A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Creeping Normalcy

Whew. What a couple of weeks.

Things are finally getting to what I would consider normal around here. We've been in the new house for a little over a week with all of our stuff. Our stuff made the trek in spectacular fashion thanks to Mitch and Ryan of Merchant's Moving and Storage of Racine, WI. My best move bar none. The guys were total pros all the way around. (Even if I did have to make them do some creative backing to get the trailer down to our new house. ;-)  )

The new appliances we ordered were not so lucky. The dryer to match our new washer was broken in half on its way to the house, so I've got half a laundry set. The replacement unit is supposed to be here tomorrow. That will be nice. The ability to not have to hang out with the N.O. denizens who slop up the local Laundromat.

I've paid off my car, started a mutual fund account, and am contributing the max allowable by the feds to my 401k to build it back up. Even with that, my long-term checking account balance is going positive. It's weird, instead of fighting to break even, the balance is going up. I don't believe it yet, but it looks positive at first glance.

I mowed the yard for the first time yesterday. It looks pretty good after it cleans up. Although, I have to get rid of a few of the trees. It's almost like racing a slalom course to get the damned thing mowed.

Got to sweat a copper fitting for the first time yesterday. The little valve for the refrigerator icemaker broke when the previous owner's were removing their stuff. I tried to unscrew it, but the original unit was hard soldered rather than threaded, so it snapped at the joint. It had to cut out the wall and attach a new fitting to the pipe. Wasn't too difficult. I've seen enough of my mechanics do it and watched it on TV that it really was pretty simple. Now the new valve is threaded and completely replaceable without making a mess. Unfortunately, someone touring our old house played with the icemaker in our fridge and it no longer works. Now I have to troubleshoot that. Oh well. One thing at a time.

While I was unpacking the garage stuff Saturday and Sunday morning last weekend, I was thinking about the property taxes we don't pay here. (The yearly taxes on this property are about $350/year.) Which is great considering it includes two-day per week trash pickup. I did come to the conclusion that the local fire service, however, consists of whoever shows up to rubberneck your burning abode usually bringing a keg with them and then pissing the fire out.

We're going to spend Thanksgiving with our friends in Dallas. (Since, given the rebuilding going on down here, the dining room set we ordered has a six week lead time.)

Where does the time go. It's almost Christmas again. The holiday season of 2004 was a downer for a few reasons, check the archives if you're interested. This year, we will start anew.

I think we’re finally out of the tunnel.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Residents of Plainfield, CT - Get out while you still have money left!!

Having now elected an anti-business nerd as first selectman, Plainfield will now go the way of Litchfield as the town seems to have wished for years. All the working locals will relocate to areas that have lower taxes and more jobs and the town will become a pitiful attempt at a bedroom community for New Yorkers and Bostonites who need somewhere to live while they await their reserved places at the craps tables at Foxwoods. No one will be able to pay the taxes required to keep the miserable town afloat. And without taxes, all the infrastructure will crumble. Not that it's very good anyway.

I grew up there. I've had the distinct displeasure of watching the town's downward spiral into nothingness. In the last 35 years, the only non-negative trend has been the leveling of the slope of decline that occurred shortly after the monster casinos opened in the 90's. That's all but over and now that no one will try to entice some new industrial player into the town to support the tax base, the spiral will continue.

Unless someone develops a spine and the creativity required to pull in industry, the town has fifteen years left until it becomes a speedbump. Merely a relic of the bygone New England textile age. I'll be saddened to see it go, but I won't be surprised.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

End of the Tunnel

I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I don't think this one's an oncoming train.

We were finally able to close on our new home in Slaughter last afternoon. The closing itself was uneventful, but the loan processor was worthless. She showed no sense of urgency or attention to detail and when she realized she didn't have some paper-work that was "absolutely necessary or we can't fund the loan," the morning of our closing, she chose to wait until literally twenty minutes prior to closing to tell us that she didn't have the paperwork. We managed to pull it off, but I'm not a fan of big drama when big money is involved.

Anyway, we bought some cleaning supplies and the girls are going to start scouring the house while I'm at work. I bought a new vacuum. A Dyson. (You know, the one with that annoying British guy who says, "It's the only vacuum that won't lose suction.") I tell you what. The people who sold us the house vacuumed before they left. I put the Dyson together and did one 14x14 foot square room with it last night. It picked up two inches of DIRT. Not carpet fuzz. Dirt. This thing is an animal. And very simple to operate and clean. I'm impressed.

Oh well. Now the only thing left is to fly home this weekend, pack up and drive back here to meet the movers when they deliver our stuff.

Almost normal.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Good fun at the laundromat...

Saw something interesting today. Went to a local coin-op laundry today to get away from the mess at the hotel. Started the clothes and went next door to the convenience store to get a soda. While there, we spooked a baby squirrell that had found its way into the store. It took off like a rocket jumping from shelf to shelf and aisle to aisle with reckless abandon. Stuff was flying everywhere. Finally it jumped on me, scratched up my arm and headed under the deli counter. As luck would have it, the owner didn't charge for the entertainment.