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Nor'easter and Unpacking

The movers finally showed up. Scheduled for Saturday, I was happy they were delayed as we had a Nor'easter come through with rain/snow mix and strong winds. Of course, we lost power and internet as well.  What was a little disconcerting was the time it took to restore power. Lost power Friday night and didn't get restored until sometime Sunday afternoon. It got a little cold in the house as the pumps for the radiant heat are powered by electricity. Thankfully it wasn't a super cold front that moved through - high 20s and low 30s. Still it made me wonder why so much of the house is powered by electricity - the ovens, cooktop, pumps, etc. are all electric. We were quite happy when the power came back on so we could all warm up. Unfortunately the internet was still down. We didn't get restored until late Monday. Spectrum was not a great partner in the outage, listing status as "investigating" even when the service was restored. At least with comcast I was getting
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Final move...

Well, I spent last weekend doing the final packing of the old house. We closed on Tuesday before thanksgiving and we're thrilled needless to say. It's been a lot of work packing up the old house, and I can only begin to imagine what will happen in the new house. I'm not saying I'm not going back to California someday, but at least for now, we're going to try something different. Of course, the day I left for California, a pipe burst out by the pool house. Luckily my son saw it and after a few hours, we were able to get some help to shut off the water to that pipe. Shutting it off meant we had to first shut off water to the house, which resulted in the main valve now having a leak. We'll see our new plumber Tuesday or Wednesday to sort things out.  The trials of an old house are endless, but frankly it's a bit fun when I'm home. When I'm not home, it's not so much fun.

The road trip to Maine

I was able to ship one of the cars to Maine for a reasonable price ($1500). That worked out well, and only took about 5 days. Surprising as it's 3400 miles! Apparently the driver does not sleep. But there was a problem, I have 3 german shepherd dogs. And they needed to get across country along with the SUV. So the family decided I was going to drive the car with the dogs. I called my good friend John up and asked if he wanted to drive across country - it would be fun I said, and weirdly, he said OK.  The good news, only one of the dogs was with me in Pacific Grove. Sacha the white male GSD was in PG, the other two were in Salt Lake City at our dog trainers. If you need a dog trainer for sport or protection dogs, David Broderick at  Innovative K9  is your man. Seriously great work, really nice guy. We've known him since before he was famous, and he is a magician with dogs. I can't say enough good things about David and his academy.  So two weeks ago, I through the bullet roo

More wiring fun...

So after pulling 5 wires to 2 locations in the family room (it's a big family room!), I realize that I actually need two more hardwire ports near my desk. Yes, my desk is in the living room. I don't use my desk at night which is when the family is in the family room, and there is no other good "office" space that's isolated from the rest of the house. What does this mean? Well, I get a fantastic view of the woods that surround the property. And the dogs can have plenty of space to hang out while I'm working.  For today, I plan on: getting the 4 port in-wall switch + AP installed (fishing a wire from the garage into the wall cavity) Possibly pulling two more wires from the basement to the family room (150+ ft) Installing a Ring security light/cam setup on the garage. More for the security lights, but I like to be able to see what's going on in the middle of the night and catching some wildlife wandering around Investigate the non-existent doorbell. The bell

Wiring/walls hide-n-seek

Well today, I wanted to wire in a small ubiquiti in-wall AP. They're really sweet little APs - 4 hardwire ports and an AP all in one POE box the size of an outlet. I have several of the UAP-IW-HD model and love them. Turn down the power and you can almost isolate to the room. Plus 4 hard wired ports - which is perfect for my use - either right next to a desk for "working" or right next to the tv so I'm not streaming over wifi.  So I started looking at the wall I need to fish the wire through and realized that in the garage which is below this room, the wall is about 4 inches thick. In this room it's 12 inches thick. Oh good, I can just punch through the ceiling into the wall cavity, right? Well, here's where it gets interesting. I tried to find the hole I drilled through using a long bit. No joy. I have no idea where it is. Time to go spelunking. I hope to have this one wired in later tonite. Either that or drink a delicious Maine beer. Yeah, likely going to

Adventures in wiring an old (very old) house

I'm an engineer. Let's just start there. I'm an engineer that has built out many datacenters. With thousands and thousands of wires. And lots of power. I realize most houses don't have the kinds of requirements data centers have where wires change from time to time. That said, wow. The wiring in the new house is "special" to say the least. There are some bright spots - even though most of the outlets are two prong vs. 3 prong grounded, many have a consistent ground wired to the metal boxes. That means I can somewhat easily change out the outlets. Which is good as many (most) are so worn that they won't hold a plug. I'm even more impressed (depressed) by the amount of telephone/alarm/fire alarm/intercom (!!) wiring that runs through the building. The basement (yay! I have a basement!) is an interesting rats-nest of wires.  I was referred to an electrician by my real estate agent - who was in construction for a few years before transitioning to real esta

Moving to Maine

 I bought a new project. After some serious deliberation and discussions, we bought a house in Maine, and have moved there at least temporarily, and possibly for good. The story: In spring, our daughter decided to attend NYU, and while heartbreaking that she'd be so far away, she is thrilled with the opportunity. Fast forward to this summer, and we flew back with her to see NYC and get her all set in her dorm at NYU. 2 weeks of quarantine showed that they were not really able to accommodate her vegetarian diet. In addition there was some serious fear that they'd close campus again and kick everyone out of the dorms.  So, I flew back to NYC late this summer on 1 day notice and moved her to an apartment. She's now there with her best friend. For the first time, I really enjoyed NYC. It wasn't as crowded, there were great places to eat (and you could get in), walking around was easy and fun.  As my daughter was talking about the east coast, my wife and I started having ser