May 30, 2008

Don't assume they know what they're doing

Friday, May 30, 2008 Posted by Ryan No comments
We have one of those Blockbuster by mail movie accounts and I've found that it's a pretty good fit. I make a long list of movies and television shows I want to watch and Blockbuster remembers it. Instead of walking slowly along the outer wall looking at every new movie and trying to decide if I'm in the mood, but maybe there's something better around the next side, I just get one in the mail from my list...well everyone knows how this works now. However with the Blockbuster account we get two trade-ins a month which mean quick turn-around on the next one in the mail and instant gratification when you hear about that wacky new movie. I've never had a Blockbuster rental card and I've managed to have Paul around when we've traded in movies before. This month I let a movie languish on the table for over three weeks because I never felt like I was in the "right" mood to watch it. I finally decided to trade it in yesterday. I picked something from the television isle and when I went to the counter to do the exchange I mentioned that I don't have an actual card, but the account is under Paul's name.

"That's okay, can I see your drivers license?"

I hand him the license.

"The account isn't under my name, but I'm listed as an authorized user on the account."

"That's okay," he said "What's your phone number?"

"509, wait, do you want my phone number or the number of the account might be under?"

It doesn't matter he says, so I give him the whole number.

"What's your address?" And I recite my address.

"Jim Patterson?"


"Well, you've never rented anything here."

"Yes, I have,"

"It must have been more than a year ago."

What? No, "It was about two months ago. The account is under Villabrille," I know I mentioned this before.

"oh, yeah here it is."

After this whole thing, I just want my own card so I don't have to go through this exchange again and the guy walks across the store and does some typing on another computer, tears something off the printer under the counter and puts it in the little laminated sleeve. That's right, he printed me a new card on the dot matrix printer. Even the local bakery has plastic coffee cards. Blockbuster prints them out, and part of the text is even cut off on the top of the card. Classy.

May 16, 2008

Taking it Back

Friday, May 16, 2008 Posted by Ryan , , , No comments

It seems so much bigger when you measure everything in pixels but I have a plan to take my back yard from meah, to, well, functional. I really need to get a "before" picture so you can see the state of the back right now. The ramshackle grape arbor and the falling down fence thing under the other grape vine are the only structure currently. For two years I've dreamed of a patio space. A defined outdoor room if you will where I can sit in a chair in the evening and look out on the tame and orderly backyard.

I need to fix the coloring on this rendering because it looks like a lot of grass still and there really won't be much left after the plan is executed. That whole section in the back beyond the path, that's the vegetable garden area and will have no grass, just some sort of mulchness on the ground. And under the fruit trees at the left? Also, no grass. I'm not sure what to do there except maybe some more mulch? There are a lot of spring bulbs already in the ground there (tulips, crocus, and the mystery plant #2 a little yellow flower with a green ruff that came up right after the snow melted) and I"ll leave those in place. I guess I'll have to create a border between the grass and the not grass area.

We also need to fence in the yard so it is more dog friendly. I'm going back and forth on the type of fence because I can't decide how much of a privacy fence it should be. I guess I want privacy, not only from people walking by on the street, but I don't really want to look at the weedy vacant lot all the time. But I'll loose what little sun there is back there in the afternoon and that would be especially bad for the vegetable area. So now I'm leaning toward a lattice* fence. I think it would offer some privacy from the street but still allow sun.

*and just to clarify, I mean a square lattice, not the diamond lattice that is so popular now. The ramshackle arbor and the grape fence both use square lattice so I think it would go well with the historic style of the house.

May 8, 2008

Summer Goals

Thursday, May 08, 2008 Posted by Ryan No comments
The first 10 house projects I want to accomplish:

1. Build closet organizer
2. Measure and get quote on kitchen cabinets
3. Hang dining room curtains
4. Hang bedroom (temporary) curtains
5. Scrape paint off existing kitchen cabinets
6. Scrape paint off bookcase doors
7. Get 2 more shelves for linen cabinet
8. Replace the roof
9. Draw electric circuit diagram for the house
10. Have plumber replace laundry drain (and maybe add sink drain)

Baby steps. Some of these are just the first step in a big project, but I want to be able to cross some things off my list sometime this year.