nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Jan. 28th, 2008 10:38 am)
January 28, 2008 10:41 AM

So...we put an offer in on a house on Saturday and it was accepted. The house is a 1955 cedar ranch - red. I’m not going to post a lot of details because there’s still an appraisal, inspection, and closing to go through before we get the keys. We gave the seller the asking price of $169,900 but asked for 3% for closing. Submitted and earnest money check along with the offer and got a call back that evening. (We’ll probably still have to come to the table with some cash for closing but I have a very kind friend that I can ask for it.)

There really isn’t anything we would have to do to move into the place except have DirectTV come by and install a satellite dish (there’s a Dish Network one already on the side of the house) and any electrical stuff I want done immediately. (I’d like to have 220V run to the garage but I’m not sure what that would cost. I’ll have to check on that because if I don’t do it right away then it’ll likely be a long time before I can afford to get it done.)

Anyway I will likely buy two new LCD TVs because I want to reduce our electric usage and our existing TVs are CRT ones. I might even buy three - one for our daughter’s room - and another TiVo unit. All that comes out to about $1400 but with what we save in electricity it will be worth it. (I don’t know - it depends on any fees we have yet to pay.) And after we close I can roll over the credit union loan and pay back some of the closing money right away and still have some cash for the TVs AND still have reserves. The problem of course is getting to the closing point...

So all we’re waiting for at this point is to get all the contract stuff taken care of, have an appraisal, have an inspection, and then close.

A long way to go yet thus why I’m not getting too attached at this point.

There is something I will have looked at though once we buy the house. It currently has a partial basement and a crawl space under the rest of the house. I’ll probably find out how deep the footings are on the house and see if I can’t dig out the crawl space and expand it into a full basement. If the footings are 6 foot or deeper then I should be able to just have them cut the one wall in the partial basement and I’ll just take out a bucket of dirt on a regular basis until it’s empty. Regardless I’ll need to get under there and insulate the floors because there’s no insulation at all under there. But that’s truly a weekend project.

Speaking of projects...

My wife should be bringing home a bunch of newspaper today so we can continue packing the kitchen. Our friend’s stuff is leaving CA on the 4th of February and will be here 7 - 14 days after that. One of the things included in that stuff will be the large china cabinet. I’ve moved that damn thing - it’s heavy. We’re not dragging that thing downstairs. ;-) It’s going to come right in the back door and into the kitchen. That means we need to have our stuff out of the way before then. Not a big deal. I pretty much want us to be packed by the 15th or 20th of next month. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable.

_My_ biggest headache is going to be the stuff in the rack downstairs and the rack itself. That thing was a pain to get in there and I need to take all the systems out of it before I move it. That means being completely down for at least a day or three. Likely less because I fully intend to get the DSL installed and turned on before we walk in the door. That way I can change the configuration files on the firewall, down all the systems, transport them, and then bring them all back up and have them running immediately. The only pain will be DNS changeover at the registrar level because I have some stuff that is not running on my in-house BIND servers. Maybe I should take the time to rectify that before the whole move. It would make my downtime a little less but not too much because I still have to propagate DNS to the root servers. A horse a piece I guess...

*re-reads entire post*

Damn. I’ve become attached. Oh well....
January 18, 2008 11:25 AM

In case the above makes no sense to you it means that you need to listen to more Robin Williams. It’s from a joke on being cold in Chicago.

It truly isn’t that cold really. At least not compared to previous winters. It just seems cold because we’ve had relatively warm winters for several years now. (And they say there’s no Global Warming...)

My mom’s coming down to visit this weekend and bringing her computer with her for me to look at. (Along with her wireless antenna from the back of the computer as well I hope.) She’s having the usual Windows problems so I think she has a bit of spyware/adware/crap on there that needs to be cleaned off. No biggie.

She’s due for an upgrade anyway. Her new printer isn’t supported under Windows 98 (a buttload aren’t any more) and she needs more RAM among other things. I think while she’s down here we’ll see if we can’t pick up RAM for her system and a copy of Windows XP. I’d like to switch her to a Mac but her knitting machine software might not like that. Also no biggie. At worst we should be able to get both things locally or a bit out of the way and then she’ll be fine. One way or another we’ll figure something out.

Crap. The router is down at home so I can’t get to my mail. Well that sucks. One thing I’m hoping to rectify with our house purchase is my connectivity. Even if I get the exact same bandwidth I’ve got I’ll be happy so long as it stays up and running all the time. I don’t mind the occasional outage but this once a month to once a week crap gets old really fast.

