Dave

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Obligatory Final Post...

Over 1,000 posts and three and a half years later, it is time to switch things up a bit. If you have followed at all, you understand that just as Eva and I are physically moving, it is time for the blog to take a slightly different direction.

You know, I could just as easily change the name of this blog and continue writing about new things, but as I have gone back and looked at some of the older posts, I somewhat selfishly want to preserve it as it is. And, frankly, I can see myself linking back to certain posts from the new blog.

In spite of the fact that time has limited my ability to update this blog as often as I used to, for some reason, I still get 100 hits a day from people searching for places to eat, looking for places to live, or information on Jennifer Broom's boobs.

Silver Creek 78250 also served as a launching point for several friendships created when readers found the blog searching for information on our neighborhood. Some folks we met in person, others exchanged e-mails and more than a few left comments from time to time, and I do appreciate it. Being a D-list celebrity at the HEB or Home Depot ranks you right up there with the people who spill an end cap full of cans or the shoplifter paraded from the office to an awaiting police car. It isn't as though writing this blog made me any money, but it is nice to have the occasional total stranger walk up and say they enjoy reading it. Thanks to those of you who stroked my ego, even if I looked totally embarrassed or had no idea what to say.

If you have been a regular reader here, I invite you to join us at the new blog called, Living Out Here.
The page looks a little different, but it pretty much will be the same old stuff: Places we go, people we see, things we do and food we eat. The added bonus is, we'll tell you what it is like moving from a cozy sub-division with all the conveniences and amenities you could ask for, to a fairly wide open space where they don't even have cable TV yet! Expect some growing pains!

If you have just found Silver Creek 78250, I invite you to join us at the new place too; but first, I would also ask you to take a few minutes and scroll down to the archives. You just may find a new place to eat or see something that makes you giggle.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fuel Efficient Parking at Best Buy...

I'm not going to lie; I'm easily amused. We had to run into Best Buy today and hit the one on 410 near Ingram Park. A side note: Am I losing my mind or was Best Buy located on the other end of that large strip mall?
Anyway,in order to appear as green as possible, this particular Best Buy has loaded up all the parking spots close to the store with reserved parking. Naturally, you have the required Handicapped parking. That's a law. Of course, you are going to have a few of their Geek Squad cars taking up spaces and certainly, you'll want your Employee of the Month to have a reserved spot. Don't forget a place for Expectant Mother's (by the way - if you are a woman and you some day expect to have kids, do you qualify?) and Mother's with Small Children.
But now they have a new one I had not seen before: Reserved for Fuel Efficient Vehicle. I know, you people who pay way too much for a Prius ought to get something for your abundant car payment.
But this is what I love about San Antonio. This guy was either saying, "Screw You and your Smart car loving tree-hugger-mobiles" or he was just being honest and indicating that compared to his F-350 Dually, this is a fuel efficient vehicle!

Me likey!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mr. Cod: The End...

Yes, yes. We all knew Mr. Cod had closed the doors on their Grissom and Timber Path location. And as you would expect, a new Mexican Restaurant has taken over. Who couldn't see that coming?
The building has been painted a new orange-ish color and now, the Mr. Cod sign comes down!

In your honor, Mr. Cod, I have some real catfish on my mind...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Closer...

The inspection results arrived. As I drove home from work, my wife read the list of findings to me (I assure, by way of speaker phone for nearly hands-free safety). With each new item on the list, and there were several pages worth, I kept waiting for a show stopper. It simply didn’t come and when she got to the end of the list I was exiting Highway 151 headed for Westover Hills Boulevard with a sudden sense of relief; in my mind, not a single show stopper.

Of course, as one hurdle is behind us, the next one approaches. Will the buyers accept our offer to remedy the problems (cash as opposed to labor) or will I be hiring a handy man with a punch list? Either way, all parties will be happy in the end, one way or another. About the time my wife and I had made each other agree to just go with whatever happens, I started realizing that I need to get in gear about moving.

We had all along decided to us PODS or one of the other similar companies that deliver a container to your house, let you fill it at your convenience, then take it to the new home and let you unload it at your convenience. This works for us. But as I started looking at dates and times and such, I could feel the stress level building. I started to second guess the plan. Maybe one POD and maybe a UHaul. Or maybe we should just hire some movers. Finally, my wife looked at me in my frazzled state and said, “Stick with the plan.” That was all I needed.

