To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

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sv-wolf
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#61 Unread post by sv-wolf » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:17 pm

Just tuned into your blog, Jack. Congratulations on the new house. Hope you will settle in quickly and get to enjoy it. I envy you the garage. Never had one, myself. One of those things.

I'll look forward to hearing about future trips.

Cheers

Hud
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#62 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:42 pm

:multistars:
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#63 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:32 pm

Just dropping a quick update. (-:

Things are great with the new house, moving in has been a slow and careful process and moving out of the old place complicated the issue. Carrie and I pride ourselves on leaving our rentals cleaner than we found them, but after four years in the old house the deep cleaning really took some elbow grease. We're all moved out now though and there's a For Rent sign in the lawn, so we're really free now to 'get into' our new place.

I haven't owned the home I live in since my ex and I got divorced, and all I can say is, what a trip. It's great to pad around in the lawn mowing and look at a tree and think 'that's MY tree', or to be putting a hole in a wall to hang a shelf or something and think 'this in MY wall'. And the freedom to customize and decorate without restriction is a relief in itself. I've got a whole basement to finish, which is sure to be my winter project for a couple years at least. There's a lot to do and I'm itchin' to do it.

The nights are getting cooler -- I switched back to my 3/4 helmet last night and I think I'll have to put the sleeves back on my jacket soon. We didn't get to do nearly enough riding this summer, and several trips we'd planned had to get the axe because of the logistics of buying a house and moving. But it was well worth the loss to have our OWN place and a home that fits us. We'll get in as much riding as we can before the snow comes down, but really this ended up being the Summer of the House instead of the Summer of 6000 Miles. (-: No regrets.

Our home still isn't ready for her close-up, but soon. Very soon.

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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#64 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:55 pm

Wow, what a summer this has been.

Really, it's been quite a year altogether so far, but this summer especially has been all red letter days. Carrie and I have paid off OODLES of debt, purchased our home, made inroads into starting a home business and just generally have been go go go. As I mentioned above, riding has been difficult to manage with everything else going on though, and with the riding falling the wayside I haven't made it to the forum nearly as much as I ought. For that I apologize, both to members who follow my blog and to the membership in general to whom I owe a measure of diligence as a moderator.

With any luck, this post will be the first in a new trend. With things settling in and new routines starting to emerge in our household, I believe I'll manage to check in here on TMW at least three times a day. I'll attempt to update my blog as I go, but with the riding season winding down I suspect this winters blog-fodder will be basement finishing projects and the like. We'll see how it goes. One particular hurdle is that yet another laptop died on me, so for the time being I have to use my big clunky PC for TMW and we keep the computers in the basement. But I have to come down here a few times each day to check on my birds (we keep a separate controlled breeding room down here for our home business) and I'll make time with those chores to check in on you fine folks. (-:

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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#65 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:19 pm

And now, without further adieu, the promised and long awaited pictures of our house!!

Here she is from the front...
front of house.jpg
It's a .43 acre lot on a corner. We've got seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and three living areas spread across three floors and 2,850 square feet, with an attached two car garage. It's AWESOME, and we LOVE it.

From the corner... (it's a corner lot)
quartered of house.jpg
The field of tall grass you can see there in the right behind the tall fence is a federal wetland preserve right in the middle of the city, which means our view of the mountains from the back of the lot will never be obstructed. That's Ben Lomond Peak there at the edge of the frame, and if it's looks familiar it's because you've seen it displayed in sharp relief in every Paramount Pictures movie you've ever watched. (-:

And the back. Note, the PowerWheels Escalade belongs to one of the neighbor kids.
back of house.jpg
That black asphalt lane is part of our property, but it's an easement to allow DWR access to those wetlands. I'm currently feeling out the possibility of having the easement released, since it's been years since DWR or the city has needed it. There's a better, more accessible gate into the wetlands just down the street from where we are.

