Friday, December 21, 2007

Into the Sunset

I hope that people relocating to a new city continue to find my resources helpful. I've unearthed books on relocation, career resources, and information on housing affordability, and Austin business networking. I compared city climates, cost of living and transportation, political climates, city economies, singles in cities, sought-after technologies, and tech jobs by city.

Relocation Complete

My postings have trailed off, and the most recent ones were not on-topic for a relocation blog. That's because my journey to relocate is complete. The research paid off. I moved in January 2007 to Austin, TX. Clawed for awhile, and found friends, employment, a great house, and driving privileges.

Among my reasons for moving were to stop being a high-mortgage slave, and spend more time pursuing creative work. Most recently, this has taken the form of cartooning. From many comic book and graphic novel concepts, I selected a short subject as my first book. I have been publishing the comic book The Kid From Mushroom Island online each Tuesday and Thursday. The title is available as an RSS feed for enjoyment in Google Reader or on your favorite Start Page.

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32 Comments:

At Monday, December 24, 2007 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte,

How are you doing in Austin these days?

 
At Monday, December 24, 2007 8:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is your life like in Austin these days?

 
At Tuesday, December 25, 2007 5:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mushroom Monte,

Good comic.

 
At Tuesday, December 25, 2007 5:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.boblog111.com/video-boob-scotch.html

 
At Tuesday, December 25, 2007 6:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singingfish

 
At Tuesday, December 25, 2007 6:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Singingfish_group_photo_-_Queen_Anne_Big_Room.jpg

 
At Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1:26:00 AM, Anonymous NYC Movers said...

Hi,

I see your blog on "Into The Sunset" You have very nice information on - "Into The Sunset" Your postings have trailed off, and the most recent ones were not on-topic for a relocation blog. That's because my journey to relocate is complete. The research paid off.

 
At Wednesday, January 14, 2009 10:42:00 PM, Anonymous Immigration Visa Australia from India said...

Hello Friend,

Your blog having very nice information on Travel.

 
At Monday, May 18, 2009 6:31:00 AM, Blogger Grace said...

Thanks for the information on wasp repelling. I am new to the area and had not seen this type of wasp nest. There is a beautiful nest in my garage that reminds me of summer camp pottery class. This looks better than any of my pots ever did :)
I was going to go look into pest control, but I will give the mint oil a try. I do love aromatherapy, though I never thought of using it as repellant. I and the wasp community thank you.

 
At Wednesday, September 30, 2009 11:39:00 AM, Anonymous Compass Van Lines said...

Relocating is a daunting task. Let a professional moving company do the work for you. If you are moving in or out of Florida whether within the US or relocating internationally, visit http://compass-vanlines.net. We will provide a superior service to satisfy your moving needs.

 
At Thursday, October 08, 2009 8:03:00 AM, Anonymous kb said...

how did you source the company to relocate if you don't mind me asking? I'm curious as I have set up a awebsite to helppeople with moving.

 
At Friday, July 16, 2010 2:04:00 AM, Blogger jasmine said...

Nice post. This is good to know that you provide information for relocation moving services , thanks

 
At Wednesday, July 28, 2010 12:59:00 AM, Blogger David said...

Its a nice blog posted by you. I was seeking for this type of blog that have a fresh and interesting content.
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At Tuesday, December 21, 2010 6:38:00 AM, Anonymous City Centre Flats In Leeds said...

I had a good read of your blog, thanks for the relocation advice Monte. If only more people could provide assitance like you do.
I am moving to leeds and went down the route of looking for an agent to help me, i went to http://www.cityliving.co.uk/ and they were pretty good.

 
At Wednesday, July 06, 2011 3:16:00 AM, Anonymous Austin Residential Movers said...

This post was made in long back but still this is useful as the topic relocation tips itself is useful. People can refer link above in post.

Very helpful

Thanks

 
At Monday, September 19, 2011 4:06:00 AM, Anonymous Moving Company Reviews said...

This is a good blog to read. Hope your life is going great in Austin. It’s a good place to live in.

 
At Thursday, October 27, 2011 9:14:00 PM, Anonymous Houston Movers said...

These days, one of the most painful task is to move or to relocate from a place. Planning to move needs lot of help, thats why mostly I recommend for a consulting a good relocating firm, that professionally advice them. Thanks for your great help.
Really a good place to get good advice.

 
At Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6:29:00 AM, Anonymous Daytona Beach Movers said...

