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  1. #1
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Choice for Texas Reports?

    OK, I have asked this before and have threatened to change from AHIT to another software, but now I am actually going to do it. Their stuff is just too buggy for me. Too many problems. High maintenance. It's got to go.

    Suggestions?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    I have been using WhisperReporter for quite a while and am happy with it. I love the way you can customize it to fit your needs. It is really user friendly but most of all comes with great customer service.


  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zibby Swieca View Post
    I have been using WhisperReporter for quite a while and am happy with it. I love the way you can customize it to fit your needs. It is really user friendly but most of all comes with great customer service.
    That would be the one.

    No bugs found yet

    Aaron

    I tried to point you in the direction of whisper a while back.

    Seriously easy to use and change it to any look you like by just creating a master and then when you want to use that particular set up just click on clone and your report is up waiting for your new additions.

    I down loaded about all the software out there and tried it. Most were just to annoying and to many drop down screens to change from this or that.

    Down load a copy for yourself and try it out.

    If you have any questions what so ever they will log on to your computer while talking to you and point around and give you the general jist of things.

    Nolan also uses whisper.

    You do not need word or any other program to use it. It is a stand alone product. You already have a PDF program. TO change it into a PDF it might take all of a few seconds to maybe 10 seconds at most with one click.

    Tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy itttttttttttttt

    You'll liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit


  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    I use HomeGauge. There software and technical support is great. They are always just a phone call away if you need help, they also have an online forum. They have Texas templates, and you can change and modify your template to make it just how you want it. HG is always making improvements and adding additional features. As with all software you will most likely find some features you don't like or don't use. My customers and Realtors that use me love my reports and my business has continued to grow since changing over to HomeGauge.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    3-D and modified to your own personal taste/protocol. Many of us of built our own, which we all think is superior, but we ain't going to share them and if so inclined we would produce them for marketing, but such a hassle !!!.
    Oh well, slog on................................... good luck.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,
    Are you looking for software you can use AS you are doing the inspection or are you looking for software that you reenter the data later at home or a laptop in the kitchen ? There is a distinct difference between inspection software and reporting software.


  7. #7
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Aaron,
    Are you looking for software you can use AS you are doing the inspection or are you looking for software that you reenter the data later at home or a laptop in the kitchen ? There is a distinct difference between inspection software and reporting software.
    JK: I only do my reports after the fact - and off site. I have wetware that is ample for AS I do the inspection. It is the report writing element that I need software for.


  8. #8
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,
    I am not sure I asked the question right... just because you use data collection software does not mean you need to create the report on site...all it means is that you are using an electronic means of collecting the data instead of paper or a voice recorder. Inspectors can then either print immediately on site to a portable printer to print the report OR they can dock the data collection device to a PC and upload the data they collected to a report that is automatically filled in with the data to avoid rekeying the data and then they can review, modify, investigate their findings, etc.
    It is a method of saving time at the office in creating the report. It also gives them the ability to have reference data on the electronic device to help them do the inspection. The electronic device will have a set of boilerplate comments that is selected from as they do their inspection. Pictures can also be tagged so that they know exactly where to go in the final report. Some inspectors are just not comfortable with a computer in the field so it is not for everyone.

    Last edited by Jeff Knight; 07-31-2009 at 01:07 PM. Reason: More to add

  9. #9
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Some inspectors are just not comfortable with a computer in the field so it is not for everyone.
    JK: That's me. Tried it and did not like it.


  10. #10
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,
    Can I ask what you tried and why you did not like it ?


  11. #11
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Aaron,
    Can I ask what you tried and why you did not like it ?
    JK: The main thing I do not like is diddling with computer devices, be they PDA's, notebooks, whatever, while I am in the field. I usually need both hands to do other things while I am working and cannot be encumbered by touch screens, styluses, software glitches, dead batteries, et al.

