Kelsey Park Neighborhood

Kelsey Park in Lubbock

Well, we continue our search for Lubbock homes for sale. Most specifically we are researching and reviewing different neighborhoods in Lubbock to give you house seekers out there some ideas as to where you want your dream house to be. It’s one thing to find a great house and it is altogether different to find that house in the right location (As the cliché goes: “Location, Location, Location.”) I’m trying to stay as unbiased as I can as I review the homes for sale in Lubbock because I don’t want to steer you into a neighborhood I like rather one that you would like. I’m just a hometown guy who hopefully can help you understand what areas in Lubbock are available and nice. From there, it’s on you. Still, feel free to comment about my reviews if you like and add what you think are the best neighborhoods for those moving to the Hub of the Plains.

So far, we have talked about Tech Terrace, Vintage Township and Lakeridge and I think I have given you fair pros and cons. Today this article will focus on my hood, known as Kelsey Park. Kelsey Park is located between Quaker Avenue and Indiana Avenue and from 130th street to 150th street. It is one the very newest neighborhoods in town. My wife and I moved into this Kelsey Park over one year ago and we have noticed it has gone through some major development. I would call this neighborhood mid to middle-upper class. There are some luxury apartments going up to our north and to our east. I can’t speak to what luxury means in this case, but I do know that they call them luxury. And I also know that as houses are being built all around us, many families who have moved to town are staying in really nice duplexes on 133rd street as they wait for their house to be built.

I’ve walked around quite a bit in this neighborhood and there is a really nice park nearby that has a lit running/walking track. As well, on my walks I have seen some of the already-built homes and I can only call them beautiful. From inside to out, these homes have been carefully planned. They are all modern and there is character to them. Also the neighbors seem to be nice and helpful. I got snowed into my garage and a guy who lives in the house behind me helped me shovel away snow and ice for an hour. Two days later I drove my car into a muddy ditch and could not get out. This is when I met another neighbor from down the street who hooked a chain to my bumper and pulled me out. (I know this is a limited sample size – the rest of my neighborhood might be full of sociopaths and thieves. But I doubt it.)

The drawback to Kelsey Park is that it is so new. There are loud noises from construction, nails all over the place (which my tires seem to always find), and not too many restaurants nearby. I know these issues will all soon be remedied as a Wal-Mart has opened near – Wal-Marts usually mean lots of other businesses will follow. I cannot say much else about the problems here because it hasn’t reached full-development. (It’s possible that a volcano will arise and erupt causing some negatives, but Lubbock is not known for those – more like 800 mph winds.)

Okay – That’s it for Kelsey Park. We will keep moving around town in future articles. Good luck with your house hunting.

Lakeridge Country Club Homes

Another Good Neighborhood in Lubbock

I’ll lead out by saying that there are myriad Lubbock homes for sale. And to be honest, it’s pretty hard to find a house in a terribly bad area. Lubbock is known for being a good place to raise families and is overall known as a warm and friendly place to be. If you can stand the occasional (like 360 days out of 365) gusts of orange dust whipping through the air, you have found an excellent place to land for a while. Still, in this article, I want to continue sharing the best and worst parts of specific areas in town so you can get the best home in Lubbock, Tx.

Today I want to focus on a country club setting known as Lakeridge. Lakeridge is basically found south of 82nd street to 98th street on the north. It also runs from Quaker Avenue on the east to Slide Avenue on the west. For a long time, Lakeridge was known as the place to be. It’s property costs were fairly high but with the country club atmosphere and steady gains in overall property values, a lot of wealthy people began buying their homes in this very nice neighborhood. This section of town was pretty much at the edge of the new Lubbock sprawl to the southwest and as a past Tennis pro who worked the courts of this golf and tennis club, I can attest that it was a gem. I always thought I would live in either Tech Terrace or Lakeridge because both had loads of character.

But then something happened. I’m not totally sure, but the rumor was that the ground underneath Lakeridge was cracking and as a result was causing foundational cracks in the houses of many of the houses there. I know I saw this cracking on the tennis courts as we had to resurface again and again. I also know that the golf course didn’t have good enough drainage and it was almost destroyed. Suddenly the premiere place to live in Lubbock was losing it’s stellar reputation.

