So yesterday I decided that I would paint the upstairs bathroom, red. Missy had already primed it with a grayish primer and it was calling my name. I applied the first coat and a lot of primer showed through, so I knew a second coat was needed. Missy painted behind the toilet where I could not reach, but neither of us could get behind the tank. I decided to just take the tank off and paint it right.

SON OF A BITCH! The tank only gave moderate resistance to being taken off, one bolt was a little rusty, or shitty, or both, but it came off. I removed the tank and almost lost my lunch. The amount of crap, hair, and generally nasty, funky crap back there made me want to puke. I wiped it a little just so I wouldn’t have to see it any longer, and Missy finished it off. The paint then went on quite nicely.

Missy and Halle purchased antique brass fixtures to replace the old wooden ones, and I made a trip to Menards to buy a new light fixture that would match, and some more paint. I am on a first-name basis with the people at Menards at this point. Kelly in plumbing also helped me pick out a new shower door and glass, the old one is shot. It of course matches the new fixtures. I have never installed a shower before, so this should be interesting. I got the painting almost done yesterday, but being a worknight I had to cut it short about 11PM. I plan to finish the job this week so I can enjoy the Packer-less, Panther-less, Jet-less Superbowl on Sunday.

When God Created Wisconsin

And God Said…

“Today, I am going to create a land called Wisconsin. It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty; a land of countless glaciers, pure lakes, each one full of fish. It shall have tall majestic pines, peacefully flowing rivers, beautiful landscapes, tall grass, eagles, clear blue skies, forests full of bear, elk and moose, rich farmland and fair minded people”.

God continued, “I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper and they shall be known as a most friendly people, people who practice being Wisconsin Friendly every day.”

“But Lord”, asked Gabriel, “don’t you think you are being too generous to these people of Wisconsin?”

“Not really”, replied God, “just wait and see the winters I am going to give them”.

Only 48 Hours Until the Reign of Premiere Bush is Over!

Yep, exactly 48 hours until Obama is sworn in and we rid ourselves of this pathetic excuse for a president. And possibly the best part, the vice president will be sworn in 10 minutes before that! So, goodbye Cheney, may you retire in private and keep your mouth shut. Check that ego at the door, you’re outta here! Maybe you can take George hunting some day 🙂

I will miss the Bush-isms though, and the nearly daily laughs I received listening to this moron try to sound intelligent. Did he really think he was fooling anyone? I watched part of his farewell speech the other night and he still doesn’t get it. He really believes he has been an excellent president. In all fairness he may have done some things right, but I can only remember one of them, deciding to attack the Taliban after 9/11. Yep, I think that’s about it. And that has, so far, only been done half-assed. I still have not seen Bin Laden’s head mounted anywhere.

Bush is leaving office with us still fighting 2 wars, a national debt over 10 trillion dollars, a yearly budget deficit in the hundreds of billions of dollars and our economy in shambles. I know Obama is not going to be able to fix this overnight, but we all need to give him a longer honeymoon period to prove that he can. I think we will do just that. Things will not turn around in 2009, but I am very hopeful that by 2010 we will be back on track on every front, and I feel condident that will happen.

I also hope that Obama is allowed to serve out his terms in office. There are enough crazies out there that I do fear for him. Hoping for the best, only 23 hours 42 minutes left for Bush, but who’s counting? 🙂

They Get It!

They get it, my new company “gets it”. Granted, I have only been here a couple of days, but that has proven to be enough time to determine that Quest has a much better understanding of “correct” software development than most of the companies I have worked for in the past, especially recent past. The code that I have been reviewing is pretty darn good, has comments, is formatted consistently, and has unit and functional tests written for it. The style is not my own of course, but it is consitent and easy to read and follow.

My manager, like me, very much believes in Test Driven Development. That is developing code using this simple principle to create much less buggy software, giving the end-user a much better experience with the program. It takes a little bit longer initially to create the code, but the end result is high quality code that ultimately took less time to write because it was bug-free to begin with. It is nice to have a manager that see’s things this way, instead of one that I have to do constant battle with because he doesn’t “get it”.

I am just getting going here, but it appears I will soon be able to contribute a lot to the team and add significant value to the product. And the best part is, I don’t have to do any web development, ever! I am perfectly fine not creating boring old web pages and “web applications”. Give me the low-level grunt code any day and I will be happy.

