Updates, at the end of the summer


I hope that your summer went as well as ours at the AAAD residence. 

I started a new job, which I absolutely love. It's a long commute, (and my AAAD output has dramatically dropped...) but it's challenging, exciting work, and we're starting to see major results. 

As we head into the last 3 months of 2013, I figured I'd take a look back at what we've accomplished, and a look forward to where our major projects are headed:

Where We've Been

I suppose I mean that chapter heading literally - while my business travel has dropped to almost nothing, we've had quite a bit of leisure travel in 2013. 

We went to Walt Disney World, to Turks and Caicos, to see the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park in London, and we'll be headed to Gulf Shores Alabama to see my parents in a few weeks. 

We completed our "AirPlay Everywhere" project - thanks to an army of AirPort Expresses, we can send any song in our iTunes library to any room in the house, controlled by iPhone or iPad. 

But we've had to deal with quite a few minor crises on the homefront, too:  

A break-in at our former home (now rental property), and the security system upgrade there. 

An blockage and underground leak in our gutters and drains. 

Power outages (none as bad as 2012), and a full battery replacement for our sump pump system.

An ailing 100-year old silver maple in our backyard, and our efforts to bring it back (and to dethatch/aerate/smooth out our back yard) 

And finally, our Time Capsule died - but we were able to salvage the hard drive, put it into an aluminum casing, and sell the broken Time Capsule on eBay. 

New Projects

1. Home Theater Install - We're looking at an early December installation. 

We've gone through several iterations of our design, and we're very happy with each of them. 

This project doesn't require any particularized DIY know-how on my part... outside of ensuring that our cabling, speakers and components are in-place and future-proofed. (I'm going to love installing a plastic wire conduit inside the wall!)

2. Basement Remodel - We remain on-track for a late 2013-early 2014 start. 

The first step will be to get insulation on the walls, which feels like a good job for the dead of winter, when there isn't much else going on. 

3. Star Wars Sell-Off / Hybrid Commuter Car - Over Labor Day weekend, we traveled to my parents' house in Iowa, and picked up the Star Wars collection that had belonged to me and by brother. 

Over the last month, I've been photographing, cataloging, and starting eBay auctions for all of it. And I'm getting some great prices - but it's actually been a bit emotional to go through it all! Not that I feel like keeping any of it... but I hadn't looked at any of this stuff since my brother passed in 2001. 

Here's the link to all of my active auctions. I put "MEDG" in each header, because my brother and I used to call ourselves "Mos Eisley Dry Goods" when selling Star Wars toys. 

I'm going to put a reverse link in every auction to my "On Moving On" post, just so that people can see the story behind this stuff. 

I wasn't sure if there was still a market for Star Wars toys. I was wrong - there clearly is. When it's all sold, I'm going to put the proceeds toward the downpayment on a hybrid car for my long daily commute.  

4. Outdoor Fireplace - Can't hardly wait. I'd like to get started on this immediately... a friend of mine is also in the market. Maybe we can get a volume discount. 

That said, it may have to wait until spring. 


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