Wed. Aug. 21, 2019 – more busy, more work

Hot and humid again.  Yesterday had scattered thunderstorms and localized heavy rain.  The north side of town got a bunch and the rivers/creeks/bayous were all high on their banks.

I did pickups and some work cleaning up stuff in storage.  Not anywhere near as much as I needed to get done though.

A couple of days ago my wife had a contractor come and look at finishing our master bath.  This is the one I got half done, as our emergency shelter.  Even leaving off all materials and the extra labor to do the FEMA wall structure, the estimate was over $30K.  Wow.  That is about double what I’d have expected for a normal bath update, complete.  I think my wife might have reassessed my value as a DIYer.  So we’re NOT getting someone in to finish.  I’ve got to suck it up and prioritize getting the room done.  It’s a truism that the longer these projects linger, the more it sets back NEW projects.

Speaking of, I’m not making much progress on the driveway, patio, and garage cleanup.  I’m just not getting stuff out of here quickly enough.  Not sure what I’m going to end up doing about that, but if I can get my other space ready, I can possibly do auctions of much of the stuff that was destined for ebay.  I wouldn’t get as much for it, but it would be gone and I wouldn’t have to ship it.  That is my medium term plan at the moment.

Ham radio lunch today, I’m going to try to make it.  It’s at a location that attracts a few extra guys, and I missed it last time it was there.  Next week it’s down the street from my house, so that one is a no brainer.  Conditions for listening to shortwave or HF have been uniformly bad here at home, and I need to compare with the others to see if it’s just me, or a wider issue.    I think there is some new noise source here, and bad conditions- nice double whammy.

I better get back to it.

 

n

59 thoughts on “Wed. Aug. 21, 2019 – more busy, more work”

  1. From the folks who are trying to eliminate your affordable car options …

    http://www.fox5ny.com/news/federal-energy-program-suggests-keeping-thermostat-set-at-78-degrees-82-while-you-sleep

    Do as we say, not as we really do at home in the suburban swamps of DC in coastal VA and Prince Georges County, MD.

    The authors must be Warren-like scolds close to my mother’s age coasting towards a government retirement. I’ve written before about how that demographic seems to have a singular obsession with whole house fans to operate at night “just like at Grandma’s farm in the 50s”.

  2. A couple of days ago my wife had a contractor come and look at finishing our master bath. This is the one I got half done, as our emergency shelter. Even leaving off all materials and the extra labor to do the FEMA wall structure, the estimate was over $30K.

    House flipping is back. Even 3-4 years ago, I had trouble getting a contractor to give a quote to do a sub floor and vinyl replacement in our upstairs bathroom without touching replacement of the fixtures or cabinets.

    See how hungry they are in a year. I eventually found a contractor to replace the bathroom floor reasonably. Mortgage rates can only go up.

  3. Yeah, peak home sales are here again, as I see complete amateurs get back into flipping.

    n

  4. Anyone need evidence of the collapse of our culture?

    This person, Cardi B, is a very successful rapper, and her songs influence millions of kids and adults. This is the face and mouth of pop culture.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7378361/Cardi-B-blasts-NYPD-profanity-laced-Instagram-video-shutting-friends-school-event.html

    Leaving aside the profanity, she can’t even speak english. I know about half of it is ‘urban’ slang, and there’s text-speak thrown in, but my gods, compare that to just about anyone in the music business in 1968.

    (The video is beeped but still NSFW, there is a helpful transcript below the vid, but not a translation.)

    n

  5. Today I got a VERY well done phishing attempt. Might even qualify as spearphishing.

    AOL caught it as spam, but I had to check it out anyway.

    United Rental (an equipment company that I’ve rented from) purportedly asking me to take care of an invoice.

