Closing is on October 31st. We finally got the house and everything we asked for. I plan on getting the electrician into the house the day after closing to replace the service panel and upgrade with a new one. That was all we asked for. Everything else can be repaired in a couple of weekends with little outside assistance. I am looking forward to playing handyman.
What really sucks is the out-of-pocket expenses that are sure to hit. We've been able to reduce our closing costs, so there's more cash at hand to use. First and foremost, we have to shell out around $3k for the electrical. We also need a new refrigerator and a lawnmower. Yes, I am a lawn man. I am looking forward to cutting the grass on a Saturday morning. Gonna need a bunch of tools, too. Lawn tools, shovels, a good axe, edger, pruning shears...that stuff. And don't forget the other mechanical stuff, as well. Gonna need wrenches, sockets, a vice, hammers, saws, power drills and circular saws. Man, that is gonna be fun shopping. Thankfully, there is a Home Depot and a Lowes nearby, and we also have a smattering of pawn shops in the area. One thing I learned from reading Xavier's blog, nothing wrong with stuff bought at a pawn shop (unless it's hot). Gonna need a workbench, too. Dad can help me. He built his from scrap lumber and it has stood the test of time. It better come to me in his will, or there'll be hell to pay.
We also need some more furniture. Bookcases, nightstands, a decent dining set, and a coffee table. Not to mention, we also have the bed issue to resolve. I will leave it to Swede to come up with some design details and the rest is up to IKEA...also down the road. We have plans to make one room a small reading room with a small writing desk, bookshelves, and a love seat or easy chair. Don't know where the t.v. will go. Probably put that in the sun room. We made a promise to each other that there'd be no television in the bedrooms. One of the bedrooms will become an office, and I may end up putting one in there. Gotta have some place for the playstation.
I want to move as much crap over to the new house before my in-laws come across from Sweden. We really were betting on having a house by now, but we played the hand we were dealt. It will be nice to have them in our new home, though. Last couple of times they were here, we had to put them in our spare room at the apartment. That was hell on earth for everyone. Small space with 4 people. My parents offered to put them up, but Swede wants to spend more time with them instead of driving all over creation to be with them.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Do you know what closing on a house means for Shooter?
I GET TO BUY GUNS!!!!!!!!!!
If you will remember from previous posts, I promised Swede that I would not buy any new weapons of mass fun and paper target destruction until we closed on a home. Lord knows I have come really REALLY close to buying a couple of guns, but I have knuckled down and waited it out. That patience and waiting has paid off in several thousand dollars being put into a home buying account instead of a gun buying account.
First things first, Swede gets her gun first. Maybe for a first Christmas in a new home gift. She finally settled on a Kimber TLE/RL...full size. I wonder if she'll go for a thigh holster or not? Hee Hee Hee!
I plan on going hawg wild. Finances allowing, I will get everything I have drooled and lusted after these many months of house hunting. Since we close before the mid-term elections, I have to assume that the dhimmocracks will gain majority control of the House and Senate. This looks like it will be their turn to shake things up. If that is the case we all have to assume they will try and bum rush us with a new AWB (no sunset clause!!!) as soon as the swearing in ceremonies are over.
I've told you about the Mossberg door buster I want. There is also room in my closet for a Remington 870 riot gun. Two AK variants for the G.O.O.D. Katrina/Rita situations that may arise. Definitely have room for an AR-15 or two. Probably start with one and acquire uppers (a'la my golf club theory of AR ownership) as needed. I have also been leaning towards a new SIG, probably a 226. Don't know yet, but I have wanted a new pistol for some time. This would be a field use gun for the deer lease and great outdoors. Good enough for the military and all that jazz...
Now, you're probably thinking where Shooter is going to come up with all this extra cash. Good question. I have been hiding a small gun-fund for some time and it has grown over the last year. It started when we really started looking at houses and has a sizable balance. I really could go wild on guns, but have decided to only earmark what is necessary for Swede's gun and the ones I really plan on getting. Two thirds of that account will go to the house first and what is left is for my guns. I think Swede will be nicely surprised that I have some extra scratch available for the home.
