House Call

Got a call about the house!!!!!!! Showing it on Saturday.


Merry Christmas!!!!!

May God bless you today and in the coming year!!

I am at work today, looking forward to driving to my parents tonight. Ricky and Wesley are excited about seeing their Nana and Pops. We will be driving to my sister's house tomorrow mid-afternoon for our family Christmas, then back to my parents for Thursday night, and then down to Cincy for Extended family Christmas on Friday.

Lots of traveling, but we will take our time and have fun doing it.


Interesting article

I found this article today on wnd.com and thought it was interesting.

Today's Baal Worshipers
Matt Barber

I think it is very interesting. I don't know how much I agree with everything, but the basic premise makes sense. Today's liberals are yesterdays Baal worshipers. The parallels that he makes are pretty good.



Great Article on "Global Warming"

As many of your know, I do not believe in man made global warming.  I don't even believe the globe is warming at all.
Some facts from the story.
The mean global temperature, at least as measured by satellite, is now the same as it was in the year 1980. In the last couple of years sea level has stopped rising. Hurricane and cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere is at a 24-year low and sea ice globally is also the same as it was in 1980
And my favorite:
James O'Brien, an emeritus professor at Florida State University who studies climate variability and the oceans, said that global climate change is very important for the country and that Americans need to make sure they have the right answers for policy decisions. But he said he worries that scientists and policymakers are rushing to make changes based on bad science.
"Global climate change is occurring in many places in the world," O'Brien said. "But everything that's attributed to global warming, almost none of it is global warming."
He took issue with the AP article's assertion that melting Arctic ice will cause global sea levels to rise.
"When the Arctic Ocean ice melts, it never raises sea level because floating ice is floating ice, because it's displacing water," O'Brien said. "When the ice melts, sea level actually goes down."
"I call it a fourth grade science experiment. Take a glass, put some ice in it. Put water in it. Mark level where water is. Let it met. After the ice melts, the sea level didn't go up in your glass of water. It's called the Archimedes Principle."
He called sea level changes a "major scare tactic used by the global warming people."


Shirts for Christmas, and other items

I am working on laundry and getting all of my shirts unpacked, and have come to a huge revelation. I don't need any more shirts. If you have already purchased a shirt for me, that's great, I can use it, but don't buy me any if you haven't already. It turns out I had some shirts packed away. I have 54 shirts currently hanging in my closet, with a load of laundry in the washer and in the dryer with more shirts. So I will be weaning my shirt supply instead of growing it. I think I will get it down to 15 long sleeve dress shirts, 5 long sleeve polos, 10 short sleeve polo's, and 10 other shirts.

What should I do with the other shirts? I will be giving them away, but which charity should I give them too?

And for some more information about the ipod touch stuff. I recieved an email from the company that I posted (I have done business with them in the past), and they offered me a tremendous deal. I got the items shipped to me for 64% of the regular price :).

Things are going well. We have a "Sibling" class at Christ Hospital on Saturday for the boys to help with the baby. Then we are meeting up with Rachel's folks for dinner. Next week I have a bunch of meetings, then I am heading to Minster to work on flooring again. Hopefully it won't be too cold while I am there.

Well, need to get back to laundry.


Updated Christmas List

Gift Cert to iTunes (to get Voltron seasons)
Gift cert to eReader.com or fictionwise.com (to get ebooks)(email for gift is ereader at johnsoax.com)
Back to the Future DVD set. (Widescreen)
The Usual Suspects DVD (widescreen)
Jurassic Park Adventure Pack ( widescreen)
Alien Triple Pack (widescreen)
the office season 2 or 3
House season 1,3,4
jeremy camp - Live Unplugged CD
jeremy camp - speaking lounder than before CD
Device mount for Pacifica (want to be able to have GPS and ipod mounted to it on side of dash, right now just want the custom mount for the Pacifica).
Dress shirts and ties. (I have no idea a size, I just went to the bathroom to look, and couldn't see find it in the shirt I am wearing at all.
Some way to generate electricity for free or cheap, (disposable nuclear reactor or "Mr. Fusion")
A buyer for my house.

Do not buy me:
Accessories for my iPod Touch (screen protector, some kind of protective case)


another item for my christmas

another item for my christmas list

jeremy camp - Live Unplugged CD
jeremy camp - speaking lounder than before CD

More christmas list House season

More christmas list

House season 1,3,4

more christmas list Jurassic Park

more christmas list

Jurassic Park Adventure Pack ( widescreen)
Alien Triple Pack (widescreen)
the office season 2 or 3


What I want for Christmas

Since I haven't had a chance to work on the Gift list section (or any part, for that matter) of johnsoax.com, here is my Christmas list.  It is subject to change at will.
Gift Cert to iTunes (to get Voltron seasons)
Gift cert to eReader.com or fictionwise.com (to get ebooks)
Back to the Future DVD set.  (Widescreen)
The Usual Suspects DVD (widescreen)
Accessories for my iPod Touch (screen protector, some kind of protective case)
Device mount for Pacifica (want to be able to have GPS and ipod mounted to it on side of dash, right now just want the custom mount for the Pacifica).
Dress shirts and ties.  (I have no idea a size, I just went to the bathroom to look, and couldn't see find it in the shirt I am wearing at all.
Some way to generate electricity for free or cheap, (disposable nuclear reactor or "Mr. Fusion")
A buyer for my house.


This week

This week will be another busy week.  I have work Monday-Wednesday, then Thursday we have family get togethers.  Friday Rachel, the boys and I will head to the Minster house to work on it.  I am going to be laying flooring in the dining room and living room.  Hopefully I can finish that on Friday, and then Saturday I will try to put in all the trim.  Sunday we will hopefully be back in Cincy, hopefully relaxing.  And at some point we really have to finish unpacking at the apartment.  Busy, busy, busy.