We may be living out of suitcases and sleeping on an air mattress for our last several days in our home, but in the end, as long as we get the crap we own from one house to the next, it all works out.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pins and Needles: Waiting...

Throughout the process of either buying or selling a house, there are critical points that become stressors to the point of sleeplessness, fidgeting, wandering minds and frustration. When you are both buying and selling a house at the same time, the stress is compounded.

We have gotten past the all important point of agreeing to terms on both the selling of our house and the purchasing of a new one. I assure you, selling involves much more anxiety than buying. The relief of negotiating an offer that doesn’t result in a sucking chest wound is short lived. Next comes the inspection, paid for by the buyer.

In a perfect world, when you pay for an inspector to look at your new home, you get a real hard-ass, detailed oriented inspector with years of experience while the other person paying a guy to look at the house you are selling finds the cheapest most inexperienced slacker they can find who just wants to get paid and get out. And this is where the pins and needles come in.

We found an inspector to look at the home we plan to buy who was very thorough. Looking at the new home we want, he found dozens of things I would have never even seen much less realized were wrong. How people can buy a house and not pay to have a professional inspector look at it is beyond me. As the list of items needing correction added up, my wife and I became more and more anxious contemplating what the list of problems on our current house would look like. The house is 35 years old; there is bound to be something (besides the furnace we just replaced). The items found by the inspector in the new house are all things that should be easily fixed if the seller wants to sell the house – to anybody, not just us. But when you are selling a house that was built in 1976, for that matter, when you are buying a house that is 35 years old, where do you draw the line on “problems”?

At this point, all we can do is wait. At least once we know what the inspector – the one we hope is a slacker – finds wrong with our house, then we can determine how to fix it or risk the deal by suggesting that if they want the house, they’ll learn to live with whatever it is like we have.

I am genuinely hoping that there is not some local blogger who was walking around the HEB around 6:30 PM this evening with a camera waiting for a goofy person to take pictures of. I ran down there to grab some printer paper and it did not occur to me until I went to put my keys in my pocket that I had failed to properly dress myself before leaving the house. I blame my wife for this since she was leaving the house at the same time to go do Zumba and did not alert me to my situation.

So yes, if you were at HEB and saw some dork walking around with his gym shorts on backwards, it was me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekend Notes: Driving School and Other Action...

You might recall when I mentioned getting a ticket not long ago. I know some people are willing to just pay the fine and be done with it and others want to try to sit in front of their computer for 6 full hours and take the course online while simultaneously watching YouTube for half the day. Still others have a need to take their ticket dismissal course in the form of comedic relief. For me, I like my driver's safety the old fashioned way: from a guy who teaches on weekends to make a few extra bucks and understands that his job is to make the 6 hours go by as quick and painless as possible. For this, I recommend the Helotes Driving School. If we could trust those people to get our kids through the mandated driver's training, surely they could teach me to be a safer driver without risking public safety further.

Our instructor, a very qualified guy I'm sure, kept it light and only interjected a few political statements along the way. I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this to him, but he doesn't always use the correct words and phrases to convey his points. One that really stuck out for me was when he was trying to say "by and large" came out as "far and between". I suppose somewhere along the way, he got "few and far between" confused with "by and large". There were several other instances where it was obvious what he was trying to say but different words showed up.

This reminded me of the time I was watching Judge Wapner and there was this guy trying to use big words to plead his case. He told Judge Wapner that on the date in question, it began raining really hard, in fact it was raining profusely. This was all fine but when the defendant in the case started interrupting, things got heated. As accusations flew back and forth, the first guy kept repeatedly telling Judge Wopner that "it was profusely outside." After stating that it was profusely outside several times, Judge Wapner finally pounded the gavel and asked the man, "What was profusely outside?", and the guy responded, "It was." I understand that the plaintiff in the case now teaches driver's ed on weekends.

So anyway, I would like to offer up to any readers in law enforcement that I have served my time and I'd like to thank you for not issuing me any more tickets for the next several years, please.
I don't want to alarm you but our garage is full of boxes. Holy crap, we have a lot of junk. I am told that moving is the perfect time to get rid of stuff but let's be honest; my wife will just buy new junk and I'll just continue to hoard scraps of paper, books I never find time to read and odd trinkets that stack up on my filing cabinets. On our new property, I wonder if I could just charge myself rent for one of those big storage containers.
Hey, have you seen the new Conan Show now that it is on TBS? We have been watching the first few minutes of Sarah Lucero and then switching over to Conan once his monologue starts. I can tell you in all honesty: Leno is dead to me, and while I have an appreciation for Letterman (now that Bush is out of office), I just find Coco to be much funnier.

