Archives for the ‘Blog Entries.Local’ Category

Equity Report – The Latest Statistics

Author: jedmisten From • Apr 18th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, RealEstate.Local

Equity infographic

It is a “Good Friday”

Author: David From • Apr 18th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

Ragland Road Irish Pub

Author: David From • Apr 16th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
The last stop during my trip to Orlando, was dinner at Ragland Road Irish Pub, located in Downtown Disney. Getting there required a ride on the free shuttle busses run between Disney properties; a ride complete with a vomiting kid who apparently overdid it at the theme park. That obstacle overcome, we arrived at our destination.

Ragland Road is a large place, with both indoor and outdoor seating. We had a table in front of the main stage. The beer menu included the expected Irish ales and a selection of American craft beer. The problem came we tried to read that menu. The area was so dark that we had to dig out our phones to use as flashlights. Now, I have not had a Guinness since our trip to Ireland. The ubiquitous Guinness just tasted so good there, it didn't have the same attraction once home. However, I decided to go with the flow, and selected the Guinness Stout as my beverage that evening.

Beer selection done, I turned my attention to the food menu. Again, out came the iPhone flashlight app. The food selection is quite extensive and my decision was a tough one. I finally decided on the Banger & Booz — Guinness & onion bangers on mash, topped with caramelized onions & beef stew. Due to the lack of lighting at our table, I really never got a good look at my meal, but I can report it was delicious. The sausage and mashed potatoes were served in a dish of hearty beef stew. It reminded me somewhat of the stew I had in Ireland. I also enjoyed some of the tender calamari appetizer shared by the table.

In an interesting twist, one of my dining companions and coworkers is a native Irishman and resident of Dublin. He busied himself with the American craft ales instead of the Irish selections. He enjoyed his Fish & Chips, though admitted he rarely ordered it back home. The musical and dancing entertainment was quite loud, and made conversation difficult, and limited to the person seated next to you. The banter from the Irish band came with such a deep brogue that it elicited one of the funniest comments of the evening when my Irish friend noted, "He's quite hard to understand isn't he?"

I started out with not high hopes regarding Ragland Road. I figured it would be a tourist trap made for Disney. The pub's draw for many is the music and dancing, with the lighting focused on the stage and the music loud. However, the food was well-done and even the Guiness was a treat. I'll go back when I am next in Orlando.

Social Media Update, 2014 Edition

Author: Chris From • Apr 15th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

The last time I thought about my social media set up for long enough to bother writing about it was in 2012. I'm still using the same services, although the way in which I use them has changed a bit.

Facebook is still Facebook. It's 100% personal for me. I don't really do anything business related on Facebook. I'm pretty sure that I have less FB friends now than I did in 2012. I've thinned the herd a bit. I don't use FB for photo storage at all. Other than mobile shots when I'm out and about I generally don't post many photos on Facebook. I'm not happy the corporate America and the NSA are mining my Facebook content for who knows what, but since everything I post there is stuff I consider public, I don't stress over it too much. I have all push notifications turned off. If you need to get in touch and time matters text or call me. My mobile number is on my profile page.

Online photo sharing is a constant source of agony for me. I've bounced back and forth between various self-hosted options, Google+, and most recently I've gravitated back to using Flickr. However, I post on average a couple of pictures a week, if that. I'm not life streaming so it probably doesn't really matter that much.

I was sick of Twitter back in 2012. I'm sort of back on the Twitter bandwagon. I use it mainly for amusement, it's sort of short form blog for me where I share interesting stuff, and snark among friends. I feel no obligation to follow anyone back on Twitter. If you follow me I'll peek at your profile. If anything grabs my interest I'll follow back. I'm constantly amused at the people with tens of thousands of followers that follow me, then unfollow a week later when I don't follow back. Twitter is not a numbers game, it is a communication tool. If you want me to consume your content you have to say something interesting. However, I'm not thrilled that it seems to more and more like Facebook with every update.

I've given up on Google+. I'm allegedly in 800 circles, yet most updates that I post there get no interaction, not even a plus one. It's not like I need to be adding to the Google dossier on me anyway.

LinkedIn is annoying, but kind of required for professional purposes. I have made some friends in two groups that I participate in, so there is that.

I've never even set up an account with Snapchat, or Pinterest, Instagram, or anything that came after Google+. A new social network is going to have to be damn compelling to get my interest.

