OLLD 1/30

charleeeJanuary 30, 2013
Morning all! If you want to start your day with a chuckle, check out the brilliant comments on this post: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/324506/Need-help-with-husband
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mpoulsom
bob, that was funny! feel the same way here sometimes! but the beautiful leather recliner is in the middle bedroom now! :) in the "office"! tee hee
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:28AM
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michigammemom
Entertaining thread olldbob. Yesterday we had winter storm warnings predicting up to 12 inches of snow, so I was expecting the worst this morning. Lo and behold the storm missed us and headed east.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:34AM
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mpoulsom
we've got some rearrangin to do around here this morn! boy, J did really good yesterday, but he did call me before he went totally crazy with the craigslist lotto yesterday! He spent $350 for a 2 year old washer/dryer set (maytag), the wild victorian loveseat and chair (cha-ching), 2 white dressers (one for boo guestroom & one for a closet elsewhere in the house), a small tall cabinet that can be painted and live on porch for games, candles etc, a box of christmas decor, another CHEAP tall white cabniet that he can use in the garage closet for tools or paint cans or whatever. If we can sell our old washer/dryer for a a couple of bucks and sell the victorian set for $1000, we will be sitting fine and dandy. Paid for the washer/dryer and make enough money to buy something we really want! I'm pretty excited. Just gotta find the right buyer! :)
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:35AM
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mpoulsom
michi i just let foo foo out and it's a balmy 62 outside!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:36AM
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michigammemom
MP, love it. A Craigslist flip! The loveseat and chair will be perfect for someone's sun porch.
Linda, Would you consider your real estate deals and renovations; flips or rehabs?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:04AM
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charleee
Once you're a member of the AARP group, where do you sign in? I've got email notifications that there are new comments but are private (I KNOW!!!) but I can't see a sign in link!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:30AM
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olldroo
Bobbi - the email says "view forum discussion" just above the "thank you"

I can't get in though it is half way there and seems to have frozen.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:49AM
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charleee
Roo, I've clicked on every available link in the email! I just keep getting the private thing, and no where to sign in. This is nuts! Houzz has been good to us, especially Emily. Why are we leaving????
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:51AM
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charleee
MM - how do you sign in?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:13AM
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olldroo
I was doing it that way this morning Bobbi and it was taking me straight to our site, as I said it did take me to the page but it was blank. Went off reading other things so will try again.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:35AM
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charleee
Ok. Here's the deal. I click on every link available in the email. I went to my bookmarked page. I cannot get on the AARP OLLD discussion. Period.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:37AM
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astraea
Apparently I have a cookie on my computer, so I don't have to log in to AARP every time, except when the system "burps".

The e-mails should look like this:

"Greetings ASTRAEA,

michigammemom has submitted a post titled "RE: Here We Are, Our "Home Away from Houzz"" to the discussion: Here We Are, Our "Home Away from Houzz" in OLLD Friends. "

You should click on the "Here We Are, ..." link. If you click on the "michiganmemom" link, it will take you to her profile, and if you click on the "OLLD Friends" link it just takes you to the group.

I logged out this morning, to see what some of you might be seeing, if you don't have a cookie that remembers who you are. So when you use any link to get to the group, it will say it's private. In the upper right hand corner of the screen, you'll see a log in link. Click that, and it takes you to a screen where you have to enter the e-mail address you used to register & your password. Then it will take you to a main screen.

The easiest way to get to the group at that point, is to click on your name in the upper right corner (which now says, "Hi, ___"). That takes you to your own profile. You'll see a list of tabs across the screen, with "Activities" on the left. Click on the "GROUPS" tab, and it will list the groups of which you're a member. Click on "OLLD Friends" and you'll be in the group. Trust me, this will become second nature soon.

