Long time

Posted in Housing Woes, The Family on May 30th, 2008 by Michael

Okay, still not officially on the grid but I wanted to squeak out an entry…

It LOOKS like we will close on the new house middle of next week. I say looks like since not a damn thing has gone as simply as it was suppose to in this deal. Otherwise, my big wide butt would already be sitting on a new couch, watchin the Celtics win on a new 50 or maybe 58 inch TV.

However, if that plays out, we will have a pile of stuff in there by the end of the week and if my computer is found in the PODS and we can get cable or FIOS service run, I will potentially post some pictures the 7th or 8th. I say POTENTIALLY because a lot of crap can happen, like damaged computers, broken monitors, lost box with all of the cables, can’t get FIOS stupid installers over in time, just too damn tired to do anything, etc. The subtle hint there is not to bug me about it if it isn’t there. It will be at some point.

Patience to all, especially those trying to keep three absolutely out of control children to go to bed.

To blog or not

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18th, 2008 by Michael

These past few weeks have been busy to say the least. At those times, certain things have to get dropped off the list. Blogging, updates images, etc. However, rest assured that I will be back in the saddle once we get into our new home. Of course, when that will be is still a mystery.

Right now I am laying on the floor horizontally working this keyboard. Mainly because we have no desk any more but also because my back hurts something fierce. It alternates from feeling like a compacted vertebrate to muscle spasms. Nice that it mixes things up. Unfortunately, even hot showers and icyhot are not remedies. Strangely, I probably lifted fewer pounds yesterday than in the previous week. Of course, I had other things to do (mow grass, weed eat along the fence for the first time this season, lay on the couch and rock Maxwell while watching the Indiana Jones Trilogy, etc.). I’ll stretch a bit and then get back to it. No rest is possible given our assumed schedule.

There is still lots to do. Mary Ann is at Church now, where frankly I should be given the amount of stress, frustration and utter contempt I have had towards my fellow man this past week. This is mainly, but not limited to, agents, banks, title companies, idiot people at PODS, miscellaneous drivers who don’t realize they are actually behind the wheel, clueless clerks at Walmart and of course, the Celtics.

I am so wound up that I can not even bitch about Congress who again, are the biggest bunch of nimrods out there. Republicans are now voting FOR additional democratic sponsored subsidies to farmers (who are making out like bandits right now – just behind those in the oil business) because they fear losses of seats in the elections. I find it interesting that they phase out income tax refund checks at 150K but the subsidy limit for famers at $200K was not high enough (ugh, why the difference?). Now they have raised it to $750K!!! I just have no respect for guys who get up there and say, this is a bad bill, it is bad for America but I am voting for it because I do not want someone running an ad in November saying “I’m against America and their farmers”). I am so disappointed in our American system sometimes. As long as the press continues to be a major factor in how people vote, it will continue (yes, the press will report the snippets, not the details or the facts). Most American’s are uninformed and in essence proxy their vote. In the end, this makes us stupid. Democracy and a free economy should have responsibilities for all players but unfortunately, we have allowed the current environment to make these optional. Very sad.

BTW, I feel for Kennedy and his family but this bandwagon of well wishers hailing him as the great leader is sickening.

Anyway, upon MA’s return she faces yet more things to pack. It appears never ending. She goes day and night in between child care efforts to get things boxed so the mule (that’s me) can lift, load and spatially optimize things inside the POD. Not sure why it is that people do not think about purging things until they pack them and then it is too late. We do vow to remove things from our abode during the unpacking process. We just do not have room in this new house to store all of this stuff. Goodwill will be our new best friends. Note to those thinking about moving in the future, do not pack the can opener until the very end.

For those so keenly interested in the doing of our living arrangements, things will be much more clear in about 72 hours. By then we will know if we really sold our house (strange things have happened in the past) and hopefully, we will know which house we will be buying. At this point, I think we know but see my frustration above so I am not ready to call it good yet. If not this one, we have a backup plan. Again, we should know in the next several days. I am literally sick of all of this and so the leash is now getting shorter and shorter. We will be living somewhere in the greater Dallas area come June 6th.

Pray and help, where possible, those in China.

Anyway, that’s it for a while. I will be pulling the internet plug in the next 72 hours to pack this stuff up. We will likely be off the grid for a couple of weeks after that except say when I am serving the corporate master.

