115 thoughts on “January 2, 2014: Shhhhhh!”

  1. We have some neighbors two doors down who have the same general floor plan in their house as we do, except that we have one extra wall that they don't. In other words, we have more wall space and more trim work to do to paint our interior.

    My painting project has been slowed by my wife's anxiety about our color of choice. We saw the neighbors on NYE and they said that they were going to get their interior painted, too, but that they were going to hire it done. Rather gratingly, they were trying to convince me to hire it, too. It's only going to cost $2100, they said. My wife was in agreement. When we left the event where we were at, I turned to my wife and said that I was really glad that they were able to assign a dollar value to my efforts. We can take that $2100 that we would have spent on having someone else paint our house and buy that sofa and loveseat that you want.

    I have calmed my wife down on the paint color (I think it looks great and it was a joint decision to pick it) and I've made progress. $2100! Needless to say, I'm going to let the neighbors know that I took that $2100 and bought new furniture.

    It kind of pisses me off that they stick their nose in our business. They have two incomes, their one child is in public school, and they have lived in their house for twenty years. If they even have a mortgage payment, it's no question much smaller than mine. So yeah, they might have $2100 to blow on painting their house because they don't want to do it. I don't.

    1. $2100!? For Paint!? The way my wife can't make up her mind about wall colors, we'd be even more broke if we hired someone to do it. Of course, if it were up to me all the walls would still be white.

      1. We have painted eight of the ten rooms with regular sheetrock walls in our house. (A couple others have wood paneling.I'm not painting that, no matter what HGTV tells my wife.) We didn't do a professional job, but we did okay and learned a couple things along the way. We put the money we saved into a new tile floor in the main bathroom, replacing the carpet (so gross) that was in there when we bought the house.

          1. We bought our house from an elderly woman's estate. I believe she lived at home until shortly before her death. My hope is that it had been installed to prevent her from slipping in the bathroom.

            1. Is there a better way to solve that problem? Bathroom carpet seems close to the ideal way to grow mold (which could also kill an elderly person.)

              1. we just had our bathrooms re-done a couple of months ago.

                (1) carpet removed from master bathroom; all three bathrooms tiled; paint; new vanity tops for two and new vanity entirely for downstairs bathroom

                commentary on carpet in bathrooms: ewwww. At least we had vinyl around the toilet (a separate li'l room in the master bath) and in the other two bathrooms.

                (2) we are now fighting with Home Despot over the quality (or lack thereof) on the vanity tops in our bathroom and kids' bathroom. We bought a mid-grade engineered product, made in Tejas. One came in all scratched up and our contractor dude refused to install. Took a month for the replacement to arrive. It and the other (our bathroom) are both easily scratched. Wife pissed, has demanded satisfaction. Our guy at Home Despot got the company to say they would replace for free, but we are still waiting on confirmation that Because defective, or Because product is crap, in which case wife is willing to pay marginal cost to upgrade to not crap.

                By easily scratched, I mean that we have a plastic box that holds toothpaste, etc. sitting on top. Underneath is all scratched. From gently replacing toothpaste in box. I have a Sonicare that sits in a plastic charging stand. Underneath is all scratched. From me gently setting Sonicare back in cradle. Oy.

                1. Someday we'll replace the carpet in our master bath. I hate it, but our first project will be replacing a lot of the rest of the carpet in the house with hardwood.

      2. Ha ha. I like our white walls, and I've been able to leverage our mutual laziness to avoid painting.

    2. Geez, I read that as $1200 and it still seemed outrageous.

      We're financially at a point where we can afford to pay others to do work, but I'm too much of a tightwad to throw around that kind of money, especially on something I can do myself. We painted our master bedroom walls and ceiling this past summer, and I found that there was definitely better buy-in on the color when my wife had done a good portion of the painting as well. That may not be an option though, particularly when doing trim.

      Our front door needs repainting, and I've tried to convince my wife that to do a good job, it needs better attention than I would give it, since it's metal and probably should be buffed and spray painted. We'll see...

      1. I'd have to made an order of magnitude more than I do to have $2100 be "only". I was practically giddy inside when I heard that figure. Look honey, I saved $2100! Do you realize how much time I have to work to take home that kind of money? More time than it would take me to paint the damned walls!