You may want to allow the website to put a cookie on your computer, so you don't have to log in every time.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:42AM
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olldroo
Well I just got in fine, no cookies, nothing, just clicked on that link. It was a bit slow at first. Found a plus and a minus so far - the plus is that new posts pop up while I am on the page, unlike Houzz where I have to go out of our thread to emails and come back in, and the minus is that when you are posting it hides the conversations so you can't check on what you are replying to like here. That will be slow when I come on of a morning and everyone has been chatting all night. Miss the 'likes' too.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:06AM
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astraea
Roo - Best thing to do is pull the post all the way up, so that only the "reply" button shows, then the response box won't be on top & block it. Although the original post will be "grayed out", you can still scroll up & re-read what you're responding to.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:32AM
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janishill
astraea...I still haven't received anything saying I have been approved.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:42AM
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michigammemom
janishill, not sure the approval is immediate. Mine said "acceptance pending" for quite some time.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:50AM
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astraea
Janis - you're not listed as a "pending member", and I haven't gotten an e-mail for you yet. When did you submit your "request to join"? I'm leaving shortly for a meeting, but I'll check again when I get home, mid-afternoon.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:54AM
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astraea
Thanks .. I learned my lesson! No "pending members" yet. So I'm expecting Eztia & Janishill.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:56AM
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PRO
Linda
MMM, depends on the project whether it becomes a rehab or a flip. I always go into this thinking that a property is going to be a good flip but then I start looking closer and seeing everything that is crazy and it becomes a project. I had one really good flip where all we did was a bit of cleaning and lawn maintenance, but that's rare. Some of these lower end houses have some real safety issues with the electric and I just don't feel right selling that type of property to some unsuspecting new homeowner.

The house we're selling Friday might be called a long term flip. I bought it 3 years ago, with sitting tenants. After they left, we had it listed and occupied by a couple who were house sitting to keep the insurance company happy. After that, we considered renting it, but ultimately rented out another smaller property we had finished rehabbing and moved our base into this house. It almost counts as a flip since we didn't do any major work inside the house. Painted all surfaces, new flooring in the kitchen, bath, bedrooms. But, it is really a rehab since we spent hours and hours redoing the original gorgeous woodwork - which ultimately sold the house. Also, we redid the useless backyard and put in two short retaining walls and a 15x15 foot patio area. I love that backyard now and I'll really miss the socializing we used to do outside. My hubby calls it the local halfway house since my partner has had a number of different down-on-their-luck roommates.

The new base doesn't need too much interior work, but needs a new front porch stairs, a good paintjob, and is desperately in need of landscaping. It's a flat lot, 60x132 with almost nothing at all except lawn and a couple of weedy trees up by the foundation. It's just large enough to take in a roommate if he chooses, but small enough not to require tons of time keeping it up. I will miss having a dining table as it only has a breakfast bar. I guess the card games will have to move to the basement.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:13AM
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michigammemom
Linda, the whole concept of improving a home for greater resale profit intrigues me, but it does seem a bit of a risky business. Used to watch the show "Flip this House" and so many folks with no professional experience jumped on the bandwagon without experience and then lost their shirts. Have several single family rental properties and am continually making small improvements that will hopefully pay off when the homes are eventually sold.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:27AM
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mpoulsom
hey girls...
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:17AM
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charleee
Hey yourself MP! What's happening?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:18AM
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mpoulsom
I would love to be a flipper personally. I just love making something that is unattractive and unappealing to the main stream and make it a beauty! I've only done it to my own homes. All fixer-uppers and every time you learn something new and get smarter each time!
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:19AM
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mpoulsom
just got to worky.....moved a few dressers around before i got here. midge bedroom is shaping up! one of the white dressers is in place and it looks fab! j got a call from the church of homey depot about a job. has to do another phone interview and then to a live in-person one i guess. i would love it if he worked there...lol! not a lot of pay, but i know he would enjoy it and he could find the good deals for us before the general public maybe??? got up WWAAAYYYY too early however. I saw on the news this morning that there is some study that says that women are most unattractive at 3:30pm on wednesdays each week...well if that's true, my 3:30 has come early! I look like eewwwww. i must be living in a different time zone or something! HA! where in the world do they come up with these things anyway? good grief!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:26AM
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michigammemom
MP, any new owner would be fortunate to purchase one of your "flips"...guaranteed to be interesting, colorful and creative. I've seen some flips that were just slapped together on the cheap.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:31AM
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mpoulsom
aw michi, you are sweet!
i would like for someone to come into one of my fixer-uppers and say wow, how cool is this?! and not even know what it looked like when i got it. if i had a lot of money, i would love to see what i could do. it might get freaky though...lol! i'm just kidding. i think i'm old enough now, to know where to spend the money and where not to go overboard! J's mom was so impressed when she came down to visit this past summer. she's very complimentary by nature, but i think she truly was impressed that we had done all the things that we had done thus far. she will flip when she sees the jenga fireplace and her new guestroom. I actually started feeling guilty about her staying in that room previously. After seeing what has transpired over the past couple of weeks with it. I was actually feeling embarrassed that she had had to sleep in there. I told J, and then I said, but she DID stay in here alot. And he said, it was because of the bed!! We always have comfy beds! The room may have been ugly, but the bed felt fine! lol

