Tag: texas

Amazing Clouds

Amazing Clouds

Mother Nature does some weird things sometimes‚Ķ but also will randomly throw us a reward with visuals like this. I happened to have my DSLR with me, so I had to pull over and snap this. 

The Skies In The Evening… Can Be Quite Beautiful

The Skies In The Evening… Can Be Quite Beautiful

I snapped this on my way home from work the other night… I wish there was a spot for me to pull over and take this. I don’t advocate taking pictures while driving, but that sky!

If you must capture something while driving be sure you’re doing so safely, and don’t share it to your social media until you get home! That part takes longer!


A Review of My Apartment

A Review of My Apartment

I was originally going to post this on Yelp, as I typically would for a business that’s either gone far above or far below the line of good customer service. But, after reading it, I’d rather just share it here instead. Why? A number of reasons, the most important being the management company seems to be extremely “sensitive”, and considers even the lightest of remarks as “slander”, for which they’ll slip a note under your door expecting you to remove it from social media as a violation of the lease. (Observed from someone else’s post… I don’t know if that’s true or not…)

I don’t even know if that’s legal, but since I don’t feel like being evicted, or instigating drama,  I figured I’d share it here instead: 

(Apartment Complex Name):  Mediocre Living, at Its Best

I’ve been living here for about 2.5 years; I don’t love it, and I don’t hate it.  

Management:  Used to be better, has been declining since I moved in. Then again, this seems to be a trend wherever I move. I’d like to think I’m not the one bringing bad juju to every apartment complex I move to, but it seems like this is a trend within the industry. Perhaps it’s because rules and laws are getting stricter, or profit margins are down so it’s harder for rental properties to be profitable… I don’t know. There must be some reason for management decline over the years, and here at (Apartment Complex Name) it’s no exception. 

When I first moved in, the office staff knew me by name. Everyone was super friendly. Now… not the case anymore. I’m just a number. I’m known only by my apartment number, and that’s it. Someone has to look in a computer to learn about me, and by “about me” I mean my payment history and whether or not I’ve been delinquent on rent.  There’s more to me (and anyone else living here) than just my/our financial obligations… 

Property:  Overall, is very nice on the outside…except for the gates that they can’t seem to keep working. People seem to crash into them, forcing them to be left open 24 hours a day. Also, the gate entry system doesn’t make any sense… you press a button and both sides open at the same time. How is that safe? Some bad guy/girl could just wait by the opposite gate, and let themselves on to the property when someone comes in the opposite front gate. 

A gated community? No. More like…a community with decorative gates, providing no actual security. I brought this up to the management once, and they told me there were many CCTV cameras. I work in the tech field, so I know how to spot one… I have yet to find any. If they have them, as they say they do, they’re hidden very well… but I’m not holding my breath. 

Maintenance… Ah, the biggest measure of inconsistency. They either want to help or they don’t. It all depends on who’s working. 

I’d had HVAC issues for most of last summer, and it took the better part of 5 visits for them to be resolved. I then asked the property manager if there was any kind of compensation I could get for my inconvenience… previous places I’d lived, if there were a problem with the unit, they’d offer a discount on a month or two’s rent just to say “Hey, we get that you’ve been a good on-time-paying tenant, we own up to dropping the ball, here’s our way of making it right.” — I’m not expecting a free month’s rent, but some kind of concession would be appropriate. I was told, very coldly and without compassion by the manager, “We don’t do rent concessions.” – I was then offered a carpet cleaning, which I have yet to have done since they don’t ever seem to remember this. 

All of that aside… those are relatively minor gripes, in the grand scheme of things. 

The apartment is…for lack of anything else…fine. It’s a roof over my head that keeps me safe from bad weather, it keeps me warm in the winter and cool enough in the summer ( it’s comfortable, and (other than insufficient closet space) it’s got enough room for me to live. If I knew what i know now when  was looking for apartments, I wouldn’t have chosen it. Do I regret it? Not really, because nothing catastrophic has happened to me as of yet. I’m hoping that if something like that does come up, though, maybe management/maintenance/etc might be on the upswing of improvement to where it won’t be as bad as some other peoples’ reviews up here. 

Would I recommend moving here?  Yes and no.

YES if…
– You’re an easygoing, calm, patient, and professionally-behaving person
– You don’t mind things taking a long time to be fixed
– You don’t mind not having a personal relationship with the office staff
– You don’t need that sense of security living in an actual gated community (which this isn’t)

NO if…
– Minor imperfections in service/etc would prompt you to complain.
– You want the office staff to know you by name, and how you take your coffee.
– You have no patience…for…anything at all. 

Based on another poster’s review, the management may see this as “slander” or a means for me to deface their reputation. That’s not the intention of this at all. I’m doing my due diligence to write an objective and honest review as a tenant of 2.5 years. This apartment complex isn’t for everyone, but it is for you if you align with what I’d described above. I think this place COULD be so much better. It used to be. I think there’s tremendous potential for this to truly live up to being as luxurious as it’s advertised to be.  

Come in and have a look around, and make the call for yourself, but don’t forget about other neighboring properties.

As you can see, I’m fairly easygoing, despite my reputation as being overly critical of customer service. I’ll admit, I’ve become a bit more picky when it comes to customer service, but I have basic expectations that I don’t believe are unreasonable. I know when it’s appropriate to sit back and wait, and I know when something just isn’t right when it comes what “should be.” 

What do you think of this review? Would you give my complex a shot based on this review? 

A Visit To The Hope Outdoor Gallery

A Visit To The Hope Outdoor Gallery

Visited a very interesting place in Austin – a spot where spray painting on the wall isn’t only legal, it’s encouraged! On Baylor St downtown is the Outdoor HOPE gallery, a place for artists or anyone with an idea to come and paint in a public place without any opposition. The only caveat is that anything painted up there can be painted over at any time. So, maybe that’s a good thing?

I took some great shots around the grounds; it’s definitely a place I’d like to go for a longer period of time and maybe do a portrait session there.  Anyone in the Austin area want to have their pictures taken there? Let me know! 

I look forward to going back down there in a month or so, to see what’s changed. 


First Bike Ride in a Long Time

First Bike Ride in a Long Time

It’s been a while since I’d been on a bicycle. I bought one shortly after moving to Austin in 2014, and I rode it a few times, but it then sat in my garage, as bikes can do from time to time.

February 10, 2015 February 10, 2015

As with any regimen to get healthy, exercise is a vital part of success, as is eating right and making better choices. I decided to get my bike out from the garage today, and get it looked at down at the bike shop since the tires had gone flat and it could use a little TLC.

I was in and out in less than 20 minutes at the bike shop, so I decided to take it out for a little ride at a park near my apartment. I didn’t overdo it, but I have a good idea for a benchmark to hit for the next few rides. I’ll work my way up to riding longer, and faster, but for today I was very happy with what I did. I don’t know the exact distance, probably half a mile or so. I felt good afterwards, though, and I guess that’s the best part.

I had one of my little action cams with me, so I made a little video. Why not, right?