Tool Time – The Little Things

This week has been a whirlwind of productivity. I have a couch that is comfy, I have a TV with about 5 HD channels, I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom. There’s a lot more that has been done, and of course there’s plenty left to keep doing. I think this week has taught me that it’s going to be ok. It’s going to be ok that 2 of these bedrooms will be empty and soulless for a little bit while I figure out what to do with them. It’s going to be ok that pretty much everything about my bathroom is hideous, but as long as the sink, toilet and shower work, I can deal with it (for now). And, it’s going to be ok that my appliances got delayed a week (without any prior notification) because after I’m finished putting my bed together next Saturday, I know that I’ll be able to test out the washer and dryer on my new bed sheets.

Speaking of, I need to start to narrow down some key choices for some of these rooms. All (5) windows need to be replaced, but after that I need to cover them with something. Blinds, curtains, shades, duct tape…I need to figure something out. Painting the dining area is still a high priority, but the room is kinda crowded right now with the soon-to-be-removed washer, dryer and oven and my table with no chairs. That might have to be a project for after I’ve moved in. And of course I didn’t anticipate the challenge of painting a ceiling after a ceiling fan is installed. Oops. But with the lengthy to-do list, I have still be able to cross off some smaller items. While not nearly as important as furniture or wall color, sometimes it’s these little things that can help make a place your own (or is that my own?).

Plug Here!

I took an inventory of every single outlet in this condo and picked up a first round of covers to replace whatever is already there. Some of them were white. Others were painted over (stay classy previous homeowners). I figure starting on an equal footing everywhere is sufficient for now.

Push Here!

I doubt that I’ll find a reason to get something different or more fancy, but at least I’ll be ok with what I’ve installed. Piece of cake. There’s also the matter of the light switches. After snagging a dozen outlet covers I took a look a the different light switches Home Depot had to offer and settled on these guys. Cheap, simple, and not your regular light switch. So far I’ve only replaced three of them, but now that I know the process I’m likely to replace the rest of them throughout this place.

Required. No exceptions.

Side Note: Who knew that the year spent working on the road installing all of that network equipment would have a real-world benefit for me. Walking through the hardware section I knew exactly what tools I would need to make sure my wiring was sound and of course, power was turned off before I proceeded with any work. Having spent over nine months terminating 10AWG wire to Fuse Alarm Panels, all of a sudden a little light switch doesn’t seem like the most complicated thing in the world. I know it’s just a light switch, but there are a lot of new things I’m getting into here so every small victory cannot be overlooked.

Tap to turn on, hold to dim. I can handle that.

Oh, and I replaced the dimmer in the dining area. There was already one installed, but quite frankly, it was hideous. I picked up a new one with the assumption that I would be eating meals in there quite frequently. Overall dimmers are not the cheapest item, but considering how often lights are being turned on and off, it makes sense that a few extra dollars be required to make sure things work as intended. Again, it’s a small victory, but flipping the switch (or tapping the dimmer) and seeing the light come on put a smile on my face. Go me.

Cisco. Not Sisqo. Nor Crisco. Cisco.

Finally, I set up the wireless Internet. Again, small and probably not necessary for at least another two weeks. But I can blog (and podcast) from my place without mooching a connection from someone foolish enough to leave their network unsecured and I can now watch Arrested Development on Netflix Instant Watch. How is that not a win?

PS. If you have more than 2 electronic devices in the same area I recommend zip ties. Organization is a must if you have all kinds of goodies by the television like I do (Xbox, PS3, Wii, cable modem, wireless router, cable box, TV and associated HDMI cables) and zip ties help control the madness behind the shelves or what-have-you.

No, there isn't a color scheme for them...yet

If you don’t like the idea of something as permanent as the plastic zip ties, there are velco ones too. They are also quite money.

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