Sunday, August 23, 2020

You've probably been wondering where I've been.

I haven't been evacuated..... yet.

Last week my neighbor decided to plant those 20 foot palms 2 feet off my property line. Now I have half a tree on my property. When I told them the canopy could not be on my side, they called the cops on me. For the second time. The cops came and said I could trim anything over the fence, but I knew they were wrong.

Then I spent two days calling around to see if I could get any remedy. I called the city. LOL. I called a bunch of lawyers. Eventually I found a lawyer who referred me to some fancy pants guy in Berkeley who writes case law on trees. He's pretty much the "expert witness" lawyers call when they need opinion. He drove out to my house - from Berkeley, and pretty much told me I was fucked. He said it ~was~ a technical violation, but it would be too costly to fight. I appreciated his honestly immensely even if it didn't go as I would have hoped. I am out 700 bucks, but when I trim those fucking trees I can say that I called in an expert and did everything I could to do the right thing. He's basically my insurance policy.

Now I'm trying to figure out a way to get out of my house.

Which brings me to the fires. I don't mind people having their trees a few feet over my property. It's only when it gets egregious that I care. And it's because of the fires. This morning at 9:30am Mr S. and I went to the Valley to buy welding blankets because I am sitting on a half cord of wood. I'm terrified of the embers falling on it. So, it is now wrapped in a welding blanket. The mylar fire blankets were sold out almost everywhere because all the firefighters are in my city and the city next to me. I was initially going to use that.

Because of one judge, you have ZERO property rights regarding trees. If the owner will not trim them, you are pretty much fucked. There is NOTHING you can do. You are forced to prove you used extreme care in triming your neighbors trees. Because NO tree trimmer will touch them. If you feel you need defensible space because you've already had a fire take your house and everything you own - who cares. And this is why California burns every single year. It's not because of global warming and all that other shit. It's because these people are fucking mental when it comes to trees. They would rather have their whole fucking city burn down than touch those precious trees. So when you are feeling sad about people losing their houses, remember this post because some of them don't deserve your sympathy. I know it sounds harsh, but it is the sad truth.

The winds are suppose to get erratic tonight. This is the first time I'm actually going to pack a bug out bag for Lacy. I've played out this scenario a million times in my mind. I'm still staying to fight. All morning I was pushing water into the trees I have on my property. I'm astonished not a single other person is doing this.

So... that's where I have been. I'm super mad pretty much. So please don't poke me. I'm so mad I might just decide to quit the internet.

Just outside of Fremont there are gravel pits. A Chinook was dropping down into them to get water that gets trapped from the rains. I have never ever seen that. There are two reservoirs within 10 miles.


  1. There is a lot of crap going on in your world but you have some great photos!

    I know it's not much... good luck!

  2. Capital of Texas RefugeeTuesday, August 25, 2020 2:38:00 AM

    "Now I'm trying to figure out a way to get out of my house."

    As in selling it? That could work out.

  3. Yeah. Between the dog and those trees they just planted - I'm out. Those people are deeply awful. I might do a short term rental for a year on my place.

    Supply is pretty tight right now though. 2007 level tight. And you don't want comparisons to 2007 IMO. So it might take me a minute to find a new place.

  4. Capital of Texas RefugeeTuesday, August 25, 2020 12:55:00 PM

    So why did I move?

    Because I couldn't get what I wanted where I was.

    Because the deal I was offered meant I could get out.

    What I wanted was really like over in Seaside but all over the place, not just some little semi-resort grade spot.

    But here? It's a different experience when you realize that the younger person serving you coffee might be sitting on as much as a quarter million CHF.

    Buses are safe, trains are safe, and nearly everything's actually really nice.

    And with my eyes gradually going to shit, having a place where I can walk around and not have to be looking over my shoulder is exceptionally nice.

    So as much as I poke you about such things as Why Not Austin, it's really because I've lost patience with living among crazy people.

    Live in a US city and you are very matter of fact surrounded by crazy people, and despite the conveniences, the being able to walk places, the easy-come-easy-go airport, you'll never have so much money that the crazy people are Way Over There and not Right Over There as in nearly next door.

