My aching feet

Next move, I don’t pack as much.

Or at least, I don’t move as many items in advance. As part of my upcoming move, I’ve been packing up various parts of the townhouse and taking stuff over to the new house piecemeal. On the one hand, the old place is almost empty, which lets me clean as I go and trash stuff I know I don’t need.  Moving is always a good opportunity to ‘clean house,’ so to speak – but my God – there was a lot of crap stacked up in this joint!

My plan is to have everything small enough to move myself out of here by Friday.  The movers are due Saturday to get the furniture.  I’m turning the washer/dryer over to the Salvation Army – they should be here Saturday too.  Books, clothes, dishes – all at the new house.  The car is packed with everything that was in the garage.  There are a few more things in the kitchen; I should have all that out tomorrow.

Back to the crap.  A good part of the garage was filled with stuff I needed to throw out.  I had been trying to take it around to the dumpster bit by bit, but I decided to make a big move and get it all out tonight.  I haven’t been walking or jogging at all lately, so I’m only averaging 4,000 steps or so a day.  With all the trips back and forth taking trash out this evening, I racked up about 8,500 steps for the first time in months!  Admittedly, I took a quick circle around the office today with the boss for a meeting, so that helped.

I have to work late tomorrow, so my plan is to drop my truckload off before heading into work – with more packing when I get home Wednesday night.

But, after packing and cleaning for 3 solid hours today, my feet really hurt.

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Exit… Stage Right

I’m on the move. Just as things look like they’re getting white hot in downtown Memphis, I’m heading to the other side of town.

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The olde homestead

I moved into my townhouse on Carolina Avenue right after Faxon-Gillis finished building it (not quite finished, more on that in a bit). It was part of a lot of the new construction going on downtown, and I had lived downtown in my first Memphis sojourn, so I wanted to be there when things took off. The housing market had started to slip when I bought in 2008, but I did not expect things to come to a screaming halt, but the economic collapse did just that.

So I’m heading to Cordova. Not that I ever had any plans to move to that particular part of Memphis. I’m not an East Memphis type. Not an outside I-240 type at all. But I work on that side of town – and my girlfriend lives there. Of course, some guys believe (I know because they’ve told me) that having a place to go to when you’re not with your significant other can be a good thing. And it has been handy to have a downtown location when you’re going to the FedEx Forum, the Orpheum, Cook Convention Center, River Arts Fest or any number of other events. Still, it’s a lot of driving.

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She’s smiling because of all the chores she’s got lined up for me

Because of that, and other stuff, the gal pal and I will be sharing an address. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend all their time with a well-known former TV personality (she is – I’m was never as well known when I was on Memphis TV). It’s a nice house on a hill – and it’s directly across the street from her parents (whuuuuuuut?)!

There certainly won’t be the same level of quirkiness along Germantown Parkway as there is downtown (Music Fest just ended; BBQ Fest will be underway the day the movers are here). Sure, there’s an IHOP around the corner from the new place, but the Arcade is just around the corner from the old place. As is Ernestine and Hazel’s and all the other wacky and wild downtown destinations.

One thing I will miss being here for is the Main Street to Main Street project connecting downtown Memphis to West Memphis over the Harahan Bridge. I haven’t been riding my bike as much as I used to – but Carolina is on the path – so in a year or so, I could have taken the pathway over the river, instead of dodging cars on downtown streets. Although I have enjoyed some decent views between here and Mud Island.

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View from a bike ride

One of my co-workers has already let me know the quickest pathway from where I’ll be living to get to Shelby Farms and the Greenline.

Anyway, we’d been having internal discussions about the move since last fall, and while I was planning to put the townhouse on the market, I hadn’t gotten around to it. Interestedly, several of the other houses on the row have sold recently, and someone wanted to bid on the place two doors down, but didn’t get the chance before it sold. I had a “Make Me Move” price listed on Zillow.com he had seen, so he asked his real estate agent call to see if I was interested in selling. They made a good enough offer that made it a simple decision.

Here’s the thing. There are often repairs sellers have to make after a home inspector checks out a property. I had a couple of windows that needed repair. Cody (the repair guy from County Glass) told me that the he uses a ribbon of silicone to help hold windows in place and prevent drafts. Turns out when Faxon-Gillis built the home in the first place, they used double-sided tape. Here’s the good part – the installer never took the paper off one side of the tape – so when Cody opened the sash, the glass just fell out. Fortunately, he and a co-worker were there to catch it.

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If you haven’t read it, it’s still news

Phone’s turned off. First time since 1975 I haven’t had a land-line. Did you know that when you go to the U.S. Postal Service website to change your address, you change update your voter registration at the same time? And I’ve let the weekend crew at Lifeblood on Madison that I’ll be donating in Germantown in the future. Well, I’ve got to finish packing – and I’ve got to remember to change the address on my Commercial Appeal subscription when I renew. I’m sure Pam will appreciate the coupons in Wednesday and Sunday’s papers. I’ll be able to keep up with the stuff going on downtown that I wasn’t actually attending when I lived there.

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On Leadership

I’m fascinated by the spectacle that the Shelby County Commission has become lately. Now that a chancery court judge has ruled, Henri Brooks gets her seat back, because apparently, the county attorney isn’t the correct party to determine whether Commissioner Brooks was actually a resident of the district she was elected to represent.  And now, the commission is going to take up the matter again, as Commissioner Ritz is expected to present another resolution on the matter.

Where do you live?

Where do you live?

Personally, I don’t think the Commission should waste another second on this.  If Commissioner Brooks did not live in District 2 when she was elected, or moved out of the district after she was elected, then she should admit that.  Based on the way she’s responded to questions about her residency so far, I don’t see that happening.

