Living In NC

September 7, 2017

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The beaches are great, the mountains are awesome, the big cities in the middle are all good fun. The weather is as it should be, hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Our BBQ is fucking amazing.

Drivers are bad everywhere, I guess all these other commenters just don't get around that much.

The people are nice and so is the scenery. The BBQ and cheerwine are complete heaven, and it doesn't get any better. Do you prefer tomato based BBQ? Because if you like Lexington, or vinegar based BBQ, then you don't know what you are talking about.

Lexington BBQ got its name because of where it was created. Seen too many Food network shows that love NC BBQ, and have eaten a few as well. Produce is pretty steeply priced, I must agree. But, you are a lot closer to the Farmers market than I am here at the beach.

If you cannot plan your week ahead of time, and need to buy booze every day, the location isn't your problem. As far as the bible-thumpers, it's nowhere near as bad as it used to be. Now we have lotteries and sweepstakes, which pretty much gave all the hardcore thumpers a stroke when they passed through.

There are some really fun places in the state. But for the most part, it's text-book bible belt.

As a down point, it is so humid all year except the middle of winter.

Direct Democracy

September 2, 2017

Direct democracy sounds good in theory, but I think in practice could be trouble. California has ballot initiatives like this and have gotten the state into big trouble in the past (Prop 13 primarily, 3 strikes policy, etc.).

And if NCGA Republicans proposed it originally, I assume they did because it would further take away power from more progressive elements in the state. They know who votes and it would be a tool for conservatives in the long run.

We need a more representative and less partisan legislature.

I know that recently South Dakota voters passed an Anti-Corruption Act that dealt with Campagin finanaces and lobbyists but the SD Legislature vetoed the initiative.

I like the idea of having the ability for citizens to participate in Direct Democracy but if it isn't effective (see aforementioned issue) then I would rather it not be raised in the form of resubmission of previously attempted bills, but rather drafting of a new bill.

Tags  |   |  Chandler

New North Carolina Sales Tax

August 7, 2017

This tax is on people who do really difficult and dangerous work. Most of the businesses this will affect most are small. Amazon, Walmart, Wells Fargo, will pay a little more for there building and maintenance while small HVAC and other contractors get screwed.

This type of thing hurts the little guys. It adds even more beauraucracy and crap to track for the various government entities. We shit on small businesses and teachers in this state. But our bathrooms are supposedly tranny free!

And leaving the state is hard as a small business because of the years you spend creating your customer base.

You may ask how it effects business owners.

I'll tell you how it affects small business owners more than you. Say you were looking at an addition for your house. Now that it is more expensive you may opt for less addition or no addition at all.

This affects you the customer only slightly.

However it affects the small business owner because he now gets less business and less money. It's their career that is punished the most severe, not you the customer. His/her business is now responsible for the burden of collecting and tracking yet more money for the government. More tax routes are a liability as well.

Meanwhile Wells Fargo, Amazon, Walmart just pay slightly more for infrastructure in NC and you and I get less stuff done because we can afford less.

And before you ask, a person will look at this. At least if they are responsible with their finances. I've seen my uncle loose construction contracts over smaller percentages.

Not a big deal if you're not in the business. What a stupid tax.

Tags  |  Only in NC  |   |  Chandler

Laws of the Road

July 24, 2017

I cycle a good bit around Charleston. Anybody that rides a bike in Charleston should be familiar with mybikelaw. They're provide bicycle advocacy and representation. I've never had to use them, but I've heard nothing but good things. I probably have ridden between 4000 and 5000 miles in the last 2 to 5 years.

These are my thoughts:

I hate riding my bike on most of the main roads in West Ashley, specifically because of traffic. I try to treat my bike just like I would my car, while taking into consideration the fact that I can't reach car speeds.

I ride on the correct side of the road and as far to the right as is reasonable. Anytime I have to ride on a road that is narrow it is always a harrowing experience because traffic passes me so ridiculously close. Many drivers seem to have the attitude that bikes shouldn't be on their roads at all.

