The year 2017 in review – Part 1

loooooooooong post.

I’m gonna start this on 12/3 and work it through December. Just cuz. Ooh…I know…I’ll do it in Parts so you can skip around through the boring stuff if you want.

So…I promised I would let y’all know the massive changes that occurred in 2017.

Before we get to that…a little backstory.

A time map, if you will:

Skagit house: 1990-2003
Arthur Place house: 11/2003 to 11/2017
Sagewood house: 11/2017 to today (unless I do something to tick off the HOA and get kicked out).

We moved into the house on Arthur Place sometime around 14 years ago (November of 2003?). At the time we moved in, we lived only 2 doors away from it and we knew the folks who lived there. I remember the “move” being so amazingly easy because I somehow had a trailer of sorts that I could move by myself (e.g., no car needed). So I would just load that baby up with crap, walk it down the street about 20-30 yards and throw it in the garage of the Arthur Place house. Besides the proximity being a factor, there was also the fact that the original house on Skagit was a mere 1800 ft2 whereas the Arthur Place house is close to 4000 ft2. Ergo: we didn’t have a ton of crap going FROM 1800 ft2 TO 4000 ft2 (yeah…you know where this is going don’t you!). A brief foreshadowing here: after living 15 years in the Arthur Place house, we moved to a 2000 ft2 dream home and then attempted to figure out what to do with 15 years of accumulated stuff sitting in 4000 ft2 of space and how that might get compressed down into 2000 ft2. Lesson: it cannot.

Back to the 15 years at Arthur Place. I remember we moved on a Thanksgiving weekend if memory serves. We had the wonderful help of some friends (and their army of children…heh heh) and because of the details already mentioned above, it wasn’t a difficult move at all.

When we moved in, the house was basically in pretty good shape. The landscaping was excellent including a little miniature putting green with about 4-5 holes in the backyard on an upper terrace.

Also…the exterior had been painted (finding out later: painted lousily in the wrong temperature by college kids who didn’t know you shouldn’t do that) and the interior was practically carpeted EVERYWHERE…I think even the bathrooms had that berber carpet that was so popular (still?).

No holes in any walls. All doors intact, hinged, and working. All windows pristine. All irrigation watering stations working. No known leaks in roof. All neighbors cool, relaxed, and chill. All fences between said neighbors in working condition and looking good. Pets on the Selby side: reasonable. I think we brought over 2 cats or so and a single dog. All landscaping trimmed, neat, alive(!), and perfectly manicured by previous owner. All appliances working reasonably well. Actually…I will take a time out right here and point out that the ONE SINGLE APPLIANCE that could be described as the “hero” appliance of the entire house was (wait for it) this GIANT hot water heater that refused to break down or stop working. I think I replaced both sets of “heater elements” (can’t remember what they’re called) one single time and it was easy and a consumer such as myself could do it. Other than those two replacements, this water heater was like the rock of Gibraltar. I seem to recall the previous owner having FOUR(!) girls (and a wife). So I think I see what happened here. In the Selby case: we had 3 girls, one boy who took as many baths/showers as a girl and then I suppose normal guys (me and eldest son). The point is…that water heater was working overtime ALL THE TIME. To this day (having been in the new house at Sagewood now for a few weeks), and having communication with the new owners of Arthur Place…that water heater is still going strong. Meanwhile…the tiny, miserable, pathetic (it’s not its fault) water heater in the new house goes cold with ONE SINGLE BATH. Sigh.

Okay…where was I? Oh…naming all the things RIGHT with the house at Arthur Place. We had the place for 14 years total (almost to the day!). We started out with rather small children (the oldest was only 12). The house was huge because we didn’t have a lot of stuff. I remember how difficult it was just to FIND a child in that mansion. At the previous Skagit residence (two doors down…remember…try to keep up), I could stand at the top of the split level entrance and bellow and my voice would reach every corner of the house (mostly). At Arthur Place, I could spend a significant amount of time hunting down one or more miscreants (or their miscreant friends) and it almost became like a game (one which was not fun). At one point, the kids and their friends from Dayton devised a game called “Aliens in the dark” and guess whose house was perfect for that…Arthur Place.

What then began to happen is what happens constantly in our universe (or does it?): entropy. Between entropy, and the never ending revolving door of friends (some who lived there for several months at a time), the house and grounds began to decay, very slowly at first, but gaining speed in its later and final years of our ownership.

And that is all I have for today because I need to eat something and take the dog for a walk…because I can and because this newest neighborhood is so amazing to look at (eye candy for my middle-aged tired peepers).

Until next time,


New Subscribers (this means YOU!)

ALRIGHTY!!! I just received word back from the WordPress folks and I now know what’s going on with my subscription to the blog thang.

So…turns out the ~400 subscribers are more a reflection of the Faceplant (er…Facebook) friends of mine than actual subscribers.

What that means is that I can safely say:

We’re open for business for anyone to subscribe to the blog here at!!

Just stick yer email addy in the box at the bottom of most pages (maybe go to the bottom of THIS post you are reading and it should be there) and you’ll get a confirmation email that you gotta complete and all that. BUT…it allows us to manage this here blog subscription thing muuuuuch easier *and* allows YOU to unsubscribe with a minimum of fuss and all of us can be happy either subscribing to the blog or UNsubscribing to the blog. I know how irritated I get when something I accidentally signed up for keeps bugging me and I CANNOT get out of it. That shouldn’t happen here (let’s hope).

I have the blog subscription thing working correctly (I’m pretty sure!) and you will get a simple email update whenever I submit a new blog post. I plan to hopefully be more communicative in 2018, especially about the progress of my music. It’s funny…I’m an IT developer by trade (for over 20 years now) and yet I haven’t had the time to FULLY understand this WordPress/blog subscription thing (which I could probably write the code myself…but would rather not!). Yeah…silly cobbler has children with no shoes…or something like that. IT developer guy can’t even get his WordPress blog subscription correctly setup…I’m so ashamed….

Since switching the house over to Apple products (which, again, will be an entirely separate post…hoo boy it’s been an interesting journey), coupled with all the other things that happened in 2017, my creativity seems to be soaring right now and I DEFINITELY want to take advantage of that!

I’ve basically already completely re-written everything on At My Old School in my head and plan to try to do it all in the Apple environment (either on the iMac (Logic Pro X) or on the mighty, but tiny iPad 5th Gen that AT&T was so nice to offer up to me for $99) OR on an iPhone X (more on THAT later as well). That $99 iPad was the single best musical investment I have made in a long time. Heh heh. It’s what “started the ball rolling” into the Apple camp.

I am also hot on the trail of a new solo piano album (or two!) and THIS time around, not only do I have ALL the tech ready and nailed down (and the grand piano libraries I will use are STELLAR!), but there’s that creativity thing being poured on me and there’s also just a general sense of happiness and calm in my life right now (knocking on wood!) which I think will really add to the warmth and overall “vibe” of the various solo piano albums I have planned.

Regarding the massive changes in the Selby tribe…isn’t it funny how, when we are blessed by something or someone in our life, we sometimes look fearfully/guiltily over our shoulders waiting for “the other shoe to drop” when, instead, we should just be basking in it and soaking it up. Yeah…I’m pretty two-faced about that whole thing. Not enough time to get into it…maybe in another post.

Alrighty…even though I caught you up a little in this post, I WILL post again with hopefully a bit of a timeline as to EXACTLY what things happened in 2017 to cause such emotional/spiritual/physical turmoil/joy/sadness/happiness (yeah…multiple emotions all in the same year…weird).

Until next time,