March 6, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

A couple of you may have noticed the lack of new Under The Loupe article last Thursday. There is a very valid reason for me missing my own publishing date—we’ve moved into our new house. But that’s not even the only reason I suppose. The real reason I didn’t get to publish a new article is because the hot water heater contained within our new house decided it was high time to give way and send 30 gallons of water into our basement… all the night before moving day amidst already high-tensioned packing. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit indisposed (and me with no new content after recently being added to HOW’s Top Ten Web Sites for this month).

We managed to get a new hot water heater installed and clean up the basement in record time (Liz is pretty scary with a vacuum) and to pack all of our wordly possessions in less-than-record time. Much to the chagrin of our very kind and patient movers from the excellent Mambo Movers, we were still in the throes of packing as the moving truck arrived. They may attribute it to a childhood filled with Tetris play, though I will never know how they were able to fit all of our stuff in their smallest truck (necessary for our new narrow street). There was nary a square inch of free space left in the truck when we left. Simply amazing.

The weekend was spent disassembling, assembling, sorting, and building. To mark the occasion, I invested in an assortment of new tools, a powerful new drill to replace my old one, and a circular saw to make me fell dangerous. My hands hurt from all of the lifting and construction from the past couple weeks, but it does my heart well, because I truly love this sort of thing. Perhaps it comes from all of those days spent helping my grandfather build houses when I was younger, but I have always connected very well with constructive projects. The gruff people at Home Depot will just have to deal with my presence a little longer.

Since I don’t have time to fully unpack before leaving this Friday for SXSW, I am spending this week trying to locate all of the essentials that were haplessly thrown into the nearest open box or bag while helping to put some finishing touches on the two SXSW panels I will be part of. If I haven’t answered your email, it’s because I only hooked my computer up again (and found my keyboard) this morning. I will have my shit most thoroughly together again soon enough. If you happen to be at SXSW, please say hello. Otherwise, sit tight, I’ll be back in the swing of things before you know it.

Commentary (17):

1. Bruno says… mar 6, 2006 | 4:41 pm

Trust me, I know exactly how that goes, paking, moving, unpaking, its brutal. But in the end it surely pays off.

Good luck on SXSW, wish I could be there.

2. Greg says… mar 6, 2006 | 7:47 pm

I know how the water in the basement thing goes. Last fall, we had record rainfall here in Indianapolis, and the basement flooded. It took us a month, two Shop-Vacs, two garden hoses, new carpeting, furniture and washer-dryer set and a new sump pump, but we survived, and so will you.

3. Ian Adams says… mar 6, 2006 | 7:54 pm

Man, that sucks! At least, though, the water heater gave way before you moved in; it would have sucked far more if all that water had ended up on your freshly-moved belongings.

I hate moving so much, and as much as I’m looking forward to moving up to Vancouver in August, I’m not looking forward to the actual process of moving. It helps, though, that I’m getting rid of a lot of my stuff to make sure that I have to move as little as possible. But if the distance weren’t so great, I’d hire a moving company as well. Good call with that; they take a LOT of the pain out of moving.

That said, congratulations on the new house, and good luck!

4. dblake_md says… mar 6, 2006 | 9:17 pm

Do you sense the pattern? You my friend are plagued by water.

New Orleans floods so you have to change your honeymoon plans, it rains on your wedding day, hurricane in Mexico and now this.

Fortunately all this bad luck is tied to such positive events, good luck to you.

5. Jason Santa Maria says… mar 7, 2006 | 6:38 am

Ian: Actually, the basement was the only room that furniture in it when the water came. You see, Liz is going to be working from home now as well, and see had already set up her office.

dblake_md: It’s funny you should say that because Liz and I have come to the same conclusion. Add to the list: Rain on the moving day, and rain and cold for a week in Italy (during a typically warm and pleasant time of year) where I proposed.

6. gali says… mar 7, 2006 | 8:12 am

i’m happy to see you back jason ;)

7. Dean says… mar 7, 2006 | 8:42 am

I’m glad you had a great experience with Mambo Movers. They Rock! We’ve used them at least three times (they even moved us out here in the burbs).

Happy New House to you and Liz!

8. Jason Beaird says… mar 7, 2006 | 10:07 am

Sorry to hear about the hot water heater, but I’m sure the new power tools made you feel somewhat better. I just bought a new chainsaw this weekend and used it to cut down 5 1/2 (of the 40+) trees in our yard. That sort of work is liberating when you work from a desk in your house all week.

Wish I could be at your panels at SXSW…or even the Atlanta event (which is a mere 3 hour drive away), but I couldn’t afford to make either. Perhaps I should stop buying power tools.

9. J Phill says… mar 7, 2006 | 11:20 am

Good luck at SXSW! One of these years I will to make it to one of those events.

10. Ian Adams says… mar 7, 2006 | 4:00 pm

Actually, the basement was the only room that furniture in it when the water came. You see, Liz is going to be working from home now as well, and see had already set up her office.

Oh no! How did everything fare? Is she going to be set back at all with getting everything set up?

11. Croaky says… mar 7, 2006 | 4:44 pm


Rain on moving day, on proposing day, on honeymooning day? Dare I sing it? …

“It’s like raaayyyEEEaaaayynnn… on you’re wedding day… it’s a free riiiide… when you’ve already paid… it’s the good adviiiice… that you just didn’t take… isn’t it ironic? don’t you think?” ~ Alanis Morissette

12. P.J. Onori says… mar 7, 2006 | 5:18 pm

I’d say you have a pretty good excuse there…

Best of luck at SXSW.

13. Jason Santa Maria says… mar 8, 2006 | 12:41 am

Ian Adams: Well, our house has an interesting feature: some of the rooms sort of slope in different directions (which has caused me to dub our house the Slanty Shanty). Luckily this caused the water to mostly pool up in two corners, effectively minimizing most of the damage. It seems the most un-handy previous-owner lucked out this time.

14. Ian Adams says… mar 8, 2006 | 2:20 pm

haha “Slanty Shanty”

Well that’s good at least. I used to have a house where the basement was uneven concrete, and during the winter when it rained heavily water would seep in through the door. But thanks to the uneven-ness, we were saved from any damage to our stuff down there.

I’m not sure where I was going with that story, though. I think I was just trying to relate. :P

Anyway, good luck at SXSW!

15. Jason Liske says… mar 10, 2006 | 12:55 am


If you ever get the chance to replace again, go Tankless. you will save about 70% on H2O energy per month.

I have some war stories about doing web design and building homes too. I am on my fourth now, and with each one I swear it is my last :) But the hammer has a pull to it I can’t resist. Besides I make more building homes than building web sites!

16. Jared says… mar 10, 2006 | 8:31 am

I think hiring a moving company was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, especially when living in a third floor walk-up.

17. jacko says… mar 29, 2006 | 6:31 am

Hey Man, with so much trouble in moving from one place to the other-and I know how it goes, I have moved six times in the past two years-I have a good mind to make my home in a caravan.