new shoe rack idea

being a new home owner, i am now looking for all sorts of new DIY projects. one of the things that we’re facing right now is what to do with all of the shoes that we have lying around in the garage. i’ve been trying to decide if we should do something a little more fancy than say a bunch of stacked shoe racks and then i stumbled across this:

not martha has a great, cheap DIY shoe rack solution that i think is uber cool. i think that i just might install these in the garage. either that or maybe just regular shelves…but these are so much cooler!

theatre or theater?

i don’t know what happened, but i’ve been spelling “theater” as “theatre” lately. i used to spell it in the former, but now the latter is the only way that looks right to me. what is going on? it must be all of the Grease: You’re the One That I Want UK version that i’ve been watching.

dark angel

summer is here and with that means really bad TV. really, really bad tv. it’s tragic. it’s almost like the networks are telling you to go enjoy the sun and don’t be in front of the tv or something. that’s just how bad it is. i have been recording, but not watching, hidden palms. it’s by kevin williamson (of dawson’s creek fame…well, how about of scream fame?) and i really want to watch it, but i don’t know if i’m really ready for another teen drama.

in the meanwhile, i’ve been trying to get seasons 1 and 2 or dark angel. i remember really liking the show when it was on the air. actually, i remember really liking the first season. the second season not so much. it’s a much younger jessica alba playing the role of max.

i’ve been watching more DVDs lately to supplement the lack of good tv shows. it’s a tough life. =P

kind of tech heavy lately

the blog has been kind of tech heavy lately. i can’t help it, i’ve been doing a lot of techie things. i just picked up an ice cube maker for the refrigerator (it finally came in, weeks after the fridge!) and i now have to figure out how to install it in our refrigerator.

it doesn’t look obvious how to do this.

i’m just glad it came with instructions.

i hope they are in english.

that’s going to be my fun task of the evening. after i get home, i plan to install the ice cube maker and hopefully not flood my kitchen in the process. we’ll see how that goes, wish me luck!

a change in software firewalls

it used to be that when you thought windows software firewall, you would think ZoneAlarm. in fact, up until a few days ago, zonealarm was the only firewall that i would use on any of my machines. i liked the interface, i liked that it seemed to work, and i’ve grown comfortable with it. it’s like an old trusty friend always there when you need a hand…to stop hackers.

lately, i’ve been having some issues with zonelab’s free product, zonealarm firewall when used with utorrent. i kept getting truevector service errors that would lock up my internet connection and force me to reboot. after finally getting fed up i decided to test out a new firewall. i’m currently using comodo free firewall and it’s been working great. i haven’t had to reboot my computer because of some kind of firewall issue and so it’s been smooth sailing.

if you are in the market for a firewall product, i recommend it.

the quest to find an antenna

i’m looking to get OTA HD for the house via a large boom antenna that i plan to install in the attic. from what i’ve read so far, my biggest concern is that there is a large heating system in the attic that may interfere with the reception of the tv signals. we’ll see how bad it is after i do the install. i’m hoping for some good results, though.

i’ve been hearing mixed reviews about antennas and which one to get, but i think that i’ve decided on a cheap radio shack 80″ boom length, 32-element antenna. i’ve read mixed reviews, but i’m not really planning to get analog signals through the antenna, just digital ones. i think this antenna will more than suffice for my needs.

i’ve also read many bad things about attic installations, but i don’t want to install an antenna on the roof, so we’re going to see just how bad it is in the attic and go from there. this is either going to be a smashing success or a $60 waste of money. we’ll see!

the pains of home theatre

as a self-proclaimed gadget freak, if there’s something remotely electronic around, inevitably i’ll tinker around with it. usually it has come in the form of cameras and computers, but most recently, the new fascination i’m facing now is home audio.

the setting up of the house is moving along just fine and the next major thing for me is setting up the home theatre. this, in itself, is a much more daunting task than i had ever realized. i *USED* to think that i was somewhat knowledgeable about audio equipment, but i couldn’t have been more wrong. i am definitely a home theatre newbie.

ok, so the story so far…


i’ve got this tv and entertainment system nook in the wall of my living room. the tv nook is currently 1 inch wider than the tv that currently sits in the nook. it does not look like i will be getting a bigger tv any time soon.

so the video part is taken care of in the home theatre, it’s time to focus my attention on audio. i am really struggling with this part of the equation because it can just get really expensive really fast. the other thing that seems to be pretty crazy about audio equipment is that it is not necessarily true that you get what you pay for. in fact, it seems like you have to be quite the informed shopper to get a good deal on good gear. this pisses me off to no end. usually, with electronics, it’s easy. if you pay more, you get better stuff. there’s a compromise that you make somewhere and everyone is happy. with audio equipment it seems like technical specifications mean squat. price, also, seems to not reflect actual quality.

