Oh the things I have been up to lately…

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Just because I’m not posting regularly does not mean I am dead.  Au contraire, quite the opposite.  Let me take a few moments to enlighten you…

After 13 years, I finally have four working toilets in my house again

Yeah, I know, 13 years?

See, what happened was the common bathroom on the bedroom level kept clogging/backing up.  So we called in a plumber and they did whatever they did and left.  And it then worked for a little while and clogged/slow flushed/whatever again (I think too much T.P. by a kid was the culprit).  I was too frustrated to call the plumber again so the bathroom just kinda sat and the kids came into the master bathroom to do their business from that point on.  I always had the intention of getting the faulty bathroom up and running again but, with another working one on that level, it became a low priority for years.

Well that finally changed on Wednesday, October 3rd.  And what, might you ask, finally nudged me over the fence to get this done?  You guessed it – another clogged toilet.

Yep, the toilet on the main level finally clogged to the point where I couldn’t unclog it, so the professionals were called in.  And on the laundry list of things I gave them to do, I added the upstairs, not-working-since-2005 toilet.

Long story short, I now have two brand new toilets in the house, and the one upstairs is the top end, guaranteed-not-to-clog “QuikTrip” toilet.  It uses compressed air and it’s amazing.

So for those who are keeping score, I now only have one original toilet left in the house (in the basement); the master bedroom toilet was changed out in 2012 or so.  Now I need to re-floor the common bathroom floor and empty the tub of all the objects that have accumulated over the years (clothing, stuffed animals, anything my kids didn’t want in their rooms, etc.).  That will be easy peasy in comparison and then the bathroom will be 100% back in action.

The over-the-air (OTA) TV reception project has begun

Yep, I finally pulled the trigger and bought the 1byone HDTV Antenna and, at Amazon’s recommendation, bought the matching 1byone Antenna Stand so I didn’t have to tack the antenna up to the wall or other such foolishness.

The merch arrived at my home and I went about assembling the 3 parts that constituted the antenna stand, then sat the antenna on the stand and placed the entire apparatus on top of my sound bar’s subwoofer, because it was the only place I could find enough available horizontal space to sit the thing.  The antenna comes with a powered signal booster but I decided to see what I could pull in without it first.  So that meant attaching the antenna cable directly into the TV set (why are we still using coax???) and then putting the TV into channel search mode and holding my breath.

Several minutes later, I ended up with 29 channels, over the air.  All of the major networks come in crisp in HD, and there are also several OTA-only channels (sub-channels, actually) which are predominately standard definition rather than HD.  PBS, of all people, actually offers more than one HD channel.

The downside of this setup is that there is no channel guide, and anyone who has had TV with a channel guide for any length of time probably knows that it’s almost a requirement.  However, I am hoping phase 2 of this project will remediate that, as at some point I will be purchasing a Silicon Dust HD Homerun Quatro digital tuner.  My goals for this device will be to a) get some sort of DVR functionality; b) get an online channel guide; and c) (and perhaps most intriguing), enable the ability to watch live TV and/or DVR it via my Plex server.  I’m pretty sure that this might necessitate the running of some CAT6 cables from my basement to the living room so I’m prepping for that as well.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about it and may finally “cut the cord” from the cable company and live with OTA as well as perhaps Hulu Live or other service to get me the channels I “have to have” but that I can’t get over the air.  So stay tuned!