December 17, 2008

We're There!

We completed the closing on the new house this past Monday morning. All was going smoothly until our agent discovered that the purchase agreement and the closing papers did not totally agree. After the closing papers were changed to agree with the conditions the builder and I had initially agreed upon, we were out of there is less than an hour!

I can tell you now, she earned her fee! Don't ever try to buy a home without a knowledgeable agent on your side.

When was the last time you entered a business office, and the secretary was using an IBM Selectric typewriter instead of a computer? I was amazed to find that being used in the lawyer's office to complete the paperwork! I had not seen one of those since sometime in the early 1980's!

My internet connection is still not working like I think it should. We are also experiencing a few other problems with AT&T. Our cell phone calls typically go to voice mail now instead of ringing, and caller ID does not work on the house phones.

After a dozen or more calls to their customer support line, I finally found someone there a bit more interested in my internet connection problem than previous techs had been. We went through several changes in the AT&T software used to connect to their network. When that failed to improve connection speed, the tech contacted another desk and found out that several people in my area had reported cell fone and air card connect problems. So, they are sending more techs out to check for problems at the cell tower closest to me.

So, now that we are somewhat settled, have a wreath on the new door and a tacky "Dollar General" Christmas tree sitting on an end table, I will close out this final 2008 blog with best wishes to everyone for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See you in 2009!

December 14, 2008

Almost There!

We close on the new place Monday at 10:00AM! Because we sold the lake house so quickly, and this house wasn't totally complete, we've been living in the motorhome, parked in son's driveway.

The builder was nice enough to allow us to move large pieces of furniture into the incomplete house, and we rented a storage site for smaller stuff.

Now that the house is completed, we have spent the last two nights in it, and I'm worried. It's been very restful, but did you ever wake up in the middle of the night and wonder where the heck you were? It's a weird feeling!

The last time I had that feeling was July 9, 1959. That was the day after I joined the Army and spent my first night on a cot, with 60 other guys in the same room! Now that I think about it, that sensation was probably more of a "whatthehe**amIdoinghere" than a "whereamI" thing.

I have internet service at the new house through AT&T's air card. They actually assign a cell phone number to the card. I'm extremely disappointed in the service, however. In my estimation, I'm not getting a very good signal, and websites load at speeds remindful of early dial-up connections!

Several complaints to AT&T tech support (Ha!) have resulted in the same solution: Remove the air card from the computer, remove the simm card from the air card, reinstall the simm card, put the air card back into the computer, reboot! You can tell that the support personnel are reading from a script. When nothing they suggest helps, their favorite excuse is: "we are experiencing some outages in your area."

Neither DSL nor cable is available in our neighborhood. Although we have some 30 or so families in the neighborhood, it is somewhat rural. None of the companies (AT&T, Centurytel, Charter, etc) want to invest in the necessary equipment to bring DSL or cable tv into our area. AT&T tells me they are working to conclude the merger with Bell South. When that is completed they plan to unveil something they call "U-Verse" nation-wide.
I understand that it will be cable tv, telephone, internet and other services over fiber optic. Shouldn't take them more than 15 or 20 years to reach our area!

What may help my connection to the internet is a new computer. I have ordered a custom built desktop machine from a local store that my son recommended. It will have all the latest "bells and whistles," including a DVD reader/writer. I hope that will allow me to include on a disk all photos and documents that I have attached to the Edward Coffey Project.

A couple of days ago we woke to a really heavy snowfall. We had close to 2 inchs in our area; other areas of Louisiana received as much as 8 inches. It didn't last long, but it sure was pretty.

We woke at about 4AM that morning to the sounds of the grandsons yelling! The youngest, Andrew (Drew), thought he was getting "dirty" from the snow falling on him, and went back inside. The older brother, Cole who is closing in on 6 years of life, was building a snowman, writing on the side of the cars and trying to make snow angels. Quite a site!

The last significant snow fall in south Louisiana was in 1989. North Louisiana, and especially those parishes bordering southern Arkansas, get a little dusting more often. Any snow this far south is quite rare, so we enjoyed it for a few hours before it melted.

My wife and I will be traveling to Texas next week to witness the graduation of our oldest grandson from college. Seems that we just witnessed his high school graduation! He has been accepted into the University of Texas law school, and will begin there in January.

That's all, Folks!

December 9, 2008

Progress!

The electricians and plumbers were on the job yesterday.

All circuits tested out OK, and a couple of new outlets and switches were installed. Heat and air components were commissioned and power applied to the hot water heater. The plumber, who originally cut the holes for master bath basins, and in the progress ruined a $500 countertop, was back to "do it right this time."

I also managed to get the mail box post installed and concreted in place. Today, I will mount the box and, tell the PO to start sending mail to the new address.

The only delay in finishing up the deal between us and the builder is the concrete pad for the Winnebago. We have had lots of rain so far this fall, making it impossible to properly grade and finish the yard or, to dig out and form up the pad. We'll hold out some cash at the closing to make sure that work is completed ASAP.

So, it appears that we might be able to close later this week or, early next.

For future reference, our new address is:
308 Summer Ridge Loop
Sunset, LA 70584
Reminder:
Be sure and check the side bar. There you will find two free downloads by John Taylor.

Also, don't forget the Edward Coffey Project CD. I hope to be able to start making and mailing the CDs again in January.
Hopefully, your Holiday plans are coming along nicely and, the current "economic crisis" isn't interfering with them.

December 4, 2008

We're Homeless!

Almost!

I suspect that if we didn't have a son with a large driveway in which we can park the motorhome, my wife and I would now be officially homeless.  We completed sale of the lake house yesterday, but have not yet closed on new home!

Over the past month or so we have driven more than 5000 miles moving a little bit of our "stuff" each time from the lake house to a storage site near our new residence.  Distance between the two places is about 350 miles, round trip, and we were driving that every other day!  The new house is still under construction - although finishing up fast - so we can't officially move in until final inspections are completed.  Hopefully, that move will be before Dec. 10.

In the meantime we are living in the Winnebago parked in a son's driveway. He and his family live about 30 miles south of our new place.  However, they are on the south side of a moderately large city with lots of traffic.  Navigating northward to our new place through city traffic, and poorly timed traffic signals takes at least an hour. 

During one of the moves I managed to step out of a tall truck, miss the intermediate step and bang my left knee and thigh on a concrete drive.  Problems with a poorly designed (from birth) left ankle compounds the pain problem.  My wife fell to the ground after banging both shins on the tongue of the small trailer we used to move the "stuff."  Fortunately, only her pride was injured!  We have learned that a handful of ibuprofen just before bedtime cures a lot of aches and pains!

I also learned during the final move in which we cleared the lake house of the heavy furniture:  I'm in better shape than my two sons who have mostly sedentary jobs!

Not far from our new home is a very nice senior assisted living facility.  I told the boys that is where Mom an I would move to next.  Both said they would pay for that move.   My comment was facetious; hopefully, theirs was as well!

Hopefully, I'll be back blogging within the next few weeks - perhaps not until after the new year - with information you might find more valuable.

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