        The neighbor's wife kept emphasizing that this was for two coats! Yippee skippy. I'm putting on two coats, too! One coat is a primer, the second is the color we picked. I've done enough painting that my work is as good as we'd get from any professional. I still can't get over it. Only $2100!

        1. It's all relative. I'm sure there are purchases you make that you think are cheap that someone poorer would scoff at.

          1. This is something I have to remind myself a lot in my department. I have to remind myself that for some people, $400 is the absolute most they can spend on a "decent-size" TV, and they realize they can't really get a very good one, but they'll take what they can get.

            Still, I roll my eyes inside when I get someone like yesterday: "My husband wants a soundbar. It has to be cheap...very cheap. But he wants it to be very, very good." I can get you one or the other, for the most part.

            1. I recently ordered a soundbar (cheap, very cheap!) from Costco, to go with a 32-inch tv I bought for my parents to use while they are here this winter (in an apartment, thankyouverymuch). Because deaf. I'll let you know the cheap/good tradeoff in a few days.

              as for the $2100, yea, that sounds like a lot, depending on how much of the house. I think we paid more than that to have the exterior of our house painted a few years ago. But nothing like that amount for a big chunk of our interior (our living/dining room has the cathedral ceiling thing, so wasn't any way we were painting it ourselves).

              1. How cheap? Does it come with a subwoofer, or do they try to jam the bass into the existing speakers?

                Either way, if this is just a winter thing, it's probably not a huge deal (nor do most people know what they're missing if they end up with a lesser soundbar).

                1. Vizio (yea, I know) 32-incher with subwoofer. Online reviews were ok, fwiw. And $89.

                  part of the justification in my head is that the sound on our downstairs tv (another Vizio, yea, I know) is not very good.

                  I bought a 32-inch JVC box for the parents ($199 on close-out). Damn. The box felt like it weighed about 10-15 lbs.

                  1. I got one of these, sans subwoofer, for $50 at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. It sounds better than my TV speakers and I can stream music to it over Bluetooth so it suits my needs just fine. I'll add a sub some day maybe.

                  2. At that price, it's a built-in subwoofer, right? Not separate? If it's separate, it's not bad, despite the notable handicap of being a Vizio (actually, they're not all that bad at sound. Samsung is weirdly terrible at sound...you can't predict these things).

                    Today's TVs really have very poor sound. They've slimmed them down so much, there's no place to put the speakers. Some of the 4K models are incorporating bigger speakers that work quite well, but we're talking $3500 here.

                    1. I run our TV through my receiver & speker towers whenever possible. Mrs. Hayes doesn't understand why, and weirdly also has little interest in streaming music to the speakers via our Apple TV. She just listens to it on her iPhone's tiny speaker. Mrs. Hayes has a music performance degree, and presumably can hear the difference in audio quality.

                    2. I run everything through my receiver and tower speakers as well (though I only have the fronts and center channels hooked up and no sub-woofer. Money, man.) My wife resisted it pretty hard at first as well.... until she blew the tv speakers out. Now she's on board, but likes to complain about them a lot, since they are about 10 years old.

                    3. My speakers are about 15 years old and still sound pretty decent. I won't keep them forever, but I'm hoping that the next speakers I buy last me even longer. Quality speakers, if sensibly used and properly maintained, should last longer than a couple cars. (At least that's my gauge based on the sound of the speakers in Pops' console radio from the mid-1970s.)

                    4. Huh. That's a very good price for that. Looks like it might be last year's model. You can usually get pretty smokin' deals when retailers still have those in stock, and they're rarely of lesser quality.

          2. That's true. But, I'm not in the business of telling people with less than me how they should spend their money.

            1. Heh. I'm in almost exactly that business. Or rather, telling them how they screwed up spending their money and if there's a way to fix it.

    3. My wife and I have owned three different houses since 2006 and painted every. single. surface. (that's like 15 rooms, multiple hallways, kitchens and stairwells) in the first two at least once and 5 of 7 in the one we're in now. We were so desperate to cover the pastels they'd done in the current house - seriously, like Easter exploded - that we didn't even unpack boxes in June - just piled them in the center of the rooms and started taping.

      We have never once considered paying someone to paint for us. My wife has a pretty good eye and loves interior design. She'd rather spend the money on furniture and décor than pay someone to paint. That's the key though. We're not averse to spending money. I think we replaced all of the carpet in the new house (~2,800 sqft) - carpet, tear-up, installation & disposal - for like $4,600, and only did so because the previous owners had cats and my wife is deathly allergic. But why pay someone do anything that we could do ourselves?

