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Archive for October, 2011

After a significant hiatus I am returning to my blog. I have changed publishers and hope to bring a great deal of engaging writing to my audience through this conduit. Social media outlets play their part, but are not as verbose or enduring as a blog post. I frequently hear, “Oh, I must have missed that on Facebook,” about even the most significant, life changing updates posted with dozens of comments and “Likes.”

It is my plan in this revived blog to bring a short burst of product reviews. Fret not, this is not to be a product review blog. However, there are so many products on the market now days, which, quite frankly, are crap. This has made me uncomfortably cynical to the point that I am shocked when I receive a product which actually lives up to its billing. There is no use screaming about garbage products; poor quality is normal fare these days. But when something in worthy, or even exceptional, I feel it is worth sharing.

You may wonder where I have been the last few years. I took a page from the life stories of my elders and built a house*, by hand, myself. When I say “myself” I do not mean that I did not have help from family members and dedicated friends. May I add that when someone gives up their day off to come put themselves into a horrible place to work on nasty sewer pipes, that person is a really good friend. But I digress from the story. No, I mean by “myself” that I did not buy the house, I did not contract it, I did not even sub contract it. We did have someone else run the HVAC ducts and install the carpet, but that is all. My wife and I like to say, “if you see it, we did it.” The county inspectors used rarely heard words like, “hard core,” “exceptional,” and “fantastic,” when reviewing our work. We only got one single red tag on the project (a flag that something does not meet code), and that was on the HVAC ducts – done by the professional we hired. It is my steadfast belief that “professionals” just do not care as much as a home owner and are used to cutting corners so they can get to the next job (and the next paycheck). I on the other hand, will accept nothing less than up-to-code perfection on my work. This, coupled with my minuscule work force, sheds light on why the project took over three years to complete.

 To make an extremely long story short, last week we received our county certificate of occupancy and are now moving in to our new place. Since the massive project took over three years to complete find it hard to accept that the project is over. With a clear goal as my primary focus for years, it is a weird feeling trying to get back into what would be a normal schedule for other people. There are so many things I have put off and missed out on that I am now overwhelmed by the number of things I need to address. Still, I am filled with pride over our accomplishment, and I am really enjoying the benefits, the payoff, from all the hard work.

 Other major milestones which I do not mean to understate are the birth of our son, becoming extremely active in amateur radio, and becoming the president of a 501(c)3 corporation (I still work full time as an engineer too). It is all too much to go into in this return blog post, but it has been an exhausting and enriching few years. As I now start a new life phase, I hope you will enjoy frequenting this small beacon of light in an increasingly dark world.

 *Our “new house” is actually an addition on our old farm house. The overall square footage of the addition is 2000, while the original farm house was only 1000, for a total of 3000 square feet (total). The change was so significant to the house, we have long called this project our “new house” albeit somewhat misleading.

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