Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cockatiel sitting... and floor work finally finished!

We got our floors finished on the stairs and in the hallways upstairs. :) We still have some of our stuff in the garage that I hope gets moved out of there soon so that we can park both cars in it again.

It was really dusty during the construction upstairs. So terrible. Dust was all over the place and is still dusty in some places.

We've been watching this cockatiel for a friend and she's been with us probably since around the same time we started getting work done on our house. Cockatiels seem really needy to me and always want attention. Well, at least is the case with the one we've been cockatiel sitting.

If you leave the room (especially while she's eating), she'll make some really high pitched bird sounds wanting you to come back. I guess she really doesn't like eating alone. :P

It's pretty funny when she starts whistling though because she learned some pretty crappy whistling from her owner. Sounds just like him. LOL... and my friend compared the bird's bad whistling to a car stalling. Haha! I'll put up a video of that when I have the time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still not finished

I would've thought that our floors would be finished by now, but nope.

The contractor guy who did the downstairs floors said he'd be back in early November to do the upstairs. The only reason they didn't get a chance to finish was because the painters we hired took longer than expected, making the floor guys start two days later.

Anyway, we've gotten estimates from several other people on how much they'd charge to do our stairs and floor upstairs. And it's cheaper just to go with the original guys, but they've been too busy with other jobs. I'm glad they at least left the carpet in since it would've been such a mess to walk on whatever's underneath it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Under construction...

I remember way back in the 90's when people would start websites that would just stay "under construction" forever - with all of those construction animated GIFs - the best you could do with animation back then since Flash wasn't around yet. This post has nothing to do with any of that. :-P

This blog is about things in my home and the biggest thing going on right now is the interior/exterior painting and also laminate floors being put in. So right now we've got furniture in unusual places. Our piano is in the kitchen, we've got some living room furniture in the pantry, the family room is empty with the exception of a bucket full of stuff. We moved a lot of stuff from the family room into the garage, but most of our furniture is sitting in the living room.

The painting is mostly done, just a few touch-ups needed here and there. Work was started yesterday on the new floors. The carpet was removed from downstairs, so now it's down to the bare concrete.

I've been taking pictures every step of the way and I'll post a few once all the work is finished. Might be a while before that because the floor guys won't be starting work on the stairs and upstairs yet. Since the painters took longer than expected, the floor guys started two days later than they were supposed to, so they have other clients scheduled and only have enough time to do downstairs for now. At least they kept the carpet in for now on the stairs and upstairs so that we'd still have something clean to walk on up there.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Clean Roomba, clean!

I've had an iRobot Roomba 530 for a few months now. Here's a video of it in action in case you've never seen one:

That's not my video, but that's pretty much the same kind that I have.

When I first got it, I sat around and watched it in action for a couple of days to see where it would potentially get stuck and where I'd need to put up the virtual walls. Then the newness of it wore off and I'd just ignore it and let it do its thing.

I really love it a lot and kind of wish I had two of them. One for upstairs and one for downstairs so that I wouldn't have to bring it up and down. At least the Roomba is a lot easier to carry up and down stairs compared to a normal vacuum, especially compared to our old Fantom.

It is great at picking up all of my long hair. Too great, in fact. I end up cleaning the rollers and emptying it after every use - the Roomba manual recommends after every three cleanings, but for our house, it's necessary to clean it more often. After about every three cleanings, I'll spray the filter and collection bin with a can of compressed air just to really get it clean.

It's pretty awesome that it has stair detection. So it's nice not having to worry about it going down the stairs when it's cleaning upstairs. I also love how it docks by itself when the battery is low or when it's done cleaning a room. And I love the sound effects. It'd be kind of neat if I could hack the sound box and load some custom sounds onto it. :P

The best part about having a Roomba is being able to have it vacuum while I go and play Rock Band or just do something else in general.

One kind of annoying thing is if you have a cluttered floor, you have to block it or move all of your stuff first or else the Roomba will scatter your stuff all over the place.