      1. But why pay someone do anything that we could do ourselves?

        Did Dwight Schrute say that about his haircuts?

            1. Baldness never hit me like my father. If I would have had his God-given haircut over half his dome, a spacer and nice trimmer could have done the work of professionals on the other half..
              Alas, I've just got the slow-receding typical pattern.

    4. A painter couldn't allay fears about color. You'd have to use an interior decorator, which would really jack up the price unless you used the decorator for advice and then painted yourself.

  2. Nope, the cough still persists. My wife and I had an impromptu New Year celebration last night, which was low-key enough but still probably didn't do my wellness any favors.

  3. Well, the leak repair for my pipes wasn't as bad as I thought. Won't even need to use insurance since I think it is less than our deductible. Anyways, we have the cash on hand for it. Of course, that may change if complications arise. They just started working on it. Also, should be fixed in a few hours. I was worried it might be a couple days. We'll have to have someone repair the hole in the drywall, though.

        1. I can hang new sheetrock and make it look really good, but if I try to repair sheetrock it ends up looking like crap.

          1. I made a repair of a 6-7 inch hole that I think ended up looking pretty good. I used grocery bags in the hole, a load of drywall repair and got some fine grain sand for texture. Can't even tell what happened.

          2. Oh, mama. I'm a pro at sheet rock repair. Too bad my boss won't let me take the time to donut right at the museum. The trick is to use the recessed edge of the new board and to shave the existing panel to hide the tape and mud.

          3. What part of it looks like crap? My dad's method is to use a paint stick or two to provide stabilization for the patch, screwed into the surrounding wall. Then, you just have to do the mudding and painting. I've had really good luck with this as long as I have the right paint...

                1. Respect.

                  To be fair (to me), I have performed the occasional home repair/maintenance task. But my works generally are confined to things like sanding/waterproofing the deck, and replacing fixtures that don't require me to do any rewiring. That, and my various infirmities actually limit my usefulness anyway. Oh, and mrsS is the painter in the household.

                  Our first house was a 1920s build, with a whole bunch of true-mullens windows, most of which had been painted shut by prior owners. We spent a lot of time scraping (lead) paint and sanding. Also, painting, installing crown molding, installing insulation, and other crazy shit that cash-flow limited first-timers do. I am happy to be beyond that financial stage of my life.

      1. Who said anything about paying?

        The leak is fixed and for the price quoted and in the time quoted. Very happy. The holes in the walls were made in the linen closet in the hall and underneath the sink in the master bath, so we're in no rush. FiL is coming in March and always asks for projects to do, so we'll probably save that for him.

        1. FiL is coming in March and always asks for projects to do, so we'll probably save that for him.

          This is my dad, in spades. Except he's now of an age and health status where I don't ask him to do anything that requires exertion. Dude almost had a heart attack working on my fence last winter (when I was laid up after my shoulder surgery).

          1. My dad's the same. He's doing well now that he had quad bypass 18 months ago or so, but he just turned 75 and has diabetes he controls with diet and pills, no insulin. Both dads like to do projects around our house and are more handy than me. FiL just happens to be coming out sooner than dad.

            1. That used to be my dad, too. Unfortunately, at 91, he can't do that sort of thing any more, much to his sadness.

  4. Huh.

    Santana is also close to signing with some team and rumors were that it was the Twins. Even if just Garza signs, that's four* free agent starters in one offseason. Mind. Blown. The entire rotation would be from free agency.

    Four because Pelfrey technically a free agent.

    1. Even if Garza (or Santana I guess) doesnt sign, I appreciate the effort Terry Ryan is doing trying to put together a respectable pitching staff for 2014.

      1. If he can't handle a starter's workload anymore, I'd be really tempted to try him out in the 'pen again.

        1. Moving to the pen might allow him to regain some of his lost velocity. It might be less painful to see Santana as an okay setup guy rather than a fifth starter.

          1. Good point. There's the matter of utility, and the matter of giving a returning all-time franchise great the best opportunity to succeed and look good.

          2. Would Santana's ego (ego not being a bad thing here, but more of being a #1 starter for so many years) allow him to be a reliever?

