Friday, July 28, 2017

Saturday Already?

Gee...time sure flies when you don't know what you're doing....or something like that.

Still Friday, but I'm posting this at 2200, so it probably won't get read by many until Saturday.

Had a busy week. We had five more couples and their realtors come by to check out the house during the week, and we're having another open house Saturday and Sunday.

No offers other than the one couple that backed out.

 I'm starting to think the listing price is too low, and people are saying "What's wrong with the house?" to themselves. One down the street and around the corner finally sold after 60-some days on the market. It was overpriced at $600k, and finally sold for $550k. It was a bit smaller than our house, but had more "modern" upgrades, like the infamous "Granite Countertops!!!", and some other things. We'll just have to see what happens, but at this point, after going through all the hype the first three realtors we interviewed told us, I wouldn't be completely shocked if we didn't get out of here until next Spring. It usually starts snowing in late September in the Fort Collins area, and my wife really, really, really wants to get moved before the snow flies. Once we're settled in to the place we'll be staying at, we can wait it out until Spring to buy, unless a Really Good Deal comes up. Moving is a big enough PITA, let alone doing it during snow season.

Spent three full days on the Iowa this week, which I'm sure is what made the week seem so short. I went down Tuesday for the Great Ethernet Cable Pulling Project, but I was the only one in the work party that showed up! Turns out we'll be going with WiFi instead of being hard-wired in. I haven't heard what type of WiFi router we're going to be using. Hopefully it will be one with some Ethernet ports on it so the two big PC's we have won't need another card installed in them. The laptops we're using for running the logging programs all have built-in WiFi, so no issues there.

Thursday we had a special event to commemorate the signing of the Korean cease-fire, but band conditions were absolutely horrible. The Solar Flux Index was 68 (that's baaaad!), and the bands were noisy. We made a total of 35 contacts on the three stations we had on-the-air from 0900 to 1600 PDST. We can generally get that many per hour, per station, when the band conditions are "good".

And today I was down there to give a personal tour to my late brother-in-law's youngest son, and his two boys, ages 8 and 10. None of them really understood what they were seeing, in terms of history, but they enjoyed it nonetheless.


Monday, July 24, 2017

First Buyer Backed Out.....

Well....we had an offer at the listing price for the house. Our agent said they looked like good, solid people, and their loan pre-approval was for "up to" $550k. The sad thing was that both sets of parents had co-signed on the loan forms, showing that it's tough for a young couple to buy a decent home in SoCal.

Since the listing price is about $15k less than what my wife is willing to accept, and our agent knows this, and agrees with her that the house is really "worth" the amount she wants (which is what the appraisal came in at), he sent them a letter asking them to come back with "Their best, highest price" they were willing to go as our counter offer.

He just called a while ago telling us that while they loved the house, the price they offered was all they could afford, so their original offer was all they were willing to spend.

He said he thanked them, and wished them luck with the purchase of their first home.

This house is only the second one I've had anything to do with buying/selling, so I'm pretty much in uncharted territory here. The last house I bought was in 1987, and we all know how much things have changed since then, especially in the Krazy Kalifornia real estate market!

He's bringing some more agents and clients by Tuesday (tomorrow) to look at the house, so we'll see how that goes.

I have a Doctor's appointment at 0900, and then down to the Iowa for a "Cable Pulling Party". We're putting in five new Ethernet drops for the Comm Center (FACCON 1), and our CTO who runs the network and all the servers on board will be putting us on our own subnet. We'll actually be on our own VPN, which will give us full Internet connectivity, while keeping us isolated from the ship's various internal networks.

All the networking equipment and servers on board are new, first-class stuff he was able to get donated through his contacts, and the network has ample redundancy and back-up servers (also redundant) for our use, so we should have a very dependable, rock-solid network set up once he configures everything. I was the network admin for our little corner of the ship's network, but I'm turning that over to the guy I asked to be Station Manager, and I've been getting him trained up on that. Besides being really good at radio stuff, my "replacement" is also another computer geek, and we've both been using Linux since the early days.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Open Houses and OFFERS!

Having "Day 2" of this round of open house.

We had about 15 people come by yesterday, and the agent said they all looked like solid prospects.

He also brought by our first offer. It was for the listing price, and my wife is insisting we get $15k more than the listing price. $15k above the listed price is what the appraisal is, and would pay for our moving costs.

Hopefully we'll get some more interested, people today.

I don't how youngsters do it these days. Buying a little house like ours at over $500k just seems nuts to me. The only house I've ever owned (so far...this one is really my wife's) was purchased back in 1987 and we paid $156k for it. I was making about $40k a year then, and along with what my then wife was making, we could easily afford it. That house is worth about $450k now. While the price of the house has TRIPLED, I doubt that the wages of the kind of person who would be interested in it have kept pace.

