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Posted in Blogging, House, Music on April 10th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: No, no, not the play currently running on Broadway, as much as I’d like to see it. (The web site is hilarious!) Maybe it will still be playing in the fall when I return to NYC (dates yet to be determined, trip yet to be confirmed.) I’ve been fighting a steady battle with blog spammers lately. The amount of spam targetting blogs is torrential. After Tony advised that my comment function wasn’t working, I upgraded to MT-Blacklist 2.04b a couple weeks back, and in the time it took to upload and install the necessary files, I was hit with over 100 comment and trackback spam. Even with 2.04b installed, I’ve been moderating and deleting hundreds of blogspam a week.

Until a few minutes ago, MT-Blacklist had blocked 34,932 spam on my site since its reinstallation, and for that, I bow in a southwest direction towards California and give thanks to Jay Allen for creating the program. Earlier today while checking my sites, I noticed the new link to “Introducing SpamLookup.” Desparate for anything to improve the situation, I read Jay’s entry, and immediately went to Brad Choate’s site, downloaded, unzipped and installed the gobbler, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work brilliantly. I have had NO spam since it was installed this morning. I bow for a second time in the same direction. Thank you, Brad, for writing this program, and thank you Jay, for letting us know.

BTW, ever notice that the plural of spam seems to be spam? Who made that decision? I’ve never seem a statement that read something like, “I’ve been receiving a lot of spams lately.”

:: I played guitar today at Amelia’s annual spring tea, including a few songs with her, and a few with her group, The Harvest Moon Fiddlers. Next Sunday we have a gig in Smoky Lake.

:: It took me half a century, but on the weekend, I bought my first one of these. I feel like such a guy’s guy now. What’s next, NASCAR? Meanwhile, the house renos continue. Floor screws were drilled into the floor by the front door entrance to help reduce floor squeeking. It seems to have helped somewhat. Next, the purchase of 70 feet of MDF baseboard.

Hard Day’s Night

Posted in House on April 2nd 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: I took the day off and prepared for Geoff’s arrival in the afternoon, at which time the work began. Geoff brought tools, including a mitre saw. I finished removing the underlay, staples, and carpet beforehand. We borrowed a sabre saw (aka jigsaw) from a kind neighbour, to use to trim pieces of laminate. Geoff installed each piece of laminate, which involved a lot of going to and from the driveway where the saws were set up. I did what I could to help as his assistance, basically, including removing tiles from the bathroom and hall closet. The tile in the closet, btw, had been glued to the top of a chunk of carpet – amazingly bad work. Geoff said he’d never seen that before, and he knows home repair and maintenance. See pictures of today’s work.

We stopped working around 7:00 pm, and drove to Home Depot and Wal-Mart, to check vinyl floor coverings (imitation tile), buy more paint (some of the Scotland Road green paint had peeled during the day), and to check on home entertainment shelves.

More videos of the day’s fun are forthcoming after the damn things upload!.

Water (B)logged

Posted in House on March 31st 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: While leaving Sobey’s late this evening, I noticed a large amount of water on the road while driving on 23rd Avenue just east of 142nd Street. When I arrived home, I called the City of Edmonton and reported it. What I didn’t know was that a flood was happening in my house at the same time.

Those who know me know I am not a “tool time” kinda guy. I look forward to doing home renovations and repair in the same way I look forward to contracting a terminal disease, sticking needles in my eyes, or eating Ratatouille. Nonetheless, much progress, with the help of friends, has been made since last Friday regarding an overhaul of my living room. The walls have been painted, the carpet removed, the baseboards stripped from the wall, the front entrance tile ripped out, the carpet underlay torn up and bagged, staples pulled from the floor, and those small pieces of 1″x1″ pieces of wood with carpet nails pulled out of the floor with a prybar. All of this, in anticipation of Geoff’s visit tomorrow afternoon to begin installing the laminate flooring.

