Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Yesterday We Visited Bellevue - And Catherine Murat Appeared To Greet Me

Harry and Catherine Murat

Catherine was a very influential person - even after the death of her husband Prince Achille Murat. She was the great grand niece of George Washington. The Prince's mother was the sister of Napoleon. 

Bellevue was the inspiration of many of the details of our home - Seminole View. 

What does a man do that has not labored in 11 years - do on Labor Day? He convertibles with his lovely young wife to the Tallahassee Museum to enjoy a vacation from a vacation. Lulu wanted to tour Bellevue one more time. To our surprise - waiting at the door - like in a dream - was Catherine Murat. 

Catherine told us about the house - and about her husband Prince Achille Murat. She told me how she bought the house from her sister after the Prince died. She just sat on the back porch with a long and lonely look. When I told her about our home - she commented that she saw it on Seminole Drive.

The house is made of wooden beams. It is covered by lapped siding that also forms the interior walls - there is no plaster covering them. Upstairs is one large open room. Downstairs is a center foyer - and on each side is a large room with a fireplace. All the rooms have very high ceilings. The front door and back door are lined up to allow breezes to blow thru the home. This is often called a dog run. The front and back windows are shaded by two long porches. There is a kitchen in a separate building behind the house - connected by a walkway.  

The house is built over a high crawl space where air conditioning ducts have been added. It was moved to the Tallahassee Museum from its original site near the FSU Stadium on Bellevue Drive. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

I Love LED Lightbulbs - I Am So Cheap

Last night the moon lit up the sky over our new home. The LED lights lit up the yard. 

These 4 watts LED bulbs cost $7 at Lowes. They put out 240 lumens.

Yesterday I installed 5 outdoor lights on our garage. I used LED lightbulbs - just like I did in the rest of the house project. Do not get these mixed up with those swirly bulbs. LED bulbs are brighter - dimmable - have no warmup period - and last a long time. I almost forget to say they use way less electricity. 

I bought my LED bulbs at Lowes - but you can shop online too. People might complain they cost too much. I bought mine for $7 each. My bulbs use only 4 watts of power. They put out 240 lumens - about the same as a 25 watt regular bulb. The package says they will last for 50,000 hours! I hope that means 50,000 hours of being turned on  :-)

4 watts of power is 25 times less used than a 100 watt bulb. A 100 watt light bulb cost 1 penny an  hour to run. That means my bulbs can burn 25 hours for a penny. 

In my opinion - light bulbs are the best burglary prevention you can have. Like cockroaches - burglars hate bright lights. They simply pick someone else's house to rip off. 

A total of 5 - 4 watt bulbs light up our garage. They are on a timer that turns them off and on as many times as you want. 

As you can see from this chart - our home had the lowest consumption for homes of similar size in our neighborhood. Even though we have left 10 LED porch lights on at night - our bill is very low. Most of our energy use is by the heat pump/AC unit. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Noles Pull Off Major Upset in Nebraska in Front of 8800 Fans

LINCOLN, Neb.  (Seminoles.com) – In front of a record-setting crowd of 8,854 the 13th-ranked Florida State indoor volleyball team won three-straight sets and pulled off the 3-1 upset over No. 7

The Choke At Croke

Penn State Beats UCF in Ireland.

Last minute field goal.

Last Night Capped My Best Sale Ever - Meet Our New Neighbors

Meet the Klings - Diane Kling - Simon Barrass - Jennifer Barrass - Joe Kling.

After we moved into our new home at 1816 Seminole Drive - we put our old home at 1607 Seminole up for sale. I did not want to hire a realtor - I am home all the time and enjoy a challenge. 

It started back in 2004 when we bought the place because it was 3 doors from the George and Joel Dawson and it had a pool. Lulu was convinced if she did not buy a home with a pool - I would never build one. Not only did I buy a home with a pool - I installed a new one. So Lulu was happy. We then went into a 10 year improvement binge - new guest house - new workshop - new pool - new floors - new roof - new windows - new kitchens and baths. We closed in the carport to make a garage - had the whole place landscaped - and put in new driveways - did I miss anything? We thought it was our home for the duration - so we spent way too much. 

When we bought an extra house down the street - visions of building from a clean sheet of paper filled our dreams. Lulu was happy where she was but she was game to design the inside of the the home. My job was to shape the outside - you can tell that from the plain box I chose. We expected all sorts of arguments - but in the end - without one argument - our builder Gary Shiver turned our dreams into reality. Bill Richardson put our ideas on paper - our secret weapon. 

To sell the house I made a this web page - 

Then we waited for the offers to pour in. One day I got an email from a Jennifer in England. She said she loved the web page and house. She wanted to buy it. It reminded me of getting one of those emails from a Prince in Nigeria. I blew her off with - you must see the place before you buy it. 

I Wonder Why They Are Not Hyping This As - Cowboys and Indians - Maybe Because Paleface Is Going to Get Scalped

Tonight at 8 PM

Friday, August 29, 2014

Look At This Great Car For Sale On Craigslist

Our Prius sold in 24 hours to my neighbor Manny.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Staying At the Moana Hotel in Waikiki in January

The Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki - Hawaii. You may recall this hotel from the Elvis's movie Blue Hawaii in 1961. Hawaii was just a state 2 years ands this was one of the only places on the beach. 

The open air lobby allows ocean breezes to flow through

Lulu is making a presentation at a conference in Hawaii. Usually we stay at our friend Doris's condo in Waikiki. When Lulu was a professor at the University of Hawaii - we loved the condo life on the beach - but would always love to the crash the facilities at the Moana Hotel. I used to enjoy sitting on their verandah and read the newspapers from all over the world. Later on- I would squat on their wifi while Lulu enjoyed the beach.

I remember one young lady using a beach lounge by the pool under the Banyan tree - when the life guard came and routed her from her squat. She replied to him in perfect German - got up and hopped into the pool.

Lulu used to teach a course for the University of Hawaii every summer. We would have  a lot of guests come over to spend some time in our condo.

From January 5th to the 9th - no one will be chased from the pool - unless Lulu points them out to the life guard. She reserved a room in the historic section of this Hawaiian landmark. Now she will have the right color of towel to prove she is legit.

One time I surprised Lulu with an anniversary dinner on the veranda. Drew - Keith - and Robin were along for the party. They witnessed a pigeon bomb Lulu's pretty white dress. To my joy - the hotel paid the bill for the meal and the dress cleaning.

It was off the coast of this hotel where Lulu and Harry learned to surf - see video here -

Harry Surfing Video

At one time it was the only hotel on the beach

Just like Seek is the Capital of Coaldale - Waikiki is the Capital of Honolulu. On the map you can see how close the beach is to the airport. You can also see Pearl Harbor - Tora! Tora! Tora!

To the east of the Moana Hotel is Diamond Head - an extinct volcano.

In the day time I sit on those porch rockers and watch the people and cars go by.

This Banyan tree has a pool - restaurant - and bar - under its boughs.
This photo shows the Moana Hotel before there were cars.