i was just looking at some other posts and i noticed a few new "ones"? very bizarre; one an obvious business trying to sell things with multiple postings and one that I am not sure where they are from? don't seem to speak the language and i almost feel sorry for them.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:47AM
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michigammemom
Will cross my fingers for the Home Depot job. Employee Discount!!!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:11AM
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charleee
I'm done with AARP and I'm sticking to Houzz only. Sorry ladies!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:00PM
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michigammemom
olldbob, false alarm.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:14PM
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TanCalGal
The AARP link is secure. I checked again and I was allowed into the AARP site only b/c of the AARP cookie in my computer. When I erased the AARP cookie from my computer's privacy settings, I could not get back into OLLD-AARP unless I signed back in to AARP.

I am fine with continuing to use Houzz. I like Houzz + AARP site seems slow. If we want to exchange personal information, we can use AARP.

I think divulging your grandkids names on Houzz is a HUGE mistake. Please erase names of grandkids and if U feel the need to write & tell us their names, or nick names, go to the AARP site and tell us there.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:18PM
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astraea
Hi everyone, back from my meeting. You're right that AARP can be slow at times, and I'd have no problem using that just for more personal discussions.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:44PM
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astraea
Eztia & Janishill - There are no "pending memberhsip requests" from you on AARP! Please explain to me what you've done so far, so I can try to help you get into the OLLD group!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:56PM
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charleee
Astraea, can you please remove me from the AARP discussion group? Thanks!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:06PM
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astraea
Bobbi - Are you sure?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:24PM
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charleee
Yes ma'am, thank you!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:26PM
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mpoulsom
well, i tried to do the aarp thing and i dont know if it's my computer or what, but it just kept making clicking noises and took forever for me to do anything on it. i think i may be too impatient for it. maybe it's just the work puter though? anywho.....

tornados are headed my way it seems! crazy winds and temps so nice! my daffodils are blooming, like i knew they would. way too early, so i will only get to see a quarter of what should be there this spring. ;(

old washer /dryer out in the carport, new (used) set in, and hooked up. had to run home for a sec to help J cart them in. washing machine sounds a bit loud, but i don't really care as long as it cleans the clothes.

my gosh, my life is boring....lol
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:36PM
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astraea
Bobbi - I've removed you, but if you change your mind, just let me know!!

Ooh .. tornados; those of us in the Hurricane Sandy area, get very nervous now, when there are any strong wind advisories!! My one friend who had a tree land on her house, said it's pointless to worry, because there's nothing she could do about another one falling!

Can you put the washer/dryer on a rubber mat to absorb the vibration & noise?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:44PM
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mpoulsom
1st load so far astraea, so maybe J knocked something ajar when trying to move it my himself yesterday...i have no idea how he did it alone, but that usually means trouble. It may be that tub is slightly off. He'll figure it out by the time i get home prob. nothing major i'm sure. do you guys have a preference as far as gas vs. electric dryers? I always had electric in the past until i moved into this house and there was a gas dryer there. it's been great, but seemed to take longer to dry to me than electric. now i'll be back to electric. are gas dryers just more energy efficient? anyone know off the top of your head?

help: i posted a question in "other" yesterday to see if anyone knew anything about the loveseat and chair and now i don't know how to delete it. i can't even find a "help" button anymore!
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:03PM
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mpoulsom
yowza! it's crazy outside! major rain and blowing sideways pretty much! i think they said it will be pretty bad until 8pm.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:08PM
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charleee
MP, I'm JEALOUS!!! I love a good rain storm, especially if you're lucky enough to be home enjoying it. It's 63F here right now and I just saw the first bee of the season. Blech!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:14PM
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astraea
MP - When they transport washing machines, there's something to hold the drum in place. When I got my new one, it worked, but was noisy as I recall .. and the service guy said that the installer hadn't taken out the last of those "blocks" holding the drum in place!

