Experiments in the key of life

From an unapologetic middle aged gay

A taste of homeownership?
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 As in, hints of what may be instore as I own a home, but through my apartment.

First the stove goes, and I got a new one, thanks to the speedy action of my apartment manager. Now, I think my water heater has finally croaked. It didn't spring a leak (thank God), but the heating element I think went for it was running out of hot water last evening, and didn't rejuvinate overnight and is STILL cold so took a sponge bath. :-(

To be honest, I'm surprised it hadn't gone before now as who knows how old it actually is. Most electric hot water heaters tend to last between 10-15 years and I would not be surprised if it's closer to 15 years old. I did check the fuse, and they didn't seem to have popped so there is that.

What I discovered was I was using the sink for something, and didn't get both the hot and cold knobs turned off, and the hot was left running on a low stream, and when I discovered it over an hour later, it was tepid, but still had some residual warmth, now, it's just cold as it didn't rejuvinate overnight with fresh, hot water like it would normally.

I did a similar thing a couple of years ago, but in the bathroom in the shower, and that time, once I shut it off, it refilled with nice, hot water, no problem. Not this time though. :-(

So gotta call my manager and get her on the case to at least check it out and see what's up there, and replace if need be.

I'm sure they'll just put in a fresh one anyway. Probably would be doing so when I move out in any event due to age alone.

I have not noticed any rust/dirty color to the water so it could just be the heating element is blown.

So that is where my morning lies. Ended up chatting with Victor last night. He may make a friend, but is a pot user and does medibles, ie, pot you eat in food. We'll see, we might get together this evening, if he can get out of choir practice, otherwise, the weekend.

I'm still on to meet Riley at Northgate Mall Saturday evening.

So that's that, and the second Beatles CD is done and sounds great. I spent time ripping Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, well, selections from it, and still need to record a few tracks from the White Album (vinyl) and then I can commence with the rest of the CD's for this project.

Sooo... That is how my Thursday is going, so far.

Hope to hear from my mortgage lender on when the down payment assistance restarts. I hope it's next week, so I can resume the house hunt.

Fixing a CD
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In between texts and chats on the phone with two gents last evening, I managed to make dinner (imagine that!), and fixed the first Beatles CD.

Yeah, the meal was par boiling cauliflower and brocolli to get it started on the cooking process, I made a cheese sauce that was good, but needed even more sharp, sharp cheddar cheese as I bought the cheap Kroger sharp cheddar block, that sadly does not come in anything sharper (like extra, or extra, extra sharp), and forgot the salt, which helps, and maybe some Wochestershire sauce (a few drops) would have helped as it would have been cheese reribit instead.

Anyway, the veggies were spread out into a baking dish, some rounds of kiolbasa sausages and then the cheese sauce on top and baked for 30 minutes. Delicious. Got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

The Beatles CD I redid to add the 2 Sec pre-gap and SO much better, though a couple of the tracks had a touch longer silence due to not being trimmed as tightly as they should have been. Then ended the night watching episode 4 of This Old House, it's their current season that began in early Oct and was in bed by quarter to 12.

So that was that. Our high yesterday ended up being 62, but the low was around 45, one degree above the low, nice!

Today, we'll hit 58 with rain, yesterday remained dry, but cool. The low overnight tonight will be 53, with showers.

I have two dates this weekend
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Yes, with two different guys!

One on Saturday evening, and one on Sunday.

The first gent lives in Edmonds, just north of the city and we're meeting at California Pizza and a Mexican place at Northgate Mall and will decide where/what to do then.

Then I hit up another guy via text, and we ended up talking on the phone for over an hour and we meet up on Sunday. We'll chat in the next couple of days on details on that.

So kewel!

With that, time I call it a night as it's 11:32 and I really should be in bed!

What a difference a day makes, seriously
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This morning got the laundry done, washed dishes, tried on my new shirt from Land's End (it fits), and was finally out the door late morning, after 12pm I think for errands.

Zipped down to South Seattle to Costco and got my allergy pills and the shampoo, got in a line with little waiting as I was the next person, and was out in short order, but not without a brief look at the books and ran through the food isles to graze at the samples for a light "lunch" (more of a snack if you ask me) before getting in line.

