Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The new bus route I take has many more buses then the previous route, so the buses tend to be less crowded in general with no standing required. Last week I happened to end up on a relatively crowded bus home. It was one of the smaller buses where the back is a U-shaped area of seats, three parallel to the walls of the bus facing each other and another five across the back of the bus.

This arrangement tends to feel like you are much closer to people because on the side seats there are three people crammed on each side, and you are staring at the people directly across the aisle. In addition to the people in the back seat are staring right at the people in the side seats.

Anyways, this day all but one seat on the bus was taken, and I ended up in the back U section. Directly across the aisle was a guy sitting sideways on his seat taking up two spots, looking directly at the other person sharing the bench.

Sidesaddle-guy was on his cell phone the entire bus ride home breaking up with his girlfriend. Loudly.

There is not much comfortable about being in close proximity to someone who is ranting into the phone about someone's flaws, while loudly denying the flaws they are being accused of. The craziest part was when in the middle of a tirade the guy goes "Wait, I have to go, there's another call". Hangs up, takes another short call in a relatively normal tone of voice, and then immediately hangs up, calls the girlfriend back and starting ranting again.

It was entertaining.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

House: Week 14

DSC_4830Last week in house construction was a slow one, reminiscent of the week (or more?) where they kept working on finishing the roof sheathing very, very slowly. At one point we were three days or more ahead of the theoretical schedule, but now things have slowed down to the point where we appear to be right back on schedule.

There was some progress, the second coat of paint was put on all the walls, and looks very nice. Not too many noticeable drips, nor areas where it was put on too thin. They also installed the garage doors and openers. The tiling was started, they got tiles on the shower and bathtub in the master bathroom, and put down the cement board in all the other rooms.

That's something, I guess, but not quite as much as we were hoping for. This week will be relatively uneventful, with most of the week spent finishing the ceramic tile. It should be interesting to see how they stick to the schedule around the holidays, as it only has three days 'off', Christmas, New Years Day, and the Monday after New Years.

Despite my complaining, we do continue to inch towards completion at the end of January, and I am getting pretty excited.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shiny Couches

 Linzy and I have been on a serious hunt lately trying to find new furniture for the family room of the new house. If you are familiar at all with Linzy and I, we've been looking for a family room couch for...oh...about as long as we've been married. So you can probably safely lump us into the 'picky' category.

After exhausting all the usual suspects last weekend, tonight we went way off the board and hit Becker furniture outlet, Bassett Furniture, and somewhere I haven't been for probably 8-9 years, Slumberland.

Long ago I wrote off Slumberland, and the only reason we went there tonight was because we had gone through Bassett and Becker in 25 minutes and it felt silly to go home that quickly. So I talked Linzy into going into Slumberland for fun.

And it was amusing. I'm pretty sure they had much of the same furniture they did when I was in college and Slumberland was acceptable. In addition, they did allow me to win my bet with Linzy that they would have a new (not floor model) leather-look couch and loveseat combo for less then $1000. That piece of loveliness is pictured above in all of its shiny, plasticy glory.

It felt about like you would expect, that is terrible, but we got a good laugh out of it. We did find two couches that were reasonably comfy, but they bordered on ugly and were not as cheap as you might expect.

And so the search continues.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Double for Nothing

This morning I had an appointment so by the time I was ready to go to work it was late and I just drove in rather than taking the bus. Since it was terribly cold, I decided not to park at the cheaper-but-further-away outdoor lot that I use in the summer and instead go for the much more expensive semi-enclosed parking ramp closer to my building.

Unfortunately it was after 9 by the time I got there, so I didn't qualify for the early bird rates (which, while still more then the outdoor lot, are more reasonable). On top of that the ramp turned out to be crazy full, so the only spot I could find was on the roof, outside.

Basically I ended up paying twice as much as the outdoor lot, but still had my car sitting outside. At least it didn't snow, so I suppose it could have been worse.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

House: Week 13

On Saturday, Linzy and I went over to check the progress on the new house. The painter was actually at the house working as it appears that he is quite a bit behind schedule. All of the wood was stained and he was just finishing up the first coat on the last room. Assuming he worked all week, that would have been his sixth day at the job, which is all that was originally scheduled.

At the start of the week we were running about two days ahead of schedule, but it looks like we'll get back on the originally planned schedule assuming two days to put a second coat on the whole house. That's a little disappointing since it feels like we are so close to complete, but there isn't much we can do.

