Friday, June 3, 2011

Well It's Official, Christa is No Longer My Primary Home

Glen Ellen, CA
Weather=Not Good

 I've moved into my house in Glen Ellen, north of San Francisco in the wine country. Here is the deal. Like many, I had a pretty tough spring. With the exception of school, which continues to be a real blessing, I had some challenges in the real estate world creating a few stressful weeks. Simultaneously, I had an attorney default on a note that I hold for a piece of land I sold in 2005, and the renters in my house turned into a true nightmare. Needless to say, I was owed a truck load of money, and now have to spend to repossess the property. The lot is worth a fraction of what I was owed. The details of the renters is not something I should publish, but labeling them scumbags is accurate.

 Wood Stove Test Sat
I've grown weary of living aboard Christa. This is not a reflection of Christa or boats in general, but is an acknowledgement that I'm in my forties, I've been living aboard Christa for nearly 13 years, and I simply want to live more normally. I'm also running low on space aboard ship. Living the way I do these days surely would have precluded any sailing, as stowing for sea would be nearly impossible now. 

Some back story. I bought this little ugly 1000 square foot cottage in Glen Ellen in 2003 with the intention of knocking it down someday, and building nice little gem on the lot. Now the house is a bit of an ugly duckling, but it has a charm that is difficult to explain. It is a unique little place built sometime during the 1930's. It sits a few hundred feet behind a bigger refurbished home that used to be a Greyhound Bus Station in the 30's & 40's. My house was the caretakers home. 

I was stationed in California for a number of years, completing 3 tours back to back in California. I assumed I'd be able to finish out my Coast Guard career in California. I was wrong. The Coast Guard gave me orders to the east coast in July of 2005, and had a deep impact on many things, including my house situation. This is one of the rigors of military life. I turned the place over to a management company who didn't screen the tenants very well, culminating in the nightmare I just endured. 

So, here we are now in 2011. The housing market is totally in the tank, and not a prudent time to sell. I've not the stomach to be a landlord again, at least not for a long time, and coupled with the fact I don't want to live aboard anymore. It makes sense for me to move into my house. Seems like a no brainer ehhh???

A couple of downsides. I give up my high use status on Christa, and remove the option of moving back aboard. I simply can't afford to float a house mortgage and the high use fee.  Glen Ellen is 33 miles north of Dominican U of C, an expensive commute given today's gas prices. More importantly is, I've established a community of folks in San Rafael, and now that gets jiggered up a bit. 

The great news is that since I started staying in the house I've started to grow fond of the place again. It needs a ton of TLC. Sonoma county is really beautiful. Country living. It's nice. I now can begin to do some work aboard Christa as I have room to maneuver, and I will still be spending two night per week aboard Christa on the days I have class at Dominican. These are my rationalizations!

In my next post I'm going to write about California's Gestapo like tactics that give me serious pause about settling permanently here in the Golden State.

Blast From the Past 
Pennsylvania Circa 1990. Layover Transferring from Seattle to Point Judith Rhode Island

Capt Chris

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Some Photographs From a Day In the Life

Glen Ellen, California
Weird weather in California

  I present a fellow rookie photographer. Meet April.
Shot with my Canon Powershot G11, Edited with Aperture, taken on Memorial Day

This Here is Ranger
This is my favorite image
Enjoy Capt Chris

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day 2011

San Rafael, California
Breezy & Cool

 A year ago today I was cruising west in the Green Hornet (Honda Accord) making landfall in Pensacola Florida to camp. I had just left my parents house making tracks for my new home in California.

Vintage WW11 Aircraft, Sonoma County Shot with my Canon G11 Edited in Aperture 3
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all veterans for their service, especially those who served in combat. Also, to honor those who gave the ultimate to our country, and their families left in the aftermath. 

I've been blazing away with my Canon G11 at every opportunity. It's funny, once a budding photographer develops the habit of having a camera nearby, opportunities arise every other second. Here is a couple of shots for all hands enjoyment.

Mill Valley California, Canon G11, Edited in Apple Aperture 3
April Cheer
Light Fixture, Canon G11

Glen Ellen California, a half mile from my house

Budding Penot Grapes

 As you may have ascertained I've been spending time in Sonoma county. 

Capt Chris

PS: Don't hesitate to check in or to become a follower of this blog. I may be a bit sporatic in my posting, but I've stuck with it since September of 2007.