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  1. While I am sad to see these beautiful houses go, and worry that they won't be the last, I am happy that we'll at least be getting guaranteed green space out of it. Yes, the CC seems to be very much on top of it. Too bad it's not exactly contiguous with the existing park, but at least it's more greenery, better than cookie-cutter houses or convenience stores... !c
  2. Hi all, I'm wondering if anyone has any good recommendations for a foundation company. I want to start getting pricing together so I can set the goals to get what I need done, done. Here's what I need to have done, and hopefully that will help w/ the recommendations: Detached 2-car garage: slab -- slab is cracking and sinking, causing lots of water in the garage. Want to get the slab repaired, and preferably lifted a bit to prevent water from entering the garage during heavy rains. AFAICT, there are both gas and water/sewer lines under the slab. Don't care so much if it's too high for cars to get in, as I'm going to basically turn it completely into a workshop. Pier & Beam: what appears to be a later addition to my home is shifting slightly, causing cracks, etc. It's not bad, but I'll want to get it resolved before I start some interior work later this year. I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations on a _single_ company that can do both (I don't have much time to deal with multiple vendors), do them well at a reasonable price, and offers a warranty. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! !c
  3. In theory they should already support Zwave, which I believe uses zigbee networking - it's on my long to-do list to hack up a zigbee transceiver and see what it'll tell me. I don't expect to get to it until this summer, but if I find anything useful, I'll come back and post it here. !c
  4. *laugh* I sure I hope I've not got a second personality, and if I did - I'd hope it wasn't living down the street! *grin* (That could get real confusing, real fast!) All this reminds me that it's been a bit since I've been to the range, and I still haven't taken the lady to get her familiar with the most recent selection in "ready defense." (Shame on me!) Alas, looks like her and I have a date this weekend, hehe. !c
  5. Agreed - and I don't believe it makes them stupid. I guess it's all a matter of training and upbringing, I was raised to believe that any use of a firearm (outside of certain crowd control uses by trained personnel) should be considered a deadly measure, it reflects in my position on them (such as making sure that even a dis-assembled barrel is not pointed towards anyone during cleaning). No one else's opinion should be considered wrong, I was just trying to make the point that it would seem to me that "non-lethal" and "firearm" don't really go together in most situations. But, yes, one must not discount the courage and willingness to defend that a firearm may impart on an individual, even if it has less-than-lethal ammo loaded. The most important part is that when you're in the situation, don't hesitate and don't appear scared. I'm with you on the "outside of my home" part. I would approach the situation differently if they're outside of my home, not just because of the intrusion and safety factor, but also because the situation could be rendered differently under the law -- the threat could be less imminent. Mind you, a simple pump-action shotgun can resolve most such issues without a shell being fired, but lord help you if you need to fire it, and it isn't ready to! For the OP, I sympathize with your situation, and am glad it ended with no one hurt, and nothing lost. !c
  6. I'm of the general presumption that I'm not psychic, and therefore I cannot determine at the moment of entry whether or not a burglar is there to a) just steal, and will run if confronted, b ) just steal, and will fight back if confronted, c) there with primary goal to cause harm to my family, or d) intoxicated and unpredictable. Additionally, not being psychic, I am unable to determine if they are armed until there is compelling evidence of either case. Given that, and given the numerous other variables, and general awareness that the police, even if called, will likely not arrive for a number of minutes, I keep what you might call "protection" available at home. Added that I am unaware of their armed status, I refuse to load such "protection" with non-lethal or minimal-penetration (i.e. frangible) ammunition. My presumption is that in the case I am compelled to protect myself, I must be prepared to trade a life for a life. I understand that everyone has a different viewpoint on the subject, but when it comes to self-defense, you're defending yourself -- not diffusing a riot, or playing "war games". That means my opinion is that if you've got a weapon to defend yourself, and if you've pointed it at someone, then you should be prepared to kill them. Not being prepared, hemming and hawing over non-lethal ammunition will show its self in a time of crisis, and likely give your attacker the upper-hand. So, pistols are loaded (including chambered round) with hollow points, shotguns with lethal ammo. I practice and tell myself "keep shooting until it doesn't move," and throw my faith behind the Castle Doctrine. Thankfully, I've never had to put these concepts to the test, but I do pray that if I ever do, that I worry that I responded with too much force, rather than too little. !c
  7. Maybe he got some bad tamales, and had to miss the parade? !c
  8. Actually, it ends in Van Horn and extends all the way to Florida. It's 1,633 miles long. http://en.wikipedia....i/U.S._Route_90 Edit: Whoops. I got it a little mixed up. US 90 runs to Van Horn, US 90 ALT runs from Seguin to Houston.
  9. You mean the train tracks at Dowling & Commerce? I got stuck at a train there less than 3 months ago. Have they been de-commissioned since then?
  10. Having lived in the warehouse lofts next door, long before those townhouses were built, all I can say is -- if you decide you want it, and you're a light sleeper - spend a night in it first. Those train tracks are active, it's not a quiet zone, and aside from the great rumbling of two trains passing at once, you also get the wonderful honking they do at each other from many blocks away, and solid right through the intersection. I lived there for a year, and barely ever slept. (Other people like it just fine, though.) So, I'd get a good chance to double-check the soundproofing before I'd make any decision =)
  11. Update: yes, if you have a smart meter you can use DEIS to see your usage. Mind you, it's about as interesting as watching paint dry, and the options as to what to display and how are pretty limited. (In fact, the same information is on my bill from the REP, but DEIS makes it slightly more granular - two week periods instead of 1 month periods.) Here's the URL: https://deis.centerpointenergy.com/index.asp?pageid=424
  12. No, Google does not make them. They are made by a company named 'eMeter'. (http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/17620) You are charged each month for 12 years. I don't know how much they cost, but they keep repeating, if one were to ask them, "the cost includes the cost of the supporting infrastructure." Edit: yeah, I have one. Looks cool. Guess I'll get all that HAN stuff when zWave gets cheap enough, and then I can, uh, um. Is DEIS the web-front to look at your energy usage? I'll check it when I get home later.
  13. Well, the garage is approximately 16' x 18' - and I'd want to keep the footprint about the same size, if not a little bit longer (16x20-24). And yes, there is everything in the way... Power lines, power poles, a house, etc. It's set-back at least 80' from the street, behind the house. The best I could probably hope for is the neighbors letting me use their driveway - it's real easy to access from there, and theirs is much wider than mine. Let's not forget the natural gas, sewage, etc... I think it might all work better if I move to a tankless heater in the house (the washroom and water heater are in the garage), but it would still have to have the laundry plumbing - nowhere appropriate to put a utility room in the house, not without taking away a lot of space from something. I would presume that a demo and re-build would run in the 25k range?
  14. Hey Laurie! Yeah, I've not been taking many pictures lately, instead have been focusing on photo-related electronics for a bit. Once the latest project gets into full production, expect me to be back out on the water shooting again =) (Although, admittedly, most of it will be motion rather than stills!) !c
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