    I tried, lap tops and PDAs. I tried them with several softwares, including voice recognition. Phenomenal learning curves, poor performance, and a lot of wasted time later I concluded that these systems were great for the manufacturers and retailers of the hard and software, perhaps passable for the hoi polloi, and not of much use to me.

    So then, if you are selling something, please sell it elsewhere. I am not interested. On the other hand, if you have a suggestion for decent desk top report software, I am all ears.


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JK: The main thing I do not like is diddling with computer devices, be they PDA's, notebooks, whatever, while I am in the field. I usually need both hands to do other things while I am working and cannot be encumbered by touch screens, styluses, software glitches, dead batteries, et al.

    I tried, lap tops and PDAs. I tried them with several softwares, including voice recognition. Phenomenal learning curves, poor performance, and a lot of wasted time later I concluded that these systems were great for the manufacturers and retailers of the hard and software, perhaps passable for the hoi polloi, and not of much use to me.

    So then, if you are selling something, please sell it elsewhere. I am not interested. On the other hand, if you have a suggestion for decent desk top report software,I am all ears.
    You need to clean the wax out of them.



    Whisperrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrr. Down Load it. Try it. Before paying you can talk to the folks at Whisper and find it is about zero learning curve.............................

    I've tried them all. I could not be bothered with all the crap most of them put you through.


  13. #13
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,
    If you are really looking for an easy solution you could buy the Word templates from Jim Hemsell and then you won't have to worry about programming issues....except for Microsofts ;-) There are really only 2 other PC ONLY based reporting solutions that I know of and you are using one of them now (InspectIt). Whisper is the other solution out there that is PC based. Our software does run on a PC and we have inspectors that do collect data in the field on paper or a voice recorder and then reenter the data later on a PC with our software to create the report. No need for a computer in the field.
    Some inspectors like to use a PocketPC in the field and others do not. Some inspectors like to come back to their office and reenter all their data and other inspectors do not. There is also Bob Paynes InspectionWise handheld software and OnClarity with their expensive voice recognition but it sounds like you have gone done those paths already. 3D has a solution through a third-party inspector but my view is that it is complicated software for an inspector that shys away from computers in general.
    I am not trying to pitch our software but trying to figure out exactly what type of solution you are looking for.


  14. #14
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,

    I use Whisper Solutions and I am pleased with it. It has allowed me to create my own phase inspection reports and the 7A is easy to use.


  15. #15
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,
    Here is a blog to listen to with Mr. White interviewed by Ken Compton on Whisper Solutions.

    Do You Whisper 5/22/2009 - Ken Compton on Blog Talk Radio

    Hopefully it gives you the answers you need. I know Ken Compton recommends delivery of reports on site in the blog but I also know it is different in Texas.


  16. #16
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Seems that I will be whispering in the future . . .


  17. #17
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,
    Good luck. I am hoping Whisper will be the solution for you but I would have to say that there is not a huge difference between InspectIt and Whisper. They are both PC based...they both simulate the exact TREC form on the screen which can make it harder to enter data and they both can be difficult to modify.
    Can I ask what you use in the field to actually gather your notes ? I know you were saying that you need both hands when you do your inspection and did not want to bother with a stylus or pda.


  18. #18
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Aaron,
    Good luck. I am hoping Whisper will be the solution for you but I would have to say that there is not a huge difference between InspectIt and Whisper. They are both PC based...they both simulate the exact TREC form on the screen which can make it harder to enter data and they both can be difficult to modify.
    Can I ask what you use in the field to actually gather your notes ? I know you were saying that you need both hands when you do your inspection and did not want to bother with a stylus or pda.
    JK: I use a digital camera, a digital recorder, and the default wetware I came equipped with upon my initial release in 1952. That's right, this is A.D. 1.0.

    Now you may be Shiva-like, i.e. equipped with multiple arms. Not so here. If not, ever try holding onto a ladder with one hand while taking a photo with the other and doing anything else at all other than praying? Should you attmept this very often enough, you will need all of that luck you were wishing me.


