Wednesday, April 29, 2009

By

the time many of you read this I will be back in Michigan! I'm only going to be back for 2 days and then turn around and drive back. It will be nice to see everyone again. I'm not looking forward to the "red eye" flight out of here, but it all that Spirit offers right now.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Busy, Busy

We have been very busy lately. Over the last few weeks or months we have looked at houses for us and for Karen's sister. Everyday that we were both off has been spent in Pahrump either looking at houses, having house inspections, or hauling stuff to our storage unit in Pahrump. Hence, very little in the way of blogging.

We decided that, instead of hauling all of our stuff over one weekend, we would haul all of the stuff we never unpacked from our move to Vegas, out to Pahrump. It was all boxed up and ready to go!
I knew being lazy would pay off sooner or later!! We have made 6 or 7 trips out there now.












We have been window shopping at the Home Depot out there for some of the things we will need right away.

For one a washing machine.
I like the idea of a highly efficient washing machine. They are supposed to use way less electricity, water, and detergent. Although I'm not so concerned about the water usage, since it is basically free, I still like the idea of using less of it. Less electricity use is VERY good. Most high efficiency washers are front loaders, although we did see one that was a top loader. High efficiency top loader do not have agitators. There seem to be some downsides to high efficiency washers though. Namely they are known for having unusual odors because not all of the water is removed from them.


I want to minimize our electric use as much a s possible. I am planning on trying to rely on Swamp Coolers instead of Air Conditioning, if we can stand it. Pahrump offers ideal conditions for Swamp Coolers in that it is usually hot and dry! There is already one located on the roof of the house. I will likely buy an additional unit and see how we get along. We will have the A/C just in case though.

As I said before, this house does need some work so we also looked at:
Entry Doors
Entry Door Lock Sets
Screen Doors
Ladders
Blinds
and a few other odds and ends.

We appear to be set to close on May 7th. We are waiting to hear if the bank has any additional paperwork demands from us. I don't have anymore paperwork, so I hope they don't ask for much....lol

The finance company called and said the house appraised at $74,000 so being that we paid way less than that, we are all set in that department. I'm dreaming of re financing and getting a pool now.....just kidding.

On our trips out there we have been trying out the buffets at the local casinos.
They do not compare favorably to the ones in Las Vegas unless you include price in your calculations.
Buffets in Pahrump are less than 1/2 price compared to Vegas. The food is very good, but basic. Selection is typically very limited. But, when you add price into it, its a good deal. Many of the Pahrump casinos offer buy one get one during the week. Karen and I could go out to eat for under $10 including the tip!

The worst part of moving to Parump will be the daily commute to Vegas. There are two ways to get to Vegas. The southern route that is filled with construction and takes about an hour and forty mins for me, or the northern route that will be closer

to two hours. During the winter months, the southern route is occasionally closed or delayed due to snow.
The picture is from the northern route.

The benefits of the drive will be owning our own house. Owning a sizable chunk of land. Living in a small, slow paced town. I've only visited our house a few times and already know both the neighbors. After living in Las Vegas for near 2 years, I still don't know the neighbors names. That could just as well be my fault though.

Although Vegas and Pahrump are situated in desert valleys, Pahrump, unlike Vegas, sits on top of a huge under ground water reserve. Hence the large number of private well systems. The water, although not tasting like city water, DOES NOT taste like the sulfur well water I am used to. You can actually drink this water right out of the tap.

Thats all for now.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

The puppies.

video

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The inspection

Most people probably wouldn't blog about the house inspection and what is wrong with the new house they are moving into etc. I guess I'm not one of them.....lol
While I won't disclose the exact price we paid, I will say that it is several tens of thousands of dollars less than it sold for in Feb of this year. The internet is a great thing. I can go to the county and look up what the house sold for over the course of its lifetime. We paid substantially less!

Our inspection took twice as long as Betty's. I'm actually glad about that because it means they really looked hard at it. Three main issues were discovered:
1. The well system.
Our well is a mix of old technology and new technology. Modern well systems consist of a
1. well(duh)
2. A pump to pump water
3. A flow/pressure switch to tun on the pump
4. An accumulator to maintain water pressure
This is how Betty's system is.

Our system is slightly different. It contains all of the above with the addition of a very large, and old, storage tank. Most of the system is new or appears new.
The storage tank, picture a large hot water heater, leaks water out of the top because the pressure relief valve is missing. I think it has been missing of a while. There is a shut-off valve going to the storage tank, but it leaks, hence the leak at the tank. To me though, this is an easy fix. I can either replace the shut off valve or the pressure relief valve and cure the problem.

2. The electrical wiring.
While the majority of the wiring is fine, there are places where a previous owner did some wiring that I just don't understand. I mean, I understand what he did, just not why he did it THAT way. It was like he said, lets do this the worst possible way, it should be fun!!!!
To me, these are all easy fixes. i've done enough electrical stuff that I'm not concerned in the least about being able to fix it.

3. Plumbing.
1.Both toilets in the house drain very, very slowly.
This is minor also, I think, as all but one of the sink drains worked perfectly. The toilets are clogged locally near the toilets. A snake should easily cure that.
2.One sink was clogged. I fixed this after removing what we affectionately call out here, Palmetto bugs.
3. A slight sewer gas odor outside the house. This is the one that concerned me the most.Both of my home inspectors said they were not worried about it and that it was likely related to the slow draining toilettes.

Other than that there were no major issues with the house. The inspectors felt is was in good condition considering the age of the house and that it only needed minor repairs.

