Asheviller: Ron and Valerie Move to Asheville…

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Mon
30
May '11

I Love Ebay

On a whim I decided to sell our broken digital camera on Ebay, that’s the camera American Express replaced under their extended warranty program. Here’s my ad:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3K 10.1 MP Digital Camera – Black
This auction is for a defective Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3K 10.1 MP Digital Camera. All pictures taken with it are slightly out of focus. This camera should only be purchased for parts – even then, there’s no guarantee that the parts you want are operational. The screen is in perfect condition as I’ve had a screen protector on it since I unboxed it. I will ship it to you with the screen protector in place. You can remove it. There is NO Battery and NO Memory Card. I’ll throw in the USB cable and the video cable. The camera is defective. It does not focus properly. Do not purchase this thinking you’ll get a working camera. There is no warranty and it it cannot be returned. Period. Check my feedback. Bid with confidence. Good Luck and thanks for looking!

The auction ended this morning after 5 days of bidding. Over that time 4 people made 23 bids. The winning bidder jumped in right at the end (that’s the way you do it) and outbid the other guy by $1. Guess how much I got for a broken digital camera that originally cost $275? A crazy, why would anyone pay that much, $76.01! That’s nuts! But I’ll take it. What makes the deal even sweeter is that the replacement camera I bought only cost $250. What could have been a frustrating replacement of a year-old camera ended up being a better, newer, camera and $100 in our pockets.

Wed
25
May '11

Run Forrest Bear, Run

There’s the old joke that you don’t need to be faster than a bear, you just need to be faster than the other guy being chased by the bear. Problem is, what if there are two bears? Check out this video of two bears running along our street and diving down the hillside next to our garage. Don’t blink or you’ll miss them. What’s the human record for a 100yard dash over rough terrain?

Unfortunately, by the time I found our digital camera they were gone, but I (and Serena who was going NUTS!) got to watch them for a few seconds playing on our hillside – a mere 20′ from our deck stairs.

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Fri
20
May '11

I Won’t be Needing this Anymore

We moved nearly everything out of Camp Bell in preparation of today’s 5:00pm closing. We did leave behind a few little things: a half bucket of moisture-proofing concrete paint, a couple ratty window blinds, an empty beer keg, and an old ironing board. We also left a “Side Swiper II” hanging on the wall. A Side Swiper II (no doubt an improved version of a Side Swiper I) is a tool that I purchased specifically for Camp Bell, a tool that I used to make several repairs, and a tool that I don’t plan to ever use again. Stumped? Never heard of it? A Side Swiper II is a vinyl siding removal tool. It’s specially shaped to reach up underneath vinyl siding and pop loose one piece from another. You can then slide it along the length of the siding and separate the pieces so you can remove them for replacement. I won’t be needing it any more, but the new owners will. So long Camp Bell and my Side Slider II.

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Wed
18
May '11

Fox News

I would like to dispel any myths about this blog being Fair and Balanced…last night we had a fox under our deck.

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Tue
17
May '11

We’re In!

Yesterday the movers spent three hours moving the last bit of furniture from Camp Bell. The most important pieces were the dining room table and the buffet. Our new dining room that Valerie feared was way too big – several Parade of Homes visitors thought it was the living room – is not. Our 5′ square table, 10′ square rug, and the buffet fill it up perfectly…and it all looks pretty good, too. Let’s eat!

Today we signed our half of the selling paperwork and Friday the buyers sign theirs. The lawyer has the check in-hand from the buyer’s bank for the down payment. Later today we’ll move out a couple plants, vacuum, and grab a pickup load of apple wood sticks from Camp Bell’s tree (for the smoker and pizza oven). We’ll leave the keys and garage door remotes on the kitchen counter and lock the doors on Camp Bell for the last time. We’re out. We’re in!

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Sun
15
May '11

Moving Day – Part 2

Tomorrow is Moving Day – Part 2. At 8:30 the movers arrive at Camp Bell to load up the rest of our furniture that we left behind for staging. There’s not much left, but the biggie, both figuratively and literally, is our dining room table, chairs, and buffet table. When that gets set up in our new dining room we will be officially moved into our new home. 

Unfortunately, since we did downsize from our McMansion in Woodinville, we have extra furniture. Our two big beautiful, essentially new, living room chairs have no place to go, nor does our huge umbrella plant. We’ve decided to donate them to Pet Harmony. They’ve recently remodeled and updated their store and could use them in the entrance reception area. We hate to get rid of them but we just don’t have the room. We’re also donating our mirrored dresser to Goodwill so the movers will be making multiple unloading stops on their way to our new house. After we get settled and determine exactly what we have and where it will go I think the plan is to sell a few more pieces of furniture and buy a large, comfortable, sectional sofa (with recliners) for the living room.

On Tuesday morning at 10:00 we sign the closing paperwork to sell Camp Bell. We’ll also turn over the garage remotes and keys to the lawyer. The new owners sign on Friday and at 5:00pm that day when the proceeds from the sale are wired into our account we will be – at long last – DONE relocating.

