Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Where in Greensboro is this?

February 18th, 2009 Comments off

I was chatting with a buddy earlier today and I remembered I have some photos of my grandfather from 1942 when he was stationed in Greensboro during WWII.. There are photos of him at a house with a sign “Amelia Apartments” in the background and a street number of 334.. It could have been bulldozed; The photos are from 67 years ago.. Just curious if the place is still here..


This photo you can see the “Amelia Apartments” sign as well as the street number of 334.. My grandfather is the guy on the right.. I have no idea who the other guy is..

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Randomness and Other Randomness

February 26th, 2008 Comments off

So yesterday I was in Hobbes waiting for my Chicken Fingers to finish cooking. (If you don’t know what
Hobbes is it’s this place that only sells Chicken Fingers on Tate Street.. Pretty good I must admit.. I think they took a lesson from Krispy Kreme and mix
in a little bit of crack with the chicken).. The owner of Hobbes had MSNBC on the TV; MSNBC is one of many channels I have programmed out of my TV so I
never see it.. I saw a commercial for a personal Tazer on TV? What the hell.. I guess I haven’t watched enough fear-mongering TV in a while that it stood
out to me as a bit fucked up. What’s next? I mean the guys who sell all the crazy hunting knives on the home shopping networks are at least funny and
they could be used for hunting, but this commercial was took the “protect your family with the only non-lethal means of stopping someone”.. I dunno seemed
fucked up to me..

So today I got a call from another head hunter.. This time for a job at Sony Ericsson in RTP (Davis Drive).. I don’t think I can
take it cause they want it filled now and I cant do full time again until May. But once again the head hunters always call me at the worst fucking time..
Right when i have papers, exams, other shit I need to do.. It’s like they know when I am thinking “God I hate this school shit I just want to go back to
work and leave this bullshit behind”.. I am not trying to take the 12 monkeys “they monitor you with something in your teeth” angle or anything but man I
swear.. just one more distraction i don’t need this week at least..

So that’s what’s up with me.. I should be doing shit for school and alas I
decided to blog..

Oh and if you want to waste more time check out Stuff White People Like
- It just proved I am white..

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I’ve been out of the game for so long..

January 8th, 2008 Comments off

How do you find a decent job? I am so tired of hearing folks say shit like “With the education and
experience you have you should have no problem finding an awesome job”.. That sounds so great to hear, but where are these jobs? When I was working at
[Monster Wireless Corporation] there were opportunities abound if you wanted to stay in that industry, but my interests aren’t to go back to the wireless
industry.. I would for some 250k/year contract work in Dubai, but I would knowingly be selling my soul to Satan for tons of money which I am OK with.
Aside from that I don’t have much interest in working in that environment again.. it’s too big, too many employees, far too much politics for me to handle
and keep my sanity, at least it was where I used to work and honestly it left quite a bad taste in my mouth..

Sure I can dream and say shit like
“I’d love to work on something really cool like the $100 laptop initiative for the one laptop one child program”, or “some small startup even if it
bombs”.. The problem is all of those jobs I have no idea where to even find them.. When I lived in Raleigh there were enough nerds around you might be
able to hear about something.. When I was working there was the possibility I would know someone.. Now living in Greensboro where most folks I know are
blue collar or work in banking/finance, and not working I don’t hear about anything.. I am convinced the types of jobs are everywhere out west, but here
on the east coast they are hard to find..

If I look at all it is are super big corporations which I really have no interest in working
for.. Where can I find something I might be the remotest bit interested in?

I’ve toyed with the idea of being an electrician but to get a license
in NC you have to have 2 years experience as an electricians apprentice.. My education or knowledge can’t be used to substitute for any bit of that, so as
a realistic possibility it’s not something I’d put much thought to.. I could do it but I doubt I would last 2 years being someones bitch.. I’ll just stick
to doing work on my house and helping my dad do work on my folks houses..