On a positive note the stained woodwork looks great, and the paint color is very nice well. Next week will be finishing the painting and then possibly some ceramic tile, but we'll have to wait until next weekend to find out for sure.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009


DSC_3803Back in 1998, when I was still in college my parents did a major remodeling on their kitchen. Floor, cabinets, appliances, counters, everything. During the process (which was lengthy) there was an extended period of time when the former above-the-stove microwave would be removed and the new one could not be installed because the cabinets wouldn't be done. So my parents bought an inexpensive counter-top microwave to use temporarily.

About 6 months later, I was done with college and moving into an apartment and was in need of a microwave. By that time the kitchen was done, so I inherited the extra microwave. While it wasn't the fanciest microwave, it worked well enough for my purposes and so I never bought anything newer/better. Eventually it moved into the apartment Linzy and I had, during which the display broke. Not completely, but the numbers started not showing up completely or segments would flash on and off.

Not a big deal, and it didn't affect the actual operation of the microwave, so again we never bought anything newer/better. That microwave traveled with us to the old house and lasted another 8 years there.

Then this summer we sold the house. The first offer we got on the house had the usual clauses written in for various things they wanted, including appliances. They didn't list the washer and dryer, but they did write in by hand 'Microwave' on the purchase agreement.

Linzy and I were both highly amused that they took the time to write in our 11 year-old, $50, discolored, broken-display microwave. I assume they didn't know the display was broken and were just writing up the same purchase agreement language the Realtor always used. But it was pretty funny to imagine if we wanted to haggle over the microwave and that became the deal breaker. Especially since the new house comes with a much fancier microwave, making the counter-top model completely superfluous.

[ In the picture above, was the microwave display on a relatively good day, displaying 8888. You can also kind of see how the whole side with the control panel had yellowed compared with the rest of the microwave ]

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Monday, December 07, 2009


With the holidays and everything else going on, it seems like things are pretty busy. This weekend was no exception, as it flew by.

On Saturday we went to the builder's design center to try to pick out new carpet for the house. The previous one was discontinued, so we are trying to work out what we can get in time to keep the house on schedule without blowing the budget. Then we visited the house in the afternoon to see the progress. Saturday night we went out to dinner with Paul, Laura, Matt, Jenny, Brenden, Allison, Fred and Robin, which was a lot of fun. We also got to see the Brenden and Allison's new house nearby and had a good time playing games over at Fred and Robin's later that night.

Sunday was a full day as I took one of my co-workers who is visiting the US out for some sight-seeing. We went to the MN Zoo to see the animals, and it was interesting to compare it to the Bannerghatta zoo. I also took him over to Buck Hill because he wanted to see snow and had never seen downhill skiing and snowboarding. We didn't do any other then take pictures and watch what people were doing, but that was fun.

By the time I got home, it was time for Dinner and then watching the Vikings get destroyed on national TV. And next thing you know it was Monday and time for work again. Where does the time go?

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

House: Week 12

DSC_4724Last week the progress on the house was all exterior work, with painting, driveway installation, etc. This week it was all about the interior.

The baseboard and window trim was installed. All the doors were hung, and virtually all cabinets were put in place, with the exception of the kitchen island. The trim, doors and cabinets really make the place look like a house as there are very few visible holes in the floor left, closets are closed off, etc.

In addition, the furnace has been installed along with what looks like all the venting and the fireplace was put in. While we were at the house the painter was dropping off equipment so that he can start painting and staining the place on Monday.

I'm excited to see what the house looks like, especially after seeing the stained fireplace.

DSC_4719 DSC_4718

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Lucky Timing

On Monday we were finally able to lock the rate for the loan on our new house. The time limits on rate locks meant that for the last four months we were floating in totally predictable rate territory. I wasn't even watching the rates because I figured it would just make me nervous about something I couldn't control. Imagine my surprise on Monday then, when I found out that it happened to be on a day that set historical lows for rates.

Strangely, home loan timing appears to be the only thing on the planet that I am lucky at. The previous two times we refinanced loans was in April '03 and April '04, which as you can see in this chart were near random significant temporary dips in rates.

Clearly we will have to try hard never to refinance or move again, as it can't possibly work out a fourth time.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009


This morning on the way to the bus station I realized that I should probably stop for gas, so I went a little out of my way to a BP station. Only to find out that they had covered up all the regular and premium gas pumps and had only mid-grade available. That seemed a little weird so I decided to go to the station across the street. Which had no gas. None. They had little signs on the pumps that said "We have no gas, sorry".

