Today I finished caulking and painting the spots on my house where the satellite dish cabling used to be. At the same time, I also did a lot of fixing-up of the alleged wood rot repair and paint job that was done a few months ago. I say "a lot of fixing-up" rather than "completely fixing-up" because to completely fix-up this fuck-up of a job, it would require a lot more work than I'm prepared and equipped to do.
I didn't realize how bad this really was until I was on my ladder and realized that because the jackass (let's call him Vic Alvarez, because that's his name) never primed the wood he replaced before he painted it that the woodgrain is now bleeding through the paint. It also isn't entirely painted and that's because Vic has never heard of a paint brush. If it couldn't be sprayed, he did next to nothing. I'm really not entirely sure he used treated wood like he was supposed to do. It appears that he didn't remove all of the rotten wood and put some of the new wood over the top of the bad, so this repair will last as long as the new wood doesn't rot (note: rot is caused by fungus).
I would call Vic back to fix his work, but the one time I already did that he nearly caused serious damage to my air conditioner. If there's one thing I've learned over the years is that when you've discovered you've been screwed by someone who doesn't care, don't invite him back to make things worse. I really believe there is a special place in hell reserved for people like Vic who take people's money to do a home repair job and does a half-assed job (his is approaching a "full-assed" one).
So here's three things I got from TV this past week that seemed interesting:
The first is a show called "Holmes on Homes" on Discovery Home channel. It's this guy who goes around to people's houses and fixes up work that contractors have completely messed up (hmmm...sound familiar?). The episode I saw (entitled "House Arrest") was about a couple that purchased a home based on the recommendation of a contractor who was a family friend (and who said he could make improvements on the house). After $170,000 the guy did such horrible work that Mike Holmes and his crew had to tear out all the plumbing and most of the wall improvements. It's worth watching.
The second was a chance viewing on MHD (Music High Definition) -- it was a live performance of the song "Hanging On" by Cheyenne Kimball. I'm not sure I like her stuff normally, but this was a completely acoustic performance (three acoustic guitars, or maybe two acoustic and one electric bass) and her singing. I messed up trying to record it using the DVR, but found it on the web (argh, requires flash, but the video is at http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?vid=82320 (with a dumb 30 second commercial)) and was able to connect my laptop to my desktop to get it into an audio file. I have no idea how to coerce frigging flash to allow me to capture audio/video and keep it in a file for later viewing/listening. In any case, the song is about hanging on in the aftermath of a really bad day.
Finally, one more thing of note that I've found to be quite good: Arthur Smith, chief engineer at KEYE-TV, has a bunch of excellent articles about HDTV (actually he and other staff have written them). I'm very impressed with the quality of the articles. One thing he mentions is that cable and satellite TV providers are actually compressing the HD signal that the TV stations provide, and that over-the-air reception is actually superior. This actually gave me the motivation to get the rest of the cabling in place so I can use my HDTV for over-the-air viewing as well as cable TV. There is, indeed, a difference in the quality of the picture, but the cable signal isn't all that bad. The moral of the story is that if you're only watching network TV, you may as well just view it over-the-air instead of buying cable. KEYE's web site is at http://www.keyetv.com/.