and here is where my dilemma begins. i thought that i was somewhat knowledgeable about audio equipment, but this, my friends, is far from the truth.

everyone says that you should start with a budget. i would usually agree with that, but i have started with a budget and have quickly outgrown my budget. it makes me sad. the problem with setting a budget before knowing anything about what you are going to buy is that you really don’t know what is reasonable and what isn’t.

they say that knowledge is power, but i really think that knowledge is dangerous. i first started off with a budget and thought that it was going to be easy to get a new receiver and 5 speakers for my budget. as i started to research my choices, i started to realize that my options were starting to get limited. with my limited options, i started to eliminate certain brands because of price/performance issues. and then i started to look at aesthetics.

by the time i was done, i had narrowed it down to a few choices and auditioned the speakers at a local brick and mortar store. i’m now well over budget, but i think that i’m making a pretty informed decision, so i should be pretty happy with what i get.

the strange thing is that once you decide to buy a step above consumer level equipment, all of these brands are relatively obscure brand names that most people wouldn’t recognize. i have never heard of any of the brands that i had researched or am currently thinking about buying.

here’s my tentative selection of equipment right now:
outlaw audio model 1070 receiver

definitive technology mythos six front speakers
definitive technology mythos seven center channel speaker
definitive technology mythos gem compact surround speakers

people say that i should go with separates and have a separate pre-amp/amp solution, but it’s just too much money. i’m trying hard not to break the bank here and i already feel like i’m spending a ton of money. i’m going to go listen to a few more speakers before i finally make a decision, but i feel like i’m starting to get close.


i am short a guy and a girl for my volleyball team tonight. i have been asking people high and low if they are available to sub for my team. i think i’ve asked about 10 people now and i am barely able to find people who can sub. i swear, i haven’t faced this much rejection since i was single!

a media device for every tv?

the dream continues! i’m slowly working towards a tv in every room and then i read this article about someone installing a tv in their garage so that they can watch tv while they are, you know, fixing stuff in the garage! how crazy is that??

yeah, i’m gonna go to the garage to saw some wood while i watch tv. brilliant, i tell you. just brilliant. i’m not going to be that crazy, but it’s nice to dream.

some people have clothes, other people have music. me? apparently, i’m gonna have TVs, DVD players, and other media devices.

the biggest thing that i’m struggling with right now is whether or not i should get yet another media device for the home office. i think that i’m going to register for it.

it’s a couch! it’s a bed! it’s a chaise lounge!

yesterday was another day of deliveries at the house. actually, it was two deliveries and one pick up. i rarely get things picked up at the house, but this was actually a rather large pick up that i had been meaning to do for a long while.

we had an old refrigerator come with the house that we bought. they said that the refrigerator works, but it leaks. the refrigerator actually leaks at the water dispenser, not from some other random part of the fridge, so it’s still a working refrigerator. but a very old, ugly working refrigerator at that. so we bought a new refrigerator moved the old one into the garage.

instead of dealing with craigslist and having someone come to the house to pick up the refrigerator, i found out that pg&e has a recycling program where they credit you some money for recycling a refrigerator through them. so i scheduled the appointment and they picked up the refrigerator yesterday.

i was huffing and puffing moving the refrigerator out to the curb, but when the guys came to pick it up, they picked it up like it was a fluffy almond pillow and threw it into their truck. yeah, i’m, uhhh, strong.

another major delivery to the house was this couch/bed/chaise lounge thing for the home office. it’s actually pretty cool. it is about the size of a full size bed, but it can fold both lengthwise and widthwise. so in one configuration, it’s a futon. in another configuration, it’s a chaise lounge. very cool, indeed.

the furniture company wanted to charge something like $50 for delivery and assembly. i didn’t want to spend that much money on delivery (all the other furniture we payed for didn’t have delivery or assembly fees) and the piece of furniture only costs like $300 to begin with! another $50 to delivery and assemble? we finally negotiated it down to something like $20 where they would deliver it to the house and we would have to lug it upstairs and assemble it ourselves.

this thing is a lot heavier than it looks. i thought i could get it upstairs by myself, but after nearly having the thing come crashing down on me on the stairs, i waited until christi came home before i tried to move it upstairs again. we finally got it set up in the office and it is working out great.

the last delivery was from BR. the groomsmen’s pants came in the mail. it’s so hard to see what colors would look like on the web. these pants weren’t the color that i was expecting, but i think that they’ll be ok.