The Transition is Complete. Time to Podcast!

The mayhem of the move is over and I’m settling in at the new place just great.  Really nice place and I’m here by myself almost ALL the time, which, as you all know, it exactly how I like it.

3 years at Liz’s place, almost exactly.  3 years and a month.  So many things happened over those 3 years and I struggled through some rough times in the middle of it, but at the end of the story, my life has changed and improved because of the help and friendship that Liz gave me during this time.  There is nothing I could do to repay the generosity Liz showed to me.  The things I have learned and gained as a result, quite literally, saved my life.

As all things eventually do, the need to move on to a new chapter of our lives came, and here I am, a resident of Valrico, Florida while Liz begins her new chapter as a Georgia resident, and The Boy . . . he’s out on his own now too.  He’s living near the USF campus along with Bella the dog.

True to form, we made sure to leave the neighborhood with a little bit of flare.  I never really got into telling you all about the problems we had with the Home Owners Association in that neighborhood, but suffice it to say, we exchanged several letters with them (right down to the DAY BEFORE Liz closed on the house and didn’t own it anymore!) and our passive/aggressive email responses didn’t take long to start including threats of lawyers.

One of the larger issues we had was with parking.  We had one spot in the driveway and one in the garage.  The problem we had was that for the better part of our time there, we had a minimum of three cars to park.  Near the beginning, there was a pass we could use to park our overflow cars in the visitor spots, but some clown decided they didn’t want to do that anymore and started threatening to tow . . . no wait . . . they didn’t threaten, they actually towed, and we had one shitty old dude in the neighborhood (coincidentally, the Treasurer of the HOA) who made it his calling in life to walk around the neighborhood and find cars that were “illegally” parked and get them towed, by one particular tow company nearby.

Anybody else smell a kickback scam going on?

The week before we moved out, I saw them tow a car out of an otherwise empty visitor parking lot.  It was the ONLY car there!

Over the last couple of years, we parked in driveways of homes that were empty and Liz had a friend down the street that was never there and she let us use her driveway.  We had even parked at the grocery store a mile away on many occasions.  Pretty sad considering we fucking LIVED there.

I, of course, did my part by creating interesting names for our Wifi network . . . because our shitbag old man was within range and could see it, and it entertained the shit out of our other neighbors.  I started off light and just called it “ImParkedInYourDriveway”.  This got a few chuckles, but by the time it was over, our most harsh and longest lasting network name was “FuckTheParkingNazi”.  That was the network we had right up until the day before the closing.

But, not wanting to insult all of our neighbors, and to let the ones that didn’t know who it was in on the joke, we posted a message to the neighborhood . . .

The sign lasted about a day, until, the HOA came and took it!  They didn’t knock on the door, they didn’t send an email, they didn’t do shit.  They just walked their ass up the driveway and took it!

Ok, so they did do something.  The next day they presented Liz with a notice that she was in violation for not having vertical blinds in her sliding glass doors.  It’s important to note here that in the 10+ years Liz has lived in this house, she has NEVER had vertical blinds in the sliding glass doors.

They also gave her one of these while she had her car parked in the visitors parking lot because there was a goddamn 28 foot moving truck parked in front of the house. . . .

Yep, that’s a tow warning.  Do you like how they even wrote on the warning that the car had Georgia tags while it was parked in the Florida visitors spot?  Yeah, I liked that too.

What’s also fun about the notice is that she had 48 hours to respond, and less than 24 hours after the notice was left on the car, the house had been closed on and she was no longer a “resident” or a “homeowner”  at all.

There’s your fucking response, HOA.  Go suck a fat one.

So all that fun is over, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the HOA was not mentioned in great detail during the sale of the house to the new owner.

It is this experience that has convinced me that if I have any way around it, I will never again live in a neighborhood with an HOA.  The whole experience has proved them to be nothing more than a money grubbing scam that seems to forget who the home “owners” are.  They can go screw themselves.

I’ll cut my own goddamn grass.

Liz left the state for the last time on Saturday afternoon, and I was spending my first quiet weekend at the new place, with all the parking space I could ask for . . .

Now the new chapter begins, and for me, you know what that means because I’ve been talking about it quite a bit.

It’s time to PODCAST!!

I’ve got my room and my desk all put together and my little podcast “studio” has been assembled, hooked up, wired and tested and it is ready to go.

