The joys of community trash stations

Apartment Living – Communal Trash

The continuing saga of apartment living; today we will talk about the common trash area.

The complex has three parking lots, and in each parking lot has a common trash collection area. Three large trash bins, and one recycling bin. One would think that would be sufficient capacity. And they would be, if all was normal.

Fortunately, the pickup happens 3 times a week, so roughly every other day the trucks come.

 

Almost as soon as the the dumpsters are empty, the vultures move in. First to fill up is the recycling. Unfortunately the tenants here when they move, often jettison unwanted furniture and appliances. Straight into recycling. So by noon, the bin is full. Then they move to filling the trash dumpsters.

Alas, by late afternoon after the pickup, the trash bins look like the picture at the top of this post.

Then two things happen. First, there are some pros that come by to dump more. I see the same green older Chrysler minivan dump furniture and appliances. Overloaded to the max.

Second, the scavengers come. They pawl through the recycling looking for things with value (aluminum cans, metals for recycling, etc.) There are at least three different waves I see. Competitive recycling at its finest.

Then within 2 days, it all begins again.

I will say one thing, the maintenance staff of the apartment do a pretty efficient job of keeping it orderly, and as clean as possible. It is a daunting task.

honda-s2000

Relocation: The Commute

Recap: I have been relocated to the San Jose area after living in Arizona for 11+ years. I grew up here, so I am not too shocked at what we have come back to. Today I will offer my observations of the commute, and the drivers, particularly how they have changed in the last 11 years.

When we left California in 2003, we lived in a small condo in South San Jose, near 101 and Bernal Road. I was fortunate that I worked at Cisco then, and I was able to ride the Light Rail end to end. About 45 minutes, restful, and it was paid for by Cisco.

Alas, I am not so lucky this time. We are not far from where we used to live, but I work in a pretty unaccessible spot by transit (well, not inaccessible, but it requires at least two bus legs and a lengthy light rail trip). Shortest travel time is 1:56, the most convenient connections is 2:17 in transit. And my employer doesn’t pick up the monthly pass.

Bollocks

Argument_Clinic

Apartment Life – the less pleasant bit(s)

I forgot how much “fun” it was living in close proximity with a wide demographic. That was brought back into focus last night around 11:40.

The master bedroom is facing the street (boo) but it also is over the little patio we have on the back. At about 11:40, there was a bit of a family feud going on. Drunk Boyfriend was yelling at the kids. Something about not putting something else away or some such crap. Yada yada. Then the mother gets into it, and off to the races. It turns into a monster screaming match until almost 1:00AM.

No physical violence, but enough 4 letter words and motherfuckers to peel paint.

Sigh

Reminds me of the Condo’s we lived in back in 2003. South San Jose near Bernal and 101. Not a bad place, and we owned (I don’t think there were too many rentals there).

Our neighbor across the walkway was a single asian-american woman, real nice person when we talked to her. But she played the field. There were at least 3 boyfriends who would come and spend the night. And every Sunday morning there would be a fight. We used to call it “Sunday Morning Fights” and listen in while we were eating breakfast.

This was different, yet it was the same.

I have to remember that we are renting, and as such are transitory here. As is every other tenant.

Still, I am saddened by the argument last night, and hope it doesn’t repeat. Alas, I will not be surprised to have it replay frequently.

The two best friends, AKA the GreytBros on the couch

Apartment Living Part Deux

Settling into apartment life is interesting to say the least. There are benefits and detriments of course in the life. This episode I will be just have some random observations.

The people

We are lucky that all our neighbors are pretty friendly. We wave and say “Hi” and they all say “Hi” back. This is easy for us, as we generally try to befriend our neighbors wherever we are.

More Comcast Love

I felt a little bad in my last post ragging on Comcast. Apart from their tech whiffing on connecting the cable last Friday, and the snafu’s until their technician was here on Tuesday, it really wasn’t their fault.

Today, I have more awesomeness to report.

