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Admiral JC

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Houston, we have nature. [May. 9th, 2007|10:08 pm]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |contentcontent]

Tonight I caught a black rat snake in my workshop. I was putting away the battery charger for the lawn mower and went to pick up my weeding gloves so they would be in the garage when I needed them tomorrow evening. I took a step toward the stack of half-unpacked boxes and saw the snake dropping in between two of them from the corner of my eye. A few steps closer and a moment to be sure and indeed, it was a small (about 30 inches) black rat snake. (I wanted to make sure before I grabbed - I was pretty sure it wasn't anything dangerous, but grabbing a black racer, which looks a lot like a black rat snake, will get you bit in about ten places in the space of as many seconds. Black rat snakes are, in general, much mellower.) It has been years since I have seen one of these guys in the wild (is my workshop to be really "the wild"?), but I'm still pretty good at catching/handling them. The snake and did a little bonding and I took him to the other side of the back yard fence and sent him on his way.

I actually don't mind him being in the shop - it will keep the mouse population under control and they will stop building nests in the drawers and in my stuff. However there is a momma bird trying to hatch a clutch of eggs in a nest she has built in a hole in the interior wall (a swallow, I think - I know my snakes much better than my birds). The nest will get cleaned out once she is done with it. So I let the snake know he was welcome in the garage once the birds were gone.

(I need to remember to talk to faeflitt about this. While I find a stumbling across a snake in my workshop exciting... my former city-girl-wife is still adjusting to sharing our living space with this much nature. I suspect a large black snake jumping out at her from a random stack of boxes would be a panic attack at the minimum and quite possibly a heart attack at the extreme.)

Snake taken care of and it being too dark to continue with yard work, I decided to take my ice water and go appreciate my pond. We have at least four species of frogs/toads living in the yard that I can identify by call (spring peepers, grey tree frogs, green frogs, bullfrogs and the occasional toad). I'm pretty sure we have a turtle or two. (We definitely had a fully grown american snapping turtle in the lagoon - I know because we found him during the home inspection. I think the ice stroms the past winter were too much and he froze. But, if there was one, there are probably others. Snapping turles are fascinating creatures.) Plus squirrels (lots of squirrels and they all taunt Clare in the morning), tons of red-wing blackbirds, turkeys and who knows what else. Every time I step outside seems to bring a new discovery. I haven't seen any box turtles on the property yet, but I am sure they are here.

Plus, the smell and feel of the place is much like my Grandparents' in Nebraska. I feel at home here. No regrets about moving to Missouri.
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Bank of America, you can suck it! [Feb. 9th, 2007|11:56 pm]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |enragedenraged]

Dear Bank of America,

Congratulations on surpassing BankOne as the most awful blood-sucking, baby-raping, bunch of asshats I have ever had the displeasure of doing business with. Trying to jack my interest rate to 28% via a small circular was a pretty good step in the right direction. But, tonight, I called you and the polite man helped me cancel all the cards you have managed to acquire over the last couple of years. It was a nice surprise to be informed that if I wanted to make a payoff transfer over the phone, it would cost me additional fees. Informing the nice man that this was a load of crap, he suggested I do an internet transfer and provided me with payoff numbers that are good through Feb. 14.

Trying to log on to your website, I am confronted with a blank screen. When I call back, the less nice woman informs me that the online system is currently down and won't be back until 2:30 PM EST tomorrow. And that if I want the payment credited by the 14th, it has to be set up tomorrow because you have built in a three day waiting period on accepting online payments.

Has it possibly occured to you that I might have better things to do than jack around because you can't do online maintenance of your internet system? While I was planning to start getting nicely inebriated at 2:30 EST tomorrow, I will find a way to get this set up. I refuse to do deal with you any longer than I have to. You suck.

To put it succinctly, Bank of America, you can bite my ass. A lot.

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A recommendation... [Feb. 9th, 2007|09:27 pm]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |pleasedpleased]

I generally subscribe to the notion that as consumers we vote by rewarding good service with continued business and recommendations and punish bad customer experiences by refusing to contribute to the profits of the offender.
With this, I would like to give a very enthusiastic recommendation for our Seller's Agent. In my opinion, he went way above and beyond in terms of helping us and getting the house sold. He helped us load the moving van when we fell behind, he maintained the property at his own expense after we left, and he and his wife spent two weekends repainting the front room when it became obvious that the coral and turquoise color scheme was intimidating buyers (silly us for buying in a part of Albuquerque inhabited by people who want to avoid southwest heritage). On top of this, he is one of the few agents left in Albuquerque that will actually offer fiduciary duties to his clients and guarantee his financial estimates.

