Let's roll some dice, watch some movies, or generally just geek out. New posts at 6:30 pm ET but only if I have something to say. Menu at the top. email@example.com on Mastodon and @gsllc on Twitter.
Today is the one-year anniversary of closing on my house. While I didn’t move in until the 11th, I became a homeowner on this day. After settling in for a year, I wanted to get cat, but a pipe burst on Christmas Day and flooded the place. I’m going through the long, arduous process of getting it straightened out, so the cat will have to wait. Despite these recent troubles. I really love this house and the neighborhood. It suits me perfectly.
A couple of weeks ago, a website tool started circulating social media. It produces a map of where you’ve lived, where you’ve stayed, where you’ve visited, etc. You can read the legend.
The question everyone asks is, “What’s the difference between stayed here and visited here?” My answer is that stayed here requires an overnight stay, whereas visited here requires that you went there to visit a particular place for the day, then returned home at the end of the day/evening. For example, I went to Wisconsin twice: Once for a day of paintball, and the second time to visit Lake Geneva, home of Dungeons & Dragons. When I was finished, I went home to Chicago. Likewise, I attended a bull riding competition in La Cruces, NM while visiting El Paso. Once the event was over, I went back to El Paso. The bull riding event was more entertaining than I expected, but there was an aspect to it that was even more interesting. That’s a story for another day.
For the record, stopped here means I stopped to use a rest area or eat, and passed here means I drove through without stopping. In no event am I including layovers at airports or flyovers on a commercial flight from one place to another. Otherwise, I could say that I passed here with one of the Dakotas, Wyoming and/or Montana, and Idaho when I flew between Minneapolis and Seattle. I don’t think that should add to my score.
I seem to have a higher score than most of my social media contacts, but the highest I’ve seen is 191. That guy’s been everywhere. My mission remains to stay (here) at the four purple places.
And for the record. . . .
Someone on Facebook asked me, “Why Germany but not Austria?” For the most part, I have no touristy reason for picking one country over the other. I’ve never been overseas. In fact, I’ve never been outside the continental United States except for Juarez (twice), Montreal, and Vancouver. My family tree has four distinct branches: German, Irish, Italian, and Scottish. All but the Italian portion has a nonnegligible amount of Dutch in it. Hence, I chose those five countries. I added Iceland because I hear it’s incredible.
I consider Olney, MD to be my home town, having lived there from 1977 to 1989, and then in nearby Brookeville, MD until 1993. This spans the middle of 4th grade through the start of my professional life after graduation from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!!!). For no particular reason, I found myself looking at it via Google Maps.
Other than a handful of businesses I could count on one hand — e.g., Safeway, the public library, a gas station, and the Olney Theatre — little from childhood remains. If I went back with the intent of visiting my old “stomping grounds,” there’d be nothing there of interest (other than Olney Theatre). My house and elementary school look largely the same, but my frequent eateries Jerry’s Subs & Pizza, Cuckoo’s Nest, Delly Nelly, Highs, Pizza Oven, and Pizza Hut are all long gone. Even the banks are different (one exception), and my middle school burned down. So, I scanned over Ashton, which is eight miles away but a place I frequented after the move to Brookeville. I don’t recognize most of what’s there either.
This is not, of course, a shock. I’ve visited in the last five years or so and noticed many of these changes, and I moved out of there almost 30 years ago. It’s just jarring that it’s so different. Considering how unrecognizable it is, I may as well not even have lived there.
Friday, it was legally official. Today, it’s logistically official. The movers came and moved in all the big stuff. I’m 100% in my new house.
A few points:
Why didn’t anyone tell me I’d be spending so much time at Home Depot? I guess my Realtor did by implication. Among other things, he (Jeff Ganz, Century 21 Real Estate) gave me a $100 gift card to Home Depot, but that wasn’t blunt enough for a dolt like me.
I’ve lived a rather simple life; one without things like cabinets. For the past 8-1/2 years, do you know where my frying pan was stored? On the stove. When I wasn’t using it, I simply moved it to the back burner that I never used. Now I can put it away. Fortunately, my childhood memories told me that there’s often a drawer at the bottom of the oven for that sort of thing, so I have that covered, but you can imagine how little I have covered.
It doesn’t help that I have so much cabinet space that trying to store things is like perusing a Cheesecake Factory menu. If anyone would like to come over and organize everything, please do. I could use a nap anyway. Wake me up when you’re finished.
I’m happy to say that a handful of people have offered me free furniture, one of them more than the others. This will look less like a wasteland and more like a home soon enough.
Yes, I own a frying pan.
If you have a better word for it than “logistical,” start your own blog.
Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s a video on 25 tips for home improvement. Having just bought my first house, I’m on a house-related run.
Some of this is obvious/lame, but as a new homeowner, there seem to be some good ideas in here. If you have a better video, please let me know.
I’ve started moving boxes in today, but the movers move the big stuff on Tuesday. That’s when I’ll actually start living there. But tonight, I’m going to do something there I haven’t done in about 7 years: Order food delivery. It just wasn’t convenient where I was. EDIT: That plan failed. Over an hour for delivery? I’ll pass.
Stone Ridge is rated A+ for livability. I’ll probably bring down their rating.
I’m scheduled to close on my first home this Friday. I’m really happy to finally own my own home, but I’m not as excited (or nervous) about it as the average buyer because I work in the industry. Ho-hum. Happens everyday. You might find it odd that, as an attorney that focuses almost entirely on real estate law nowadays, has never owned a home. I can explain it with one simple fact about me:
I’ve been a party to a month-to-month lease for the last 8-1/2 years.
You see, I love to game the system when it comes to my commute. My best commute was from 1997-1998, when I was in law school. I lived in Presidential Towers, and my commute consisted of walking to the other side of the intersection of Madison and Clinton to the Citibank Building (now known as Accenture Tower apparently). When I moved to McLean in 2013, it was because I was working in Tysons Corner, which was about 1-1/2 miles from where I lived. When I took a job in Rockville, MD two years later, McLean represented the closest place to live that was still in Virginia. I wasn’t going back to Maryland.
Because I don’t change things up frequently, I stayed in both of those jobs far longer than I should have, which in turn meant I stayed where I was in McLean. However, intellectually-speaking, I knew I was at each of these places too long, so I wanted to stay flexible so that I could relocate on a dime. I’ve been working for my current employer since April 1, 2020, and am only now comfortable doubling down and buying a house based on where I’m working. Of course, buying a house is harder than finding an apartment, so I’m not right down the street, but my commute has been cut down to about 1/3 of what it is currently. That’s pretty good considering I was facing a seller’s market. (Stone Ridge is rated A+ for livability.)
But the point is this: It’s in my nature to always keep my options open but never actually exercise them.