    The only weird thing that caught my eye was use of the word “remittance” which could have been explained by the spanish surname in the signature and that only my first name was displayed. Links looked genuine, and when clicked actually did go to the real UnitedRental site BRIEFLY, before going to another site telling me to ‘download and unzip’ my invoices. Which of course I didn’t do. The physical address in the email is an actual UR office, and I’m not sure how they got the links to work. The sender’s phone number comes back as an out of state cell phone, but that’s not too unusual anymore.

    I called the UR 800 number from their actual website, got billing, and was immediately told that they were aware of the email, that IT was “working on it”, and that I could delete the email.

    Sounds like they had some sort of intrusion. Probably won’t make the news.

    It was a pretty sophisticated attempt, well put together, but AOL still stopped it.

    n

  6. We just got an offer on all the bathroom fixtures in the two bathrooms in our new house. $30k, ouch! OTOH, there is a lot of “fluff” in there. The fixtures themselves are reasonable, but the offer includes obvious packages of stuff required to mount everything. And that’s where stuff can – and will – be cut. No, I don’t need to pay $150 for an ordinary tube of builder’s adhesive, when I’m sure whoever mounts the fixtures has their own supply anyway.

    Reminds me of an electrical offer I threw back a while ago. Some little component, retail price $79, was on the offer for $500. The whole offer was fully of idiocy like that. I told our contractor to find a different company. I also told our contractor that they should pay better attention in the future, because they shouldn’t even be bothering us with stupid offers like that.

    I’m happy to pay for working time plus a fair profit, but I’m not willing to be shaken down.

    – – –

    Wow, this site is really slow today 🙁

  7. Hey Rick, as a test, can you disable the comment editing widget?

    I still see weird behavior related to it, like being able to watch edit times count down quickly until they get caught up, after I refresh the page.

    And can everyone see an edit countdown on other people’s comments, or is it because I’m logged in, and an admin?

    n

  8. Yeah, peak home sales are here again, as I see complete amateurs get back into flipping.

    Lending standards are cr*p again, and, while I’m not sure exactly what has changed, the appraisal rules are different in Texas since we bought our house five years ago.

    Fallout from the popping of the current real estate bubble will include the overheated areas of Texas like Austin.

  9. @nick

    Because you are an admin, you can see the ‘countdown’ thing on everyone’s comments. That’s because an admin has the ‘rights’ to edit all comments, as does the ‘editior’ role.

    I can disable it, but so can you if you want to test things. It’s in the Plugins menu of the Admin area; find the plugin and disable/deactivate.

    As for site slowness, it’s better than last week. Variable, though: sometimes fast, sometimes slow. No pattern that I can see.

  10. From the folks who are trying to eliminate your affordable car options …

    http://www.fox5ny.com/news/federal-energy-program-suggests-keeping-thermostat-set-at-78-degrees-82-while-you-sleep

    Do as we say, not as we really do at home in the suburban swamps of DC in coastal VA and Prince Georges County, MD.

    The authors must be Warren-like scolds close to my mother’s age coasting towards a government retirement. I’ve written before about how that demographic seems to have a singular obsession with whole house fans to operate at night “just like at Grandma’s farm in the 50s”.

    These are fascists. Beware them, they will execute your neighbor some dark night. And you too.

  11. See how hungry they are in a year. I eventually found a contractor to replace the bathroom floor reasonably. Mortgage rates can only go up.

    I got 4.125% for 30 years and 20% down with no discount points and no escrow on our new home. We close on Sept 12 if there are no problems.

  12. I’m happy to pay for working time plus a fair profit, but I’m not willing to be shaken down.

    I got a quote yesterday to replace all 36 of the single pane windows in the new house with triple pane windows for $11,648 installed. The new windows have argon between the middle and outer panes for energy efficiency. The two inner panes have a laminate sheet between them to cut the outside noise by 35 db.
    http://valuewindowsdoorshouston.com/gs-series-windows/

    Several of my windows in the new house are six foot by three foot or seven foot by four foot. One is five foot by five foot (but fixed (non-opening)).
    https://www.har.com/homedetail/6111-bridlewood-dr-richmond-tx-77469/2405394

  13. Yeah, peak home sales are here again, as I see complete amateurs get back into flipping.

    Lending standards are cr*p again, and, while I’m not sure exactly what has changed, the appraisal rules are different in Texas since we bought our house five years ago.