Weekend a partial success

Well, I completed my primary task for the weekend. I got the two storage units emptied out. I also completed three loads of laundry, and got the washing machine ready for transport. But I just couldn't get the washing machine out of the basement. It was just too heavy. My dolly either doesn't have big enough wheels, or I am just not strong enough to lift it up the 8" stair treads.

The family get together went well. We had fun visiting family, and I even got to sit in a DeLorean (my cousin Mike recently bought one).

This is a short week at work, then the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday. Then Friday and Saturday we will be up in Minster laying flooring, and doing general cleaning. If anyone wants to help, let me know, I have plenty for people to do :).


Upcoming weekend

This weekend will be a busy one.  Tonight, I head up to Minster, by myself, to empty the storage units out.  I have already given notice to the storage company that we will be vacating them.  That will save us quite a bit of money every month.  I just haven't figured out how I am going to get a sleeper sofa out of the trailer and into the house by myself yet.  May have to call a neighbor to help or something.
Also, I will be doing a few loads of laundry.  The washing machine at our apartment is broken, so I will be taking two or three loads with me to do at the house.  Then the real fun begins.  I am taking our washing machine to my parents house, as I don't want to store it for a year, and my parents could use a new one.  I will be taking my parents washing machine with me to the apartment (hopefully Dad got it fixed).  And we will be using it for a while at the apartment.  Then we get to play musical trailer so that Rachel and I don't have to deal with the trailer for the week.  Hmm, we may need the trailer next weekend.  Well if we do, I will just have to get it from my parents house.
Then Sunday, we have the Nead family thanksgiving get together, except we aren't calling it a thanksgiving get together, because we are having Chili, not turkey.  :).  Oh well, it should be fun to see all my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins :).
Hopefully we can sell the house in Minster soon.  With the apartment, and house payments, plus utilities at both, we are just squeaking by.  If anyone knows of someone who might want to live in Minster, or wants a really good investment house, let me know!!  4 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath, full basement, newly renovated kitchen, and huge yard - $135k - negotiable.


What I believe - politically

I found this on American Thinker today, and I really like it.  So here is what I believe, politically.
I believe in one nation, under God, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all.
I believe in the Constitution of the United States, a nation of laws, not men.
I believe in the greatness of America, having no limit to what it may achieve.
I believe in America's manifest destiny and the obligation to use our resources and power to preserve and propagate liberty and democratic government around the word.
I believe the United States has the right and obligation to use military force, even preemptively, but judiciously, anywhere in the world whenever the vital interests of the United States and her allies are threatened.
I believe the United States is a nation without peer, whose sovereignty shall never be subjugated to, nor compromised by, any nation or nations anywhere on earth for national security, trade, economics or for any other purpose.
I believe in the sanctity of human life, including protections for the unborn and the infirm.
I believe in the right of consenting adults to make lifestyle choices, provided I am neither required to pay for such choices nor required to accept corruption of traditional family institutions in name or form, as a condition for accepting such choices.
I believe in free market capitalism.
I believe that private citizens and private enterprises can spend their own money more wisely than the government.
I believe taxes should support only those necessary and minimally essential government functions, not to underwrite an ever-expanding role of government intruding into our private lives nor enlarging the welfare state.
I believe tax burdens should be fairly distributed and proportional: no economic class should disproportionately subsidize another.
I believe tax policies should not confiscate the rewards of achievement; instead taxes should encourage entrepreneurship, inspire upward mobility and motivate wealth creation.
I believe in equal opportunities and if measured objectively I can accept unequal outcomes.
I believe in the self-esteem of achievement, not in patronizing generosity.
I believe in personal accountability where I am responsible for my own actions and where I will not blame the shortcomings and disappointments of this life on someone else.
I believe in freedom of expression, the competition of ideas in an open marketplace free from intimidation, prejudice, suppression and retaliation.
I believe in leaders who respect differences of opinion and reject the politics of hate, distortion and personal destruction.
I believe in leaders who are intellectually honest with me and who value my intelligence and common sense as much as their own.
I believe in leaders who are authentic and can make a personal connection with me despite our differences in personal taste and economic station in life.
I believe in leaders who appeal to my hopes instead of reinforcing my fears.
I believe in leaders who identify with my dreams and aspirations instead of reminding me of my failures, misjudgments and infirmities.
I believe in American democracy where voting is a valued privilege, not a right afforded to every inhabitant, regardless of citizenship, criminality, or inability to fill out a ballot.
I believe in voting as a sacred duty where on that day all qualified American citizens are equal with power and authority to judge and choose.
I believe in the unique American ideology of liberty, freedom of thought, assembly, speech and worship; of political power used to protect private property and promote economic self-determination.
I believe the unique American ideology transcends and binds the racial, ethnic and religious diversity in America and offers hope for millions of oppressed people around the globe.
I believe in Almighty God who shed His grace on this great nation, from the beginning, and who pours His blessings upon us and our descendents, now and forever,


Moving Day 2 - update

Moving along pretty well. A good bunch of the furniture is in the house. Lots of boxes to go though. Hopefully they finish up soon.

I have to leave for work in 30 minutes. Rachel should be home by then.

Moving Day 2

Well after an evening of moving the twin beds upstairs and moving things around for the movers on Wednesday, we had an absolutely horrible night. Ricky got sick three times in all. 2,4 and 6 am. The washer at the apartment seems to be broken.

And the movers haven't shown up yet.

