House Insanity

Finished Something

It took a while, but I finally finished the big flooring replacement at my house. Putting the very last piece in took a bit of work and it’s by no means perfect, but I’m happy with it. Hopefully, I didn’t make any big mistakes that will cause the floor to buckle in winter. I still have two smaller places to patch, but I’m happy with the bit I finished today.


New Laptop

My new MacBook Pro (WITHOUT retina display) came yesterday. It’s SO nice having a matte screen again. I cannot say how much I hate seeing reflections of lights or myself in my screen. So this has been great. I still have my old laptop and I have a time machine backup for it. However, I decided not to use time machine to restore the computer. One, because there’s tons of stuff installed that I don’t really want any more. So, this will force me to clean up. Two, I did restore with time machine a while back, when the hard drive failed. It didn’t work perfectly. And I had to reinstall some software packages and clean up other stuff anyway. So, I decided to just avoid it altogether. This also got me to look at some programs that I was using to see that they won’t run under 10.7. The program I use to encrypt stuff is one such program, so I need to find an alternative for that. There were a couple others, but I think it’s good to set things up again. It helps me to remember why I did it.

I’m very happy in that I was able to transfer my itunes and iphoto libraries without any problem. If there had been an issue I would have been completely disgusted with Apple, since these are both apple programs, running on apple hardware. So, that was good.

I’ve installed MacPorts again and am happy with it. I thought about switching to HomeBrew, but after reading up on them, I think I’ll be happier with MacPorts. Plus, I’m already familiar with it, so that’s good.

Right now, I’m working on taking mysql dumps of the databases I’m still developing with on the old laptop. The procedure I’m using is to dump the database, copy it to the new laptop, create a database with the same name, grant the privileges to it and then load the dumped sql file. It’s a bit of a hassle, but stuff works with it. It would be an advantage to having been using sqlite here, but since we use mysql on the servers, I use in on my laptop.

That will pretty much do it for transferring things. It went rather smoothly, which makes me happy. By the time I get to work on Monday, I should be all set to keep on working.


Change in Long Listings

I was just doing some work on one of the computers that I’ve installed RHEL6 on and noticed something weird. Here is a listing on an RHEL5 node:

[[email protected] tmp]# ll -d rhn*
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Sep 12  2011 rhn_rpms

And here is a listing on an RHEL6 node:

[[email protected] tmp]# ll -d rhn*
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 May 14 08:12 rhn
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root 4096 May 14 08:16 rhn_rpms

What’s with the period after the last x in the mode info? I’m going to have to look into this.

House Insanity

Little Bit at a Time

I’ve tried to stop by my house every day after work this week and just install one row of flooring. (It’s been in the 90s, so I really can’t work that long anyway.) I figure I’ll slowly make progress this week. Here’s how things are looking after today.

So it looks like I have about six more rows to install. Then, I’ll either have to cut the maple boards to make them fit or cut away more of the old flooring. I’ll probably end up doing the latter, but I’ll see how it goes when I get to that last row.

House Insanity

I Am So Tired

I worked a lot on the house today. Put in a pretty full day. First up was repairing the bad subfloor, which wasn’t bad at all.

Next, as I was kneeling on the floor to nail the boards down, I felt a little give. Turns out there was another section of the subfloor that needed to be repaired. The board was there, but it was basically cracked and just waiting for a good time to fail. So I cut that bit out and replaced it as well.

Then it was just put the boards down and nail them in. Things were going well until right before I was going to quit for the day. A piece by the outside wall just wouldn’t slide into the groove of the previous piece. Since I had put the brown paper down, I wasn’t sure what was under the floor, but I soon found out I was over the section where the cold-air return used to be. This bit was patched rather poorly and I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to fix that. And now, was when I was going to pay for it. I ended up taking by multi-tool and cutting out a bit of wood that was basically under the wall. I wanted to the floor to lie as smoothly as possible. I also decided that this was a board that I would have to put a nail right in the top to make sure that it stayed relatively level. The problem was that the previous board appeared to be a bit tilted due to the uneven subfloor. Anyway, I got the board in and called it a day, because I was really tired and I was out of nails. The bad news is that I may have to mess around with the boards in this area a bit more. But I’ll see how it goes when I go back.

Here is the current state. I think it looks pretty good.


Working with rvm

ok:~ maryh$ rvm update
ok:~ maryh$ rvm reload
RVM reloaded!
ok:~ maryh$ rvm list known
# MRI Rubies

The square brackets mark the default patch level for that version. Since I want to install 1.9.3 and I already have 1.9.3-p0 installed, I can run this.

ok:~ maryh$ rvm install 1.9.3-p194 --with-opt-dir=/opt/local

Need the –with-opt-dir because when I tried to do a bundle install on my first rails app using the new versions of things, the command kept crashing. I found this post that explains the issue.

