First Day of Summer

Summer Solstice!

Summer officially starts on the American East Coast at 1:16PM, and I’m looking forward to it this year.  I plan on spending more time with family and friends and enjoying the outdoors.  My brother asked me to help install a swing set for the kids (returning the favor from a few years ago), grilling steaks, veggies, hotdogs, and bicycling in the morning and evening.

I am also taking a week off from work this summer to spend time with my children.  We’ll make a few stop at Rita’s, maybe catch a movie, and hopefully catch a Wilmington Blue Rocks game too.  Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise the kids this year and take them to the beach for the day.

On a final note, my office (man cave) will be complete this year!  I’m still working on a few ideas, but I will have a wall mount for a future LED monitor, and a work area for working on PCs.  I was originally going to move the Linksys E4200 router to my office, but I changed my mind.  I will run a CAT 6 cable from the router to my office and connect it to a Linksys SE2800 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet switch.  I could get away with a 5 port switch, but there may be a time when I need a 6th port for something.

I hope your summer will be fun and memorable.

Home Remodeling – Master Bedroom

For the past three weeks, my wife and I decided how we were going to update our bedroom from the 1970’s look from the previous owner.  The room and closets were cover in what I guess was a popular design wallpaper.  I will admit they did a great job installing the wallpaper and made sure the pattern matched throughout the entire room.  I didn’t realize what I was in store for when I started.

I had a preconceived idea what I should have expected.  I rented a steamer from Home Depot last year to remove wallpaper from the dining room and my son’s room.  The steamer worked well and I still had all my tools from before.

Saturday morning I stopped in at Home Depot to rent the steamer.  They had the one I used before but the customer service rep gave me a different unit.  I asked why this one over the other that I used before.  He stated everyone liked this red one better.  It generated steam faster and it was lighter.  But I noticed one thing right away, this red model does not have a base you can stand on.  Reluctantly I took the one he offered and headed home.

After getting the room cleared out, I over filled filled the steamer with water and press the power button.  I guess the time it took was faster.  So I started on scoring the walls to allow the steam to help dissolve the glue.  All of a sudden I heard my wife to get a bucket, the steamer started to leak water from the nozzle.  This is due to me over filling the tank. 

After cleaning up the water spill I was able to get started.  Within 15 minutes I realized this streamer was a piece of junk.  It generated steam, got real hot and burned my hand a few times when water or steam leaked, but it was hardly making a dent with the wallpaper.  I had to keep the hand unit on the wall longer than I wanted.  Even with this the glue was difficult to dissolve and pull the paper away. 

I worked for 10 hours and finished the room and still had 2 closets to work on.  The steamer was scheduled to be returned Easter Sunday by 9:00AM (that wasn’t going to happen).  The next day the kids got us by around 6:30AM to have an egg hunt and dive into their Easter Baskets.  We managed to get everyone to Church and got a good seat with 5 minutes to spare.

By the time Church ended, it was already 9:15AM.  So I kept the steamer to finish the closets.  How bad could it be?  They are much smaller than the room, I should be able to knock this out within 2 hours and clean up well before dinner. 

Well I was in for another surprise.  The previous owner doubled up on the wallpaper in both closets to have the pattern just right. Huh?!?!?!  I took four hours to finish.  I was not too happy and was hoping the Customer Service Rep was working on Sunday.

Cleanup went well and I was out the door within 30 minutes.  I got my wish, there was the Rep who told me how great this red piece of junk was.  We spoke and he asked how was it?  I told him all the problems I had.  I explained this unit generates steam, but I just sits in the hand unit, it doesn’t direct the steam onto the wallpaper.  He checked it out and said it was missing the metal bar which sits in the rectangle unit and connects to the nozzle.  Without even asking, he offered me a refund for the second day. 

Mean while my wife started to paint the walls with a tinted primer.  Hopefully the painting will go a lot easier for her.  We are going to order blinds tonight and remove the carpet this week.  We have hardwood floors throughout the house.  I know they need to be refinished, but I hope they are in decent shape.  We are also looking for a new light fixture, maybe something in a brush nickel. 

Oh, Happy Easter.