Wait, there they are.

More later.


Moving 3

We are about 99% loaded up. Just things here and there that we are grabbing.

Unfortunately there is still quite a bit of stuff here that we will have to move later. Hopefully most of it we will sell or give away.

Now when the movers get done, I am going to rip out the carpet in the living room/dining room areas :). Need to install that Ikea floor Thanksgiving weekend. Anyone want to help me out then?

More later :)

Moving 2

The movers are here (and have been since about 9:15). I did get the leaves raked up at least in the front yard. The movers went to the storage unit first while Rachel finished up some packing. By the time there were done over there, Rachel had finished up and was getting the boys ready to head over to a friends for the afternoon.

All the packing is done. The kitchen didn't take that long. Now is the long time of loading, but we are probably 75% loaded right now. Just the basement, crib and our bed to go :).

More later.

Moving 1

We ran out of tape last night at 12:45, so we headed to bed. Got up this morning entirely too early and I ran out to get tape (and donuts :)). I got the few things out of the garage already that we want the movers to move (we need most of my tools here for working on the house). Now we are making a mad dash around the house trying to finish up the packing. We will still have a few trips to make when we are all done today, but at least the movers are moving the heavy stuff.



Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.


Well, after two days of painting for 4 hours a day, I am finally able to post.

Our apartment in Cincy had Mexican resturant orange walls in the kitchen and dining room. My pregnant wife informed me that I had to change them, so I used the left over paint from our kitchen in Minster to paint the dining room and kitchen, a nice regal green color (called Chive). It looks much better now.

And our big news so far of this month is that we are finally fully moving down to Cincy. Rachel and the boys have been living apart from me since the middle of September. Movers are coming on Tuesday to pack the kitchen and breakables and load up the trailer. I get to be there to supervise due to Tuesday being a holiday. But Rachel gets to supervise the unloading alone :(. If anyone wants to help her out next wednesday, let us know.

So last night should be the last night that I spend at the apartment alone. So I am excited to say the least. Plus I will finally get to watch TV on the big screen again, instead of this junky little 20" one ;).

More later.

Welcome to all my readers.

I've noticed a lot of hits recently, and wanted to say welcome to all my far flung readers.


How I feel

This pretty much sums up how I feel about the election.

Posted at WND.com as a letter to the editor.

"America's best days are now behind us

I never thought I'd live to see the day when I would be disgusted with my country. I'm as much of a flag-waving conservative as they come, someone who has always been proud to be American and believes in the fundamental greatness and exceptionalism that America has been. But to see my fellow Americans elect a man to the presidency with ties to domestic and foreign terrorists, openly campaigns on socialistic tax policies, expresses clear disdain for the people who drive 80 percent of job creation, has political attack dogs who go after ordinary citizens who ask him tough questions, and the list goes on. It makes me sick to my stomach and has greatly diminished my faith in America as well as my belief that it can ever regain the greatness it enjoyed many decades ago.

This man, Obama, was chosen over a decorated war veteran with a long history of patriotism and service to his country? I'm certainly no big fan of John McCain politically as he has opposed conservative principles at times in his career, but compared to Barack Hussein Obama? An America true to its founding principles would reject a candidate like Obama who's very love for his country is suspect and sits in a church pew for 20 years listening to a preacher yell G-d damn America.

The American foundational ideals of a small government, guided by biblical principles and accountable to the people was just spat upon in this election. Further, I'm skeptical these ideals can ever be revived. Make no mistake, the left is getting the return on its investment it made in the liberal indoctrination centers, otherwise known as the public schools and universities. The "youth" vote which went heavily for Obama is a clear indicator of their utter ignorance of the history and founding principles of this country and the wars that were fought against the very ideologies Obama leans toward and of the people he "pals around with." The schools and universities have produced the future perpetual-juvenile, entitlement-minded, dependency-class electorate that the Democratic Party needs to survive. They have no concerns about Obama's ties to America haters. To them, Obama will bring about "social justice," and that's all that matters. In short, we've seen in this election the last 20 years of liberal brainwashing coming home to roost.

Having just watched a documentary on the Revolutionary War, I was reminded of the incomprehensible sacrifices that were made in order to establish the United States as a country. As I look out across this country on this night, indeed over the last 40 years, it's clear that sacrifice has been squandered. The relative peace and prosperity we've enjoyed has caused too many Americans to have slowly become spoiled, adopting a juvenile mentality where they believe that the country owes them something and they look to the government like a child asking parents for an allowance. This election shows that at least half the country has adopted that mentality, for indeed the vast majority of the Democratic Party's constituency is comprised of these social juveniles and the rest are the elites who seek power by affirming that mentality through the demonization of those who actually give these people jobs.

Clearly, this is the beginning of the end, as the United States is officially in decline. As many of us are coming to realize, America's best days are far behind her. The emerging new electorate knows and cares nothing of America's history (nor do they have any desire to learn it). They are ignorant of America's foundational principles, and they reject the idea that America is an exceptional country and is unique among all nations and empires that came before it. It's no wonder that the news media and Hollywood are so thrilled about these "new voters."

At the end of the day, as I gaze on my children sleeping (unaware of the bleak future that awaits them), it truly saddens me to contemplate the America they'll be growing up in. They deserve the America that I once knew and they're not going to get it. So I go to bed tonight with heavy heart and very little hope for the future.

Mike Michaelian


I love my new job.......

I love my new job.......

