Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Colorado Trip "AAR"

Only been back an hour or two, and still getting normalized, but I thought I'd dash this off for all my friends who are pulling for us in our escape from The People's Demokratik Republik of Kaliforniastan.

First off, little Noah and The Kids are doing well. He's still on supplemental Oxygen, and has a monitor connected to him, but the monitor stays consistently at 95% or above. They "test" him a couple of times a day, per instructions from the NICU, by turning off the O2, and seeing how fast and how far the monitor drops, and then turning the O2 back on. The monitor goes to the NICU weekly, where they download the data from it for analysis.

I forget what the exact parameters are, but they say he's getting better, and will most likely be off the O2 for good in another month or so, but that's entirely up to the Doctors at the NICU.

The "bachelor" apartment in the "shop" building on the property where The Kids are living should be finished in the next month, and that's where we'll be staying when we first move to Fort Collins after we sell this place, and pack up what's left.

It'll be good for the kids. as Grandma #2 will be on-site to take care of Noah while his Mom and Dad are at work.

And of course, Diamond, Coco, and Obie went completely nuts when we got there, and took a couple of days to get used to having us around again. No idea how they'll get along with Pebbles when we get there, though. I think she and Diamond will become fast friends, but Coco gets on this "Alpha Dog" kick every so often, so we'll have to watch that closely. Obie is a complete unknown.

Our in-laws (Noah's other grandparents) are doing great, and it was fun catching up on local news with them while we were there.

The house search is progressing, and my wife has come to grips with the reality of the market in Fort Collins and the surrounding areas. Things I've been telling her for the last two years that were completely ignored coming from me were magically accepted as carved-in-stone facts after the Nice Young Guy real estate agent we spent some time with on Sunday told her the exact same things, and then complimented me for "having a good handle on the local market while living in another state".

She also significantly increased the price cap on properties to search for after FINALLY coming to the grim (for her) realization that we would NEVER be able to buy something that meets her criteria by using only the profit from the sale of this house.

No.....Freaking.....Way would we be able to buy a place with $270k.

Just aint gonna happen.

So now we're looking at the $400k and under market, and there are some stunning places available in the price range.

Older, established neighborhoods with big trees, 12,000+ sq ft lots, and a pride of ownership in the houses and neighborhoods that just shows.

As we were driving through some of the neighborhoods looking for addresses, or just gawking at the houses, people would wave to us! Not shake their fist in a "Get out of here!" attitude, but a big "Howdy neighbor!" kind of wave.

I think we're going to enjoy living up here......


  1. That new neighborhood certainly sounds promising. :)

    1. Yeah, the area out off Hwy 14 (Mulberry) by Interstate 25 is quite nice. Older (late 1970's) homes, BIG trees, and what appear to be friendly neighbors.

      Raising the wife's price cap definitely open, than we were able to find before.ed up more homes, in nicer areas

  2. Sounds like 'mostly' good news, other than house prices... sigh

    1. Yeah, but whatcha gonna do?

      The stuff we're looking at that's listed for ~$380k was ~$300k two years ago. Still, her raising our max to $400k has revealed that we can get a REALLY nice place on about 1/2 acre for under that.

  3. Lord, $400,000 would buy you a house on the lake here in North Georgia.

    Sounds like it was a good trip and you learned a lot from it. You have to have facts to plan right, so it was money well spent. I'm sure it did you good to get out of the PDRK for awhile and spend time with family.

  4. Several of the houses at our new price point are very close to a "private" lake. It's costs like $40/month to gain access to the lake, and I'm not sure if it's worth it. Our in-laws always go to the Horsetooth reservoir, so that will be our lake to fish and boat on.

    The flight was free, as she has tons of frequent flier miles, so it only costs us for the hotel and rental car.

    Hopefully the next time we go there it will be to stay. We're getting within 90 days of gettin' outta Dodge!

  5. Um,,, I need some radio stuff, what's your member name on ebay? All the DrJim variations look like buyers and not sellers.....