Any ideas guys? The last job interview I had was in December 1999.. I
don’t have a clue where to look..

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Oh the music you will hear..

November 26th, 2007 Comments off

Over Thanksgiving weekend I went with my dad to see my grandfather.. He’s been living in a retirement
home for close to 10 years now.. My grandmother died earlier this year, and it’s just him now.. He’s either 95 or 96 now.. I can’t remember which.. He
hasn’t been able to hear very well for most of my life, and he can’t see very well either.. He has parkinson’s so he has these tremors in his limbs.. They
don’t seem to be much worse than I remember then 5 years ago.. He still cracks me up though making fun of himself in his old state..

So my
grandfather had been given new roommates over the last few months and they would always die within a few weeks of moving in with him.. Eventually they
decided they would move him to another room.. So my dad asked my grandfather how he liked the new room.. He replied that he enjoyed the view much better,
and how he could see the maple trees and other color of fall.. The last room he was in just looked into a parking lot.. We had some other conversations
about the old days.. The photographs that were on the wall, etc.. Then my grandpa says “You know what else is nice they don’t play that music in this wing
of the building like they do all the other rooms that I’ve been in”.. Mind you there are no speakers in the room, and my dad and I have never heard music
in the facility in the last 10 years they have been there.. Then my dad says to him “Ya know you can’t really hear us talk half of the time, so what makes
you think you can hear music?”.. He then tell us he thinks it was pumped in above the ceiling tiles, and says that no one would believe him anyway.. Then
his final argument is “If I am making up this music in my head, which is possible, why would it be some crap I don’t like? I mean if I am going to make up
music and have to listen to it don’t you think I would like it?”..

Anyway he cracks me up how he can be so joking about getting old and maybe a
little looney.. I thought i’d share that all with you guys.. So i guess the lesson here is if you are in your mid 90′s and you hear music it might be in
your head.. Heh..

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Real Estate Inspection Stuff

October 2nd, 2007 Comments off

Tori asked me some home inspection questions so I figure I’ll just write a long ass blog about what I
look for, and maybe it will be a benefit others as well..

I should preface this all with the fact that I am not a home inspector, and this is a
general overview that skims the surface of what I look for..


When you look
at a house never assume that if it has 3 prong plugs that it’s been rewired.. I lived in a place in Raleigh that had 3 prong outlets in place but the 3rd
prong wasn’t actually connected.. When buying an older house chances are work was done at different times so some parts may be re-wired/upgraded and
others may not be.. My current house shows signs of at least 4 different electrical “upgrades”..

Service Panel /

First I would look at the breaker/fuse system first.. It should be close to the power meter..

You want to see a breaker
panel and not fuses.. A breaker panel is the electrical box with switches.. I put some photos on the right of what you may have.. You want a large
breaker panel.. 200 Amp is what most houses have these days it will have I believe 40 openings for breakers.. You can have a smaller breaker panel say 125
Amps or so from the 50 or 60s.. It will have 20 openings or so.. There is nothing wrong with a 125 amp panel, but it may not meet future electrical needs,
so you would want to replace it one day.. To upgrade a 125 amp panel to 200 amps would probably be around 1000-1500 bucks.. It is no rush though unless
you are popping breakers all the time and the panel is out of space.. If you are not sure of the size, it is indicated usually on the inside door

You may have fuses in your panel if it is an older house.. They can look like the photo to the right, or they can be little glass
fuses with screw threads like a light bulb.. These have to be replaced.. Most insurance companies will not insure a house with fuses and will want you to
upgrade to a breaker panel..

You can also have what are called sub-panels.. These are smaller panels like your main panel in remote locations..
There is nothing wrong with these, but they too will need to have breakers (switches) not fuses.. You might find a sub-panel in a garage, or in an
upstairs section when it made more sense to have 2 panels instead of one to save on wire.. Sometimes they will also put a sub panel next to a main panel
if the main one is out of room..