Lakeridge has survived all of this mess and is back to being a good neighborhood, but the damage has been done for those who were in Lubbock as this mess was happening. As well, Lubbock kept growing far beyond Lakeridge’s once dominant location. (Lubbock has sprawled for five miles in all directions.) With new beautiful neighborhoods popping up to Lakeridge’s southwest, there were many more choices than Country Club land.

The one good thing about Lakeridge now is that you can still get a really nice home for much more reasonable prices. It also has some lovely homes for sale in Lubbock. It’s definitely a place to check out if you are in the market, but I just wanted you to know some of the background so you can make an informed decision.

Okay. That’s it for this article. I’ll be back to review another neighborhood in the next article.

Road Warrior – Day three

Day Three: Sheds and Knives

Today was Friday and I was able to recognize a lot of weariness in the clients I visited today. I get it – weekends are more fun than the regular work week – more freedom. I also felt like I was kind of going through the motions with my pitches, but whatever I was doing was working because we picked up another new client. That will please my bosses.

Landing this new client sort of kick-started my weekend and made me feel valuable and feeling valuable is on of my two favorite feelings in the world. Feeling valuable makes me feel worth – I know I am supposed to get that feeling from God, but sometimes I don’t. I guess I am just a bit of a people-pleaser and a little insecure – like most people I know.

When I got back to my Lubbock Corporate Housing spot, I took a shower and then checked on my nurse friends next door. They asked me to go to dinner with them at Texas Roadhouse – I said yes and that I would be waiting for them in the lobby. While I was in the lobby I grabbed a local newspaper and was perusing it when a fellow extrovert sat across from me and introduced himself as Tom. Tom was about 50 years old and his twang let me know he was from West Texas. As I put my paper down, Tom asked me what I did for a living. I responded “Sales and marketing.” Then I asked him what he did and he told me, “I am a professional storage shed buyer.” I asked him, “So like the guys on Storage Wars?” He nodded and just began to talk about his latest finds.

I could tell he was feeling the loneliness I had been feeling – he just wanted another human to talk to. And I was happy to lend a listening ear. He went on about last week’s find: “I bought a shed that was piled with your normal junk, but after I bought it, I discovered three suitcases in the back. Suitcases can always be interesting – especially locked ones. I pulled out my big flat head screwdriver and pried them open. Guess what was in them.”

I took a shot. “An original Declaration of Independence worth millions?”

He shook his head and went on. “I wish. No, but it was still interesting. This shed had been abandoned by a now dead accountant and inside these suitcases was old WW2 memorabilia – all kinds of things. One thing that stood out was an old dagger with a swastika at the top. I guess it was a prized weapon for the original owner. Some Nazi.”

As Tom was going on, my nurse friends came downstairs and I cut off my conversation with Tom by saying, “Tom I have to go but how long are you in Lubbock?” I stood up and we shook hands. He responded, “One more month.” I asked his phone number and he gave it to me so we could reconnect later on. “I’ll call you.” He said in closing, “Great Kevin. (I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself to you earlier) I’ll take you to one of the shed auctions with me some time.”

And that was that. I was off to my dinner with three very pretty nurses who were ready to use the weekend as a full on escape from their nursing duties. I might tell you more once I get back to my Lubbock Extended Stay bed. But for now, let’s leave it at that.

South Central Teaching Job and Panic Attacks

South Central Teaching Job and Panic Attacks

Teaching as a profession is hard no matter where you are working. I’ve taught in Private Christian Schools that were similar to Southcrest Christian School and I’ve taught in inner city Los Angeles at one of the most dangerous schools in the country. Both situations were hard because you have so much work to do during school time and so much work to do after school just to get ready for the coming day. Both types of schools require constant attention – Lesson plans, committee meetings, classroom discipline, parents, etc. I think teachers have the hardest job on the planet and I regret treating my teachers so badly when I was a youth. Besides that, teachers are severely underpaid and underappreciated.