Riding a bike on the sidewalk is actually less safe because of pedestrians.

It also makes you more unpredictable to traffic because cars don't know what you are going to do if you are on a sidewalk approaching an intersection. I believe it is also illegal to ride your bike on a sidewalk because bikes are treated as vehicles.

With that being said, I see many people riding bikes on the wrong side of the road, or swerving into traffic without regard for cars and causing cars to have to adjust their driving significantly, which raises the chance of either the biker being hit, or an accident with another car. What I would like to see happen is for increased enforcement of both traffic and bikers. I would love to see someone riding a bike on the wrong side of the road ticketed. I would love to see drivers that behave aggressively towards bikers ticketed. If bikers were more respectful to traffic, they may see an increase in respect back.

Unfortunately many bikers don't obey the laws while expecting the laws to protect them. I try to ride legally as much as I can, but there are some areas on my commute where I strongly prefer the sidewalk.

Last year I was up on the sidewalk and crossing over Windemere when a truck hit me. Thankfully I was fine and it only cost $7 to fix my bike (thanks, Affordabike!). The reason I share this story is because I could not file a report or seek redress against the driver because, by being on the sidewalk/in the sidewalk crossing, I was 50% at fault.

Also, as a side note, I find it concerning how many people I observe drifting into or otherwise flagrantly ignoring the Ashley River bike lane.

All in all, the routes that I currently cycle on a regular basis are almost single-mindedly mapped out so as to avoid high traffic areas and narrow roads specifically because of the danger cars present to me.

It is possible to design a road that is safe for both bikers and drivers. I would cite the Glenn McConnell as a road that does well for both bikers and drivers.

Cars can be going 70MPH , but there is an 8-10 foot should where bikers have plenty of room to ride. If we had key roads widened and increased enforcement of both bikers and drivers, maybe we'd see an improvement across the board.

One thing I can't stress enough is to watch out for cab drivers at night; I have had my most stressful near misses with them.

They are completely oblivious, looking for drunk pedestrians, not sober cyclists. I have been run off the road, screamed at, followed- I felt like I was being tortured like a lab rat; never had the blessing of police coming to my rescue to pput the crazy driver in their place. I have been told, when they are yelling at you that you should smile, wave and perhaps begin to sing a catchy song.

I have never tried this because I have a bad temper, usually begin yelling back and follow them if they pass me (esp if they call me a bitch and flip me off); it yields the same results everytime: me crying, heart beating out of my chest, calling/texting my badass cyclist ex and her telling me to go get a shot of bourbon.

So I'd say the singing and waving is worth a try.

Tags  |  Only in NC  |   |  Chandler

I Love Pregame

July 3, 2017

I've said for years that when we go back to the playoffs/finals that it would be awesome to open up Carter Finley and have a field party with bands ands beer/food trucks. Considering we have some of the best beer and foot truck services, we could turn PNC's parking lot into along with Carter Finley into outside viewing areas and party zones

I don't know if that's possible but I think it would be a great alternative to your normal tailgating that's currently the only option. But please don't build it up. I hate the idea of cutting down any of the trees around the arena because its beautiful out there, but they have tons of room that they could build a whole strip of entertainment and bars/restaurants across trinity, along edwards mill. Could build a whole "mini town thing" where theres a big "town square" and you could pregame there and then have a march to the arena. Would show the community that theyre committed, and stir up excitement.

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Its not the greatest location, as you have Cardinal Gibbons, and the Horse complex thing across the street, but they could definitely do something just south of all that and still be in walking distance. It's not ideal location, but without a new arena we gotta work with what we've got

Another option is Red Hat in downtown, or even closing of Fayetteville St like they do for Hopscotch or the Food Truck Rodeo. PNC is only 10 minutes from downtown anyways.

Tags  |   |  Chandler

NC, First in Freedom

June 27, 2017

I like the design of the first in flight plates better, but does anyone else think that the plate is due for a refresh?

The current design is kind of dated.