Relocation is pretty tedious task. I would like to share the information with those who are planning their move up ahead. Great article. Thanks.

 
At Monday, January 16, 2012 5:20:00 PM, Blogger Mike McQueen said...

Your posts on relocation are very interesting and helpful. Glad your relocation project was a success.

Mike @ Relocation - Always Moving Stuff

 
At Tuesday, February 07, 2012 4:08:00 AM, Anonymous Removals Dublin said...

I appreciate your work

 
At Friday, March 16, 2012 7:14:00 AM, Anonymous movers nyc said...

Thanks for useful info, relocation is never easy

 
At Monday, July 09, 2012 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Hudson said...

Good list of resources, thanks for the help.

 
At Monday, July 16, 2012 12:47:00 AM, Blogger marsh jone said...

Nice info share in this blog for travel and shifting point of view. Thank for nice post. removals in sydney

 
At Monday, July 30, 2012 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Sally Griffin said...

If you are thinking of a move to the Yorkshire area in the UK then please get in touch with us. We are called Straight Home and specialise in property search and relocation services for both private and corporate clients. For more information please see our website: www.straighthomepropertysearch.co.uk

 
At Friday, August 31, 2012 11:41:00 AM, Blogger Premier Moving Labor said...


If you are moving in to Raleigh NC area and looking for a helpful moving tips and advices you can always visit PremierMovingLabor.com . Top Rated Raleigh movers who has an outstanding customer satisfaction rate among other movers in Raleigh NC.

 
At Tuesday, September 11, 2012 9:53:00 PM, Blogger Eva Cyrus said...

House Moving is one of the difficult task, because you may lose many of your objects at the time of moving, like you may even lose screen of your T.V or so many other, so it’s better to consult with the removal firms. man and van London

 
At Friday, October 26, 2012 9:45:00 AM, Blogger Packers and movers said...

If you've ever moved, you know how stressful-and expensive-it can be. If part of your job is helping other people in your company to relocate, then you're intimately familiar with relocation costs and the myriad of other challenges that go along with relocating.

Packers and Movers Chennai

 
At Thursday, December 06, 2012 8:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently moved from San Antonio to the West Coast. A Huge ordeal. Kids cars and dogs. Leaving was horrible. Once we were there it was easier. Found someone to unpack off a website. www.123relocation.com. I wish I had seen it earlier because it would have helped to find an apartment and some other stuff. The moovers they had listed were inexpensive at least. Hope that helps fellow relocators. I know how hard it is trust me!

PS The wife kids and dogs came through it unscathed. It is only me in counseling. LOL

 
At Thursday, December 06, 2012 8:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently moved from San Antonio to the West Coast. A Huge ordeal. Kids cars and dogs. Leaving was horrible. Once we were there it was easier. Found someone to unpack off a website. www.123relocation.com. I wish I had seen it earlier because it would have helped to find an apartment and some other stuff. The moovers they had listed were inexpensive at least. Hope that helps fellow relocators. I know how hard it is trust me!

PS The wife kids and dogs came through it unscathed. It is only me in counseling. LOL

 
At Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:22:00 PM, Anonymous packers and movers in delhi said...

very nice information given by you.. .thanks for nice post

 
At Monday, January 28, 2013 10:40:00 PM, Blogger Alia Rechard said...

Relocation is too sophisticated process of life. I don't like to move from here to there it too difficult to shift all things. Packing and Unpacking too boring. I was moved one time but that time movers NYC helped me to move.thanks to Movers

 
At Tuesday, September 03, 2013 3:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope every people will learn for this great post!
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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Airborne Attack II: The Mintening

A dozen wasps were rebuilding this morning, in the balcony light socket. I had read that mint oil repelled wasps, so I put several drops of peppermint oil on the window washer pad, and daubed it on the area of ceiling around the light. The wasps vacated.

More were hovering under the eaves, where I had seen some before. I discovered a fourth nest there, and scraped it down. I daubed more peppermint oil under the eaves and on the other former nest sites. They would not fly directly there and land any more. Instead, they would swoop in and back off, or walk around the areas in pairs.

I dripped peppermint oil on the bases of two compact fluorescent flood lights, and installed them. The wasps avoided these as well.

Gradually, the wasps returned. Each former nest site bore a black mark that would not easily scrape off, and the wasps made a beeline for them. I shooed them away with the makeshift mint dauber. I then used a paint scraper to remove the black resinous marks, right down to the composition siding. These spots I rubbed with mint oil directly. Several minutes later, the wasps were avoiding these spots, and flying around or perching near them. I needed a more effective way to apply the mint than a 1-ounce dropper.