I kind of wish they were smarter about knowing where they've been before though because sometimes it'll just go in zig-zags and end up stuck in one general area.

After having one, I don't think I could ever go back to using an old vacuum again. I'd definitely get another Roomba because they're worth it. Sure, it takes longer to get your vacuuming done, but at least you're not the one spending the time to do the cleaning.

I thought this was a pretty fun idea for a Roomba hack:

Cool! I want a Pacmba!

Monday, August 18, 2008

My new iPhone!! :D

Well, sort of... it's new for me, but it's old.

That's not an actual picture of the one I have, but you get the idea.

I got an unlocked/jailbroken old gen iPhone for my birthday. Whee!! It's been a ton of fun playing around with it. I do have some gripes about it though...

Battery life seems kind of short for me... or maybe I just use it way, way too much, but it seems to get drained pretty fast.

It can't send/receive MMS messages! WTF?! Why have a camera built in if you can't MMS your pics? I guess they figure that's what the e-mail capability is for... but most people I know don't check their e-mail much these days since they're all too busy on MySpace or Facebook or whatever other social website there is that sucks up all your time (I'm more of a Twitter via Twhirl person than anything).

Speaking of the camera, it's a huge piece of crap. Can barely take a good pic in less than bright conditions.

The calculator has no "backspace" key. It's one of the better cell phone calculators I've used since you don't need to hit one button multiple times to pick between +-/*=, but I do miss being able to backspace when I mess up.

You can't use text or e-mail in landscape mode. So it kind of makes it a pain to type on the tiny keyboard... and auto-suggest is anything but helpful... at least there's an app to turn suggest off.

Every time I plug it into my PC via USB it constantly disconnects/reconnects. So annoying!! I think my laptop might have bad USB ports, but none of my other USB devices have that problem at all.

Other than those things, I really like it. It's nice having a keyboard even though it's a virtual touch screen one... it makes text typing and web browsing a lot easier.

I love having the internet at my fingertips. I had it before with Opera Mini on my other phones, but Safari works really well and it's neat that I can have multiple pages open. And, again, the keyboard and touch screen interface make it easier to navigate. It's also great being able to switch between portrait and landscape modes easily while browsing.

It's nice that the weather app is free and works amazingly well. On my old phone, I think it was $7.95 for a weather application that wasn't anywhere near as good.

Maps rocks too! I had it on my W810i and my 3220, but it works so much better on the iPhone and I love that I can see real time traffic since I could never get the sigalert website to work that well on any phone.

Despite some of its shortcomings, I think the iPhone is still a pretty good phone for me. I'd still prefer one with an actual keyboard, but at least it's still better than hitting buttons a bunch of times just to type one letter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates

This post isn't about anything in my home, but I've got some new pictures to share, which I'll post at a different time. But not this month!

This month I'm taking part in the Thirty Day Challenge. So it's sort of related to the whole "home" theme since I've been doing it from home. The challenge is 30 (actually 31) full days of tutorials on how to build your own business from the ground up. The best thing about it is that it's completely FREE! You won't have to pay a single penny to learn. They have a fantastic community that'll help you along the way in case you get stuck.

The 30DC is officially "live" during the month of August, but all the training videos will be available well after this month is over.

Anyway, I've got to get back to the challenge now, but if you're even curious about internet marketing at all, the 30DC is an excellent place to get your start! Hopefully I'll see you around the forums over at the TDC!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Taking laziness to new levels with the Logitech Harmony One Remote

I've been so busy and got a bunch more new gadgets to play with (I'll post about those sometime, maybe) that I forgot to post more about the Logitech Harmony One Remote I got from

I left off talking about Logitech's amazingly effective device database. I still want to thank whoever added the Gamebridge to the DB. It's been great!!

The next cool thing about the Harmony One is that not only can you program all kinds of remotes into it, but you can also set up "activities" based on the devices you have programmed.

