Archive for the 'Ed' Category

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Bring Your Daughter to Work Day 2015

Today was the first time that Kylie and I have gotten to participate in bring your daughter to work day, and I have to say it was pretty cool. Kylie and I arrived at work a little later than I normally do, just because of the timing for when the day’s events were scheduled to start, but still early enough that I was able to show her around a bit. As always, she was very interested in my white board, so I thought she would get a huge kick out of our technical engineering room, which is a room where three of the walls are floor to ceiling whiteboards, and man was I right! Thankfully the boards were empty and the room wasn’t in use, so she had a blast drawing and writing on the walls for about fifteen minutes, and then it was time to start the day. The day began with us going to have breakfast together, which consisted of a catered buffet of french toast, pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, juice, and toast. During this time some of the committee members gave a small presentation outlining what the day was going to consist of and telling the kids how to find out what group they were a member of. Then she joined her group, met her group leader, and went off for a day of adventure. The day was broken down into about 7 activities that the kids rotated through. Each activity was presented by a member of our staff and the topics ranged from learning to code, to building wooden cars depending on the age range of the groups of kids. We then all went back to the meeting area and met for lunch, which was the always popular pizza. Kylie told me about some of the things she had done so far and that she was having a really fun time, and then ran off to her next set of activities. About 3:00 we met back up again for the end of the day and I got to hear all about the fun that Kylie had. Even though she had liked all of the activities and said she had a blast at all of them, her favorite part remained the “drawing room!” She is already asking if she will be able to come back next year! I’d say today was a pretty successful day, and I hope I will be able to bring her again next year!

Daddy-Daughter Dance

Today was a great day because today was the Daddy / Daughter Dance at Kylie’s school! I think I may have been looking forward to this more than Kylie, but only because I realize the significance of these events. I know it won’t be too long before she will not want to go to these types of events with me, so I cherish all the moments that I can get. Unlike past years, this year I actually had a suit that would fit properly, so instead of just dress pants and a nice shirt, I went all out. Considering I knew I was going to be able to wear my suit, I even pre-ordered a matching wrist-corsage and boutonniere for us! Some pictures of them can be seen in the gallery. It was a great night and I had a lot of fun watching Kylie interact with all of her friends. While we didn’t actually dance together because she was more interested in running around with her friends, it was still an excellent evening. I truly love watching my daughter have fun, seeing her smile and hearing her laughter are the highlights of my days! I love you Kylie. Thank you for spending a great evening with me!  

New Year’s Eve

Melissa and I decided to try a new restaurant tonight for our New Year’s Eve Dinner, and there is no shortage of those to choose from now that we live in a new area! For tonight we choose Hayden’s, which is only a few short miles from the house. It’s technically a bar and grill but it feels more like an upscale restaurant when you are there, though we may have been slightly over dressed. The atmosphere was very nice and relaxed, the staff was attentive and polite. The food was just ok in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, it was just ok. Considering the price of the entree’s I thought it would be a little more than it was. I will most likely give them another chance sometime down the road, once we explore all the other new places as well. Afterwards came home to enjoy a relaxing evening and our first New Year’s Eve in our new home.  

Let the good times roll

Today I did something for the first time in over 10 years, and it’s something I honestly didn’t think I would do again; I joined a bowling league. As it turns out Secure-24 has a mixed league that has a pretty good participation. There are about 10 4 person teams and we bowl bi-weekly at a place that is only a few minutes from the office. I’ve known about the league for a while now, but when I was living in the apartment it was just too far to participate due to the hour I’d get home due to the length of the commute. Since buying the house has cut that commute in half in terms of distance, however, I feel it is easier to participate in these things now. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, and I can tell this is going to be difficult physically considering the added age, weight, and back issues, but it was still a lot of fun and I realized just how much I have missed bowling. It also made me realize just how old my equipment is and if I really want to get back into this seriously I am going to need to get some new gear. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there though, for now I intend to just have a good time.

And We’re Out

We are officially finished with apartment living! We turned the keys over to the Roundtree office this morning and said our goodbyes to the place we have called home for the last 8 years. The only thing I think I am going to miss is the availability of a pool in the summer. I didn’t use it very often, but I spent many days down there watching Kylie swim and have fun. Otherwise, I am very much done with this place. The neighbors have been going downhill and the repeated damage to the motorcycle will most certainly not be missed! Though in all fairness the property staff have been great throughout the years, very responsive and always on top of things. We had until the end of the month, but we finished the cleaning and have gotten everything moved to the house, so we were more than happy to turn the keys over early. Goodbye apartment living, hopefully we never go back!