So that's our place. Sometime in the future I'll start posting pictures of our basement projects so I can keep my blog alive and well over the winter. Thanks for tuning in!

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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#66 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:45 am

Good find. Having an obstructed view is so great.
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#67 Unread post by Hanson » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:36 pm

What a great house. I am sure that you and your bride are going to make a good life in that home.

Safe Travels,
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#68 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:29 pm

Thank you Blues, Richard. (-:

This place really was a hell of a find. When we first dipped a toe into the market last fall, this place was one of the listings that caught our attention. It was the right size, the right location and the right price, but it had been very roughly used. Pictures on the internet of this place showed GOBS of clutter, two dining room tables piled high with stuff and so many refridgerator magnets you couldn't see the fridge itself. We did a drive-by and noted a healthy scattering of sporting equipment, bicycles and other assorted roughage in the back yard, and made the correct assumption that the place had been ravaged by a herd of kids. We tried half-heartedly to arrange a walk-through, which was challenging with the owners schedule, and it never happened. Then, around mid November last year, the house sold. We figured ca sara sara (SP) and kept looking.

Other places came and went, some incredible, some not quite so, and we even put in a offer on one place but got out-bid by another party. And here they told us the market was soft. Serendipidous, though, because then at the end of May this place suddenly showed up back on the market! The entity that bought it back in November turned out to be a "property management" group, read: house flippers. And they flipped the beejeezus outta this place. New carpet throughout, finished two of the three basement bedrooms, roughed in the plumbing for the basement bathroom, refinished all the kitchen cabinetry, two tone paint and brand new dishwasher, range and microwave. They did a fanstastic job on the flip, and when it showed up back on the market it only took one walk-through to sell us.

It hasn't been without work though, especially the grounds. All the flower beds were completely overgrown with five foot tall broadleaf weeds, and in some places there's more weed that grass in the lawn. The concrete curbing around the flower beds and that central island were almost totally grown over by sod, and a patch in the back that looked as though it had been inteded for a garden was more safari than suburb. I ALMOST bought a machete, but in the end just got some good gloves and heavy duty shears. We're going to let that patch sit and fallow all winter, then dump a couple tons of rock in it, build garden boxes and plant vegetables.

Other up-and-coming projects are finishing the other 70% or so of the basement, including a 3/4 bath, wet bar and home theatre. There's also one parking strip that is beyond rescue, so we're going to tear that all up and put in rock there as well. It'll match the opposing strip on the other corner, so, excellent. I also need to build a loft in the garage for storage, plumb for the industrial sink in my bird breeding room and either learn how to make crabapple beer or tear out the crabapple tree. (-: For the moment, the basement finish gets top priority though. I'll post some pictures as that project slowly ramps up through the winter.

Thanx for reading, and I look forward to keeping on this thing. 'Till then...

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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#69 Unread post by sv-wolf » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:25 am

Thanks, Jack. Enjoying your posts. Keep 'em coming.
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#70 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:08 am

So the first Halloween in our new place was AWESOME. Our neighborhood has a GREAT turnout for the walkaround, and people from all over drive to our little wedge of town to let their kids trick-of-treat. In the literal sense of the word literally (which having to say specifically ought to be a crime) we got more kids at our door through the whole night than we had the entire FOUR YEARS we lived in the other place. Just awesome, we really enjoyed it. Had the garage door open about four inches with a strobe light and creepy music inside, strobe on the door too. A good time was had by all.

Then, today, first snow of the season. Just high elevation stuff, not in the valley, but Ben Lomond got dusted and it looked amazing. I've been meaning to take some nice panoramic shots from my back deck, literally ten feet from my dining room table, and this was the perfect excuse. The weather was a bit windy and it wanted to storm all day, so the skies were very dramatic. It took four panoramic shots to capture the entire 160 or so degrees of range visible, so here they are ordered left to right 'cause I'm American. (-:
pan1.jpg
pan2.jpg
pan3.jpg
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#71 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:16 am

It would be awesome to wake up to that view every day.
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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#72 Unread post by Hanson » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:25 am

Yes, it is much better than my morning view, at least the view out the window.

