Friday, June 20, 2008

Window coverings

Do you think Kurt is trying to tell me something? The picture at the left shows the window covering Kurt has fashioned for the office window. It consists of some white paper, a "painting", and two Trader Joe's shopping bags. Quite creative and post modernist, really. A suburban collage.

I think he's trying to tell me something, but I'm not sure what. Maybe you know?

Okay, I guess it's really time to order some real window coverings for a few of the windows. The office gets morning light, and it is pretty annoying, esp. in the summer. The kitchen windows get the evening sun, and also need some covers. And I suppose we should get some window coverings for the downstairs guest room. Even though it's very private down there, it's still pretty sunny in the morning. No sleeping in for our guests!

I've gotten some samples from the Shade Store and will try to order this weekend. They carry a lot of really nice roller shades, as well as some panel systems which I will probably use for the downstairs guest room. Again, the decisions are overwhelming -- how much light blockage to choose? what color? what fabric? -- but I'll just have to buck up and decide! I was thinking of going with Chilewich fabrics, but it turns out that the ones I like don't really block enough light for my needs. Plus, the office window is too wide for what's available from Chilewich, so we'll probably choose something else.

It's really interesting how much you can buy on the Internet. The Shade Store will send you samples, and has a really helpful measurement guide for ordering the blinds. Their customer service over the phone has been really helpful. Having been to some local stores where they really didn't have many options for modern design, it's kind of frustrating to find these things locally. You either need to hire a designer (which I probably should do, but again, haven't been able to find someone local with the sensibilities I'm after), or go around to a number of stores and hopefully find someone somewhere who will have something you like that will do the job. OR, you could go on the Internet and search with Google, which is certainly a lot more time and energy efficient!

Form AND function!

Took most of today off work, so have a little bit of time to post. A couple of weeks ago our dryer went on the fritz. Well, it had shown signs of dying a while back. When we first hooked it back up, the temperature sensing part of the dryer stopped working. But timed dry still worked. A few weeks ago, the dryer just up and quit, right in the middle of a load. Didn't it understand that we had important laundry to do?

Laundry couldn't wait for the dryer to be fixed, and I didn't have much time to dry things as I had an upcoming trip to take, for which I needed clean clothing. To the rescue our outside cable rail! The cables work perfectly as clothes lines; the multiple rows of cables allow you to hang an entire laundry load pretty easily. Binder clips made good temporary clothes pins. The sun and the wind on the patio made for fast, effortless and cheap drying!

You'd think that we'd go completely euro and just dry things this way from now on, but truthfully, a dryer is a very handy gadget to have. We did a little bit of sleuthing, and found that in fact, the breaker had blown, and the wiring needed to be repaired. So we had to get both our electrician AND a dryer repair guy in to fix it.

It turns out that the same problem that stopped the time drying to work eventually stopped the dryer from working altogether. And it was a good thing that the electrical panel did its job with the breaker tripping or the house might have burned down, which would have been both sad and somehow strangely ironic, now that we're done with the construction.

The problem was that whomever initially installed the power cord onto our fairly new dryer (we'll just call him "installer guy" for now), didn't have the right screw for the job. So he used some random screw to affix one of the power-cord leads to the dryer. The act of moving the dryer out of the laundry room, and back to the laundry room once construction was done, must have jarred that ill-fitting screw loose. As a result, one of the power-cord leads was no longer securely attached to the terminal, and some sparking started to occur. At first, this affected the temperature drying circuitry, but eventually, it burned out the insulation on that lead and caused some sort of a short which resulted in the breaker tripping. Yes, they do make those fuses for a reason!

We now have a new power cord in place, and thanks to the appliance repair guy (Mr. Joe Chan, of Chan's Appliances), have the correct screw affixed so it won't happen again. And our dryer is once again capable of drying either through its timed drying facility or through its temperature-sensing abilities, depending on our mood. And although we still have this fabulous stainless steel outdoor drying rack, we've gone back to using it as a decorative railing. But it's nice to know we could hang laundry there again to dry if we ever wanted to.