Another short update

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2008 by MaryAnn

This week has been busy, packing up boxes and loading the POD. The kids stayed with a sitter for a couple of hours on Tuesday so we could pack up and load a little undisturbed.

We took time , though, earlier this week to take Max to his 2 month check-up. (Yes, a little late but that was the soonest they could get him in.) He’s now 24 inches long and 11.5 lbs. That puts him in the 90% for length and the 50% for weight. We also took time yesterday to go on a picnic at a park with some friends.

whatever you do

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14th, 2008 by Michael

Don’t let your kids grow up to be real estate agents.  They are bovine dung infested, barrel dwelling, swill spitters.

That is as PG as I can make it.  Don’t ask for details.

okay, maybe we have a house now

Posted in Housing Woes on May 9th, 2008 by Michael

Well, we got through the inspection with only one major issue that I think will be only moderately expensive to mitigate.

We have a verbal on the contract.  Now, it has to go off to be signed by the REO group.  Then we start the long process.   Of course, there is a holiday in there too and issues with closing the last couple days of the month, so while it LOOKS like we are on our way, it might be that we officially close on June  2.  We are hoping for faster of course.

Don’t bug me about all of the details. These will be coming soon enough.

The POD has arrived.  It was like Empire Strikes Back when they delivered it.


Posted in Housing Woes, The Family, Uncategorized on May 7th, 2008 by Michael

Well, still no house. Considering it is a buyer’s market, someone forgot to tell the folks in Texas. We even looked at foreclosed homes and they were no bargain (outside of all homes being a bargain in Texas). Anyway, we put in two offers to have both rejected. It wasn’t like we were offering 20% less than asking either — more like 3-5%.

I spent DAYS looking at places to rule them out for one reason or another (bedrooms were the biggest reason). All of the floor plans started to look the same. In the end, I started not to care. I know that they SAY the house is the biggest investment you will ever make and should be considered carefully. I personally disagree — I think kids are and you can’t sell them when you are bored (well not in America — okay, maybe in Alabama, but it might be to relatives only).

Anyway, I made the cardinal mistake in really liking one floorplan. Interestingly enough, we got both of the folks that rejected us to take our offers with a little proding. I went with the cheaper of the two (foreclosure) but just read through their 20 gazillion page addendum that basically says we have not rights. I just rejected it even though we had an inspection scheduled for tomorrow — too much risk for me. Now, I hope our agent can get our other deal done (after we kicked them to the curb today). Should know something soon.

Then the hurry up and wait happens with the funding people. Why does it take 10 days to get a loan on a house when you can get 20K credit extension a non-secured credit card in 5 minutes ? Don’t know.

Do NOT even start with me on the whole mafia that owns the title companies. Geez.

I thought with things in Texas being so cheap our bills were going to go down. Thanks to expensive taxes, we will actually be paying MORE. Of course, no income tax so that will help a little. It just didn’t work out according to plan. So many things do not though…

Well, we should be in Texas by the end of the month — just in time for the heat to arrive. Funny, we were just talking about hot it was in the house and it was 74! The horrors….

BTW, my computer is sitting on the floor (the desk just went out to the trash pile) so do not expect a lot in terms of images (including POTW) forth coming quickly.


One more thing…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1st, 2008 by Michael

Looks like we sold our house.

Time just keeps on going

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1st, 2008 by Michael

Now I have that song “time keeps on slipin slipin slipin… into the future” by the Steve Miller band. Yeah, that’s a fine tune baby. Crazy dude singing it, but alas Barbara Streisand is an awesome talent without both oars in the water too. Maybe it is someone in their genes that influences the musical talent to common sense teeter totter.

I frankly can not remember too much about the events of the past that would be note worthy of the blog. I know there is a short lull while Hillary and Barack play ‘whose the best’. I know the media is still following the words of a crazy preacher that frankly most would run away from if they met him on the street. I know Barack is playing “hold out” while Hillary is playing “American’s are stupid and I can convince them I’m really leading and should be the nominee”. Of course on the other side, you got John just laughing his ass off and playing “bring me a present Mr. Vice President”. Maybe it will be over soon. Maybe not. In some ways I wish it were – so they would quit talking about it. Of course, once it is over, then the rhetoric against the other side will start. I guess there is no end in site until November. Argh.