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Live and learn

We went to our house, and I hesitate to call it that because we don't have the keys yet, and met our neighbors to the north. According to them, our house is not in Pahrump Township, but just in Nye County. We are a mile or so north of the Pahrump township limits. This means, according to Gary our soon to be neighbor, that none of the rules in Pahrump apply to us or our land. Yes there are still county zoning laws and such, but want to build an addition or improve your property? No PERMIT required!!!

The former home owners raised white German Shepherds and boarded horses at our new house. According to Gary, the Shepherds were the meanest dogs you ever met. They were always penned up and only got out by accident. It sounds like they had no socializing at all. Gary said they bit everyone who entered the yard, although that may not have been a bad thing....lol

Pahrump is a small town of 30,000 roughly people. It is also very rural. You can go to the local ACe Hardware and order stuff out of the JC Penny catalog, much like you could out of the old Sear catalog back in the day. One issue this bring up in regards to police/fire/medical emergency is that probably for the first 20-30 mins(or more) of any event, you will be on your own! Many businesses store water on site for the fire department to use in case of a fire. We will have several police officers living within 1 or 2 houses of us, but at an average lot size of over an acre, that can still take precious time to respond. Hence I will be purchasing insurance from Smith & Wesson. Well maybe not them but my baby Glock, along with some other firepower should suffice. The crime rate in Pahrump is very, very low, but none the less I will be prepared.

All of the people I've met so far in Pahrump have been VERY nice and hospitable. Gary offered to come over and help any way he could although he pointed out that he was pretty old and had a bad back.

On a different note, our house was constructed out of blocks made by a local company in Pahrump. They have since gone out of business, but it adds to the history of the place.

We close on May 7th and I can't wait. I already have some minor repairs planned. The house does have some minor plumbing issues that make it non livable right now. I think(hope) they will be fairly easy to fix. We are going to be on a well/septic system wich is totally new to me. Our home inspector asked me if I knew how to operate a well system and I said sure...you walk up, and turn the faucet on!!! He kind of chuckled and went on to explain all of the components and how they worked.
Our home inspectors, Sunrise Inspections, were great! VERY friendly and informative. I know we bugged the hell out of them. I finally had to call Karen outside so they could actually do the inspection.

Betty's house inspection was perfunctory. The house was built in 2006 and it showed. It still smelled new. There were some minor issues with the grading in a few areas near the foundation, but that was all.

Our house, on the other hand, built in 1983, had a 2 page list of issues. Most were minor. This door didn't close right, that tile was cracked. Stuff we already knew from looking at the house the first time. I was concerned about the stuff that I didn't know about.

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Just messing

around with my Cactus 4s (AKA eBay triggers) and photoshop.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We came, we saw

and now we are leaving. Almost 2 years to the day, minus about 1 month hopefully, we will be leaving Las Vegas for more rustic environs. We will soon be the owners of over 1 acre of prime Pahrump realty. Well it will be an acre and it will be in Pahrump. Not to sure about the prime part.....lol. But it will be ours, and the banks.

An acre is more land than I know what to do with. I've never even owned a yard before.

Yup, one acre of prime Nevada dirt! It's all ours! Here you can see the tiny spec that is our 1600sqft house. At least it is not 2,600 miles away.

The view, with some strategic planting of shrubs, will be awesome!HPIM0951

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Here is Karen's garage.


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Here is my garage.

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This is the front patio surrounded by a brick wall.

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This is one of the trees in the patio area. It needs some trimming and TLC.

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One of the side entrances to the patio.

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The front of the house.

The house does need work, but what house doesn't? We are trying to think of a nome for the property, my dad suggested "Money Pit".

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fremont Street

No trip to Vegas is complete without a trip down to Fremont Street.
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There were two pretty good bands down there Friday. We almost didn't go because of the weather forecast calling for a 70% chance of rain. One thing I've learned about Vegas is that the weather forecast means little. It never did rain that night.

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Decisions

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Even the dogs like Fremont Street. As I normally do, when I take someone's photo I offer them my Flickr card so they can see the photo on my site later. The two ladies on the right in this picture told Karen they wanted to speak to me. They wanted to pay me to photograph them. They asked how much. I asked what was it worth to them? They offered me $100. They were feeling no pain at the time and I knew I couldn't take $100 from them...it wouldn't have been right. We settled on $20. One of the ladies grabbed a vendor's stool for her friend to sit on. The vendor demanded $10 to "rent" the stool to them. Little did I know at the time they only had $14 between the two of them.....So I made $4. Almost enough to buy a beer. But it was fun so I didn't care. Below are a few of the pics I took:
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This couple was listening to Carl play the sax while dancing the night away.

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The important thing in this picture is....the beer temp!

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By this time mom was REALLY having fun! She wanted her picture taken with James Thunder, a Samoan Boxer. When we firs moved here, Karen had her picture taken with him also.

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Here is Karen sporting her new cowgirl hat.

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Even the little ones were out dancing. They were sooo cute!

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All in all, we had a great time on Fremont Street.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

So sad

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My babies

arrived this week. I've been waiting patiently for them.
Cactus V4This is the Cactus V4 wireless flash trigger system.

Cactus V4
As can be seen here, it enables you to fire a flash that is not only "off camera", but not even attached to the camera.

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Cactus V4

Cactus V4

Cactus V4

Cactus V4
It is a very cool, and inexpensive system. It has a range of about 100'.

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China Date Ranch

The China Date Ranch was pretty cool. It is actually located in California, but it is only a short distance from Pahrump.
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IMG_1659 the most photographed item in the ranch.

IMG_1664This is on the trail that leads from the ranch to BLM lands.

IMG_1667There were several junk cars along the trail that were used in the filming of the movie "The Sum of All Fears".

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We also went to find the Hot Springs near the ranch. We are not sure if we really found them but we saw some interesting stuff none the less.

Tired old soul

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We had a good time out there.

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