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January 2012

Year in Review: 2011

January 28, 2012 - 5:31pm

Last year, I reviewed 2010. I think it is time to review 2011.

  • January to July - almost weekly travel from Phoenix to Nashville
    Work had me traveling Monday through Thursday. It was a challenging project but the client was great and I learned a lot. I got to explore Nashville a bit
  • January - weekend in Washington DC
  • February - weekend in San Diego and bike polo tournament in Phoenix
  • March - leased an all-electric car (a Nissan Leaf), birthday trip to Texas to see friends and family, Karen and Madeline visit Phoenix
  • April - promotion at work
  • May - Chris graduated from college! Chris and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. We had lots of visitors - both sets of parents, Caren, and Jeff. Solar panels were installed on the house.
  • June - vacation in Orlando with Ang, Steve, Gage, Alex, and Peyton
  • July - Karen, J, and Madeline visit while moving to Oklahoma
  • August - My parents celebrated 42 years of marriage! Chris' nephew, visited us in Phoenix and we went to the Grand Canyon. Got out of the Phoenix heat with a trip to Lake Tahoe
  • September - Grandma Lucci turned 100! We visited Chris' brother, Mike, and his family in Georgia for Mike's birthday.
  • October - hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico with my parents, Chris got a job!, and we made an art piece for Day of the Dead, I started seeing a counselor to address my anger issues
  • November - bike polo tournament in Las Vegas, weekend trip to Texas to see family, quiet Thanksgiving at home
  • December - quiet at work, quiet Christmas at home
  • Home projects over the year - new microwave, wall & bench in backyard, new roof (not diy), house paint (not diy), solar panels (not diy), new house numbers, patio table, growing vegetables in the garden (lettuce, loofa, tomatoes, peppers, onions), new dressers in the bedroom, and new credenza in the living room
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New Furniture

January 28, 2012 - 3:48pm

We've got a piece of new furniture in the house - a credenza! As you can see from the pictures, it is a wall-hanging credenza, also called a floating credenza.

New Credenza

New Credenza

This is a piece Chris and I have wanted to do for years though never got around to it. Over the holidays, I had trouble sleeping one morning and was surfing the internet when I stumbled on a post at The Brick House about a Fauxdenza. Morgan had the great idea to use Ikea kitchen cabinets for her credenza then top it with a piece of nice wood. I was in love with the idea and knew it would be perfect for us.

As soon as Chris woke up, I ran the idea past him. After some discussion, brainstorming, and, of course, breakfast, we were on our way to Ikea. Procuring materials was the easy part - it always is. There were a few hurdles that we had to clear.

  1. Wires: The first was making space for wires. Since our credenza is under the TV, it holds all the electronics and the miles of tangled wires. Chris put some wood 2x4s behind the cabinets to create a few inches of space between the wall and the cabinets. It created just the right amount of space for wires.
  2. TV: The second was hanging the TV on the wall. Lucky for me, Chris worked in professional home video and audio installation for years so he makes it look easy.
  3. Heat: The third hurdle is the amount of heat the electronics produce. Right now the solution is to simply open the cabinets to let in cool air while we're watching movies or playing video games. The long term solution will be some sort of fan to vent in air from the underside of the cabinets.

Chris and I are both very happy with this project and how it has opened up the living room. Removing the large table that previously held the TV, we regained at least a foot of space. I also love how easy it is to clean underneath the credenza.

I failed to take a proper "Before" picture but here are a couple shots that give a little bit of a glimpse of what our living room was like before this new piece of furniture.

Before:
Cowboys Game on Thanksgiving

Dogs

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Thirsty City

Reminder to myself to read this article.

The New French Hacker-Artist Underground

"There is no law in France, it turns out, against the improvement of clocks."

25 Clever Ideas to Make Life Easier

Love the storage ideas for sheets, wrapping paper, & spray bottles.

Lessons for Kickstarter creators from the worst project I ever funded on Kickstarter

Interesting article from Matt Haughey about a poorly run project on Kickstarter so others can avoid the same mistakes.

Sad

January 18, 2012 - 8:09pm

Last week was really awful. A close coworker had an accident and passed away. There are few words I can use to describe how I felt when I got the news. Bursting out into tears was such an immediate and uncontrolled response. I’ve been dealing will rolling tides of shock and sadness ever since.

This was someone I worked with every day. Now there is just a big empty space. I could share so many memories but I’ve done my best to share them with the family and with other coworkers. There is so much sadness. Going to the funeral helped but I still well up with tears at the thought of the family left behind. I feel overwhelmed by picking up the pieces at work.

I know the hardest part of this will eventually pass, but for now it all feels so impossible and sad.

If you are my family, a friend, coworker, or just an acquaintance, I want you to know that I love you. I value your impact on my life. I am thankful for the time we have together and value it because it is so, so short.

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Flowers

January 18, 2012 - 8:02pm

Chris brought me flowers last night "just because." He wrote me an amazingly sweet card too. I'm thankful for him.

Flowers from Chris

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Pre-Recorded Late Night: Funny Interviews with Surprised Guests

My friend, Jay Frosting, is doing an improvised comedy podcast with fake guests. Check it out!

Goodbye, ReadPhoenix.com

January 5, 2012 - 10:40pm

It's time to say goodbye to ReadPhoenix.com. This site was born in October 2007 when my awesome coworkers at Integrum built it with me. However, it's usefulness to me and others seems to have passed. Big thanks to Integrum for building it and hosting it all these years.

If anyone is interested in the domain, I'd be happy to sell it or possibly donate it to someone with a good idea.

ReadPhoenix.com

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