Sat. Sept 22, 2018 – lotsa rain for some folks

89F at 8am and 93%RH.

Got some rain here yesterday, but the south east part of Houston got CLOBBERED. I haven’t looked at totals yet, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t get 4-6″ in no time flat. Couldn’t see my hood driving in it.

Lots to do today. I’m hoping to get some range time in at the place near Mr Lynn. And all the normal and overdue stuff is still piled up.

We’ll see what we can get to…

n

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30 Responses to Sat. Sept 22, 2018 – lotsa rain for some folks

  1. hcombs says:

    Up here, we had some minor thunderstorms but nothing to write about. The weather is changing. Highs in the 90s are now past and the next week will see us in the 70s. Maybe summer is really over.

  2. JimB says:

    From yesterday, i looked into buying a new car through Costco recently. Terrible experience, too few choices, or maybe I lost patience before I figured it out.

    Most of my family was employed by the auto industry, and I learned to hate dealers, especially their incompetent “service.” BOHICA! As a family member, I was able to buy directly from the company. It was great. Later, I started buying used private party cars, and that is now my preference. Easy, simple, honest. FWIW, I also do my own real estate. Incompetent thieves; OK, there are some good real estate agents/brokers, I have met a couple.

    I am cringing as I write this, because I am considering buying a new car from a dealer. My one acquaintance in that business died, and I am lost. He was a buyer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate a good salesman. I have actually met a few.

  3. hcombs says:

    JimB: Why would you consider buying NEW?
    You know you drop 25% of the value once you drive off the lot.
    Get a good used car. Maybe from a rental company who keep up maintenance and low milage? I bought new only once in 50 years and have always regretted it.
    My last car purchase was a 2017 Hyundai Sonata. 47K miles and looks like new. I paid $12K less than new and am very happy with 44mpg on the highway.

  4. hcombs says:

    Good salesman
    I’ve met a couple that literally could sell ice to eskimos. They have a way of quickly becoming your best friend then somehow convince you that whatever they are selling, ice cream or road graders, is something you REALLY MUST HAVE and IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY !!!

  5. JimB says:

    Agree on used cars. I have done very well with them. I am also considering used rentals, and have been inpressed with some, but haven’t found The One. “Somewhere out there is my next car, and I hope its present owner is treating it well” TM.

  6. hcombs says:

    JimB: Do be aware that rentals buy special order cars from the factory so you might not get all you imagine. I bought a 2009 HHR LT edition. In doing my research I found the LT came with leather seats, XM radio, and On-Star. The salesman confirmed that these came standard on my LT. I got a good deal from the dealer, it was the very first car they sold that year. When I went to pick it up after detailing I asked the salesman to show me how to use the ON-Star. After a bit of fiddling he couldn’t find any On-Star nor would the radio get XM. It did have a CAT button that brought up “XM Feature Only” but no XM. After some loud words with the salesman about him selling me a car that didn’t have the advertised equipment we discovered this car was a Hertz special order. (there’s a code on the door plate that will let you know) Hertz ordered the LT trim package WITHOUT XM and On-Star. The salesman gave me a free Mirror Mounted On-Star device and an XM receiver that sat on the dash. I was satisfied. Just be aware that rental ordered vehicles may not come with all standard trim level items.

  7. Greg Noton says:

    Got some rain here yesterday, but the south east part of Houston got CLOBBERED. I haven’t looked at totals yet, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t get 4-6″ in no time flat. Couldn’t see my hood driving in it.

    Taylor was pounded last night. I went out to our test range this morning for a few hours to catch up ahead of Monday’s visit from coporate, and I ended up spending most of the time cleaning up the mess on the servers after the prolonged power outage.

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    Just got back from a different sort of range….

    Had a good time. No sales pressure from Tx Law Shield on existing members, and an hour of range time half off. It’s a very nice facility, with retail, three ranges, classrooms, and an onsite gunsmith with a couple of additional ‘armorers’ (trained, but not gunsmiths).

