Journal: Thursday, July 29, 2021

In Personal

Thursday, July 29, 2021.
West Oakland, CA.

I feel fairly settled into my house. I’ve now slept in it for a grand total of five nights, I’ve run from and to it now on two whole occasions (!), and I’m now back in the daily grind of not just professional work, but also “house” work.

  • Turned on power.
  • Turned on water.
  • Ordered a mini-fridge.
  • Ordered and received a portable washing machine, for 9 pounds of clothes (and 5 pounds for spin drying).
  • Set up my old fixed-height standing and sitting desks.
  • Unpacked and moved almost all my kitchenware into my kitchen.
  • Unpacked and moved all my clothes into a closet.
  • Ordered a 20-gallon garbage bin, 32-gallon compost bin, and 64-gallon recycling bin, with weekly service.
  • Completed the solar contractor to utility interconnection agreement progress.
  • Started setting up internet service.

So far it’s been a laundry list of to-do’s, and so far, working through them has been both kinda annoying but also kind of fun.In terms of initial setup tasks, I have now

I had turned on power and water last month before I got home. Because I hadn’t gotten any actual confirmation of work done, I was a bit concerned that nothing would be on upon arriving home (thus necessitating another night in the van, outside my house). Fortunately, everything was as I had left it.

On the mini-fridge and mini-washing machine — they’re for buying time and also for my friends’ convenience. Specifically, I want to be fairly deliberate about researching major appliances (and hopefully land a deal). But I also have friends staying over at least through the end of next week; it’s a bit inconvenient to rely on my van’s micro-fridge only.

As for garbage, compost, and recycling — because my house is new, I had to call in with my closing date and parcel number. Apparently this doesn’t happen often enough for them to automate setting up new service for new construction homes. It also turns out that while Waste Management handles trash and compost, another company handles recycling. Fortunately all three are picked up on the same day, for me.

On kitchenware — I need more utensils, and I definitely need some way to organize them (and pantry space). When I was living alone, it was easy to get by with just 1-2 forks, 1-2 spoons, and a pair of chopsticks. But with friends over, and possibly tenants in the future, it seems that that facet of bachelor life is already changing.
I also now have the “largest kitchen island” that my friends have ever seen. Having an island, a modern stove, new oven, and literally 3x the cooking space (compared to my apartment) makes me want to start cooking again. In order to do that, it looks like I’ll want to invest more in kitchen “stuff.”

On the clothes and closets — I now have 5 separate closets, including one walk-in closet that could’ve functioned as a bedroom if I were still in college. I only have about 4-5 cubic feet of clothes, though — I know this because I carried all the clothes I own in two bags in the van. Excluding race shirts, I buy about 4-5 items of clothing a year, including socks and undergarments. I don’t see this changing. So I’m almost certainly going to keep most closets empty and/or fill them with other items (I already have some project ideas which I’ll write about later).

On solar — I’m curious how much savings I’ll actually get. Compared with the average household, I apparently consume below-average amounts of power. But with a larger place, I wonder if I’ll naturally be consuming more. Because I’m late in starting the interconnection process, I’ll probably be paying for grid power for another 6-8 weeks.

And finally, on internet — it’s been a bit of a cluster. I’ll save the full story for another time — but in short, AT&T is turning out to be as bad or worse as Comcast. I might not have service until late September (for various reasons).

Remaining setup tasks include

  • Following up with AT&T about internet service.
  • Getting replacement garage door openers.
  • Getting spray bottles for Dr. Bronner’s all-in-one cleaner mixes, and figuring out my house cleaning strategy.
  • Cleaning and setting up my old Roomba for at least my 3rd floor bedrooms.
  • Buying dishwater tablets.
  • Registering warranties for my oven, range hood, kitchen sink faucet and garbage disposal, and thermostat.
  • Buying and installing a real fridge (almost certainly the Whirlpool WRF535SWHZ).
  • Buying and installing real washing and drying machines.
  • Setting up my Nest doorbell.
  • Setting up my “smart” light switches.
  • Setting up my “smart” water heater.
  • Setting up my “smart” Honeywell thermostat.

Monthly maintenance tasks I need to follow up now include

  • Inspecting the garage door opener DC belt drive and battery back-up.
  • Oiling garage door joints to avoid creaks and noise from developing.
  • Cleaning bathroom humidity sensors.
  • Going through the central air conditioner maintenance checklist (though I’ve rarely used the AC so far).
  • Inspecting the furnace filter (though I’ve not personally used it yet).

Finally, it looks like I’ll finally own my first couch and other “big” pieces of furniture soon. In all my years of renting, I’ve only ever either picked up used, random couches and furniture left by other students on the street, or picked up from IKEA purely for their function.

But I think I ought to actually try designing and implementing something a little nicer this time around. The hope is that at least I’ll have an interior aesthetic that’s a little more cohesive than random things picked off one-by-one. From brief forays for inspiration so far, it seems that I’m literally a millennial in the middle of the minimal-to-maximal trend currently happening. In other words, I apparently want something that’s mostly mid-century to post-modern industrial Scandinavian with elements of grandmillenial/farmcore/cottagecore.

When all of my initial setup is done, I’ll likely start renting out a bedroom. This means that I’ll need to learn the ropes on being a landlord. With two friends staying over, I’m already learning how to live with housemates. But yeah, at this point, it’s unlikely I’ll get to the Landlord Project until at least October.

Until then, lots to do.

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