May 21, 2003

House fun...

This seems to be the time to fix things in our house.

Last week, our dishwasher broke. I loaded it up, turned it on -- nothing. Some faint whining noise instead of the pump draining water out of the tub. Hmm. A repairman came out and charged us $35 to observe that it was broken -- and that it would cost $280 to fix it. Oh, did I mention that the pump was dumping water onto the subfloor? Well, we never liked the dishwasher that much anyway.

So, several days (and several dollars) later, we got our brand new dishwasher installed. The installer observed that our old dishwasher had probably been leaking water for a while. "You can really tell the floor is warped when you lie down on it. You probably don't lie down on your kitchen floor very often, but having been lying here for the last hour putting in this new dishwasher, I can really tell you that it's warped." Yay.

Next up on the home repair list: windows. We got Jake (our indoor cat) from the pound last fall, by which point it had cooled off. A couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me for the first time that we weren't going to be able to open our windows once it got hot because our windows have no screens. And Jake would love to leave our house. This was especially bad this week, as temperatures got into the 80s in Mountain View. Last night was miserable. So, next Tuesday, someone comes over to give us an estimate on replacing many of our windows with double-pane windows with screens.

(meriko: still desperately wanting that house? ;) )

Tonight, Meredith called me to say that a bookshelf in our kitchen, holding cookbooks and other things, had spontaneously fallen apart. It seems that the sides warped out enough that the shelves just collapsed. Oops. Oh well; it was cheap.

When I came home, I unlocked the door, walked in, pushed the door shut behind me -- BAM. That didn't sound right. Turn around, push the door shut again ... hmm ... it's not closing. Oh, the latch can't be pushed back into the door without turning the handle.


Posted by Mike at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

May 26, 2003


It's been a pretty good weekend. Sunday morning we went to a wedding in Tilden Park in Berkeley. Nice park -- and the drive up into the hills through the morning fog was pretty nice, too.

Shortly after we got back, Peter, Meredith's friend from Yale, came over. He and his wife Laura had been looking for housing in Davis. She had to fly back to MI, but he got to come down to visit for a few days.

Then today was our first cookout of the year, with Peter and Erin.

Work is pretty intense right now, as we're pushing towards a mostly self-imposed deadline at the end of the month. We had a successful end-to-end test Friday, though, which was good. There's still a ton of work to go, though. But learning new things is good.

Posted by Mike at 07:26 PM

May 28, 2003

Too damned hot...

Anytime the inside temperature of the house gets over 85 deg F (as it did in our house today) before it's even June, it's clearly going to be a miserable summer. So, on arriving home (from my nice, air-conditioned office), I spent the next couple of hours figuring out how to put the air conditioner back into our bedroom window. We bought it two years ago, used it that summer, but never used it at all last summer. Consequently, a good part of that two hours was spent trying to remember how all the pieces went together. The fact that I had lost the instruction manual didn't help, either. Or maybe it did -- two years ago, I remember getting home with the A/C and realizing that we got the one with the all-Spanish instruction manual. Meredith is quite fluent in Spanish, but doesn't come across technical vocabulary so much, so even she had some problems with it.

But now, two hours later, the air conditioner is running in our bedroom. With luck, it will at least cool the room off so that we can actually sleep tonight.

Posted by Mike at 09:21 PM

Driving is not a right

I am sick of hearing about the Florida court battle involving the Muslim woman who refuses to remove her veil for a driver's license photo, yet wants to keep her license. She says that her religion forbids her face from being photographed. Fine -- I have no problem at all with someone deciding that they can't have their face photographed. But that choice, like many choices, may carry consequences. In this case, the consequence is that you don't get to have a driver's license.

An ACLU attorney is quoted saying, "This is about religious liberty. It's about whether this country is going to have religious diversity." I couldn't disagree more. Separation of church and state goes both ways -- the state can't force you to have your picture taken with your face uncovered, but nor can the church force the state to grant a license to someone who would otherwise be denied one just because of a religious belief.

This whole thing seems even sillier when you realize, as the, article notes, that out of nine Muslim nations listed, all but one require women to uncover their faces for ID pictures. The one nation? Saudi Arabia. Why? Because women can't drive there at all, so they clearly don't need ID cards. Well, that would be another rant...

Posted by Mike at 09:31 PM | Comments (6)