    I’ve got some cleaning to do, and another visit, as my new to me toy had some failures. I don’t expect 4 failures to extract in 100 rounds. Or 1000. Range officer took a look and suggested “more lube”. I’ll try that, and some winchester white box instead of the range special.

    A well spent hour, that I clearly needed. I did get a bull off hand and unsupported at 9 yards before I left. Other than that, 4-8″ (mostly 6″) groups with a pocket toy at 6 1/2 to 9 yards was pretty good. Still, perishable skills need refreshing. I know where my base level is and I’m good with that, but I need the additional practice for the tough shot.

    n

  9. Greg Norton says:

    Just be aware that rental ordered vehicles may not come with all standard trim level items.

    Interestingly, the Camry we rented in Florida had a CD player, but Toyota eliminated it from cars sold at dealers in favor of technology which syncs with smart phones and a USB socket for flash drives.

    I’d rather have a CD player. I’ll have to watch the third party market once the general warranty expires on the car.

  10. lynn says:

    _Flashback_ by Dan Simmons
    https://www.amazon.com/Flashback-Dan-Simmons/dp/0316101982/?tag=ttgnet-20

    A standalone book about a dystopian USA, no prequel or sequel that I know of. I read the well printed and bound trade paperback of which I bought at a bargain price version.

    The book is about the USA set in 2034 when 87% of the population is addicted to a drug called Flashback. The flashback drug is available in ten minute to twenty+ hour doses. The protagonist, a former police officer fired for his addiction, is living in a abandoned mall store that has been turned into cubicles. All he wants to do is flashback to the good times with his dead wife.

    The book has Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election. She immediately enacts Medicare for All™ and lowers the Social Security full retirement age to 57. And, all illegal immigrants, current and future, become citizens. And a minimum wage of $15/hour. Those items bankrupt the USA government by 2024. Then things get ugly as the states start bankrupting also. By 2034, the USA is a third world country with illegal immigrants pouring into the country from the Caliphate of Europe, South America, etc.

    The financial bankruptcy in 2024 causes a civil war in the USA. In fact, about a dozen civil wars and the secessions of several states. China also fails and proceeds into a civil war. Japan enters one side of the Chinese civil war using mercenaries from the bankrupt USA.

    There is a real squicky scene early in the book. A group of 15 year old boys kidnap a fellow student, rape her, and use the flashback drug to continuously relive the experience. That hit my squick factor big time.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars (291 reviews)

  11. lynn says:

    The wife and I went and looked at house today. It is 20 years old and shows it when you get close. We want to be able to add an “apartment” for our daughter: bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchenette, all in ADA when she is in a wheelchair. But the house has single pane windows that need to be upgraded (sound and efficiceny) and the pool screams “fill me in”. Basically, the house is $100K more than we can afford. And, we only want an acre, two acres is quite a bit to mow. Other than that, the house is quite nice and very livable. As long as you don’t want to park your car inside a garage (the double garage is small and full of junk).
    https://www.har.com/10118-reading-road/sale_58028391

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    I must have looked at dozens with that same floorplan! It def needs upgrades, and probably wasn’t particularly well built in the first place.

    n

  13. brad says:

    We’re also still looking for a house, or a lot to build on. It’s amazingly hard to find something that meets even “most” of what one is looking for…

    Looking at the pics that Lynn posted – house with a monstrous lawn – reminds me: In our current house, maybe 1/10 of our land is lawn. For our next house, we’ve decided against any lawn at all. If one exists, we’ll get rid of it. Why? Because we can’t answer the question: what is a lawn actually good for? We don’t have small kids. The lawn is basically just a thing that has to be tended, weeded, fertilized and mown – but we don’t actually use it for anything.

    Instead: have more veggie garden. Plant fruit trees. Create an english-style perennial garden (low maintenance, once established), let it turn into meadow, whatever.

    FWIW, it’s clear to me that this may not be a choice in certain neighborhoods. Which is a good reason not to live in said neighborhoods…

  14. Greg Norton says:

    The wife and I went and looked at house today. It is 20 years old and shows it when you get close.

