Sat. April 20, 2019 – lots to do

Probably cool and dry-ish? I’m hopefully sleeping in and putting this up last night… [yep, finally my back woke me, and it is 67F and 57%RH]

I’ve got work to do at our rec association today, and gardening to do. Kids can play outside at the association while I’m working. That means my wife can get some holiday shopping done.

That is the plan, we’ll see if it works out that way.

Had a nice campfire in our pit last night. Roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Don’t know how many nights we have left before it’s too hot for that to be comfortable. It was a beautiful day and a bit chilly at night.

Regarding the garden, I’ve decided on cukes for the side bed, carrots and beans for the bed under the grapevines, and possibly some more beans for the bed behind the house. I’ll probably put a couple of peppers and tomatoes in pots while I’m at it, and trim a couple of trees. Might harvest some kumquats with small child and see where that takes us. Maybe into jelly making land…

We’ll also see if it’s too late to get turnips, radishes, and beets into somewhere, possibly the ‘window boxes’ on the fence..

I’m so late….

n

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42 Responses to Sat. April 20, 2019 – lots to do

  1. JimB says:

    Latest firsties! Where y’all??

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hmmm, the Ag guide says I’m too late for almost anything… we’ll see what is in pots at the home center. I need some more bird netting in any case, and soil. If peas are all I can plant, I’ll plant peas.

    n

  3. lynn says:

    That means my wife can get some holiday shopping done.

    Holiday shopping ? New Easter dresses for the young ladies ? Or, chocolate rabbits ?

    I looked in vain for a dark chocolate rabbit last Wednesday night at HEB. None to be found, all milk chocolate. The wife despises milk chocolate and loves dark chocolate.

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yep, basket fillers.

    n

  5. mediumwave says:

    We Must Ban K*te Sm*th Entirely

    At least the proglodytes haven’t given her the Oliver Cromwell treatment.

    Yet.

  6. dkreck says:

    I much prefer dark chocolate over milk too. Just go buy some Dove Dark in Easter packaging.
    (of course I’ll take any Reese’s egg too. PB makes up for the milk choc)

  7. lynn says:

    Hagar The Horrible: suggestive manipulation
    https://comicskingdom.com/hagar-the-horrible/2019-04-20

    Heh.

  8. Nick Flandrey says:

    I prefer white chocolate. I guess I’m a racist now.

    n

  9. dkreck says:

    White not chocolate. No cocoa – no chocolate.

  10. lynn says:

    I much prefer dark chocolate over milk too. Just go buy some Dove Dark in Easter packaging.
    (of course I’ll take any Reese’s egg too. PB makes up for the milk choc)

    I did buy some Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate miniature bunnies with caramel and sea salt. We already opened the bag and sampled them. Not bad, not great.

    Yes, I saw the Reese’s PB eggs for sale at HEB. I should have bought some. Good PB negates anything.

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’ve been working in the yard. Trimming the pecan tree mostly as it shades the raised beds. Beautiful day, and I’m not in a huge hurry to finish…

    n

  12. paul says:

    I’m not too picky about chocolate.

    You can keep the “white chocolate” stuff, to me it’s not chocolate anymore than suntan lotion containing cocoa butter is chocolate. But candy is candy and if you’re sharing….

    Milk chocolate is good. Dark is good. I like Almond Joy. I like Mounds. I wish they made Mounds with an almond and I have since I was maybe 10.

    I’ll even nibble on baking chocolate. I add a bit of cocoa to chili.

    Yes, I saw the Reese’s PB eggs for sale at HEB.

    Be at the HEB when it opens Monday morning. All the Easter stuff will be marked down to half price or less.
    Ditto for Halloween and Christmas candy.

  13. lynn says:

    Wow, the Wells Fargo 30 year mortgage rate has dropped to 4.125%. It was 5% just a couple of months ago. What the heck is going on ? This means to me that the long term prognosticators think that the economy is going to crash again. And soon.
    https://www.wellsfargo.com/mortgage/rates/

    I am thinking about making another lowball offer on this house. I offered $450K back in January which they did not bother to counteroffer. I am wondering if $475K might be better received. The house has a lot of deferred maintenance but plenty of room for us to move in and then build an attached or detached apartment for our daughter. The house has been on the market for about a year now.
    https://www.har.com/10118-reading-road/sale_63822655

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    ” I wish they made Mounds with an almond and I have since I was maybe 10.”

    Umm, eat a mounds at the same time as almond joy? Or just pop a smoked almond in your mouth with the mounds??

    I mix equal parts by volume Smokehouse smoked almonds and regular M&Ms as my nightly snack. Try to get an almond and M&M in the same bite. Good stuff.