How poorly do you have to be mismanaged in order to completely and utterly run out of gas as a gas station? They still had lights on in the convenience store section, but if you wanted to be a grocery store, there are probably better ways to go about that then to first buy a gas station and then sell all the gas.

Rather then going back to the mid-grade-only station, I just went back to the bus station. Tonight I ended up buying gas at the formerly mid-grade-only station, which was restocked. The no-gas station on the other hand, was still out of gas.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009


I had a good Thanksgiving this year, like basically every year. What's not to like about spending time with family, eating all kinds of good food, and getting extra time off work?

Back at work this week, of course, the topic of conversation the past few days was how the holiday was for various people, what they did, etc. The interesting thing about Thanksgiving is that basically everyone does something for it, which means almost everyone feels safe asking others about it.

Where as for something like Christmas, everyone dances around actually asking what people did for Christmas, asking how their holidays were, or whether they enjoyed the extra time off work, etc. Only with closer work friends do people seem to talk about the actual holidays, once they know it is a mutual subject.

When we were in England on the other hand, even though it was the end of October, the big topic of conversation at the office was making plans for a fancy office Christmas dinner. Where to go, who could come what day, whether other groups had made their plans yet, etc. Not a "holiday party", or "end of the year dinner", it was always called a Christmas dinner.

I thought the difference was interesting.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Movies: Fantastic Mr. Fox

On Saturday after visiting the house, Linzy and I went to go see Fantastic Mr. Fox. The lack of other movie choices, and the insanely high rating on Rotten Tomatoes (92%) swayed me to go see it despite the previews only looking so-so. Unfortunately I didn't really enjoy it.

I didn't hate the movie either, but it didn't really resonate with me. I enjoyed some of the humor, and liked the 'look' of the film with stop-motion puppets, but overall I didn't think it was particularly interesting.

In a lot of ways, it reminded me of some of Wes Anderson's other movies like Life Aquatic, or The Darjeeling Limited which I thought were OK but not as great as many people do. If there had been alternatives, we definitely could have waited for Fantastic Mr. Fox on Netflix.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

House: Week 11

DSC_4716It had been well over a week since I had last been out to the house, when we stopped by this weekend and there was major progress on the outside. The garage floor was poured, the driveway was in, and the exterior was painted. That was exciting news as we weren't expecting either the painting or the driveway.

The mild weather this November enabled them to complete things that were going to wait until spring. In the case of the driveway, that will save us from parking in the street all spring after the snow melts and the driveway turned into a mud pit.

Unfortunately on the inside, there wasn't such dramatic progress. The mudding and taping was all finished, and the knockdown ceiling was applied and painted. They also sanded all of the floor joints. Lots of work, obviously, but nothing that makes for a major difference when you walk in.

Looking ahead on the schedule, we should have more visible changes as the cabinets and trim are installed. Progress has gotten to the point now where it is getting very hard to remember that we still have two months to go.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


IMG_0017I got back from Boston today after a seven day trip to move our Cambridge office to a new location. It was sad to see the old office go, as I have always thought it was cool. The new office is fine, but not nearly as unique as the old one.

The work activities were very successful, but took a huge effort and trying to coordinate everything was stressful. All those long days in a row (with three 16+ hour days over the weekend) took their toll. But everything is done and now it is really nice to be back at home. I got first class on the flight home, so that helped start the process of relaxing. Now it's one more day of work and then a long weekend!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On the Road Again

Tomorrow morning I leave for Boston, taking what is hopefully the last work trip until next year. This will mark my second week-long trip in a month, and when you throw in a random trip to Chicago in between, it feels like I've been doing a lot of traveling lately.

This trip will be good as it is the culmination of 5 months worth of planning a move project. At this point we've gotten everything done that we possibly can in advance, so it's just a matter of doing it. I'm looking forward to having everything completed.

Interestingly, despite the clustering of trips at the end of the year, I actually only had 5 business trips this year. That's one less then last year's six trips and right in the 'every other month' ballpark that I typically tell people who ask how much travel I do.

The trips this year were a bit longer this year then the average trip last year, so I ended up being away 36 nights total for the year:

March - 5 nights (Boston)
Jun - 12 nights (India)
July - 4 nights (Boston)
October - 9 nights (England)
November - 6 nights (Boston)

In 2007 I was away 44 nights, in 2008 it was 29 nights. Despite this being the third year of looking back at travel amounts, I still don't have a good handle on what normal will be. Since my job responsibilities keep changing, the travel requirements have changed with it.

