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"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

new house notes

I am never again moving into a not-brand-new house/apartment/etc without first steam cleaning the carpets. Repeatedly. We have vacuumed, steam cleaned, vacuumed, vacuumed, steam cleaned, and vacuumed a single bedroom, and dust bunnies – drowned and otherwise – are still being pulled out of the carpet. Good times.

Irrespective of employment (since it was Better Half’s job that brought us here), I can only come up with one reason (you can purchase wine in grocery stores) that someone would live in North Carolina over Tennessee, and a whole host of reasons (higher gas prices, higher home prices, higher cost of living, higher taxes, positively absurd requirements to transfer a driver’s license from another state, auto “inspections” for registration, no ability to transfer carry permits from another state, even-more-sucky cable providers…) why someone would not. Oh well. I have lived worse places, but I am now seeing how/why North Carolina is frequently referred to as “The California of the East”, having lived in both.

Speaking of cable companies, I have used Comcast and I have used Charter, but Time Warner, after all of two weeks of being a customer, takes the cake as the worst cable company I have ever had the misfortune of using. They are the only landline company to provide service to our address, and the first tech out did not bring the hardware we specifically requested, the office we exchanged his useless hardware at gave us broken hardware, and the telephonic tech support could not identify it was broken. And, of course, they charged us for the privilege of having their incompetent tech come out. Two weeks later, we are up and running, and assuming I can figure out how to procure everything we watch through other sources, we are probably two months out from cutting the (television) cable entirely.

My home “office” will be in a turret. No, this had no bearing on our home selection. None at all.

And on a completely unrelated note, simply because it does not warrant a post of its own, anyone who seriously claims “blogs are dead” is just making a paltry, transparent excuse for their own laziness / lack of motivation. And, yes, I say that as a mostly-retired weblogger.

20 comments to new house notes

  • When we bought our first house, it was owned by the bank, and seeing that the carpet was not in good shape, we insisted on brand new carpet throughout the house, as a condition of the sale. It worked. Then we tried the same thing with the next house, and it worked. The one we’re in, it worked.

    Second, specifying one cable company as the worst is like insisting one type of cancer is the worst. If you have it, it’s the worst.

  • Sooo… a turret turret, or just a turret?

    I guess either way… cooooool.

  • We bought a Rug Doctor at Costco and vacuumed and steam-cleaned and vacuumed and steam-cleaned and still the cat-hair floated everywhere, suspended on the breeze from the A/C.
    And the A/C filter dripped dust and fur and weird *shit* all down the hall as I carried it out to the garbage-can. I should have slipped it into a leaf-bag – it’s 20′x30″ and too big for the kitchen garbage-bags. Wife wants to make another pass at the bedroom where the fluff-balls once lived. It’s easy to say (since the next-stop is likely to be a Nursing Home/final-stop), but I’ll never buy another home that had cats in-residence.

    Bought a powered HDTV antenna at Costco and suspended it up high, in a high-up window. We get over 60 free broadcast channels and the new Samsung “smart” TV has an on-screen guide so I can semi-smugly admire my previous-life handiwork in one licensed-form.

  • Stan

    Well I had been thinking about moving from northern Michigan to North Carolina. Not so much anymore.

  • David Phillips

    If you’re not on Twitter, it’s worth doing so, just to follow @TWC_help. Messaging them gets things done, and without the BS of the call center. It will also get you competent techs.

  • @ Fill Yer Hands: We had already negotiated the previous owners to the point that they had to bring almost $9k to closing; since they were willing to break the entire contract over curtain rods, I would imagine they would simply have walked away if we had insisted on carpet.

    And, just because of who I am, I have to point out that an easily-removed, non-malignant, funny-shaped mole beats the pants off a metastasized and untreatable prostate cancer. TWC falls under the latter heading.

    @ bluesun: It is a tower integrated with the roofline behind it, so not a real turret-turret, but still.

    @ NotClauswitz: We bought our own steam cleaner as well, and are very thankful we did so. And we have an HDTV antenna too, but we watch enough Discovery Channel, TLC, and SyFy that we need to find alternative sources for that stuff.

    @ Stan: Well, I hate to muck up your plans, but, honestly, I have not found anything generic that NC does better than any of a number of more-friendly states. If you are headed here for Research Triangle Park or the Outer Banks or something like that, then, yeah, you need to come here. But if you just want “warm” or “near the beach”, I would argue there are better options.

    @ David Phillips: Good to know. I have mostly dropped out of Twitter, but will head back there if I continue to encounter problems.

  • Stan

    @linoge
    Mostly leaving for reasons of “anywhere but here” Warm is nice, but with how far North we live it would be hard to get any colder.

    If you have suggestions of better places to live I’m all ears. Things like high speed internet and good gun laws are a plus. A CPL costs 105$/4-5 years here and suppressors have just recently become legal to own. So while not BAD it’s not that great. Being able to open carry without tasting concrete is a big plus.