    When we moved to Texas, all of the mid-90s homes we looked at p*ssed away one bedroom as a “nursery”. I guess this was a big selling point to my generation (X-er) of females, but it makes for a completely useless room long term.

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    That would be the room that was too small to fit an actual bed and dresser?

    Sometimes now labeled a “craft room”.

    Those 80’s and 90’s floor plans had HUGE master baths, with acres of floor space between the tub, shower, vanity, and water closet…. HUGE waste of space. Monster corner jetted tubs that no one ever used because the hot water would run out before they were filled, and if you used them black slime would grow in the jet tubes…..

    n

    Another trick was the “dining room” that was actually too small for a table and chairs. They fit, but you couldn’t pull out a chair enough to sit in it, or get by when someone was in it.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    Those 80’s and 90’s floor plans had HUGE master baths, with acres of floor space between the tub, shower, vanity, and water closet…. HUGE waste of space. Monster corner jetted tubs that no one ever used because the hot water would run out before they were filled, and if you used them black slime would grow in the jet tubes…..

    Our 90s house master bath is pretty compact, but an Indian family built the house with the capability to turn the opposite corner of the downstairs, the living and dining rooms, into a second master of similar size when the time came.

    We have the “nursery” which currently serves as my home office/guest room. Our guests only get a twin bed, however. Typical layout — wall/floor space for a crib, changing table, corner rocker, and not much else.

    I grew up X-er in the 80s, the heart of the “John Hughes” generation. I gave up trying to understand the thought processes of a lot of females my age. When it comes to houses, many seem to have hangups from dealing with parents stressing over keeping houses pristine in the era of frequent relocation and 14% mortgages. Builders indulged a lot of insanity in the 90s as a result.

    Ask me about Kavanaugh-Ford, and I will tell you that I don’t think anyone went into that room a wide-eyed innocent not knowing exactly what was happening. If Kavanuagh had family money and/or a hot car in high school, he had an invisible bullseye for XX chromosomes on the seat of his Jordaches.

  17. SteveF says:

    I don’t think anyone went into that room a wide-eyed innocent not knowing exactly what was happening

    If it happened at all, which is looking more unlikely by the day. Oh, it wouldn’t surprise me if some such incident happened to Miss HotToTrot — by her own (now deleted) admission she got around quite a bit in high school and college. However, the alleged incident with Kavenaugh probably didn’t happen at all and almost certainly not the way she claims.

  18. nick flandrey says:

    ” many seem to have hangups from dealing with parents stressing over keeping houses pristine in the era of frequent relocation and 14% mortgages.”

    Holy cr@p this perfectly describes my wife! Her parents moved several times, and didn’t make a ton of money.

    She thinks shelves should have empty space, cabinets shouldn’t be full, and “there’s too much food in the freezer.” Me: What do you want to put in the freezer instead? “Some food.”

    Wow, I thought it was just her.

    n

  19. nick flandrey says:

    Oh, and my high school was very similar to the Ms Hyphen and Judge K one. Private, religious, and parties all the time. You have to remember, these were the 80’s, EVERYONE was partying, we were just doing what our parents did. Drinking age was 18, MADD wasn’t spawned yet, “PC” was a sarcastic smear, the only STD that couldn’t be killed with a shot was herpes (and that was rare), and parents were a LOT less engaged in their kids’ lives. VERY DIFFERENT TIMES. Most of us first got drunk at a family party, and that was a lot safer than learning about limits somewhere else.

    n

  20. lynn says:

    https://www.har.com/10118-reading-road/sale_58028391

    I must have looked at dozens with that same floorplan! It def needs upgrades, and probably wasn’t particularly well built in the first place.

    Here is the generic floor plan of that house. I’ll bet that Trendmaker built hundreds of them, maybe thousands, across Texas.
    https://www.winsim.com/trendmaker_floor_plan_781.pdf

    The big problem with the house is that it has single pane windows. The next biggest problem is that all of the appliances are original from 1998. Then they replaced both 4 ton a/c units in 2016 with low efficiency units (12 SEER instead of 16 SEER). And the pool needs to be dug out and filled in with dirt, or else totally replastered. Since I do not want a pool, filled in.