With all the generalization behind us, I want to get specific about my time teaching 7th grade history at John Muir Middle School in South Central LA. It sucked. Let me tell you why it was so bad. First of all, when the school year got started, I had an average of 36 students per class with one actually having 45. There was no way I could get this many kids to pay attention especially when there were only 35 desks. That’s right. All the chairs filled with nine students either standing or sitting at my teacher’s desk. Secondly, there were no history books for the students. I had to lesson plan for them without them having the basic materials. It was silly. Third, some of the kids were violent and were always fighting or threatening to kill each other. Fourth, the students were disrespectful. I needed another teacher to just sit in the room and handle discipline. Fifth, if you sent the kids out to hall or to the principal, they would just leave the room and take off. Sixth, the principal told me that it was important not to send any kids to his office because he was dealing with much more serious issues. Seventh, they had to regularly lock the school down because of gang activity. One time, two guys with machine guns broke into the school and we had to hide under desks until they were captured. Eighth I found out that the teacher I was replacing had committed suicide by hanging himself in the classroom. Not a very encouraging place to be.

 

Needless to say, my work environment was horrible and I had panic attacks before almost all of my classes. I couldn’t eat because of the stress and I dropped down to 120 pounds. I cried hysterically every night when I got home and no matter my best attempts, I finally quit.

 

Here are my recommendations: Don’t be a teacher unless you are tough, resilient, willing to be treated poorly and thick-skinned. I salute every one of you teachers out there. You are superstars.

 

 

Change Agents for Capital Campaigns

Capital Campaigns and Change Agents

Most people do not like change. If people have been doing things one way and someone introduces a change that will force them to shift their behavior, there is typically push back. This degree of this push back is usually determined by how much change is required. I recall working at one church where leadership decided to set up a new model for committees and since this forced the staff and the congregation to radically change how they related to the system of church democracy, there was a near rebellion. I guess what I am getting at is that change does happen and often it needs to happen, but that does not mean this change will be easy. In fact, some changes, no matter how necessary and no matter how small, are not accepted. The naysayers win the day. All of this can be seen in every level of society and I think most of us have had to either introduce change or be asked to change.

And like everyone, I have been a jerk when someone tries to make me change a system if the current system is working. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, right? If the change is going to cause me to learn a lot of new things that slow me down or asks me to alter my finances or my actions, I typically balk and join a little faction of other people who would rather overthrow the institution that goes the way of the change.

So. With that being said, I get to our topic of change today – Church Capital Campaigns. Church Capital Campaigns are attempts by a congregation to raise extra funds from their particular flock to either renovate a current part of the building, or to raise extra cash to pay for a whole new set of buildings. Both of these two ventures are introductions of change because people are asked to give more money and because the leadership usually forms its focus around this project. In other words, leaders shift their focus to get their congregants to get on board with the new change.

But, I have to say that any sort of change that tries to open wallets wider is the most difficult change to get people to accept. People tend to not like when churches are asking for any money from them much less asking them for even more money. Knowing this, a church that is trying to raise extra capital really needs to bring in experts who know how to introduce this most difficult change. These experts are called Change Agents.

Change Agents understand how to bring about the vision of new church design and shifts in architecture, slowly bringing the church members to buy-in. How do they do this?

More on that in the next article…

The Future is now!

For some individuals and businesses, there is a gap between now and the possibilities of the future.  But for some people, the future is now and it is pretty impressive.  I always think of Apple and Google being at the front and center of this global trend setting and futurist thinking.  They take people’s imaginations of what things could be like and they blow right past these imaginations providing goods and services that have dominated market shares everywhere.  What used to be dreams are now cutting edge technologies which help people do what they wan to do and get to where they want to go.

Recently I was invited to see two of these business types for myself – Two companies who work together in the field of architecture and 3D animation to help other businesses flourish.  These businesses, Halo Architects and Gone Virtual, are located in West Texas but do most of their work for people all over the nation.  They believe art and vision to be the driving forces behind their projects and they’ve done such a good job at everything from church design to large retail design.