Large Items Moved

We are now one step closer to being fully moved into our new home! Today we had professional movers move the larger items that we could not, or did not want to, move ourselves. This was mainly the furniture items that would not fit into our vehicles; king sized bed and box spring, couches, kitchen table, etc. Everything got placed into the truck surprisingly fast, especially considering there were only two guys. They also unpacked the truck and moved everything into the new house fairly quickly as well. Though moving the king sized mattress upstairs caused some havoc and ripped the underside of the mattress. The company is going to send someone out to repair it in the next couple of days. Thankfully it shouldn’t impact us sleeping on it at all because it is the bottom of the mattress and not the pillow top. In any event we are now capable of staying in the house overnight for the first time and that much closer to turning in the keys to the apartment. We have a few small things to gather from their and some light cleaning to finish and then we are done!

Chim chiminey Chim chiminey

Chim chim cher-ee!

We had the chimney cleaned today in the new house, mainly because we didn’t know when the previous owners last had it cleaned, if ever, and wanted to have it inspected before we used it. I am glad we did because we discovered that we are going to need to replace the bottom damper because it doesn’t close properly. Additionally we will most likely have a top damper installed to help reduce the stack effect. On top of that we need a cover for the ash shoot, as that is missing as well. When we do all that we will also need to have some other repairs done to the chimney such as having some bricks replaced and even having the top cement reformed so it drips away from the opening. Currently this is going to run around $3000, and seeing as we don’t have that now, it will have to get put off until a later date. I just hope the delay doesn’t cause the price to go up too much do to further deterioration. I’m starting to see why being a homeowner can be so stressful!

First New Appliance

The first major purchase we have had to make for the new house arrived today. We purchased this LG refrigerator and even though we verified all of the measurements before hand, it didn’t fit into the space between the counter and the cabinets, at first. The delivery guys brought it in and when we tried to push it into place we found that the space was about 1/16 of an inch to narrow. So we had them hook up the water and power and leave it in the middle of the kitchen, we told them we would figure out how to get it in place, somehow. Melissa was extremely determined to get this refrigerator to fit, she liked this one and wanted it, and in the end she got to keep it. Melissa removed some of the floor molding which allowed the cabinets to shift ever so slightly, but it was enough. Once we had that little bit of play in the cabinet we were able to slide the refrigerator back into place, now it is pushing the cabinet ever so slightly to the left and it is nice and happy in its new home. Melissa is even more happy that she gets to keep the refrigerator she picked out, and I have to agree with her, I really like it too. Now to continue with the cleaning and moving in of the items we can move on our own.

Fully Insulated

We finished up the attic insulation project today, and I learned two extremely valuable pieces of information:

  1. Even in October it gets incredibly warm in an attic crawl space
  2. I never want to go back into my attic ever again, or probably any other one for that matter

By the time we were nearing the end of the project the amount of space in the attic was simply not enough for two grown men to be in there. Or perhaps we just didn’t have the skill and maneuverability for both of us to be in there? Either way, I was thankful when my brother told me to get out that he could finish it up without me. He does have the advantage of being slightly smaller than me though, which aids in his maneuverability in the close quarters the attic provides. In addition to adding insulation while we were up there we also added some more baffles above the front soffit vents (we have no rear soffit vents, just front and about 5 can vents in the roof) in an attempt to help the circulation which will also improve the insulation effectiveness. The only downside is that I have no historic information in relation to a heating bill in order to compare the effectiveness of this project, however, I have to think it will be an improvement. Regardless, at least we now know that attic has sufficient insulation, even if we are unsure about the walls. One project down, I am sure there will be many others though.

Water Woes Ended, Insulation Project Begins

The vampire taps have both been replaced and the line that will be connected for the ice maker on the new refrigerator has been run up to it’s location, so it will be ready and in place for the delivery in a few days. With any luck this will be the last time we need to call out a plumber for a long time.

Moving on to the next pre-move in project… Chris and I started adding insulation in the attic today. I had noticed during the inspection that, while there was some insulation in the attic, the amount of insulation for the R value was not going to be adequate. Considering the house was built in 1967 when energy costs were lower, and we bought it from the original owner, I am not too surprised by the need for more insulation. I wanted to make sure this was one of the first projects we did before moving in because the attic access is inside what will be Kylie’s closet. As such we didn’t want to have to cover everything in her room in plastic and take everything out of her closet in order to move the insulation into the attic crawl space. Based on the estimation of the R value of what was already up there and combining that with what we added, we estimate that the attic should now have an R value of around 42. The suggested value for this area is between 38 and 49, so this should be good moving forward. Unfortunately we were not able to complete this project today though, and will need to finish it up another time.