    Fallout from the popping of the current real estate bubble will include the overheated areas of Texas like Austin.

    The prices on homes below $350K are rising here in the Houston metroplex. The prices on homes above $350K are dropping. Go figure. I am hoping to get $475K when I sell my present home. I suspect that I will be listing it for sale right around December 24.

  14. @lynn, based on the quotes I got and talking to my neighbors, that sounds like a reasonable number. The mortgage rate seems good too. Not contingent on selling your current house?

    @rick, thanks for pointing me toward that, I might mess with it after dinner. The reason I want to try- when I hit reload, all the timers go away, then sit and spin, then the timers reappear as the page loads. Does the timer widget rely on any outside server or library? BTW, I’m seeing the variability too, sometimes short waits, sometimes LONG waits. Happens in IE too, so I’m sure (pretty sure) it’s not browser related. The only other thing I can think of is an add in.

    Missed my ham lunch. I was cleaning up an item for sale. I got a small flammables cabinet and it needs a bit of cosmetics, and some work on the latch before I can sell it.

    I’m inside letting my brain cool, although I was sure to stay in the shade.

    n

    PSA still has the M&P shield in 9mm on sale for $249, that’s 100 off list.

    https://palmettostatearmory.com/smith-wesson-m-p-shieldtm-9mm.html

  15. That is a big chip.

    It will be expensive to fab. 300 mm isn’t easy to grow without imperfections.

    I’m guessing the chip has some testing/fault tolerance built in. Otherwise, a lot will get thrown away.

    Also, I have no idea how they can adequately cool that hunk of sand.

  16. So the cops respond to an accident, see some guns, and bring in the ATF. You’d think the ATF would train their agents better….

    After all, they are the gun cops.

    1. On or about July 24,2019, members of the New Jersey State Police
    responded to the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving RUBINO, who was
    the driver of the motor vehicle. In the process of extracting RUBINO from the
    motor vehicle in order to render medical treatment, law enforcement observed,
    among other things, various firearms and ammunition inside RUBINO’s vehicle.

    “a. An Intratec Arms Model TEC-DC9 semi-automatic assault
    handgun
    , bearing serial number DO62728, with threaded barrel
    attachment;
    b. A Cobray Arms Mac-11
    9mm semi-automatic assault pistol
    ,
    with a high capacity magazine;
    c. A loaded Smith & Wesson M&P pistol, bearing serial number
    Ht,J4405;
    d. Two (2) sawed off double-barrel shotgun barrels;
    e. An assault rifle sight;
    f. A stripped AR-15 bolt carrier;
    g. Various ammunition including, but not limited to: a highcapacity magazine with twelve (12) 9mm solid point cartridges, a
    9mm hollow point cartridge; a 7.62mm rifle cartridge, an FC
    9mm Luger cartridge, four (4) 9mm solid point cartridges, and
    two (2) 9mm luger hollow point cartridges;
    h. A set of brass knuckles;A wooden ax handle, a wooden baseball bat, and a wooden club;

    ATF uses the mythical “assault weapon” designation on official statements. WTF.

    Listed from his home is this–

    “r An East Coast Machine and Tool grenade launcher;
    s. A ballistic vest;”

    Ballistic vests are not illegal or regulated in most states.

    The “grenade launcher” is a flare launcher that LOOKS like a grenade launcher, and is available from Brownells…*

    He’s a drug dealer, a convicted felon, felon in possession, oh, and has stuff with the SS lightning bolts on it (like every outlaw biker in the country) and a joke pamphlet about caring for a slave. WTF does ATF feel it’s necessary to describe his bumper stickers, shirts, and reading material? What business is it of theirs?

