This week was possibly the first full week I have spent back in the home office since I started this job. I’m not quite certain if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I was in town the full week because of a series of meetings my group was hosting in the middle of the week highlighting some of our business strategies and areas of improvement. Of course this meant that I was home when a winter storm moved in Tuesday night and then dumped 12” of snow on Wednesday. Being that the temperatures hovered just above freezing all day Tuesday and Wednesday the snow was a wet and heavy snow… very heavy. After having shoveled my driveway three different times over 24 hours my resolve not to purchase a snow blower this season is quickly fading. On the other hand, several days of above freezing weather and rapidly disappearing snow (although it is debatable how rapidly 12” of snow can melt) has slightly softened my outlook on the whole matter. That said, the sump pump in my basement has been working double duty the past week.
I received my first full electric/gas bill this week and boy was it a shocker. I had heard how high electric and gas prices were in New York, but when I called to establish service I was able to lock in a three year rate at $0.105kWh, not a bad price considering it beat what I had been paying in Texas. My first bill which covered a grand total of 2 days seemed to accurately reflect this; then came last month’s bill. Every electric provider has those little fees that are not part of the rate structure you pay, but those don’t usually amount to a significant portion of the bill. Because of the way the New York market works I wind up paying for supply services (the price per kWh) AND delivery services, something not factored into the quoted price and something that doubled my utilities bill, meaning I am actually paying much closer to $0.21kWh. Yikes!
The price of my utilities has me questioning whether or not I will actually be able to afford the slight remodeling that is currently going on in my home. We were finally able to get a contractor nailed down to come in and do the work on our laundry room and the master bathroom (the master part of it is called into question since in most homes this would hardly qualify as even a full size bath). Jack has been absolutely fascinated with the work going on and the work crews have been equally enthralled by him. During this process we discovered that Jack could probably sleep through the apocalypse. Thursday when they began the demolition work Leslie said that Jack took a two hour nap while they were using the jack hammer and sledge hammer right outside his bedroom. Leslie texted this to her mom and dad and the response she got back from her dad was, “When we were there you made us whisper!” Yea, about that…
Speaking of construction, I finished my latest project in the kitchen, a plate rack, because apparently when you own fancy dinnerware you aren’t allowed to just stack your plates in the cabinets where no one can see them. While as an engineer I am ashamed to admit that things weren’t aligned quite as straight as I had hoped I am still pleased with the overall result. In my defense, when I created a 3D rendering of it everything lined up, I blame whoever installed crooked cabinetry… not that cabinetry, the stuff I installed was straight… ish. I’m an engineer, not a carpenter.
This Saturday I spent a little more than an hour working on a birthday/anniversary present for Leslie, one that I am installing directly on the wall. As such Leslie has had to operate on the honors system since a couple of weeks ago; she hasn’t been allowed to peek under the blanket I have draped over my work. Saturday’s involved working on alignment and spacing of some items, in addition to applying touchup paint to the areas that I had penciled in some lines. Before she arrived back at the house I hung the blanket back up but not before I realized that all there was to see anymore was a few carefully placed nails in the wall, although to the random observer the nail placement alone makes it practically impossible to determine just exactly what I am making. When I pointed this out to Leslie and made the claim that I was 75% complete with the necessary work she was a little disbelieving. Ha, if you thought I was going to give away the surprise you’ve got another thing coming to you. If everything arrives in the mail like it is supposed to AND if I find time on Thursday to complete the installation then I’ll share pictures next week.
It is courtesy of my flight arriving half an hour early (despite a 20 minute delay) that I am able to complete this newsletter while sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting for my connecting flight, but my potato skins have arrived and I’m starving so everything else will just have to wait until next week.