As far as testing the outlets you can get an electrical outlet tester at home depot or lowes for 7-8 bucks.. If you are getting a
home inspector to look at the house (which you always should) he will have one.. Make sure he/she uses it in every outlet.. It will tell you if it is
properly grounded (3rd prong), or mis-wired in a few very common ways..

If you have 2 prong outlets in the house you will want to eventually swap
them out for 3 prong grounded outlets which will require you to re-wire that circuit.. I am not sure how much that costs, but you will probably have a
bunch more outlets like that and it will probably also be bundled in with a panel upgrade so you are looking at maybe 3-10k depending on how big the job


If you have a 200 amp panel in a house, and all of the outlets are 3 prong and test properly chances are the
electrical system is in A-OK shape.. Anything else could be an expensive repair/upgrade.. It’s just a cost of purchasing a home so just be aware of it
and factor it into your budget when negotiating a purchase price..

200 Amp Breaker Panel – What you want

125 Amp Breaker Panel – Not what you want but

Fuse Box – Not What you

Plumbing / Sewer

You have 2 sets of pipes in your house.. The feed
pipes that your water comes in (1-2 inch pipe) and the sewer line (4-10 inches) that waste returns to the system.. Keep in mind if there is natural gas
in the home you will also have gas piping.. If in doubt trace the pipes from the gas meter and figure out what is what.. Sometimes they will put stickers
on gas pipes to say “gas” but don’t count on it..

Feed Pipes

If the house was built in the 70s-80s you should look for
polybutelene plumbing.. it is a grey plastic pipe that is no longer used.. There was a series of class action law suits over it, and it should be
replaced.. The problem with it is that it springs leaks very easily.. It was one of those new “perfect solutions” that turned out to be a dud.. The pipe
breaks down with certain nutrients they think in the water, and NC isn’t nearly as bad as some states like Texas.. Either way google it and you will know
what it looks like.. It WILL cause problems, and you will want it to be replaced, and it will also be a liability for you when re-selling it..

want your water feed pipes you want to have copper, cpvc, or pex.. We all know what copper pipes look like.. It’s probably the best thing you can have,
but it’s also the most expensive.. CVPC and pex are types of plastic pipes.. They are typically white or off-white.. If you see these you are probably in
good shape..

What you don’t want to see are galvanized pipes.. They are going to be silverish dull metal pipes.. I am not sure when they stopped
using them, but they will rust, and eventually break due to the internal rusting.. They will need to be replaced.. This will be the typical piping of an
older house (My guess is 40s and earlier).. As the pipes rust they will constrict like cholesterol in your veins, and reduce the water pressure.. In the
photo you can see one galvanized pipe connected to copper..

Water Feed from the City
You will also want to find the connection
to the city water supply.. This is the pipe buried in the ground from the water meter to the house.. In my house they re-did the piping inside the house
but left the connection to the city as an old galvanized pipe, and I need to get it replaced.. It’s going to run me around 2500 bucks, so it’s not a cheap
thing.. Even though the rest of my house was re-plumbed the pressure still sucks cause of that feed from the city.. You can also have a polybultelene
water feed.. Typically these feeds are blue.. Not something you want to have.. The best material for the feed from the city is copper, but it’s also the
most expensive..

Most forms of the sewage pipes are OK.. Old house will have cast iron pipes.. They will probably
outlast the house, nuclear holocaust, etc, nothing to worry about.. You can also see PVC pipes these are fine as well.. I wouldn’t worry much with these
as long you don’t see anything really questionable.. Maybe duct tape being used to patch a pipe or something really strange..

Galvanized Feed connected to

Structural Things

Cracks above doors and windows are normal in houses.. This happens when a house
settles and there is little you can do about them.. Don’t worry about these..


Look at the outside foundation
and see if it bows, or isn’t straight.. That is a concern.. Look to see if you have any cracks in the brickwork, as these may be indicators of structural


Look for major sloping in floors.. Some dips are expected in an older house, but you don’t want to be
able to put a marble floor and have it racing for the wall instantly..