If the Commission continues to deal with the issue, it will take weeks for that body to make a decision, then respond to the fight Commissioner Brooks will mount against any negative decision.  By the time all that works itself out, her term in office will be over.  So, it’s almost a moot point whether Commissioner Brooks or Commissioner Ford live in the districts they represent.

The disappointing thing from my perspective (as a registered voter in Shelby County), is the sense of arrogance and entitlement that some of elected officials have.  It’s almost as if they believe they are doing us a favor by serving in office – instead of the actual fact that we’ve done them a favor by voting for them.

Again, if Henri Brooks feels like she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation, that’s her prerogative.  Will I take that into consideration when voting for a Juvenile Court Clerk?  Yes, I will.  The rules dealing with residency are spotty in Tennessee.  If the Republicans in Nashville wanted to do something of value, they would stop passing you-can-carry-a-gun-anywhere laws and tighten up rules on residency, requiring anyone running for office to prove where they live before taking office.  As far as the current commission, because there are questions, how difficult would it be for every member to offer some sort of evidence that they legally represent their district?  That proof could be an address on a tax return – because lying about that would be a federal beef – I hope no one’s arrogance would rise to the level of mucking with the G (quoting Sean Connery in “The Untouchables”).

While I do think all this noise is a lot of noise – here’s the bigger point.  Once this issue resolves itself, and a lot of these people are off the commission, there’s still a risk that someone, sometime, could have a problem with some vote the commission took on some issue.  And because there was a question of residency – two questions, actually – a critic could certainly use that as a legal argument to go to court to overturn some decision(s) made by the commission.  So if any member of the commission is serving illegally, and knows that – they may have poisoned important work affecting every resident of Shelby County.  That would be their legacy.

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So, what’s going on with you?

I won’t start out this post by noting how little I’ve posted in the previous year (it was once, by the way). It’s not that I’ve been too busy to post, because that hasn’t been the case. And it’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, judging from all the stuff I’ve posted on Facebook (Facebook – now the home for old people everywhere! Want to share information and be fairly sure your kids won’t see it? Put it on Facebook! Think I’m kidding? http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57572154-93/why-teens-are-tiring-of-facebook/)

I did have a few milestones in 2013.  Right before the end of last year, I bought a new car.  Paid cash for it (nice feeling). I do miss my old Celica.  13 years, 130,000 miles. I traveled, spending a week in Jamaica with my true love, as well as my sister and her husband. All-inclusive resorts are the way to go.

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Wastin’ away again…

 

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Ready to run

I got fat in 2013, pushing the scales at 250+, but I also got thin, using the aforementioned Jamaica vacation to lose some weight (a lot of walking around) – and another weight loss contest at work helped me burn off another 30 pounds. But I’ve got to be careful – I’ve lost 90 pounds in 3 contests at my current job – which means I’ve gained back the weight twice. Don’t want to do that again. The big payoff for getting into shape was going to be running in a 5K for St. Jude in December. Who knew an ice storm would shut down the race? It also shut down work for a day (I don’t feel bad about that at all, to tell the truth). But I have tried to stick with the fitness, getting my money’s worth out of the treadmill I bought a couple of years ago.

 

I also got to see the family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My nephews and niece continue to grow up too fast. I guess that’s the way it goes when you only see them once a year. Just so you can see how we’ve changed, one photo is Mom and the kids from November and the other one (which is hanging on my mother’s wall) is from 1967 or 68. I’m still very cute.

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Now.

 

 

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Then.

I’m going to try and find more to talk about this year. No point in having a blog if it doesn’t getting blogged on, right? Anyway, there’s a mayoral race coming up, the city is trying to work itself out of a pension mess, the suburban cities are starting their own school systems and they’re trying to sell the baseball team and the ballpark (Maybe we can get Bass Pro to put an annex in at AutoZone Park).

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Look – someone still reads the paper!

And hey – you keep reading – and I’ll keep writing.

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Has It Been That Long?

I clicked a stray link in a document I have saved on my work computer and it took me to one of my old blog posts.  Frankly, it’s been long enough since I’ve blogged regularly, that all my posts are “old” posts.  Anyway, that got me clicking back through the history, where I learned that it’s been 4 years and 5 days since my original blog post, made shortly after FedEx decided it no longer wanted my company.Image

My former employer is going through another resizing, although this time it offered long-term employees the opportunity to take buy-outs, instead of involuntary separation that I went through with 2,999 others back in 2009.

I was lucky – in the midst of a recession – I was only unemployed for 2 months.  I remain gainfully employed, I’ve been able to pay off some bills, the mortgage is covered, and I even bought a new car.  Interestingly, I’ve probably produced as many videos for FedEx in my new job as I did when I was in the company’s video production unit.  But I usually turn to UPS for my shipping needs.  Okay, I’m holding a little bit of a grudge.

It’s funny how things work out.  Several members of my family spent their careers working in state government in Ohio.  Me, I wanted the adventure of a career in the news business.  One of my younger brothers, and his wife, had been in their jobs long enough to retire from them – while they’re young enough to enjoy it.  I’ve moved around so much that I’ll probably be spending my retirement asking if you want fries with that.  I do still hold out hope that either PowerBall or MegaMillions will come a’calling.

Getting older bites – as those of you who are getting older already know.  Things slow down, you don’t move as fast – or as pain free as you used to.  But things aren’t all bad.  I may owe the IRS some money, but I’m refinancing the house, so I’ll come out ahead.  And, I’ve got a trip to Jamaica planned for August.  The only thing I have to do now is get down to Speedo weight!

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