My life in Colombia

Welcome to the blog of Chip Wiegand

House is up for sale

May 23, 2006
The house we owned in Mountlake Terrace, WA.

We are finally at a point where we can put the house up for sale. Thursday the sign goes up, and if all goes as the realtor says it should, the house will be sold and deal closed by the end of June. The land purchase is on schedule to close by the end of this month. And, I am getting ready to move to Tucson the first week of June, the Cheryl will follow after the house is sold.

I have been so busy since being laid-off. Getting the house ready to sell is no easy task. Lets see, there's yard work - gardens, parking area, shed - all need cleaned up. Inside the house there are all the little holes in the walls from the various hangings, have to fill all those, then paint over them. Theres one bedroom that was just bare sheetrock, so I had to do the mud/tape work and paint it. Then the window sill and moldings - crown molding, base molding, door casement. And the door itself had to be replaced. The stairs had to be painted, there was a hole in a wall in my computer room/office to patch and paint. There are parquay floors in a couple rooms so I did some filler in a few of the gaps to minimize them. There's a hole in a wall in my office where all the network cables come into the room from all over the house, so I squared it up and put a proper cover over it. Now I have to put in a patch panel and wire it properly for the new owners, and make it as unobtrusive as possible in case they don't need it. All the ceiling light globes needed to be removed and cleaned. All the kitchen cabinets needed cleaned. All the stuff in the house like knick-knacks and so-on had to be removed so the place looks much 'cleaner', less cluttered (staging for selling). The list goes on and on.

And on top of all that we deal with the realtor for selling, the other realter in Tucson for buying the land, and next, the designer. We designed the house ourselves, but the designer is going to make the official blueprints.

If I had been working full time getting all this done would have been a major chore, I don't know how I could've done it. But being unemployed has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I'm finally down to the last few bits of work to do, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it feels good. Now I can sit down and relax a bit, except that there is no cable, it was cancelled becuase of the sale. So I'm either watching dvd's again, or driving GTR racing game. Think I'll go off now and drive for a while. Later.

Wow, what a week - house sold

June 3, 2006
My F250 4x4 at Manastash Ridge, Washington.

We put our house for sale last week, went on the listing last thursday evening. Friday morning we had two full price offers, one with an escalation clause. Sold it friday for more than we were asking for. Woohoo!

As some of you know I am in the process of moving, relocating to be exact, to Arizona, from Washington (state). I was planning on using my F250 4x4 to tow a trailor load of stuff to Tucson, then my son would drive it back to WA and sell it, then by himself a van. I figured he could sell it for 3 grand tops (a '92 F250 with a rather beat up bed from off-roading in the mountains and hitting too many trees, heheh).

Anyway, thursday afternoon my wife and I were driving it to the gym when a kid driving an '03 Acura RSX thought he could 'shoot the gap' from a parking lot, across two lanes of traffic and into the lanes on the other side of the road. Well, he didn't make. The front of my truck, big bumper and wrap around brush guard, met him inside his car. I was just moving out from a stop light so not going more the 20, 25 tops when he shot out of the parking lot. I nailed his drivers side door, pretty much smashed the side of his car from front wheel to back wheel. His side air bag blew open, smashing him in the side of the head, which is what sent him to the hospital, apparently having hearing problems. I was told later he would be okay. My wife has bruising from the shoulder belt, across he shoulder and chest. I'm fine.

My truck ended up being considered 'totaled' by the insurance company. The impact pushed the fenders and hood back about a half inch, the grill guard was flush up against the grill, the bumper pushed in and the tires were rubbing on it when I turned the steering wheel. The suspension was messed up as well, one wheel slightly angled the wrong way, alignment thrown way off. So, the insurance company gave me just over 3 grand for the truck, and I was able to keep it.

That same evening, a couple hours later, I'm down the street at the grocery store, in my other sons truck which we are selling (a '70 F250 beater), and am talking to a guy in the parking lot about that truck. I also told him about the accident and he says he wants to look at the truck, maybe buy from me. Guess what? Even with it 'totaled' he paid me 1700 for the truck (voided title becuase of the totaled status). So I end up with $4700 for a truck that probably wouldn't have sold for more than 3 grand.

Heheh. Now we can buy my son a better van than he would have gotten if this hadn't happened. And, the insurance company will give us 3 days rental, which they say should at least cover, partially, the rental of a moving truck to get moved to AZ.

AND that same evening another guy calls me on the cell asking about the beater truck. I look out my window and there he is out there checking out the truck. I walk out there and talk to him, fire up the motor, and he says he'll buy the truck, for $400. Been a wild end to the week.

Can hardly wait to see what next week brings me - I leave on wednesday for AZ in my Ranger 4x4. A 3 day drive. Should be fun.

I'm in Tucson!

June 13, 2006
A beautiful Arizona sunset.

Well, I made it! A 3 day drive in a Ford Ranger, not the most comfortable way to travel, but I made it. And what a trip -

I left the Seattle area (last wednesday) and headed east expecting to spend the first night in the Twin Falls, ID area. I got to about 30 miles west and found a campground for the night at about 9:30pm. As I was unpacking a few things for the night I pulled out of the truck what I thought was my tent, only to discover it was a dining canopy. Shoot! What happened to the tent?

