April 4, 2021

Settling in

After the movers left, there were boxes literally everywhere. All three floors, covering virtually all the open floor space. Here is the space between the kitchen and dining room….

Needless to say this was a bit overwhelming, but you know the saying, right?

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time”….

Anyway, we began the process of opening and unloading the boxes. On Wednesday, we had a short morning of it and then went to the old house in the afternoon for a final clean-up. Meghan came by and we all said our farewells’ to the house with our cars loaded to the gills with stuff the movers didn’t get to.

On Thursday, we had the day to ourselves and began unloading the cars, and continuing the process of emptying boxes. We made major headway, to the point where I could start to see the floor and think about the infrastructure setup if you will. I had bought a NEST doorbell camera so that we could see who was at the door without running down the stairs. Trying to minimize that.

The physical installation was easy. Integration into my existing NEST application, well not so much. After watching the app do nothing for over an hour, I called NEST technical support, which is no easy feat as they try to discourage it. The first tech made a comment about the app being sensitive to what order devices are installed and had me create another “Home” for the camera to install it. This worked fine, and I was able to migrate my Thermostat into the new home for everything in one place……..

Except for the remote thermometer which we use in the bedroom. I kept getting obscure errors when trying to include it, so have to call NEST technical support again. Unfortunately this tech wasn’t anywhere near as competent as the first one, and we went around in circles for literally 2 hours. He kept confusing thermostat with thermometer and we had that discussion numerous times. He put me on hold and literally an hour later a ‘manager” comes on and we discuss the situation and I explain that for a $39 piece of hardware, it would have been more efficient to throw it away and buy another one. The new tech acknowledged what I thought, that their system still had the thermometer registered elsewhere and needed to be flushed. He had me access a different reset function on the NEST (I had already reset it from scratch 3 times) and then he purge the database. Finally attempting to connect to the thermometer was successful. Not your shining moment Google/NEST.

That done, I got down to the business of installing all the Audio Visual gear in the living room. I had bought a Roku Ultra to use with the big Sony and the existing Roku was going on the TV in the Kitchen for Melanie. All that went well, and then I went getting subscriptions to the streaming services we were going to use.

We had tentatively decided on :

  • Discovery +
  • Hulu/Disney/ESPN+
  • Locast
  • Fox Nation

The other big was to get the OOMA box set up for a land line. Melanie wanted a landline, so I had bought the OOMA box before we moved to provide that capability. I got it set up and then went to port the old number over and got a shock. They advertise a 3-4 wait for number porting. Yikes. You have to maintain the account with the number throughout the process to avoid loosing the number. Ok, I did the application. In the meantime we had a working phone. I’ll give Verizon credit, they processed the port very quickly and in 3 working days the number was ported over. Excellent!

I got all this set up and and after dinner, we were able to sit down, and after reprogramming the Logitech Harmony remote, starting spelunking around the Roku to see what we had. The first thing that jumped out at me was that there was a Fox News (not nation) app on Roku. Turning that on for a moment indicated that was what we wanted for Melanie, and ultimately I could cancel the Fox Nation subscription.

The highlight, at least that first night was Locast. This is a streaming version of locally broadcast TV and it’s awesome. It’s nominally free, but to escape the nag screens you “donate” $5/month. Cheap enough. Not certain why the major content providers haven’t sued them out of business like so many others that have tried, but I’m glad it’s available. The thing I noticed though, was the display stuttered a bit with the wireless connection I was using with the Roku. As such, I’ll run an Ethernet cable to the box later.

Throughout the process on Thursday, I had been loading the Pilot with cardboard boxes to bring to the dump. What I didn’t realize is one of the boxes had toggled the dome lights on, so when I went to get dinner Thursday night the battery in the Pilot was dead. It was late at this point, so I used Melanie’s car to get dinner and called it a day.

On Friday, I got the Pilot started by jumping from the MDX, and then came inside to brush my teeth leaving the Pilot running to charge the battery a bit. I was going to the house for a final walkthrough with the new owners. The S2000 was in need of a safety inspection, so I got her out of the garage, put the MDX in the garage and left in the convertible. The new owners are very nice people but it was a bit surreal walking around the now empty house. It took us about an hour to complete our business, and when I looked through my many pants pockets, I couldn’t find the key to the Pilot. Yikes.

After completing the inspection, I headed home and began wondering if the Pilot was sitting in the driveway idling away. Getting to the house confirmed this… Doh. Well at least the battery was charged. I turned the engine off, and then we continued the unboxing process.

On Saturday I started up the car, no harm no foul. I’d rather be lucky than good any day.

The only thing to note on Sunday is I went to watch the Formula 1 race on ESPN to realize that ESPN1 is NOT ESPN. This is a marketing scam making you think you are getting something, but you aren’t unless you want to replay ESPN sporting events from the 90’s. Scum buckets. So I went and subscribed to F1 Action, which allows you ro replay races 2 days after the event for $2/month. So, most likely we will regress to just Hulu and throw the bundled paclkage to the curb.

Life resumed on Monday with work, and it was new experience figuring out ways to get there. At this juncture it looks like I-66, but that’s not a lot of fun with a lot of traffic and even more construction. This will pass.

I think that’s all for now. Have a great week, and I’ll see you next time.