Okay, so it's been awhile. And I would like to say that I have just been so busy that I haven't had time to post anything new here, when in reality, it should be said that I am just a poor manager of my time and a poor prioritizer. But I am back and hoping to be slightly (lets not be too hasty here) more faithful.

I have a fabulous magic box at my house. It really is incredible! I think it can only be the work of a genius creating this magic box. My magic box... are you ready for this... can take plain, normal, everyday air... and turn it into... water! I am serious. All I do is plug this magic box called a dehumidifier into an electrical outlet, it sucks in air and presto-chango turns it into water.
Now I knew that the humidity was high here in Nashville, but what does that really mean? How much water is really floating around in the air? Well, I can tell you that in my little, tiny house, it takes anywhere from 11 to 20 hours for my dehumidifier to collect 50 pints of water. That is 100 cups of water! From the air! And half the time you wouldn't even think that it was that humid! (Which makes me think that maybe I have climatized all too well!)

(And yes, I am aware that I made up a few new words in this blog, but I like them and shall therefore leave them!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Car and My Moral Dilemma

Sorry this is a long one.  Feel free not to read it, but I thought it would help to write it all out.

Okay, life hasn't exactly been a basket full of roses lately, so I chose not to blog about it, attempting not to be a Negative Nancy (
sorry Mom and Dad, you still got it all!).  But I can now laugh about the car, so I will share this portion of my story.

Thursday, April 23rd, my check engine light goes on.  Not good.

Friday, April 24th, as I am driving to school, the check engine light starts flashing at me.  Really not good.  So, I leave school early (this is probably my punishment for doing it!), and head to Auto Zone to have it looked at.  Well, I don't quite make it.  As I am heading up a hill, my car just dies.  So, there I am trying to turn into a parking lot, but when I take my foot off the brake, it rolls backwards.  Undesirable.  (Please note that this is the first day in months that I have chosen to wear a dress to work.)  So, I open my door, hike up my dress, get one foot one the ground and keep one on the brake, with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the door frame... and I push.  I keep it from rolling backwards, but no forward progress is being made.  I continue to push.  I finally get it rolling when a man jumps out of his car and begins to help me get it pushed into the parking lot.  (Now I will tell you that I was in the neighborhood near my school and I really didn't expect anyone to help.  So I was thrilled at his kindness.)  I make the calls, get told of a great repair shop just a few businesses down, get the car towed, get a friend to pick me up and take me to get a rental and on goes my busy weekend.  

In an attempt to shorten the story, two weeks pass and I don't have my car (he's having trouble getting the right parts for my car), I drop off the second rental at the airport and head home for Grandpa's memorial services.  I come back and my car should be ready on Wednesday.  Great.  I go to the shop and sit and wait.  (Yes, this is the fourth time, I have wasted my afternoon waiting for this man to "finish up" my car.  Only to have to call a friend to come pick me up and take me home.)  Clearly, he can't get the last part he needs but he will have it overnighted and I will have my car on Thursday, for sure.

Thursday, it's a nice day out, so I walk to the shop.  As I get close, I can see my car in the bay with the hood up.  I know it can't be good.  So, I go inside and he says, "I had her out driving earlier today and when I got back we decided to top off the fluids and I think we've flooded the engine.  Just give us a few minutes to get it cleaned out and we will have you on your way."  So, I sit for another 1/2 hour before he comes in and says, "Is this the only key you have?"  (Seriously?)  "I have a valet key at home but that's the one I use."  "Well, I think your anti-theft system has locked up your car" (I had it at the dealership for that a few months ago, and got that fixed.  That shouldn't be the problem).   After arguing, we decide that another of his mechanics will drive me to my house to get the other key so I can drive my car home today.  (Keep in mind, it's now been 3 weeks, and I 
am desperate!)  So, off I go with this mechanic (whose shirt is unbuttoned past his bare chest) in the most disgusting vehicle I have ever been in.  There was spilled soda on the middle console with pet hair and dust stuck in it.  I am sitting on more crumbs than cushion and my feet are on top of McDonald's and Mrs. Winner's bags.  We get about two miles from my house and he says, "How much farther to your house?"  I say, "About two miles."  And he says, "Well, we are not going to make it."  Pulls the car over, and it dies.  Fantastic.  I am stuck in this car with this smelly mechanic boy who is complaining about his bad day.  I call the head mechanic and wait on the side of the road for a tow truck to come rescue us.  I call a friend with a key to my house and ask her to get my spare car key and take it to the mechanic for me.  (Thank heavens I have had wonderful friends through all this!)  So, the tow truck man hooks the car up and off we go; me sitting in the middle next to the largest tow truck man alive, and the smelly little mechanic.  At one point the tow truck driver says, "Ma'am, I am going to have to shift into sixth(?) gear."  Which required me to cross my legs and pretty much sit sideways on the seat, trying desperately hard not to fly into either of them as he drove like a maniac.  