Then it was head south to E Marginal Way S and getting onto the 1st Ave S bridge, and getting off onto West Marginal Way S to find the exit off of there to get to Roxbury St, but ended up a bit further south than planned so had to backtrack through a roundabout way northward until I came upon the street that took me right up to Roxbury. Why go further south? Well, Roxbury is right at the city's south edge, and thus runs along the Roxhill neighborhood, where Westwood Center is located is why.

The reason was to hit Targay, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and ultimately the QFC that is all right there in Westwood Ctr. Man, what a fantastic shopping center! nice stores, lots of families, and maybe gays too, while the area is mostly all working class, they looked at least a step above that, I saw little of what appears to be the stereotypical white trash types. I really enjoyed my time brousing and making a purchase, or two. I got underwear as I am needing some replacements for a few pairs that are seeing better days. I forgot to get deoderant, and was going to get it at the QFC, Targay only had the 3 pack of the Right Guard Sport, and 1 stick lasts me months. Oh well, there is a tad bit left, and can grab that tomorrow.

Then it was head up to Delridge Way, head north to the Homo Depot there and browsed there for a short bit before I had to head home as I had meat that would need to get in the fridge ASAP. I got home sometime around 4pm or so. Needless to say, it was a partially dry afternoon, with the sun coming out late in the day, and we ONLY hit 55F for the high. Essentially, all is right with the world. :-)

Next up, fix dinner, as I'm hungry.

First real commenter in ages at the ol' blog
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Yes! After months of mostly spammers, and some of them have "registered" to the blog, they don't comment, outside of what I see in my spam folder, and yes, spamalot they are.

Well, yesterday, found a comment that I didn't know about for a few days as I'd not been on my blog for a few and it was from a guy named Mike who's seen me comment on Apartment Therapy for ages as Ciddyguy, then Poof! I was gone. Eventually, he discovered i'd changed names, that links to my blog, so he came over and commented! That is on my first post on fall from October 14th! His comment was from the 20th, and discovered his comment last evening.

So doing what I did was change my moniker from Ciddyguy to john from little haus big city blog, people can then see that I have a blog and maybe it can help move the blog along in terms of gaining REAL readers (and hopefully commenters). Starting a blog takes a while as once you get it established online, it can take months, if not closer to a year before you gain a following as people learn to trust you, and as long as I do ping backs and trackbacks (one of them, trackbacks is automatically generated when I do a ping back) to other blogs where appropiate, readers shall come (ala the pied piper, LOL).

So that was fun.

I'm hoping to be able to update on the housing front soon with the resuming of my search for a place to buy and see where it then takes me.

Next up, breakfast as I now have the wash going.

Saturday was not good, but there is hope for today
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Yeah, felt off all day and so far this morning, feel MUCH better, though the dull ache at the back of my head is still there.

While I didn't feel great yesterday, I did manage to redeam the day to some extent by one, heading to the store to get the toilet paper and a few other things, but again, forgot my new PIN, I've been in a forgetful state yesterday as well, which comes from not feeling great. So had to just use the debit card as a credit card and be done with.

Came home, put stuff away, and actually remembered pretty much everything, thankfully. This time decided to head out with camera and get some shots of the blustery, wet weather and then hit the ATM at BECU at the Broadway Market to change my PIN to one I know. That solved that and into the grocery store to get a bottle of Gatorade and a roll of quarters for the laundry. I almost had enough from the previous roll, but was 2 Qtrs shy.

Updated my blog with the photos from yesterday's walk and eventually thawed and heated up the last of the Cannoloni I had made a couple of weeks back that I had put into the freezer by placing the partially thawed helping into a shallow Corning baking dish just larger than the serving and into a 350F oven for 30 minutes or so, until a knife could go through the entire thing. It was nice and hot, deliscious if you ask me.

Chatted with a couple of guys online and then crashed out to Julia Child for about 20 minutes and was in bed by 10pm or so.

Today, it's back to Costco to get the shampoo and allergy pills and go hit Targay and see if they have a good deal on tighty whities, after I get the laundry done this morning.

Turns out, no mention of the Kirkland tighty whities being offered online on the Costco site so they aren't offering them at this time, perhaps they are changing suppliers?