That is all. :)



I know, I know, I said that I would get some stuff up last week. Well with the power outage that gripped the city of Cincinnati last week, and starting the new job, Rachel and the Boys stayed all last week, so I didn't get anything done. Well this week, I have chores. I have to mow the lawn here tomorrow, then do some painting. After that, depending on what time it is, I will get started on some blogging. :)


Getting started

We have rented a place on the bus line. We don't want another car. I have decided to use the bus to get back and forth to work. At least right now.... We will see how it goes.

Getting ready to make a small move down there with just essentials for me for the week.

Also still feeling very weak from having the flu for the last two days.

Hopefully we can sell our house by November. UC is paying to move us down, so we are going to take a couple weekends after the big move to really clean and finish the house up here, and hopefully get it sold.

So if anyone wants to buy a nice fixer-upper in Minster, OH, please let me know. It isn't that expensive either ;).


Big News

Since I gave my notice, I can post that I have a new job. I will be a Senior Staff Engineer at the University of Cincinnati in the Planning + Design + Construction Department. My tentative start date is September 15th. That may slide depending on my current projects at my current job at Garmann/Miller. Garmann/Miller has been a fantastic place to work, but I just couldn't pass up this opportunity. Rachel and I are busy house hunting and other stuff involved with the move.

New phone

I got a new phone. Treo 755P. It is all set up and running well. I have never had a a palm setup so easy.



We have been on vacation for the past week. After driving 2353 miles round trip, we are tired of being in the car, but we had a good trip, and now we are home safely.

Thanks again to Brian and Beth Diksen for putting us up for a night and visiting with us for a while. Can't wait to see you guys next year.


We are still alive :)

For security reasons, we have been quiet for a few days.

I will make a big post next week about the past week :).



We are expecting baby number three. More info to follow.



I am sitting at work at the moment. I am running a backup of our working drawings files. It is the company's offsite backup. We have so many jobs going on right now, that I am trying to make my once a month backup into every two weeks. I may make it every week here pretty soon.

My sister and her husband came over earlier today, and we ordered Bud's pizza :), yum, that is good.

Well back to the backup.


Golf went as expected

I am not really very good at golfing, so I did about as well as I expected. Both of our teams finished 10 under par :).

I think that we used 1 or 2 of my shots all day.

Anyways, afterwards we went to Texas Road house and had dinner.

I ordered the smallest steak at 8 oz. 4 others ordered 16oz, and one guy, Brian, ordered a 32oz steak.

And he ate it.

I guess that it helps that he is a giant. He is 6'8" tall, so he is over a foot taller than me.


I think the word is getting out.

Do I have your vote?


Engineering Golf outing

Tomorrow, 7 of our 8 engineers are playing golf in the OSPE golf tournament in Lima. We had to pull an architect into playing to round out our two teams. It will be the employees with the most years, vs the newer employees. May the best team win.

I really don't play well, but since it is a scramble, I may be able to contribute with some chips or with a putt or two. :) Hopefully.

More tomorrow.


Project update - 07/21/08

Well, the drawing count has ballooned up to 94. But they are all done. Just doing the specifications now, and will start plotting the 94 drawings to paper after lunch.



Project Update - 07/20/08

Came in and finished that last drawing. Now I am putting my drawings on to the cover sheet, and then I will go home.


Project Update - 07/18/08

I have 1 drawing left to go. Probably will come in on sunday and do it.

My coworker assures me that he will have his 8 drawings done tonight. I still have to go through the specifications one more time, but I have till 4 on Monday. I worked 50 hours this week and 70 last week to get this thing done. Boy am I glad it is almost over. But I have another submission on this job in October, so I can't slow down too much.


Project update - 07/17/08

12/84 Drawings to go. 8 to be completed by another person, so really only 4 more for me to do. Project due 4 PM Monday.


Project update

Only 20 out of 84 drawing sheets to go :) And 8 of those sheets are being completed by a co-worker.


I know, I am bad about updating

The kitchen is done, minus trim. We haven't been able to start the dining room yet because of work. I have been working between 45-50 hours every week on a project. Last week I worked 69.75 hours (I just couldn't stay for that last 15 minutes ;)). This week looks to be between 50-55. I have a big project due a week from yesterday. I should be able to get it done without working so many hours this week.

This weekend we work on the dining room. Or maybe I will put in one of the kitchen windows. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Oh, and we got a new domain last night - starwarsdudes.com :).


More progress

Installed 2 outlets, wire connected in the breaker panel
gas is installed
range is installed.
circuit is half pulled for the dishwasher.

as far as plumbing, the drains are done, including for the dishwasher (pictures on flickr), but the supply is not done. I am really not good at soldering copper. Not at all. Burned up a t. Then I picked up the wrong shutoff valves for the sink, so I need to return those and get the right ones.

Might wait for Dad to help me finish up the plumbing.
The dishwasher can be installed at anytime after the electric and plumbing is done.

Things on tomorrow nights agenda
Mow the lawn
Move the family computer into the kitchen.
Put the kitchen table into the kitchen.
Clean tools out of kitchen, clean kitchen really well for Rachel to start moving things in.
If I have time, I will work on plumbing some more.

List for hardware store tomorrow
shingle nails (for pipe hangers)
2 correct shutoff valves
3 copper 1/2 90s
some way to connect the new copper to the old galvanized without soldering the two together. I thought the outlets on the galvanized were at 45 degree, but they are not, so I can't solder them solid. Probably need to get some kind of flex hose.


Progress on Kitchen

List of things accomplished this weekend.

Backsplash Fully installed and painted
Floor in kitchen installed
Closet door and frame removed.
Range carried into kitchen and unpacked (Not hooked up yet)
2 of the 5 remaining electrical outlets installed. (need longer screws for two) (One I have to get into the crawls space for, and that isn't happening before the party)
Purchased breakers for diswasher and 2nd kitchen circuit.

