New house update

We’ve been homeowners for a week now. I keep fielding the question ‘are you living there yet?’ but you’ll know there’s a lot to do before that will be possible. Target moving date, early to mid-December.

The following still to do

  • Builder to fix wall and vents
  • Plumber to fix drains
  • Electrician to look at wires
  • Recarpet (contractor)
  • Repaint (ourselves)
  • Move furniture in
  • Move in ourselves

Doesn’t actually look that bad…?

There’s been a feverish progression of tradesmen through the doors of our new abode. The electrician looked and nodded, and solemnly informed me that chaste electrical sockets are more expensive than mounted ones. The quote arrives a few days later and I realise that the technical jargon is in fact ‘chased’. Which has a similarly bizarre mental image, if I’m honest. Surprisingly, the electrics that are there are perfectly safe and reasonably contemporary. There are just too few fittings throughout, so we have to instal more sockets. There are 13 things on my desk alone which need plugging in [1]. And there’s a single electrical socket in the bedroom that will be my office in the new house. The job will be to instal lots more sockets, and replace the existing, frazzled looking fittings. The quote is within budget. I didn’t ask about installing an ethernet backbone in the house.

The drains man is called Juan and is short and entertaining. He’s reviewed a video inspection another company made before we finalised the purchase and it doesn’t look good. This is hardly news to us, but we certainly weren’t able to deduce this from watching the video ourselves. Juan thinks that the clay pipes that were put in when the house was built some 80 years ago have had their day, and the drain needs completely replacing. This may be expensive. We haven’t heard back yet about the cost of this.

We’ve tried to establish whether the current budget allows for recarpeting throughout. A friendly local firm seems to think they can do the entire house (sauf hall stairs and landing which have been repapered and recarpeted in the very recent past) for under 400 quid. But that does mean getting the cheapest carpets and sticking them to the floor using spray-adhesive rather than anything more traditional like, say underlay. My feet are always cold in the new house so we’re definitely going for underlay.

[1] 13 things that need plugging in on my desk

  1. PC
  2. Monitor
  3. Old PC which still has some files on it I use occasionally
  4. KVM
  5. Laptop
  6. Modem
  7. Router
  8. Lamp
  9. Speakers
  10. Scanner
  11. Printer
  12. Answerphone
  13. Mobile charger
  14. (using powe r and creating CO2 just by being plugged in, say GoodEnergy)

Tech update

Just a few tech things that have changed around here over the previous few days.

  • New, buttony-goodness now in the links section. With thanks to a dead handy website that can make those distinctive 80×15 buttons on the fly.
  • New technology from MyBlogLog a utility with a free option that tracks what people click on and where they come from. (Why on earth did my site come up when someone was googling “barrister strike blog”? Creepy: we were only talking about that last night…)
  • Google Adsense is back on my blog. I only initially installed it because I was intrigued to see what the robots would choose to advertise on my page, and that has been interesting. The programme is now earning me a healthy $2 a month, which is, of course, far less than the $3 a day EU cows earn. Many thanks to all those of you who choose to click.
  • I’ve finally got around to Geotagging this site. You can see my ‘meatspace neighbours’ by clicking here. And you can automatically see Geo-aware sites with this useful Firefox plugin

Hitting the big time

I heard a few days ago that one of the recordings I made for the Librivox project (note new url) was played out loud to a party of 600 well-connected Internet industry people in California.

It’s particularly scary that this piece was chosen because it’s the one where I ‘do’ an American/New York accent that in no way stands up to scrutiny from real Americans.

Luckily the clip that gets played doesn’t go as far as the dialogue.

Hugh, the leader of the LV collective, taped the speech which included the extract of the piece. Someone in the audience says ‘wow’. How chuffing!