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Recently my microwave decided to become a death ray, so I took its ass out to the curb. I think I will not be getting another one. In all honesty, I only used it a couple times a week - and when I did, it was to heat up a frozen prepared food like a boca burger. So even though microwaves are cheaper and relatively easy to get a hold of, I've decided the stove will do just fine for me. I don't need food heated up in an instant! It's better to take time to prepare my food, it's more intentional that way, and I can get more flavors into it with a real cooking process. And using the stove or oven means I don't have to worry about the uneven heating characteristic of microwave cookery.

I mean really, it's just another unwieldy kitchen appliance that sucks up electricity and is not a good multitasker. It may even be responsible for unhealthier eating in general, making "convenience food" like hot pockets easier to toss down a gullet.

COUGH 3

Mar. 6th, 2006 03:48 pm
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Stayed home from work today for a day of rest. Nose is running like a river, but I feel almost human. I've already been through half a box of tissues; I drink water, and it just comes right out my nostrils.

I somehow have to work up the willpower to go outside and do a load of laundry, as I have no clean underwear or socks. bah.
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Does anyone have any web site suggestions or research on how to generate electricty at home or otherwise go off the power grid? I don't know how much it would cost to make/buy a fuel cell, but I'm really rip shit about having to pay almost $80 a month for next to no electricity usage. 3/5 of my bill is transmission charges for selling me electricity from White Plains, NY.

They're playing the same game with us on the East coast that they did with California... damn energy robber barons.

Update: So, after doing some research, it turns out that my electric bill is about as good as it's going to get. Everyone who lives on Cape Cod is automatically enrolled in the "Cape Light Compact" which purchases aggregated electricity from ConEdison in NY. Deregulator? I hardly know her. NSTAR charges me $30 for distribution of electricity - what's the breakdown of that cost, you ask? Well, it turns out that $19 of that is the actual cost of distribution, and $10 of that is "transition" which is apparently a "fuck the consumer" charge that "deregulation" brought about... CLC describes this as: "Transition is the charge that allows NSTAR to recover payments to wholesale power suppliers for terminating those contracts allowing for competitive suppliers to enter the market."

How nice for NSTAR.

Oh, and $1 goes to renewable energy and conservation. Yay.

So, as long as I'm paying more money, I figure I might as well pay more money and enroll in the CLC 100% green program (if I can). Joining that means that all my electricity would be produced by certified green energy sources (hydro, land based wind, and solar) that are actually located in New England. It's 75% tax deductible and will cost about another $75 a year (approximately an extra month of electricity for me).

But if I can figure out how to produce 4,000 kilowatt-hours a year for $1,000, I'll do that instead.
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I woke up at around 1:15 pm today. I woke up pretty early on Saturday and had a damn full day - I was expecting guests for breakfast, but didn't receive any. I had roused at about 7 am in order to clean up the house and get the kitchen ready for some cooking; I frantically cleaned the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. When no one had arrived by about 10:30 am, I figured I wouldn't see anyone for a while, so I started cleaning the shelves in my pantry (to make space for dishes and pans and such that were all over the counters).

I got the kitchen into a pretty nice state - it's really solid now, all the appliances are in the right places, and I've made some good prep areas, and I cleaned off the little shelf between the windows and put spices, oils, and hot sauces on it. Around 1:30 pm I decided to make breakfast for myself... I made a ham and cheese omlette on my brand new electric griddle, and I slowly cooked a pound of bacon in my cast iron pan on the stove (I didn't eat it all of course - I'll have a nice BLT or two for lunch this week). The round table against the windows is now a little breakfast nook - coffee machine, hot pot, toaster, sandwich press, and the big griddle when I want to set it up.

On the opposite side of the kitchen, I have my Kitchenaid mixer, the microwave, and the nice stainless steel scale I got for my housewarming. I can also set up the bread machine on that table if I don't need it for prep area.

The pantry is about halfway ready. All the open shelves are clean, but I have to finish cleaning up the cabinets. Once I finish washing more pots and pans, I can put those away on the shelves...

