December 10, 2012

Home Improvement Isn't Just An Old Sitcom with Tim Allen

This is a smoke detector.

This is a smoke detector on a 12 foot ceiling or so.

This is a smoke detector that was not fun to install.

So, just a few months ago, we had the pleasant experience of having a smoke detector go off at 2 in the morning.  Not chirping, mind you, but full-on alarm.  There was no smoke, no fire.  Just alarm noises.  A few days later, we had a second smoke detector do the same thing, at around the same time in the morning.
Two things I learned from this experience:  1) Children sleep through smoke detectors.  2) When one goes bad, replace them ALL.  So, after learning this life lesson, we bought a ton of smoke detectors at the "Depot" and I proceeded to install them all.  This one was not nearly as bad as the one I have to lean out off of the stairwell to get to.  Oh, and another thing -all of these are front-battery-loading models, so you don't have to take the smoke detector off of the ceiling and unplug it to change the battery.  I'd call that a major home upgrade.

Since this smoke detector delicious, I have also done several other fun home improvement projects like: Replace multiple light fixtures (no more "this house was built in the 90's" brass lighting) and every ceiling fan, including the 15 foot one on a sloped ceiling.  That was fun.  There are pictures.  Then there was the storm door, a WONDERFUL upgrade to the back entrance to the house, and then we have had a plumber here to replace the kitchen sink and various faucets (I don't do plumbing or climbing on the roof - I have my limits).

So now, we just need to have someone come paint outside (and chimney and maybe the fence) while I clean up some paint inside on my remaining days off and our house will be pretty darn close to exactly how we would like it to be for us to live in.  And then we can put it on the market.  I think that's how this seems to always work according to those I've discussed it with.

Next project!

December 3, 2012

Big 12 Bowl Selection Special

So, this is how my regular season of football wrapped up, watching Baylor beat Oklahoma State at home on Senior Day, and then hanging out for the (well done) montage of Seniors on the big screen.

Then I fully intended to hurry up on Sunday and write a nice post in which I predicted the outcome of the bowl selection activities (much like I predicted Eddie Lackey's first quarter pick-6, though that prediction diminished in value with my subsequent failed predictions throughout the game).  But, alas, I made no such post.  Instead, I did other things all day, and therefore, you will have to take my "I didn't think this would go this way" type of comments as fact.  Or not.  Doesn't really matter to me.  Anyway, here's some bowl game selection reaction from me, and we'll go in pecking order...

Fiesta Bowl - No surprises, Kansas State here as the champion of the league.  Should be a really good match-up with Oregon, and I'll be happy to see this game.

Sugar Bowl - Why is this here?  The Sugar Bowl didn't pick a Big 12 team.  EXACTLY.  For the second year in a row, the Sugar Bowl turned its nose up at the Big 12 to take a random other conference in as SEC fodder.  Last year's turning of a blind eye to Kansas State bumped the rest of the league down, and this year, Oklahoma gets left out in the cold.  Oh well, I guess they didn't want to front-load the Big 12/SEC matchups, since that's the tie-in that they have going forward.

Cotton Bowl - Well, when the Sugar Bowl drops the ball like that, leave it to the Cotton Bowl to pick up the slack.  Great pick of Oklahoma, and they will produce a better game against A&M than Texas would have (though I could see some Cotton Bowl committee members salivating over Texas vs. A&M...)

Alamo Bowl - Not surprising, picking Texas.  Should be a good draw to San Antonio.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - I'm not surprised to see TCU picked here, though originally I had thought Oklahoma State would be hanging out here before any of the 7-5 teams.  I guess their lackluster finish destroyed their bowl pickability?  When two 7-5 private schools are picked up above 8-4 Ok. State, something gives..  I will enjoy the TCU vs. Michigan State matchup though.

Holiday Bowl - Here comes Baylor.  Wha-what?  Yup, I am very happy to see Baylor picked above Tech & West Virginia of the 7-5 crew, especially given that 3 of the 5 Baylor losses were one-score, and we're riding high.  Also, given the Holiday, Pinstripe, and Meineke Car Care, I figured WVU to Pinstripe made sense.  I also figured the Dallas and Meineke would take 2 of the 3 Texas schools in the 7-5 range.  But I also thought Oklahoma State would go to

Meineke Car Care Bowl - Well, like I jsut explained, Houston was going to pick up a Texas school in my opinion, and with TCU & Baylor gone, they'll take Tech's high/low yo-yo team with a potential for an explosive offense to match up against what little offense Minnesota will bring to the table.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Certainly Oklahoma State will...what?  Oh yeah, West Virginia was a shoe-in in my mind for this since the second they got bowl eligible.  The thought of WVU-Pitt had some drooling, but we'll take WVU-Syracuse anyway.

Heart of Dallas Bowl - Ok, I seriously thought there'd be a Texas team from the 7-5 crew here, or maybe Iowa State would jump in, but no... Oklahoma State picked vs. Purdue.  Again, I did not see in my wildest dreams every 7-5 team in the Big 12 picked before Oklahoma State given they had a better conference record.  I could insert my comments about Gundy's hair or other tasteless jokes here, but I think I just did.

Liberty Bowl - There was no doubt that all our bowl-eligible teams would find a bowl, and Memphis is a fun city - here's hoping my Iowa State friends find some fun on Beale Street.  I'm not going to say I'll be glued to the set for the Tulsa matchup, but it could be a good game.

So, when all is said and done, a few things stand out.  First, 90% of the Big 12 are attending bowls, which no other conference has ever accomplished.  Only Kansas doesn't travel for post-season play.  Second, the bowls do not have great confidence in the state of Oklahoma.  Oklahoma gets overlooked by the Sugar, and Oklahoma State gets overlooked by everyone...

And finally, Baylor finishes strong, and ends up with a nice trip to San Diego in the process.  Good deal.

Sic Em!