    I figure that I can convert the very back bedroom into a kitchenette and add an apartment behind it.

  21. Nick Flandrey says:

    OR KEEP LOOKING! too much work!

    n

  22. lynn says:

    OR KEEP LOOKING! too much work!

    I like this house better ($125K lower price and 1.2 acre instead of 2.0 acres). I can add a detached 700 ft2 apartment in the back yard for $100K. And the existing 1,600 ft2 detached garage with a full bathroom is simply amazing.
    https://www.har.com/6102-sunnyside-court/sale_80694716

    But it is only two short blocks away from the train tracks.

    I did find some interior soundproofing windows that are supposedly easy to install.
    https://www.soundproofwindows.com/

  23. Nick Flandrey says:

    That is a nice looking house. All those angled ceilings were expensive. No fence though…

    n

  24. paul says:

    I grew up X-er in the 80s, the heart of the “John Hughes” generation. I gave up trying to understand the thought processes of a lot of females my age.

    I graduated HS in ’76. Most of the females seemed insane then. Sorry, no offense to the ladies here. And ever since then, I haven’t seen much to change my mind.

    But I didn’t party with anyone in my HS. I didn’t have wheels other than a bicycle and lived 15 miles from school with 3 hours a day on the effing school bus and well, hell, they did the morning PA announcements in Spanish. But you hear stuff. And see stuff. Maybe the insanity was cultural. …. nah. I understand enough Spanish to know what is going on.

  25. paul says:

    My dad was a Marine. We moved every three years, even after he retired in ’67. So, lots of having my stuff thrown away while at school…

    She thinks shelves should have empty space, cabinets shouldn’t be full, and “there’s too much food in the freezer.” Me: What do you want to put in the freezer instead? “Some food.”

    Sounds like the librarian at the local library. “We don’t have room for your books” as we walk past 40 feet of seven foot tall shelving and not a shelf was more than half full, much just a third full.

    Once the ‘rents built a house, and stopped moving, the empty space on the shelves thing went away. Totally. Fill the shelves and stack books on top.

    Cleaning out the house after the water leak was a mess.

  26. Greg Norton says:

    Then they replaced both 4 ton a/c units in 2016 with low efficiency units (12 SEER instead of 16 SEER). And the pool needs to be dug out and filled in with dirt, or else totally replastered. Since I do not want a pool, filled in.

    Pool linings are awful since asbestos went away.

    The owners may have gone with 14 SEER to keep their single stage heating and cooling controls in place. Did the house have Nest thermostats?

    My requirements for our upstairs AC upgrade will be to keep the thermostat which I can replace easily at Home Depot on a Sunday afternoon for less than $100 … or even less than $20 if I was so inclined. I learned from our downstairs “upgrade”.

  27. Nick Flandrey says:

    I pick up programmable t stats at yard sales, <$5 new in box. Seems like lots of people buy them and never install them. I've got a stock of several, and an ecobee, and some regular non-programmable.... And some Crestron home automation ones too... n

  28. lynn says:

    The owners may have gone with 14 SEER to keep their single stage heating and cooling controls in place. Did the house have Nest thermostats?

    Nope. Plain old Honeywell thermostats. The outsde units label said 20 amps running. The 16 SEER 4 tons require 14 amps to run.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    Nope. Plain old Honeywell thermostats. The outsde units label said 20 amps running. The 16 SEER 4 tons require 14 amps to run.

    Who knows. Cost may have been a factor too.

    I put PET (recycled soda bottle) carpet in our house three years ago because it was all we could afford having just escaped the Vantucky nightmare. The carpet looks like cr*p now, but replacement isn’t high on the priority list.

    We had to replace the carpet moving into the place. The previous owners maintained quite a menagerie, and the house in general was trashed by the overabundance of pets.

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