Nice new pad

I’ve been busting my butt trying to make our place nice and sellable again. Moving loads of stuff to storage to make it look more open. Shuffling all our stuff through the rooms to get the floors fixed. Then again for new carpet. We ordered custom blinds and I put them up yesterday. I think it’s finally paying off! Floor feels sturdy. Carpet looks great. We got the entry way tiled yesterday too.. To match the earlier kitchen and bathroom tiling we did. New kitchen set.. All so we can sell it. I hope it at least works. But I guess if we’re stuck here it’s at least a thousand times nicer.

Deadbeat HOA and Management

We finally had our floors fixed a few weeks ago. When our condo was still for sale, we began to notice some new potholes under the carpet. We got new tile put in the kitchen and bathroom by a contractor Sarah found. He noticed the cement subfloor was crumbling up. We have been trying to get some straight answers from the HOA and/or management company on this issue for like a year. According to the bylaws, they’re responsible for damage under the carpet. After months and months of not getting back to us and not answering our calls or emails, we finally made some progress. They said they would bring one of their contractors out to evaluate the situation. That was fruitful. He basically bounced up and down on the carpet and said, ‘yep. that could be water damage. Or it could be foundation. It could be a huge thing to fix. Or not. We’ll have to get back to you.’ Then we waited months and months. Once again, not getting any reply to phone messages or emails. We finally said ‘screw it. We’ll pony up the cash ourselves and pay to get the ever-worsening holes in our floor fixed.’ It was not feeling like the wood under the cement was coming apart and giving with each step. I was waiting to literally fall through the floor onto our neighbors. Our downstairs neighbor is the HOA president. Maybe that would get the asshole’s attention. But, alas, our contractor finally showed up to fix it. We had the fun task of moving everything from the bedroom into the livingroom so they could fix the bedroom. Then the next morning, move everything in the livingroom (which is the whole house) into the bedroom, so they could fix the living room. Had to get up extra early to do all this, while juggling our hyper kid. All before going to work for a full day. Then finally, we had to move it all back where it was to begin with. And we ordered new carpet which will take a few weeks. So we’ll probably get to do it all over again when that comes in. Meanwhile, we had to get another storage facility because we’re trying to thin out our stuff as much as possible to make it presentable when we try to sell again. We’ve been taking more and more furniture and books, etc to storage. I’m excited for the new carpet. But still angry. I’m angry that we’ve been giving money to the HOA and the crappy deadbeat management company that they hired. I wouldn’t pay them another dime, except for the fact they could stop us from selling the place. I would hire a lawyer, but then we’ll just get raped by him instead. Gotta love the justice everywhere. Makes me want to go postal sometimes.

Northpark Train Show

Sarah discovered a perfect little weekend thing for us to do. Northpark mall was having a big train show for the Christmas season and it was the last day. I’ve been to a few train shows but it has been a long time. I love them. And this was the coolest layout ever. Maybe not for realistic detail (About all scales were represented on the same layout), but it was so packed with busy tracks. There must have been hundreds of zipping trains. There must have been a serious control room somewhere nearby. Henry ate it up. We slowly walked the loop and took our time. He never lost interest. He was captivated. I caught some of his joy on my sweet new Kodak Zi6.


Northpark Train Show from Matt Walker on Vimeo.

Train Show

Ipod touch

I splurged on a new iPod touch and I’m loving it. I’m writing this entry with it. I’m blown away with how much it does. I also got a kodak zi6 for Christmas which I love. It is an he camcorder that I can litterally fit in my pocket. It’s ultra simple.. Basically a box with a lens and a button. The video and still image quality is amaZing for how simple and cheap it is. I figure I’ll take a lot more footage of the kiddo because it’s so simple and portable. I’ll be posting some videos of hanky at the park shortly.

Pics in the Park

The whole family went to the park to take our Christmas card pics. Luckily Jenny was available to help shoot some pics using our humble point-and-shoot. Our Salt Lake, Dallas, and Finland friends might be jealous of our 70 degree Christmas weather. Jenny took some great pics.