Speaking with the owner and chief innovator, I was reminded of a nicer Steve Jobs who not only builds great businesses, but who sees miles ahead of his competitors.  To be honest, I could not believe that these two businesses were not located in New York or in Silicon Valley.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout out to him and his team for doing such an excellent job and for pushing architecture and 3D virtual designs into the future; for not stagnating or plateauing as so many other firms do.  I have a lot of respect for leaders who know how to lead now and who also can lead their teams into the future.  I hope I can do the same sooner rather than later…

 

My Niece’s Future

The future looks bright for my niece who has decided to attend one of the best Texas colleges in the area next year. She could have chosen to go to a highly regarded four year Texas college, but she looked at the graduation rates as well as the job placement rates provided by Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas and made what I think is a smart decisions. After all, what good is college if it cannot get you into a good job. I think that is how colleges should be ranked – how well do they help their students get employed once they graduate. Forget the other ranking factors like campus beauty or social interactions – Just make sure I have a job post-college and I’ll be happy.

I recall my time in college and I can honestly say that my experience did not prepare me for anything useful. Four years of lecture and reading and papers for what? Definitely not a good job. I had to get my Masters just to get my foot in the job world – more money and more time. I compare this to what my niece has chosen – 2 years of technical training followed by an immediate job placement. And if she ends up wanting to go back for more years of education in the future, she can.

Anyway, that was just a rant and also an encouragement to other students to give weight to the right things when choosing a college. If it cannot get you a good job later, then find one that will.

Signing off –

 

School fears: Pre-K

My little nephew is heading into a highly regarded Lubbock Pre-K very soon and he is excited but also a bit nervous. This Lubbock private school is a Christian-based school and I imagine it will be a good experience for him, but I understand his basic fears. He fears the unknown as most of us do. He fears the initial interactions with a room full of strangers. He fears the rejection and failure that can come in any setting. His fears are legitimate. They are the same fears that chase most of us around for the whole of our lives – my nephew is just getting exposed to it early on.

Poor kid.

Still, I’m sure that this Pre-K has teachers who will protect him and help to alleviate his fears. They are trained to help students learn basic life navigation skills. He will be okay. I just hope he doesn’t inherit my lifelong fears that I picked up in my Kindergarten days.

 

Do we ever really grow up? Do we ever really grow out of our panic that comes from early socialization? I know I didn’t. Maybe I should start over like Billy Madison and get some shampoo – because it is better.

The future looks bright for my niece who has decided to attend one of the best Texas colleges in the area next year. She could have chosen to go to a highly regarded four year Texas college, but she looked at the graduation rates as well as the job placement rates provided by Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas and made what I think is a smart decisions. After all, what good is college if it cannot get you into a good job. I think that is how colleges should be ranked – how well do they help their students get employed once they graduate. Forget the other ranking factors like campus beauty or social interactions – Just make sure I have a job post-college and I’ll be happy.

I recall my time in college and I can honestly say that my experience did not prepare me for anything useful. Four years of lecture and reading and papers for what? Definitely not a good job. I had to get my Masters just to get my foot in the job world – more money and more time. I compare this to what my niece has chosen – 2 years of technical training followed by an immediate job placement. And if she ends up wanting to go back for more years of education in the future, she can.

Anyway, that was just a rant and also an encouragement to other students to give weight to the right things when choosing a college. If it cannot get you a good job later, then find one that will.

Signing off –

 

Just a quick Blurt

I won’t call this a blog post because it is so very short – We will call it a Blurt for Google’s sake.  In this Blurt, I just want to make one statement about colleges in this state.

Just because you go to a huge, popular Texas college rather than small and less popular Texas colleges does not make you smarter or more capable.  Western Texas College is a two-year school but it preps students for better jobs right out of school and creates less debt than the other Tier One schools.  So don’t act cocky if you are attending a “cool university.”  Most of those places don’t get you ready for real life or prep you for anything technical or useful.  Places like WTC might not have frat life or even Bachelors degrees, but they at least get you employed sooner than later.

That’s my Blurt rant for today – I attended a large university myself and am convinced that it was a racket designed to take my money and teach me little practical knowledge.  That might have been my fault.  But, if I had a kid I’d send him or her to a place like WTC over where I went.

Why am I saying all this?  What do I care?  I just get sick of the bigger school students thinking themselves superior because they were able to get into a school that makes them pay a lot of money to sit through boring lectures and write busy work essays.

That’s all.  I will return to my cave and say little more except this:  I can’t wait for the future!  What about you?