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Tue
10
May '11

Don’t Leave Home Without It

We’ve been having problems with our camera, a 13 month old Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. Most of the pictures we’ve taken recently have been slightly out of focus. They’re okay, but it’s like the auto-focus just doesn’t quite “get there” before the camera snaps the picture. The 13 month time is important because the warranty on the camera is…one-year. Ouch. There are several mentions of this problem in Amazon’s comments about the camera and people said that if the camera is still under warranty Panasonic will swap it out with a refurbished one. If it’s out of warranty, the cost to fix it exceeds the cost of a new camera. So we were SOL. However…

Last week Valerie had an issue using her American Express card at Walmart. The system kept rejecting it and she didn’t know why. She later called Amex and learned that our new address hadn’t been updated for her card, just mine, and since the zip codes were different Walmart’s computer wouldn’t accept the charge. But, while she was on the phone the rep reminded her that when we use our Amex cards they add one-year to any product’s manufacturer’s warranty. I guess I knew this in the back of my mind, remembered reading it in the fine print when we got the cards, but I don’t think Valerie did and we’ve never taken advantage of this service. We both mentally re-filed the information under “thanks for letting us know.”

Yesterday morning I was looking at some recent pictures we took and was grumbling about the soft focus. I went to Amazon and perused the new cameras and their prices and grumbled some more. Then it hit me…we bought that camera at Costco last April using our American Express card! It’s out of the manufacturer’s warranty, but it’s now covered by Amex’s one-year extended warranty. I went to the Amex website, found the claim form, dug out the receipt (that was an adventure after moving), filled in the info and clicked the box “credit my card for the amount of the purchase.” They didn’t ask for any proof of purchase, just dates and amounts. I expected a long drawn out hassle after their review of my claim figuring I’d have to scan and fax the receipt, give more details of the problem, send in the camera for evaluation, etc. But, lo and behold, this morning, in just 24 hours, Amex sent me an email saying that they had credited my card for the full amount of the purchase! Whoa! Really? No fuss, no muss, just “here’s your money now go buy a replacement camera.”

Thank you American Express. Guess which card we’re using to purchase the replacement? Don’t leave home without it!

Mon
9
May '11

Swim with your Dog

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue held a fundraising event at Lake Eden on Sunday, May 8, called “Swim with your dog.”  Serena did all the swimming, we just got our feet wet, and she had a blast with all of the other dogs. Here’s a picture and video of her absolute favorite thing to do — dock dive after her Woobie. Check out that belly-flop form! The little dog swimming with her (everyone called him Tripod) only has three legs.

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'

The Giant Spider Invasion

One of the problems with having security cameras mounted outdoors is that their infrared lights attract bugs. And, where there’s a plethora of bugs, there are spiders looking for lunch. Each morning when I scan the recorder’s motion events from the previous night I see lots of moths, gnats, and spider webs. Last night, though, was the Giant Spider Invasion… 

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Thu
5
May '11

Two Months, Two Days, Two Miracles

It’s been two months and two days since we moved in. For all that time two things have stood out about our house… The pickup was parked in the driveway because one bay of the garage was packed full of “stuff” and the mini-fridge-icemaker in the kitchen was not installed because the one we received had the wrong door swing and wasn’t reversible.

Today, while Valerie drove to Haywood Appliance to pick up the replacement fridge I worked in the garage to hang up the last tools and sweep out the last bit of construction dust. In the early afternoon (it could have been around 2:00) I installed the new fridge and drove the pickup into the garage. Hooray!

Next up is for Valerie to finish painting the lazy-susan door and getting our cracked kitchen counter replaced…more on that little disaster later…

 

 

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Tue
3
May '11

Maximum Load, Minimum Price

I’ve been spending the last few days working in the garage. My goal is to finally, soon, be able to park ye ol’ pickup inside. The one bay has been packed full of donation stuff, garden tools, a borrowed dog crate, cardboard boxes, etc, and the three sets of shelves we set up is just haphazardly loaded with garage items quickly unpacked from the moving boxes.

We didn’t finish the garage, on purpose, because we didn’t know exactly what we had or where things would go. The plumber put in a single cold water line and drain for a washtub and the electricians put in two overhead lights and a single “courtesy” outlet. The ceiling is covered with plywood but the walls are open studs. That’s it.

So, I’ve been busy installing a hot water line, several outlets, an air compressor line, then 21 sheets of pegboard. What’s made it slow going is that the ceilings are 9′ high and the garage floor is sloped (intentionally so water will run towards the door). That means 8′ tall pegboard sheets are 1′ short and the filler pieces put on the bottom all need to be cut at an angle. Add in all the outlets I installed and the end result is that of the 21 sheets of pegboard, only 4 went up uncut. Every other sheet was cut horizontally, vertically, at an angle, or had one or more holes in it, or a combination of those. Whew.

But, the purpose of this blog entry is to let you know that Home Depot is closing out their Closetmaid Maximum Load garage/shop cabinets. If you need cabinets, go to Home Depot and get ‘em while they last! I happened to drop by to see what they had since I wanted a cabinet for over the sink. I walked out with that cabinet plus all the cabinets for our shop. Everything is 66% off! The 4-drawer base cabinets that are normally $207 I bought for $78. The wall cabinets normally $147 are $55.  I basically bought two 4-drawer bases and got 4 wall cabinets for free. $1000 worth of cabinets for $400. Nice.

Funny how things work, my problem now is that we unloaded them onto the garage floor and I can’t get the pickup inside…

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