(The current trend in NM real estate is that agents go out of their way to avoid any responsibility for anything that might happen as part of the buying/selling process.)

That said, I would like to enthusiastically refer anyone who might need real estate service to Roy Hacker of Interwest Realty. It really was a different and rewarding experience dealing with him. I believe Roy is primarily a Seller's agent (he sold us the Primrose House and then I chose him to sell the same house because I was impressed with his stand-up attitude when an undisclosed water leak caused the kitchen ceiling of the Primrose House to fall in two weeks after the sale - our Caldwell-Banker estate couldn't run away fast enough). I was not disappointed. You can email me for the phone number or look it up yourself.
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We are here... [Aug. 14th, 2006|05:52 pm]
Admiral JC
[Current Location |UMR Library]
[Current Mood |exhaustedworn out]

After much hellish packing and driving and unpacking, we are now safe and sound in Rolla. Still don't have good internet at home or in the office. More updates eventually, but at least the first phases are done.
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Progress and fruit needs a new home... [Aug. 3rd, 2006|11:25 am]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |productiveproductive]

Wow... the house is getting more and more moved out of. faeflitt found new homes for the Adagio the Bathtub Kitty, the kingsnake and the two rat snakes last night. I got all the mead out of carboys and into kegs for transit. My first thought was that most of the mead wasn't worth saving... but at least the plum melomel has some nice overtones with a lot of higher alcohol bite which may mellow with aging. I'm not using the kegs for anything else, so we will let it age under CO2 and see what comes of it.

The X is clean and the Van will get a new owner tonight. We've been sleeping on a mattress on the floor since Monday. I think everything that belongs to someone else has been returned. Moving day really is drawing close.

As a reminder, we will be having the informal going away get together this Saturday at our place. Starting about 7ish. I'm going to grille up all the remaining meat in the freezer and try to drink down the beer/mead stocks. Everyone is welcome. Food/drink donations are ok, but don't leave anything behind.

I have a bunch of fruit in the freezer that needs a new home. I think it is about 25 lbs of Dutch Plums from baronj's parents' tree and about 5-6 lbs of cherries from my trees. The cherries are from last year's harvest and the prune plums are from the year before that. All the fruit has been pitted. It will end up in the garbage on Wednesday if no one claims it. I will probably have other things for claiming on Saturday.
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Owwie! [Aug. 2nd, 2006|11:18 am]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |draineddrained]

Apparently, I am not as young as I used to be. Yesterday, I got a surprise call from the Roofing company saying that they could look at my roof in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the car was at faeflitt's office. A little finagling later I decided to simply hike over and get it. A 45 minute walk later and everything was taken care of. Today, my left ankle is telling me it is upset (this is the one that has pins in it from a bad auto accident six years ago). I am really stiff today and that is making it hard to want to work on anything... which is bad, because I have a *ton* of things to do before we pull out next Wednesday.

In one sense, I feel good that a long walk doesn't scare me. On the other hand, I should get out more - because I shouldn't be this stiff just from walking from my office at University and Central to her office at I-25 and Menaul. Of course, I also did a lot of weed-pulling last night as well... so maybe it is just the combination.
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Pucker up, buttercup [Aug. 1st, 2006|10:50 am]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |amusedamused]

faeflitt forwarded this to me. Rather on a par with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, perhaps even a bit more subtle. You can probably get some people about half-way through it before they realize they are being mocked.

Come Kiss Hank's Ass

The video version isn't quite as good, but worth a gander.

Oh, and for those few of you who haven't seen it yet:

Keep Your Jesus Off my Penis
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D-Day is set... [Jul. 31st, 2006|11:00 am]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |anxiousanxious]

Everything is in place, or in progress to come into place. faeflitt and I will be rolling out of ABQ next Wednesday (the 9th). This means, that in addition to getting all the last minute stuff done, it is time to start saying our goodbyes. We will be at Movie Night on Friday at Casa Imbri 2.1. On Saturday will be opening up the mostly empty house for anyone who wants to come by, help us drink down the beer and wine collection, and just have a quiet (or maybe not so quiet) evening of goodbyes. Probably starting around 7ish. Also, all my lunches between now and then are available.