If you look at it from either the Halifax Resolves or the Mecklenburg Independence, we were first to officially declare independence. Either you believe the Mecklenburg Declaration and we are first ok that side. Or you look to the Halifax Resolves, the second and later date on our flag, represents the first official action of the colonies for declaring independence. But since there were no states, per se, at the time.

It's scraping the bottom.

We didn't really have a choice. We only joined because Lincoln asked us to raise a militia to fight our southern brothers and all our neighbors joined. Reading letters of Zebulon Vance really sheds a light into the mind of North Carolina during the Civil War. Who knows what would've happend if Lincoln never called for militia to be raised from the south. It is sad that so many North Carolinians gave their lives in the civil war, so that the rich might keep slavery and stay rich.

Sure, it sucks not doing the "First in Flight" anymore, but "First in Freedom" is really misleading.

"Birthplace of aviation" is stupid though. We could do a bunch of those plates if we're just counting birthplaces.

Tags  |   |  Chandler

The Student Experience

June 15, 2017

Getting an apartment when you are in college is about the best thing you can do. Dorms are great, at first and then they get old. Really quick. Which is why we moved out to West Ashley.

But think that there are a couple of things that turned me off at first.

  • ISP was always Comcast
  • Parking was limited and filled up fast
  • Roaches can/will be a problem

But the dorm was just a downer after a while and my boyfriend and I finalled made the plunge. We end up in a pretty nice one though. It took some looking around, but it worked out. And we still we think it's a pretty great place to live due to the location and cost.

Roaches seem to be an individual thing. We saw the occasional roach, while my boyfriend had none.

ISP can be either Comcast or AT&T. WOW didn't work there - we checked.

Maintenance is pretty speedy when taking care of things. You put in a work order, and they'll usually have it fixed by the time you get home the next day. I haven't seen parking become a problem in the sections where there's actually parking lots, but if your place is on the street, you might have an issue. It's usually pretty tame around here though - nobody's a dick about parking, really.

Pet fee was $200. Bit steep. But I always wanted a cat so it was doable.

The apartments are close to a school, a church, and plenty of shopping, so you're pretty well set if you have kids. There's also doggie daycares like....everywhere, if you have a dog.

One of the great things about the place, I think, is the bonus room.

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Honestly, I think it's a pretty great place to live. The apartments look great, the price isn't bad at all for Charleston, and the staff is friendly and willing to work with you. I'd say go right ahead and apply. I recall the 1 BR having a living room with a 'foldable wall' which essentially could be used to turn into a bed room on an as-needed basis. I was thinking it might be tacky to stick a bed in there and leave the wall open when not in use though so I was not sure on it.

I don't recall the 2br I looked at having the foldable wall thing though.

But there was still very little storage space

No porches/balconies except in some of the 2nd floor 1 bedrooms

Management was terrible. They went through 3 or 4 different property managers while we were there. When we moved they seemed to finally be getting their shit together though so hopefully it's better now.

We never had any issues living there safety wise, but did see the cops show up for various things several times over the course of the year. The thing about them (which we didn't know till we moved in) is that they used to be "low-income" housing, but the complex was bought by a new management company who did the remodels and then raised the rent, forcing all of the old residents out. But like I said, we never had any problems and everyone was pretty friendly.

We had a ground floor apt and the drainage around the building wasn't great, nor were the seals (? Idk the technical term) between the foundation and the walls, so during the major rain storm of October '15 we had water seeping in at the baseboards and through the front door. Luckily we noticed in time and moved all of our stuff away from the walls, but it still sucked. That was the major reason we moved.

Overall they weren't terrible, but I don't miss living there.

The Rustic Side of North Carolina

June 14, 2017

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Rustic beauty is something that we have in spades here in NC, you'll find it in Raleigh and Charlotte tucked into the most amazing spots. We have mountains, waterfalls, enchanting beaches, and all of the beauty that you would want. And it is perfect for just about every activity.

I think that out of all of the states, North Carolina, is the best.