So, we make it back to the shop, just as my friend arrives with the key.  I say, "Okay, can I try to start my car now?"  And he says, "Oh, it's not ready for that yet."  WHAT!  Why did I go through all of this if I can't even try to start my car?  So, I have reached my limit with this incompetent mechanic (I have really been trying hard to be nice and patient with him and everyone that comes in has been using him for years and loves him) and ask the tow truck driver what he is doing.  While he gets my car hooked up to take it to the dealer, (and one of the little mechanics is putting spare parts in my backseat) the mechanic has the nerve to speak to me and say, "This is just not my day.  That was my car that you were in.  Now I am going to have to sit and wait for my wife to come pick me up.  Was he hot-rodding in my car while he was taking you home?"  (What did he really want or expect me to say to all this?  I chose not to respond.)  

So, here is my moral dilemma.  What do I owe this mechanic?  Anything?  I feel as though my $500+ in car rental bills is enough for me to pay, without having to pay him anything.  Should I pay him for parts?  (His original bill was $1500.)  Can I send him the monstrous bill I am sure to accumulate while my car is at the dealer?  (And, yes, the dealership looked at my car for a minute, called for the mechanics name and number and said they won't have time to work on it until Monday.)  Seriously, I am waiting for someone to jump out and say that I am on Candid Camera or Punk'd or that Howie show.  


(I couldn't remember what my car even looked like.  This is the only picture I have of it, thanks to a friend playing with their new camera.  I miss it!)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The end of the house hunt?

Clearly, I have not posted anything on my blog in quite sometime (everyone keeps reminding me of that). But I have been busy. Doing what? you may ask. I will tell you. I have been busy looking for a house. I have spent countless hours looking online, driving past houses and neighborhoods, and the looking at houses with my realtor. It is not a short or easy process.

But the good news, is that I think I have found the house for me. In a quiet little neighborhood about two miles from where I live now is a quaint, little, red brick rectangle we have affectionately referred to as "the Tamworth house." I have a quick little video of the house if you want to see what it looks like on the inside.

The only downside of the home is that the tax record shows a woman purchasing the land in '52 and building the house in '55. That's it. That's all the activity it shows. How, you may ask, is this a downside? And I will tell you, that clearly, the woman lived here and probably died here (there is a ramp built to the kitchen door). Sounds like she lived the quiet life of an old maid. I don't really want the "Tamworth Curse" on me too. I don't want to live there forever and die an old maid. I don't even like cats or small dogs.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paranoia