Outdoor Stuff

Be leery of houses covered with vinyl..
Especially new vinyl jobs.. I would make the assumption that something rotting has been covered over..

Check the lot to look for puddles of
water, see if there are any water runoff issues..


I’d look at the age of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) and
know that it’s going to be expensive to get replaced (5000 bucks or so) when it’s dead.. So just be aware of it’s age..


home inspectors and get references.. Ask to be present when they are doing the inspection.. Ask them questions about what they are doing and why.. You are
spending 300 bucks or more get your moneys worth! I have let my agents choose my home inspectors with both houses I have bought and I feel like that was
a mistake..

Look at and see if you can find reviews of home inspectors.. They also must be registered with the state, so lookup
their license on the website and make sure they are still licensed..

Sign up for angies list.. it’s a free site that lets homeowners post reviews
of contractors.. it’s quite useful..

Non-Home Inspection Suggestions

Title Insurance – Environmental

When you get title insurance (you should always get it), get the “environmental rider”.. I don’t really like insurance, but
typically it will be a one time cost of less than $100 bucks and protects you from any environmental cleanup that could be required on your property..
The last thing you want to find out is a leaking oil tank on the property from the old heating system, and you have contaminated your yard and the 8
houses around yours.. The EPA could require you to cleanup all of it at the cost of 100s of thousands of dollars.. Even if the risk is low, it’s an
insurance that is worth having..

Home Warranties – Shove them up your agents ass

I wouldn’t get one unless they give it to
you for free.. Hell I might even ask for the money in lieu of a home warranty.. Here are the many reasons I am against home

  • They don’t cover most expensive things if you read the fine print.. HVAC covered up to 2000 bucks if problem not caused by
    rust, so that “when the ac breaks you can get it replaced for free” line i’ve heard from so many agents is total shit..
  • The agents get an
    additional commission on selling them
  • You don’t get to choose the repair person making the repair the home warranty company does
  • You have to
    call someone else to dispatch a repair person to your house
  • They don’t cover existing problems
  • Most have clauses that require you to have
    “maintained it properly” so who knows what the hell that means but sounds like a good way to get out of paying for any repairs they don’t wan

Just take the risk and don’t get it.. Houses require repairs, and sometimes they aren’t cheap.. I feel like home warranties are a
scam to be coupled with loans for under qualified buyers making them think they don’t have to worry about repairs pushing them over their budget and into

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Fuck me I am tired..

September 25th, 2007 Comments off

So I have had this 15-25 page research paper hanging over my head for the last 5 weeks.. It is due
Wednesday at 630pm.. I have been working on it since Saturday (well earlier but I really started on Saturday).. I haven’t taken a shower today and have
been in the lab working since 1030am.. My back aches like hell from the crappy chairs here in the lab, I feel all hot and gross cause my back is sticking
to the back of this rotten chair.. Good news is I am not stressed about my paper.. It should be done by the time I have to go to class at 630 (2 hours-ish
from now), so tomorrow I can just proof it and print it out..

The concept of going back to work sounds so awesome now.. I forgot how fucking
tiring school can be sometimes.. Good thing is it’s dollar beer night at College Hill so I have something to look forward too.. It’s like my carrot on a
stick ; in my case it’s the Miller Lite on a stick..

Categories: Random, Rants, School Tags:

Option A it is.. At least for now..

September 20th, 2007 Comments off

Well it was a 2-3 month contract job working for AT&T in Plano, TX.. They could have paid me more than
I was making before. She kept trying to sell me on it.. “Well you wouldn’t be working for AT&T, you would be working for a contract company”..

She said she would look for more stuff not with AT&T, but given that option I think I would stick with UNCG for now.. Maybe I should count my
blessings that I can get work so easily and not be such a picky fuck, but on the other hand I left AT&T for a reason.. Why would I just walk back into
that environment to be treated like shit for a little bit more.. I’ll at least wait a bit before I whore myself back out like that..