Safe Travels,
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#73 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:09 am

Today was my oldest daughter's 11th birthday! We don't do the "power parent" thing and rent out some place or make other parents pay for their kids to go to some variety entertainment spot, just a party at home with family suffices for us. Today we packed 17 people in our home and the layout really shined. The kitchen, dining room and living room all flow into each other in one big L shaped space, and it makes entertaining a pleasure.

My daughter requested spaghetti for her birthday dinner and we obliged, but a couple of our family members are diabetic and, in deference to them, we also prepared a low-carb eggplant parm that was incredible. It was so good I'm going to revive the 'cookbook' thread and post it there.

On a side note, Friday night I engaged with my father-in-law in a debate about politics. This was much to the displeasure of my mother-in-law and my wife, but my FIL and I have enormous respect for each other and that respect carried into the conversation. I consider it a good experience.

Lastly, Carrie and I are tentatively considering replacing our econobox. We drive a 2000 Plymouth Neon that Carrie bought right out of HS, she's the original owner and it had seven miles on the odo when she took possession. Now, 170,000+. It's a fun little car to bop around in, but our other car is a 4.7L Durango and as such we try to drive the Neon as much as possible. It just doesn't have the reliability we need anymore though, so we're poking around. In our area we can lay hands on any number of 2006 or newer scootabouts with 35+mpg and less than six figures on the clock, all for less than 5K, so it gets more and more appealing every time we revisit the subject. We'll see.

That's all the updates at the moment. Basement finishing posts should start to trickle in within the next few weeks. We did some taping and mudding, nothing major, but big things are right around the corner.

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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#74 Unread post by sv-wolf » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:16 pm

Congratulations, Jack, on resisting the 'power parent' thing. My stepson has found that difficult with his two. It's so part of the culture now that kids feel 'left out' if their parents don't do what other parents do in the competition game.
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#75 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:17 am

Wolf,

I find it ridiculous the lengths some parents will go to in an effort to present themselves as most dedicated to their kids. Renting out entire venues, inviting 30+ children to a party, $50 cakes and so forth. I don't know of anyone who can recall an individual birthday party before their early teens, and even then, what a waste of resources just so other parents can whisper behind their hands "Does that clown smell like vodka?" Lunacy.

On to new business. Today Carrie and I had the day off because of Veterans Day. We met one of Carrie's former coworkers for lunch, a woman who retired recently due to medical complications, and had a good visit with her. Her son rides, so I'm going to try to get him to check out TMW.

After lunch we picked up some supplies for our birds, and set up two pairs of parakeets in the breeding room. One pair is a proven pair we've clutched before, the other pair is new to the game. When you breed parakeets, you have to have several in the room at once because they sorta, uh, inspire each other. All the chitter and chatter. We have a third pair that's still feeding the babies from their first clutch, and we'll move them into the breeding room with the rest once their babies are all weaned. We've also got a pair of 'tiels in there working on their second clutch -- their first clutch was something of a disaster. There's something of a learning curve in bird parenting. But we're sure their second attempt will work out better.

So there's the update for today. I'm out!

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#76 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:32 pm

9642

So this happened today:
IMAG0312.jpg
Which means that, save for a quick jaunt to fill the tanks before winter storage commences, the riding season (or at least MY riding season) is officially closed in Utah for 2014. There may perhaps be a dozen days between now and the spring that riding could be comfortable, but only here in the valley and the valley's no fun to ride. All the mountain passes will be far too cold to ride, even on sunny days, and there are shady corners where the ice never quite leaves the road.

So for now, any riding I do will be done vicariously on YouTube, other peoples videos or our own. If you'd like to check out some of the videos Carrie and I have made (especially the CatCrap review for you cold weather riders!) they're here.

That's all I've got for today. Enjoy!