Remaining before party
install 2 outlets - Connect wire in breaker panel (Monday)
install plumbing - (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
install gas (Monday)
install range (Monday)
run circuit for dishwasher (Monday)
install dishwasher (Thursday)


Progress on the kitchen - Future plans


Lets see, since I posted last, I have gotten the following done.

Finished stripping the bad primer.
Painted on the new primer
Pulled up all of the old floor.
Got all the other stuff floating around the kitchen out
Painted the wall color
Finished the electrical rough in for the counter recepticles, light above the sink, and future garbage disposal.
(The outside wall was a bear, I had three two conductor cables embedded into the brick, so I had to find where they all ran out of the brick in the attic (major dusty insulation), reconfigure them and wire it all together. The three cables are 1- switch for future garbage disposal, 2- ground wire for receptacle and switch leg for light, and 3- power and neutral for receptacle (power feeds the light switch too))

Remaining to do before party (boys birthday party)
Install floor
Install backsplash
paint backsplash
install outlets - Connect wire in breaker panel
install plumbing
install gas
install range
run circuit for dishwasher
install dishwasher

Remaining to do after party
Install baseboard trim
replace both kitchen windows
install window trim
replace closet door - install trim
replace garage access door - install trim
replace front kitchen door - install trim
replace door frame between kitchen and dining room with pass through trim
Replace lights
Maybe after that, install crown molding, clean and paint the ceiling.

Next project - continue to run new flooring into dining room, hallway, and living room. Also strip wallpaper, and paint same rooms before new floor goes in.

All in all, a pretty busy summer left :)


One year ago

One year ago this weekend, we tore out the kitchen at our house.

Well, today we installed the new countertop :)

I will take pictures after I get done working tomorrow, I think you will all be suprised by our progress :)

Check back tomorrow night.

Now I need to sleep. I also mowed the front lawn tonight.

Very tired and sore.


$60 dollars later....

I have the new primer and some other needed tools. The wallpaper steamer worked well to remove the bad primer.

2 walls down, 2 walls to go.

Then I can start the painting process all over :(.


Primer wasn't the right kind.

Its pealing off at the slightest touch, so now I get to scrape it all off and start over :(.

Primer is up

Got two coats of Primer painted last night. Tonight I paint the wall color. Hopefully it won't smell as bad as the primer did.

If all goes well, I will be installing the new floor on Thursday.

The request for help is still out there. Lots more to do before the deadline of May 24th :).


Kitchen on the Move

All of the cabinets are in!!!! (Well, the one that has to be built around the dishwasher isn't in yet) The countertop is ordered. The wallpaper is all stripped. I would be painting primer right now if I had a tray liner for my paint tray :(. The flooring for the whole first floor is sitting in the kitchen and the dining room. I hope to get that installed in the kitchen this week.

If you want to help, give me a call, I most likely could use the help :).

Check out photos.johnsoax.com for pictures.


More Computer woes

So my 4 month old Apple died on Saturday  :(.  Just wouldn't boot at all.  It would make the startup noise, then just sit at a bright gray-blue screen for hours.  It wouldn't boot from CD, it wouldn't boot from External HD.  Nothing.  So I called Apple. 
They said they would send me a box.  I got the box Tuesday morning.  I ran home and grabbed it and the laptop at lunch, packaged it all up, and sent it out Tuesday night.
I got it back this morning.  40 hours.  That is all that it was out of my possession.  40 hours.  Wow.
They got it Wednesday morning, fixed it and shipped it back to me.
They replaced the Hard drive.  Why a failed HD would cause that problem, I don't know.  Apple can't tell me.  I will be keeping a very close watch on the computer for a while.  I only lost two things.  The complete PC setup (didn't back that up yet :( ), and my Quicken entries from the 17th.  The computer is sitting and restoring from backup at home as I speak, and I will run home and see if I can fix the quicken problem at lunch.  I will use the computer for a while before I do anything with the PC side.  Then I will make another full backup, then reformat/partition, and reinstall/restore the Mac side, and then work on the PC side again.  And this time, I will make a backup of the PC side :).
Hopefully this will fix the problems that I have had with this machine.  If the HD was going bad (even though I tested it a few times), it would explain the random freezing and such I was having, I guess.
Stay tuned for more meaningless entries of my life :)


Sold the Vibe

So I sold the vibe today to a nice couple from Michigan. They paid 65% cash and the rest by check. We will see just how nice they were when the check cashes. :)

Autotrader.com works great.


Kitchen finally moving

Well, in the past 10 days or so, I have installed 7 more cabinets. You can see pictures on my flickr page.


