My life in Colombia

Welcome to the blog of Chip Wiegand

Welcome to the Wiegand home page!

Apr 4, 2006
Musical instruments collage.

Hi and welcome! What we have here is a simple web site of stuff we are interested in, and willing to share with the world.

For example, we have posted a photo gallery of places we have visited - quite a few national parks, state parks and others.

I have information about online racing, I am in a league called GTR Endurance League. I will be writing reviews of the various tracks, hopefully one a month, or thereabouts. I have something like 120 tracks installed.

I will include some information on Linux and Joomla! the cms (content management system) I use on my site.

Who are we? I am Chip, my wife is Cheryl, and we have two sons - David and Austin.

My work is in computers. I was a Network Manager for 7 years before being layed off. I am also a musician. I play tenor and alto sax, clarinet, guitar (electric and accoustic), bass guitar, a little piano and mandolin. I have played bass guitar in a 3-piece rock band, we did only originals, had about a dozen or so songs. That band played at a couple youth clubs but didn't do much else. Then I played bass guitar in a country band, but left it when the leader decided to go a differant route from which he originally told me he was taking the band. Then I joined a community concert band and jazz band, playing tenor sax. Shortly after joining those bands I started playing for a Mexican band, playing tenor and alto sax and clarinet. That band lasted a year or so. Some of us in that band formed a new band, still playing Mexican music. We had a 9 piece band and were doing quite well, playing at least 3 gigs per month throughout the Puget Sound region and in central Washington. That band was a lot of fun to play in. After a couple years the drummer and bass player quit. That was the end of that band. I really miss playing Mexican music. We played Cumbia, Banda, Quebradita, Zapatiado, and Rancheras styles of music.

Cheryl works in the mortgage industry doing loan funding. She has also worked the loan processing and other areas of the mortgage loan industry . She is not a musician, but supports my music habit. She enjoys Renassaince Fairs and Star Wars fan stuff.

David is working, most of the time, in painting or landscaping. He is also a musician - playing guitar (electric and accoustic) and drums.

Austin is in college studying music. He is a top percussionist and pianist. He especially enjoys mallet percussion. He wants to be a music teacher and to play in a large symphony orchestra. He enjoys writing music, mostly 'classical' style pieces. He has written some for string quartet and mallet percussion.

Lay-off, moving, and Easter

Apr 9, 2006
Here I am, in Tucson, Arizona.

Well, it happened. Friday the 8th, I was layed-off at work. Three 0'clock in the afternoon I'm called into the controllers office, he and the operations manager and I. Turns out my boss new nothing of this before hand. After I was called into the office he was told to lock my computer account. That left him wondering what was going on. When I got back to my desk, he was there waiting, and asked me what was going on. He was completely blind sided by this one.

So what to do? Well, Cheryl and I have been talking of relocating to Tucson, AZ. This will just move our plans up a bit. So I've been sending resume and applications to companies in Tucson hoping to get an interview or two for then weekend I'm down there, the weekend of the 22nd.

Tomorrow is Easter, and I'll be playing sax at church, at both services. I played bass at the Good Friday service the other night. That was a good service, looked like over 200 people were there. Expecting a full house for Easter sunday service.

So with that, happy Easter!

On building a house

Apr 11, 2006
Moss covered trees in the Olympic National Park.

We are planning on relocating to Tucson, AZ. Time for warmth and sunshine. Been in the Seattle area far too long. Moss is starting to grow on me. I don't want to become a 'mossback' as some call Seattle-ites.

So Cheryl and I have designed a house, the house, the one we are going to build in Tucson. Actually, about a half-hour southwest of Tucson in a subdivision called Diamond Bell Ranch. We've looked at hundreds of plans, online and in books, and decided to design our own floorplan. I have, and it is good. It's a U-shaped house, with a swimming pool in the inside of the U, and the entry at the 'bottom' of the U. There will be a detached garage with a covered 'breezeway' between it and the house. (Not sure if 'breezeway' is the correct term.)

Designing a house, or in our case, a floor plan, is not so easy as one might think. There are many things to consider - which way will doors open, left, right, in, out? What about pocket doors? Bi-fold doors? Sliding Doors or French doors? What about room sizes? And what rooms do we actually need? What do we want? It's been a couple months and we have finally got what appears to be a final floorplan to present to the designer. Now comes the details - windows, finishes, floor coverings, etc etc.

That's just the house, but what about a lot to put it on? We've looked at quite a few on our last trip to Tucson. We've narrowed the choices to four lots. Now I'm heading back down to pick one, to buy. Then we can actually get going on the project.

It's a big learning experience with LOTS to learn, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Picked the lot to buy in Tucson

Apr 30, 2006
The desert area of our lot to build our house.

Last weekend I was in Tucson, AZ looking at some lots out in the Diamond Bell Ranch area. DBR in about 22 miles southwest of Tucson, off Aho Hwy. I went down there with a list of 4 lots to look at and pick one. Turns out the lot we are going to buy was not on that list.

The lots on my list turned out to be pretty bad - they all have washes running through them, eating up too much of the land to build on. And the washes cannot be filled. That as a bit of a downer, there is one lot, at 1.67 acres, that I was particularly interested in. But it has two washes running through it, leaving a building area that would be fine for a smaller house, 2 or 3 bedrooms and not much more. We need more room than that for what we have designed. So I then had to look at the other lots that we initially had decided not to look at, based on the Google Earth images of them.

After looking long and hard at several other lots I decided on a long, fairly narrow lot, which is perfectly flat. After pacing out the width I figured we could build our dream house on that lot with just a bit of room to spare in the width. The lot is more than long enough, it is just over 1 acre, with fantastic views to the south and west, including Kitt Peak and the Sierra Mtns.

Had meetings with a couple designers, a builder, and met with the county permits guy, zoning guy, and flood management guy. Got some paperwork from all of them to get the ball rolling. Drove out to DBR at least 3 times to look at the lots and get pictures. It was a very busy weekend.

Now we are working on the loan to buy the lot, that should be done this next week. And I am looking for a job in Tucson, so soon as I get an offer I'm moving down, and Cheryl will stay here until this house sells.

The fun is about to begin. Stay tuned for more updates.

Me on the old Muelle (dock)

Chip Wiegand

Barranquilla, Colombia

Contact me: Chip Wiegand

I teach english as a foreign language in Barranquilla, Colombia. I'm from Kennewick, Washington, USA. In my previous life, as I call it, I was an IT guy, systems administrator, computer tech, as well as a shipping/receiving guy and also worked as a merchandising guy for a year for a camping/RV accessories store.

Claudia Ulloque and Jose Paez Realty linked from Chip Wiegand's blog Claudia Ulloque and Jose Paez Realty linked from Chip Wiegand's blog
Expat in Colombia - Where Expats Blog


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(Atlántico, Colombia)

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© Chip Wiegand -> I hope you enjoyed your visit!