And then of course there is this website which as been online since 1995. It's my original, and still favorite social network.

No chase but a clearly defined frontal passage

Author: Chris White From • Apr 15th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
I chose not to chase today given that the best setup for doing so is well east of where I would consider going. But...I was out and about the Roanoke valley this morning and got to experience the cold frontal passage. Here's what it looked like ~10:40 a.m. looking southwestward from the Hollins vicinity:

FROPA was very obvious as the wind suddenly swapped around from southerly to northwesterly and the thermometer plunged while I was outside my vehicle snapping photos. Now the question is how long the current pattern will take to reset and provide the next chasing opportunity. It may be a couple of weeks from now which would mean April is pretty much over for Virginia chasing.

Big River Brewpub

Author: David From • Apr 15th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
As I strolled the Disney Boardwalk, looking for someplace to have dinner, I happened upon the Big River Grille & Brewing Works. I could see the brewing equipment from the street. Wow, two interesting finds in one evening! A line of people outside were waiting for tables, but I was able to find an empty seat right at the bar.

There was a range of house beers available, and even though I was interested in trying them all, I opted to not go for a flight. After all, the brewery was within walking distance of the hotel and I would be around for a few days. I decided to start with a beer labeled simply "IPA." This beer pours a brownish-orange color with a thin beige head. The aroma is mild, mostly citrus with a hint of grass. The flavor is moderately citrus heavy, seeming more Pale Ale-like than IPA. The finish was clean with little lingering aftertaste and the 6% ABV hardly noticeable. Paired with a large plate of Pepper Jack Chicken Nachos, I had the makings of an enjoyable meal.

With stamina left for just one more beer, I opted for Rocket Red Ale, which seems to be the bar favorite. I was debating between that and the Steamboat Pale Ale, but figured the Pale Ale might not be all that different from the IPA I just had. After all, I could come back another evening, I again told myself. Rocket Red Ale was dark amber in color, with a thin head, although the beer was moderately carbonated. The aroma has malt and toasted bread. The initial flavor is nutty and bitter. Surprisingly bitter. Perhaps due to just finishing the citrusy IPA, that profile stood out. There's also a strong malt base and a slightly metallic flavor. The bready and nutty notes lingered in the finish.

The next day, awareness of the HeartBleed Vulnerability was picking up steam, and we faced a busy day, and late night, focusing on gathering and disseminating that news. Plans were changed and dinner was brought in. Despite Big River being just a short stroll from the hotel, trying the other beers will have to wait for another trip.

Tax Day

Author: David From • Apr 15th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

Hat tip to MSgt B.


Author: jedmisten From • Apr 14th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, RealEstate.Local

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Tax Day chase?

Author: Chris White From • Apr 14th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
April 15th is notorious as Tax Day but could it also be a chase day in 2014? I haven't been impressed with the model solutions for my chase region altho' the SPC is calling for a 5% chance of severe storms over the far western Piedmont of Virginia:

I'm concerned that the heavy rainfall forecast ahead of the approaching cold front will squelch convection, impair visibility, and prevent discrete storms west of the I-85 corridor. And since I'm not willing to go to that far east (too far, too populated, too many trees, etc.) without a REALLY good setup this isn't tempting me much.

Of course if tomorrow's RAP and HRRR runs look good all bets are off...

Selling your home? Price it Right!

Author: jedmisten From • Apr 14th, 2014
   Category: Blog Entries.Local, RealEstate.Local

The housing market is recovering nicely. Prices have increased housedollarnationally by double digits over the last twelve months. Competition from the shadow inventory of lower priced distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) is diminishing rapidly. Now may be the perfect time to sell your home and move to the dream house or beautiful location your family has always talked about.

The one suggestion we would definitely offer: DON’T OVERPRICE IT!!

Even though prices have increased by more than 10% over the last year, the acceleration of appreciation has slowed dramatically over the last few months. As an example, in their April Home Price Index Report, CoreLogic revealed that home prices actually depreciated by .08% this month as compared to last month’s report. What concerns us is that Trulia just reported that asking prices are still continuing to increase.

Because investor purchases are declining and there are more listings coming onto the market, we believe that sellers should be very cautious when they price their house. The alternative might be that you could lose money by overpricing your home at the start as explained in a research study on the matter.

Bottom Line

Though it is a great time to sell your house, pricing it right is crucial. Get guidance from a real estate professional in your marketplace to ensure you get the best deal possible.