Don't worry, this won't eat into my debt snowball. I still have that planned and am making payments on schedule. That money I have been putting away monthly for the gun-fund was separate from everything else.
I have some updates about the Range, too. It seems that Darth Lord has been given a reduction in rank. As of this week, he is no longer the Darth Lord of the Range. Instead, he is just the darth lord. I don't recall mentioning some of the past goings on over there, but things have been really touchy with the Tac-Tuesday group and the owners of the range. There was a high point, back when I had the run-in with our neighborhood car burglars, where Instructor Greg said he wasn't going to come back to the range. As an instructor, or a participant. Apparently ever. I don't know the whole story, but what I do know is that darth lord had something to do with it. There was a lot of speculation that money was a big issue and safety was a true concern.
HERE'S WHAT I KNOW: This comes from various sources close to the issue. My timeframe is off, but I believe it has been brewing for a couple of months, if not longer. I was led to believe, and others were, too, that the Owners were upset with our group for commanding one whole section of the range three nights a week. From what I know, this was a sore point with them and they wanted more from us in return. I also heard that the owners were asking for improvements and repairs to be made by IG without recompense. I know for a fact that IG has made several improvements and repairs to make the ranges more presentable and safer to shoot on without asking for compensation. He is that kind of guy to do something like that. There was talk of increasing our fee to shoot in Tac-Tuesday and League nights. I am pretty sure that some heated words were exchanged between all parties.
During the height of this issue, safety was becoming an issue. As word of our Tac-Tuesday spread, so did word about how high class The Range had become. The end result was more participants in Tac Tuesday. We've done a lot to weed out the true Mall Ninjas and Tactical Tommies. There are procedures in place to rank the newcomers according to their skill level. We use John Farnham's drill as a litmus test for the new people and a refresher for us regulars. Now, we have a five minute safety brief before the start of any group activity. Anybody showing up ten minutes after the start is not allowed to participate...but we are flexible on that rule. We have a separate lane to use for maintenance and securely switching out guns. We also have a hot zone that we all use at the beginning and end of the session so we can switch out guns and whatnot.
I think the safety issues were a long time coming. It helps us now weed out the interlopers coming from the other ranges who want to join the fun. They must first get permission from the range officer on staff to enter our section and they still have to go through a vetting process to assess their weapons handling skills. We have all come together on this because none of us wants to be hurt because we weren't clear on the rules.
Getting back on track. Darth was the intermediary through most of this hullabaloo. Our emissaries would present to him and he supposedly presented to the Owners. This really wasn't the case. We'd present to him, and somehow, it would come out bad for us. The line of communication was broken somewhere.
Somewhere, somehow, the Owners must have caught wind that we were about to take our toys and play in someone else's sandbox. They had a sit down with the Tac Tuesday powers-that-be and everyone kissed and made up. Everyone is in a happy place now and Tac-Tuesday and League Nights are going to remain. The Owners were pretty perplexed as to why we felt we were being run off. I think at this point all eyes turned on darth lord. I don't know if it was on purpose finger pointing, or the light bulb just went off and everyone said, "Oh! So that explains it."
Well, the end result is this: Tac-Tuesday is now new and improved, we are happy with the range and they are happy with us. Darth has be reduced to no-longer-in-charge-of-all-that-is-range (in other words: he ain't the boss no more). We will be getting a new General Manager this week. I don't know what that will do for my part-time status, so I will have to ingratiate myself with Q-tip Sr (da new boss). His son, Q-tip, used to work at the range until he was accepted at the Houston Police Academy.
Things have turned much better for us. Hopefully, as things are progressing, we will also catch those rat-turds breaking into cars on us, or they will meet their untimely demise on some deserted stretch of road with some unscrupulous fence or drug dealer.
Shooter is clear and QRT.