The before!

I wanted to get it all cleaned out before I started….but if I want to keep my car in its spot in the garage during the winter….well I just didn’t have space for it all.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


After some initial planning, I finally submitted my application for a permit to finish my basement. I guess buying the house was actually a bigger decision, but this is a bit more exciting for me. Probably because the work is on me and not someone else. If I screw up, my wife won’t let me hear the end of it. 🙂 The lady stated that they have 3 days to review the plans for the basement, but it probably won’t take that long (during these…the slow months).

I am hoping that to have it, the permit, by this weekend as then I can order the 1″ foam boards that will line the walls of my basement.

After that is up, then the framing will begin.

My goal is to have the framing done and inspection finished by the end of March. It sounds like a long time, but I have some travel for work that will delay my efforts.


Hair Care


My wife has been saying for the last couple of weeks that she needs to get her hair cut and colored. She normally goes to a pretty expensive lady to get her hairs cut. Yesterday, she decided to go to a cheap place.

I dropped her off and I proceeded to the grocery store next door. I was wrapping up my shopping in the frozen section when she came strolling down the aisle with much shorter hair. I was expecting the worst, but she said “not bad”. I really like her short hair, but I never know what her critique are going to be.

With her hair cut, she also wanted it colored. I normally color her hair, so this is no big deal. We finished the coloring late in the evening and at that point I was reminded that she just saved us over $80 just by going to a cheaper place and by letting her hubby color her hair. AWESOME!

Let it be know that my wife is not a tomboy by any stretch of the imagination. She did grow up in the country, but once she moved to KC, she became a city girl. She likes sparkly things and cleanliness. SO, for her to agree to do something with her hair that doesn’t require a HELOC, I was more than proud of her.


Send me a LINK


So my boss’ boss just sent out an email that told us to go to a certain page on our internal network to view a video. There was no link, but instructions on how to get to the page.

This is the guy that fired my old boss for reason’s unknown, but I have a feeling it was because my old boss was trying to streamline things and cut down on costs….Mean while, this guy (my boss’ boss) is sending out emails that make every employee (if they even care) to follow his instructions to get to a site that he could have taken a half second more to copy the link. BUT, he did take the time to highlight the instructions in red to make them stick out!

I don’t understand how this people get jobs.


To start, I want you to know that I am not griping about my pay. I am where I am and I am not saying that I deserve more, but that it is interesting and I just wanted to make a point.

I am a degreed engineer and make in the area of 60k per year working for a small engineering firm in the KC area. I recently found out that a large company here in town hired a friend of mine for 75k as a manufacturing engineer. This friend has no engineering degree, and to be honest, is the last person in the world that I would label as an engineer. They are just not wired correctly for engineering. The job description that my friend is working as was “a person that roam the manufacturing line looking for problems and try to fix them.” Okay…I guess. Then to add to it, my friend said that all the people in that position are barely high school graduates.

What am I doing wrong? I have pretty bad benefits, low pay and now I know it. I am currently out there looking, but I found out that for my position I am not even on the bell curve of pay. The low end pay for my position is around 68k.

Again, I am not griping, but I need to pull my head out and get with the program or I am going to be way behind. I also would like more responsibility. I think a kid would call it a “big boy” job. 🙂

Maybe tomorrow will bring good news and I can leave my current position for something better.




I am, by trade, a controls engineer and I love automation and making life easier for my wife and me. In my searches for home automation, I found SmartHome. They are based out of California and have many offerings that I find enticing.

For example, my wife wanted two things for Christmas, a dimmer on the master bedroom light, and lighting on the vault in our bedroom. I found some rope lights on Amazon. They were 120VAC and can be dimmed. I then found cool dimmers on SmartHome’s website that would not only act as dimmers, but as remote actuated devices. To clarify, they can be connected to each other or to other Insteon devices and I ultimately can control them from my phone and from the WWW.

For Christmas I started off small. I just purchased the two dimmers and the rope light and got them installed. She was VERY happy with both of those gifts. I told her, “As money becomes available, we will get this controllable via our phones.”

As luck would have it, once the money became available, I purchased the wrong thing. The 2412N controller that I bought is close but not totally correct. the 2412N is designed to be a low cost web interface to your Insteon system. What I didn’t realized was that the 2412N was only a powerline device. To explain: Insteon has two transmission methods…..RF (radio over the air) and powerline (through your house’s wiring). Well, since the 2412N controller was only a powerline and on the wrong phase of my home’s electricity, I could not control my lights. To remedy this, I could either move the controller (this won’t work unless I rewire that circuit) or buy a pair of  access points.  There is a third option, to buy a different controller, which I will probably do. So, if there is anyone that wants to buy a Insteon 2412N controller, contact me.

I can’t wait to get this other controller so that I can turn my lights on and off via my phone. I may call myself a thrifty person, but I am a nerd above that. 🙂


Media Closet


Before starting my basement renovation, I need to get some things squared away on the main level. One of those things….internet to all devices. Last year in a speed haste to get stuff done, I put up CAT 5 cable from my central hub in the basement to my upstairs media center.

Right now, as you can see, the Media center is just my DirecTV DVR. The box below it is a standard DVD player that will soon be replaced by some sort of BluRay player.

If you look closely, there is a red light and an HDMI cable going into a wallplate next to the power cord. That, my friends, is a SIIG HDMI to CAT6 converter CB-HM0A12-S1. You put your source HDMI into the wall plate, the plate converts the signal to two (2) custom lengths of CAT6 cable to up to 300 feet away which then plug into an identical wall plate. From there your plug your TV’s HDMI cable into this wallplate far away and boom! you got HDTV streaming from your closet!!! It works great and there is no external power needed.

After moving this stuff to the closet and buttoning everything up, I realized that I am going to want a gigabit connection to this closet. I bought a roll of CAT 6 and ran it and now I have to wait for a gigabit switch to go in the basement to replace the 100mbps one that I have now.

Here is the one I want. D-Link DGS-1016D