On other notes, it is *incredibly* frustrating to come home at 10 pm to discover that the water leak you thought you had fixed was not, indeed, fixed, and so in addition to moving prep, and trying to sell the house, you have to call the roofers and work in replacing several square feet of ceiling drywall.

I pick up the refurbished Xterra today ($3K of misc. maintenance/repairs *shudder*) and then this week is devoted to packing, repairing the ceiling, and trying to get a paper finished so I don't have to worry about it in my new job.
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Day 5 and all is well... [Jul. 27th, 2006|10:11 pm]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |busybusy]

We have a house... it isn't much - an older 1 story, 2 bedroom without a garage and with window A/C. However, they are willing to do a 6 month lease and let us have our kitties. Plus the rent is cheap enough that if I have to eat 3 months, I really don't care. So pretty much everything planned for this trip has been accomplished. We are go for liftoff in two weeks. I still have to figure out office furniture, what computer(s) I want, and rent a storage unit... but those are all small details at this point.

Mexican food here is scary... not as scary as in SC (the Chile Relleno actually was a stuffed something. I think it was a poblano, but it had been frozen and refried and had lost most texture)... but still scary. Very greasy and with a wierd almost white-sauce covering. Blech.

The local shire looks to be cool. I think we shall find a good home in the SCA here. As a side note, I maintain my belief in the conservation of personality types. The names may change, but some of the archetypes do not.

Ok... off to bed... must be up early to help with the closing part of Nuke Summer Camp. If all goes well, we plan on visiting Meremec Caverns tomorrow afternoon.
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Trip Day the 3rd [Jul. 25th, 2006|10:06 pm]
Admiral JC
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

Productive day today... pre-employment paperwork is 90% complete. We have a PO Box and local bank accounts at a reasonable looking local bank. I just have to take the box address and a void check back to HR to finish the last 10% of paperwork. faeflitt visited the music center today and may have found a teaching position with them. All-in-all, lots done.

Housing, on the other hand, looks like it is going to be a pain. Finding a 2-3 bedroom house with a short-term lease when you have cats at the beginning of the school year translates to not being able to be really picky. We drove by one place today that looked like a possibility and shall see the inside tomorrow. Honestly, since we are only likely to be there a few months, as long as it isn't nasty smelling, in a dangerous part of town (I don't actually think Rolla has a dangerous part of town), or condemned - it will probably be OK. It just needs to be big enough that each cat can carve out their own territory, lest they all disappear in a big ball of fur and feathers. (Major cat fight the day before we left - the changes in the house and the continued disappearance of furniture seem to have convinced Allegra that she doesn't need to be on the bottom anymore... so she and Clareton teamed up and chased Precious into a corner and let her have what for. End result - large tufts of black fur floating through the air and four growling and pissed-off kitties.)

I think I am beginning to get the hang of navigating Rolla - it is a small town, so the roads don't really follow a grid - more like twisty, intertwined circles... but we were able to find rental properties pretty easy today, given a street address and a map. Running from one side of town to the other takes about 10 minutes max. The only movie theater in town (with 4 screens) is right across from one of the numerous baseball fields, which is right next to a skate park, a pond, and the city rec center - which is very modern looking and comes complete with a mini-water park. We have seen two fabric stores that are not Walmart, an embroidery shop, as well as a Staples, several auto-parts stores, a Kroger, and a boat shop. I think we are going to be just fine here.

Supposedly, Wednesday is the day all the new rental listings come out, so tomorrow morning we shall pick up a paper, visit the Nuke Department to say "Hi!" and then hit the road. Hopefully we can squeeze in a tour of the UMR Reactor in the afternoon. Sexy Cherenkov radiation and all that. Possible visit to the local shire's fighter practice in Waynesville tomorrow night.

Final note - when you are putting together your Nigerian scam IM account, at least take the trouble to put some fake information in the profile and avoid putting the word "SCAM" in your ID.
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