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Everything is happy

September 12th, 2007 Comments off

at my house with the exception of my cacti.. They seemed to love the 90s/100s; they grew like weeds
for the last month or so..

It’s not a trillion degrees outside.. I am wearing jeans.. The high today is going to be 83, and honestly it feels
cool.. Soon I can open the windows again.. I hope this isn’t a fluke.. This might be one of the most miserably hot summers I can remember in forever..

I am so ready for fall.. Mark my words.. After I graduate or get kicked out I am moving to the pacific northwest.. I can’t deal with more heat
like this in the summer.. It puts me in a foul mood.. I think it zaps all my energy.. I have been leaving this state since I was in high school.. So
what’s that.. 12 years? Come on.. Time to keep my promises and move to cooler climates.. Some folks like my friend Dash thrives in this sort of baking
shit.. Thats why he has his eyes set on Miami.. Me on the other hand I like clouds, 50s..

Anyway I am going to rejoice since NC is where I am..

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The ever growing list..

September 9th, 2007 Comments off

I have this terrible habit of starting projects, and if I am not really really interested in them
never finishing them, or at least dragging ass for way too long to get them done.. I can hear my moms condescending rude voice now “You’re just like your
damn father”.. I tend to get a bunch of things going, loose interest, and then choose any excuse (anywhere from quite valid to completely pathetic) to not
finish them.. After enough of these projects get piled up I start to feel really shitty.. Like I can’t accomplish anything.. I am sure it’s true you are
your own worst critic.. Well I am back to feeling really shitty about a bunch of unfinished projects.. This summer I don’t know how many projects I
started.. The list is quite huge..

I am hoping if I make a list (apparently it’s a Scorpio thing or my ISTJ Myers Briggs type or some shit) I might
actually do something..

Project Excuse Real Reason
Patio Too hot
I wake up too late for it to still be under 85 degrees outside
Dining Room Plaster Repair All the sanding might
give Sheila an asthma attack
I hate wall repair more than just about anything
Fixing Beer Brewing Setup Don’t have
I get frustrated trying to get the right parts
Compost Bin Too Hot See patio excuse
up Shed
Too Hot See patio excuse
Wiring in Attic Too Hot in attic Completely valid.. When it cools off I
will finish re-wiring the house in a few hours
Move washer/dryer to basement Too many other

In an effort to accomplish things I am going to focus on a few things at a time, not 20.. I remember
at work they used to say that you can do 2-3 things really well, or if you do anymore you may never achieve anything and if you do then you will probably
do a shitty job at it..

My new goal is to set realistic goals and work on shit one day at a time.. Today for example I am going to do 4-5 hours of
reading for school and then spend 2 hours shoring up the rest of the loose plaster in the dining room.. Then I am going to make dinner, watch the netflix
movie I have waiting, and go to bed..

Monday.. Well i’ll set my goals for Monday tonight when I see how much more school work I have to

Does anyone have any ideas of how to stay motivated/focused? It is really weighing on me and I don’t like being in a foul mood, especially
when it’s one that I have put myself in..

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Resisting the urges..

June 22nd, 2007 Comments off

to become one with the couch isn’t easy.. It’s hot as balls outside, and the AC is about to die in my
house.. So between being done working, abundant downloaded television, Sheila being far far away, and what not it’s been hard to do much useful

I have plenty to do, but alas I screw around watching tv in the morning until it’s too hot to do anything, so I watch more TV to wait until
it cools off.. Maybe spend some time on the internet, blogging about being a bum, and then well it’s evening and it’s time to watch a movie or something..

I can do this for a week or so because it’s my reward for retirement right and it’s OK right? Or am i already slipping very comfortably into my
patchwork shorts.. Maybe I should make a list of shit to do.. It apparently is in my Scorpio nature..

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