Apartment Living – The Final Straw

In case you have been living under a rock and not read my award winning blog posts (ha ha ha), we relocated to San Jose from Phoenix, and slipped into an apartment as a temporary landing spot. We have tried to make the best of it, and my prior posts have highlighted some of the challenges we have experienced. It isn’t all bad, but…

Last night, around 8:15 PM, we suited up the boys in their cold weather gear (it was about 45F outside, and Greyhounds have no body fat or fur) for their evening walk.

As we stepped out the door, the building down the way had some kids lighting and fanning fires near the entrance-way for the building. Fuck.

Barb of course confronts them, and the security guard swings by. We call 911, and the police come out. Barb and the security guard were following the punks, so the Cops got to scare them good.

Later, since my wife was the one who called the police, the dispatcher called her on her cell, to alert us that multiple cars in the complex had been broken into.


Fortunately, we had begun the process to crank up the house search. This is “lighting the fire” so to speak.

2014 in Review – The Job

2014 was a chaotic year for many reasons, not the least of which was career related. With the move, it turned out that a promotion was in the works as well.

The move itself was traumatic. Sadly, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The market in Phoenix was hitting the brakes, while the market in Santa Clara County was putting the pedal to the metal.

Of course, a pay adjustment was part of the move. Cost of living is much higher in Santa Clara than in Arizona, so that was welcome (and my first pay raise in almost 8 years). The increase wasn’t really enough to absorb the increased costs of the region, but it is a welcome thing.

Read more2014 in Review – The Job

2014 in Reflection – the Move

A lot has happened in 2014. Much chaos and drama, both work and personal related.

Actually, before the beginning of 2014, we were informed of the decision to close the plant where we worked in Chandler Arizona, and the offer to relocate from the Phoenix area to the San Jose area was offered.


Not really a great choice to have to make. Sell our house in Chandler that we owned for less than 2 years, and move back to the Santa Clara Valley, or stay, get a 2 months severance, and have to find a job.

Read more2014 in Reflection – the Move

Apartment Living – Laundry part deus

Among all the joys of apartment living, not much ranks up there with the friendly competition for the laundry units. At 9:00AM you can practically see the residents lining up to steal the machines as soon as the time locks on the doors open. Hoo BOY!

Today though, we will talk about the machines themselves. The washers are all HE (high efficiency) units. That means that you really don’t need much detergent to run a load.  Really, about 2 & 1/2 tablespoons of Tide or your detergent of choice is all that is needed for a large load. (in the photo above, the cup on the left is all you need for a full load, on the right is the “usual” detergent scoop)

How wonderful is that?  Detergent lasts a long time, clothes get clean, and all is happy, right?

Well, not so fast. It seems that the HE revolution is lost on all our neighbors, so continue to dump a cup or a cup and a half of detergent in each load.

Not only is this a waste (and believe me, most of my neighbors would enjoy spending less on their detergent), but it leads to a nasty side effect.

Namely, our clothes will smell like the perfume in the detergent last used. Ugh, heavy scent in all our loads, and worse yet, it seems to change.

An old friend

My iPad that I bought in 2011, is nearing the end. Not that it isn’t still functional, but at near 4 years old, it is finally showing its age.

I shouldn’t complain, nearly 4 years out of any tech gadget is a remarkable feat, and a testament to Apple’s quality and standards. My iPad, a generation 2 unit, is showing its age. When iOS 7 came out I dithered about upgrading, knowing that some of the features wouldn’t work and be disabled, but it was a worthy upgrade.

Until early in 2014, Apple kept the core hardware in the generation 2 iPad alive, as it was the entry level iPad. It still had a strong use in educational and corporate markets. And to be quite frank, for applications that are written to its spec hardware, it is still a good performer.

The battery life is quite good still, easily allowing a full day of heavy use (video watching, surfing, and email) without straining a charge, and the 3G cellular connection, while not as snappy as the newer 4G LTE connection, is just fine for email and casual on the go surfing.

But with the release of iOS 8, and all the groovy integrations with the iPhone, and the new Mac OS X, the recommendation is to not upgrade the well aged iPad 2. iOS 8 is just too taxing on this hardware. The responsiveness suffers, and it is just painful.

But time goes on. I will continue to use it, but alas, it will not get updates for security issues. And more and more of the applications that get updated will begin to run more poorly on this tablet.

It has been a faithful friend, a road warrior, a great e-reader, and still a fun platform to play games like Plants versus Zombies. I am sure I will replace it in the coming year, but for now, it will be a companion.