I would assume that next year will bring more change, possibly a few more, shorter trips. It seems unlikely that it will bring significantly less travel overall.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Movies: 2012

On Friday night Brenden, Paul and I went to go see 2012 on the monster screen at the Burnsville theater. Paul set things up as apparently he is a big end-of-the-world disaster movie fan. I appreciate a good special effects driven film as much as the next guy, so I was up for it.

Unfortunately I didn't really enjoy it. The special effects were certainly impressive, and I did get a kick out of Woody Harrelson's, but the film felt way too long. The amount of explosions and buildings collapsing after a while started to lose their impact. Apparently there is a limit to the number of times I will watch people fly a plane and narrowly avoid disaster after disaster.

I did enjoy spending time with my friends, but I after an hour and a half, I really struggled not to keep checking my watch.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Books: The Gathering Storm

Three and a half years ago, I pessimistically posted that the Wheel of Time would never be completed. To my pleasure, though Robert Jordan passed away they selected another author to complete the series. Since the announcement, I've read four Brandon Sanderson books and found that I generally enjoy his writing style. While not my favorite author (that'd be Steven Erikson with Patrick Rothfuss a close second), Brandon also has benefit of being an extremely prolific writer.

At the end of October the first of the final three books was released. Despite being on spending lockdown, I couldn't resist a new Robert Jordan book and Linzy was even able to get me a signed copy from Uncle Hugo's which is pretty cool.

I raced through the 766 pages in about a week which was far faster then I read normal books. This was mostly due to spending a lot more time reading then I normally do, but the book's fast pace kept you wanting to read more. There were at least two evenings when I went to bed much later then normal, because I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next.

I really enjoyed the book, at least partially because stuff happened. The plot moved along, some things finally got resolved and it generally felt like we were hurdling towards completion. While Knife of Dreams (the previous book) was good from that perspective as well, the previous several books had gotten mired down in details and felt like you read 800 pages where nothing moved forward.

One of my favorite things about Robert Jordan's books is the worldbuilding that has been done over the the twelve books, and the deep characters that have developed. I thought that the book still felt like a Robert Jordan book, which I take to mean that Brandon Sanderson did a very good job of staying true to the characters and world and history of the books and I couldn't really identify sections that were written by Robert Jordan versus Brandon Sanderson (though I didn't really look).

I can't think of too much negative to say about the book, except a common complaint that because of the breadth of the plot in Robert Jordan's books in a given book there are inevitably characters and plotlines that get little or no attention. For example, Taim and the black tower hardly even get a mention. I understand why this must be, but it is still always disappointing.

The good news there is that according to Brandon Sanderson's blog, Towers of Midnight is already 70% complete, which gives us a good chance of the next book being out in a year.

All in all I really enjoyed The Gathering Storm. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Robert Jordan's world and books. Despite being a combined effort of two authors, The Gathering Storm still felt like a true Robert Jordan book. And really, that probably says everything you need to know about the book. Even to a fan who has read most of the Wheel of Time books at least twice, it felt like a Robert Jordan book. If you like his books, you'll like Gathering Storm. If you don't, then why are you still reading this?

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Total Agreement

At my cousin's wedding last weekend, I sat next to my cousin Barb and her son Marcus. Marcus is about 11 and a very good kid. I talked to him for a while about video games (he likes Call of Duty). After a while the talk moved to TV shows, when I asked if he still liked the Simpsons, which was his favorite show when I saw him last. The conversation went like this:

Me: So, do you still like the Simpsons?
Marcus: Yes, but I like South Park too.
Me: Oh, you like South Park?
Marcus: Yeah, I like Cartman.
Me (to Barb): Mom is OK with you watching South Park?
Barb: Yes. No Family Guy though.
Marcus: I like Family Guy.
Me: So you let him watch South Park but not Family Guy?
Barb: Yep
Me: Seems kind of arbitrary.
Marcus: Yeah!!

Barb just looked at me and rolled her eyes. Immediately after I said it, I felt bad. But Marcus' agreement was pretty funny, and the distinction did seem kind of arbitrary.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

House: Week Nine

DSC_4640It's a good thing we're building a house, because otherwise I would have nothing to post about here other then traveling. That traveling, and the associated busy schedule has meant that in the past three weeks I've made exactly three trips to the house. The good thing there is that every time I go, there's been tons of progress.

Since the pre-drywall walkthrough last week, they have: finished pouring the basement floor, put all the vinyl siding up on the sides and back, installed the cedar shakes and 90% of the stone on the front of the house, applied the exterior foundation insulation, put in the interior insulation, and hung all of the drywall.