Mini Vacation part 2

Monday Morning, we got up and headed out to take the "F" line bus to Pier 39.  We waited for a while on our side of the road (heading north), then saw the bus coming from the other way, and ran over to get on it.  We didn't have correct change, so we had to make change with someone on the bus.  Two people were very helpful.  So we are riding the bus, and the driver calls out "Castro Street, Last Stop"  I walked up and asked him "We are trying to get to Peir 39", He replies, "Well, you got on the bus going the wrong way, just stay on, and We will head back that way soon".  So we sat for a while, while the driver got off and changed the signs, and we looked around.  The "F" line is a tracked electric bus.  It runs on rails in the street, so there isn't a steering wheel.  So finally we started heading back the other way. 
After our short sight-seeing trip to the south, we headed back north and got to pier 39.  We went to the Aquarium, where Ricky dragged us through the "tube" habitats twice before I just couldn't take it anymore.  Wes enjoyed it too.  The way it is set up is that there are huge tubes that run through the tank, so basically you walk through the tank with fish all around you (except for below).  It was really neat, but also gave me a headache.  After the aquarium, we headed down and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, then we walked along the pier and took pictures of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Then we came to the Sea Lions.  Ricky absolutely loved them.  For most of the rest of the day, he sounded just like them.  After the Sea Lions, we headed down the street to Fisherman's Wharf.  We bought a Sourdough bread turtle from Boutin's Bread.  (More on this later).  An Asian woman ran up while Ricky was looking at this purchase and just had to take a picture of our "absolutely beautiful child".  We said sure and laughed, wondering if we would see our son on some flickr page later. 
Then we walked over to the Ghirardelli Chocolate plaza and had ice cream and chocolate.  Then we walked back to the bus, but a different way, through a neighborhood to see the houses.  On the bus trip back to the hotel, a funny thing happened.  A guy got on and said that he needed a dollar for the bus.  A man finally gave it to him, and he walked farther back into the bus "All I need is a dollar"  Everyone on the bus laughed at him, and he got off at the next stop.*
Back at the hotel, we were all pretty tired, so we decided to rent a movie with iTunes on my computer.  After selecting the movie, it said that it was going to take 19 hours to download.  So we decided to just order PPV and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks.  Very cute movie.  Ricky didn't pay much attention to it the first time, so Rachel rewinded it and started watching it again while I went to get food at the Burger King across the street, but Ricky decided to turn off the TV.  After a quick call to the front desk, Rachel was able to get it running again.  After eating, I worked on some fraternity stuff on the painfully slow internet access.  Ricky was dancing around to the songs in the movie :).  After that we packed for the travel day the next day.
Tuesday morning, we got up, finished packing, and ate the sourdough turtle from the day before.  We headed down to check out, and jumped on the Bart to the airport.  We got our tickets, and found that while we were together on our first flight, they had moved us all around, and none of us were together for the flight from Cleveland to Dayton.  After getting through security,  (Again, very nice agents.)  we ate a real breakfast of muffins and drinks at the airport.  I went to talk to the gate about getting our tickets fixed for the second flight, but they stated that we had to wait till we were in Cleveland.  I was able to download stuff much faster at the airport, and finished downloading our rental movie, plus the free stuff from iTunes (they have new free music and video downloads every Tuesday).  We were able to load onto the airplane right after First class because Continental has a family boarding time.  That was nice, especially because we were towards the back of the plane.  About an hour after getting underway, Ricky was being crabby, so I tried to get him to take a nap.  About 30 minutes later, we actually got a full meal on the plane.  Salad, Pizza, and a twix.  We got food for Ricky, but he was asleep.  Ricky started coughing and woke up, and then got sick all over himself and his seat.  After getting that cleaned up, Wes grabbed Rachel's Diet Caffeine free Coke and dumped it in my lap.  Thankfully the flight was quite empty, so Rachel and Wes were able to move to a different row, while I cleaned stuff up.  Ricky got sick again so I changed him into his PJ's, and because we only had about another 2 hours left of the flight, I decided to not change pants.  Well, 2 hours and 45 minutes later, 45 minutes after the last notice from the captain that we were 15 minutes from Cleveland, and about 35 minutes before our next flight was supposed to take off from Cleveland, I asked a flight attendant what was going on.  About 5 minutes later, the Capitan came on, and said that we were in a holding pattern while they cleaned off the runways at Cleveland.  45 minutes later we landed.  As we were sitting at the gate, waiting to get off the plane, I watched our flight pull away from the other gate.  So much for getting home tonight.
We got off the plane and headed towards the customer service area to try to find a flight home.  The next flight they had was the next morning at 8:45.  Hey, we all get to sit together.  Fine, oh and we get a voucher for a hotel, ok, that's good.  Oh, it's only a 50% off coupon.  Ok, fine.  We called and got booked at a holiday inn about 15 miles from the airport.  After waiting for the shuttle (really just a van), we found out that it was full, and I took my family back inside the airport.  I have never seen such selfish disregard.  If I was traveling and saw a family with very small children (at 9 PM at night) not being able to head to the hotel, I would have waited for the next shuttle so they could get one.  But nonetheless, about 20 minutes later, another van came and took us to the hotel.  It was snowing really bad, and the roads after being plowed still had about 2" of snow on them.  We waited in line and got our room.  We all headed to it, walked in, and found that the bed wasn't made, there were used cups on the dresser, and money on the nightstand as a tip.  We headed back to the lobby, and said that we needed another room.  I also mentioned that I wanted a 6:30 shuttle so that we could get back to the airport with tons of time.  They apologized for the room and were about to offer us free breakfast, but it didn't start till 6:30 anyways, so we would miss it.  After getting our second set of keys, we headed up to the room, and were relaxing when Rachel pulled back the covers and found the bed was full of hair.  Now I was upset.  I left Rachel and the kids in the room, and headed back down to the lobby, and demanded another room, and stated that we have never had such bad service.  The manager waited on me this time, and was a jerk.  "Sir, you are already here at half rate because you are a "distressed-traveler", I can't give you more of a discount.  Here are two free tickets for breakfast".  I replied that I can't use them, I wanted to be on the shuttle at 6:30.  "Oh, if you come down, they should be able to give you breakfast early"  Yeah, right.  "Here, I will put you in one of our remodeled suites, it is quite a bit more expensive, but you don't have to pay for that" Gee, thanks.  I took the keys and headed upstairs to check out the new room.  It was a nice room, and clean, so I went and got Rachel and the boys, and we settled down for the night.
To make things even worse, I tried to start my Mac up, but it wouldn't start.  I was getting a circle with a slash through it instead of it booting.  I could boot into Windows ok, but not Mac os.  So after about an hour of searching online in windows, I gave up and went to bed.
The next morning, we got up, I tried the computer one more time, and it still wouldn't start.  We got a packed up, and headed down at about 6:25 to catch our shuttle.  "He left at 6 for the first trip, and hasn't gotten back yet."  Well, it is about 15 miles, so he should be here soon.  6:45, rolls around, and he isn't back.  The snow outside looks horrible.  6:55 no shuttle.  There are two shuttles sitting outside with no drivers.  Finally one of the people behind the counter goes and cleans off one of the shuttles so that the 6:30 and 7:00 people can head to the airport.  We all load in, and as we are leaving, the other shuttle shows up.  We just kept going.  The roads were bad, but there was no traffic heading towards the airport.  But coming back from the airport, the traffic was backed up for as far as we can see.  No wonder the guy couldn't get back.  We got there, and I followed Rachel into security.  Somehow we were in the first class line, so we ducked under the line dividers to get in line behind the "normal" people ;).  We go to turn the first corner, and a TSA agent looks at me, removes the barrier and says, "Follow me please".  Shoot, we are in trouble for getting under the barrier.  "No sir, we have a "Family" security line, it should be easier for you".  We didn't have to take anything out of our bags, and we breezed through security.  Again, very nice agents, who were helpful.  We went to our gate and sat down, and Ricky and I headed back to get donuts for breakfast.  When Ricky and I got back, I noticed that our gate listed a different flight.  I quickly checked, and our flight had been moved from the night before.  We had to to go from C29 to Gate D2.  And Rachel was convinced that we were late, so we sprinted there ;).  After getting to our new gate, we waited for 15 minutes, then started boarding.  Our suitcases were too big for this little plane, so we had to gate check them.  This plane was also rather empty.  We took our seats, and they made Rachel move, because there was only one oxygen mask in the place she was sitting, so she ended up behind Ricky and I.  I was worried that Ricky was going to get airsick, as he was acting cranky again, so I got an airsick bag ready.  Ricky fell asleep as we were being deiced.  Those are the neatest trucks that I have seen.  We finally took off, and I kept an eye on Ricky the whole time.  Once we landed, I woke Ricky up.  He was fine, and didn't get sick.  :). 
We headed to the car, and headed home.  We picked up lunch on the way home, and I went to work after lunch.  And that is the story of our San Francisco trip :).
* This is similar to something that happened to me once in Chicago.  I was downtown for a two day training class, and BP had put me up in a hotel downtown (Hotel 71 I think, it was very modern, and pretty nice).  I was walking around near the "L" (elevated subway train in Chicago) just seeing the sights when a man in a three piece business suit, leather briefcase, and impeccably groomed asked me for a nickel to get on the "L".  He had a handful of change, and it seemed like he was just short of heading home.  I gave him a nickel.  About 20 minutes later I was walking back through there heading back to my hotel, and the same guy stopped me and said the same story.  I said "Hey, you asked me that 20 minutes ago, I thought you were for real"  He just smiled and walked away.