I Googled (is Google-Scholared a verb yet?) and found that some research had been done on essential oils and wasps, horets, and yellowjackets. Margaret R. Grahn Marisi patented a formula of water, vinegar, essential oil in 1996: Full Text. Other groups invented methods of application, and extensively tested different oils, for Woodstream Corporation in 2003 and Bugaway Brands in 2007. Woodstream sells several products, including Poison Free Wasp and Hornet Killer 1, 2. I did not find a product or company website matching "Bugaway Brands."

Labels: , , ,

5 Comments:

At Wednesday, July 04, 2007 6:57:00 AM, Blogger Monte Hayward said...

Single Bee Sends Gathering Of Humans Into Helpless Panic:
DALLAS, TX—Civil engineer, marathon runner, and Gulf War veteran Scott Fogel leaped back several feet and hid behind a waste can to escape the .03-ounce insect. (June 16, 2007 | The Onion Issue 43•24 News)

 
At Thursday, July 05, 2007 9:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte, I'm glad you are finally acknowledging Dallas. Let me know when you visit the city.

 
At Tuesday, August 14, 2007 6:55:00 PM, Anonymous Gary said...

Good to see you want to relocate the wasps. I don't like killing them either, as they do play a role in nature, like all other creatures.

 
At Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte, let's see some fresh content!!!

 
At Monday, October 01, 2012 6:10:00 AM, Blogger Negi said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.

Wasp Removal

 

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Airborne Attack

One evening last week, I stepped out onto the balcony, with a chair an a novel, ready to relax for awhile. I had scarcely cracked the book when I noticed a number of wasps swooping and buzzing around above me. I went back inside. The rest of the evening consisted of a ground-to-air assault. I distracted them with a bright light from a window. I would dart out, spray them with some Simple Green soap, and then duck back in before the angry swarm could sting me. I had just bought window cleaning gear, a long pole with a squeegee on one side and scrubber on the other. One Pole, Many Uses, it read. I used it to scrape both of their nests down. I stomped on the nests, which produced a foamy crunching sensation.

Later in the week, I checked to see if my haven was clear. They kept rebuilding in the same two spots. I hit those with Blue Mint Listerine and another squeegee assault. They came back. Even when the vestigial nest marks were almost gone, wasps still hovered under the eaves. What was the attraction?

A coworker told me that this was not unusual for Austin. "I spend at least 30 minutes a day killing stuff. Lately, gnats, and fire ants. Get some poison, dude.

I drove to an organic home and hardware store, hoping they might have some natural insecticide (based on chysanthemums?) I explained my predicament to the two women behind the counter.

"They're beneficials," one said.

Yeah, I don't necessarily want to kill them. Just persuade them to build elsewhere, I said.

"They are not human predators, offered the other. They will only attack if they smell the pheromones from aggression or fear."

I've done some meditation, but I am pretty sure that I was not going to be that mellow. "Yeah, I'm not comfortable with a dozen wasps circling my head while I am reading a book."

One of the sales ladies walked me over to the gardening shelf. They had repellents based on orange oil, but nothing that listed wasps on the label. "Even if you poison them professionally, they will keep coming back to the same spot," she offered.

Finally, the gardening guy stepped in, switching to me from a customer who had questions about buckwheat pillows or something. I needed a bucket of soapy water and Super Soaker squirt gun. Kills them on contact, with no poison, he said. About the only other thing I could do was paint the eaves blue. "They think it's the sky and won't land there."

I went for the squirt gun option. HEB had an (X-Stream!) 32-ounce water rifle for ten bucks. I filled it with Mandarin Orange hand soap and hot water. Several times. The wasps were not really clustered in one spot, so each insect took several shots. They moved quickly. I'm glad that my West neighbors have not moved in yet, considering the stray 30-foot arcs of soapy water.

Wasp Nest in Recessed Light FixtureThen I saw it. There was a nest 3 times the size of the first two, hidden up in a recessed light fixture. Crawling with wasps. I snapped this photo. Then I soaked them. The adults fell or buzzed away. I knocked the nest down with the other end of the squeegee pole, and squished it. A few more reloads of the orange soap rinsed off the tile floor, along with any scent that reminds the things of home.

Score: Non-toxic aromatherapy soap 3, wasps none. Now, where is that novel...

