Kitchen Remodel

Filed in PersonalTags: Photos

After we closed on our house, we decided that we only wanted to undertake one project before moving in: the kitchen. We were fortunate to have new appliances already installed, but the cabinets made the kitchen a bit dark and dated, and the hardware was in obvious need of replacement:

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We sanded, primed, and painted the cabinets Coastal Fog. We painted the walls Cumberland Fog. We replaced the drawer and door pulls with brushed nickel pulls, and also the door hinges. Finally, we replaced the sink faucet:

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(Of course, now with everything else done, the range hood sticks out like a sore thumb. Hopefully, I can replace it next month, so that it will match the rest of the appliances.

I have to thank my parents - and especially my Dad - for all the hard work they contributed toward this project. We certainly would not have everything done by now, if not for them.

We still have much to do, but it is starting to feel more like home!

We Closed Today

Filed in PersonalTags: Missouri, Saint Louis

We closed on our house today! More later; things have been very busy, hectic, and at times stressful - but we are done!

Upgrade to WordPress 2.3.3

Filed in Web DevelopmentTags: Geekery, Web Site, WordPress

WordPress Version 2.3.3 has been released, and is an important security update.

From The CB.Net Email Bag

Filed in Personal, PoliticsTags: Mailbag

I woke up this morning and checked my email, only to discover that not only had someone named Robert Taber come across my web site, but had also taken the time to email:

while this political junkie was surfing all night, i happened on your "blog." wow. what a surprise a white straight, male, who's not only a conservative but in love with every aspect of their life and have the balls to think we give a s*** about the pictures of you or your house.......you are so far out of touch, thank you for giving us W; we'll return the favor with 8 years of O'Bama.....are there any conservative blogs that are actually updated and not all about "THE BLOGGER"?
the country -- deeply divided and now so regretful -- pushed us not only to the far right but to the crimial facist state that we have.......the swing back will hurt "chip" and perhaps you'll start paying attention to something other than all that is about "chip".
enjoy the next 8 years 😛
tons of love,
robert

Well, my apologies to Robert. You see, I actually have to get up in the morning and go to work, and don't have time to be "surfing all night", and have only limited time to spend blogging. I do not apologize, however, that my family is the most important part of my life. And while you, Robert, might not care to see pictures of my daughter or of our house, our family all over the country does.

And Robert, rather than taking drive-by shots at bloggers, perhaps you should start blogging on your own blog. (You apparently have the time to do.)

Oh, and one final thought, Robert: for someone who is a self-proclaimed homosexual, with strongly held beliefs on the issue of bigotry, you appear to hold a rather prejudiced (dare I say "bigoted"?) opinion of me, without having ever met me and based solely upon my race, sexual orientation, gender, and political views.

Tolerant, indeed.

TSA Enters the ‘Sphere

Filed in Politics, Social IssuesTags: War on Terror

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enters the blogosphere, with their Evolution of Security blog.

From the tagline ("Terrorists Evolve. Threats Evolve. Security Must Stay Ahead. You Play A Part.") it would appear that the TSA intends to have significant commenter interaction on the blog. From the response to the welcome post (some 700 comments), it would appear that air travelers (and TSA employees) have much to say.

Based on comments, the TSA appears to have reorganized the blog posts in order to emphasize responses to questions about various TSA policies (removing shoes, the much-vilified liquids restriction, searching grandma, etc.).

Personally, speaking as a fairly seasoned air traveler, I don't have a problem with most security measures (sure, it is a minor annoyance to have to remove my shoes to pass through security - but the annoyance is just that: minor), but I do have a problem with others (e.g. the liquids restriction - especially with respect to water bottles and beverages) and think that many TSA agents would be well-served to take some inter-personal relations training. My general rule is to arrive at the airport two hours before my flight, and to take my time getting through security. I rarely have to wait more than ten minutes to pass through security.

But, if you're interested in some of TSA's thoughts or explanations for their various policies or other security issues - or just want to join the chorus of comment complaints (they seem to be solicited by TSA, after all) - go have a look!

(H/T: Slashdot, Ars Technica)

Seeing the World From a New Perspective

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

Lily has been making so many advances lately!