We had far too much stuff in our small apartment, so until Thursday, I hadn’t even unpacked our Plasma TV. Naturally, I hadn’t been ready for the Cable TV install.

No big deal.

Of course, I assumed that in our hall closet (that is deep, and our movers piled with boxes) our AV cables were. BZZT, thanks for playing. I did have cables for the XBox 360, so Friday I hooked us up to Netflix streaming (friggin kick ass), but my wife wanted the cable hooked up to watch the Tour de France.

Comcast Suckage

A week or so ago, I raved about the in store experience with Comcast cable, our tv and internet provider here (yes, I know their reputation, but what I am going to use instead, fucking AT&T U-Verse?!?) I connected immediately with a great customer service rep in their store, who set me up proper.

One of the issues was that they needed to visit sometime the day after to hook up cable, as it had been a long time since this apartment had cable. The day they mentioned was Friday, and that was cool as we were moving on Friday.

Apartment Living – A series

My wife and I have embarked on a new journey. As we wait for our house to sell in Arizona, with the fear of destroying our down payment for a house in temporary housing, we have punted and signed a lease on an apartment. Fortunately, we found a place that was happy to have us with our greyhounds. Yay.

This series of posts will chronicle our time here, and the fun that it will surely entail.

Cable Awesomeness

I know recently I ragged on the Comcast service in our temporary house for slow internet and the shitty DVR they provide.

So, I feel that I must mention my awesome experience today.

We signed our lease on an apartment. We are going to live there for a year, and thus I need cable and internet. The only option was Comcast Cable or AT&T UVerse service. No choice really.

A week ago, I tried to navigate the maze to order online, even using the damn chat service that wasn’t helpful. I gave it up, and gritted my teeth to go into their local store.

Realtor Insanity

We are relocating, and consequently our house is in the market in Chandler. No surprises there. Back in April we signed a 3 month (90 day) contract, as dictated by our relocation company.

Fast forward to late June. 90 days is up, and we re-sign with the agent we selected to continue the contract. Unfortunately a snafu happened, and the update didn’t get reflected that evening, and our listing “expired” for about 8 hours.

Ho-lee shit Batman, what a zoo ensued.  First I got an email from my agent letting me know that we might get some calls, and to not be worried. No big deal.

Except that whole day I had other real estate agents contact me about picking up my listing. I stopped counting after the 6th distinct agent called.

It was madness. There is a glut of houses on the market in the Phoenix metro area, and while I used to get fliers hung on my door to see if I was interested in selling, I had no idea that real estate agents were vultures.

Just yesterday, I got two formal mailed inquiries, dutifully redirected to my new mail address.

I guess I am glad to not be an agent.

The Drive

Over the 4th weekend, I took a couple of days off (Thursday and Monday) to drive my dogs from Tucson, where they were staying at a pet lounge, to our new home in San Jose, California.

The drive was fine, we rented a big Dodge Grand Caravan, as we wanted there to be enough room for the boys, and all the crap they need (beds, food, water, our bags, etc). Although Barbara was worried that it would not have enough room, it was surprisingly cozy in the back, with well partitioned areas for the boys.

Chillin' in their rented van. This is the life

Chillin’ in their rented van. This is the life

We settled in to an easy lope across Arizona. Starting later than I had hoped (surprised? Ha, you don’t know Barbara very well, do ya?) we made pretty good time. A stop at the junction of Gila Bend to top up the tank (we had been driving the van around all week) and to potty the boys, grab some Subway sandwiches, and off we went.

Smooth sailing until we hit Quartzite. One of those famous Arizona monsoon pattern dumps, we ended up parking in a Chevron lot for 20 minutes until the deluge passed. I will miss that.

Barb takes over driving, and we head to California. As we were approaching Palm Springs, and it was already 6:30 PM, it seemed like a good time to find a place to stay. So I pulled up my trusty iPhone, searched for dog friendly hotels, and the top recommendation was the Best Western Date Tree Inn. Setup the navigation, and we are 20 minutes out. Cool.