    He’s a bad guy and should be back in prison, but seriously, wtf?

    n

    *from Brownells about the other manufacturers product:

    Detail-Accurate Reproduction of GI-Issued Component – Available To Everyone

    Here’s a truly unique ultra-cool way to cap off that retro rifle build or give any contemporary AR-15 a truly badass upgrade – the M203 37mm Launcher from LMT! An exact replica of the 40mm grenade launchers used by the U.S. Army since 1969, LMT’s M203 launches 37mm flare, smoke, or rubber ball rounds, making it completely legal for civilians to own, with NO FFL required. (The smaller caliber completely prevents the loading of military 40mm ordnance in this launcher.)

  17. WRT to rehabbing and updating interior, wife arranged all that a decade or so ago. she went to Home Depot, ordered new cooktop, oven, sink, dishwasher, garbage disposal, granite counter tops and specified cabinetry rework and finishing. Home Depot lady acted as fee free major contractor. She arranged, scheduled, sequenced all the gig installers. Work could not have gone better nor faster. Everything was perfect and price right as it all came from Home Depot. I guess the gig guys depended on HD for all there work and did not want any bad comments back to HD. We were extremely pleased.

  18. Not contingent on selling your current house?

    Nope. I don’t play that game and not many sellers will hold their house for you to sell your house first.

    ADD: When we close on the new house, I am replacing the windows, painting the interior (maybe exterior also), and replacing the carpet. All contractors. Then we will move in. Then we get to paint the old house (inside and out), and replace the carpet.

  19. “Are cracks beginning to form in the push for national gun control?”
    https://gunowners.org/alert082119/

    “As you read this, a battle is raging between two camps of White House staffers:”

    ” Some are pushing Donald Trump to stay true to his commitment to protect the Second Amendment.”

    ” Other advisers, like his daughter Ivanka, are encouraging the President and others to push Gun Registration and Gun Confiscation in a misguided effort to pick up Democrat voters?”

    I had forgotten that Ivanka will be contesting the Presidency of the USA with AOC in 2024. Of course, both will be running as dumbocrats.

  20. Then we get to paint the old house (inside and out), and replace the carpet.

    An alternative…. find how much that will cost. Don’t do it, just offer it.

    House sells for X without new paint and carpet. They may be perfectly happy with the existing paint and carpet. And maybe a bit cash strapped, too. Call Stanley Steamer or whoever to clean the carpeting before they move in.

    House sells for Y and the buyer gets to pick the paint and carpet colors….. turn-key customization /after/ the contract is signed. They might pay a bit more but it’ll be all like new.

    [shrug]

    I don’t know how folks act at your price range. I know we bought this place as a total assumption (a few years of back taxes and six months or so of house and land payments) (they left closing with $270, that month’s truck payment). It was a filthy. No bugs or rodents, just dirty. They were getting divorced and not nicely.

    Ok, by memory. Prop taxes about $1500/year. House $441. Land $483. Realtor fee. Survey. Lawyer doing the paperwork. About $15,000 or so. Before ripping out the carpet and painting the interior.

  21. I had forgotten that Ivanka will be contesting the Presidency of the USA with AOC in 2024. Of course, both will be running as dumbocrats.

    DeSantis 2024.

    Jeanette Nunez makes sure the FL Governor’s mansion and Supreme Court stays Republican through the *2030* redistricting by winning 2026 as the incumbent.

    FL Dems will continue to shoot themselves in the foot despite having more registered voters than the Republicans.

    As Dr. Pournelle used to say, Despair is a sin.

  22. An alternative…. find how much that will cost. Don’t do it, just offer it.

    House sells for X without new paint and carpet. They may be perfectly happy with the existing paint and carpet. And maybe a bit cash strapped, too. Call Stanley Steamer or whoever to clean the carpeting before they move in.

    That is $25K cost on a $475K house. It will depress the price of the house by $100K. People in this area expect the house to look like new.