    Given the distances you obviously drive now, a place in Round Rock or Georgetown, which are not The People's Republic of Austin, would possibly work out if you could find the right kinds of gigs.

    I'm pretty sure Mister S could get what is effectively a raise given how much you're probably spending in California. Your situation I'm not familiar with, but given that there are the same kinds of companies in North and Northwest Austin, it's possible.

    Two hurricanes are barreling up through the region where I used to live, BTW.

    But here, the big deal right now is what all of the Brits fucking off back to Britishland are going to do because of all of those extra flights being laid in by the airlines.

    The "Whinging Poms" can go back to Britishland where they'll be welcomed as victims of the Yoo-Kay Guv's move to implement new quarantines on Switzerland. They can pay 500 CHF or more for flights out of here in a hurry and share their stories of Yoo-Kay Guv-inflicted horror with the people back home.

    The ones who want to ride this mess out here, welcome aboard.

    It really is better here.

    And it really is better in Austin for you perhaps as well.

    I just can never go back to Austin because the last time I was there, I kept seeing all of the stuff that once was and isn't anymore, and the shock of it all was overwhelming. Lots of cool stuff may remain, but even more of it is totally gone.

    Thomas Wolfe wrote a book about how you can't go home again, and as much as it was meant to be fictional, it was as much a story about how he personally could never go back to his home in Asheville, North Carolina again.

    But Seattle killed Thomas Wolfe as dead as Dickens.

    Let's both be glad we're not in Seattle.

    Some people didn't make it on the journey, however: the blonde's staying in Florida. I'd have put up with quarantine again if she'd have made the effort.

    Know what's neat about being here? Nobody asks you what you do for a living because it's considered rude. When someone new you're seeing happens to be a millionaire, it's not really all that important to ask how she got it.

    After all, when the national average is that people are half-way to being millionaires, it's not so rare, is it?

    The blonde thought I took a new job and suddenly moved away, which is true, but I never really let her in on what else was going on.

    Maybe I already had a Swiss mentality: being especially nosey about someone's job really can be seen as exceptionally rude.

    That's why I've never really asked. :-)

  5. "So as much as I poke you about such things as Why Not Austin, it's really because I've lost patience with living among crazy people."

    Yeah. I get it. I'm so mad I'm trying to move to another town. The thought of running in to these people makes my blood boil. I just don't understand what they get from this. But she is a virtue signaling bitch, so maybe I will never understand. Literally everything on her twitter was virtue signal this, virtue signal that. She's an empty headed vacuous garbage person. She told me she wouldn't keep the dog in the house "because they have nice things". That kind of vacuous.

    "Given the distances you obviously drive now, a place in Round Rock or Georgetown, which are not The People's Republic of Austin"

    Austin is just California with humidity.

    Sorry to hear about the Blonde. How are you doing with that? Will she come eventually or you guys are on a break?

  6. I'll be honest: I don't think she wanted to make the effort, and I'll take that over what I suspect was actually the case, which was that she never intended to make the effort.

    That was always in the back of my mind with this move.

    I also have been very careful not to disclose much about resources or what I actually do, so what that meant was that to her I was a guy who at one time lived in Miami, owned a boat, a few vehicles that she could see, rented instead of having a house, worked from an office in the home, traveled a lot, and wasn't too worried about money.

    But this gives me new opportunities.

    "Austin is just California with humidity."

    I think it'd surprise you.

    I can say this without giving too much away: move far enough up the social food chain in Austin and the people get a lot nicer.

    It's the total opposite of what I experienced when I was in California.

    But yes, you'd want to be outside the People's Republic of Austin because of property tax rates, and so maybe Round Rock, Georgetown, Leander, and places north of Austin would work out.

    Also: no state income tax in Texas, and incorporation in Texas is only a little bit more involved than what you have to do in Florida, which means it's super simple compared to all of the stuff required for California.

    Where were you in Texas that you got such a bad taste for the place?

    Houston? DFW? Waco? San Angelo???