As the last line of "The Bridge On The River Kwai" says........."MADNESS!"

Friday, July 21, 2017

Open House Again Saturday and Sunday.

Hopefully we'll get some more interested people.

Our Realtor is a really cool guy. He's a staunch conservative, NRA Life Member, and so are the rest of his family members. I was supposed to take the dog out the other day when he had the "mini" open house, but just as I was leaving, a potential buyer walked up, so I took the dog out back. After that person left I started talking to him about firearms and things and another couple showed up, so I dragged the dog out again.

We never did make it to the dog park as we had so much fun yakking away between people coming by to look at the house!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Busy, Busy Week.....

I was happy to go to "work" on the Iowa today!

We had two realtors bring their clients by on Tuesday, and our realtor brought two people by today.

Thursday he's having a mid-week open house from noon to 1500, so the dog and I will head out to the dog park for a few.

He said mid-week showings allow people who work weekends (typically medical, firefighters, and LEOs) to have some time to look at a house and walk around for more than a few minutes. The people that came yesterday were wearing scrubs, and one was an ER nurse, and the other a physical therapist.

He had expected to get at least one offer this week, but the week is drawing to a close, and he hasn't heard anything yet.

I would expect him to want to have an open house again this weekend, but he hasn't said anything about that so far.

I'll talk to him tomorrow about the upcoming weekend and see what he wants to do....

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Second Open House Today. Be Back Around 1500 PDST! **UPDATED**

We had 40 people yesterday. 10 were neighbors who were "just curious", 10 were "lookie-loos" who just like looking at open houses, and 20 were people definitely looking to buy.

Our agent is off today, and is taking his wife out for the day to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

His Mom will be doing the open house today. She's been selling real estate here in SoCal for 35+ years, so she's seen several bubbles, where the prices went nuts like they are now. It should be interesting to hear what she has to say....

***********************************************************************

We "only" had 15 people come through today, BUT...the first couple that came through while I was still there had their realtor with them, always a good sign. If their realtor is taking them around to open houses, it's almost a sure bet they're seriously looking to buy. I had just finished showing "Mom" the house and explaining some of the finer points she didn't know, like we have a whole house water filtration/softener system, and every room is wired with an RG-6QS cable and a cat 6E Ethernet cable, when they came in. The husband wanted to see the garage, and I asked the realtor if it was OK, she said sure. He liked the solid work benches, and the fact I was leaving the four 48" LED overhead light  fixtures I'd put in last summer when I was doing all the work on the Supra.

Our realtor's Mom (a VERY cool lady, BTW..) said that she had two couples come by who had been here yesterday, and they came back with their realtor, and were asking fairly detailed questions about the house and neighborhood, another good sign that we have some pretty solid buyers checking the place out.

After I got back today (little Pebbles has had TWO days in the dog park! YIPIEE!) I spent some time talking with her and she said if we didn't at least get a couple of offers this week she'd be surprised, which pretty much echoed what her son told us yesterday before he left.

SO....I'd hazard a guess to say the house will sell, and fairly soon. We're priced very fairly compared to some of the other houses in the immediate area that have slightly bigger lots, but the people are asking $65~$75k more than we are, and those house have been on the market for 4 weeks or longer.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Open House Today.....Be Back Later

The agent dropped by and is out running around putting up his signs.

The open house is from 1100~1500, so we have to be out of here. We're taking the dog to the dog park, but before we do that  we have some "Hazardous Waste" to drop off in San Pedro.

Got some used motor oil that has water in it, so the auto parts stores won't take it, along with some old paint, RoundUp, bug spray, oven cleaner, and junk like that.

The wife would have taken it in to the Long Beach place, but they're only open one weekend per month!

Se y'all after about 1530 PDST!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Another Step Closer....***UPDATED***

Well, our little place is now listed.

The listing price is what the agent told us, slightly under the appraisal, and he expects "solid" buyers will bid it up a bit to meet the appraisal.

LL stopped by today to pick up the big Pelican case I bought years ago when I had vision of operating Maritime Mobile from the Sea Launch ship I was on. It turned out that getting a Reciprocal Operating Permit from the ship's flag country was extremely difficult, and those plans never happened. I was happy to see the case going to somebody who'll use it!

And the dog treated him like she's known him for years.