Mini Vacation - Part One

So on Feb 21st we headed for Dayton to start our trip to San Fransico. The first plane ride was horrible from Dayton to Atlanta. It was bumpy and turbulent. We actually bounced on the landing, we hit so hard. The flight from Atlanta to San Fran was much smoother, but after the 4th hour, we were getting pretty uncomfortable. The last hour of the flight was just plane bad. Ricky couldn't get comfortable, I couldn't get comfortable. Did you know that they have shrunk the amount of room you have under the seats in front of you? My backpack barely fit, and took up some of the room for my feet. Same with overhead compartments, my suitcase, which has never had a problem fitting, would only fit a certain way. :(

Anyways, we got to San Fransisco around 9:30 PM Pacific time, or 12:30 AM Eastern. We were tired, and got on the Bart, and thankfully our hotel was right at the Civic Center stop of the Bart.

Friday morning we got up and after being shell shocked by the prices at Burger King, we of course went shopping. The mall was gorgeous, the whole forth floor was an atrium (I should have pictures up on flickr soon of the rest of the trip) that you can sit in and talk. Then we got on the Bart and headed off to Berkley for Rachel's meeting. We looked at a map to see how far we had to walk, and it looked like about 3 blocks, maybe 4 from the train station. After walking 7 blocks, we started making calls. It turns out that something got messed up when we looked at the map, We had to walk 7 blocks south, and 7 blocks east, UP A HILL ;). We finally got there, and after catching my breath, Ricky and I headed back down the hill. We actually caught a bus, and took that back to the train station. We stopped at Game Stop to see if they had a Wii, and found out that even the big cities have the same problem, No Wii's in stock :(. Ricky and I took the Bart back downtown, and went to the Apple Store, and got a video adapter for my laptop. Of course Ricky wanted to play at the "Kids Stations" and play StarWars Lego's. Then we headed back to the hotel and grabbed Burger King for dinner (at half of the price of the breakfast that morning).