Anyway, that is my plan for today, at least in part and then spend some time tidying up around here, and then reburn the first two Beatles CD's with corrections and I'm not sure what else. Maybe I might cook something interesting for dinner. We'll see what I come up with. I WAS hoping to make a carrot cake quick bread, but this weekend aint meant for that. :-(

SOOOO, next up gather up the laundry and get that going before fixing oatmeal for breakie so I can then get the laundry finished, showered and head out the door to do my errands. With the storm yesterday we actually ended up hitting 65F for the high. Today, we are expecting only expecting 55 for the high, the low will hit 46F this evening. I will bring in my plants from the balcony this afternoon at some point. I should also put my plant stuff into a box, but I should also wipe/wash them first and get them dry before I do though. The bookcase will be broken down and disposed of. I also have an old milk bottle with some old anti-freeze that I need to properly dispose of, and that means heading to the transfer station's hazardous waste facility in S. Seattle, but not this weekend, obviously. I'm hoping that I get work either next week, or the first week in Nov that my down payment assistance program is back up and running with its new budget, so I can resume with house hunting.

And with that, time I go get the laundry going!

It's 1:51pm and my errands were a bust.
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First off, got to Costco, and while the lot was quite full, it could have been really bad inside, but thankfully wasn't, though it was NOT slacking for business however.

They didn't have the Kirkland undies I need but they had the under shirts though, WTF? So no undies, then found the Kirkland brand shampoo, and the Kirkland brand of Claritin and got in line, gave them my costco card and when the cashier scanned my card, it was not showing as having renewed, which I did this morning, online! Again, WTF? Then proceeded to pay for the goods and forgot the new pin that goes with my new debit card, come on Costco, get with it, allow us to use our debit cards like credit cards, or simply allow credit cards to begin with, get with the program! I know, I know, they DO allow AMX cards for top tier customers, but again, WTF?

Anyway by that point, I was running out of steam, needing to pee and WAS going to head to White Center to O'Reileys to get the new headlight bulb and then to Westwood Ctr in Roxhill, both near each other to get my toilet paper, but bagged it as I HAD to get gas, and I knew I could do that at the Arco station on 4th Ave S, on my way home, so I did that and am home now.

I will have to hit the BECU ATM later and change my debit card pin to one I know and maybe try again tomorrow, but will check the Costco website to see if they still even OFFER the tighty whities in the Kirkland brand and see if they can say which Costco has it, maybe the Aurora Village store, or the Tukwilla store?

Now I think a nap is in order. Oh, the wind advisory is now a wind warning for much of the area for this evening up through 2am or so, this time starting out at 25mph as we get into late afternoon, then it'll increast to 25-40mph with gusts up to 60mph before it's all over. So yeah, the first wind storm of the season.

I'm definitely feeling a bit off today for some reason, lacking energy and all that, hence the nap.

Another errand running Saturday
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Awoke to a moderatly chilly apartment as we dipped to 50F overnight at least. Tonight, we should hit 49 for the low.

However, our high will be 60 with periods of rain throughout the day.

This morning, I renewed my membership at Costco as I need to make a quick run out there for shampoo, alergy pills, and underwear since I am close to replacing at least a couple of pairs, and barely have enough to last a week as it is.

Then go to White Center to O'Reily's and get the other headlight bulb. I bought one to try, it's a Sylvania (Osram) H7 bulb, which Mazda chose for the P5 for the low beams as this is a separate high beam headlight setup, unlike the sedans that use a hi/lo single bulb headlight buckets. The basic bulbs are fine, and at $14 each, they seem to go about once a year or so and don't do anything special. This car is old enough that it uses the parabolic reflector headlight design, and they have several grades of H7 bulb to choose from. What I went with to try out was only $3 more known as the Xtravision, a bulb that offers 30% more overall brightness, and a 25% more downward visibility, which also means a bit wider beam path, closer to a projector headlamp setup in my estimation. This comes in handy if on darker roads and highways at night, aiding the fog/driving lights I have that DO work. I will need to polish out the lenses though to get me through the winter and maybe see if I should look into replacing the buckets as the left side had a tiny crack in it, likely the beginnings of crazing from age and ozone/UV exposure.

Then I'll come on home and take it easy, maybe go get food stuffs for cooking something later on.

We are expected to have increased winds tongith on through I think tomorrow, and there is a wind advisory in effect as well.

So fall weather is here, and that means the occasional storm as well. Earlier today, it was very cloudy and had that dead of winter like look to it with very gray skies and the damp ground from last night's rains.

Oh, will also put gas in the car while at Costco.

So time to put on my shoes and go do errands!