The economy appears to be settling in spite of congress. How true was the person who coined the phrase ‘the opposite of pro-gress is con-gress.’ Lots to blame but Nancy and Harry get the chief dunce cap. At least Bernie didn’t lower rates too much and the dollar is starting to rebound and gas is starting to drop a few cents (per my explanation in a previous blog). Interesting the world economy is…

Who saw the Star Wars “Deal or no Deal”? Ah, princess leia…….. Lots of action for Star Wars of late. I still can not get into the episodes 1-3 but that is more to do with the bad acting and the splashy visuals versus the stories – they are solid. Too bad they were not done first OR even better done old school. Simpler would be better for them.

The movie “Speed Racer” is out in a week. Obviously a fan (hence Maxwell’s room decorations) though I have some concerns about the movie. Might be too much flash for me based on the commercials.

Radon is dangerous and surprisingly common in KC we found out. 38% of the homes in the county are above the EPA’s limit of 4 ppm. It appears that this will be a requirement for selling the home since more and more people are looking to have it tested. I didn’t know much about it when I bought the house. Radon is more of a problem in the Midwest and north. I’ve sort of become a radon expert these days so if you have questions, just ask. I find it interesting the mitigation plan for radon – basically, it is an air pump that takes it out of your basement and vents it to the outside. Of course, it just settles back on the ground then gets reintegrated into the basements (radon is a heavy gas). Heat rises in a home and basically creates a huge suction funnel for the ground into your basement. Silly stuff.

I guess you heard about the offer we had. 20K less than we put it on the market and less actually than we paid for the house. It is a buyer’s market or so our agent tells us. I’ve not doubt that is true but I’m not impressed by the level of diligences in that space. Several other homes in our division have sold this month – of course, maybe at firesale prices too. I don’t know.

We have looked at places in Texas. Lots of house for the $. Of course, lots of property taxes too. We are narrowing down the areas, weighing value to proximity to things (office, airport, a costco, etc.). Of course, cheaper is further away. We are thinking about moving into a planned community as that would allow more family things to occur. Both have golf courses and a bevy of pools. Neither are close to anything we want. We also debate space vs. fancy pancy stuff like arches and granite. Hard to really look into the future and see our changing needs. We didn’t think our current house was small but it feels that way now. Plano is still an option. Horrible commute there too but at least I can take the DART to work if I had to some days.

Been thinking about a minivan too. MA is hot for one to ease the burden of loading and unloading kids 9you would think a SUV would work for that but not so much…). Probably a 2008 acquisition. I wish there was a hybrid. Of all cars that it makes sense to have a hybrid, you would think the minivans would top the list. Maybe the 2009 Sienna will be a hybrid. Interestingly, Honda’s pollute more than Toyotas. Who would have thought?

If we move, I will be in the market for new TVs – it is a rule. New house = new TVs. Just like new kid=new camera. Stop: there will be no new cameras EVER. Okay, back to TVs. I love the prices dropping. Now, is it Plasma, LCD or DLP? Probably plasma. I think they are the sharpest though LCD is easier to get bigger. Depending on the house, we will be in the 50 inch range. Compared to our 42 now, they seem huge. Panasonic still rules the world here. I love 1080p. Interesting the amount of power differential these units have. Something to think about if you buy. Probably going to have to get a blu-ray DVD player with it. Okay, maybe for Christmas as I am already going to be a poor slob given the markets and the losses on this house.

Note – the expressed interest in the environment.

BTW, moving is expensive – you thought airlines were getting spanked by gas prices. Vans are worse. I called for some estimates and the surcharges alone are more than the trip should cost. Some of that is real, some of it is gouging. Pigs.

Random thought. One should be able to get out of the car and slap upside the head, any smoker that throws a cigarette butt out of the window. They piss me off.

Of course, you really read the blog to see what is going on with the kids (see I’m not as stupid as I look).

Quickly… Mackenzie decided that after two attempts, soccer was not for her (thankfully). She is a potty going machine now. Of course, she is also a spastic out of control, wild child too. Meghan has turned two early and demands things now. In response to no, there are horrific wails and tears. Her new favorite movie is “baby Einstein’s Shapes”. I have no idea why. Max is starting to sleep through parts of the night but has fits of anxiety that requires coddling. All in all, pretty normal junk.