Have you seen those signs that people - usually high school students - hold trying to get you to go look at a new sub-division or purchase pizza or try a new wing place? They usually find some majorette or an ROTC kid who can spin those signs around like a baton or a rifle just to get your attention. You have to admit, some of them are pretty good at it.
Just the other day, I saw this kid in front of Little Caesars on Culebra and he was going to town like it was a full concert performance. I was at the stoplight and the guy was really good. He took a break during the drum solo.

We went into SmashBurger this afternoon to grab a quick bite. The bacon cheese SmashBurger on multi-grain is pretty good, but the fries (when you finally get them) just don't do anything for me. And since we were done eating our burgers when they finally brought us our fries, they brought us another serving of fries for free. Like I say, the burgers are good. The fact that they have the gonads to serve up hamburger meat that is not fully charred is a bonus.

I know you are probably wondering: Yes, I'm going to start writing in a new blog. I'm working out some of the details right now but as time allows, the theme will be pretty much the same has here - pictures of the food we eat, pictures of goofy things we see, that sort of thing - but the added bonus of watching my wife try to become a farmer on a massive 1.6 acre spread. Hell, I'll be picking up the farmer's almanac just to keep up with her. I'll let you know more about it for those of you who would like to follow us in our move.

Of course, fingers are firmly crossed as we get through the critical steps of inspections - both on this house and the house we intend to buy - and closing.
I'd expect that we'll be able to find some entertaining imagery out there, you know like wild animals and such. Of course, you don't have to go far for that. Just the other day I was going through the drive-thru at Bill Miller's and I saw this friendly guy especially slobbery at the thought of perhaps a chopped-brisket sandwich or maybe a sip of his master's iced tea. Next stop: car wash.
What I'm not sure of is if our new location will afford us the opportunity to spot such fashion statements as demonstrated by the friendly lady who offers the Sunday paper at the intersection of 1604 and Culebra near Alamo Ranch. We can only hope.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Homeless...

Well, not as in a van down by a river, but homeless as in we have a buyer for our house and not exactly sure where we are moving. I know; we are brilliant when it comes to the strategery of moving, aren't we?

Naturally, this could all fall right apart (it wouldn't be the first time in the history of Real Estate that a deal fell through), but we do know that the folks who want our home, really want it bad. And we hope only the best for them in their desire to have it.

You would not be shocked to learn that selling a house isn't limited to receiving money for your house. Turns out there is a lot of fixing stuff that you did not realize was broken. Take for instance the brand new furnace we had to install last week.
Who knew we were living in a death trap that could have blown ourselves to bits and burnt the house down right along with us? Okay, perhaps I'm being a tad bit over dramatic, but a crappy furnace does not make for an attractive selling point, and the fact that we replaced it without hesitation was probably a factor in our prospective home buyers making an offer. And if it falls through, we'll just be warm without burning-up (literally) this winter.

So the obvious question is, where will we go? We have spent hours and hours and multiple tanks of gas driving the back roads of Floresville, La Vernia, Adkins and that general area to the southeast of San Antonio. If you are in the market, I will tell you that there are loads of wonderful homes and properties in the area. But for some reason, we decided to go back and look at some property we had looked at before down I-35 South of San Antonio near Lytle.

There is a development west of Lytle with beautiful homes on 1 acre lots but I kept whining about the lack of trees. Why in the world would we give up the gorgeous yard full of trees we have to move to a nice house on the moon?

The next day we drove back down I-35 and looked at a development a little more cognizant of my need for trees. We looked at a few different houses and thought we wanted to so more. We even considered (briefly) the idea of just buying a piece of land and building on it. Long story short, there is a property with a new house (a spec home) that we have a really good feeling about.

In the meantime, the packing has begun. We are contemplating some serious garage sale and Craig's List action to get rid of items we don't want to pack. You would think that this would all serve as a huge weight off our shoulders, but the truth is, we both know that the stress has only just begun.

Wish us luck!

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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