    Ok, I trimmed the pecan as high as I can reach with the pole saw. I cut up and stacked the branches as they are perfect for kindling, or use in my smoker. I also got out the electric chainsaw and cut up a branch from the neighbor’s yard. Twisty tough oak, but I cut it 1 foot long and don’t bother splitting it. I need to cruise the neighborhood and pickup some more good sized branches. I may even get some trunk if I’m lucky. I need to build up my pile.

    Kids are in the kitchen making a cake for Easter. They have done everything themselves this time from the initial box opening to the frosting. Even setting the oven.

    and just like that, most of the day is gone….

    n

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    @lynn, that is still a great looking piece of property.

    If it’s the floor plan I think, with the master behind the living room, it makes the master bath very long and skinny, and sometimes the dining room is smaller than it looks…tough to get a table and 6 chairs in.

    Because my wife’s work changed, and her office is north of here, instead of east into town, I now have an actual chance of moving. It would have to be something north, out 290 most likely, but not too far. There is lots of large lot, semi-rural out that way, but it isn’t cheap.

    n

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    BTW, currently 83F, sunny and clear, with 35%RH!!

    Beautiful day.

    n

  17. ITguy1998 says:

    Cold and blustery to day. Rained early, now just cold – around 50. Thankfully, my son’s soccer game was cancelled.

    We went to the shooting range instead. I got a chance to try out the .22 conversion kit on my Glock 19. I got the one from tactical solutions. It shoots well. It is a little sensitive to the ammo used. One brand fired fine but wouldn’t eject the shell, had to manually rack the slide every time. Another brand ejected most of the time…lets say 85%. Overall, very pleased. The first shot I fired with it I had to put the gun down as I was laughing. Muscle memory was waiting for the 9mm recoil, and it was a shock to get the .22 recoil and sound. I looked behind me and my son was laughing too. Definitely worth the cost, as I see it saving me a lot of money on ammo over the next few years. One quirk though. After we finished shooting .22, I wanted to convert back to 9mm. I could not get the slide off. I finally figured out you couldn’t use the .22 magazine inserted, it had to be the 9mm mag, even though the .22 slide was on. Now that I know, not a big deal, but was frustrating for a bit.

    We also brought the 30.06 with us. This was his first time shooting it. He did well, and said he was surprised at how much he liked shooting it. He tends to prefer pistols. At almost 15 yo and maybe 100lbs soaking wet, he handled the recoil well.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    Wow, the Wells Fargo 30 year mortgage rate has dropped to 4.125%. It was 5% just a couple of months ago. What the heck is going on ? This means to me that the long term prognosticators think that the economy is going to crash again. And soon.

    5% would be about right with 30 year Treauries at 2.95%.

    The Fed must be buying paper again. Last Memorial Day wasn’t as big a deal for real estate as it had been in previous years since we moved to Round Rock.

  19. lynn says:

    @lynn, that is still a great looking piece of property.

    If it’s the floor plan I think, with the master behind the living room, it makes the master bath very long and skinny, and sometimes the dining room is smaller than it looks…tough to get a table and 6 chairs in.

    Here is the floor plan (unmodified). Two of the garage bays have been converted to a game room. The upstairs bedroom / bathroom (note that there is no windows up there, not good for fire escape) is above the same game room. The dining room is plenty big, we were in the house to look inside it back in January.
    https://www.winsim.com/trendmaker_floor_plan_781.pdf

    The house has single pane windows and two 12 SEER air conditioners. We would put our daughter into the master bedroom for now and convert the detached garage into a 850 ft2 ADA apartment for her after we sell our existing home. We would fill in the pool and convert that into a covered patio. We would add interior storm windows that are soundproofed inside the house to cut the outside noise and make the house more efficient.
    https://www.soundproofwindows.com/

  20. lynn says:

    “How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer”
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/how-the-boeing-737-max-disaster-looks-to-a-software-developer

    “Design shortcuts meant to make a new plane seem like an old, familiar one are to blame”

    I still say it is 50 / 50 if the plane flies again. It is inherently unstable which is ok for a fighter or a bomber. Not so good for a people carrier.

  21. RickH says:

    A really nice day here opposite Mutiny Bay WA. Clouds this morning gave way to clear blue skies, and it warmed up to 63F, according to my weather station (which has good batteries).

    Mowed the front lawn today – it’s not very big, only takes 10 minutes.

    Then back inside to finish my final edit of Light Blink – Book Two. The new web sites – one for the book, and one for the ‘author’ site – are also done. And did some slight modifications of the book pages on Amazon – a better ‘blurb’ and adjustments of the keywords. Got all of that done this week.

    So, I’m going to let Book Two – and the Prequel, which is also done – percolate a bit as I do the final preps for release. I need to do a final tweak on the Book Two cover, getting them ready for publication.

    And do some thinking on whatever the next book is going to be.