  23. ADD: When we close on the new house, I am replacing the windows, painting the interior (maybe exterior also), and replacing the carpet. All contractors. Then we will move in. Then we get to paint the old house (inside and out), and replace the carpet.

    With the old house, I’d pass on replacing carpet, steam clean, and paint only where the colors aren’t neutral.

    The previous owners of our house didn’t even steam clean, but when the appraisal came back $9k light, we didn’t feel bad insisting on a price adjustment.

  24. Closed on a house yesterday. Just over $300k. I’m not really happy with the sq ft but I’m not the hard one to please. Lots of new paint and carpet but they skipped out on some fixes, like a $30 light fixture where there was no doubt a fan/light before. I’ll get to do that. My concern is storage. There is RV parking to the side of the garage so I’m guessing a shed over there. A three car garage would have been better. Nice pool but back yard landscape is some half ass grass and about six queen palms. Soon to be improved. Yank the frickin rose bushes out of the front and maybe transplant my best azaleas from the current house. Prices have been going up here as B’field is one of the more affordable areas of Cali. Could have likely save $25k a year ago.
    Current house as been getting inside paint and some new carpet (every place we looked is getting the same carpet, short cut pile with a mix of black/white/tan. This years hot look, new house has almost the same.)
    Hoping the increase price reflects in our sale too but we will see.

  25. Like I said, I don’t know how folks in your price range act. But yes, half a million for a house and it should look brand new.

    I didn’t say I had a good idea. 🙂

    This place was on the market for two years and not a nibble. Off market for a year, re-listed on Monday and we found it on Tuesday and bought it on Thursday. The real estate guy was shocked. Tho I think most of his shock was that he actually sold something.

    But hey, it felt like home at first sight.

    It’s not fancy. It’s a Jim Walter. “Presidential” model. No tiled hip high baths with Jacuzzi tubs here. But that’s not our thing.

  26. but they skipped out on some fixes, like a $30 light fixture where there was no doubt a fan/light before.

    Better than just wires. Yeah, they took the ceiling fans. Every fixture in this house had one 40w bulb. Except the bath rooms had two.

    Congrats on your new house!

  27. Getting my homeowners insurance for the new house. The lady interviewing me over the phone asked me if I have guns. Then she asked me if the guns are modern or relics. Then she asked me how many. I told her that was none of their business. I have been a customer of Amica for 30+ years. Never before have they asked me about guns.

    She also asked me if my guns were registered. I told her that we do not register guns in Texas. She then asked me if I was licensed and I skipped over that. She then asked me if all of my guns were properly stored and unloaded. I skipped over that also. Good night ! What part of none of your business do you not understand ?

  28. Closed on a house yesterday. Just over $300k. I’m not really happy with the sq ft but I’m not the hard one to please. Lots of new paint and carpet but they skipped out on some fixes, like a $30 light fixture where there was no doubt a fan/light before.

    Congratulations on the new home !

    Yeah, our new house has “modern” door handles and locks. I figure that I will replace those with ORB (oil rubbed bronze) some fine day. And the ceiling fans are nothing to write home about, I like the low speed 60 inch five blade ceiling fans now so I will get to replace those also.

  29. Currently in Lafayette LA for the night. We don’t have to be in Atlanta until Friday so taking our time and not driving as far. Today was only about 250 miles but it wore me out. Mostly from not sleeping well in strange environments.

    Went through a couple of really bad thunderstorms. Some redneck cowboy in his lifted F-350 purposely splashed through a huge puddle on the I-state and drenched my vehicle. Completely covered and could not see for about 3 seconds. The jerk was laughing as he went passed. I hope he gets a spur in a testicle.

    Will leave tomorrow for somewhere between here and Atlanta and stop for the night. So a couple of short driving days. May head to Mobile AL and visit the old navy ships on display. Depends on how I feel tomorrow.

    Had good visits with relatives. BIL’s kids turned out fairly well and are doing fine. Good to see as the parents were a little bit clueless.

