October 26, 2021


Tuesday, May 31, 2005
After a long day of working on the house on Saturday (and fixing exploding toilets), we spent Sunday relaxed. In the afternoon we went and visited Christian's Aunt and Uncle in north Houston. It was great and the food was delicious.

On Monday, we decided to make it a "Neo" day. Whatever he wanted to do, we would do. He decided he wanted to go see a movie, so we did that first. We watched the new movie "Madagascar" which was hilarious. After that, he said he wanted to go play putt-putt. We did that as well and had a great time. We also did the bumper boats while we were there, and he really liked that.

To end the day, we rented a movie for him and came home. We all fell asleep before the movie had really started, so we will have to pick that up sometime this week.

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
All I wanted to do was fix the toilet. The toilet in the guest bathroom downstairs would constantly refill every hour or so. Since I couldn't find any water anywhere on the floor indicating a leak, I assumed it must be leaking into the bowl.

Neo and I went to Home Depot and got a new flush valve assembly, including the gaskets that go between the tank and the bowl. I removed the old tank and exchanged all of the old rubber washers and gaskets. While installing the new flush valve assembly, I noticed something on the directions. It said to make sure to use an angle adapter on the refill tube going to the overflow pipe. If I didn't, the refill tube could create a siphon effect and constantly suck a small amount of water from the tank into the overflow causing the tank to constantly refill. Hmm, when I removed the old one, I think it was just stuck in the pipe, exactly like they said not to do. That must have been the cause. There probably was no leak, and I now have toilet parts all over when all I needed was to pick the tube up. Here's a better explanation:

"The refill tube should aim directly into the overflow pipe but should not reach below water level. If the tube extends too low, it will siphon tank water silently away."

Well, I figured the new parts would be good anyway, and proceeded to put everything back together. Then, turning the water on, I realized that NOW it leaked. A lot. I tightened bolts for hours, then decided to take everything off and redo everything. I took the entire tank off and tried again. I tightened everything up, and filled with water... it leaked like it was cool to leak.

So what did I do? I did what any Graffagnino would do... keep tightening while I constantly tell myself, "You shouldn't tighten any more. If you do, the tank is going to crack." But surely, the next quarter turn on this nut was going to stop the leak. And I kept doing that for quite some time using only a small bit of water in the tank to test for leaks. Then I filled it up all the way. Still a small leak in the back.

Me: "A few more turns. It's almost there."

Common Sense: "Dude. You're dumb. You've been tightening these bolts for 3 hours."

Me: "If I try just a bit more, and the leak stops, I will be done with this damned toilet."

Common Sense: "Alright, but don't say I didn't warn you. I'll start the A/C in the car since we will be shopping for a new toilet soon."

Well, a few more turns and ... BOOM! The tank just exploded. About 7 gallons of water filled the bathroom with a whooshing sound that sent a dagger straight into my pride. There is nothing more humbling then standing there with water up to your ankles, holding your wrench in your hand.

So Neo and I went to Home Depot and bought a new tank. I brought it home praying that it would fit my existing bowl so I wouldn't have to go back and buy the matching bowl. It fit... kinda. It didn't really fit... but, it doesn't leak. And to me, that's a perfect fit.

Now that I took care of that, it's on to the ceiling fan in the guest bedroom. Apparently, the lightning fried that too.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Neo and I saw Star Wars Episode III last night with a few of my work buddies. I covered his eyes for a few scenes. He really enjoyed it though.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Yesterday was our 3rd anniversary. It's been a great 3 years, and we are looking forward to many more.

A few weeks ago, we bought something called a Dock-N-Talk, which basically allows you to use regular home phones over your cell phone service. This is good because it allows us to have 911 access in multiple rooms of the house. Also, this makes Christian's cell phone number basically our home phone number.

Which reminds me... Christian got a new cell phone. She got a Motorola v710 and switched her service over to Verizon (which means we actually get a good signal at home now, and don't have to put up with the horrible service of Cingular).

Using the v710 with the Dock-N-Talk works pretty good. The only problem we had was sometimes when we plug up the phone to the device, it doesn't sync properly and the little green light keeps blinking. If you turn the phone off, and then on again, this seems to fix the problem. (Just thought I would mention that in case anyone was searching for help on the web for that issue).

What else has been going on? Well, Neo's T-ball season has wrapped up, and we have signed him up for the next level of T-ball. This one is more competitive and puts the kids in real game situations (instead of just drills and practices). Should be interesting...

Also, we have cleaned out the "creative room" in anticipation of getting some desks/tables in here for each of us to make a work area. It looks alot better without all the junk and boxes in here. Hopefully, we can find a good deal on some desks somewhere.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
The movie was incredible! What a show! Be careful with young kids though - some of the visuals were a little scary. For young ones, I would recommend waiting for the DVD so you can fast-forward through those.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Got perfect seats. Movie should start in about half an hour.
Standing in line for Star Wars Episode III right now... lotsa geeks. I think we have enough engineers and computer programmers in here to take over the world.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Turns out that the new circuit board that the repairman installed was bad. Also, the thermostat was fried. Luckily, we were able to replace the circuit board and transformer under warranty and only had to pay for labor. Could have been worse...
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Well, it looks like the lightning blew a fuse in the furnace. Unfortunately, it didn't stop there: it also burnt the transformer, and then completely fried the circuit board.

The repair man changed the transformer, and the circuit board. That let the blower in the furnace start working, but the compressor outside was still not coming on. He is going to come back tomorrow with more parts. I'm thinking it is either the wiring (either to the thermostat or to the compressor) that has shorted out, or the soleniond switch thingy on the compressor itself.

After I go take a shower to get some of this fiberglass off of my skin, I am going to say a prayer that the lightning didn't make it much further.
Monday, May 09, 2005
What a storm! We had a really big storm over here on Sunday. Unfortunately, it looks like the lightning zapped my internet router, and it is toast. That is why the site has been offline for the past day.

I purchased a new one, and we seem to be back up and running again.

But the kicker is that now the A/C and the heater are not coming on. Great...
Sunday, May 08, 2005
We had a great visit with "Nanna" and "Poppa" this weekend. They came in to visit and to see Neo's first T-ball game.

Also, we were able to sit down with Mr. Troy and work out some life insurance and disability insurance details. Thanks so much for helping us! Once our coverage is in place, I will be able to sleep better at night.

Also want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers out there, especially this one, this one, and this one. You have all put up with me in one way or another, and for that, I am certain you are going to heaven. :)
Friday, May 06, 2005
Neo had his first T-ball game yesterday afternoon. They aren't really "games" yet as many of the kids don't know what they are supposed to be doing, but it was alot of fun to watch.

Neo did well. You can see pictures and a video of Neo's first "at-bat" here.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Hey! 2 posts in 2 days! :)

We spent all day helping out some family with the catering of the 2005 Fugro crawfish boil. We are all pooped. We helped to prepare and serve over 7300 pounds of crawfish! Yes, you read that correctly, and no, I didn't hit too many zeroes. Over 3.5 tons of crawfish. Not to mention there was fried catfish, jambalya, corn, and potatoes!

We had a great time. It was so great to see everyone from the Persica clan. You can see all the pictures from the event here.


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