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    @lynn, that isn’t the floor plan I was thinking of. The view of the kitchen/family room fooled me. It is stranger than I thought but if it works for you that’s ok.

    Why would they need ANOTHER game room? The upstairs room could be a home theatre, you don’t want windows there…

    Sounds like a lot of work to make it suit your needs.

    n

  23. ech says:

    The bedroom/bath above the garage screams servant’s quarters.

    If it has been empty for a year, they either are really rich or have a company picking up the cost of keeping it staged/paid for.

  24. lynn says:

    Mike Lester: Gun XXX Boiling Oil Confiscation
    https://www.gocomics.com/mike-lester/2019/04/17

    Yup.

  25. Nick Flandrey says:

    I did get some other things done too. I packed and shipped a couple of ebay items. I changed the saddle on my wife’s bike. I moved some stuff and put away some groceries. I cooked dinner….

    Nope, doesn’t sound like much even then….

    n

  26. Spook says:

    ”I mix equal parts by volume Smokehouse smoked almonds and regular M&Ms as my nightly snack. Try to get an almond and M&M in the same bite. Good stuff.”

    This reminds me of the “trail mix” we took on expeditions.
    Why mix it all together? Bag separately so I can get a handful
    without peanuts, please!

  27. Greg Norton says:

    The bedroom/bath above the garage screams servant’s quarters.

    If it has been empty for a year, they either are really rich or have a company picking up the cost of keeping it staged/paid for.

    It might be worth a trip to county records to see the mortgage and owner information.

    Then peruse the Bankruptcy Court records for the owners’ names.

    How close to Exxon is the house? We’ve interviewed a few people from that areaa who were either laid off or worried about losing their jobs as the company shifts into using more H1B labor.

    The Exxon people always want big money.

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    Exxon’s campus is north of Houston in The Woodlands.

    If it were in Harris county all the tax records are online. Ft Bend county should be similar.

    n

  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    trail mix is mixed up so you have a chance of getting something nice to ameliorate the nasty raisins….

    n

  30. Spook says:

    @ Nick

    Seems you got my point about trail mix…

  31. RickH says:

    Hmm…my favorite trail ‘mix’ would be almonds (plain), walnuts, peanuts (unsalted) and raisins.

    Maybe some dried apricots (not ‘candied’).

  32. lynn says:

    It might be worth a trip to county records to see the mortgage and owner information.

    Then peruse the Bankruptcy Court records for the owners’ names.

    How close to Exxon is the house? We’ve interviewed a few people from that areaa who were either laid off or worried about losing their jobs as the company shifts into using more H1B labor.

    Exxon is 50 miles away from here …

    The House is still occupied. The owners pulled the old trick of taking half of the stuff in the house and putting it in the garage. So, the house looks like it has been staged rather than lived in. Plus, those pictures are a year old. Plus, plus, note that the kitchen appliances are stove: black, dishwasher: stainless, and oven: white. My wife triggered on that immediately. By triggered, I mean almost upchucked and I had to immediately start planning on the oven replacement.

  33. lynn says:

    Milk chocolate is good. Dark is good. I like Almond Joy. I like Mounds. I wish they made Mounds with an almond and I have since I was maybe 10.

    Almonds are the devils food. I have been allergic to them since I was 32 or 33.

  34. lynn says:

    @lynn, that isn’t the floor plan I was thinking of. The view of the kitchen/family room fooled me. It is stranger than I thought but if it works for you that’s ok.

    Why would they need ANOTHER game room? The upstairs room could be a home theatre, you don’t want windows there…

    Sounds like a lot of work to make it suit your needs.

    Trendmaker built dozens of this house in Fort Bend County in the late 1990s. The kitchen is not very fancy but the separation is quite nice. And yes, the deferred maintenance is quite a lot of work. So, is the proposed apartment. And the three to five year out garage with the 18 ft by 9 ft door and the 10 ft by 14 ft door. But anything we get unless we build from scratch is going to be a piece of work.

    We could build from scratch using this lot but the price is $75K too high for my blood. I offered $150K and the owner countered at $220K. I am guessing that he does not want to sell the lot.
    https://www.har.com/5511-bridlewood-drive/sale_91845304

    Of course, if the economy comes crashing down later this year, all of these prices will crash also. I really doubt that the Fed is buying mortgage paper. After thinking a while, I suspect that people are getting out of the stock market and buying “good” mortgage paper. I was astounded last year when I refinanced my commercial property and got a 5.48% fixed 15 year rate.

    BTW, we do have our tax records online. The sellers have owned the house since 1997, so they are the original owners. I suspect that they are downsizing.
    https://fbcad.org/Property-Detail?PropertyQuickRefID=R208561&PartyQuickRefID=O0247400

  35. Greg Norton says:

    BTW, we do have our tax records online. The sellers have owned the house since 1997, so they are the original owners. I suspect that they are downsizing.