I've always had gas; I think it's supposed to be more efficient, but I'm not sure.

I think someone said that there's a time limit to edit or delete posts?
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:20PM
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charleee
MP, can you help this poster? You might be able to paint something for her! http://www.houzz.com/discussions/302756/Seeking-Irish-blessing-garden-sign-plaque
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:21PM
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mpoulsom
well i started this thread myself last night or yesterday late afternoon....surely you can delete your own dilemna??/ no?
of course no one has answered it either. i knew they wouldn't. lol but i found out everything i needed to know anyway, so there! ;)
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:55PM
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charleee
MP, I sent Emily an email asking her if we could delete our own dilemmas, she hasn't gotten back to me. Do you want to shoot one off to her?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:01PM
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mpoulsom
thank you honey....not sure if i'll be on the computer tonight or not. if not, i'll shoot her an email in the morn. J wants to watch a groovy movie with me tonight, i think???

Almost time for me to go..yay! rain has stopped and no tornado hit us and the roof is still on the house! that's what i'm talkin about!

talk in the morn ladies!

good morning roo wherever you are!!!! (swimming in a sea of foam!)

and creesy, i hope you are feeling better today along with the rest of the fam!
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:51PM
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charleee
Creeser! Where are you? I can see you posting on dilemma's, are you feeling better yet?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:57PM
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olldroo
Hi, mp, bye mp, one day we will catch up. I do not believe you could ever look ewwwww at any hour of the day (or night). Fortunately the foam didn't come up as high as we are although I was tempted to go down for a paddle.

Many brands of washing machines do need the tub anchored before moving and it seems some Maytags do need this. Can't comment on dryers, I only use the sun. Good luck to J with the job although it sounds like he could become a pro craigslist flipper.

Do you guys use Craigslist much? I mentioned it to my dd one time and she freaked and said there had been murders linked to it. Maybe there are areas and there are areas, and LA isn't one of them?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:27PM
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TanCalGal
@ roo. You have to be careful on Craigslist...just like anywhere else. I have never bought or sold anything there, so cannot say from personal experience. I have heard of a murder but mainly scammers. Scammers R everywhere, but I think most people R very honest and there R great deals to be had.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:36PM
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mpoulsom
well i'll be a son-of-a-gun! put the washer and dryer on craigslist and sold it within 20 minutes!
next the couch and chair i guess? have to take some good pics. may not be the best place to sell that, but we'll see...
craigslist experience; i bought my asko dishwasher there for $200...check!
got our stove there for $300...check!
sometimes we check for garage sales on there too. everyone here advertises those around here on craigslist. no harm so far. seems you have to be more careful about job ads there more than anything.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:58PM
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olldroo
mp - you are a legend!!

I have seen some fabulous homes on here where the owners have found things on craigslist super cheap which was why I suggested it to DD.

I get more concerned about people accessing my banking details. I won't even do online banking.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:15PM
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TanCalGal
I do online banking. I love it. Have not had a problem.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:20PM
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olldroo
I know lots of people who do it j22, but I hear too many bad stories. We have enough problems here with our ATM cards as our banks are way behind in technology.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:38PM
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olldroo
That is a good thought ez - one thing about computers, there are always back doors - humans are smarter after all.

I remember when we had our first scare here I was able to delete all my comments from OLLDs for about 2 weeks which took it back to the beginning of the month, I couldn't do the previous month. However, I couldn't do that on other comments, some I find I have lost that ability in about 7 or 8 hours.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:18PM
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olldroo
Ez I just checked back and I can delete back to the 1/25 - considering it is the 31st here, that is 6 days.

Oh my goodness, just checked your latest post, you must be absolutely exhausted, but what a great day of cleaning. You will really appreciate it when you get up in the morning and your house is sparkling back at you.