I'm really starting to like living in my apartment now. I'm at the point where I can just kind of sit around and feel good about the way things look. I'm getting comfy. It feels very, very nice.

Oh, and since I completely digressed... the other portion of my day was the Gweepnet tenth anniversary party. From 6pm to 2am, I hung out with 80 of the folks on gweep.net and had a great, great time. Lots of people I haven't seen in person in a long while. I was so damn tired when I got home though... just slept for eleven freaking hours.

And I hear tomorrow is supposed to be another foot of snow. Freaking a... at least there won't be any drought this year.
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I can't believe I fit almost forty people in my apartment.

I am quite happy that people took sandwiches home with them.

Having parties is the best possible excuse to clean. My apartment looks really nice now after picking up from the party, and I put my nice new kitchen scale housewarming gift out in the kitchen, along with my other shiny appliances... yay clean kitchen!

Yuehrmah makes really amazing cookies. I will surely gain weight because of them.

Tomorrow night is game night!
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Since I moved to Worcester, I've been remembering my dreams again. This is an amazingly rare thing. It may have something to do with the noise of the radiators... they do a lot of hissing and popping and clanking, so they may be raising my awareness level at the ends of my sleep cycle.

Anyways - this dream. It was totally anime style. Earth was going to be attacked by this gargantuan space demon octupus thing. It hurtled through space towards the planet, a juggernaut of terror. But Earth was not entirely unprepared... a trio of bio-engineered, blonde super-women were shot into space to meet the thing head on. They all had incredible physically oriented super powers: strength, energy beams, and so on.

The only problem was, their powers had limits. Once they ran out of energy, their hair turned from blonde to black and they were totally vulnerable. All of their powers could not stop the creature, and they died horribly in the vacuum of space.

The octopus demon beast landed on the planet with a terrible impact. And then, the second wave of female super-heroines was launched... a trio of overweight, mentally enhanced psionic blonde women. They tried to assault the only minimally damaged monster on a psychic level; but that attack began to fail as well, as the telepathic woman reached into the unfathomable, abyssal depths of whatever served as the thing's mind. She screamed in horror and pain as her hair bled black...

and then I woke up.
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Yes, indeed. After nearly twelve weeks... I have taken my first bath at my new apartment. Everything is finally in place: my bedroom is set up, all the utilities are working, and I'm patiently sitting here awaiting my Peapod grocery delivery.

Life is good.

The water ran dirty at first - last night, after the landlord repaired the pipes, I had to run the hot water for an hour to get all this sediment and crap out of the hot water tank. This morning it streamed clear and hot from the tap; I filled the tub two thirds of the way and poured in my lavender bath salts. It was way too hot... just the way I like it.

I took about an hour, most of the time just soaking in all that heat and absorbing the salts and oils. I was able to submerge most of myself at once, either bracing my legs against the front or sitting up slightly against the back.

Now that the water is finally all set, I can really clean the bathroom. I'm going to have to pick up a little carpeting set or something since some of the tiles on the floor are coming up... but I'll have the bathroom cleaned up and finished in another day or two. After that comes setting up and cleaning the pantry... then the kitchen... and then, finally, the living room and dining room. It's slow work, but it's been so amazingly rewarding revitalizing this place.

I love it here. I hope I'll get to stay here for a while.
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Today I spent a few hours at the new place with Tom. He was all bundled up, and after a bit we both realized it was far too cold... turned out that we had run out of oil again. I had to call the oil company and then go down there in person to fill out my credit application in order to get them to come out today - but come out they did! Our oil tank is full, the apartment is toasty, and the new digital / programmable thermostat is installed and running! Huzzah!!

