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An example if one of those little details that make a big difference. This was rewarding to clean up. Had to take a razor blade to the marble threshold.




This was another annoying hold up. We had a dryer with a 4 prong plug. The house had a 3 prong outlet. The big unknown was had it been retrofitted at some point. If so then the fourth wire (a second ground wire introduced for fire safety) would be in the wall. If not the would have to run a wire from the circuit breaker to the dryer outlet box, which are of course at opposite ends of the house. That wire also apparently costs $20 per linear foot WHOLESALE. Oh joy.

Well I’m happy yo day that this is the first thing that ended up being the cheaper option. Whew. The wire was there and after a few weeks of rapidly growing dirty laundry piles we finally had our washer and dryer running.




So this should give you an idea of how much gunk the pool filter has had to clean up. This is the NEW filter after about a week of use. It’s been cleaned again since then and will probsbly get another rinse in a few days. It’s wiring very hard!



We haven’t posted much lately. Let me just share that these elusive buggers are a large part of the reason why!!! I don’t think I can adequately verbalize what a success it was to find these. For those of you who remember the ad campaign: “It’s Miller time.”



The master bath is coming along. Paint color looks good. Needs a little more touch up and we’re done! Although I just realized this morning that I’m not sure we have towels that match this. Later, later…



Good company makes this stuff go so much faster! And it becomes downright fun! Lori S. did a lovely job helping to paint Robbie’s office. Jorelle and Jason came to our rescue as we were just about to feel overwhelmed! They jumped in to help us tackle the incredibly unpleasant task of scraping off wallpaper plus they helped us paint the living room Santorini Blue. Thanks you guys! I have a feeling there will be plenty of painting parties still to come! **as an audible groan emanates from the vicinity of the Phillips Center Box Office

This picture is Jorelle painting the living room and Robbie scraping away at the wallpaper in the foyer. 20130912-132613.jpg


Ahhhhhh. Scraping wallpaper. Sheer misery. Thank you mom for getting us started. Thank you David for tackling another huge percentage of it. And thank you Jorelle for helping us finish it. And Robbie and Allison would like to thank Robbie and Allison for our hard work too. (Pat self on back.)




Thank you to everyone who’s helping us out.  The whole crew is helping! My mom and dad, Dylan and his tutor David, Vicky and Sherry, our friend Lori (her handy work will be posted tomorrow), and even Abbey and William are getting involved!   Oh and of course we’ve also had plumbers, electricians, pest control, and so on!


The house had been “cleaned” before closing, but there was still so much to be done.  A little sample of what we’re faced with.  This was the kitchen pantry.  Thank goodness for my hero Vicky.  She really makes all of these projects possible.  She’s smart, works her tail off and has made some major progress!  Not only has she been tackling things like this, she’s making repairs, dismantling drapery rigging, painting…. what a multi-tallented woman!   And on top of that, her partner Sherry made us a delicious fratatta for lunch Saturday.


My office floor was an adventure in itself…  We pulled up the old carpet to find what looked like possibly an original carpet pad. It was an unpleasant experience. We expected to find a layer of sandy, dusty debris under the carpet — there always is — but there was a layer of caked dirt and grime under the carpet pad that was an eighth of an inch thick in some places.  It filled the whole room with an overwhelming odor of must, dust, dirt, age and grossness.  It’s a nice reminder of why even if you have a carpet that looks ok, if it’s older than a certain point it just needs to come up!

The last two photos show the tests that Mark at Plantation Carpet Cleaning ran in order to figure out how to attack this challenge.  And then a quick snapshot of after the clean.  Mark did an AMAZING job!


This just makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I’ve narrowed colors down to these but there are still way too many. And I’d be happy with any of these!


Plan as of right now:  Pull up the carpet in the den (soon to be office). Then someone is coming to steam clean the tile in the bathrooms and the tile that is (theoretically) underneath the carpet in the den.  Next we tackle the wallpaper.  Then we’re going to paint the master bedroom, robbie’s office and my office so that we can move in and not be overwhelmed by paint smell. Hopefully the kitchen too.  That’s the plan anyway….


I know it’s not particularly pretty, but I’ve been eyeing this for a long time. It’s a sit-stand desk that will enable me to leave my desk in one piece but transition from sitting to standing using the crank.  This could be a really great thing!   I’ll figure out some way to make it prettier….


UF Health (previously UF&Shands) featuring their revolutionary hybrid approach to cardiac care. Interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons are collaborating to perform new minimally invasive procedures, and saving the lives of many who might not survive under traditional care. The maze imagery evolved from the description of one newer minimally invasive procedure in which a catheter is navigated through the body to the heart where treatment is administered directly to diseased area.

ufshands-heartmazecard ufshands-heartmazecardback ufshands-heartgraphic


The description from YouTube says it all. “This is my favorite 4min selection of a larger work by Ralph Steiner. The original was silent, and the DVD had it set to classical music. I have swapped the audio for an electronica/industrial track by 3 Liquid Hz – Little Boy.”


By now, you can probably tell that we’re a little geeky here. So here’s your geek moment for the day:

This is a video taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory of the Sun’s 4-hour solar eruption on December 31, 2012. The video shows a bright plume of magnetic plasma erupting from the surface of the Sun.


Putting things in perspective: Earth and our moon as seen by the Messenger Space Craft while orbiting Mercury.  Amazing….  The earth and moon are the two bright spots in the lower left quadrant.  


This is a great article about the newest version of the Google Algorithm (the formula they use to rank websites in search results).  It’s probably a little heavy on the techie-speak for most, but it elaborates on some of the reasoning behind our approach to Search Engine Optimization.  If you build things the right way, people will find you.  Artificial means to building search engine placement will typically hurt you in the long run.


Icon Mathmatics


icon-mathmaticsToday we heard comedians Huff & Stapes (@huffstapes on Twitter) ask designers to stop the overuse of symbol-only buttons when making online user interface designs :

Huff: “… A picture of a trash can, ok, we get it, we know what that one is. But have you seen this thing they have now on Google Docs? It’s like a “T” with a line and an “X” next to it? That’s an actual symbol on Google Docs.”

Stapes: “I mean, what is that? What does that mean?”

Huff: “I have no idea.”

Stapes: “Is that for when you need to calculate the speed of light or sound in your email????”



Dr. Melanie’s Yummy Site


Screen shot 2012-01-05 at 8.45.55 PMJust wrapped up the first incarnation of the official website for Ph.D.-serts & Cakes in Tampa, Florida.  We created the logos for them earlier in 2011.

The origin of the unique name is the owner, Melanie Judge’s hard-earned Ph.D in biomedical research, studying obesity.  She finished it just in time to leave the science field and delve into her passion – baking!  She has spent the last few years perfecting the art of creating beautiful, fun cakes, cookes, cupcakes and more.

In 2011 she started her own business and we were very happy to be a part of it!