Working with rvm

To see and use the current versions installed:

ok:~ maryh$ rvm list
ok:~ maryh$ rvm use 1.9.3-p194
Using /Users/maryh/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p194
ok:~ maryh$ ruby -v
ruby 1.9.3p194 (2012-04-20 revision 35410) [x86_64-darwin10.8.0]
ok:~ maryh$ gem list

*** LOCAL GEMS ***

bundler (1.1.4)
rake (
rubygems-bundler (1.0.2)
rvm (
ok:~ maryh$ gem install rails

New Laptop Coming

I ordered a new MacBook Pro today. I specifically, did not order the one with the retina display. On those, you cannot fix anything. The ram is soldered to the board, the storage is some special thing and the battery cannot be replaced. Additionally, it no longer has an on-board ethernet port. You have to get a dongle to convert a thunderbolt port for that. I’d also have to get another dongle to hook up my external monitor. Lastly, somewhere I read that the fancy retina display still shows reflections. The blog post I read about it, said something to the effect of, still make sure you turn that overhead light behind you off. Since that’s the kind of thing that drives me nuts, I was pretty sure that no matter how nice it looked, it probably wasn’t for me. I had intended to go to and Apple Store and see it for myself, but after looking at all the other drawbacks listed above, I just decided I didn’t care. I’ve had this current MacBook Pro for 5 1/2 years. In that time, through AppleCare, I’ve had the logic board replaced and the dvd replaced. Once AppleCare expired, I’ve replaced the hard drive a few times, the lcd screen after I cracked it, the battery about 3 or 4 times, the power supply twice and the dvd is broken again, but I don’t care. I just don’t like that I’m not able to repair something that I supposedly own. And carrying a bunch of dongles also doesn’t appeal to me. I will have to get one for the monitor (my current one was the last to actually have a dvi connector on it, which was great), but I guess I’ll live with that.

House Insanity

Start of New Flooring Installation

Today, I started putting down the maple flooring that I bought to fix the bad areas. Here’s my first row.

I didn’t zoom in here, so you can’t see the somewhat large mistake I made. I should have started using two of the longest pieces I had for the first row. But since I had to cut off the tongue on the boards so they’d sit flush with the old flooring, I instead used some smaller pieces. This led me to have a joint where the two boards didn’t line up properly. I should have fixed that before I nailed them in completely, but I didn’t notice until I started on the next row. Oh, well. I’ll know better for next time.

Here’s how it looked when I was finished for the day.

Tomorrow, I should really fix that hole in the subfloor before I do anything else. Then I’ll also lay down some paper I bought. Mickey told me to get tar paper, but I don’t know what that was or where to find it. I bought some brown contractor’s paper, that sounded like it’ll do the same thing. I guess we’ll see.

Have to say that so far, I’m happy with how it’s looking.

Insanity Repairs

I Love Fixing Things

My van wouldn’t start the other day. I had recently had some hose in the steering system replaced because it had holes and since then, the car was really hard to start. I don’t think these things were related. I think it had something to do with the fact that since I have Julie’s car, I’m not driving the van very much. It can sit in my garage for weeks at a time. So, when I did go to drive it, mainly just to make sure it was still working, I found that it would not start. I turned the key and it just made some clicking noises. I’m no mechanic, but I thought that this was a battery issue, even though the radio and lights were still working. A quick check on Google confirmed this.

I called my cousin Mickey asking to borrow a battery charger, even though instinctively, I felt that the battery was bad. I had driven it a lot on a Saturday a while back, mainly to charge the battery, while I ran some errands. But, by Sunday, it was already very hard to start again. He said he had one, but that I probably should just replace it. He made it sound easy, so I figured, why not. I have a socket set and loosened the two bolts on the battery and then the third one that holds the battery to the car. Pretty easy. In fact, the hardest part was lifting the battery out of the car. Those things are HEAVY and really, really dirty. I took it to Menards at Mickey’s suggestion, only to find that the Menards closest to me doesn’t sell car batteries. I then went to the Oreilley parts place right by my house. In five minutes with $100, they took my dead battery and gave me a new one. I brought it home and had it back in the car in about 10 minutes. Got in the car and it started up immediately.

Yes, this was a very simple fix. In fact, it’s probably the easiest thing to fix on a car. However, the feeling of satisfaction I get when I fix something that’s broken is priceless. Here, I have something that doesn’t work, then I do something and then it does. It just makes you feel so good and completely turns around your day. Who doesn’t love that?

House Insanity

Getting There

I spent a very short time working on the house this weekend, due to a graduation party and very hot weather. But I did manage to take out all the wood that I’m going to replace with the new maple flooring. Here’s how it looks.

So there basically was a hole cut in the middle of the room that was later patched. I have no idea what could have been there. Might there have been a chimney/fireplace there at some point. Seems unlikely, since it’s in the middle of the room. Might it have been an air intake for an old furnace? Again, why in the middle of the room. I’ll probably never know, but it’s interesting to think about.