Tom and I also played with our cable box and TiVo set up today - we weren't getting all the channels, so I had to redo the guided setup again. Unfortunately I was a klutz and hit the switch on the power strip by accident (oops) in the middle of it. It screwed up the cable box, so I had to fiddle with it all and repeat setup again to get it working right. We still weren't getting a couple of channels - but then Tom tweaked something on the cable box to tell it to find all of its channels itself, and then everything fixed itself. Yay! Now I don't have to worry about missing any TV shows. I do still have to move my TV and speakers though... before Wednesday actually, because that's when Jim and Christina's new TV comes in. At some point I have to get a receiver so I can actually use my speakers... and I'll also need to get an entertainment center to house all of this stuff and our various game consoles (lots of stuff to buy).

So far we've been able to run the fridge, a laptop, a few lights, and the TiVo, TV, VCR, and cable box without blowing fuses or having other electrical problems. This bodes well, but I'm still worried about our power supply. The landlord promised that the wiring would be the first thing he would fix, but it remains to be seen whether or not he'll come through for us. He's spending a lot of money fixing pipes... water and gas plumbing. I think he plans to do some of the wiring himself, but I'm worried about whether or not he'll have the dough to pay for it all.

I mopped my bedroom floor with Murphy's oil soap - my room looks so wonderful now! I still have to clean off the floor molding with some formula 409, and I have to pick up some nice heavy curtains for the windows to keep the heat in. I need to get a little table lamp too (more to buy!).

The next major project is cleaning the bathroom... I've scraped all the flaking paint off of the ceiling in there; now I have to use some 409 on the walls to make them less dingy. After that comes the cleansing of the tub, sink, and toilet... and then, finally, the floor. Although it's such a nasty mess that I doubt it's going to come out very clean; I'll probably end up getting a nice long set of bath mats to cover up most of the floor (so many things to buy, will it never end??). The only other updating I plan to do around the apartment is to scrape the rest of the flaking paint off the ceilings and wash the floors.

About another week, I think. It'll be completely liveable by then, and I will take that first luxurious bath with lavender bath salts in that glorious claw foot tub. Mmm.
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Hot water was installed.
Hot water leaked from the bathroom sink feed.
Hot water was turned off.

I went to Target and bought some stuff.
I ogled a hot latina girl, and she smiled at me a bunch.
I went to Target later and bought new boots.

Dan and John came over, I gave them an apartment tour.
Dan gave me some homemade yum-yums to sample. yay Dan!

Maybe I'll finish moving in tomorrow...?
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Happy shiny new DELL PC arrived yesterday. It came with Windows XP Professional... after 10 minutes of futzing, I managed to make it look like it should instead of looking like "OS for motards". And once again, I realized that Microsoft hasn't changed a damn thing with any of their operating systems except the cosmetics.

Anyhow, I am currently transferring huge amounts of data from multiple systems to this new one. And this one has a CD-RW, so I'll be able to conveniently archive my data for a change. Though I still haven't received my package of CD-RW discs from DELL yet, I guess because it had to ship separately. No matter. There's still plenty to do just moving files around and installing software and such.

In other news, the weather is shit outside. It's eight in the morning, and it's completely flat, rainy, and dreary outside, almost greyscale. Perfect climate for staying inside and playing with the new computer.

On the apartment front - Tom and I figured out the cable system last night and hooked up his TV to it. At some point I'll need to discern how TiVo will hook into this beast of a system. Digital cable officially has Too Many Channels (tm). I'm sure it'll be too much for my poor little TiVo, so I'll have to save up for a big old eighty hour Series II. This will be after I get a receiver to power my speakers though. And neither of these is going to happen until I have steady income... sigh.

I'm also looking at being in my first Shakespearean production come the end of March. It'll be "Love's Labours Lost" and it'll be taking place in Higgins House at WPI. I'm trying to convince Tom to join in the production with me. Round-table casting is going to take place this Saturday - I've never read the play before; are there any fans of the playwright out there willing to recommend a role for me?
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Tomorrow evening or Wednesday may be the only days I have to move my bulky items. I don't know what time this will be happening, but supposedly the weather is going to clear in the afternoon. After Wednesday, the weather is going to be shit until next week.