DSC_4644That's getting after it.

It was pretty cool going through the house today, as the rooms really look like rooms now that the walls and ceilings have sheetrock. I'm excited to see what next week brings.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Chicago Trip

IMG_1626Linzy and I were in Chicago this weekend for my cousin Susan's wedding and to see our family there. It was a quick trip, we flew down on Friday after work and then flew home this afternoon.

The wedding was in downtown Chicago, right on Michigan avenue, so we got to experience a part of the city that we don't normally. Despite having been to Chicago more times then I can count, we've mostly either been visiting people in the suburbs or going somewhere specific downtown. This was the first time in a long time that I've spent time wandering around downtown.

It was interesting to see all of the shops on Michigan avenue, and we had a tasty lunch at Gino's East. The wedding was a lot of fun, and was quite fancy. We had a good time visiting with family and also got to spend time with family on Sunday and Monday before coming home.

The flight home was interesting as we happened to get upgraded to first class, which was cool, except that the flight from Chicago to Minneapolis is only about 50 minutes. So it was mostly pointless. But we did get to sit in row one, and have fancy snacks.

It's nice to be home. That will only last until next Wednesday when I leave again.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

House: Week Eight

DSC_4638There's been lots of progress on the house over the past two weeks, but almost none of it is particularly photo-friendly.

The closest we've come is the shingles on the roof. But in addition, they completed all of the HVAC vents, plumbing, electrical, low-voltage wiring, and poured the front porch and basement floor. We've been through the pre-drywall walkthrough, and they start insulating the walls tomorrow. In addition the exterior coverings have been delivered, so I expect next week we'll have the start of siding and/or stone coverings.

DSC_4548We found out today that it is unlikely they will paint the exterior of the house this winter. While I would like to have it completed, I am glad that they aren't going to try to paint in temperatures that are far too cold for that to be effective.

There's a little over two months to go, but it is encouraging to see all the progress and feel like we're creeping up on the point where we can start locking down financing and other arrangements.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I watched a few films on the flights back and forth to London, thanks to the on-demand movie system.

On the way over, I watched Terminator Salvation and was unimpressed. It was enough to keep me aware, and perhaps would have been more exciting on a larger screen with better sound, but it wasn't particularly good.

On the way back I watched two movies:

Fighting, which I had put on the Netflix queue a few weeks ago, and ended up liking. Terrance Howard annoyed me a bit, but the storyline was interesting despite being terribly predictable. And the fight scenes were pretty exciting. The plot was completely what you would expect, and gave me the impression that someone wrote Rocky + Fight Club on a napkin at the bar and out popped Fighting's script.

State of Play, which was entertaining but not terrific. I liked the twists the storyline took, as well as the way the investigation unfolded. It wasn't terrific, but it kept my interest.

There were quite a few other very reasonable choices, but after two movies on the way back, I had had enough and had to move on to other ways to pass the time.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Other Side

One of the things that I was nervous about for our trip to England last week was driving on the other side of the road. I originally was going to drive from London to Reading and then Reading to St. Albans. I ended up changing plans and taking the train to Reading, but I still had to drive to St. Albans and then around that area to get to and from the office.

When I drove to St. Albans it was night, which made things somewhat more difficult, at least in terms of navigation. Without a GPS, and with fairly questionable directions from Google Maps, it was a bit of an adventure getting to the hotel. The following morning finding the office with written directions was again fairly sketchy. There were a few wrong turns and one near accident. Amusingly the guys in the office also made me drive everyone to lunch that day. Hazing the new guy, I guess.

After a day though, I pretty much got the hang of things and it wasn't a problem anymore. By the end of the week, it was starting to feel much more natural. I was quite surprised at how well it went overall.

I will admit though, the first night driving on a two-lane road with the headlights coming on the other side of the road freaked me out. My brain was firmly convinced that we were going to die.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

London Trip

DSC_4274Last week I had to go to England for work. Linzy was able to come along and so I went a little early so that we could spend a weekend in London. After a few days of commuting out to Reading, we went up to St. Albans to visit another office. We stayed there for the rest of the week and then flew back on Saturday. It was a pretty busy trip, between the traveling within England, work, and trying to fit in some sight-seeing. But it was fun nonetheless.


London was interesting because I haven't been there since Brian, Chris and I went back in 2000. Since Linzy had never been there, we did a lot of the normal touristy things like visiting the Tower of London, going across the Tower Bridge walkway, and seeing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.


