All done… now what?

We passed a rather large milestone yesterday with the house.  The last room was painted yesterday.  My wife painted the “Great Room”, really a family room in the basement while I was putting in the last of the trim in her old office.

Basically, all I have left of the major projects to do on the house is to put in the trim in that room this evening (and I have to do some cut in on the ceiling where she missed painting it).

Other than that, we have no major projects left.  I have a few hours of work left to do on some electrical boxes, re-installation of a handrail on the stairwell, and one on the front porch.  The deck needs a coat of paint ( a couple hours perhaps) and we have to empty the rest of the “crap” we’ve not gotten rid of.  We missed our 1 May date to finish, and 1 June date.  But we likely won’t miss the 1 July date.

Last week we purchased our “Land Yacht”, a smallish Class C Shasta RV.  It’s older, kind of like us, in decent shape for it’s age and not too many miles.  It should serve our purpose; that is to keep us out of hotels along the road trip Eastward, and get us to the far side of the country in a snail-like fashion.  We expect it to cost some cash in gasoline, but we will be just fine.

Tonight I plan to finish the trim, the paint and start moving junk out of the house to the garage we can put in a garage sale.  With luck, this weekend coming up and next we ought to be able to get together a small yard sale and get rid of stuff.  We plan to get the home on the market pretty quick after that and with luck have it sold within three months.  Maybe less.  The market is doing well at the moment, and we will see.

Now, there is BAD news from our neck of the woods.  Last Monday on the way home from work I could see a small fire on the mountain in the Air Force Academy grounds from my work.  I work roughly 41 miles from the Academy.  Fortunately the fire was contained and put out rather quickly, within I think a couple hours.  It was only about 100X100 feet in diameter as I understand it.  However, it was dry, windy and no rain was forecast for Tuesday – and conditions were optimum for a forest fire to take hold.  And it did.

On Tuesday afternoon at 1435 leaving work I saw smoke to the NW, perhaps 15-20 miles away.  That fire had apparently just started, and it mushroomed very quickly. By the time I arrive home, 30 minutes later, the smoke plume was up to 25,000 feet in height and stretching 35 miles to the ENE.  Radar was showing it was growing quickly.  I could see the smoke from my home (about 8 miles south of the actual fire) and it was being reported as “dangerous”.  They were rapidly evacuating people from the area and the fire grew rapidly.

The fire is now known as “the Black Forest Fire” and has sadly claimed two lives.  483 homes, 14,200 acres have been destroyed.  Numerous outbuildings are not counted in that count but for every home there was likely at least one outbuilding in that area, whether sheds, barns or garages.  Thousands of people have been displaced, hundreds of domesticated animals including goats, horses, dogs and cats had to be saved.  Currently the Sheriff says there is no obvious evidence of foul play, but the incident IS being investigated as a crime scene (probably because two persons were killed, over run by a fire storm it appears at this point) and they are leaving no stone unturned to find the cause.  The last I heard for certain was neither the Air Force Academy fire OR the Black Forest Fire were caused by lightning (confirmed by the National Weather Service, no lightning within 72 hours of the Black Forest fire’s start, which happens to encompass the AFA fire’s time line.)

This fire came just about two weeks short of one year from the Waldo Canyon Fire on the slope to my west.  This fire was north of me.  Both fires were with 8 miles distance of my own house (neither moved in the direction of my house though, my family was not in danger either time and most of my children were safe at their homes as well).

The Waldo Canyon fire was started by a human.  At this point it appears that so was the Black Forest Fire.  No suspects or persons of interest have been found yet.

At this point though, I think it is time to get my home on the market.  I need to sell it, and I’m sure someone probably needs a house to live in.

It’s a sad world we live in if those fires were started on purpose.



More on the Fire

The fire is 45% contained and has burned a lot of trees. The fire has burned 17,659 acres and killed two people.

The two were apparently an elderly couple from what I can gather from the small bits of data I can find.  She was confined to the home I believe.

We are sorry for the folks who lost their lives.  It was unnecessary.

The FBI and DHS are investigating this fire and I can only suggest there is more here than meets the eye.  This blog isn’t for my political musings though so I will leave it at that for now.  I hope they find whomever is responsible though before the people of Colorado Springs find him.