    Mortgage documents too?

    I miss Florida public records. Jeb! was an effective Governor.

  36. Greg Norton says:

    After thinking a while, I suspect that people are getting out of the stock market and buying “good” mortgage paper.

    Maybe pensions (those that are left), IRAs, and 401(k) plans looking for fixed income of any kind. Insurance companies needing liquidity.

    Still, a 4% 30 year instrument is a really lousy long term investment. Treasuries with AAA ratings are 3%, and the “jingle mail” (owners just mailing in the keys to the mortgage companies) will start rolling again eventually given the inflated prices.

    I lived in a “nice” neighborhood outside Tampa. Upper middle class. 18 homes in the development, 1/3 acre lots, from a builder with a good reputation for quality in the 80s/90s. When I sold in late 2010 for market price, six of my neighbors were in some combination of short sale, bankruptcy, and/or foreclosure before 2011 was out. What’s safe?

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    Homes in growing areas, with diversified economies, bought well under market with a significant amount of sweat equity….

    What’s not- top of the market prices in over-inflated markets, with a lot of empty spec houses or investment properties, in shrinking or cyclical market areas. In other words, anywhere that newbies are flipping houses again.

    n

  38. Greg Norton says:

    Homes in growing areas, with diversified economies, bought well under market with a significant amount of sweat equity….

    What’s not- top of the market prices in over-inflated markets, with a lot of empty spec houses or investment properties, in shrinking or cyclical market areas. In other words, anywhere that newbies are flipping houses again.

    In FL, in 2007, they were one and the same.

    At least when the long-time owners cashed out with HELOCs, you could read the details online.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    Plus, plus, note that the kitchen appliances are stove: black, dishwasher: stainless, and oven: white. My wife triggered on that immediately. By triggered, I mean almost upchucked and I had to immediately start planning on the oven replacement.

    Built in? With Sears going bankrupt and GE in trouble, getting the right size to fit a space without a cabinet rennovation is getting tougher. Ka-ching.

    On our way out of the rental here in Texas, the oven broke, late 90s construction, and the problem the landlord faced was that what was a common size in 1999 wasn’t so common anymore.

    After nearly going bankrupt in Vantucky and me burning all of my personal savings and most of my non-401(k) stocks to dig us out of trouble and evacuate, I don’t hear any noise about appliances at the current house. I know there is noise, but I don’t hear it.

    BTW, in addition to never having found a replacement for my wife in five years, my wife’s employers’ semi-rural clinic location where she worked underpaid for most of our time there has been closed for a couple of weeks now due to a “pipe break” (see notice at top of linked page below). Another “Get out of jail free” card for me, but nothing will top the measles pandemic — that’s a once-in-a-lifetime card that will never get revoked.

    http://www.tvc.org

    I don’t think that office will ever reopen. Vantucky is Hee Haw Land, but it isn’t so primitive that plumbing and remediation isn’t available to go in over a weekend and get things done.

    As the realtor said when we looked at houses to rent in 2010, “Remediation services, especially for crime scene issues, are excellent here.”

  40. lynn says:

    I lived in a “nice” neighborhood outside Tampa. Upper middle class. 18 homes in the development, 1/3 acre lots, from a builder with a good reputation for quality in the 80s/90s. When I sold in late 2010 for market price, six of my neighbors were in some combination of short sale, bankruptcy, and/or foreclosure before 2011 was out. What’s safe?

    Homes in growing areas, with diversified economies, bought well under market with a significant amount of sweat equity….

    What’s not- top of the market prices in over-inflated markets, with a lot of empty spec houses or investment properties, in shrinking or cyclical market areas. In other words, anywhere that newbies are flipping houses again.

    Yup, if you see flipping going on then run away. We get letters each day from “cash investors” trying to buy my father-in-laws rent houses. One of his rent houses just turned 100 years old in Garland, Texas. The wife is currently getting the house in Abilene renovated since it turned 60 years old and the wood siding fell off the house. Not great investments.

    In short, one has to live somewhere. One hopes that the place is comfortable and safe. We are comfortable in our current home but I am still worried about the river coming over the levee some day.

  41. Greg Norton says:

    In short, one has to live somewhere. One hopes that the place is comfortable and safe. We are comfortable in our current home but I am still worried about the river coming over the levee some day.

    It is a place to live, not an investment, something which is forgotten a lot of the time these days.

    Just make sure the house sits on high ground and the HOA rules (if any) are reasonable.

    Residential construction doesn’t last more than 80 years, tops. The houses aren’t designed to go the distance. Believe it or not, the house in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (70s version) was preserved and moved from its original location here in Round Rock due to the fact that not many like it survived more than a century.

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