    I've been in worse than San Angelo, and we will never talk about that. :-)

    You're just not going to get total sanity anywhere near a major US city, and these days Austin certainly qualifies as one, but you won't be subject to as many petty tyrannies because of dipshit judges believing that it's possible to legislate from the bench.

    Keep in mind that the Austin I liked is long gone, back when the population signs out on Capital of Texas Highway had numbers from the high 200k to the mid-300k range.

    Now it's like a Texan version of Jacksonville, Florida, but with some interesting cultural twists. That doesn't mean I can't see it'd be a useful place to be a while.

    One thing to keep in mind: never, ever go to Hippie Hollow.

    You're just going to have to trust me about this. :-)

  7. "I can say this without giving too much away: move far enough up the social food chain in Austin and the people get a lot nicer."

    Yeah. That doesn't appeal to me. I am not a social climber. And generally take a dim view of circles that "I have to climb". If I have to do that for you to be nice to me - fuck off basically. I don't need that kind of validation.

    I'm sorry to hear about the blonde. I guess it's better to know now then later? There are a lot of pretty blondes over there though I'm sure. That is the one thing that might cause you to never come back. Women tend to not want to move. That's how men get stuck here in California. I know one guy who said - I'd rather live somewhere else - but I want to stay married.

  8. You pretty much misread that thing about Austin ...

    It's easy enough to succeed in Austin.

    1. Make it clear you'll keep your word.
    2. Don't be an asshole.
    3. See items 1 and 2.

    The low-class people easily identify themselves as being like your current neighbor, but much more crass, and so you can figure out who you don't need to bother with pretty easily. Because the assholes are going to non-virtue signal their being assholes, that makes finding the non-assholes all that much easier.

    It does help if you're into hunting, BTW.

    You might think I'm joking, but it's a big part of the culture.

    The Austin NRA gatherings were some of the biggest in the country.

  9. I don't think you are joking. I've lived there - eaten the squirrels. I've done frog gig-ing. I'm pretty conferrable with the culture.

    As for a previous question. Texas didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth. The people were absolutely lovely. I just have a very bad reaction to mosquitos and with water literally everywhere, you can't escape it. Also I'm not a fan of the snapping turtles and snakes.

    This is my neighbor in a nutshell. She thinks everyone is beneath her. She's got all of the hallmarks of people who get large sums of money and are not quite smart. I recognize this behavior because my Aunt and Uncle won the lottery and proceeded to buy more lottery tickets and things they couldn't even use. They ran through it pretty quick.

    I would wait this girl out, but I don't know how much money she has left from a wrongful death suit. You couldn't be more crass than this girl. She ghettoed out and spilled all the tea for our neighbors to hear.

  10. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, August 29, 2020 3:11:00 AM

    Actually tree roaches would be your biggest problem ...

    Mosquitos in and around Austin aren't all that noticeable.

    People in other states refer to tree roaches as Palmetto bugs and other such names, but they were always for us tree roaches.

    Expect to be overwhelmed by them for about four weeks per year, often around August to September, and then they'll go away.

    Unlike regular roaches, these roaches don't seem to make any big deal about trying to come indoors, and you can spray for them so they won't want to come near your doors.

    Keep in mind that Texas has seven different climate zones, and Austin's is different from Houston, San Antonio, and even "nearby" Waco, although Fredericksburg isn't too different from it.

    "I don't know how much money ... left from a wrongful death suit ..."

    Don't believe you're going to out-wait these tree roaches because they may actually be trying to pull some sort of scam involving you.

    Why else pull all of the drama with the police?

    Just remember to take down all of the pictures of your current place when it comes time to sell it, because why make it easy for some algorithm to find some pictures and other stuff that isn't part of your listing?

  11. Ooooooh. That's a good idea. Although stuff I've already posted has been cached a million times on some server.

    "Why else pull all of the drama with the police?"

    I don't really understand why most people call the police. Unless someone is dead or you've been robbed, I don't understand why people use the police to solve personal or family problems. Those people are trash. That's why police departments cost us so much money. It's even her wifi name. (genericcity)PD. Like anyone who was a real threat would be scared.