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Busy weekend. The barnboard from the basement is (mostly) gone, the wallpaper from the dining room is (mostly) gone, and the bar from the basement is (mostly) gone. So, a lot of destruction, not much construction (yet). Even so, things are looking better.

Right now I'm just waiting and hoping for the Oscars to end so I can get to bed. END DAMN YOU.

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So the water demons have not yet been slayed, but they have been thwarted. Today I discovered that along the fence in the back yard there was essentially a river heading in the general direction of the house. I put one of the pumps right along the fence where the water was coming, and it pumped continuously for a good 3 or 4 hours at least. The water was coming just about as fast as the pump could get it to the street. There was still a bit of water close to the house (which was dealt with using the other pump), but both of the window wells were dry, and I didn't see any more water in the basement.

The goal of course for the summer will be to install a bunch of plastic pipe to divert the water to the middle of the back yard, which is actually lower than the house. In time...

Oh, and I ordered my bike today. Apparently it should be in within a week or so.

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I hate warm weather.

No that isn't a typo. Well, I don't hate the warm weather itself, I hate what it's doing to all of the snow. I.e., melting it. Normally, I'd find this to be a joyous occasion. However, over the past few days, a good chunk of that melting snow has been finding its way into our basement. How, you may ask? Oh, something about our yard and house being lower than the street and most of our neighbors, and one of the low points of our yard being only a few feet away from the house. Yes, all of this melting snow is collecting not far from the house, saturating the ground, and then filling up two window wells. And then from there it's coming in the windows into the basement. Apparently they weren't designed for use on a submarine. When I came home from work today one of the window wells had a foot of water in it, which came about 3/4 of the way up the window itself.

On Wednesday I attempted to remedy the situation by getting the water out with the shop vac, but this proved to be far to slow and cumbersome. So, a trip to Menards and $160 later, we now have two submersible pumps, a few 100' hoses and another extension cord. And I've been spending a good chunk of my time outside, moving the pumps around to keep the water level down as much as possible.

Fun fun.

In other news, I've decided to use my birthday haul on a new bike. I was originally going to get a Giant Rincon, which is what my current bike is now (only about 12 years old), but 25" frames are few and far between, and the bike shop I like couldn't get any (they were only available in a half model year run). So I convinced myself to step up to the Yukon, which is available in a 25" frame, despite what the web site currently shows (I think the colors are wrong too: red or black instead of yellow or black). The main nice feature is a better front fork (one which can be made less spongy), although disc brakes are pretty nice too. I'll probably end up putting an order in for one in a week or two. Hopefully the weather will actually let me make use of it.

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You know, without going into Wal-Mart, you'd never realize how many scummy people actually live in Madison.

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So this is what happened to TV Lenny. GET A BIKE GET A BIKE GET A BIKE!!!

I took the car back today to have somebody listen to a few noises. Of course, none of the noises occurred while the guy was actually in the car. Damn Murphy's Law. Luckily one did resurface when he got out and stood next to it.

The kids got all clean today. Then again, they better be clean for $25+ a pop (or pup, I suppose). Now if there was only some way to bottle their energy and sell it.

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About a week and a half ago I took the car in to Tires Plus to have the tires rotated and to have the oil changed. At the end of the job they brought me out to the shop to show me something. The right front wheel was loose, and all of the various rods and ties were fine. Thus, I needed a new hub and bearing assembly. All of this was going to run in the neighborhood of $500. I told them I didn't know how much longer I'd have the car, and that at the very least I'd need to sleep on it. They told me I might go 5 or 6 months without the wheel flying off - if I was lucky.

Not good.

A few days later I took the car to a local service shop. They essentially said the same thing, this time around $460. Hmm, what to do? I called around to a number of places, and that price was more or less about right. One place did mention that it could just be a loose axle nut. They'd look at it next Monday (today).

On Wednesday I took it to another place to get looked at. They more or less confirmed the bad news, said it wasn't the axle nut, and also said the car could really use $300 of additional work. "I'll think about it."

Fearing the worst, we took the truck to the UP, leaving the dogs at the doggie motel in the process. Today, after work, I ran the car over to Import Auto Clinic, who had said it could just be a loose nut. After signing away for a $45 quote, something I was none too happy about, they took a look at it.

After twenty minutes, the sound of a few hammers from an air wrench, and a test drive, they determined that it was indeed a loose axle nut. They mentioned that a few other things could stand to be fixed, but it wasn't anything serious. The final cost of this endeavor? $44.94 (including tax).

I guess it was a good idea to shop around.

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Jackson apologizes for Super Bowl exposure
"We all as a society have a responsibility as to what the images and messages our children hear when they're likely to be watching television," he said.
My god, it's a BREAST, people. Last I checked that's a part of a woman's body. Is that the wrong "image" or "message" we want for our children? That other people's bodies are bad?

Maybe John and Yoko had the right idea after all...

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.