  19. #19
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Aaron,
    Can I ask how long it takes you to create your typical report from your photos and voice notes back at the office ? and how many pages is your typical TREC report including photos ?


  20. #20
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Aaron,
    Can I ask how long it takes you to create your typical report from your photos and voice notes back at the office ? and how many pages is your typical TREC report including photos ?
    JK: That depends on what the inspection entails. The average re-sale inspection report takes me between 1.5 and 2.0 hours and yields 80-100 pages with photos.


  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JK: I use a digital camera, a digital recorder, and the default wetware I came equipped with upon my initial release in 1952. That's right, this is A.D. 1.0.

    Now you may be Shiva-like, i.e. equipped with multiple arms. Not so here. If not, ever try holding onto a ladder with one hand while taking a photo with the other and doing anything else at all other than praying? Should you attmept this very often enough, you will need all of that luck you were wishing me.

    Praying.....Aaron.....


  22. #22
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Praying.....Aaron.....
    TM: Yes, praying. Praying that this soon-to-be cloying and obnoxiously forward MF salesman will finally take the hint. Not "praying" in the religious sense. Certainly not. Never. Heaven forbid!

    It is more like the prayer ("slight chance") he has got of selling me his digit-encumbering, wallet-draining, pseudo-high-tech, here-to-save-the-world, doubles-as-a-Ginsu-knife/secret-decoder-ring/hula-hoop gizmo.




  23. #23
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    ... simulate the exact TREC form on the screen which can make it harder to enter data and they both can be difficult to modify. ...
    JK - I'll have to take exception with you concerning WR anyway.

    The screen presentation can be modified/changed to a couple of different views and even in the way an HI may cycle through a property. Not at all hard or harder to enter data.

    Modifying the templates is also not at all hard. The baseline is there for the Texas 7A-1 and each inspector can make many adjustments as they see fit for their inspection needs as long as they don't modify the TREC requirements.

    I've been using Whisper Solutions products for over 7 years. Started out using PI and moved over to WR once it was released. Actually I was one of many of the beta testers of WR for almost a year before it was released to the inspector community. I still do a lot of testing, debugging and suggesting for modifications.

    I've built several templates for other proprietary inspections I do that have nothing to do with TREC and the WR application is excellent for that purpose.


  24. #24
    RobertSmith's Avatar
    RobertSmith Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    I wrote my own software, took sometime, but man , I'm very happy! I interfaced it with speech recogniztion software so I have a choice of dictating the report or typing...I also interfaced my digital recorder to the speech recognition software that translates my field notes into text; then automatically sorts the notes into the proper categories.

    Took me two years, but I'm very happy! And yes, of course, I must say that!

    Rob


  25. #25
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSmith View Post
    I wrote my own software, took sometime, but man , I'm very happy! I interfaced it with speech recogniztion software so I have a choice of dictating the report or typing...I also interfaced my digital recorder to the speech recognition software that translates my field notes into text; then automatically sorts the notes into the proper categories.

    Took me two years, but I'm very happy! And yes, of course, I must say that!

    Rob
    RX: Does it have a full library of the IRC, NEC and the TREC SOP fully cross-referenced with adopted versions for each of the municipalities in which you operate?

    Is the whole thing operable from your newly-minted combination satellite phone/GPS/36-MP digital camera/camcorder/touch-screen IR camera which runs on any available form of power?

    Did you manage to teach the beast to intuitively delete expletives?

    If you answered no to any of the above, then you have your work cut our for you, don't you?

    If you answer yes to all of the above, then how much and where do I pick my up so that I also may be very happy indeed?


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Home Inspection Software - HomeGauge they have a fully functional 30 day trial and a Texas templete. Worth a try and noting to lose


  27. #27
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    The biggest issue with voice recognition is that most of us normally do not talk grammatically as we would like our comments to appear in our inspection report. This makes it a lot more work to convert the recorder notes to the actual comments that we want in our report. Plus...it is actually quicker to select a preset comment form a checkbox or dropdown list then it would be speaking it.