St. Albans was interesting because it was a much smaller town in the English countryside, so it had a completely different vibe then being in the center of London. Linzy did far more sight-seeing then I did in St. Albans, but I was able to go visit the Cathedral with her, which was very cool.

The Tower Bridge at night

The changing of the guard was exactly like I remembered it being: packed with people.

The St. Albans cathedral had some underground tombs that were visible through grates on the floor.

Sheep grazing in the countryside.

Charlie the peacock putting the moves on the Puegeot.

Lots more pictures in the Flickr set.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Time Change

I woke up this morning at 5:30am thanks to my normal returning-from-Europe jet lag. Apparently 7.5 hours of sleep is plenty as far as my body was concerned. Unfortunately with the end of daylight savings, that was actually 4:30am.

The good part of being wide awake that early was that I got a ridiculous amount of things done this morning. By 10 o'clock I had already done two loads of laundry, read the paper, did work e-mail for a few hours, exercised, and paid the bills.

If I needed so little sleep that I could get up at 4:30 every morning, I could probably rule the world.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

House: Week Six

DSC_4075This week progress on the house was painfully slow for the bulk of the week. The framers spent most of the time plugging away at finishing the roof sheathing, which took far, far longer then I would have imagined. This appeared to be because of the slow nature of making all the angle cuts where various sections of roof met and also because they seemed to run out of wood not once but twice.

Then, on Monday there was a flurry of activity as the last pieces of wood finally showed up so they could finish the roof, the windows were delivered, the eaves were finished, and the house was wrapped.

On Tuesday they installed all of the windows in the house except the one over the garage, and had the shingles delivered.

Then on Wendesday, they didn't work again. Two steps forward, one step back. But at least we are really, really close to being sealed from the weather.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LED Lights

I watched the first season of Big Bang Theory on my iPod going to and from India earlier this summer. Prior to that I had seen a few episodes here and there, but hadn't watched it regularly. Lately, Linzy and I have been watching it pretty regularly.

I get a kick out of the humor, particularly Leonard in season 1, but now Sheldon in the current season. Linzy also seems to enjoy it. Although I regularly get the feeling that to some extent she is laughing at me.

One of the things that I am regularly amused by is the Dell XPS laptops that they frequently use on the show with LED lights and colorful add-ons. We bought a dual-SLI XPS laptop at work for a new particularly graphically intense application's on-site sales demonstrations and the sales team mocked it mercilessly. In the end we settled on sweet Sony Vaio laptops that are probably somewhat slower then the SLI monster, but work much better for the sales people.

But watching Big Bang Theory, every time they show one of the XPS laptops I envision a buttoned down English sales guy pulling out a 17-inch noisy laptop with a power brick the size of a college textbook and having the rear LEDs start flashing during the demonstration. Totally unrelated to actual humor on the show, but it still makes me laugh.

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Monday, October 19, 2009


Normally once I fall asleep, I sleep like the dead until the morning. Because of this, I very rarely actually remember any dreams that I have, and even more rarely actually have nightmares. My sister remembers all kinds of crazy dreams, but I don't remember a thing except turning off the light the night before.

Last night for some reason I had a terrible time sleeping. I kept waking up cold, or hot, or at some unexpected sound, and because of this I remembered a few of my dreams. The strangest one was not strange in terms of what happened, but it was basically a nightmare, that when I go to do my presentation next week in London, that I looked like an idiot and mess it completely up.

Which is just bizarre, because I'm really not worried about the presentation. Or at least I thought I wasn't, prior to this, when clearly I secretly am.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Poor Planning

For several reasons, I've had a bit more free time on my hands the past month or so, which has allowed for some more video game playing then normal. A couple weeks ago I finished Shadow Complex and then finished Gears of War 2 (which I was about 50% finished with already) the following weekend. Since then I've been trying to figure out what I would be playing next as Grand Theft Auto 4, the other game I didn't put in storage, wasn't really keeping my interest. Eventually after some thinking, I settled on Fallout 3.

I decided to hold out for the Game of the Year edition, because that came with all five DLC packs and so seemed like a good deal. That version didn't come out until Tuesday (10/13) and I decided to save some money and finally use the credit I had gotten from trading in old DS games this summer.

Now in general I am morally opposed to used game trade-in business, for more reasons then I could list here but primarily because I feel that it takes advantage of young kids who have games but no money. They have limited options for getting rid of the games (especially before the rise of Craigslist) and the used game stores give poor trade-in value and over-charge for used games. Including charging more for used games then the going price of a new copy. There's a benefit of convenience, but the stores have various means to lock their customers in so that they are more-or-less forced to keep their business at one chain.

