Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wireless Wired Zen

A few posts ago I went off on how much I hate coaxial cables etc. One thing I hate more is cable clutter. One of the challenges for our living room has been positioning the TV in a functional spot, with the cable being trapped underneath the carpeting. The cable issue is tricky, because I have to also figure out how to set up the wireless cable internet.

Where to begin, hmm I found a way to conceal my cables in the living room. Awesome, I hope my wife can live with the rubber strip that hides the cables. I don't think it looks that bad and it does the trick. Now on to the cable modem.

Time Warner really did a tight job with the cabling in our bedroom. I was able to split the line for the TV in our bedroom to set up my cable modem and router behind the tv. It actually worked out great because it's kind of hidden and doesn't really get in the way. Plus, another pet peeve of mine is protruding wifi router in broad site. I know there are issues with range and line of site connectivity, but I lucked out by buying a Wirless Pre N router...which is suppose to be powerful enough to send your wifi signal throughout a mansion.

Ah I love it, less wires and cables make me happy. Now I just have one wiring wireless project pending. I want to shoot a wireless audio/video signal to a little dvd monitor that I want to put in the kitchen. This way I can watch my baseball and basketball games while I cook. The only thing is that I need to find a 5.8ghz transmitter(which are rare), so it doesn't interfere with our router and cordless telephone that operate at 2.4ghz (very common frequency).

Peace to technology.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Love My City

Ok before anything, I have to say that my hometown is Anaheim...and if I thought it would look good I would tattoo it across my back. I love Anaheim, I mean this is the place I grew up in and will forever have a special place in my heart.

However, our condo is in Culver City, which is 55 miles away in West Los Angeles. Its nothing like Anaheim, but I can't help myself from falling in love with Culver City more everyday. There is all kinds of development going on throughout the city, making it a very cool modern place to live in. In Sunday's L.A. Times I read that the City has invested about $65 million in improvements since the 90's. Thats some serious tax-payer cash, and it shows. All kinds of cool little places popping up everywhere.

One such place opened this weekend, Famima! Its like a supped up 7-11....better yet Famima! is to 7-11 what Gap is to Old Navy. The place is stocked with all kinds of goodies. I checked it out on Saturday and won a free Pannini, dang nothing tastes better than free food. While its a bit pricey, they pride themselves on their "Premium Experience," so I better go recycle my cans because I know this place is gonna bankrupt me.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

TV Cable Fever

Since we purchased our LCD flat panel, I've been fixated on getting the best picture quality and hooking up all our components together. Very quickly I realized how little I knew about digital video. For starters, these days there are like 6 different ways to transfer video. What happened to just plugging the yellow rca cable to the back of the tv? Anyways I found a cool little tutorial online that gives you the low down on everything you need to know to hook your cable and hdtv monitor, and get the best picture quality.

So here are the basics in order of best to worst:

HDMI cable - The best quality, true digital quality.

DVI cable - HDMI's adopted sibling

VGA cable - Mostly from computers

Component cable - 3 cables that seperate red, green & blue colors for great quality

S-Video cable - 1 cable that separates brightness from color for very good quality

Composite cable - the good old yellow rca cable, fast plug and play for descent quality

Coaxial cable - the worst and most used, the stiff white and very long cable that comes with your cable box.

I hate coaxial cables they are ugly, always too long and as you can see from my list above of inferior quality. But the worst thing is that its everywhere. They use it to run the main cable line into most homes, I mean they might as well run a telephone line through my place. Since our condo was built in the 70's the cable is not built into the walls, which means we have to run it under the carpet and along the edge of the walls...not the prettiest thing.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Flip That House

Dang another lazy Sunday came and went. This weekend we spent it watching the Flip That House Marathon on TLC. It was pretty amazing to see how people take these beat-up homes and totally transform them. I mean we took a few rooms in our place and supped them up, which was pretty hectic...I couldn't imagine a whole home.

The one thing that gets me when I watch these shows, is that I realize that we totally over paid for our place. Everyone keeps saying how kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. Well, our kitchen and batrhoom were a total dump and we still bought it...gosh we're suckers. Its ok, just another lesson learned and aside from that we have been able to really customize our kitchen and bathroom to our taste.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Greatest Day Ever!

Aside from my wedding day (obligatory, duh!) and the day I passed the Bar, yesterday was one of the best days ever!!! (Not to mention that blue is my favorite color!) What made it even better was that I got to enjoy all the election results in our new home. So this got my poetic juices flowing, if you will, and I came up with this...cliche, yes, but sweet nonetheless.


New Condo: $$$$ *

Flat Screen TV: $$

2006 Election Campaign Spending: $$$$$$$$$$

Watching a woman become the New Speaker of the House in your new home on your new TV: PRICELESS!!!!!!

* $$ - Hundreds of Dollars
$$$$ - Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
$$$$$$$$$$ - Way too much money to spend!

Bringing the Kitchen Back to Life

Here are some more before/after photos of our kitchen. Its pretty amazing what a little love will do to a place.