  28. #28
    RobertSmith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Jeff,

    There are issues, but you can make it work with proper training of yourself and the software. Works great for me, I'm happy. That's all that matters!


  29. #29
    Jeff Knight's Avatar
    Jeff Knight Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Robert...can I ask...how are you tagging the comments to move to the right section of the TREC form ? When you record a note about an electrical issue in the kitchen and a comment about the sink and a comment about the stove how does the software back at the office know to put these comments in the different places in the TREC form ? I am assuming you are having to precede each comment with some kind of code that signified where it goes in the report first. Is your average report as long as Aaron's ? Aaron's report of 80-100 pages is very rare in Texas. Most reports in Texas are less then 15 pages.


  30. #30
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    I'm glad I do not have the State of Calif. with a standard for my reports. I was using Inspectvue but I had to dump that now I'm back working with MSWORD WYSIWYG. I just can't run a program that i can't see the report as i'm working.

    Best

    Ron


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    I was using Inspectvue but I had to dump that now I'm back working with MSWORD WYSIWYG. I just can't run a program that i can't see the report as i'm working.
    Ron,

    I agree.

    That is why back in 1994 I wrote my report to run on top of Word Perfect, got my drop down selections, can click an 'Edit" button at each and every window in the program and each one takes to me to that particular place in my report, where I can see the report in WYSIWYG and type and edit what I want as I want, then press the 'Esc' key and I am back in my program where I was without skipping a beat.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    A.D I don't blame you for looking for other software. After reading one of your reports I went blind. You need to split it up. 70 pages addendum's and disclaimers and 10 pages of actual meat. By the way the meat section was good :-)

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  33. #33
    RobertSmith's Avatar
    RobertSmith Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Jeff,

    Email me, we'll discuss offline.

    Mike,

    Ha! I've reviewed many of AD's reports....you've got it just about right...


  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    A.D I don't blame you for looking for other software. After reading one of your reports I went blind. You need to split it up. 70 pages addendum's and disclaimers and 10 pages of actual meat. By the way the meat section was good :-)
    Hmmmmmm

    Thats all I have to say


  35. #35
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    A.D I don't blame you for looking for other software. After reading one of your reports I went blind. You need to split it up. 70 pages addendum's and disclaimers and 10 pages of actual meat. By the way the meat section was good :-)
    MS: Report formats are a work in progress, in my opinion. In Texas we are severely limited in the designing of them due to the meddling and bumbling bureaucrats in Austin who are perennially bent on making our lives miserable by (1) mandating a report format written by 3rd rate attorneys and politically-motivated inspector busy bodies, (2) arbitrarily changing the report format annually, (3) interpreting the SOP by reading chicken entrails while smoking crack, and (4) constantly seeking sanctions against inspectors who exceed the SOP in their report writing.

    Add to this mix the fact that my attorney wants things written a certain way. And then there's the blood-sucking E&O insurance company who also has to have a say in the writing of the report.

    So then, by the time I get to put pen to page, I have to work around a massive amount of required verbiage and try like hell to make the thing legible and understandable for my clients.

    It is very easy for you to sit off in another state and talk sh#t about how someone else, somewhere else, writes their reports. That sort of sniping, though perhaps fulfilling for the sniper, is feckless at best, and mostly masturbatory in nature.

    And, once you consider the source, a man who brands his work as "affordable", not "competent", or "professional", or "accurate", just cheap, the opinion stated simply loses any meaning at all . . . So then, backatcha Check Box Boy.

    Last edited by A.D. Miller; 08-05-2009 at 05:39 AM.

  36. #36
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSmith View Post
    Jeff,

    Email me, we'll discuss offline.

    Mike,

    Ha! I've reviewed many of AD's reports....you've got it just about right...
    RS: Read the last post. Add to that the fact that hail from Austin. That pretty much says it all. There are no real inspectors in Austin (at least not at the Texas Real Estate Circus (TREC)). Never were, and never will be.

    Last edited by A.D. Miller; 08-05-2009 at 05:23 AM.