If anyone out there can lend me any moving assistance, I would appreciate it. Please email or call me to let me know if you can help, and I will give you more details. All I have to do is get Jeremy and his truck, and move a mattress, a boxspring, a bookshelf, a drawing table, and an air hockey table - none of which are amazingly heavy, but they're all bulky enough to warrant truck hauling.

Assistants will be rewarded with alchohol and chocolate.

Oh, and...

Dec. 27th, 2002 10:26 pm
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Hot water is coming on Monday. Running water should be coming tomorrow. Parents might be coming on Sunday. New computer is coming some time next week. A new year is coming. I should be making my final moving arrangements for Monday, as long as there is hot water and a working toilet.

Things seem to be doing the opposite of falling apart. For a change.

I would like to announce that there will be a housewarming in January. More details on this later, but it will be a combination housewarming / super bowl party, so it will be taking place on the day of January 26th, 2003. Save the date if you want to come!
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The plumber came to my apartment yesterday. He replaced nearly every joint and shutoff in the entire gas line between my floor and the basement. He's supposedly adding another whole length of pipe today... probably costing my landlord somewhere in the realm of a thousand bucks or so. But it's going to be a completely tight damn seal, let me tell you.

After this is finished, the inspector has to come. After the inspector is finished, the gas company has to come. But then I WILL HAVE HOT WATER!!! Wahoo! My gas stove will be happy. My hot water heater will be happy. I will be happy.

I finished painting the walls in my bedroom yesterday before leaving for Connecticut. It looks pretty nice. Now I just have to finish a second coat on the ceiling (and cover up all the damn spaces where chips keep flaking off... yeah, I know it's half ass to do it that way, but I don't really care at this point, I just want to cover it up).

This coming weekend ought to be my final move. I need to finish the bedroom before I do it though, so maybe Saturday. I really need water - even cold water - to be able to wash the floor and generally clean up some... but there's one more leak the landlord has to plug before turning the water back on. The toilet's assembled though. That's happy.

Soon. Soon soon sooooon.
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There is still no water. I specifically asked on Sunday for him to just turn on the cold water just so I can clean. And he didn't. I also specifically asked him to call me about trying to find a plumber, so I'm assuming he found one who will test the gas pipes... if he didn't, I will be grievously upset.

I'm about 80% moved in. I have either three or four more car trips to make, and I'll have carted over everything that I can cart over in my car - then I need to truck the mattress, bookcase, drawing table, and TV and speakers. The walls in the bedroom are clean, so now I just have to prime and paint them.

SO CLOSE!! Damn it all, I just want to move in already!!
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Today I spent about five hours scraping wallpaper glue off my walls. The process was very physical, very mind-numbingly zen. Spray walls with DIF - wait - wet walls with sponge - wait - scrape scrape scrape - wash walls again. I'd take the scraper, run it along the plaster, then dip it in the bucket and shake it off to get the scum off it... just like shaving the walls.

This DIF stuff I'm using is great. It's this enzyme that just dissolves the glue; it all comes right off and washes away.

My good friend Seth came by in the early part of the afternoon and he actually helped me out quite a bit. We got three of four walls completely clean. All that really remains is the wall with the windows in it, so it's not really a whole wall even. I can start priming the room at least. I may even get it all painted before leaving for Virginia this weekend...

Still no water yet. Apparently a plumber has to come check all the pipes, and then the gas company has to come and check everything... man, I hope I can move in before Christmas. Damn it all anyway.
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My apartment has heat! Hooray!! Now all I need is water - and that should follow shortly.

The place has been emptied, and the rooms I am not using have been closed. I've moved about 60% of my stuff there, and I spent the day today scraping wallpaper off the walls in my bedroom with the help of two excellent friends (noah, kim, you guys rule). Tomorrow I'm going to finish cleaning the walls and proceed to paint primer over them, the walls in the closet, and the ceiling. After that, I'll put real paint on the walls (on Monday I guess)... and then I will have a BEDROOM! Rock.

So it looks like my current target move date is Wednesday of next week. I may end up having to rent a U-haul to make the final move and carry a bunch of stuff all at once.

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