I was just doing some washing up and noticed all my utensils I rarely use are getting very grimey, plus a couple of things I have out, I do keep it to a minimum. Have to go and give it all a good soak and wash.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:29PM
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charleee
ez, I'm sorry that happened to you! That sounds like a giant mess and a lot of work. Did your HVAC guy say anything about what kind of regular maintenance work we should be doing to avoid a problem like this? Or do you know what caused this to happen? It sounds like something I'd like to avoid.

Roo! How goes the painting? And the curtain sewing? Can you see the finish line yet?
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:47AM
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creeser
Hey bobbi and MP, here I am. Better with the cold and I think most of the fam is over or on the mend. Just trying to shake the remnants of it. Thank you for asking. :) MP, did you get blown away? The winds are still wicked here this morning.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:53AM
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charleee
Hi Creeser! We missed you! Glad to hear you're feeling better and family is too. I think your weather must have been really wild because it made this morning's local news! Wow! I do love a good storm, but only if I'm tucked safely in my home, don't want to be out in it.

What's on your agenda for today? Do you want to open 1/31?
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:57AM
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astraea
Catching up ..

Roo - I used Craig’s List before I moved, to sell my late aunt’s bedroom set. I advertised my piano & the set of wicker furniture too, and got interest, but no takers at a reasonable price. I guess you just need to be careful, about letting people in your home, and how genuine they sound. One guy in another part of the country contacted me about the wicker, which I probably listed at top dollar. He said he’d take it .. no haggling .. and would send “an agent” to pick it up. A red flag went up; I told him to have his “agent” bring cash or a bank check; I never heard from him again! One woman came with her daughter to look at the piano, but like a lot of people wanted it for nothing; it was a 5 year old baby grand; she wasn’t getting it for nothing!

I don’t think I do what most people think of as “online banking”. I do pay some bills online, either charging them or paying from checking, but nothing’s set up for auto payment, where it pays the bill without my approval each time. I started doing that 2 years ago, when a payment for a credit card bill allegedly didn’t reach them; so I probably save on 50 stamps a year, and have a receipt for paying online.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:31AM
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olldroo
Craigslist sounds very normal really, you would take that kind of caution anywhere. I think dd is a bit paranoid. She does use my credit card to buy things online in the US for me, mostly from Amazon or well known 'brands' and I haven't had a problem there yet, in fact, to date, everything has run very smoothly even credits for returns haven't been a problem.

BH pays all the bills here so that is his problem, I think he does it all online and he is financial manager for his mother's affairs and does everything online there - he would never manage that if he didn't. The only auto payment I have is my gym membership.

Creeser, glad it sounds like you are improving, must be hard with that terrible weather or yours, I would defiitely be hibernating. I got a good joke one time about being a bear, I will have to see if I can find it.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:00AM
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olldroo
Bobbi, I am still on strike with the painting but muddling along with the curtains. I have fabric absolutely everywhere, they take up so much space and each seam seems to take forever to sew, but we are getting there. The rain has stopped me from getting out looking for tape I'm having problems with and it looks like more rain is hitting this weekend. At least we got 2 gorgeous sunny days but they were spent washing, replenishing food supplies which is very local and cleaning up after the wet. Our area got the highest rainfall in all Sydney over a 24 hour period by about 20 mm.

GDD went home on Tuesday and BH has spent the last two days helping dd here as today was the last day of school holidays. The kids here all go back to school on different days according to what year they are in, makes sense staggering it. Just waiting now to see what happens, he has two sheets hanging across the doorways to the bathroom and toilet as the doors can't go back until I have painted them and all the woodwork and I'm sure it will drive him up the wall soon, I'm just biding my time. Of course as soon as things dry out a bit he will be out mowing the lawns again, they seem to have grown 4" just over the weekend. I will keep you informed.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:02AM
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charleee
Ah, yes, the painting wars! I think R should help more, he's better at it than I am and faster, too. And he complains less! I may just give him that job, as there are still two rooms left.

I just finished making fresh blueberry/mango muffins with streusel topping, they're in the oven and they smell so yummy! Well, sort of fresh, the blueberries and mangos were actually frozen.