On the personal front, it’s been a while since I have written about finances. I have just been so busy lately, my little hobbies tend to take a back seat. Missy and I did find a nice little gem on the Internet last night, a site called CreditKarma. It allows you to see your credit score and has a FICO simulator. It is not perfect, but it is still a very nice tool. The price is right too, 100% free, paid for my targetted advertising on the site. I highly recommend it.

We are hoping to refinance our house. Yes, already. The rates are nearly 2% lower now than when we purchased the home in July, and we can lower our payments by $250 every month! We are submitting the paperwork tonight and hopefully will have this wrapped up the first part of February, which would give us 2 months without a house payment!

The credit cards are, once again, completely paid off. I know I have said this before, but we (all of us) need to stop using them. However, CreditKarma also did some research that showed people that used 10-19% of their available credit had up to 60 point higher credit scores than people that had 0 credit utilization, literally the difference between a 720 FICO score and 660, which is huge. I think that should be illegal, but it appears that that is exactly how the credit scoring system works. So what is more evil here, having 0 credit card debt and a lower FICO score, or a little credit card debt and feeding those monsters? I don’t have an answer, though the new iMac and iLife suite from Apple is looking very appealing! 🙂

Home Remodeling Update

We have been working real hard the last week on completing some of our home remodeling tasks, mostly painting, but also some electrical changes and replacing the old patio drapes with new vertical blinds. So here, in no particular order, is some of what we have been doing.

The Old Dining Room Ceiling Fan. Also note the off-white EVERYTHING paint.

The New Dining Room Fixture and Tan Paint with White Ceiling

We started by painting the ceilings a much better white. The painting project had its “moments”. I had just finished painting the hall gray and was half way through the family room when Missy yelled “STOP. It’s Purple!” She was right, the “gray” paint was drying purple. Do over…

Purple Hall

Purple Family Room

The purple had to go, so we made a trip to our local hardware store and bought “Papala”, a brown-tan color. The results were much better!

Tan Hall

Tan Family Room

We watch a little too much HGTV and TLC, so we had to add an accent wall!

The Kitchen is Now Blue. Missy added stickers to the existing tile to spruce it up.

The New Microwave

So that is what we have been up to. Here are a few more random shots of how it all came together.

Dining Room

Foyer. We don’t think the original “green” paint we chose works any longer. That will be a near future project to repaint it and the stairs going down to the basement.

The Old Foyer Fixture and Hideous Wallpaper!

The New Foyer Fixture and Green Paint. It will have to be changed now.

New Hall Fixture Too

Another Magazine Going Down the Crapper

I just read on Slashdot that Dr. Dobbs Journal, a long-running magazine for computer programmers, will no longer be printed. It will be on the web only. That is a shame, as it is one of the last very good magazines and sources of quality information for professional programmers, and has been printed since 1976.

That means I officially have no magazine subscriptions any longer. I refuse to pay for web based magazines because that is not how I like to read them. I don’t sit at my computer and read that kind of stuff online, it’s just too hard on the eyes. And let’s be completely honest here, I read magazines in two places… in bed and on the crapper, neither of which has a computer anyway. Sure, I could take a laptop in those places, but I don’t personally own one, and refuse to buy one for myself until they make them as light as a magazine and don’t burn the crap out of my legs when I use them. And no, my Motorola Q or iPhone is not a suitable way to read a magazine either.

Newspapers are in trouble, magazines are going away, and we have the wonderful web to thank for it. Ultimately we will be left only with half-baked, half-assed news and information written by people that have no business writing or teaching. This is sad day in computer history.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! 2008 is finally over, thank God, and 2009 promises to be a great year. We have a lot to look forward to in 2009 and we wanted to welcome the new year in proper Wisconsin style. Missy, June and I headed out for a night of partying at Sheltons and Kurts on Main. It was a little slow early on, but got crazier and more fun as the night grew late. Everyone had a real good time, and despite me having turned 40 at midnight, I am recovering quite nicely this morning. I honestly don’t remember everything that happened last night, but we did manage to make a wonderful rap music video and snap some pictures. Enjoy the video!