    All BIL’s four kids mentioned that they think their father is showing symptoms of dementia so that is not good. They are not experts obviously but for four of them to say the same thing is disconcerting. I see some of the same patterns in my spousal unit. So it may be a family trait and nothing serious.

  30. All I know is to stay away from Meridian. Every trip from TX to SC and where does the car, any car, break?

    Mobile is interesting. I need to go and see Granmama. Ok, her headstone.

    The Library on Goverment St is nice. The cemetery out back is interesting.


  31. All I know is to stay away from Meridian

    Been through there many times. Never an issue.

    I know it takes less time to travel to Birmingham AL than to travel from Birmingham AL. That’s because Birmingham sucks.

  32. Got two pieces of news today, one good and one bad. First, the mortgage got locked at 4.000% instead of 4.125%. $26/month less on the mortgage payment.

    Second, the windows sales dude gave me the dual pane pricing for the replacement windows instead of the triple pane with laminate soundproofing. The price, with installation, jumped from from $11,648 to $16,316. I thought that the first price was too good and am not totally surprised. Also, the four arched windows have to use double pane windows instead of the triple pane laminated windows. Not a deal killer.

  33. Like I said, I don’t know how folks in your price range act. But yes, half a million for a house and it should look brand new.

    What is considered to be worth half a million is awfully fungible right now. Texas appraisal law used to keep a lid on it, but something changed since we bought our house.

    FHA maximums seem to set the floor in hot housing markets, and $200k wasn’t hard to get selling when Obama was handing out $8000 down payment tax credit/loans.

    The Tampa median house price is above $200k, astonishing considering overall quality of construction, especially over the last 15 years. This current everything bubble won’t end well.

    If I’m wrong, just wait a few years, when the toll roads run up 183 to 29 and Lampasas and Burnet are Austin exurbs. You’ll have a $500k house without breaking a sweat.

  34. Like I said, I don’t know how folks in your price range act. But yes, half a million for a house and it should look brand new.

    What is considered to be worth half a million is awfully fungible right now. Texas appraisal law used to keep a lid on it, but something changed since we bought our house.

    Just stop the Yankees and Californians from moving here and the prices will stop jumping. I sold my last house in 2013 to a number one son from California for cash. He got his cash wired from mainland China when he made his offer for the house. Out of the 40+ offers for the house, that offer stood out because he had cash and he offered $10K over asking price.

  35. Just stop the Yankees and Californians from moving here and the prices will stop jumping. I sold my last house in 2013 to a number one son from California for cash. He got his cash wired from mainland China when he made his offer for the house. Out of the 40+ offers for the house, that offer stood out because he had cash and he offered $10K over asking price.

    China put a lid on cash transfers out of the country to cut down on money flowing to US real estate, beyond the control of the Mainland government.

    I saw it all the time in Vantucky — Number One Son from the Mainland buys a house as close to a major international airport as he can manage. Wife, kids, and parents live in the house while the breadwinner returns to China to continue working until the SHTF. When the chaos begins, Dad rolls the dice that he can get the last flight out. If not, kids grow up as political refugees in the US and parents are safe while Number One Son spends 20 years in “reeducation” before his organs are harvested for a genetic list transplant list match in Europe.

    Ain’t Internationalization grand?

    Half the houses in my neighborhood were that exact domestic arrangement. My mother-in-law was always upset that none of the Chinese neighbors would talk to her out of fear that she was a PRC intelligence agent.

    (My mother-in-law … the spy. Now *that* is funny.)

  36. Adams, Douglas. Summary of earth. “Mostly Harmless”

    Ah. I never read Douglas Adams hitchhiker stuff. Started it once and could never get into it so I bailed in the 3rd or 4th chapter.

  37. If I’m wrong, just wait a few years, when the toll roads run up 183 to 29 and Lampasas and Burnet are Austin exurbs. You’ll have a $500k house without breaking a sweat.