I hadn't brought the big cabin tent becuase it was too big for just myself. Of course the weather was wet, raining, thunder storms, etc. So I drove down the road to the next town and found a store that had just about everything, including dome tents. Got there at 1 minute to 10pm, just as they were closing. They let me in and I bought the tent, went back to the campground and slept, until the very heavy rain dumped and woke me up, about 2 am or so. I eventually gave up on trying to sleep and got in the truck and hit the road, about 4 am. I probably could've made it all the way to Phoenix the same day, thursday, but decided to take the scenic route.

I went south to Vegas and found out just what kind of drivers they are down there! What a bunch of maniacs! They are absolutely nuts on the freeway! Driving on the shoulder seemed to be as common as driving between the white lines, even for tractor-trailor rigs!

I left Vegas heading south taking a westerly route, down to Loughlin and Lake Havasu, because I hadn't seen that area yet. I spent thursday night a ways south of Havasu City, at a rest area on the freeway, I-10. Take my advise - don't try to sleep in the cab of a Ranger, there just isn't any room.

Then it was on to Mesa to visit some friends for a couple hours and then on to Tucson, arriving friday afternoon. The scenery was fantastic along most of the route, the distance about 1600 miles. My back was in much pain.

Everything made it okay except on of my computers - apparently the dvd burner didn't like the trip becuase it decided to die, so I've had to buy a new dvd burner. At least now I can watch movies on my pc, since I don't have a tv, or a couch, or chairs, or bed, or dresser, or anything else for the most part. I have camp tables and chairs, paper plates and cups and plastic table ware. Heheh, camping in the apartment.

So here I am, I have an apartment and am starting on the big hunt - for a job.

The temp is hot, scenery is beautiful

July 1, 2006
Buenes Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona.

I've been here for almost a month now, and what a place!

First, after a couple days in a hotel I found an apartment on the southwest side of town. Got moved in, not that that was too difficult - I don't have any furniture, just camping gear. Two camp tables, two camp chairs, a couple frying pans and one small pot. A few cooking utensils and plastic forks, knives and spoons, and paper cups, bowls and plates. Heheh, at least doing the dishes is easy work. But, no bed or bedroom furniture, or anything else. Well, I do have two computers and my instruments.

I've been to a couple of the local night spots to listen to some bands. While listening to Hollywood Knights (a hot local Tejano band) I was chatting with a guy at the bar. He mentioned his son plays in another band very similar to the one playing. We talked for a while and then he noticed that one of the members of the other band was there as well, so he pointed him out to me.

I went over to him and introduced myself. His name is Joey Villa. The band he plays for (and the other guys son) is Latin Society. Turns out they need a tenor sax player who will actually show up for rehearsals and gigs. Then next weekend I went to listen to Latin Society play at a private gig, met the guys in the band and talked to them about my playing with them. They think it will be great, so do I! They're a very good Tejano band! Last weekend they played at another gig, a benefit with 3 other bands, and man, they can play! I'm really looking forward to playing with Latin Society.

I've been all over the Tucson area, checking out the sites, generally site seeing. Drove out Ajo Way to 3 points, then south towards Sasabe, then took the turn-off to go to Arivaca. That route takes you through the Buenes Aires National Wildlife Refuge. This is not desert like the Tucson area, but high elevation grasslands. The highway goes on to Arivaca, a very small town (village?) next to the Cienega Arivaca. Cienaga is wetlands. A great place to stop and take a walk - lots of mule deer and other wildlife to see here. Then it was off to continue to the freeway and back to Tucson. A very nice day trip, indeed.

Another day of driving found me at the eastern Sajuaro National Park, up the Catalina Highway quite a ways (found some good camping places), and found a park in town, over on the east side, that has 3 large ponds, two were dry. The one though is fed from a spring. The story-boards at the park say something like there were two springs originally, one hot spring one cold spring. Then they were blasted with dynamite to create one spring, with a large flow of water. That was way back in the 1800's if I remember correctly. Anyway, now the one spring is something 97 degrees, just a warm spring. I can't remember the name of the park, and can't find it on the Parks web site, and can't find it on the Tucson map. If you know what it is email me on my contact page.

Today I went for a walk and found another urban lake. Not far away either, just down the road a mile or so. I hadn't seen previously becuase of it's location. I found it by hiking to the top of a hill in the John F. Kennedy Park, which gives a great view of Tucson, and the lake I hadn't previously seen. I walked down to it and found out it is stocked with trout, catfish, bass and sunfish (I think that was the fourth one). Turns out it is practically behind the library, which I've been to many times, before getting cable in my apartment. It can't be seen from the library though, so I didn't know it was there.

Well, one more week and I'll be flying back to Seattle to get my wife and our stuff and driving back to Tucson. Then we start the New Home Building Project. Stay tuned for more updates, especially when the project is under way, it will all be shared right here.

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 ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog

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