Anyways, one of these means is to stock few if any new games, and push consumers to used games. Which I am well aware of, but didn't really think through relative to wanting Fallout 3: GOTY the week that it came out. Of course the store didn't have any, and would have wanted to sell me a used copy instead (despite the fact that wouldn't have had the DLC).

Since I failed to consider this problem, I was in a position of wanting the game so I could play it this weekend, but now couldn't even get it from Amazon and save a few bucks, so I ended up paying more at Best Buy. Plus I didn't have my gift cards on me at the time, so instead of getting it for free (at the used game store) or for a reduce price (through gift cards or Amazon), I ended up paying full price for it just to have it 'now'.

Very poor planning and patience. And on top of that, I haven't been terribly impressed with the game, as the pacing is fairly slow and combat is far too frequent and takes forever to beat even weak enemies (fire ants for example). Perhaps I should have bought Borderlands.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

House: Week Five

As you may remember from week four, last Wednesday after a two-day work week the new house had exterior walls on the second level. This week we made quite a bit more progress.

First they built all the interior walls on the second level and finished up the main staircase

Then they added most of the roof trusses

For the past two days they have been working on sheathing the roof, which turns out to be far slower then I was envisioning.

They're actually a bit further then that picture shows, about two-thirds of the roof is complete. There is also some work being done with the HVAC and/or sewer, but no one can quite put their finger on what is being done. The house has also become quite the muddy mess after all of the rain and snow. I imagine that will only get worse before it gets better.

[ Total days spent framing at this point is 11 ]

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ear Trim

DSC_4056Pippen went in today for her twice yearly haircut. Around 11am Linzy called me at work to say there had been an accident at the grooming parlor and they had cut Pippen's ear. She described them as having 'glued the ear', which I was envisioning as them having totally snipped the ear off and were trying to glue it back together.

Apparently there is a vet right next door, and since they couldn't get the bleeding stopped they took Pippen over there for assistance. It was the Vet who was doing the gluing, not the grooming place thankfully. They had originally told Linzy that if we wanted there not to be a notch, they had to put Pippen under so that they could stitch up the ear.

We made the call more-or-less sight unseen to not put Pippen through anesthesia. Which after seeing the cut would have been totally ridiculous, because it is very small. Pippen appears to be no worse for wear after the injury, and in fact was claiming to me tonight that it gave her 'street cred' and made her look more rough-and-tumble.

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Monday, October 12, 2009


I've been amused lately at the onslaught of Verizon ads trashing AT&Ts 3G coverage.

For some reason showing the coverage map seems to be a highly effective way of differentiating the coverage. I assume AT&T would claim that their coverage includes X% of their subscriber base (where X is large) and it is therefor irrelevant whether they have 3G coverage in central Wyoming. But since AT&T already has quite the reputation for shoddy (at best) coverage, it seems to hit home and play to Verizon's "It's the network" trademark.

Still doesn't address the lack of an iPhone killer, but Well Played.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apology Accepted

On Saturday night Brenden, Allison, Fred, Robin, Linzy and I went out to eat at Crave at the Mall of America. The evening had been in the plans for over a month, due to all of our busy schedules, and Linzy and I were looking forward to it.

We had made a reservation for 7pm, which turned out to be good because the restaurant was packed. After starting the wine that Fred and Robin brought, we ordered our meal and then waited for our starter salads. And waited, and then waited some more.

Eventually it got to the point where I was commenting to Fred and Linzy that I was starting to get worried that the salad would end up coming at the same time as my steak. Shortly after, however, our salads came and everything seemed OK again. We ate the salads and then waited for our main course. And waited, and then waited some more, and then waited even longer.

By this point the tables around us had been seated after us, eaten, left, and had the second round of guests well on their way through dinner. We started looking around trying to figure out what was going on. Our waitress was spending a lot of time checking over meals on the counter, and discussing something with the chefs. At the end of one of the conversations, she handed the chef a list which he grabbed and threw down on the counter in anger.

At that point the waitress talked to the manager, which was clearly not a good sign. The manager came over and explained that they had thought they lost our meal order, found it but had thrown away the food because it had sat too long, and had just figured all of this out. She was very apologetic and immediately offered up taking care of our entire meal including wine (which happened to be only a corking fee, but she didn't know), and desert.

While they were remaking the meal, the executive chef came out and apologized profusely, they brought two baskets of bread (which are extra cost) and brought everyone at the table another salad. In addition we ordered another bottle of wine.

