October 15th, 2006


Bye, bye, contractor

Yesterday (yes, Saturday) the electrician and helper arrived at 8:30 to chase down the reason one garage outlet was dead. It took them an hour of clambering around in the attic and communicating through another outlet hole in the garage ceiling, but they found the wire had gotten cut, maybe back during demolition, and never re-connected. Which explains why the work crews were always using the ceiling outlet--I thought they just liked having the cord hanging down, maybe.

Then around noon Mary arrive to add more caulk to the seam that was too low. I also pointed out two touch-up paint needs that had been missed, and she borrowed a brush from me and did those two. And then we agreed that that was all on the punch list, and that she will email me the final bill on Monday.

OK, there's still some stuff outstanding: the electrical supply house supposedly has a replacement fixture on order for over the sink, and I'll ask them to look at the humming Cat Room light when they come to replace the other. And I want to call the appliance store again and talk about why the dishwasher often doesn't release the soap dispenser door at the right time, so that half a tablet or more of soap is left at the end of the cycle. The relayed message that I should just use powder (when the manufacturer's instructions say to use tablets) is Not Satisfactory.

However, the contractor sign-off moves this from the realm of "renovation" to "maintenance"--I say the kitchen is Done!


We had a nice MiniLoisCon last night at Crescent Moon at Northlake (easier access and parking than the Decatur one, site of many other MiniLoisCons). The occasion was the visit of toraks with Tom and the oh-so-adorable Sean all in town for a neuroscience conference (Tom gave his poster session yesterday with Sean on his arm--I think it must have added a nice touch <g>), toraks's cousin Vani, filkferengi and Marty (Happy birthday, filkferengi! I didn't know it was coming up, or we would have gotten you a candle in your dessert last night...), and Dawn B. and her mother. We took over a couple of tables and camped there for the evening--luckily the restaurant wasn't that busy, so I don't think we hurt our waiter's business too much.

We talked Bujold list, made faces and played games with Sean, gave our general non-spoilered feelings on TSK:B (not everyone had read it yet), I gave the kitchen remodeling update and toraks compared notes with her pre-baby bathroom remodel, and on and on. filkferengi successfully pushed books on Dawn, but had less success with me--Dawn got a few I might have taken, and most of what was left I already have or don't read. She did talk me into one, though--filkferengi is a world-class book pusher, after all!

Bird watching

A couple of weeks ago I finally moved the bird feeder pole from the back yard to the front, where it's visible from the breakfast bar in the kitchen. Now I can sit in my lovely new kitchen with the wonderful stone countertop, and watch the birds.

It took a week before they seemed to find the feeder, and last weekend the visitors were mostly Carolina chickadees, with a Carolina wren and a tufted titmouse for variety. But now everyone seems to know where the feeder is, and I'm digging for the binoculars and the Sibley (bird book) with great regularity. I've never been much more than a bird-feeder bird watcher, so my ID's are rather tentative as I scramble to spot distinguishing characteristics on "new" birds. So far, in addition to the 3 above, I've seen cardinals, a house finch, a goldfinch, blue jays (they haven't tried the feeder while I've been watching--they're a litle big for it), and woodpeckers--I think both a downy and a hairy, but I'm only sure of the downy. It's hard to check beak length when they're sticking said beak in the suet cake with great rapidity, and my eye isn't attuned enough yet to say "oh, that one's bigger, it must be a hairy woodpecker". Oh, and I think I saw both a white-breasted nuthatch and a brown-headed nuthatch, but these are both new birds for me so I'm not completely sure.