Leo and I have a plan.  We have been online testing the equipment and despite some glitches, we have figured it out pretty well.  There is still the issue of Leo’s part having to be done over Skype and the sound quality from his end is less than ideal, but I’m thinking a good microphone will be enough to bring his quality up.  At the moment he’s just using the built-in mic on his laptop and that wasn’t exactly designed to give a studio quality sound.

I’ve been learning the editing software and listening to some podcasts about podcasting and editing and ALL the things podcast during my long days in the truck.  I have learned a lot about the editing software and can find my way around it pretty well at this point, but I know I have only learned about 5% of what it can actually do and I’m really looking forward to learning more about it.

I’ve also been working on the website which is basically just a blog with shorter posts.  (Yeah, I can write short posts, don’t fuckin’ look at me like that!)  In addition to the site itself, I’ve also installed a forum where you can sign up and get involved in conversations with us and we can respond directly to you through the podcast.  We want to be as interactive as possible and really engage with the people who listen to us and I think the forum is going to be an excellent way to do that.  It can also serve as a “live chat” situation when we do broadcast a live feed.

If ya’ll are interested in listening to us and becoming a part of what we think is going to be a great and hilarious podcast, subscribe at the website to get regular updates as we approach our first episode and get the weekly show notes thereafter.

www.brickwithouse.com

Also sign up at the forum and join in on our conversations and tell us what you want us to talk about and what you think of the show.  There are only three members there right now and all three of them are Leo and I.  (Don’t try to do the math on that, you’ll just hurt yourself.)  Chances are excellent you can have whatever screen name you want to have there.  There is a link at the top of the website (Just click on the “BWH Forum”) or you can use the direct link here ——————-> BWH Forum

Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @brickwithouse and our Facebook page.

I think there is an Instagram too but I’m already forgetting what all social medias I have covered.  I’ll get it all ironed out soon.

Our intention right now is to have our first episode done, edited and ready to go live the weekend after labor day.  Once we have passed through the iTunes approval process, we’ll be announcing the release and diligently trying to get an episode out every week.

Finally, Leo and I tossed together a little promo this weekend if you’d like to get an idea of what you’ll be listening to (except with a better mic for Leo later on).  Click on the noise box below to check us out, and seriously, ya’ll, get involved and talk to us and let us know what you want to hear.  This is our show, but we really think that it is the listener that truly builds it and we can only do that with your input.  We’ll be posting our podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher for starters so that we cover all the formats and if you can think of anywhere else you’d like to see it, just let us know.

I’m really thrilled to be starting this new life chapter with everyone.  I think we’re gonna have a lot of fun!

This picture was taken while we recorded the promo, so just scroll down under Leo’s overexposed face and click on the media player to hear the promo.

Trying to keep my standards low

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Since we’re all pretty much drowning in New Year’s resolution bullshit all over the interwebs and bloggerwebs and where the hell ever else it always pops up this time of year, I’ll just stick to this as my resolution for 2016:

Keep my standards low.

Or as @RageMilchele helped me put it . . . May 2016 not suck as much as 2015.

One need only look back at my posts over the course of 2015 to see that there was, to put it insanely lightly, room for improvement.

Pretty much just staying sober this year is going to make that exponentially possible, and thanks to the Parade of Asshats that pass through my Uber every weekend – reminding me why I don’t want to drink, I’m thinking that is going to be pretty easy to do.

That and not forgetting to keep the happy pill prescription refilled.

So this year I’ve decided to start some new things.  I’ve started another blog that I will not advertise here as I’ve made no secret of my real name here and I am unable to stake a public claim to the new blog at this point.  (Requests from people I know will be honored if you’d like to see the project, though.)  I’ve also put some work into another project I’d like to complete that will take a couple of years or more to finish, but it is something I have always wanted to do, and it ain’t cheap either, as it involves a visit to Auschwitz.

Yes, THAT Auschwitz.
Yes, THAT Auschwitz.

Don’t let my absence make you believe I haven’t been keeping myself occupied.  I’ve even been writing stuff.

I’ve been writing stuff and I have Fallout 4 on my Xbox One and if any of you knows of the video game crack that is Fallout 4, then you understand that getting anything written is nothing short of a miracle.

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It occurred to me that I should update my subscribers as to my whereabouts, so first things first, I went to check and see if I still had any.  I do, so score one for 2016.  Then it occurred to me that I have no idea what to update you about, because there is so much to share and most of it is lame.  So I figured I’d go to my phone and see what I’ve taken pics of over the last couple months . . . I mean, I took the pics for a reason, right?