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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#77 Unread post by sv-wolf » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:01 pm

Hi Jack. I watched a couple of your vids. I loved the slow lyrical ride up and down Utah Canyon, but the ride into Zion National Park was just spectacular. Thanks for posting these. I've hijacked one of them for my facebook page to share with biker friends here in the UK.

I haven't seen a pair of motorcycle gauntlets like that for years.

Commiserations about the turn in the weather, though. I'd have serious problems not being able to ride in the winter. We probably won't get snow here for another couple of months - if we get any at all - and if we do, it will likely only last a few weeks. [Edit: Ooops I've just seen the weather forecast. It appears we are in for some -7C snowstorms next week. :-) I should have kept my mouth shut.] The problem here is the temperature (and my skinny-man's lack of natural padding). Hope you will go on posting, though. I enjoy your blogs.

Cheers
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#78 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:25 pm

So in an effort to get some more life out of our less-than-cutting-edge phones, Carrie and I have been dumping our photo collections onto our PCs. I decided to share some of them here.
Ruby88 wrote:...I didn't actually quote Ruby here, but I wanted her to get a Notification...
Here's our bikes all lined up at a local Mexican place up the canyon. The two Intruders are Ruby's and her hubbies.
20140412_174824.jpg
Again, all four of our bikes in this shot too. Except, Ruby and her man ditched the Intruders for a Vic Hammer and a bobbed Vulcan.
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Same subject, different angle.
20141010_105512.jpg
Inspiring the next generation of riders. Or, being an irresponsible parent.
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Here's where it all started. This is the KDX250 featured in the very first entry of my blog.
IMG_17961023464607.jpeg
IMG_17961023464607.jpeg (116.21 KiB) Viewed 3663 times


Lastly, I decided to create a new YouTube channel with a more professional air than our previous one. For the first video I put together a tourist-ey compilation of all the footage Carrie and I have generated over the last three summers and threw it up as nicely cut as I know how. Blues, I think you'll appreciate the tune in this one reasonably more than some of my prior videos. (-:

It's HERE.

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#79 Unread post by JackoftheGreen » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:26 pm

So the Great Basement Remodel of 2014/15 is due to begin any day, and I thought I'd post some BEFORE pics just to keep up on the blog. Here we go...
20141025_192737.jpg
So this is the main living space in the basement, as seen from the east end of the room. As you can see, there's lots of work to do down here. The entire ceiling needs rocked, along with part of the wall over by the built-in. We're going to be turning this space into a home theatre, big flatscreen and a sectional couch.
20141025_192658.jpg
This is the same room as above, only facing the other direction. That little alcove where I'm standing is going to become the bar, and the area in front of it is just big enough for an 8' pool table. If anyone has any tips on buying used pool tables and disassembling them for transport, I'm all ears. (-:
20141025_192733.jpg
This is the north side of the great room. The under-stair alcove will be left unfinished, since that entire space is just for the catbox. Of course we'll install a door to hide it, and some folding doors to hide the furnace and water heater.
20141025_192726.jpg
And is is the back hallway. There's a bedroom off to the right of this vantage, the door directly at the end of the hallway is the bird breeding room, and then there's a bathroom off to the left and another bedroom to the right. The bathroom is roughed in but that's it, so it'll be walls and floors and fixtures, the whole nine yard. All the plumbing is there though, so that's good. The bedrooms are already finished, but the bird room is not. I'll be starting with the bird room, walls and floors, mainly so I can practice laying tile in a room that doesn't have to be perfect.

So that's that. (-:

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Re: To Ride an Iron Horse - Jack of the Green's Blog

#80 Unread post by Johnj » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:12 pm

Check Craigslist Free section every day and pretty soon you'll find someone giving a pool table away for free. Or check for pool tables for sale. The legs (or the stand) are bolted to the table, you just have to find them. You and a couple of buddies lay the table on its side, remove the legs, then carry it out.
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