This evening, I worked hard to complete the removal of the underlay, the wood pieces, staples, and tile. After three hours of work, I rested a bit, then went to Sobey’s to buy something to eat. Upon returning home, I unpacked the groceries, opened a can of meatball stew, and prepared to watch a bit of tube before hitting the sack. Nature called, and I slipped into the downstairs washroom for a moment, only to find the floor covered in water. Not yet in Panic Mode, I checked around the toilet to see if there was a leak, and then felt a drop of water hit the top of my head. I looked up, saw that the ceiling was soaked, so I ran upstairs to the other washroom to find the toilet there overflowing ever so quietly, plugged up and still running for some reason. I grabbed the plunger and used it quickly, the water retreated and the toilet flushed, and I grabbed a whack of towels and tried to mop up as fast as possible. The water had leaked onto the adjoining rug at the bathroom door. I grabbed more towels, returned to the downstairs washroom, covered the floor with them, ran to my office where I had two large plastic bins that were once part of two separate paper shredders (long gone), and took them to the downstairs washroom to put one under the ceiling leak.

I notice then that there were other wet spots on the ceiling, and that the paint on small sections of the wall near said ceiling had expanded, having filled up with water. I decided to tap the ceiling where it was dripping with a very small nail, and the water began to flow out in a steady stream. When it began to subside, I mopped up further, and grabbed the heavily soaked towels to take to the washing machine in the basement. Little did I know what was happening down there.

I went down the stairs to the basement, only to discover that the water had seeped through the main floor, and soaked a large section of the basement, wetting cardboard boxes, soaking sections of the parquet flooring, and parts of the false ceiling. Grabbing more towels, I continued to clean up as much as I could. Realizing that few clean, dry towels were remained, I grabbed my sponge mop to continue the work downstairs.

The walls and ceiling in the bathroom are a mess, as is the basement. I’m too tired to be angry, but it does suck when you live alone and are without home repair and maintenance abilities when something like this happens. All I knew to do was to unplug and flush the feckin’ toilet, and clean up as much water as possible. Now I have a bathroom with a hole in the ceiling and parts of a wall that look like shyte, and a basement that has been flooded for the third or fourth time, and looks like double shyte. For all I know, the upstairs toilet had been ever-so-slowly overflowing all day.

At least the living room floor is ready for laminate flooring. Adding the laminate will increase the value of the house, so I’m told. Then again, having a three-level water leak will probably bring the value back down to what it was before the laminate is installed.

Ha ha ha. Oh what bloody fun it is to own a house.

What a crock a’ shyte. And how was your day today?

Reno Update

Posted in House on March 30th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: The living room walls are painted. Yesterday I ripped out the rug from the living room. It sits in pieces in my car port at the moment. Today I began tearing out the underlay, lifted staples from the wooden floor, and removed a few of the pieces of wood (with the tiny nails that cling to the underside of the carpet) that surround the perimeter of the living room. More to do tomorrow, and Friday, and Saturday….

Latex Progress

Posted in House on March 25th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Most of the living room painting was done today. The east half the room was painted a shade of dark blue, the other half a shade of light blue in the same colour range. Kathryn came by around 10:15 or so, and was an enormous help throughout the day (as she was last year when the pink wallpaper was removed and the hall painted Scotland Road green.) We stopped at lunch for bowls of her homemade seafood/fish soup, with some delicious Pugliese bread from Sobey’s, plus a bottle of Stewart’s root beer for me. Then it was back to work, with most of it completed by 5:30 pm. The goal is to have the walls painted before Heavy G comes by to rip out the carpet and install laminate flooring.

I am tired, my hands are dry and cracked, and my back is sore, but the hard part is over. See a short video recap of the day’s efforts here.

Update – And We Paint Again

Posted in House on March 25th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: A four-day weekend begins. Tomorrow, well, later today actually, a friend and I will paint my living room. I hope we can get it done by dinner time. Then, in a couple of weeks, Geoff will come by and help install laminate flooring, after ripping out the carpet. Wishing you all a Happy Easter weekend.