Monday, April 11, 2016

Settling in...

Has it been almost a month already? End of this week will be four weeks here. Geez...time flies.

Still getting used to the new "gentrifying" neighborhood. Admittedly, when walking around during the day and seeing all the neighbors sitting outside their houses, I was starting to feel like Allan Quatermain. But eventually I started meeting other neighbors on the weekends and evenings and realized that there are people who look like me who live here--they're just at work during the daytime.

Murphy and Belle are doing a lot better than I expected. In West Virginia, they felt the need to roar like raging lions at every person and creature that they saw pass the house, but here, not so much. They're quiet here, even when they hear things outside. They still peer out the windows and give passers-by a "woof" or two, but they're not ridiculous about it like they used to be, and I like a little advertising. It lets the Usual Suspects walking by know that this house is protected by Shepherd Security Systems.

The dogs love their new back yard now, too. It used to be, I'd toss them out in their pen in WV, which was basically just some fencing run through the woods outside the house, and they were always in a hurry to get back in. Here though, they'll stay outside for hours if I let them, I think because they now have grass to lie in and not just bare ground and rocks. It hasn't stopped Belle from digging two new hole by the fence though(MY LAWN!!!). And she's already figured out that on one side, I have neighbors, and behind us, there's a cement wall behind my wood fence. Smart dog that she is, she knows that she can only escape along the north fence, and that's where she's working now. Some paving stones should fix that, but and determined. Why can't she just sleep on the grass like the other one?

They behave very well when walking out in public too, getting compliments from everyone. And it's nice to walk without fear even late at night, because two German Shepherds and a Smith Model 642 give one much peace of mind.

Got out for my first run this morning. Was only a mile or so to get the leg conditioned to it, but it felt good. Had the bike out this week-end, too, although trying to ride it through the French Quarter during the chaos of French Quarter Fest was probably not one of my better decisions. Still fun though. And only had to kick one car, but it had Texas plates so I probably don't need to worry about running into the meathead again.

Getting my house in order slowly. Moving over a thousand books and a classified number of guns was the biggest pain, plus the ammo that goes to those guns. (Yes, it was over a ton of ammo...and I DID sell some guns and ammo before leaving.) Now it's just finding spots to store/stack all of this stuff, plus putting all of the books back in an actual sort of order. It's not helping that most of them resided on permanent book shelves in the old house which are lacking in this one. So I get to buy and assemble book shelves too. I did give away a few hundred books before the move, but not to worry--there are four used book stores here within walking distance and I've already started replacing them. Books, guns and's a sickness, and I don't want to get well!

Oh--and what a nice surprise--the sales tax here just spiked to eleven freaking percent! Seriously? If I buy something for ten bucks, the state gets an additional buck and ten cents? On-line shopping just became my new go-to. Amazon Prime just got a be a good deal as they don't collect tax for Louisiana purchases. And next time I buy a car, it won't be from a Louisiana seller, that's for sure.

Flying's going to be not happening here, sadly. Rental plane rates are goofy expensive locally, so until I buy another one, I'll just sit here and watch others fly while I sigh. Lots of cool military aircraft flying over, though. F-15 and F-18 jets are often seen, heard and enjoyed. Such happy sounds.

I am seeing a lot of "Bernie 2016" signs around here though, and on some nice houses and cars. Usually stupidity and financial well-being don't go together like that, but I guess there are always exceptions.

Darn. After this morning's run and a nice long hot shower, followed by breakfast and coffee, I just want a nap. Shame that I'm at work now. Sigh.

Lastly, getting ready to reconnect my alarm system. It's an ADT-installed system but I'm not really sold on signing on with them for three years at $40/mo. Anyone have any thoughts for or against ADT before their rep shows up to try to sell me their monitoring this evening?


  1. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Postpone the ADT visit (you're sick, your aged aunt is sick, Murphy is sick, you're on the lam from the FBI, whatever) and call around. I was able to find a local outfit that did everything ADT did for about the same price and was willing to hook to their already-installed hardware, and under quarterly payment terms autobilled against my "trash" checking account in exchange for a hundred bucks up front for testing and no long term contract. The big deal to inspect closely is their monitoring arrangement, and especially, their certification. ADT, in my experience, does an excellent job at monitoring, and not everyone does it as well.

    In the interim, there's Simplisafe; yes, there are faults with their system (I won't 'splain what they are, obviously), but as an area-limited temporary measure it's OK. I use mine now for the closet the steel box is in as a second security layer, and pay the extra monitoring fee for status text messages, which is particularly handy when non-family members are around the house; that way I get notified whenever that closet door is opened, independent of whatever else the main alarm system is doing.

  2. You're adopting the California style 11% sales tax? Wait until they match that with State Income Tax (caps at 11% in CA).

    That notwithstanding, it's good that you and the wolves are settling in. I'd be sad if you said that Belle is no longer trying to escape. I'd wonder what's wrong with her.

  3. 11% sales tax?

    Ho-Lee Shite! I thought Kommieofrnia/L.A. was bad at 10%....

  4. Sales tax at 11%. Holy buckets! That's more than we give to God. WTF? I thought our 7% was outrageous. It might be because you are surrounded by liberals, thus the tax rate.

  5. STALL ADT and check around for alternatives.
    ...grit yourself and ask the local PD or State cops.

  6. I'd shop around on the monitoring, but ADT while expensive, has a rep for doing a good job.

    Good to hear you're settling in and things are developing nicely.

  7. re: bernie signs. Louisiana is reliably blood red and New Orleans is reliably royal blue. As nice as the culture, the architecture and the restaurants are, it's a Democratic Hell-hole.

    1. Yeah, I know. I just shake my head when I see rich white people living in the FQ supporting a guy who wants to tax all of their money away. If they wanted to be poor, you've have thought that they'd already have given that money to those in need and gone to live in Metarie or some such.

  8. Don't do ADT. Period. Check email!

  9. Glad it's coming together! :-)

  10. You have 2 big dogs. Why pay for an alarm system?

  11. Good luck down there. Sounds nice. Although I would hate having to pay an 11% sales tax like that, I guess other things make up for it.

  12. Anonymous10:02 PM

    Get-tting settled into a new home is a long process

  13. I knew that you had had some problems with your plane, but I didn't realize it was a write-off/sell off type of deal. Sorry to hear that, because I was looking forward to your Gulf-coast flying exploits.

  14. well, to be precise, only about 4 cents of that 11 goes to the state. The rest is the price you pay for living in the Big Easy, a.k.a. the local sales tax.

    PS, not many good ways to dodge the state sales taxes on a car. Register the car in LA, show proof of taxes paid at purchase....


  15. 11%?!
    Gotta pay for all that Louisiana graft somehow, I guess...

    Start calling yourself 'French Quartermain'!


  16. Check to see what your house insurance prices will do with various alarm companies.

  17. Most Insurance companies will at least give you a 10% discount on a UL monitored system.