School holidays, is that like spring break, or was that for Australia Day?

Astraea, on-line banking makes me a bit nervous, you? I think you have to have a great firewall on your computer, I know we do, but.....
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:18AM
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astraea
Bobbi - I don't actually do anything on the banking website, other than occassionally cross-check that money has been transferred as expected. So it's more like "viewing" their records, than me doing anything. I worry more about things becoming so automatic, that people lose track of the money they're actually spending, or if they find a mistake in a bill or a bogus charge, they're on the hook for getting the money back, rather than fighting to correct the mistake upfront.

My utility companies periodically do estimated billing, and the electric company did an estimated bill based on 2011, right after Hurricane Sandy .. when most of us had no electricity for a week or longer! I checked the meter & sent in my own reading .. why overpay them (which would have happened with auto payment), and then wait for the excess to be used up over the next few months?!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:33AM
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olldroo
Well he has this demarkation thing in his head as to what are his jobs and what are mine and if I'm not doing what he thinks I should be doing then he sulks and does nothing because he considers I'm not doing anything if it isn't what he wants done or thinks should be done. Male logic!!! I should be doing the bathroom over making the curtains in his opinion. If he wants the bathroom done, then he pulls his weight and helps, I can't see him sitting at the sewing machine making curtains, it was hard enough getting him to hang the tracks back up again. He just doesn't see that I do at least 90% of the things in the house as it is.

Muffins sound nice, not that into blueberries, bit tasteless to me but mango ............................!!! I have been buying a bit of frozen mango yoghurt lately, so refreshing in the heat.

School holidays at Christmas here are our major summer holidays, like your summer break only they go from about a week before Christmas to the end of January. Our schools are divided into 4 terms with a 2 week break between each. Easter sort of dictates the holidays as they generally include it in the first break so this year the terms end 28th March, 28th June, 20th September and 20th December.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 5:49AM
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charleee
Astraea, great idea on doing you own meter reading. The first month we lived here the utility bill was $24. The next month, $384!!! Quite the shock. As much as I hate extreme heat I have to keep the a/c at 74F to keep the bill under $300. Ugh. I'm comfortable with the temp around 65F so it's a really long summer for me.

Roo, you keep your own schedule, does he keep yours? Doubtful! We have to do what makes us happy and comfortable. That dang shingles flare up I'm sure was do to all the painting and stuff I was doing the week before. R never puts pressure on me to do anything which is lovely, my pressure comes strictly from myself. I set un-meetable deadlines, why do I do this? hehehe Only four more things left to do in GB1, I'll get to it next week. The red ochre dresser is now a medium shade of gray and it looks just fine.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:40AM
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astraea
Bobbi - I'm more affected by the cold than heat .. but either way, it's expensive!! I thought my gas bill was high last month, so I'll keep an eye on the usage .. then ask them to check the meter. One of these days, the meters will be connected to the telephone or other fiberoptic wires, and they won't have to come out & physically read them, except if the number don't make sense.