  37. #37
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    RS: Yep, I looked you up too. Just another Check Box Boy.

    http://www.smithinspect.com/SmithIns..._Report_06.pdf


  38. #38
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Hmmm

    Yep

    Hmmm

    The only one to review one of my reports is my clients. As far as what is in my reports and how they are laid out and what wording I may use or not use is absolutely positively no ones business.

    I have never had a sample report. There are no 2 homes alike as far as concerns go. Every report for every home will be different from the next. Why anyone wants to deal with anyone elses ideas or opinions of their report is completely beyond me. When clients ask me what I inspect for or if I have a sample report I either send them to my website or the TREC website. This will show them what I inspect for. As far as what goes into the report, that is determined

    As far as all of your reports I think they all s*ck. I am quite positive you will think the same about my reports.

    Everyone seems to be more inclined to elaborate on what they do not inspect instead of what is actually going on in the home. That, in my opinion, is not what a home inspection report should be.

    Oh well. Way to much to say on this subject and of course it is all suject to scrutiny. Of course the suject at hand is the concerns in the home.....not the concerns of saving yourself. Tell them what is wrong in the home and the rest takes care of itself. Other than little disclaimers, one liners and such, I do not feel there is any need to quote the entire TREC SOPs in your report as to what you do inspect, what you don't inspect, why you do inspect, why you don't inspect. If you are going to do that then just hand them a copy of or send them to the TREC website or you own to see the TREC SOPs.

    Disclaimer.....Read the TREC SOPs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That should about take care of it.


  39. #39
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Yep
    TM: Uh, huh.

    The only one to review one of my reports is my clients. As far as what is in my reports and how they are laid out and what wording I may use or not use is absolutely positively no ones business.
    TM: C'mon Ted, live dangerously.

    I have never had a sample report.
    TM: Sure you have. You just take a real report and redact the client info, select photos that would help identify a particular house, and the address. Voila! Sample report!

    As far as all of your reports I think they all s*ck.
    TM: Be nice now, Ted.

    I am quite positive you will think the same about my reports.
    TM: But, how will we ever know for sure?

    Everyone seems to be more inclined to elaborate on what they do not inspect instead of what is actually going on in the home. That, in my opinion, is not what a home inspection report should be.
    TM: Any good attorney will tell you that what you say regarding what is not inspected is at least as important as what's said about what you do inspect.

    Disclaimer.....Read the TREC SOPs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    TM: But that will not work if you do not include a copy of it in your report.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    A.D......, Sticks and Stones..... I was just commenting on your report and your claims of 80+ report which could work down to Kevin's 15 page theory. wasn't bashing you. I am in a Licensed state and have to follow rules like you. I am also guilty of disclaimers and such. Check box ? only for types of system and checked as inspected which is required here. You also have to state if you did not inspect something. For all the bullsh*t I prefer checking it off. All problems are explained and photographed with illustrations if need be.

    So banter if you must......

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  41. #41
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    A.D......, Sticks and Stones..... I was just commenting on your report and your claims of 80+ report which could work down to Kevin's 15 page theory. wasn't bashing you. I am in a Licensed state and have to follow rules like you. I am also guilty of disclaimers and such. Check box ? only for types of system and checked as inspected which is required here. You also have to state if you did not inspect something. For all the bullsh*t I prefer checking it off. All problems are explained and photographed with illustrations if need be.

    So banter if you must......
    MS: So then, using your and Kevin's theory, we could easily distill Tolstoy's massive 4-volume War and Peace, down to a few simple statements: There were Russians. They fought. There are still Russians. They still fight. The end.

    Simple is as simple does.


  42. #42
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Choice for Texas Reports?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    MS: So then, using your and Kevin's theory, we could easily distill Tolstoy's massive 4-volume War and Peace, down to a few simple statements: There were Russians. They fought. There are still Russians. They still fight. The end.

    Simple is as simple does.
    Sounds good to me and I did read war and peace


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