            1. I have the impression that Santana's ego was at least partially healed during his shoulder surgery.

              1. Not to mention that earning a couple million a year as a setup man beats earning nothing as a broken-down starter

                1. Also, I have no idea how he personally got along with Rick Anderson or Ron Gardenhire, but that could be a factor (negative or positive.)

      2. I'm unrealistically happy about the fact that the Twins name has even been mentioned for Tanaka.

        1. Also illogically happy considering the last time the Twins were mentioned in a Japanese player being posted....

          1. I get what you're saying, but... there were some noteworthy warning signs on Nishi that don't exist here.

            1. Tanaka's thrown many more innings than the equivalent American pitcher usually does by his age in the current development climate. That's a significant warning sign.

              1. "There might or might not be eventual health concerns" pales in comparison to "only one year of success."

                1. The accuracy of that claim depends on the price tag, I think. Even when considering insurance, 3 years/$9 million is much easier to absorb than 5-6 years/$150(+) million.

                  1. Well now you're bringing in ROI, not just performance speculation. It's gonna take hindsight before we can meaningfully discuss that (and that $150 is significantly higher than anything I've read, even factoring in the posting fee. )

                    My point was that there was reason to believe Nishioka wouldn't have success here. There is nothing to indicate that about Tanaka.

            2. Well I mean I didn't know he was a chain smoker until after he'd been here a couple years.

              Jettisoning JJ Hardy to hand him the job wasn't really smart, either, though. That still makes me cranky 3 years later.

    2. Kicking his tires over and over will just make him sore.
      /Tired of the same cliches over and over from pro writers.

        1. Actually it's not that surprising. The Wilf's may be shady business people but they have a long history of giving political $$$ to moderately liberal causes and candidates.

            1. when have campaign donations and political friends EVER generated benefits for rich people? That's crazy talk.

    1. I then had a meeting with Leslie Frazier, who repeated that I had been "a fantastic player for this organization" and who also told me, "Don't close any doors behind you—you never know when things will come full circle."

      I guess he didn't follow that advice.

      The allegations against Priefer are pretty specific and damning. I'd say (from a lay perspective) that he's got a case for a sexual harassment charge. But that he'll probably never work in the NFL again.

    2. Is this the part where we talk about trusting mediots like Top Jimmy who enjoy all that official clubhouse access and write about how nice a guy Frazier was?

          1. I consider that article to be Rick Reilly's pièce de résistance. He's never been "better" than that.

    3. Setting aside all of the Kluwe content there, are the Vikings really considering promoting a special teams coach to be the head coach? I guess it could beat hiring an NFL tight ends coach to head coach a college football team, but personally I guess I'd look for someone who either has experience head coaching (at some level) or was an offensive or defensive coordinator in the NFL.

      1. George Stewart! Because the last time the Vikes elevated a receivers coach to head coach it worked out so well.

    1. My brother has had to kick him out of his restaurant a couple of times (Henderson was cooperative both times, and had a driver). He apparently gets pretty rough anytime he goes there.

      The details are a bit more damning, but that's not for me to engage in here.

  5. *ALERT*
    Season 5 (!!!) of Community starts tonight with back to back episodes on NBC. Adjust your plans accordingly.

    1. I scheduled a date for tonight of all nights. Maybe she'll be impressed when I describe to her how I'm missing my favorite TV show to hang out with her.

  6. According to the media, winter storm Hercules is about to lay waste to New England. But I'm hearing only 5-10" will actually land in H'town.

    This boyo has already snow-blown the first couple inches, and the Ariens 2000 (I don't remember the actual model number) snowblower (it's red, I know that) and my Canadian Royal Mounted Police muskrat fur cap are ready for some early morning action. After coffee. Maybe grits also.

      1. That's why I don't acknowledge the titles.
        They also seem to have east-coast bias. Storm passes over us, dumping a two feet, then gets named because New York gets eight inches.
        Or that's how it seems to me.

        1. Just to put the blame where it belongs, the national weather service I don't believe is happy with the naming idea -- it's totally a Weather Channel construct. Which is based in Atlanta, I think, so east coast bias can be assumed.

          This Sat-Mon are looking at our coldest temps since ~1999 here. I wouldn't mind so much if I didn't have to assume the morning and evening dog walks for the next several days :/

          1. Yep. The Weather Channel is branding weather now.
            No reputable news service uses the winter storm names things.
            Pretty soon it'll be "Winter Storm Nermel, brought to you by Comcast!"

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