I never imagined that getting my Masters would produce such paranoia.  But in the joy that is my new studious life, I have encountered new knowledge that has truly made me a paranoid person.  The article that I read and will be cited below, is about how "Intertwingled" our lives are.  We want systems that can do everything for us, in as small a package as possible.  We want a phone, that's a camera and a mini computer, with internet access and a music player.  Okay.  I can live with that.  And had the article stopped there, I would have moved on without a second thought.  But alas, the article continued to talk about some of the small crazy technologies that are now available or being made.  For example, apparently, there is now a Wherify Wireless GPS Personal Locator for Kids.  It claims to be a watch, clock, pager, and tracking device all in one.  All you have to do is use the small key to LOCK it onto your child's wrist.  No need for trust, simply track your child's every move.  
But let's not stop there, when we are talking about the great advances in technology.  It mentions a murder at a Blockbuster store.  How was the crime solved?  How was the murderer caught?  It's simple.  The surveillance camera ACROSS THE STREET caught the whole thing on tape and they were able to detect and capture the murderer.  Okay, my mind can handle and appreciate that.  It was used for good.  Now, I am really not a deep thinker, I usually just read these articles, take what I can from them and move on, but the author pushed me further when he questioned, "Who knows how many hidden cameras populate the homes, businesses, parking lots and roads we pass through each day?"  Okay, how am I supposed to react to that.  My neighbor across the way, could have a camera that sees into my balcony doors.  I am thinking as I read, those blinds will never be opened again.  Who needs natural light?
Continuing on, an English company is developing a toilet that is embedded with sensors that can monitor your diet and health problems.  I don't think I have a need for a toilet that can tell me about what's been going in or coming out.  Again, my mind drifts, what if they start installing these at the YMCA.  I can't pee anywhere anymore or they are going to know everything about me.  I am going to have stop drinking.  
And then I read about Microsoft's MyLifeBits project that combine cameras, sensors, and terabyte hard drives that store and retrieve everything we see, hear, and read.  And did I mention this is all part of the clothing that we wear?  So, now I am thinking, goodness I will go out one night to innocently listen to a favorite band and there I will be in someone's glass camera.  Great.  They will never forget me.  (I'm not sure what they would catch me doing, other than talking nonsense with friends or playing Uno between bands, but seriously, I don't like the idea of being recorded without my knowledge.  It seems to be a major violation of my privacy.)
Hopsitals have a  new RFID chip that they are implanting into patients.  A patients chart will never be lost again.  "Just a scan of your wrist sir, and I will be able to treat you for whatever you need."  Rather than, "Let me look at this chart at the end of your bed and I will be able to help you."   Really, was it that much easier?  Are we going to start implanting babies the moment they are born.  "Oh dear woman, let me just implant this chip in your babies foot and then you can hold her."  AHHH!
Then there is this SENTRI technology that employs the use of microphones.  It can detect the sound of a gunshot, point a camera at the point of origin and then summon the police.  Are they going to try and pick up my voice?
The funny thing is that I live a perfectly acceptable life.  If anyone wants to film me, or voice detect me, or trace me, its their loss (of time), they are not going to find anything too exciting.  And yet, I can't help but feel paranoid.  I can't help but feel like BIG BROTHER is watching.  
That movie Eagle Eye is starting to seem much more realistic and far less fantasy to me.  I'm not sure I really want to know all the technological advances that are being made.  There might be some peace and joy to ignorance.
All of this blog is thanks to the extra 8 hours I had today due to the "snow."  I included a picture of what I peaked through the blinds to find this morning (and I literally mean peaked).  I hope you all are well!

 Morville, Peter. 2005. “Intertwingled.” In Ambient Findability, 64-97. Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media. 
 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two More Reasons I LoVE and LiVE in Nashville

Last night, thanks to John, I was able to go to the taping of the Colgate Country Showdown.  Okay, so you have probably never heard of it (I hadn't), and probably won't watch it when it is on tv, but there is just something fun about going to these tapings.  The live music is always good.  There is SOOO much great undiscovered talent in the world, and I love being in the city that people come to for a chance at the fame.  I was happy sitting on the original, hard, wooden pews of the Ryman Auditorium (although, let's be serious, my buns did get a little sore), and listening to the music.  The starting and stopping of the whole thing is entertaining-and of course the people watching is always great!  

But, of course, all great evenings to an end and I had to bundle up and head out into the cold.  By the time I walked the four blocks to my car, my face and hands were literally frozen.  10 degrees Farenheit with a wind chill of -2.  Brrr!  But I still had a smile on my face.  Why, you may ask?  I will tell you.  Because I teach in Nashville.  And in Nashville, when it's that cold, what do you do?  You cancel school.  (Children apparently can't wait at a bus stop when it's that cold!)  So, I was well aware that I could go home, watch my tape of The Office, curl up in my bed and stay there for a LONG time!  (And stay I did.  Until about noon.  I got some really great reading done!)

So, those my friends, are two more reasons why I LoVE and LiVE in Nashville.