    Paul’s got 10 ? 20 ? 40 ? acres. At a quarter million per acre, he is a future land millionaire.

  38. Paul’s got 10 ? 20 ? 40 ? acres. At a quarter million per acre, he is a future land millionaire.

    I’m not kidding. It is our business to know where toll roads are going. Leander would be even more built out but their schools aren’t great so it is mostly empty nesters buying there.

    Go take a look at the current layout of the intersection where 29 crosses 183.

  39. Leander would be even more built out but their schools aren’t great so it is mostly empty nesters buying there.

    Our schools (Lamar Consolidated ISD) just got rated an A by the Texas Education Agency. Lots and lots of Asians. In fact, I have the number 8 rated elementary school behind my present house that I hope will make it easy to sell my house.

  40. I get school administration telling us that the ratings don’t “capture the full extent of our commitment to Every Child” and that they don’t reflect the reality of our district. If they were GOOD grades, we’d be hearing about what a great tool the testing is.

    n


  41. Paul’s got 10 ? 20 ? 40 ? acres. At a quarter million per acre, he is a future land millionaire.

    My employer at the time almost bought 10 acres of 281 frontage in San Antonio, back in 1996. 8 miles north of 1604. Middle of nowhere at the time, $7k an acre then, probably 6 figures an acre now. If I’d been smart I would have bought it. I’m not smart.

    From the folks who are trying to eliminate your affordable car options …

    82 degrees at night – who are they kidding? Those people have never lived in Texas.

  42. Ours is generally set at 76 year round. During this time of year when the AC can’t keep up, we set it at 73 or 74 to help pre-cool the house. Afternoon temps get to 78F or 79F. My office usually is 80F due to the machines running in it, which is fine as the AC cuts the humidity.

    n

  43. Our schools (Lamar Consolidated ISD) just got rated an A by the Texas Education Agency. Lots and lots of Asians. In fact, I have the number 8 rated elementary school behind my present house that I hope will make it easy to sell my house.

    The middle school in our neighborhood, across from the Mormon temple, is one of the highest rated in the state.

    I’ve half-joked before that the closer the real estate is to the temple, the more desirable it is for hipsters relocating from South Austin with kids. Schools, Republican Congressman, and Mormon neighbors seem high on their priority lists.

  44. Our schools (Lamar Consolidated ISD) just got rated an A by the Texas Education Agency. Lots and lots of Asians. In fact, I have the number 8 rated elementary school behind my present house that I hope will make it easy to sell my house.

    The big downside to having a highly rated school in the Austin area is that if you are an honest citizen and don’t make your child cheat on the entrance exams, the gifted programs in elementary and middle school are dominated by the demographic who cheats as easily as they breathe.

  45. AC – when we are home and on weekends, we have ours set to 77. It drops to 74 at 10 PM and goes back to 77 at 6AM. At 9AM, the setting goes to 82 while we are at work/school, and drops back to 77 at 3:30 PM. Only on the hottest days does the house get up to 82.

    Heat – it stays at 68 24/7. Every once in a while I’ll bump it up to 70 if the conditions make it feel colder than it is.

  46. A/C, when on, is generally kept at around 75F (24C). While it has been a hot summer here in the southern fringe of the Great White North, we just don’t get the kind of heat and humidity Nick regularly deals with. Overnight, we had a cold front blow in. From 90F (32C) yesterday to a high of 75F today with no humidity. Nice, but feels like fall has arrived.

  47. @lynn

    In general, triple-pane windows are available but offer little advantage over modern, low-E double panes, and can be very heavy, requiring thicker framing, not to mention added cost. An alternative approach to increasing the insulating capacity of your windows without replacing them is through an acrylic insert mounted on the inside surface of the glass and attached magnetically to a thin metal frame. This can boost the R value to 2.2 (depending on the air gap specified). It’s less than the best double-pane, but at a significantly reduced cost and reasonably unobtrusive.

    .mg

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