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4 Comments:

At Monday, February 01, 2010 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous Adria Brown said...

Kudos for you for finding a solution that was non-toxic for you and your neighbors, but safe on Mother Earth herself. I am with you being uncomfortable with wasps flying about your head while you are trying to read. Glad you solved your problem. It was a happy ending. :)

 
At Saturday, January 21, 2012 2:26:00 AM, Anonymous Rodent Control Austin said...

It's nice to find a site you can trust.Visit Critterriddertexas.com this site was recommended by a friend so I tried it.They provide a Animal Control Texas Rodent Control Austin, Bee Removal Austin and Wildlife Removal Austin at affordable price.Their service was great.

 
At Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:43:00 PM, Blogger Rob Turner said...

Hello my name is Rob Turner and I invented and was granted the patents on a product the STOPS wasps, yellow jackets, dirt daubers, birds and bats from nesting in recessed lighting fixtures. please check out my web site at ... www.turnerlightcovers.com ...
We are located in Northwest Arkansas and Turner Light Covers ..."NO PEST" are Made in the USA.

 
At Tuesday, June 18, 2013 5:49:00 PM, Blogger Rob Turner said...

Please visit www.turnerlightcovers.com ...A product I invented to STOP the infestation of pest from nesting inside recessed lighting fixtures (can lights).

 

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The House that Went Away

As close-in Austin neighborhoods fill in, the only construction sites left are ones sold as tear-downs. At the end of May, I was encouraged to see signs that this one near me might depart.

May 30, 2007May 30, 2007

Nothing happened for a week or two, then I saw yellow tape and muddy tire tracks.

June 12, 2007 June 12, 2007

I'm so glad to see this one ease on down the road. I hope something nice goes in.

June 13, 2007 June 13, 2007

3 Comments:

At Saturday, August 04, 2007 2:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Great blog on relocation. I think your readers can benefit from relocation tips on my Relocation Resources web site. Again, great job on the blog and I'd recommend it to everybody.

 
At Monday, July 05, 2010 10:42:00 PM, Anonymous relocation london said...

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At Monday, September 13, 2010 1:02:00 AM, Anonymous relocation london said...

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pigeons Relocate to My House

Pigeons got themselves trappedSome pigeons took advantage of poor workmanship and penetrated the plastic screens under my carport eaves. I grabbed a ladder and cleaned out the nest under construction. Fastened the edges with a staple gun. Within twenty minutes, the pair of pigeons pictured here were back, having found another gap. They had stopped building and seemed trapped. I loosened the screen with a broom stick, and they were glad to exit. I grabbed the ladder and tools again, and began stapling the whole row of cubby holes. Many of the screens were cut too narrow, leaving up to a half inch gap on the sides. These I "extended" by pushing ring shank underlayment nails through the edges of the screens, and then hammering the tips into the wood. Teetering on a ladder cursing at wildlife turns out to be a great way to make an impression on new neighbors. Mine said of the pigeons, "They're industrious. Plus, they have nothing to do all day but make nests and babies." The solution held, which allowed me to stop and prepare for dinner guests.

2 Comments:

At Saturday, October 31, 2009 2:46:00 PM, Anonymous Geneva relocation said...

Really funny relocator :) Thanks for sharing

 
At Thursday, February 16, 2012 4:51:00 AM, Anonymous Removals Dublin said...

It is really very interesting relocation. I never saw such kind of relocation.

 

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Animated Map of House Construction,
1850 - 2005

Trulia uses house construction records and Flash to animated the growth patterns of cities. Compare the growth of Austin, TX with that of San Francisco, Bay Area.

Trulia Hindsight

This appeals to many of my interests: real estate, city growth, data visualization, and user interfaces.

6 Comments:

At Monday, June 04, 2007 10:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte, if you can offer a place to stay and go after that job market, I'm there. Spent way to much time playing tiddly winks here.

 
At Monday, June 11, 2007 7:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte, why did you leave Seattle for Austin? Just curious..

 
At Friday, June 15, 2007 7:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte, what is your opinion of networking thru organizations like this- http://www.dallasastd.org/

 
At Saturday, June 30, 2007 10:56:00 PM, Blogger Monte Hayward said...

The short answer? Sun. Here are my rationale for leaving Seattle, and my opening remarks on the relocation trend.

 
At Monday, July 16, 2007 5:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte, if I get a job offer in Portland and relo, does Portland have the same climate as Seattle and problem w/ sunshine? Also what is your opinion of Portland?

