Scott's Column
The Move... AGAIN!!

July 5, 2015
By Scott Lewis

For reason that I won't go into on this site, I moved again at the end of May. I received the keys to the new apartment at 4:44 PM on 5/29. I packed and moved in a whirlwind until I turned in the keys to the old apartment at 4:17 PM on 5/31.

That's right... do your math... I packed and moved from one three bedroom apartment (with a garage) into another 3 bedroom apartment (with a garage) in less than 48 hours. 47 hours, 33 minutes to be exact. A new record. If anyone has beat that let me know. I'd love to here YOUR story.

Most everything went well will this move. Cable TV & Internet did not. When I moved at the end of April I scheduled for someone to come to the apartment to setup the DVR and Internet. And they did. They actually arrived about 30 minutes into the window of time I was provided, and finished in just over an hour. Prior to that day, I received at least 8 phone calls from the cable company trying to get me to do the "self install" where they would send me everything I needed to do the install myself. Except when would I received the new modem/router and the new DVR? Would they arrive Friday at my old place? Or Saturday (the day scheduled) at the new place? I could see waiting for them to come as a package in the mail for an undetermined amount of time.

Of course... even though they were coming to the apartment on Saturday morning, on Friday night after the bulk of the move had taken place... we hooked up a TV directly to the wall jack and got basic channels (and watched a basketball game).

For the second move I elected to do the self install. After all... I had all the equipment this time. They told me they had to "mail" me new cables. Because they don't know if the ones I have will be good enough. As policy they always provide new cables for free. And... .here's the kicker... the cables would arrive the Monday or Tuesday after I moved in (which was a Saturday, mostly). Of course, the cables were not there. And the cable service was NOT on. We could not get a signal for basic TV or Internet.

So I waited the allotted time and when I got home on Tuesday evening and saw no cables in my mailbox, I called the cable company. The person was very polite, and informed me that the window of time on my "install" was from 11 AM to 11 PM and it should be on by 11 PM.

Yea right. I had gone to bed at about 10 PM. until my son woke me when he came home with friends. So, while I was up talking to them, I checked. Nope, it was past 11 PM and no cable and no Internet. I was too tired and needed to get back to sleep.

On Wednesday I called the cable company and was told the installation was scheduled for Wednesday. What? OK, so it should be on by 11 PM... again! Of course it was not. On Wednesday night I called and someone said two things:

1) They had the wrong apartment number on the order.
2) The previous tenant to this apartment had the cable turned off (it sounded like they hadn't paid their bill).

So... they had to send someone out to the poll to re-attach the cable. That would happen on Friday (so they said).

Come Friday there was still no cable. I called and they said it was scheduled for Saturday. Uh-Huh!

Of course nothing happened on Saturday.

On Sunday I called and got a recording to call back during normal hours (from the number they gave on Saturday to verify the install) or I got hung up on from the main phone number after being on the phone with them for a little over an hour. Nice!

Come Monday I called from work during the day (because Sunday was SOOOO productive). They told me that it was scheduled for someone to be out there on Monday (this must have been scheduled when I got hung up on). Sure enough Monday came and went and no cable. Tuesday I called and asked for someone to come INSIDE to verify that the outside hookup was happening. I got an appointment for Thursday. Keep in mind... this is Thursday, June 11th. I was without cable or Internet since 5/29.

Then a strange idea came to me on the way home Tuesday. What about the junction box inside the apartment. I have always been told that is the cable companies area, and customers aren't really supposed to go in their... you know... to add splitters and such and get more TVs connected than they are charging you for.

I opened that box and there were more cables in there than I had jacks in the apartment. I noticed a cable going from one splitter into another splitter and back to the original splitter. Yikes!!! There were a total of THREE splitters in there.

I removed ALL the splitters so that all I had were the ends of all the cables. I dragged a TV INTO the closet and hook it directly to the cables until I found the incoming signal. Whoo-hoo! There is a cable signal.

I hooked up the 1 into 2 splitter to the incoming line. Now I dragged the TV from room to room and wall jack to wall jack. I turned the volume of the TV all the way up, and plugged in each cable into that splitter until I heard the TV come on. Rinse and repeat for all the jacks in the apartment. I labeled each cable for where it went... including 1 cable that did not go to anything (I marked it "Unknown or Unused").

Then I removed the 1 into 2 splitter and used the 1 into 4 splitter. I hook up the cables for the Master Bedroom (cable modem/router), and the "main" cable jack for the living room, and each cable jack for the two other bedrooms, so my kids can each have a TV if they want.

What a nightmare.

So... I lost about 300 sq ft of living space. In reality, it was mainly the living room that is a little smaller in this place. The bulk of the square footage loss was in hallways. In this apartment there are none. I can open my bedroom door and look across the dining room & living room and see both other bedroom doors and the other bathroom door. Before I could not see the living room without walking down a hallway. In fact that hallway made the previous apartment feel like a house.

The lack of hallways means less wall space for pictures and such. So, I have hung up very little because I have way too much. It is going to be hard to figure out how to hang all my stuff without it looking like a giant dorm room.

I want to put up car photos (from my side business). I want to hang some of my best personal photography. I want to hang my framed Super Hero artwork I have collected over the years. I want to display my super hero statues (yes, statues.. not action figures). But there is not enough space for all of this. I need help.

I was planning on getting help in the other place because it was large enough that it could be decorated with a lot of class if I did it right. This place seems too much like an apartment so it will feel cluttered... fast.

Just to be negative... here are a couple of other things:

* No hardwood floor. I hate carpet.
* No island in kitchen (see positives below).
* No view of a golf course.
* Only 1 car garage instead of two (so I lost my photo studio).
* Smaller gym (barely usable).
* Cheaper appliances and counters and other niceties.
* A/C sucks.

All is not worse... here are the positives:

* Much more kitchen space (explanation below).
* I am over 4 garages so I don't have to worry about how loud we are to our nonexistent downstairs neighbors.
* No one above us, so we don't have to worry about people stomping on our heads.
* overall more storage (more below).
* Huge balcony that will take furniture (though with a view of the parking lot).

Let's start with storage. This apartment has a closet outside on the balcony. And that balcony... is a really nice size and shape balcony. When the weather cools I plan to put a table and chairs out there and enjoy Sunday morning out there drinking coffee. There is also a coat closet by the main entrance... and a coat closet at the top of the stairs from the garage. The previous apartment had NO extra closets. so we were using bedroom closets for storage... and the garage (which I was keeping as uncluttered as possible to photograph cars). The master closet is smaller, but holds all my stuff. So it is a wash since I don't need it for storage.

The kitchen is better. The previous apartment had a nice island, and plenty of space to walk around it. However it had very little actual counter space. And equally less cabinet space. And the pantry was very small. The current apartment has a nice size kitchen with 3 times the pantry space, and much more cabinet space. There is at least one cabinet with nothing in it... and I have lots of room for dishes, pots & pans, glass, coffee stuff, etc.

As for the A/C: my bedroom is furthest from the unit, and gets wild temp swings of over 8 degrees, I have tried partially closing other vents to help force more air to my room, but it still varies a lot. Also, I have seen it stay at 75 degrees for many hours while set for 73 at the thermostat. So it is not cooling the apartment too well anyway. I may have to call this in. It may need a Freon charge or something. I am also weary of the filter. I'll pass final judgment after I see an electric bill.

Well, that's really about it.

A home is what you make of it. I have both my sons living with me for the first time since I left my wife over 5 years ago. That is a good thing. Now we are trying to help my ex wife prepare the house for sale. I NEED that to happen so I can get my equity from the house and use that money to pay off a LOT of bills.

Until next time...