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June 2011

muddy days ahead

Tiretrack 

No HHE or car yet.  Today I learned my shipment was randomly selected for inspection by the USDA in Seattle.  When they opened the ship's container, they found mud and dirt on my car tires.  Strange, since I washed the car and specifically scrubbed the tires before I left.  Visions of Russians off-roading with my car pop into my mind.

USDA informed the shipping company that the container must be re-exported, destroyed, or cleaned.  Thankfully, I didn't have to tell the shipper not to destroy it.  So now everything's on hold until they can find a company to basically wash the container and my car.  But it won't happen until next week.  Guess there are a lot of dirty containers at port.

At least I have my UAB.  It's not much in terms of all my stuff, but a couple extra suits, more dishes, and bedding do help.  Even Lucia received all her dog supplies so that's a plus.


Women who rock

Lez Zeppelin
Lez Zeppelin

Last night, I joined some new neighborhood friends for a night out.  We caught the all girl - all Zeppelin cover band Lez Zeppelin playing at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA.  Food and beverages were consumed at the Dogwood Tavern beforehand.  The all female band rocked the house for over 2 hours with covers ranging from "Rock and Roll", "Whole Lotta Love" and "You Shook Me".  

I collected Zeppelin albums back when cassettes were the norm.  It's time to break out the Zeppelin live concert DVD collection and reminisce again.  

I wanted to check out the State Theater when I lived in DC before but I never did.  It's a great little venue with an eclectic lineup of acts.  I'm looking forward to returning.  


Reunited

Finally. . . My guitar (along with the rest of my unaccompanied air baggage (UAB)) arrives tomorrow.  It only took two months for it to arrive.  Since I packed out in April, I've been living out of one suitcase.  If I needed something that couldn't wait, I'd buy it.  But I hate buying duplicates of things I already own, just because the original was stuck in transit. 

In theory, UAB arrives faster than the rest of your household effects.  UAB usually ships via air.  But mine was held up when the airline forgot I wasn't accompanying it.  The "unaccompanied" description wasn't enough to tip them off I guess.  So it had to be shipped as cargo instead of excess baggage.  Well, no cargo spaces were available for a week so it did the warehouse dance while waiting for another plane.  Now let's see if it all shows up in one piece.

Now for the good news.  My fence is being installed tomorrow.  The yard will be fully enclosed and safe for Lucia to roam as much as she desires.  And I will get a long awaited rest from the numerous dog walks we had to do since I left Vlad.  Her electronic dog door is already installed and tested.  She stands by it waiting for it to go up, so she already knows what its all about.  Here's how I had to install it.

 

This week ended up being filled with chores for the outside of the house.  I cleaned the rain gutters, picked up all the rocks and twigs in the yard, trimmed back the bushes where the new fence is being installed and even mowed my lawn for the first time.  I mowed lawns as a kid and all the memories of cutting grass came flooding back as I tried out my new mower last night.  All the lightning bugs came out in full force to put on a show as I rushed to cut all the grass before the sun set.

Today, Lucia started suffering from something she shouldn't have eaten.  I scheduled a trip to a new vet clinic to check it out.  I wasn't planning on a trip so soon since I'm without my car.  But what can you do.  My dog walker gave me a couple clinic references and also offered to drive me to the vet.  She's been a lifesaver and I owe her for all the extra help.

And last but not least, to Dad, I hope you're feeling better and everything's going ok.  Talk to you and Mom soon.


It's official - I'm a homeowner

June 7th, I closed on my new home.  I met with my realtor and the mortgage company to sign the title papers.  The only thing I worried about was the downpayment.  I used two banks to cover it.  One bank wired the money and the other gave me a cashiers check.  But everything went smooth and I had the housekeys in my pocket by lunch.  The only issue that came up was a toppled recycle bin someone had put a bucket of tar in.  During the previous night, the bin was knocked over and the bucket spilled all the tar onto my front yard.  The seller nicely took care of it without us needing to put money into escrow for the cleaning bill.

During the week-

  • I moved everything I had at Oakwood over to the house, including Lucia. 
  • I rented a car to shop for anything I still needed. 
  • Changed the locks on the house.
  • Dog door installed.
  • Govt finally gave me my last SND bonus check.
  • Storage companies delivered all the furniture I had left behind seven years ago. 
  • All the utilities were switched to my name successfully. 
  • The cable/internet installer made it eventually and hooked up my tv/computer.
  • And I even found a dog walker to help out with Lucia while I was at work.

I didn't have a chance to:

  • Get my drivers license changed.
  • Get my UAB/HHE or truck.
  • Find a new vet.
  • Get the backyard fenced in. 

I started my new job this week.  The commutes not bad.  I don't know if I want to keep doing it or switch to driving my car.  I'll probably go with the latter after seeing how packed it gets on the Metro during rush hour. 

In talking with the office parking authorities, I need to apply for a parking space through work.  And eventually I'll get a space for a car.  But motorcycles and scooters can park immediately after applying.  So once I get the car and scooter inspected and tagged I'll be ready to go.