Boom or bust!

When I quit I quit! With the exception of Dojo Rat’s non-martial arts blog, I pretty much walked away from it all. I do not plan recreating my massive MA blogroll, nor do I have the time. I do plan to (re)gather a dirty dozen or so of my favs and add them to Feedly.

A lot has happened since I stopped blogging. I’ll focus on the top four:

Frontier boom town

This is literally a frontier town. It, and the state, are married to the energy industry. Right now we are in a boom phase which is mostly good. The town lacks affordable quality rentals and we were renting an 1100 sq. ft. twin home for $1,500 per month. I’ll get back to the “were” part in a second… Buying in this town is not much better. Back in Indiana the 1400 sq. ft. house we sold went for 140k. It was 10 years old. This same house in this town would sell for 250 – 280k. Ridiculous!

In October our landlord contacts us and tells us that she’s not renewing the lease. Turns out that her and hubby are divorcing and he may need a place to live. Swell. So after a month of visiting Breaking Bad-esque rentals that cost between $1,500 – $1,800 per month, we tapped out and decided to buy.

Initially we planned on renting. The plan was for me to get director experience and then find that last job in our retirement city. That was a 4-5 year living track in this town so buying initially didn’t make sense. Given the insane real estate market here I think we’ll be okay. For the last 10 years real estate in this town appreciated at 8-12 percent annually. Insane. If my boss were to sell his house now he’d pocket $100,000 profit. Another of my employees resigned and moved to Chicago. She profited $60,000 on a house that they lived in for 7 years. It sold in 4 days!

Right now the real estate is appreciating at 4-5% annually which is still above the national average. This is predicted to continue for the next 5 years. In fact, the city is projecting another 40,000 people to the county in five years. This is all good because we ended up purchasing a new build twin home. We still plan to leave at the five year mark which means we’ll probably sell it in three. Given all the projections we stand a chance of breaking even or only losing a little (between the May build and the November close it already appreciated $3,000). The new build comes with the option to finish the back yard and basement. For sure we plan on sodding the back, landscaping it, and zoning it for sprinklers. Add a privacy fence and we’ve increased property value. Given that everything is new, even if we we’re living in it for five years, it should sell fast. There is a whole segment of energy workers who love these twin homes. Ours has 2,000 sq. ft. with all the power, plumbing, and framing already in place for someone to finish out the basement. We closed yesterday and moving start on Friday!

The job

I was hired to modernize the operation and I’ve done exactly that. In fact, last January I did so well that I was given a 10k raise. I kid you not. Better still, one of my problem faculty recently announced her retirement. God bless the martial arts zen patience I’ve gained over the years. Thanks to that training I won the war of attrition with her. Given my track record I’ve been given the green light to fill her position with a 12 mo. assistant director position. Another win!

The exercise

My work workload was brutal but it’s slowly getting better. This, in turn, is giving me more time to exercise. Since blogging retirement I quit the yuppie gym and got a membership at an old school iron pit. The place even has a heavy bag so I’ve been able to at least maintain some kicking and striking. I also started to run again and have gotten myself up to two miles. It ain’t pretty but I have lost 13 pounds.

Martial arts

To be blunt: pretty shitty. I’ve increased my stretching in preparation for a “return” of sorts. Aside from some bag work I did not have the space for any forms. When we first moved here I tried 3-hour road trip tai chi but that got the better of me. So besides the bag work I did maintain my mook jong form but that’s about it. I did have a brief (emphasis on brief) run at a local ITF taekwondo school but I’ll save that debacle for a post or two.

Old School Heavy Bag

The gym has a heavy bag and I do use it weekly. I even got to spar one Sunday morning with a hispanic gentleman who’s a former boxer. He outweighed me by 50 pounds easy and would have destroyed me. Thankfully it was a friendly bought!

The good news is that the twin home has a two-car garage and a spacious basement. What this means is that I again have space for my freestanding bag, mook jong, and general exercise.

Somewhat related: I start following Fist in the Frost again and learn that he’s studying Shotokan! Way jealous!


About Bob Patterson

I'm a naughty Vampire God!
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