First, she is so proud of herself for being able to pick up her food and put it in her mouth:

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Lily is excited to eat her cereal puffs by picking them up herself!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

More recently, she has been trying so hard to pull herself up. The first time she accomplished the feat (this past Friday evening), it was so brief that I couldn't get a picture. Not to worry; when I went into her room to get her up from her nap yesterday, here is what I found:

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Lily standing up in her crib, exploring her nursery.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

And when I called her Papaw to wish him a happy birthday yesterday evening, Lily decided she would show off for him:

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Lily standing up in the living room, showing off on her Papaw's birthday.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

I haven't gotten any pictures yet of her other new discovery: looking at things upside down. Lily loves to see anything and everything upside-down. She will throw her head - or even her whole body - backward in order to look around the room, or at the paintings on the wall, or even just Mom and Dad. She is also becoming amazingly expressive; some of her facial expressions are just adorable - or hilarious.

Steph and I marvel at what a fun and exciting time we are experiencing in Lily's life. She is learning so much, and becoming more inquisitive and adventurous. We already know that part of moving into our house will mean installing outlet covers, cabinet locks, baby gates, and all of the other required "baby-proofing" that we'll have to do. But we wouldn't have it any other way!

More Pictures of (Hopefully) Our New Home!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Marriage, Missouri, Photos, Saint Louis

Last weekend, we went back to our new home, to take more pictures, and get some room/window measurements.

The pictures below are part of their own flickr set.

Back in the Saddle

Filed in Web DevelopmentTags: Geekery, Web Site

Sorry for the interruption. I was implementing some internal changes on the web site. Everything should be working fine now, but if you notice anything amiss, please let me know!

We’re Under Contract!

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Marriage, Missouri, Photos, Saint Louis

An update on our offer for the house in Saint Ann: the owner came back this afternoon with a counter, and we have accepted their counter! We are now officially be under contract.

A little bit more about the house: it was built in 1920. The sale history indicates that it was foreclosed about a year ago, and then re-purchased by the current owner, who re-modeled and flipped it.

We'll find out for sure after the inspection, but the house looks to be in great shape.

The front porch is adorable and inviting. We can really see ourselves sitting on the front porch a lot - perhaps even put in a hanging porch swing.

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The front door opens into a very nicely sized family room.

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The house has a room listed as the "dining room" but it is the walkway from the living room to the kitchen, and also opens to the stairs to the basement/side entrance. We think it would be too high-traffic for a dining room, but would work perfectly as a sitting room or library (we have several bookcases, and a ton of books). My parents have too kindly offered to give us two white love seat-sofas that they would like to replace, and we think that they will fit perfectly in this space.

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The kitchen is large, clean, and open, and has all new appliances - matching Frigidaire refrigerator, dishwasher, and gas stove.

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We will eventually want to change the cabinets and the counters, but that might be part of a bigger project later on. I could envision opening up the wall into the breakfast room, and adding more cabinets, and a counter/bar.

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We think we will use part of the large breakfast room (21x8) partly for the dining room.

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The basement has a workshop/storage area, and a large (17x20) finished area that we've not yet decided what to do with. It has a tile floor and plaster walls, and might make a good recreation or play room.

If we had one complaint, it would be the size of the bedrooms. The main-floor master is only 13x9, and the two upstairs bedrooms are only 9x9. That said, the rest of the house has so much room, that we can use the bedrooms as just bedrooms.

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The breakfast room opens onto a small porch, with steps down to a nice, slab patio.

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In addition to all the room in the house, the property has a very nice, fenced backyard with plenty of trees, and even a small shed.

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We're incredibly excited to be making this step! If all goes according to plan, we will close Feb. 15th - which will give us two weeks to get moved out of the apartment and get it cleaned. Keep us in your prayers!

Almost Homeowners?

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Marriage, Missouri, Photos, Saint Louis

We might be; today we put in an offer on a house in Saint Ann:

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Photo taken from listing

We should hear back tomorrow on our initial offer. Wish us luck! (More accurately, pray that our offer is accepted, or that we can come to a mutual agreement.)