 
At Tuesday, July 17, 2007 11:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte,

I like your comments in the above links, you have some decent writing skills. Yeah, everyone has a different version of what makes them happy and they should go after it in life. The type of relocation you speak is a sizable risk to see if you are happy when you get to the other side. I'm not sure if Austin would make me happy though. I would be more interested in hearing about how it has made you happy, and what drives, motivates, inspires you in that city.

Steve

 

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Where's the Triple Play?

Google for the earliest mentions of "Triple Play phone tv internet", and you'll find a timeline of press releases going back to 1995. So, now, a dozen years later, there must be several bundle deals, and an intuitive search engine to help you choose, right?

Heh, heh.

Getting Connected in your new location, with an ISP, home phone service, and TV is still not a simple task*. Are you ready for the industry-wide Catch-22? All of the companies that I polled based their availability search on your home phone number. Once you have signed up for a home phone service, your options for bundling are limited to the partners of your phone company. So, there's no real way to compare bundle deals without excluding yourself from many of them. Without an established home phone, some sites will do an address lookup, and most will give indeterminate answers and 800 numbers.

As of today, here in 78704, the golden bundle is nowhere to be found. To wit:

  • Time Warner - "All The Best" plan is expensive ($135/3 services), and only available in your choice of Indiana or Ohio.
  • Verizon - I resigned myself to the fact that FiOs was not available. Their Triple Freedom (DSL/land line/satellite TV) package sounded okay. It was only after 15 minutes of discussing options with a telesales rep that she asked her supervisor, and told me that Verizon phone service was not available in Austin at all.
  • Extreme DSL had glowing reviews, but higher prices and DSL only. Their top speed was the same as AT&T: 6Mbps.
  • DirectTV - They bundle, but are not prepared to set you up with one phone call unless a) you already have a home phone, and b) your phone happens to be with one of their partners. Two misses. Otherwise, you could bundle them with WildBlue, a satellite TV and Internet outfit that reaches the rural fringe. It's new, has few reviews, and all of them were mediocre at best. Pass.
  • Dish Network was happy to give me the phone numbers of their five or more telephone partners, so that I could go bundle it myself.
  • AT&T bundles are limited. You can get a triple play, but only 100 Dish Network channels, and only 1.5Mbps DSL. They offer higher speeds, and Dish Network has more channels, but not via bundle.
AT&T All Distance Online Select offers the decent rate of $40/month for unlimited US long distance and local calls. However, the deal is Web-only, and requires -- you guessed it -- a home phone number. So, you call and sign up for a home phone, agree to much more expensive terms, and hope that the "Web deal" does not evaporate before your new line is connected. Until then, you get an error message when you try to switch packages:
Error: The Telephone Number you entered does not match an active account. Please re-enter your Telephone Number.

So, I am left to research each provider of the three services, and cherry-pick the best. I chose the AT&T All Distance Online Select for phone and their 6Mbps DSL. Television will have to wait for another day.

Several of the company reps I spoke with claimed "oh yeah, we bundle. Here are the phone numbers to call for our partners." Um, that's not bundling. Calling that bundling is like calling a bucket and a pair of sneakers "running water."

(*Caveat: all these comments apply to service at my address in Austin 78704. If you relocated somewhere else, your mileage will vary.)

Tools for an ISP Search

Consumer Reports contained only very general comments, and a link back to my old friends at DSL Reports. Their availability tool tries to do the search I need: tell me what bundles are available to me. However, the results were general to the entire state, and those sent me down some rat holes. E.g.: Covad, the top result, only serves businesses. The status messages were less than helpful:

YEP!, your CO is wired for DSL from one or more DSL networks. Since you appear to be living less than 18000 feet from the CO, you should be able to find DSL service from the options below.
No mention of what a CO might be, nor a link to a broadband glossary, but my CO is pinpointed on a map. The results from Search ISPs by US Zip Code had reviews (thousands for some, handfuls for others.)

Wikipedia offered some non-marketese descriptions of the communications companies, which helped untangle the snarl of brands and mergers.

4 Comments:

At Tuesday, May 29, 2007 11:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte, interesting isp info for your area.

 
At Friday, December 05, 2008 3:00:00 AM, Anonymous salome ada said...

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At Tuesday, December 14, 2010 2:00:00 AM, Anonymous Armil@dsl available in my area said...

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At Monday, December 05, 2011 5:21:00 PM, Anonymous Mayel19 said...

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