I have my remote control programmed for these devices: my Quasar TV/VCR, my Apex TV, a JVC TV, DVD player, ReplayTV, Xbox 360, GamebridgeTV, and my Lasko Digital Heater (that's right - a heater! It's good for more than just home entertainment products!).

What's cool about activities is that you can set one that'll turn on all the devices you need for that activity and set them up properly so that you can do them with the press of one button.


For example, I have a "Play Xbox 360" activity programmed into my remote. When I touch the screen to "Play Xbox 360" the remote will turn on my JVC TV, set it to Input 2 - Component, and also turn on my Xbox 360 for me. All with just one touch! Another cool thing about that is when you use the Xbox 360 "activity" instead of just browsing to the device in the menu and choosing to control it, it shows A, B, X, Y 360 buttons on the screen. Neat!


There's still some other stuff about the remote I want to write about, but that's all for now!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Logitech Harmony One Remote Software and Device Database

In my last post, I gave some quick first impressions about the Logitech Harmony One universal remote control that I got from

I've had it for a while now and have been using it, so I can give a lot more detail about it. I'll be spreading this out over a couple of posts because I can tell this is gonna get long. So this post will mostly be about the amazing device database.

I spent the first day charging it up:


The next day, I quickly set it up using the software that comes with it. The remote itself plugs into your computer via USB and the software connects to a huge user-editable database of devices that it programs the remote with. So if your device isn't in the database, you can program it manually and then it'll be added to the database for any other users who may have the same device.

On that note, I have a neat story related to the device database. I own an Adaptec Gamebridge TV, AVC-1410 with remote control. It's a USB video capture device that also lets you watch TV on your computer. Anyway, the remote I had that came with it only worked for me for about a day and then completely stopped working and I had no way to exchange it because the store I bought it from was completely out of stock. :(

So then I had an idea... why not see if I can program my Harmony One remote to work with my Gamebridge? Brilliant, huh? I thought so! :P So I searched the device database and, unfortunately, the Gamebridge wasn't found. Instead, it found a "similar device" so I gave that one a try. And... it also didn't work. :( Bummer.

That gave me another idea, I made a post on CAG, that said exactly this:

I have a request for any of you who have the Harmony One and a Gamebridge TV (AVC-1410 that comes with a remote). Can you program your Harmony One with the Gamebridge remote so that it can get added to the database?

I have a Gamebridge TV, but the remote has been broken for a while now. I tried adding "Gamebridge TV" or "AVC-1410" to the Harmony One, but it wasn't in the database and the similar remote it found doesn't work with my Gamebridge. It'd be nice to be able to use a remote with it again.

There's probably a really slim chance that someone reading this has both, but just thought I'd ask anyway.

I know a bunch of CAGs bought some Gamebridge TVs and I figured maybe some of them would also have the Harmony One Remote, so it was worth a shot.

Within the next hour, the Gamebridge showed up in the device database and it totally worked!!! So that's a really awesome way to use the device database. Make a request, and who knows what'll happen? Maybe you'll finally have a replacement for that broken/lost remote too!

That's one thing I didn't like about all of the other universal remotes that I've owned before. It either had the built-in programming for your remote or it didn't. Some of them you could program manually by teaching it the IR commands, but if your remote is lost or broken, then what? You're pretty much SOL. The internet & Logitech's device database completely came to my rescue! Thanks, Logitech and to whoever that person was who added the Gamebridge!

If you have any questions about the Harmony One, feel free to leave comments! I'll try to answer them in my upcoming posts.

That's all for now, stay tuned to this blog for more!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My new Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote Control

Thanks to, I've got a new toy to play with. Woohoo! I love gadgets and this is definitely one that I have a need for.

The BzzCampaign that I'm a part of now is for the Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote Control. Looks pretty sweet, doesn't it? Well, it's great for me since I've got a whole bunch of remote controlled electronics around the house.

