Monday, January 19, 2015

It's all in the details

Today we explore solar.

Yep. After fifteen years (or so) of thinking about it, we're going to get a bid.

Partly, this originates in our disgust at the layer of smog that accumulates in Salt Lake Valley every winter during inversions. It's gross.

But partly, it's a reflection of the enormous leaps forward in solar technology and financial incentives for solar installation. For example, you get a 25-year warranty that transfers with your house. So you don't worry about maintenance and you can pass that freedom from worry to the next owner.

Here in Salt Lake City the sun shines more than 220 days per year. Seems like a shame to let it all bounce right off our house.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

London, Baby!

After months of waffling, talking about the new SkyCouch, and generally hoping prices would drop, tonight we finally did it.

And, thanks to Air New Zealand's sale (Happy New Year!) we managed a decent (ie, insane but not as bad as it has been) fare.

So button up, Blighty. We're packed and ready, and it's only January.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Coffee Table

At last. Not that it's the last thing. Not by far. But it was satisfying to identify a nice coffee table. Later that day I set my tea down on a surface other than the floor. Very pleasing.

The table rests on a triangular base made of lucite panels and aluminum supports. The top is glass. I'd never have seen it, buried as it was under a pile of CareBears and other 80s ephemera. But Charles spotted it right away.

It even fit in the trunk! Whee, no delivery. This is my new motto: no delivery.

So now the living room lacks only a rug and some illumination. Still no dining area furniture but that's ok. We can eat on the floor, ranged around a very elegant beach towel, indefinitely.

Saturday, January 03, 2015


All over the news, lately: the Harvard Dialect Quiz. It identifies your linguistic origins! It can see into your heart (and history) by asking you about water fountains and sub sandwiches! Like, Wow!


I've visited San Francisco a couple of times. I've been to Albuquerque twice (both times for the ACA/PCA conference). I've been to Stockton once. For an afternoon.

Oh, well.

Friday, January 02, 2015


Iain loves young ladies. One of his favorites lives nearby (and, in LA terms, nearby is an hour away). She came down here for a playdate on Wednesday.

One reason we like the LB place is that a park, library, police station, and city hall sit right across the street. So over there we went and the Young Lady and Iain played like maniacs for an hour while the grownups debated education policy.

Before that: Legos! Books! Plants vs. Zombies! iPad! Building a barricade in the hallway and giggling while trying to distract the old people with a "dance performance."

After: chocolate hippo cookies, juice, a public reading by our resident Reader-in-Chief, and a loving sendoff.

We can't wait until June. She's promised a pool-related playdate then. Iain is excited by the prospect.

Thursday, January 01, 2015


This door conceals the A/C unit. 

In our house, we use a small, magnetic chalk board to keep track of grocery lists, phone numbers, and items that can be easily forgotten (thank-you notes, usually).

So here we wanted the same.

Unfortunately, it turns out that magnetic paint doesn't really work. I works ok. You can get the magnet to stick to it. But if you wanted to stick something to the door using the magnet? Not really.

Chalkboard paint, though? That stuff is great. Two days of modest craftiness (as in: paint a coat, go on with your life, six hours later paint another coat, go to bed. Next day: pull off the tape and enjoy!) yielded a great surface for recording our schedule and to-dos.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bean Bag (and other stuff)

Iain received a gift certificate to Pottery Barn Kids from his grandparents. He wanted a bean bag. Charles stood for a long time in front of the Darth Vader embroidered pillow and matching sheet set but Iain wanted a bean bag.

He also chose the cover. Madras, y'all. Because nothing goes with superhero mask sheets and an aquamarine bookcase like madras. It's all color all the time around here.

We've spent our last few days in shopping marathons, seeking not just furniture but the many, many little things necessary for a functioning life. Today, in search of a plug for Iain's bathtub, we also acquired cookie sheets, kitchen towels (and a rack), a better potholder, a knife block (sorta - one of those boxes with cork sheets in it), and some coasters (also cork - a theme today).

Oh, and we went to the Lego store. [Iain's brain exploded] [see photo above]