    1. What are you looking for?

    2. Mid-80's transistor based gear, mobile, desktop, maybe antenna analyser, antenna switches, all the bits and pieces...

      I've got 2 FT-847s, one on the desk, one destined for digital modes, but I need another antenna tuner. maybe a demux for the vehicle, or small tuner, for my FT-9800, tiny tnc for APRS?

      Tuner for an end fed or random length wire antenna for field use on HF, anderson power pole connectors and crimp set,

      All sorts of stuff....

      You did say earlier that you were mostly getting rid of projects in various stages, and (I think tube gear) but I don't have room for more projects, despite wanting to do more cool stuff....

      OH, a good signal generator, or radio test set....

      Basically, I'm building out a test bench and my shack with older used gear from estate sales mostly, and always looking for bargains.



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  6. Yikes, completely forgot lightning protection!

  7. Ummmm...the only piece of *working* "Mid 80's transistor gear" (which I totally forgot I had until just now!) I have at the moment is an Icom IC-202 2 Meter multimode radio.

    The rest of what you're looking for I only have in "onesies and twosies" for my own use.

    My test equipment is NOT for sale, as I couldn't possibly replace it for what I paid for it, and thank God my wife understands that. Took a couple of years, but I finally pounded it in to her that an oscilloscope (to me) is another tool, just like those two big rollers out in the garage!

    I've got two TNC's, an AEA PK-900 (NOT for sale), and a Kantronics KPC-3 Plus, that might or might not be for sale. It's such a small thing that I can "smuggle" it past my wife, who is pushing like crazy to "get rid of all that BIG stuff".

    I've got a homebrew version of Lew McCoy's "Ultimate Transmatch" which is built like a battleship (and I should know!), but would probably cost $75 to ship to TX.

  8. Well I certainly understand not selling test equipment!

    I'll keep up my current strategy of looking at estate sales.

    I've done well at a couple and been frankly astonished at what people were asking at a few more. $3k for an antenna and tower is about $3500 more than it's worth if you are getting a house ready for sale. Doesn't really matter what it cost new.

    I went to a sale this weekend that advertised 'tables of Hamm (sic) gear' and an antenna. I drove an hour to see it, and it was mostly Heathkit, with one Kenwood tranceiver priced at almost double ebay, with no guarantee of working condition. The other prices were all way high too. The guy used his gear, so it probably worked, but old Heathkit might never have worked! There were very few of the sort of 'bits and pieces' that I need to fill in the gaps and wish list in my shack. And it would have all fit on one table at a normal sale.

    I like the older bigger gear as there is a chance I could fix it vs modern stuff with all surface mount and tiny components. And, like most hams, I like a bargain :-)

    Thanks for the response,



    1. N/P, Bill! I hear you about the prices on used Ham gear. As Rick Harrison (the pawn shop guy) would say on TV, "Just because it's 'old' or 'rare' doesn't mean it's worth a ton of money"!

      I've seen filthy, busted up gear that's missing knobs and worth maybe $75 advertised for $500. I've also seen pristine, good quality gear worth several hundred $$ advertised for $50.

      I've seen stuff dirt cheap at the local swap meet that I knew I could sell on eBay for five times what I paid for it, and that's what I did.

      I've also bought items for $10 at my radio club's "White Elephant Sale" and sold them for $200 on eBay. One person griped about it, and said I was "stealing" money from the club. I asked him why he didn't bid on that item, and he said that even though the item was a "piece of junk I wouldn't carry to the trash", he still thought I was "stealing" from the club!


      And I've seen items on eBay for peanuts that I knew would sell for LOTS more at the swap meet. I didn't do that because I'm not a "seller" at the local radio swap meet.

      I've got an eclectic mix of tube type gear, 80's/90's solid-state gear, and up-to-date SDR radios here. Everything from Hallicrafters to Kenwood, Drake to Yaesu, and Elecraft to Flex Radio Systems, and a bunch of homebrew "junque".


Keep it civil, please....

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