That reminds me that I still need to purchase the ADSL card for my Cisco 2610. I hope to be able to buy that next week but we’ll see how the finances go.

*pings router*

Damn. Still down. I was hoping it would reset itself like it’s done in the past but it doesn’t look like that’s happening. That means I have to go immediately home and power it off and back on. I really need to set up some sort of automated way of doing that to bypass this issue.

And I still need to do a ton of other things as well. The most immediate ones are laundry and packing the kitchen stuff up so that we’re ready when the ginormous china cabinet returns from its stay in California. I suppose I should call them and find out when they are going to start shipping the large stuff. Hopefully last but I can’t count on that.

And I need to get my Sun E450 out of the basement. And I need to get all the stuff in the garage organized. And I need to tear apart all the wood I’m going to use for closing up the bookshelves. And I need to ship boxes. And I need to have an old TV crated up and shipped. And and and and and and and....A BILLION OTHER THINGS!!!! AUUUUUUGHHHH!!!!

*ahem*

Sorry...overwhelmed there for a moment. I need more hands and more time. Or one or the other. I wonder if I can order Oompa Loompas on the web somewhere...
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Jan. 15th, 2008 11:05 am)
January 15, 2008 11:05 AM

So we’re still in the housing market. Still looking.

The contenders from the weekend had some problems but two out of the five we might make a serious offer on. The farmhouse behind the restaurant needs a washer/dryer hookup but we’re wondering why one isn’t in there already after all this time. And the cedar one might require some immediate sewer hookup done once we buy it. If the sellers can find a way to get us cash to do that I’m fine with that. And putting in a washer/dryer hookup in the one house, provided there’s not a reason we can’t have one, isn’t all that costly. I think that the cedar house has a little more going on for us space-wise but the farmhouse has more class. (The ranch was bland and boring and didn’t really have enough space.) I’ll have to seriously talk it over with my wife as this is not a decision I can make alone. At least not without serious consequences.

And stress is still keeping me off my feed. I’m working on it though. Last night didn’t help because I didn’t get out of work until 9:30 p.m. and hadn’t had any serious food all day. Not good but since I ate on the way home it was ok.

Still a lot of packing to be done at home. I’ve got several empty boxes and totes to fill so I better get moving. And I’m way behind in shipping things out to people. Need to take care of that pronto! It’s going to be cold this week too so working out in the garage is not going to be easy either. I’ll need to fire up our housemate’s turbo-heater if I want to get anything done out there. No biggie really as there’s plenty to get done inside.

The spam problem is getting worse. When I check the main Ameritech account that goes with my ADSL I now get 100+ messages. All of them spam except maybe one status update from SBC. And I’m now getting daily spam on my main personal account. Bummer. :-(

I vote that we take any spammer we find, string them up in a harness above a giant wood chipper. I’m thinking extremely high up. Then give them a cell phone with a half dead battery. Then tell them that the winch will lower them into the wood chipper at a rate of speed depending on how much spam their servers send out. If their servers cease operation for 7 days they will be released. If they resume spamming the cable starts at half the length it was previously. Eventually some spammer is going to be stupid enough to get himself shredded and that will put a serious damper on the others out there.

(Ok I can dream can’t I?)

Regardless something has to be done and fining them doesn’t seem to be working...
January 10, 2008 2:18 PM

Let’s see...we have...

A 100+ year old farmhouse for $159,900.

A 50 year old frame ranch for $159,900.

A huge (1500+ square-feet) cedar siding covered ranch with basement and garage for $164,900.

Another ranch for $164,900.

A 50 year ranch with deck, storage shed, and 2 car garage for $165,900.

And last but not least a 50 year old brick ranch for $169,000.

Now you’ll notice that all of those are above $150,000. That’s not a mistake on my part. What’s happened is that my wife and I are looking at the higher end of what we can afford because the houses, with the exception of the two that have been bought our from under us, around $150k have had some serious issues.

I’m aware no house is perfect but some of these houses shouldn’t even be on the market at the price they are without some serious cleanup. (Mold Central in the gallery for instance.) And a “unfinished refurb” shouldn’t mean “unlivable shithole that I didn’t bother cleaning up”.

Thus we’ve raised our prices in an effort to get something a little better suited to us. And it’s not like we can’t afford those homes it’s just that the PMI _in addition_ to the mortgage is pain.

