Home improvement crib sheet

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there is absolutely no better home improvement resource than watching someone else document their own trials, tribulations, and triumphs. In this case, it’s HouseInProgress.net. I’ve pointed to JM and A’s (first initials only!) fine work before, but two things popped out of their archives at me recently which made me grateful to be a frequent reader.

The first is their excellent review of air conditioning systems, in which they point out that you can sometimes install a high-tech high velocity system, which is both lower-impact and provides excellent circulation, for less than it would take to do a comparable forced air system. (In fact, all their “review” articles have been outstanding. Check out the “structured wiring” discussion.)

The other was their article about running coax cable through the walls yourself for a low impact (no cables tacked up on the outside of the house!) installation. Cool, practical, and painstakingly illustrated. I’m not sure it’s always possible to find an unused electrical outlet to avoid punching another hole in the wall, though, especially in older homes.


Here’s what I didn’t write about while we were shipping the Microsoft.com Blog Portal last week.

First: Spider-Man 2 at the Cinerama. While I should definitely have gone to an earlier show (I was, shall we say, a zombie by the end of the 10 pm show), I thought this was a very well done film. A touch heavy perhaps on the “poor Peter Parker, his life is so hard” schtick—but then without that it wouldn’t be Spider-Man. And it was nice to see Dr. Curt Connors (“The Lizard”) and John Jameson (“Man-Wolf”) make appearances, though I don’t think either of them would be a big enough bad guy to carry the third film. That honor is clearly going to go to Harry Osborne as the Hobgoblin.

Second: had a great time at the Cyclops on Friday courtesy Arvind and Kim (who sent the Evite) and Peter, Catherine, Jay, and Ravi, who came and hung out for a while.

Third: thanks to Erikka and Jeffrey for the fabulous Sloan barbecue.

Fourth: looks like it will be a busy week. The East Side Sing will cover some good Haydn; Sonic Youth on Wednesday; and it looks like I will be heading to Portland to hang out with Shel and Vik on the weekend. So much to do, so little time.