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Halloween

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Happy Halloween everyone! It was great seeing Henry have fun. Corey and Jessica were in town for the first time in many moons from their new home state of New Hampshire. So we went out to see them at a Seamus Stout show at Trinity Hall last Saturday. They were taking their kid Luthor to ‘Boo at the Zoo’ at the Ft. Worth Zoo on Sunday, so we joined them. We dressed Hanky up in his Superman PJs and met up with them. We bumped right into each other at the parking lot. We took him around the place. It wasn’t that great, mainly fighting ridiculous crowds just to score some candy here and there. But it was well worth it to see Henry have fun. We saw a crappy concert by the ‘Drumming Monkeys’, then we took a train ride. Another mom got in our same car, who also had a kid just a little older than Henry dressed as Superman. Pretty funny. Henry liked the train ride the best. His head turned with every lit decoration that went by.¬†

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Halloween was fun too. I worked the day shift so I could get out early and get home. I made my costume this morning. Sarah gave me the idea to draw a NASDAQ graph on a T-shirt and be the economy. So I wore it to work. Pretty lame costume, but scary none-the-less. When i got home, Sarah, Hanky, and Jenny were hanging out coloring pictures. We carved some pumpkins and Henry got to play with the mush. Then we dressed him in his trusty Superman outfit, and took him for a walk down Swiss Avenue. For those not in Dallas, that’s the historic row of ultra-big, nice houses just a block away. The crowds that gather are insane. But we were pretty early so it hadn’t filled up quite that much yet. People loved his costume. Strangely, there were lots of Superboys at the zoo, but none on Swiss. People seemed pretty impressed by his costume. We got his picture with people passing out candy dressed as Hershy’s kisses. We found out their last name was Hershy. I followed them around with my newly-repaired camcorder. I’ll post a video later. We got home, put Henry to bed, popped in a cheesy horror movie from my sweet Horror Classics 50-pack. We ate chili Sarah made, and some Krispy Kreme donuts. Delicious.

Farmer’s Market

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Sarah had the brilliant idea of making a Sunday afternoon out of getting some produce at the farmer’s market. I didn’t realize how much fun it could be for a mellow afternoon. There was a sit-down eatery with a place outside where we had lunch. We then walked around and loaded up on produce. They gave out samples and we were pretty impressed with the taste of alot of stuff. Henry was especially impressed with the canteloupe. A sample lady was entertaining herself giving Sarah sample after sample to watch Henry eat. He about took Sarah’s fingers off a few times. Watermelon, canteloupe, plums, blueberries, and peaches. We also got some fresh roasted coffee, and a handful of small pumpkins and gourdes for decoration and general holiday fun. The weather was perfect. A great way to spend sunday.

Texas State Fair

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I took the day off work on Friday¬†just so we could all go to the fair as a family. I’m still getting used to going just for fun, and not having to sweat out a half-dozen performances all day. I’m also getting used to having enough money. The economy collapses, and I actually have enough money for the first time in my life. Or at least just now getting used to it.

Anyway, Sarah and I showed Henry the cows, horses, and sheep. Then we sampled some corny dogs, catfish tacos, deep fried bacon (yep) and a burger. We saw the Kildares play. They’re a local celtic rock band. Much fun. Then we took Henry through the petting zoo with the camel, zebras, giraffe, pigs, small goats and rams, etc. He loved the animals. And we loved watching him. Then we took the sky lift across the park. I didn’t even know they have a sky ride. Must be new. Then we sampled some fried oreos, fried cookie dough, another corny dog, etc.

It sounds gluttonous, but I’ve always wanted to sample so many of those ‘deep fried everything’ that everybody talks about here. I honestly think most of it is over-rated. The fried oreos were probably my favorite. They were pretty darn good. We looked at exhibits. Sarah found a good jewelry cleaner at the commercial exhibits. We both found new wallets. Nice leather that actually have slots for the dozens of cards our wallets actually accumulate. Sarah took Henry on his first Merry-Go-Round ride. He was very eager and happy at first, but not so happy once the ride started going around. Mom had to hold him for the last half. I had a couple beers. We saw a sweet model railroad setup at Big Tex’s feet. We eventually covered the whole place in a giant circle, and decided it was time to head out because it was getting dark and Hanky was tiring out.

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It was good timing because I got home and crashed hard. I HIBERNATED for 12 hours, then had another 2 hour nap the next morning. It must have been something I ate (heh heh.)