Saturday, February 24, 2007

They're drilling a what!?

I moved into my house in early January. I soon realized, in the field behind my neighbors across the street there was activity. The activity is the drilling of a gas well. Yep, a gas well. Smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood. Aside from the quandary of living almost on top of it, I heard today that one recently blew up in the metroplex area. Hmmm... really, who wants to live this close to a gas well?

I actually called the city yesterday because the noise was horrendous. Apparently drilling is noisy business. Very noisy. Think several 18 wheelers driving through your house in surround sound 24 hours a day. You still probably won't quite get how absolutely nerve wracking it was. According to the city and the information I found, this is a new venture for them and from what I could tell, they're still trying to get the ins and outs of the drilling process. They were great in answering my questions and getting back to me. I was told yesterday that by the time I got home, it should be done, but to call her back on Monday if there were any other issues. Oh, and by the way, they were going to burn off some kind of excess fuel, so it would look like there was fire, but don't worry, the fire department had been notified. That's good to know. And, if you haven't guessed, the noise was still there, at times louder than the previous 2 nights. All night. I left at 10 this morning for an appointment and got home late. The noise is gone. Finally. It's weird being this quite, but oh so pleasant.

Requirement is for gas wells to be 300 ft from a residence, school, church. I'm not too sure it shouldn't be further. There are also codes governing the noise, apparently except when they actually do the fracturing (? terminology). Joy. Someone could have told us. No one knew what was going on. Oh, and if I had known, would I have still bought this house? Honestly, I don't know. What I do think is I should have been told. But, hey, the builder didn't even know. And, frankly, they should have been told too.

Below are some pictures of the "torch" as I fondly dubbed it. It's gone now, along with the noise.

Photo using a night setting with the flash off.

Normal setting with a flash.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I spent the better part of my day yesterday checking out gyms. I recently moved and am more than ready to start working out again. I've given serious thought to my own piece of gym equipement rather than going back to a gym, but thought I'd give a couple of them the once over.

I checked out several, including the local Y. Nothing really sang to me.

Then, I decided to check out the gym I used before I moved to another state, where they had no clubs. Years ago, I paid that whopping "lifetime" membership fee over 3 years. Over the course of several years, I moved a couple of times and at one point it "lapsed." Finally, I bought a house and one was reasonably close to me. I paid a fee to reinstate the membership and then had the very reasonable monthly fees. Okay, it was a bit more of drive than I wanted, but it was a fairly decent facility. Then after several years, another move. The move to the state where they had no clubs. So yesterday I pop in, show my old membership card and ask what it would take to reinstate the membership. Are you ready? Almost $500! Only $50 of that is the reinstatement fee. The rest is the dues from the 2 1/2 years of lapsed membership. Now, if I just dropped it cause, maybe. But, they actually expected that I would pay back dues for a membership when there were no clubs that I could have used. I was amazed. Or, I could just get a whole new membership. Umm... I had one that I paid good money for. In talking about various memberships, the lifetime membership isn't really offered anymore or if you want it you'll pay for it. But, for the same amount of money or just a bit more, I could get a whole new membership. The catch: three year contract and at the end, the membership is ended and you have to do it again. I'm sorry, but who knows what will happen in three years. I'm simply not going to commit for three years. The cardio area of the club was okay, the pool so-so, but the weights are in three different areas that are bleak at best. And, of all the options, it's the farthest from the house. Probably not going with them again. It just makes me feel like I'm being ripped off. I may not be, but that's still how it feels.

A stationary bike for the house is looking better and better.