  • Well, I certainly have no lived in every state in the Union (yet), but Tennessee and Georgia meet your requirements right off the bat, with Florida not far behind (OC there is still… challenging), and I would categorize all three as more friendly than NC so far (having lived in all three). I am not up on GA’s or FL’s NFA laws, but they cannot be that bad. Mississippi was not bad, either, but I was only there about five months.

  • Instinct

    I would also recommend having the vents checked to see how much crap has built up in them over the years. I’ve seen some that were so caked in dirt that it was surprising any airflow got through at all.

  • Ted N

    Handgun Purchase Permits- NC, you so crazy!

    TWC, bleh. They refuse to work with my modem, with no explanation why, grr.

    Really miss the tiny town next to Ft Riley, never realized how nice a 10 minute drive with laughable traffic was. Got another $100 more in BAH there too.

  • @ Instinct: I have heard both schools of thought on that… on the one hand, the crap in your vents is stuck in your vents and not going anywhere. On the other hand, if your vents are sufficiently clogged that no air is moving through them, well…

    @ Ted N: *sigh* Handgun purchase permits indeed… plus needing approximately four forms of identification to get a gorramed driver’s license…

  • Dr_Mike

    Just a tip -

    We thought we did OK, got a new place, steam cleaned the carpets clean by the linen closet test (i.e., now the living room carpet is the same color as the linen closet carpet) and we were great. Until October, when we turned the heat on.

    Forced hot water baseboards; we had to take the covers off, remove the half-used cigarettes, vacuum out the pet dander, hose them down with Febreeze, turn the heat to 90 and leave for a day, stopping by to put a fan in the window to air things out.

    If they are what you have, please learn from me; it’s better to do this on, shall we say, a slightly more planned schedule.

    And enjoy the turret!

  • Thankfully, we have forced-air heating; a gas-pack downstairs and a two-part furnace/compressor for upstairs. Not a huge fan of gas systems, personally, but at least they use the same ducting as our A/C.

  • My family moved from Florida to North Carolina when I was twelve and my brother was seventeen. Seven years later my parents asked, “What would you say if we told you we were moving again?” My response: “Where and when?” My brother’s response: “Can I move back in and go with you?”

    We’ve been in Arizona now for 32 years. If North Carolina fell off into the ocean, I wouldn’t be interested in fishing in the spot where it used to be.

  • Wow. That’s a… sterling vote of confidence ;).

    Trust me, we are only here for the job. I was pulling for opportunities in South Carolina, Utah, or even just remaining in Tennessee, but they are not to be quite yet.

  • Robert

    Oh come on, it’s not *that* bad here…

    And it’s getting better now that we’ve thrown out a lot of the libs from the state gov. We just came close to getting rid of the purchase permit and we’ll get it next time. Don’t need one if you have a CC license anyways.

  • Having lived in both East Tennessee and in North Carolina, Tennessee wins, hands-down for living. North Carolina has the tax structure of Massachusetts and I can’t say the culture of either the highbrows in the Triangle area or the non-Asheville mountain areas appeal. Hickory, Charlotte, Winston-Salem are okay. Asheville’s good for visiting.

  • As a native Tar Heel, I feel I must stand up and defend the Old North State if only a bit. I have lived in the Triangle, I grew up in the Triad, and now live in what Midwest Chick calls the “non-Asheville mountain areas”.

    Open carry is legal and has been since about 1921.

    Hunting with silencers/suppressors is now legal.

    Our mountains are higher than those in Tennessee and we have great beaches.

    Our professional fees are less than Tennessee. I pay $400 a year for my TN broker’s license compared to $50 in NC. Governments will always find ways to get their money.

    Finally, our basketball teams are much better than those in Tennessee.

    Which brings up a bit of advice to you as a new North Carolina resident. You are now obligated to pick a team out of the Big Four – Carolina, State, Wake, and Duke. I know this will be hard given you are a Georgia Tech grad. Think of it as the team to cheer for unless they are playing Tech. I say this as a graduate of the college that won the first intercollegiate basketball game in North Carolina – Guilford College.

  • @ Robert: I am certainly not trying to say it is nearly as bad as Kalifornistan.

    I am just saying I understand how now NC earned the title :).

    @ Midwest Chick: Unfortunately, we are in the Triangle area. (Supposedly) good for jobs, but the culture is… entertaining.

    @ John Richardson: Well, Tech apparently just beat Duke, so I may be screwed regardless.

  • Big Boy

    @ Ted N:
    The NC handgun purchase permit law dates back to the era of segregation. It allowed the Sheriff to keep legal handguns “out da hand o’ da niggers.”

    How do I know. I was a civil right worker in NC in the mid-1960′s — white boy with target on his back. I got a gun through the Black black market. Loaded it up and carried it as long as the bed sheet boys were after us. This was shortly after Schwarner, Goodman, and Chaney were killed in Mississippi with the assistance of the local sheriff. The FBI is an investigative agency. The handgun IN your hand is a protective tool. There is a difference!

    Now that federal, color blind, NICS is functioning, the NC permit is nothing other than a modern version of the Stars and Bars.

    I understand that 1/2 of New Jersey now lives within 50 miles of Chapel Hill. So sad.



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