Both my wife and I were happy to get rid of that old checkered floor and those old appliances. The counters were actually repainted by the previous owner to give them a newer look. However, we are hoping to change out the cabinets and counters sometime next summer.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pimp My Living Room

I've been pretty bad about posting photos of the things I blog about, so here is a before after shot of our living room (check out the accessories on the drapes, they look better in the photo).


The coffee table is from our old apartment and temporary while we find one we like for that space. We also want to put some artwork in the dinning room along with a small bar. As you can tell, we've come a long way.

On a complete different side note, my wife and I were super happy with the election results....its nice to see the country go blue. We stayed up late last night at a victory party for some local members of Congress. Finally, we will see some real breaks for the working middle class in America. Ok, enough politics.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Window Treatments, What Was I Thinking?

This last Saturday JC Penny was having a massive storewide sale. I had heard that JC Penny was the place to go for curtains and other window treatments. So I convinced myself on Friday that I would wake up early on Saturday and take advantage of the mega discounts and buy curtains for our place. Needless to say, the store was packed with women, which was a bit intimidating.

First off, I didn't realize how complicated it was find curtains. I was quickly overwhelmed by the number of women who were hogging up the sales people, these women were ordering all kinds of curtain things. I soon became confused with the selections and types of window treatments available. I had to figure out fabric types, lengths, color, styles, accessories and price, which was much more involved than I imagined. Then there also was the wife factor, since she wasn't able to go with me I wasn't sure she would like the curtains I chose.

So after finding some curtains I liked, I decided to ask for help. The sales lady was very nice and answered all my questions. The curtains I chose were ivory and had this draping accesory fabric that mad it look very elegant. The 5 pieces without the discount were $180, but for being there early they gave me some additional discounts and the total came out to $, what a deal.

Putting the window treatments up was a whole other story. I had purchased some rods a while back at Target, when they were on sale. So after finding where I had placed them, I went to work on measuring and installing the rod. Since the curtains would cover our sliding window door in the living room, I measured the height and screwed in the brackets that hold the rod. After making sure it was level and symetrical, I began hanging the curtains. Hmm, they don't look anything like they do on the photo that comes with them. Oh well, lets put them up. After about an hour and a half of working on this, I was gonna like them no matter what and even though they seemed very wrinkled and akward, I was satisfied.

When my wife arrived later in the day, she totally didn't like the way they looked. She said that style of the treatments didn't match the rest of the living room's feel. When we discussed it we agreed that the draping accesory fabric was the main problem and made it look a bit tacky. So once I took that detail off, it made a huge differnce and we were pleased.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First Home Cooked Meal

As of last Saturday our kitchen's renovation has been completed. We have a new stove and hood, new dishwasher and microwave. The place looks great, now we just need to put away all our dishes and stuff.

Nevertheless, since we got our stove installed last week I've been itching to start cooking. Unfortunately we have been so busy lately that we haven't gone grocery shopping and our fridge is empty. So yesterday I decided that on my way home from work I would stop by Ralph's and pick up some food to make. Ooh,what to make? I decided to go with one of my signature dishes, baked salmon with an orzo rissotto. Picked up all the ingredients and headed home to break-in the stove.

Allez Cuisine! I had that kitchen work triangle moving like a pro, fridge to sink, sink to stove, etc. etc. I really love my kitchen, its so spacious and very comfortable to cook in. By the time my wife got home from work, the food was ready to plate and serve. Cool, we also got to eat in our new dinning room for the first time too. Then to set the mood a bit, I turned on my Bose Sounddock and put on some smooth bossanova...ahh Bebel Gilberto (my wife calls it salmon music, because I always play it when I make this food).

The food came out great and my wife enjoyed it. I felt accomplished and was proud of my new stove. I was impressed with the burners on the stove, they really distributed the heat very evenly. My only gripe was on the tempetature knobs, they get a little hot, which was weird to me. Can't wait until my next meal, also I hope that my wife will get inspired by all the new appliances and treat me to one of her amazing Mexican dishes. By the way, in case you haven't noticed, Truthiness is my wife and she will be chiming in on the blog to give her perspective on things.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just in case...

Just in case there are more people who read this blog, other RAR and myself, please take notice that RAR tends to exagerate a little bit sometimes, so take everything RAR says with a big grain of salt. Therefore, my purpose will be to give you the real side of the story depending upon the level of exaggeration of RAR's post...yeah, if you got that, I will give some of the candy we have left over.

That being said, I have never seen anyone so excited to hand out candy to complete strangers...what's up with that? The funniest thing is that RAR is sooooo excited to have trick or treaters, but he only gives them like one piece of candy each! Que CODO!!!

Where Are All the Trick-or-Treaters At?

Since 2000, every year I buy candy to give out at Halloween. The first three years I lived in Virginia and not one trick-or-treater came to my apartment. The last 2 years I've lived in an apartement in West Los Angeles and once again no one ever came. Anyways, I always got stuck with a bunch of candy. I don't know why I kept buying candy, I guess I always thought that the year I didn't buy any candy I would get barraged by trick-or-treaters.

This year I knew I had to get kids come to our door, I mean I've seen many around our complex. I couldn't wait to get home and give out candy, I knew this would be the year. Well, I finally got to give out candy. We ended up getting about 10 kids, but at least I was happy to have ended my drought.