Today I got the wireless doorbell working again (dirty battery contacts), changed out the old, worn-looking toilet seat, replaced the switch for the ceiling fan in the Radio Room, dragged all the "eWaste" down to the collection place, and did the vacuuming. There's only one street-view photo of the house, as the photographer had to back out Wednesday, and won't be here until Friday afternoon.

Saturday is the first open house, from 1100 to 1500, so we'll take the dog to the big dog park, and let her run until she drops!

The photographer and agent just left. They were here for a couple of hours taking lots of pix.  The pix will be processed (he shoots in RAW format) and posted with the listing later this afternoon.

The agent also want a second open house on Sunday, also from 1100 to 1500.

Looks like the dog will get a lot of park time this weekend!

Monday, July 10, 2017

"Deep Cleaners" Here Today / Other Progress **Updated**

Finally got the radio room suitably "emptied" in preparation for the cleaners to take a whack at it.

They've been working in the kitchen for several hours, and are almost done in there. Next is the "master" bedroom, then the bathroom, then the front bedroom, bathroom and finally Radio Central.

Oh, and the living/dining area.

They're very thorough and "bubbly/perky" young ladies.

The gardener came again today with his big truck, and hauled away a ton of trash. The city also came by and picked up all the stuff we had by the curb. Long Beach gives you three "Large Item" pick ups per year, and we still have two we can use.

I think the cleaners will have to come back tomorrow, as it's already 1210, and considering how thorough they are, I just don't think they'll be done by 1700. The quote was for "Monday and possibly Tuesday", and I'm guessing they'll need at least part of Tuesday to finish. I also have to drop, disassemble, and pack the tripod/mast my discone is on, and the mast on the side of the house holding the weather station and another small VHF/UHF vertical antenna.

The photographer is coming by on Wednesday, and the house gets listed Thursday.

The realtor told us the market in this part of town is "crazy hot", and he had the sales figures to back it up. He thinks we should get some good, solid offers the first week, and it should definitely be under contract well before the end of July.

That means we'll be outta here by the end of August, possibly the middle of August.

I have quite a few items in the garage that the movers will not ship, so I'll either rent a trailer to pull behind the Jeep, or a big "Box Van" like I rented when I moved here to Kaliforniastan some 35 years ago.......

-More to come-

Holy smokes, the house positively sparkles! 

They even managed to make Radio Central here look good.

My hats are off to the young ladies who showed up on time, didn't take any breaks, and worked seven hours straight to clean the house.

We not only paid them the agreed upon price (which my wife haggled down before they came), but we also tipped each of them $20 each.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

House Sale Progress

And progress it is!

We got the "Yard Beautification Program" finished today, and I must say, with all the fresh exterior paint the house looks pretty nice.

Only room left to do is the Radio Room, and that's about 1/2 cleaned out. Should be finished by Sunday night.

The "Deep Cleaning" specialist is coming Monday morning, and will be finished by Tuesday.

The photographer will be here Tuesday afternoon / Wednesday morning, proper light and weather permitting, and the house goes on the market Thursday.

Our realtor is confident the house will sell in 14 days, with escrow taking 20~25 days.

Looks like we'll be outta here by the middle of August, end of August at the latest.

Back to boxing stuff up.....

Friday, July 7, 2017

Go Read This....

I'm up to my you-know-what in alligators toady tearing down the radio room so we can get it painted. It's the last thing to really do in the house, and the wifely unit has been.....well, let's just say "NOT Nice" about it.

SO....Please go read this over at Angel's place. You'll love it.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Shock and Awe" In Long Beach

Good Gravy......

It's one continuous rumble out there, punctuated by the much louder pops, bangs, and BOOMS of stuff being set off in our little subdivision.

It's 2130 now, and this has been going on for about two hours.

I can see where a Vet with PTSD could get rattled by it.

So much for all the "NO Safe and Sane Fireworks in Long Beach! ALL Fireworks Are ILLEGAL!" signs that popped up (no pun intended) in the last week.

It sounds like the WWII movies where the Navy is shelling a beach somewhere.....

Happy Independence Day!



IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Sunday, July 2, 2017

RIP Bob Despain

We've lost one of cherished shipmates on the Iowa.

My fellow crew member Bob Despain passed away the other night.

Bob was on the crew of the USS Hoel, DD-533, as part of Taffy 3 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the Battle Off Samar. The Hoel was the first ship sunk by the IJN, and absorbed an amazing amount of punishment before she sank.

The Daily Breeze had an article in 2013 about the reunion of the USS Johnston-Hoel Association, which was held on the Battleship Iowa that year.

I was honored to have known Bob, and had him autograph my copy of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" which details the Battle Off Samar and the fate of Taffy 3.

Godspeed, Bob