Yesterday someone came to look over our current boat,  “Winds of Change” and it appears promising. I gave them a full tour and let them look her over, ask questions and with luck perhaps she is the right boat for them.  Their current sail boat is a 19′ boat and too small, and they are looking for something bigger but not too big. 

If we sell the boat, we can work on getting our travel trailer for the next part of this journey.

JoAnne came up with the brilliant idea of saving money at hotels by purchasing a small camper/travel trailer to go across country when the time comes.  This will kill two birds with one stone, allows us to save cash by staying in our trailer instead of hotels and we can move temporarily into the trailer  while we strip the inside of the house of everything, remove the old carpet and replace and paint, do the minor repairs and so on.  That will allow us to be able to show the house as well without actually living inside haha.

The week of the 9th of July I have contractors coming to start on the roof (hail damage a few weeks back) and gutters.  Sometime after we will have the house painters.  Getting that all accomplished soon.  With luck we can sell the boat and use that to fund our trailer.

As to the disposition of the trailer, once we arrive where we’re going to find our boat, find the right boat and make that purchase, the trailer gets sold.  The truck will be sold once we have outfitted the boat to the point we can make our way to the Caribbean.

The plan is working.  Four years into the Five Year Plan and everything has worked correctly to this point.

Waldo Canyon Fire

JoAnne and I were on a trip to Cripple Creek Colorado on Saturday, 23 June, 2012 with her work folks.  Because she belongs to a group that pays money over the year for a Christmas Party, a Cripple Creek trip and a picnic in the summer, we went.

Around 1230 local time in Colorado we started hearing rumors of a “fire” near Colorado Springs. At about 1315 my daughter sent a telephone text message saying something about a fire in “Waldo Canyon” and the possibility of  highway 24 being closed.  As a ham radio operator connected with the Amateur Radio service (ARES) I contacted the local police and fire to find out what was up.

To make a very LONG story short a fire was found to be burning and by the time we heard about it, the fire was close to 100 acres.  The road wasn’t yet closed.  By the time we passed the location where the fire was supposed to be located, it was raging on the mountain top, we saw flames that were pretty damned high and a helicopter doing an airdrop.

On Sunday the fire got bigger.  On Tuesday evening the fire had been 5% contained.  At 1600 local we had a press conference and about the end of the conference the fire exploded with 65 mile an hour winds running up the canyons.  It hit Mountain Shadows along the front range and wiped out a lot of houses.  Estimates at this time are from 100 to 300 homes.  Somewhere around 64,000 people over Saturday through Wednesday (today) have been displaced.

Amateur Radio has been called up and they can’t get enough people to operate radios.  This fire has become the highest priority for Colorado and we have now well over 1000 fire fighters, thirteen aircraft hitting the fire, and we have no idea the number of trucks and other fire suppression units.

At this point, NO LIVES have been lost.  Lots of homes are gone though.

And lo and behold, Obama will visit on Friday.  As far as I am concerned he can keep his ass home at the White House and deal with all the other crap he ought to be dealing with and just sign off on sending us money to this state.  (I think the state ought to stop sending money to the Feds, myself, but that’s another story).

Colorado has been declared a disaster area.  There are somewhere between 10-13 fires burning right now. There were over 20 set in Teller County over a week (last week) and they were ARSON.  A few weeks back the Al Qaeda published a magazine telling their followers to “Set the US West on Fire”.  Looks to me like they succeeded, and if not them, it was the bloody Earth Liberation Front.  Either way, they are terrorists and they better hope they never meet me and admit it.

Hundreds of people have lost their homes on the mountain side.  This has affected 1.5 million people in Colorado Springs and El Paso county, the Air Force Academy, and it is promising to be problematic for the people up the front range.  The fire is moving NORTHWARD and people in Monument have been requested to standby on evacuation.  Woodland Park on the West side of the county has had a mandatory evacuation.

The last few days have been hell for a lot of people in Colorado Springs.  Many of us believe this was a terrorist attack and the government is keeping that information quiet, because frankly they don’t want the public to know the truth any more.  Think me a Conspiracy Theorist? You’d be way off.  There are news articles and evidence to support this.  Then again, I think it was either AQ or ELF.  Neither of them are beyond the pale.