Anyway, UPS finally delivered my BzzKit today and I'm so excited to give it a try! Here are a couple of pics.

Here's the box:


And here's everything once you take it out of the box:


It includes the remote, charging cradle, AC adapter, USB cable, touch screen (YES, a touch screen!!) cleaning cloth, a bunch of documentation in clever packaging, and the installation CD-ROM compatible with PC and Mac.

I have it charging right now, so I haven't really used it yet, but I can't wait to get it all set up and working! Initial impressions without using it yet: it's the coolest looking remote control I've ever owned. Feels really great in your hand and seems to have really good ergonomics and button placement. It seems very well designed.

That's all for now. I'll post more once I have a little more experience with it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


We have a few fruit trees in our backyard. Lemons, Chinese pears, oranges, persimmons, and loquats. Our loquat tree has some good fruit right now.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

The new guest bed

Since my brother moved out, we've had almost no furniture in two of the rooms in the house. But since people still visit, we decided we needed a bed for people to sleep on instead of putting them on the Aero Beds.

So we went mattress shopping and got this amazing deal on a new mattress. We looked at a few places before finding this:



Before we bought that one, we were at Sleep Train and ended up putting in a C.O.D. order on a completely different mattress. Good thing we hadn't paid for that other one already because this mattress felt so much better. We ended up cancelling our Sleep Train order.

The one we ended up with is a Stress-O-Pedic brand, which we had never heard of before, but who cares when it feels this great? The mattress store was clearing out the 2007 models and all they had left was the floor model, which is why it's kind of dirty on the sides (but who sleeps on the sides of a mattress, right?). I sprayed it down with fabric spray first before putting sheets on it.

The pillow top is made from memory foam, so that's nice. I think this is the one we bought (pic here). It's normally a $799 mattress, but we got it for half price, including the box spring, frame (normally $35-45), and FREE delivery (normally $40). So I'd say that's definitely a sweet deal.

After our guests leave, we're gonna swap it with the mattress in my room. I can't wait! It's so much nicer than my old mattress. But for now, our lucky guests (my bro and sis-in-law) will get to sleep on it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New couch!

Our new couch was delivered yesterday. It's much more comfortable than our old one.


Since we couldn't donate the old one anywhere (nobody takes ripped, torn, stained, or damaged items as donations), we just took it to the disposal center and kept the pillows from it.


Yeah, so they don't match the new couch at all, but we'll just make some new covers for them. And we probably won't use them all for the couch, we might use some for other purposes.

So, that's the new couch, it's nice to have one that's not ripped anymore.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Furniture shopping

Well, I figured since this is, I think I'll write about things in my home.

First is the couch in the family room. It's so old (as old as our house, which is 15 years old this year) that the fabric on it is all torn. I might post a picture or two later.


Both of the cushions are torn, so even if we flipped them over, it wouldn't make a difference. So, to fix it, we've put a blanket on top of it just to hide the rips.


So we went to take a look at furniture to get a new couch, and maybe a bed for one of our spare rooms, or maybe just a sofa bed/sleeper sofa for now until we decide what to do with the spare room.

Anyway, we went to Mor Furniture since they were having a New Years sale... it seems like they always have a different sale every week, so that was the sale for that day. For a place that claims to have "more furniture for less" they really didn't seem to have that wide of a selection. Maybe it was just the store that we went to, so I wonder if their other store will have more inventory.

It was kind of disappointing. Nothing we looked at was a must buy and the prices weren't really that great either.

After that, we went to check out some other furniture stores in the area. There were limited places that were open, especially on New Years day and at almost 8 PM at night. We just peeked through the windows of the Jennifer Convertibles store and then checked out Lane Home Furnishings next door.

Picking out furniture is hard! I think we should just go on one of those TV shows on HGTV or TLC and just have a designer redo our whole family room, not just replace our couch. Maybe I should apply to be on While You Were Out or something.