Saturday morning Ricky and I woke up and rode the Bart one stop north to the mall. We had breakfast in the food court, then went up to Market street and started walking North. We found a toy store, and had fun there, then just kept walking. After about 4 blocks we turned around and walked back. We did stop by the Apple store again. Since it was looking like rain we headed back to the mall for lunch. Ricky was getting pretty tired, so we sat down on a chair in the mall, and Ricky fell asleep for about 20 minutes. Then we went down to the basement floor, and I let Ricky play on one of those Xbox mats, you know where they have the projector pointing down at the floor and a webcam to tell your inputs? He played on that for two or three cycles, then I was tired of standing around. We headed back to the hotel for a real nap. After nap time, we headed back out and went to the Apple store again ;). Then we went walking towards the Sony store. I kept seeing people with "WonderCon badges" on their shirts, and finally asked someone what it was, and if Ricky would like it. They stated that people were dressed up as super heros and as starwars characters, so I was like, sweet, lets check it out. Ricky and walked over to the center, and saw the length of the line, and how it was still raining off and on, and we turned around and headed back to the Sony store. Ricky had fun seeing the big TV's and playing games at the Playstation Store. Then we again went to the apple store, because Ricky asked really nicely to go back. After finally prying him away from there for the third time, we had dinner at Hagen Daz :), well not really, but we did have dessert first, then went and had pizza. Then we headed back to the Hotel. I found a 5 dollar bill on the ground in the Bart Station, so we stopped by a starbucks and I got a $5 gift card to use later :) Then we headed to bed.

Sunday morning, we got up and got on the Bart to Berkley to get Rachel and Wes. We got on the wrong train, so in Oakland got off the first train, and got on the next one. Then we had to change trains to get to Berkley. We finally got to Berkley and then walked to a Starbucks and had breakfast. Rachel called to see where we were, and we headed out. Ricky and I walked for a few blocks, then grabbed the bus to get close. Still had to walk for a few blocks. Met a few of Rachel's Soroity sisters, and after visiting for a while, got a ride back to the station. We took the trains back to town and then decided to go to WonderCon as a family. We saw tons of characters. Ricky hugged a few storm troopers, and we got some pictures and autographs with some stars. Then we headed back to the room and ordered some local pizza and watched tv shows from my computer.



So earlier this week, I finally broke down and bought a copy of Windows XP Pro. FOR MY MAC.

That's right, Using Apple's BootCamp software, I will be able to boot my new MacBookPro as either a Mac, or a PC.  I will be setting the PC partition up as basically a CAD workstation from work.
I am getting VPN setup here at the office, so the hope is that this summer (and maybe sooner :( ) when I need to work on the weekends, or late into the evening, I can do it from home instead of walking to the office. That will let me spend more time with my family, plus still get some extra work done.

On the PC partition, I will have XP, NOD32 (antivirus), Outlook 2003, Office 2000, AutoCAD 2005 and AutoCAD 2000i.

And my XP disc is supposed to be delivered today. So tonight I get to do the whole setup for installing XP on my Mac.

And frankly, it makes me feel dirty.


Plans Change.

We didn't go to Columbus yesterday. Some stuff came up, and we ended up being up too late. It turns out God had a plan. My dad called me. He was getting ready to take a trip, and was given a laptop by the company he has been giving talks for. That laptop didn't have software that he needed on it, and he couldn't find software. He couldn't find it, because it is my software. So Rachel, the kids and I drove over to his house and I set up his new computer for him, while he played with the kids. Then dad and I went out and cleaned out his truck so that he didnt have to worry about people breaking into his truck while it was parked at the airport.

Then we did some shopping, and had a nice meal at Bob Evans.


Long time no post

I know, I know, it has been a while since I posted.  Life has been busy.  The boys and I were sick, I got a new laptop, and all the setup that involves.  I set up the server in the basement so now it is our home automation, iTunes, PS2 media server, print server, and network storage drive.  We had more water in the basement.  And we are trying to get more involved in our Church.  I am now running video a few times a month, and Rachel may be doing things soon for Drama.

I've also decided to sell my Vibe.  I've only put 3000 miles on it since November of 2006.  It is just a waste to keep such an expensive vehicle around and not drive it.  We are taking it to CarMax tomorrow to get a quote from them to purchase it, if it is a good price I wil just sell it to them and not have to deal otherwise. 

On the Fraternity front, we had a bunch of trouble finding a hotel for Conclave this year.

Well, I started this yesterday, so I probably should just send it.

Sent from mobile


Basement took some Water

I was up till 2:30 last night mopping, flood proofing, and just generally cleaning up the basement.  The rain really picked up around 10, and when I went down to check, found some trickles of water comin from a few of the walls.  The front door jams leak like crazy into the basement, so I will have to investigate that soon.  But basically, we had a 25 year storm, and the basement held up rather well.  I think once we get the gutters fixed and properly channeling water away from the house, we should be in really good shape. 
The dehumidifier cleaned up most of the water overnight, but my carpet under my desk got wet, so I need to figure out how to dry that out.  Its standing on end now.  None of my filing cabinets got wet, and I moved the fraterity one up into the living room for a few days.  The only thing left to do is to get the spare fridge up on blocks and we can take 6" of water without a problem (well except the dehumidifier would be under water, may have to boost it up too).

Sorry to ramble, I am a bit tired. :)

Sent from mobile


Custr Map

I saw this on another blog I read. It is a map that shows where all of your visitors come from. It is pretty sweet. Check it out on the right.



I hate being sick. Spent most of the day yesterday on the couch, either asleep, or wishing I was asleep :).

Last week Rachel had a sore throat and kept loosing her voice. I was hoping that I wouldn't catch it, but sure enough, I woke up Monday with a sore throat, but we had a busy day going to Indy to pick up the G5 tower that I won on ebay, plus we wanted to go shopping. We cancelled lunch with some friends because I didn't want to get anybody sick.

But I woke up Tuesday feeling terrible. Like I said, spent most of the day on the couch.

Then Today, I turned my alarm off in my sleep and slept for an extra hour :(. I was at work by 8:45, but it was a cold walk in at 9 degrees(F) :). Looking forward to the walk home tonight.

Well, I have two packages coming today, so that should help brighten up my day :)