The House Strikes Back

Our Homeownership Saga

Category: Uncategorized

Halloween Display

Pictures from Halloween night 2017 with all of the lights and fog machine in action!


Pixels out and more songs to sequence

We currently have 3 pixels that are out on the mega tree and need to be fixed. Sadly they went bad somewhere between putting the strips together and hanging them on the mega tree. Hopefully I can get those fixed sometime this weekend so we don’t have a few random ones were the colors don’t match correctly, but one is fairly high on the tree so that will be fun to get to.

Other plan for this weekend is to sequence a third song for the display. Two songs seem too short (probably about 7 minutes currently), so if we at least get a third song in the mix maybe it will keep people parked out front longer.

But as for right now, the display seems to be a success. Most times looking out the window, there is at least 1 car watching and lots of times there are multiple cars. People seem to be enjoying it again this year, in even greater numbers than any years before.

2 Songs Complete!

After another 5 hours of sequencing last night on my birthday, we have a second song done. After finishing that song, we finally started up the display and had it running the rest of the night. (about 7:30pm to 10:30pm) There are some tweaks to make here and there to some of the sequences, but overall they look pretty good.

Songs completed and running currently:
Christmas Can-Can (by Straight No Chaser)
Sandstorm (by Darude)

Hopefully we’ll have time to throw together another song or two within the next week.

32 candy canes to go

Almost everything is complete with the display this year, but we still haven’t started sequencing any songs yet, so that’s the next task.

Happy holidays!

Christmas Lights (UPDATED!)

So I know that we have been hyping the Christmas light display for quite a while. It is still happening. However, it is not ready for finally reveal yet. Here are some teasers though. You can check out some progress pictures on Marc’s Facebook page here Christmas Album. Leave a comment if you can’t see them and I will add them to the blog.

Hopefully in the next week or so we will have a video of the whole display in all its glory.


This picture helps give an idea of how much stuff is out there. The snow covers the wires but, there are hundreds of feet of power cables and ethernet under that running the whole display.

Quick fact: each of the mini trees in front has 4 colors totaling 2400 lights bulbs and took over 6 hours to make.

Most of the display in daylight

Hopefully there will be more soon

I know we have been horrible at regularly updating the blog for you guys. I am going to try very hard to keep up with it from now on. We still need to tell you about the rest of our plumbing repairs and our yard work. There is also the organizing of all the stuff in our basement so that we can now find everything.

So keep checking back!

How have you guys been?

Chimney Cleanout

Our house, being an older house, means it has a small chimney that may have possibly been used with some type of coal burning furnace.  As with all chimneys, this one has a cleanout, which is a small door placed at the bottom.  I am too curious just to leave well enough alone, so I have to open the door and see what is inside.

Chimney cleanout full of ash and dirt

As the picture shows, it is packed full of dirt and ash.  With no idea how much of what was inside the chimney,  I started to dig.  Using a small dust pan I kept digging and shoveling stuff out of the cleanout.  Sadly though, we can not find any pictures of the pile we ended up with.  We can however tell you that the pile was around 2 feet in diameter and all the way up to the bottom of the cleanout door.  We found ash, dirt, leaves, cut up pieces of metal chimney flue pipe (probably from when they installed the metal flue liner, since it’s not their problem that it’s in there) and a screw box from Whitney Screw Corporation which stopped production somewhere in the late 80’s.  We are curious as to how long that empty screw box has been down there.  Now that the pointless cleaning out of the chimney has been done, we should not have to do that again anytime soon (or ever).

Plumbing Endeavor – Part 1

As of June 29, 2010 we have undertaken the biggest challenge so far with homeownership. We went to city hall, to the engineering department, and got our very first building permit. It is a plumbing permit to be exact.


Web Site Errors

We have recently been fighting with our windows server to get it to run WordPress.  There seem to be some issues with a shared windows server running WordPress.  If you are having any issues, feel free to send us an e-mail at or leave a comment in this post. Explain the error you received or are receiving. It would also be helpful to know your operating system (windows / mac / linux / ect) and what web browser your using ( internet explorer / firefox / chrome / ect)

Thank you all for your help and extended patience while we figure this out.