Ran into something very interesting...
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I don't know if my turntable is a bit fast, or my copy of one album is off speed or what but Help!, the US Capitol/ United Artist Beatles movie soundtrack from 1965 came off a touch too fast when I burned the CD. Odd, as I don't recall any of the other albums doing this. Hmmm, some investigation is in order me thinks.

So I got my UK CD version of Help! (released worldwide) and lo, and behold, there IS a speed differentiation! The LP is a bit fast!, so using the time/pitch function of Soundbooth, I was able to slow it down a touch to where it should be close to where it should be, given my only other source is the CD, which should be speed corrected if necessary. So now two songs from the album, Help!, and the Night Before are both speed corrected. I now have to go through the rest and adjust those too. However, I discovered something else however.

My CD pressing of Help comes off a bit thin! Yes! though I suspect now that I've listened to the two versions, that the CD's levels may be a touch lower than the final LP file, so the opening guitar is MUCH more prominent than on the CD. The LP has a MUCH warmer sound  through the mids, and sounds fuller to boot, but as I said, it may be a difference in the overal levels. Mind you, this is a later pressing on the Apple label instead of the original Capitol, or UA label instead. Thus, it's a US pressing from the early 1970's as Capitol did release the US pre Apple albums on the Apple label around 1971 or so for a couple of years or so, and that is apparently what I have here, so it's a reissue indeed as it would have been on the black label with the periferal rainbow as the original release of said LP in 1965. Later reissues had an orange label, as well as a purple older style label from the 1930's that came out in '78 before reverting back to the rainbow label in 1983. Thus, several of my reissues were from 1979-80 period, which would include A Hard Day's Night, Yesterday and Today, and Yellow Submarine, and they are all on the purple label, later reissues would be Rarities on the rainbow, and Something New! also on the Rainbow as I bought it in 1987. Rarities was issues in 1980, and it came on the rainbow, 2 years before being officialy released on all new albums.

In any event, some of my reissues found fuller than others, which is not always the case as most often, they tend to sound thinner than early pressings.

So back to adjusting and resaving Help! from my vinyl LP. Then over the weekend, I'll reburn the first 2 CD's and burn the final 1, or 2 CD's to finish this off outside of the artwork and subsequent copies with CD artwork printed onto them.

Beatles CD and my new shirt
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First off, had to order a new turtleneck shirt last week as my old one, a light heather gray one is nearing the end of life, as it gets rattier and rattier by the day. I wear it to work under my work shirt, which I keep the sleeves partly rolled up for warmth during the fall/winter and early spring months. This also allows me to keep the "monkey" shirt AT work.

Anyway, the collar's inner layer is split at the neck line under my chin, the cuffs are fraying, as is the fabric where they are sewed on, and spliting, nice. Plus, it no longer cleans up all that well anymore either. Again, nice.

So I ordered it up, hoping for a sale, but whaddayaknow, it's not a color that is on sale. So, needless to say, had to cough up the regular $24 price for it, otherwise, I could have had it for $10+shipping. Oh well, needed it so just went and did it.

It was being shipped regular postage, which Land's End uses and is called Sure Post, that is, UPS delivers it via ground to its destination, and the USPS takes over for the local delivery. Not sure why this arrangement, other than it's a bit less than regular ol' UPS Ground?

Anyway, had a delay as the trailer was a day late, coming in at 12:34AM this morning, and was out the door to USPS by 4:18AM, so I could still get it today, but perhaps by tomorrow at the very latest.

Also got to play my first two Beatles CD's in the car, well, all of the first CD and part of the second and discovered a tiny booboo. I should have checked off the add the 2 Sec gap between tracks. Why I should have is simple, I'd forgotten I had trimmed out all those gaps, especially from the CD's as when you rip them, you get those extra seconds of silence at either the beginning, and/or the end of the track., so now, they all just about overlap each other and not in a good way, though they all sound fantastic however. So will have to rebuild and check that 2 Sec gap option.

Other than that, cool and wet and my parka that I washed and sprayed with Scotchguard on Sunday seems to be doing its job of keeping me DRY, and not soaking my shoulders at least when it rains. That's very nice indeed.

Finally cooling down here. Yesterday's high was 60F, 2 degrees above normal (which is 58), however, our night time low was 12 Degrees ABOVE average, so our nighttime low last night was 57, when it should have been 45F instead. However, for the next 10 days mostly in the mid 50's with the lows finally dropping into the 40's. It's been warmer than normal so far this fall, but the leaves ARE falling so that's nice.

So yay for one more sleep before the weekend!

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