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.
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
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.