Sunday, April 10, 2011

Harman XXV

Exciting news! Yesterday, Seth and I went to the Amherst Farmers Supply to inquire about getting a pellet stove for our house. We had, after some research, settled on the Harman XXV, a quiet and aesthetically pleasing top-of-the-line pellet stove.

The gentleman at the Farmers Supply was very helpful. He went through the entire process with us and worked up the cost with install. We settled on spending a bit more and getting the stove in Majorica Brown enamel.

We plan to have the stove installed on a slab of bluestone in the corner of our living room. As we'll need a short pipe to vent the stove to the outside, we're going to need the approval of the condo board. We submitted information to the condo manager who will present it for approval at the May board meeting. If all goes to plan, we'll be able to install the stove in late May.

Very exciting. I hope that everything goes to plan and the board has no issues with a foot long, six in diameter pipe coming out of our wall. The stove will offset our need for electric heat next year and allow us to have a house that is actually a comfortable livable temperature in the winter months. It looks to be a great investment in our comfort and the value of our home.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend in the City

For Seth's birthday this upcoming Wednesday, Seth and I took an early trip into New York City to see the Distant Worlds: The Music of Final Fantasy concert. It was quite the whirl-wind tour.

Friday, after Seth got home from work, we drove straight away down to Connecticut where we had a lovely visit with Mom and spent the night. Saturday morning, Mom dropped us off at Union Station in New Haven to take the MetroNorth into Grand Central Station. The train ride was fast at around an hour and a half and got us into the city right before lunch time.

As Seth has only ever been into New York to see shows and has only seen Times Square, we decided to see a few tourist spots. We walked over to Rockefeller Center where we walked around and went into a few stores -- the Nintendo World Store being a highlight for Seth. We picked up a couple of flatbread sandwiches at a nearby cafe and then caught a train downtown with the idea of looking around the Village.

We hit up a few stores in the Village but at this point our luggage, which was small but getter heavy was beginning to weigh. We headed uptown to the hostel where we were staying off Central Park West, The Broadway Hotel and Hostel.

Arriving at the hostel was somewhat alarming as there was a sign on the door with an order to vacate. Noting that there were people inside we went in. Apparently they used to have up to eight people to a room and were forced to change. We had a private room for two with a bathroom (the latter being an upgrade). Although the hostel was in a sort of run-down building with a very scary elevator, the room was clean and serviceable.

By the time we got squared away at the hostel, there was time to catch a quick dinner nearby at Cleopatra's Needle and then take the subway to Brooklyn for the show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), a very cool venue.

Seth and I enjoyed the concert which featured mostly classical style music with some vocals. We then headed back to the hostel arriving late and collapsing into bed.

The next morning, we slept in a bit and then went for bagels at the local, Broadway Bagels. We had planned to visit a tea place Maddy had recommended but the late breakfast left us not hungry. The tea place will have to be visited on another trip.

We took a nice walking tour of Central Park and then returned to the hostel for check out. We conveyed ourselves to Grand Central again where we hung out for around a half an hour and then caught the train back to Connecticut and from there drove home.

What a lot of fun but most exhausting.

While there are no pictures from the city -- I didn't want to seem like a tourist -- I do have pictures from the baby blanket I have been working on for Seth's boss. It's a very simple pattern in fun yarn that a child is sure to like.

It's also nicely textured. It should be done in advance of the baby's arrival in June.