So anyway we’re going to see the ones above this weekend and I’ll post more pictures. I’m wondering what’s wrong with the cedar one because the pictures all look good, it’s big, has a full basement, and a 1.5 car garage on top of it. So why is it so low priced?

I wish we had the time to wait on this but our financing has time limits attached to it so we can’t afford to tarry. I just really want the cycle to be finished and done with.

Need to get more sleep. I’m pretty worn out right now. Need to get that back in balance.

Damn. Forgot to grab the empty boxes from work for packing stuff in. :-( Oh well I’ll get them when I’m in on Sunday. (I have to pick up my daughter tomorrow so I can’t take them then.)

I’m way behind on that too. Other than the books and some stuff I’m going to ship to other people I haven’t gotten anything packed really. That’s not good because if we want to move quickly we need to have it already packed.

Watched the movie Stardust last night. It was _excellent_ in my opinion except for the musical transitions. To me they seemed too long and too formal. I know why they were like that , they had to show time passing, but they still felt a little out of place. Other than that I will only say this. I started the movie playing on my Macbook and didn’t get up until it was finished. That’s how good it was. I really liked it. :-)

Now I suppose I’ll have to get the book to see what stuff they left out...
January 8, 2008 11:05 AM

I really hate formally dressing up - at least in office attire that is. I seriously have to wonder how far behind people are to think that properly ironed collars, neckties, and perfectly short cut hair are REQUIREMENTS for efficient business function. I mean these things are all from the 1800s and have repeatedly been shown to increase people’s stress, point their focus in the wrong direction, and in general negatively affect efficiency in modern businesses. Almost to a one the companies that are considered the best places to work have business casual attire requirements.

If the person is focused on their clothing they will NOT be focused on their job. Period. Unfortunately that’s unlikely to change until people growing up now move into the halls of power. Of course the way that the old dogs in our government and super-sized corrupt corporations cling to power rather then generate it I have some doubts as to if things will change in m lifetime. (BTW a good corporation generates it’s own power structure by inspiring loyalty from its employees. If you can’t generate loyalty from your employees then all your are is a plantation owner with slaves.)

I don’t work for an overbearing corporation and I hope I never will. ( Overbearing corporations btw are ones that see people as objects and not human beings in my opinion. )

Still in the house hunting market. Neither myself nor my wife think putting an offer in on anything we saw last weekend would be a good idea. We have a whole host of others to see so I think I’m going to take some drive-by pictures tomorrow just to get a feel for the places to see if we want to schedule visits for them.

Another one of the ones we want to look at is another old farmhouse so I’m curious to see if it has some of the same issues as the other one did. (Curiously enough the other one is still listed on the website of the realtor in question so I’m wondering what’s going on there.) The other one that we really want to see is a newer home that has cedar siding and is, in reality, a little out of our price range at $165,900. I mean we _could_ afford that but it’ll be a tight squeeze because we’re not putting up any cash so we have to pay PMI which adds about $350 to the monthly payment so a house that is $165k+ that would normally be about $1k+/month ramps up to $1300/month. What a pain. I mean if you’re willing to give them a loan for the amount with no money down you shouldn’t add insult to injury. I know it’s a hedging of a bet by the lender but it feels really sleazy to me.

Really need to start packing at home but it’s been raining the last couple of days so getting the boxes home in the bed of my truck is problematic. They should fit in the back seat but I hate having things back there that obscure my vision. I suppose I’ll just have to put them back there so I can get them home but it’s just one more annoying thing.

We have a ton of stuff to pack. We need to pack all sorts of stuff including stuff in the kitchen. There’s an awful lot of stuff that needs to get boxed up but there’s a lot of stuff we’re not using due to space so choosing what to pack is not that hard. It’s just the time consuming act of packing and labeling that’s the issue.

I really need to start packing the rest of my books in my office. The loose ones of those are by far the biggest current packing candidates. After that it’s all the nick-knacks on the bookshelves. Then any loose misc in the bedrooms and the garage. And a lot more...

Thankfully a great number of things are still packed or on metro-racking. I don’t care what anybody says I’m renting a damn truck with a lift-gate. That means most of the stuff I have can just be rolled up onto the lift-gate, lifted into the truck, then roll it back into the truck. Reverse the order at the destination. It’s a hell of a lot easier than trying to fit all that stuff in multiple trips of my pickup. A _lot_ easier...
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Mike Hebel

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