I Live In Boulder Creek

Well, it looks like I’m buying this place in Boulder Creek.

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It needs some work but I talked the sellers down to $385,000 for it.  There are no catastrophes, it just needs fixing and painting.
Here’s the MLS link:  http://www.mlslistings.com/PropertyDetails.aspx?id=9561637

I really tried hard to buy a house in the same county as my job, but I’ve been working on that for six months now and I haven’t had any success at all.  Prices have gone up about 10k every single month during that time, making what once seemed like a reasonable proposition (buying a house in San José) into an irrational fantasy.

I’m probably going to make an offer on the Postwar Bungalow as well, but the chances that they’ll accept it are minimal.  My choices are probably the cabin or nothing.  At least out here I can fall asleep listening to the creek after I spend the better part of an hour commuting home from the office.

It’s Called What?



The bizarre culinary oddity you see above is a Monte Cristo burger.  I saw this at the company café and I had to try it.  It’s unusual.

It’s consists of a beef patty cooked in the usual fashion, along with grilled ham slices, served between two slices of French toast.  The taste centers of my brain are not in the least bit sure what to make of it.  They even served it with jelly, which I decided to forego because it seemed like more than I could handle.

The overall effect is a bit like the garlic ice cream that they serve every year at the festival in Gilroy:  I’m glad I tried it for the novelty value, but I’m not about to go looking for more.


Cute Postwar Ranch Bungalow

I saw this cute little 2/1 on my lunch break today.  I really like it!

Cute Postwar Ranch Bungalow

Cute Postwar Ranch Bungalow

I’m not sure whether I can be competitive on this one.  The ask is $425,000, which is slightly over my loan limit.  I can make up the gap with extra cash, but in this market it could get bid way up.  I might not be able to compete.

It doesn’t have the cheek-pinching cuteness that The Most Beautiful House In The World had, but it’s not bad.  The neighborhood is your basic decent clean area with nothing to remark about.  It’s close to my office.

Where Do These Form Boards Go?

Things are moving right along with my foundation!  Anthony is awesome, and almost has the forms done for my stemwalls.  He called me today to get clarification on a few items which weren’t very clearly labelled on the plans.

No pictures, since I’m in San José.  He thinks that things are moving right along with no disasters so far, and that he may be able to finish as early as the end of the week!

This Electrical Panel Is Just Right

I’ve been thinking about what service entrance device I’m going to choose for the barn project, and I think I’m going to go with this one:

CU12L500CB drawing

Square D CU12L400CB Combination Service Panel

I considered a 3-phase commercial grade service, which would be really awesome, but it’s probably too big.  We only have single-phase coming up the road from the highway, and getting PG&E to run that third wire will cost a small fortune.

A “normal” 200-amp residential service will be too small.  We don’t have utility gas out there, and instead of having propane trucked in I think I’m going to just go all-electric.  That’ll use up the amps pretty quickly.

But a class-320 service?  That’s just right!

It’s a lot larger than I need for the barn by itself, but I’m Super Sizing it with the intent that it will also serve the cabin I’m going to build, and someday a larger house as well.  There’s a county code requirement that certain types of accessory buildings and secondary residences need to share the same electrical meter.  This size of service should be large enough for everything I want to add.

I like this particular panel because it accepts my favorite QO circuit breakers.  What, you mean you don’t have a favorite type of circuit breaker?  What’s wrong with you?  Everybody who’s anybody has a favorite circuit breaker!  Right?  Doesn’t everybody?  Anyway, it accepts several QO breakers and also a pair of QDL breakers up to 200 amps each.  That’s important because the ridiculously thick conductors which I’ll need in order to get power all the way to the end of the property are too large for a normal breaker to clamp on to.

There.  More than you ever wanted to know about a breaker panel which I haven’t even bought yet.  I’m excited about it!  🙂

Chilli Verde

Delicious Chilli Verde from the company café today!   And as usual, the portion size from the taqueria is sufficient to feed a horse.



Wow, I had no idea how blurry this photo was when I posted it from my phone earlier today.  Oops.

Anyway, this was my lunch in the office.  Also dinner.  🙂  I have to say, they do a pretty good job at our cafeteria.  Even if it was an outside establishment that I had to drive to, I would still be happy to go there for lunch.  It’s not the Famously Free food that they have at Google, we do have to pay for it, but for the most part it is pretty tasty.

They used to keep the grill open until 6 PM, which was awesome for those evenings that you have to stay late.  Sadly they stopped doing that shortly after the economy crashed in 2008 and they haven’t reinstated the policy.  I don’t know why, they only had one guy on shift in the evenings.  It can’t have cost very much, and there were always one or two people dropping by to get dinner.  But no evening grill for us anymore.

Stump Removal

Looks like Anthony has wasted no time in getting started removing my tree stumps.  There should be some concrete by next weekend!



I didn’t really do anything at the site this weekend, but I had to go up there and leave my wet-stamped plans for the inspector to look at.  I had provided a copy for Anthony to work from, but the inspector will want to see the plan set that the building department stamped in red.  Supposedly that proves that I’m not cheating, although if I really wanted to fake plan approval I could just have my own rubber stamp made that says “REVIEWED FOR CODE COMPLIANCE”.

Anyway, everything should be ready to go now.  By next weekend the foundation will be well underway.  Depending on how quickly things move it might even be done, although I kind of doubt that it will go that fast.  5 days seems to me like it would be a very aggressive schedule.

Foundation Contract Signed

I signed the contract with A & J Construction today for my foundation.  Anthony expects to get started next week.  He had previously thought he might get going this Friday, but his other job is delayed on account of the weather.  I’m fine with that, I’m in no big hurry.

Had to move the wood pile so that the concrete truck will be able to get in.  You know something? Freshly cut oak logs are surprisingly heavy.  I took a few of the larger ones back to San José in case Wendy wants to use them in one of her woodworking projects.  I told the neighbors that they can have the smaller stuff if they want it.


Site Cleared

I was up in Grass Valley this weekend finishing up the site prep.  I finished clearing out the scrub oaks.  It should be ready for the foundation guy to start work as soon as the contract is signed.


Two Tacos Plus

Behold, two Tacos Plus from Taco Tree in Auburn! Or maybe it’s two Taco Plusses from Taco Tree. I’m never quite sure what I should say. On the menu board it just says “Taco Plus” and then the price. I usually ask for two Tacos Plus, and they haven’t ever asked me “plus what”, so I must be doing it right


I like Taco Tree. The food isn’t going to win any awards for being authentic Mexican fare, it’s just good food at good prices. Actually, the prices are great.

They aren’t really big on complicated mole sauce or adobado or anything like that. It basically tastes like Taco Night at the family residence nearest you. Which is kind of awesome! I mean, the food tastes like actual food made from ingredients. Tomatoes, beef, cheese, you know the drill. I wouldn’t take my date to Taco Tree to impress her, but when I’m in Auburn looking for a bite to eat then I drive right past the In-N-Out, the McDonalds, the Togos and the Subway and I go straight to Taco Tree. Yum.

Now that I think about it, maybe I will take my date to Taco Tree. If she doesn’t kind of dig it then we probably aren’t going to work out.