One of the reasons is that we are a hospitable group of people. You won't find friendlier citizens in any of the larger cities than right here in NC. The main reason for this is in my opinion, we really are where north meets south. We have that southern country charm that people always comment on. It is just part of who we are. And we have big metropolitan cities that fit in with a more northern way of life. If you would say it is the best of both world, I would most certainly agree.

Wedding In The Park

I attend a wedding - well, I attend a lot of weddings - and it was held in the park. I think if I would hear this about another city I would be skeptical, but here, I just knew it was going to be breath taking. One of the reasons I say that is, when I say park, it is almost like saying National Park. Some of my relatives live out in the Mid-West and I honestly don't think much about their small town charm. That doesn't really capture the grandeur of real nature. And if you want rustic weddings, that means getting hitched out by the barn. And the country air will definitely put a really rustic spin on things. But what about something where you are surrounded by the most stunning nature, where you pick the backdrop and it will make for some truly spectacular memories that will be captured with some stunning photos.

Let's not forget that the cost of living here is one of the best in the country.

This leads to really nice wedding receptions that don't cost you a fortune.

The Average Wedding

Just like everywhere else you will find a large range in the cost of weddings. Some (like the one we want) will be affordable. We agreed that we will not spend more than one months salary (his and mine) on the event. But it will be a smallerish gathering.

The wedding that we recently attended had more than a hundred and fifty guests which isn't small, but it isn't the biggest that I have seen either.

It consisted of:

  • Wedding ceremony
  • Wedding reception
  • After party

And the after party was sort of the main reception. The ceremony was in the afternoon and there were quite a few older aunts and uncles that didn't feel like partying until the wee hours like the rest of us. So the reception was a nice sit down meal held at the park in the recreation center. It was nice, the food was good, and then around six o'clock they departed from the center and headed off to the after party.

We attended the after party until about two in the morning. But it was just about over then. It was nice and there were plenty of refreshments. All in all the enter things cost about $8,000 which is cheap for the amount of guests, food and drinks.

They did things like oder there invitations online. They looks at places like minted and some of the others but they ended up going with rusticweddinginvitations which is a smaller printer but they had more competitive prices with a small but nice selection of invitations.

The groom also went and purchased the drinks in bulk, which was a day and a half worth of work, but they saved a bunch doing that. It was the small things that helped them bring the cost down.

I don't have the figures in front of me, nor do I know where I would find them, but this is pretty good for the average wedding. Granted the rustic aspect of the celebration cut the cost a little, but not that much.

You can celebrate pretty affordable here when you go to a nice restaurant, if I had to guess I would say that would add about another two thousand dollars to the whole thing.

But could you imagine a service that size for less than ten thousand elsewhere? I can't.

Our Wedding Plans

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I will be honest, I don't see us having a "rustic" or "country" wedding. I want to get married in Charlotte on a veranda over looking the city. But even when I envision this I realize that there will be a lot of nature in the background. The city is very green when I compare it with other cities I have been to. I spent two years in California during my residency and it was drab compared to my home here in NC.

I even had to have Cheerwine shipped out to cheer me up. It was a rough two years.

Now that we're both finished I don't see us ever moving again. It would have to be a really amazing job offer for me to even consider, something that I don't see happening. But you never know.

Our wedding, as I said, is going to be more affordable.

That doesn't mean that I intend to hold back. That is something that I couldn't imagine saying if I lived elsewhere. My cousin lives in Indy and she spent close to twenty thousand on her wedding last year. If anybody ever tries to tell me Indiana is cheap I'll just have to laugh. It is nothing like the cost of living here in NC. If I would have planned the same setup here I can guarantee you that it would have cost about half that. Maybe a little more. Her gown was designer which costs the same everywhere.

It would also be good to mention that the wedding was rustic chic. Which is a bit of an oxymoron to me. But who am I to say.

She and I were never close. We had seen each other often enough at the family gatherings, but never really played. So I was a little surprised when she invited me.

It was a nice trip though. We made a road trip out of it and saw some of the sights on our way out to the wedding.

I just couldn't see it as my big day. But if she was happy and the price was in her means then I am happy. But all I can say is.

Thank God for North Carolina!