Roo - It must take a lot for people changing hemispheres, to get use to Christmas in the summer, and all the other seasonal shifts you have to mentally make! How many time zones are there, across Australia?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:22AM
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charleee
We'll be switching to Smart Meters soon. We had a choice between switching and not switching, but if you choose not switching they charge you extra! It's funny, our meter reader is a tall, skinny man, super nice and always brings a biscuit for Rocky, I'm sure that's out of self preservation! And even tho we've been here almost two years now I'm still not used to seeing anyone wandering around in my backyard and it still startles me!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:35AM
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astraea
Bobbi - I know some people who still refuse to allow the utility to put a remote reader outside the house, so they have to be home to let the meter reader in .. can't understand that at all! I'm not surprised when they show up in the street, but one meter reader was on the street behind me, and climbed over the fence, to get into my yard .. and surprised me when he walked out onto my street! He was gone before I could catch him; I don't need him to do that & fall .. then sue my neighbor & me!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:46AM
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charleee
That's just nuts, Astraea! So why do you supppose they didn't just put the meters in the front of the house? I know! It makes too muich sense!
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:50AM
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astraea
It's all about people's paranoia; even if the meter reader comes into the house, you don't see what he keys into his handheld device! The answer I got when I asked the question was, "I want to know when he comes!" So the homeowner becomes a prisoner waiting for the meter reader! If the weather's bad, he may come a day late .. and you've lost an extra day waiting around!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:56AM
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charleee
My (weird) neighbor has the utility company banned from entering his yard, and every month he puts these cards in his kitchen window, they look like meters and he sets them to the meter readings he's read himself! I've never seen that done before. But I have seen his yard, and I have seen him in his yard wearing his undershorts and urinating under a big tree. So I would say the meter reader should count his blessings.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:02AM
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mpoulsom
bob, i'm not jealous of your neighboring weirdos! ha! he sounds like a real kook!
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:18AM
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charleee
MP, he is a kook! But, he's the most normal of the plentitude of kooks on my street!
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:19AM
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astraea
You've got quiet a neighbor there!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:26AM
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charleee
Oh, yeah, but you should see his boxers!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:28AM
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olldroo
BETWARE OF SMART METERS!!! Those smart meters are coming in here but from news reports they are a bit of a con AND they catch fire. There have been quite a few house fires and near misses caused by them. One person even captured one blowing up on camera - just in the right place at the right time.

Our system here is you have the choice of off peak electricity or an extended off peak. Off peak generally means you have to have a larger tank according to the number of people in the house, and your hot water is only heated during the night. During the day as you use it, it tops up with cold water so it is easy to run out before the day is done. Semi off peak means there are extra hours during the day when the hot water will reheat, meaning you only need smaller tanks and generally don't run out. You can also have a continuous hot water but that is uber expensive. As for the rest of electricity used it is all charged at the same rate.

With the Smart Metres, there are different rates for electricity used according to the time of day, basiclally trying to get people to use more electricity from midnight to 6am - fine except who wants their washing machines, dishwashers and dryers (if used) running while trying to sleep, there is the added risk of fire and it is also encouraging people to run their pool filters through the night which is actually illegal. Classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. To get the benefit of these cheaper rates the main daytime rate is actually more expensive than the rate for a standard meter, so it can actually end up costing you more, unless you have all your equipment running through the night.

I'm not sure if they change an area over whether it is compulsory or not, I haven't heard any mention of being charged extra, but a lot of people are very against them because they realise they are going to pay more in the long run, it is just an excuse to bump up bills. Haven't heard much about them lately, I think all the fires put things on the back burner a bit.

Our Govt privatised electricity services some years back with the promise of cheaper electricity but those in the know said it would have the opposite effect and it has. The providers are now claiming it is all the Govt's fault because infrastructure is so antiquated and was never properly maintaned by the Govt so they need to spend a fortune fixing it or we will have no electricity at all. It is now so bad that we have power brokers who are making a business out of getting better rates for people, just like mortgage brokers. Whole streets of people are ganging up on providers demanding better deals or they will change - surprisingly it seems to be working.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:53PM
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astraea
Roo – It sounds like the controls are on the water heater, for when it goes on & off. The problem has always been – since I worked for a utility 29 years – that “cycling” generators isn’t efficient or good for them .. meaning that at night there’s much less electric usage, so the generators power down, then have to come to peak during the day. Utilities have always wanted to find a way to “level usage”, which is much more efficient.

Once electricity was deregulated here, lots of companies appeared out of nowhere as 3rd party brokers/providers. Those companies have to negotiate contracts for the future, and if you switch for lower rates now, they may not have the same deal in 6 months. I just stick with the utility, because their rates are still controlled by the public service commission, to some extent.
    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:48AM
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olldroo
Astraea - no the hot water heaters are separately switched on our switchboard so they control the power to them there. The Govt has no control over our power companies anymore to a point, any increases have to go through our Pricing Commission which everyone complains about as it is a bit of a toothless tiger as they basically agree to anything as long as companies keep below CPI levels. Trouble is if the CPI goes up even 1% by the time everyone puts their products up 1% the poor houseowner is further behind than ever. The media constantly recommend people shop around, but as you say the rates in contracts vary so much over a year you can end up paying more in the long run over a period of time. They know what they are doing!!!!
    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:00PM
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