Sunday, March 22, 2009

Molding Matters

Our new home needed a touch up, and I found an opportunity to try something new.

When we bought our new home, we noticed that crown-molding was conspicuously missing from our living room, even though it was already in the study and dining room. This worked out, though, because I needed to place the rear surrounds in my home theater, and needed somewhere to hide the wire.

I thought I could fish the wires behind the wall at the front of the room, but it proved to be just beyond my reach, so I had to call someone. I was trying to do it the hardest way possible, plus I had a Cat5e wire to run from an upstairs bedroom, and it wasn't gonna happen for me. Now the wires are neatly located in the wall and all I have to do is run the crown-molding.

My in-laws came to visit with Crumbsnatcher this weekend, and my father-in-law helped me with the installation. I also had the help of Tom Silva via the articles and vidoes on This Old House's website. They were very helpful, but they neglected to cover corners with angles greater than 90 degrees, and I have two. I also ended up just under 2 feet short, so I have to find another piece to be able to finish.

I could have finished today, but the big blue hardware and lumber retailer doesn't have the same molding in stock as the kind I special ordered from them. Writing that sounds wrong, but the only reason I special ordered is that they didn't carry 16' lengths. When we were trying to mock-up a corner we discovered that the piece I bought to finish one wall was slightly different from the rest. Hopefully I won't have to order more, because the pieces that I just got took nearly 3 weeks to come in, and I don't want to wait another 3 weeks for one piece.

What we did get done looks good, though I still have to finish it with some caulking and paint so it will match the rest of the house. I only had to cut a couple of small notches for my wires to exit the molding, which you can't see when the speakers are in place.

In all I'm proud of the work we did, and I did it much cheaper than someone would have charged me. Now I have a better idea of how to fish wire, so I can try it again the next time I need something like that.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Moving Expenses

Okay. It's been a while since I wrote a post, but I've got a good excuse. I've been busy with the job search and moving into our new home.

It's been a busy month. Two days after my last post we moved everything out of our house in Denham Springs. Three days later we closed on that sale. One week after that we closed on the new house here in Houston. That weekend we moved everything from the storage unit to the house, and we have been in the process of moving in since.

That has shifted the job search from my primary focus to making calls when I have time, but I had a phone interview a week ago that went well, and I'm now waiting for a call-back to a sit-down. In the meantime I'm working on getting our vehicles legal in the Lone Star State. I do have a small gig Saturday with the rodeo. I'll be filling in for someone who, unfortunately, has to attend a funeral, but I talked to him the other day, and I can feel good that my being here is a blessing to him in that he can now attend that 'home-going' for his loved one.

We got our Comcast HD Triple Play hooked up on Tuesday of last week, left for the weekend, and had to have it re-connected two days ago. Thankfully we are a little closer to the transmitters here than in Baton Rouge, and I was able to use my 15 year old pair of rabbit ears to pull in the local digital stations. While watching that Monday night, we must have seen between five and ten commercials for Comcast. I swear it was like they were mocking us with an ad in every other break! Comcastic.

Our furniture made it through the move with minimal damage. Only a few items had noticeable scratches, but those were on the back or mostly out of sight areas. What didn't come through okay was our laptop.


This little notebook has made it through multiple trips across Louisiana, from Louisiana to Texas a couple of times, Houston to Cleveland and back, and all the way to Las Vegas and back. What it couldn't take was a five minute ride from my uncle's house to this one. Crazy.


Now I have to buy a replacement screen, but I found a company that is, surprisingly, located here in Houston. Screentek is down in the area around Reliant Park, so I should be able to make it down there to pick it up and save myself the cost of shipping. They have instructions with photos on their website, and it doesn't look too complicated to replace. It'll cost about $260, but that's cheaper than the cost of a new laptop, and I don't have to spend the time transferring files.

Through it all, though, it looks like we came out ahead. We were able to put 20% down on the new house and had some left over from our profit on the old house, so we can make some upgrades in the near future like painting, patio, and/or countertops. I don't know what everyone else is concerned about. The housing market has been very good to me.