Here’s what came up:

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I’m a male and apparently that means we are automatically attracted to things that light up, so somewhere around the end of November, I put underglow on my car, so there is your upcoming post about the traffic ticket I’m inevitably going to get.

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In the beginning of December, Liz had to take a business trip to Arizona.  Upset about having to leave her Cadillac behind and go across the country, she made sure to send me a picture of the rental car she had to “slum it” in while she was there.  Poor thing.

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I made chicken noodle soup . . . with matzo balls.  From motherfucking SCRATCH, Yo!  That’s right.  I started with a pot of water and a raw chicken and by the time I was done, good shit had happened.  What that means for you is that another one of my almost famous, perverted as fuck, recipes (My God, was that more than a year ago already?!) is going to be posted soon, so get ready to choke a chicken!

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I also learned out to make one of my most favoritest things ever that my mom and grandma ever made for me.  I could eat this every day until I die (which would not take long) and be happy.  They are called Rouladen for those of you that are connoisseurs of German food and they involve BACON, so, ’nuff said.  This also means that there will be another perverted recipe coming up in the future, so if you’ve never smeared mustard all over your meat, get ready for some FUN!

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I got into yet another pissing contest with Uber.  Not so much a pissing contest as I not-so-politely pointed out some issues with their policies and they responded by blowing sunshine up my ass.  It wasn’t even real sunshine.  It was fake sunshine and that shit hurts.

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I found an invisible lizard.  Well, maybe not invisible, but it was see-through.  You could see its little lungs and heart and shit.  I’d never seen one like that before and he let me get really close to him to take the picture.  I’m guessing that would be because he was over there going “Ha!  I’m invisible!  You can’t see me!  Fuck off!”  Stupid lizard.

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Two weeks ago, I cleaned out the refrigerators.  Yes, refrigerators, plural.  There’s one in the garage.  I found this in the garage refrigerator.  Yes, two weeks ago.  Yes, that meat had expired 49 weeks prior.  Nobody in this house is proud that we let that happen, but in our defense, it was in the back of a drawer.  A drawer that we did not dare open, until two weeks ago.  Now we know why.  I’m almost mad that I didn’t let it slide another couple weeks just so I could brag about the full year.

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Given that the lamb chops were out of the question, I decided to have spaghetti instead.  That started off well after discovering that the box was in the closet upside-down.  Thank you to Teri of Snarkfest for letting me know that I am not the only person who has done this.  It was angel hair, too.  I’m gonna be finding that shit for weeks.

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Somewhere in there, I learned that this was the first profile photo I ever used on Facebook.  I’d like to recreate it but I’m not willing to go to Michigan for the tree, so I’ll have to do it somewhere around here with a palm tree.  Bald vs Ponytail.  Glasses vs no glasses.  Single vs married.  Still goddamn gorgeous.

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Finally, I got to experience one of the updates to the Uber driver app . . . at least for a couple of hours while I was on a trip to Orlando . . . they show us the comments that our riders give us, and as you can see, I fake not being an asshole pretty good sometimes!

With that, I’ll give it a rest.  Not that I don’t have any more pictures, but some things are just better left unseen.

I’ve had a few interesting Uber riders to tell you about on top of everything else I’ve got going on, so look forward to seeing those as well as the recipes and whatever other nonsense I can come up with. . . . but let’s keep this interesting:

What weird, boring shit do you have hidden in your phone’s photos?  C’mon . . .  go ahead . . .  you can tell us!

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I even made it so you can add an image to your comment, right under the Submit button and above the CommentLuv button . . . you have no excuses!!

Except litigation.  Litigation is an excuse.

Thanks to all you hanger-oners!!

Deadliest Swamp Hoarders 3000

Balancing Rock, Omak Lake, Washington

I gotta make this quick ’cause Swamp People is on.  I love me some Swamp People.  Someday, if I ever get a vacation again, I want to spend it with Troy Landry and go catch me some “gatahs”.  These guys are a real special kind of hunter.  They catch these 500 – 800 pound beasts with some rotten chicken on a little tiny rope and shoot them in the head while the gators are spinning uncontrollably.  I’m thinkin’ it would be easier to catch elephants with a butterfly net and a tire iron. Read the rest . . .