{House} Back to Normal

Remember how just a few days ago I was excited after my screw driver attack was successful?  Well, I took on the fire escape gate, where I won the battle but lost the war.

This is where I left off, with the riffraff removed, but the gate remaining.  It’s interesting that there’s a gate at all–it’s not required, and the left window is on the same fire escape as the one with the gate!

remove fire escape gate metal

I started with the gate itself, which was attached to the frame by three hinges.

Luckily, one of the screws had already been removed for me!  It only took a little elbow grease to get the other eight removed.  The harder part was moving the gate off the sill–those gates are heavy!

And now it’s so much more open!

remove fire escape gate metal

Then I turned my attention to the remaining metal pieces.  The bottom and top have three screws each.

The first screw on the bottom came out fairly easy.  The other two…not so much.  Since this is on top of the radiator space, I’m tempted to think that the bottom part of the screws aren’t in wood at all, making it harder for them to come out.  I finally got the radiator cover back in place, so I’m not eager to open it up and take a peek.

Well, ok, let me try the vertical part.

Again, one of the screws was missing!  But the remaining three on this side were just as impossible to get out as the two bottom ones!  Though I’m not entirely sure what they’re problem is.  I think it’s simply a matter of pulling on the metal piece as I’m unscrewing–though that made a loud noise and didn’t seem to make things move much.

And after those two strikes, I decided to not even try the top metal piece.  So things are back to normal, where the apartment beats me at what should be simple tasks.

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{House} Screw Driver Attack is a Success!

I mentioned when I was hanging the curtains, that the extra stuff on the windows was going to go.  So I finally broke out the screw driver and attacked something other than a door knob.

I started out with the hinges at the bottom of the windows.  They needed some prying to open up.

The screws came out easily, and then it just needed some pulling to get it to separate from the window frame and the paint on the moulding.

Then I moved onto some brackets on the sides of the windows and small curtain hooks at the top of the windows.  I was too excited to take pictures of them though…oops…

There was a wood support in the middle of the window, presumably for an air conditioner.  The support was held up with a few layers of paint and two metal brackets.  The top bracket was easy to remove, but a few screws at the bottom put up a fight.

The bottom screw needed to have the paint chipped away before it would come loose.

I thought that the addition of the metal piece meant that the screw next to it wasn’t in the frame, but I was wrong.

I wasn’t having much luck with the screwdriver, so I rotated the wood around a few times, and then pulled until it came free.

The resulting pile of screws and metal pieces only proved my victory!

It felt so great to remove so many screws without much effort!  That door knob had really dented my self esteem.

The pieces were small, but I think it had a big impact on making the window look better.

I had gotten so excited that I didn’t completely remove a small piece of metal on the left side before I took this picture.  Rest assured, it’s gone now!

Hopefully the fire escape gate is just as easy to remove, because I’m coming for ya!

{House} Another One Down, 37 to Go

Two weeks ago, I attempted to remove a doorknob.  It didn’t work out well.  Then the other day my mom sent me a video with some home hacks, and one was using a rubber band to help with stubborn screws.  I had some rubber bands lying around, so I gave it a shot!

Sadly, all it did for me was ruin a rubber band.

But breaking out the screw driver again led me to trying the other screws, and one of them decided to come out!

Now there’s only four more screws left on this door and jamb, and 11 left on each of the other three doors.  At this rate, I’ll get them all unscrewed by 2019…

PS.  I considered just painting over the knobs again, which aesthetically would be fine.  But that doesn’t solve the issue that the doors don’t latch, and I’d like to fix that!

{Hannah} NYRR United NYC Half Marathon 2017

Yesterday, I ran the NYRR United NYC Half Marathon!  It was my third half marathon race, but the first time I ran in NYC.  I was very excited and the weather ended up being in the mid-30s and sunny, which is a perfect winter day for running.

Going into this race, I had a few goals:

1. Just to finish.  Signing up for, training for, and finishing a half marathon are all major accomplishments in and of themselves!  I’m proud of myself just for trying and getting stronger as each week of training passed by.

times square time running thru nyrr nyc united airlines half marathon 2017

Picture of Times Square as I was running thru!  The race announcers joked that this was the fastest you’d ever the thru there, and the only time as a NYer that you’d *want* to go to Times Square!

2. Beat my best half marathon time.  I ran my first half marathon in 2:12:31, which is a 10:06 min/mile pace.  The second half marathon ended up being canceled half way thru due to excessive heat and humidity, and runners that finished afterwards did not get an official time.  Both runs were Summerfest’s Rock ‘n Sole–which I highly recommend if you’re in Milwaukee.  This goal leads me to point #3…

A friend surprised me by coming to Times Square early to see me run!  She captured this shot as I zoomed by.

3. Run in under 2:05 hours (which is 9:33 min/mile pace).  I thought this would be fairly easy, since my training runs were at that pace or faster (I averaged a low/mid-9 pace on my long runs).

nyrr nyc united airlines half marathon 2017

4. Run in under 2:00 hours (which is 9:09 min/mile pace).  This one would be a stretch for me, but I thought with the adrenaline of the day and people around me, that I could do it…

nyrr nyc united airlines half marathon 2017 medal metal engraved

And I did!  1:59:25! 😀

I realized early on that my phone was under counting the miles, and was over a half mile ahead of the course halfway thru.  Which meant the pacing was very off.  I had a “fancy” pace wristband, so using the time from my running app, I was able to approximate my actual pace.  I pushed myself during the last few miles (so close! only a few more miles and minutes to go!), and then very hard thru the last half mile, to say that I tried my hardest to finish under 2 hours.  I didn’t feel the greatest right after finishing, but I’m so proud of myself for accomplishing a goal I thought was slightly out of reach.

But now what will my goals be for the next one? 😉

{House} It’s Getting Hot in Here

So hot!

So open the window.

It is getting so hot,

Please open the window!  Oh!

Obnoxious title and opening courtesy of this song, and the infamous NYC apartment super-hot radiators.  This apartment runs very warm, and I’ve had to open the window a few times, because it had gotten too hot for me.

The radiators in my last apartment weren’t that hot, but then again, only one of them was on.  My current apartment has two radiators: this one under the living room window, and another under the kitchen window (which is currently turned off).

Whenever the heat would turn on, there would be a loud hissing noise for minutes on end, as the cold–and then hot–air escaped thru the radiator valve.  The valve is meant to allow the cold air in the radiator to escape as the hot air comes in, but the hot air should not be escaping.  Knowing this apartment, it was obvious that the valve needed to be replaced, and I finally had enough to venture behind the radiator cover.

First up was to turn the radiator off.  There’s a door at the bottom and I reached my hand in to turn the knob.  (Yup, there’s a lot of gross stuff down there.  I prefer to remain oblivious to it.)

Then, like everything else in this apartment, I had to cut the paint so I could remove the cover.

It still seemed stuck, so I used the back of a hammer to lift and pull the cover away.

Yikes–that’s rough!

But I found 50 cents!  Only need 975816423 more quarters before my mortgage will be paid off 🙂  (I’m not sure what the farthest right circle is; if it’s a coin, it’s hard to tell!)

Here’s the close up of the valve.  Completely useless.

I went to a local hardware store, where the guy pointed me in the right direction to a new valve.  $35 later, and I had a shiny new one!

It was very easy to unscrew and replace the old valve.

Finally, the radiator is much quieter!  And hopefully my apartment will be slightly less warm.