Our dinners came eventually and were very good. My steak was perhaps not quite on par with Flemmings, but was certainly as good as Porterhouse in Lakeville. Then on top of two salads and bread, we all couldn't resist ordering deserts to share. I was extremely full, but it was a very tasty dinner.

None of us could believe that with no complaint, or suggestion they picked up our entire bill that probably ended up pushing $400. The consensus was that we would have expected free desert, or perhaps a discount or free bread baskets. But covering everything we had ordered plus allowing us to order more was more then anyone would have expected. It definitely took a situation where we would have been frustrated with the experience to one where all we could talk about was how well they treated us.

Which I suppose was the point, and probably something that a restaurant that is charging the prices they charge needs to do to maintain a reputation for service, but it was still a pleasant surprise. Overall it ended up to be a very enjoyable evening with friends, regardless of the fact that dinner took well over three hours.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

House: Week Four

Unfortunately this week, they only worked on the house for two days. The other days were rained out. The first day they put in floor joists for the second level, along with almost all of the decking. The second day they built all the exterior walls for the second level.

For those of you keeping score at home, so far they've spent 6 days framing the house. That makes my original claim of 10 days for framing look pretty accurate, since all that is left is the interior walls and roof rafters plus roof sheathing. Depending on how much they work, we could be getting close to being sealed in next week.


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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

True Fan

To some extent on my fantasy football teams I try not to have any Vikings players. I've found that it usually ruins watching the game for me, because if the Vikes are doing poorly then so is my fantasy team. Of course this still doesn't protect me from the awkward situation where my opponent has Vikings players and I'm subconsciously rooting against that player even while cheering the team on.

This week my team was leading my opponent by 20 points going into Monday night's game, and I still had Ryan Grant left to play. Unfortunately my opponent had Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Vishante Shiancoe, and the Minnesota defense left to play. Needless to say, I ended up losing by quite a bit.

Clearly my opponent had embraced living and dying by the Vikings. Of course, he was 0-3 at that point in the season, but maybe now things will turn around. At least I've gotten through Adrian Peterson last week, and basically the rest of the team this week, so I should be safe from conflicts of interest for a while.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Double Tap

This weekend Linzy was out of town, so I was left mostly to my own devices. For the most part I did miscellaneous solo activities like cleaning the house, going on ridiculously cold bike rides, or finishing Gears of War 2. But on Saturday night I had enough of the house and decided to go see a movie.

I went to go see Zombieland, because I thought it was a safe bet Linzy would never want to see it. Five seconds into the opening scene, that was affirmed and I knew that Linzy would have hated it. I, on the other hand, was thoroughly entertained. The movie made me laugh, kept my interest, and was generally amusing and fun. I liked Woody Harrelson's antics and Jesse Eisenberg's phobia-ridden character.

The movie was definitely not something that everyone will enjoy, but I liked it.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hardbat Classic

Today in between watching some football, I watched some of the Bud Light Hardbat Classic table tennis tournament. I stumbled upon the tv coverage randomly while flipping between channels and then ended up being hooked. Growing up we had a ping pong table and I spent played pretty regularly with my Dad and family, and then played a bit when I was in the college dorm.

Watching the long rallys and crazy return shots brought back memories of playing in our basement. Perhaps not accurate memories, but at least memories of trying to make those behind the back looping returns.

Looking at the details of the tournament handicapping system after the fact took some of the magic out of it, because it explains why the Pro players had such a difficult time playing the average players, and why some of the matches were not as close as you would think they should have been. But I still found it interesting to watch and start thinking about whether I can fit a ping pong table in the new basement.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Meet Klaus

For the past three years, I've driven about two miles each way to a bus park and ride and then ridden the bus to downtown. This use of a car always strikes me as sort of silly, but at the same time it is just a little too far to walk, riding a bike has all kinds of complications, and in general it is just far more convenient to drive. Even if it does seem ridiculous.

At my new bus stop, I've been noticing a lady driving what appears to be a Porsche Cayman coming and going at around the same time as me each day. This amazes me for many reasons, and not just because of all the door dings I can imagine on the sides.

It looks sweet and all, but is the right use of your shiny $60,000 sports car really driving two miles and then getting on the bus?

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

House: Third Week

This week was all about framing at the new house. Or at least four days worth of framing, as progress got rained out last Friday.

Last Thursday they framed the basement walls and placed all the floor joists

Then on Monday they did all the rim joists, decked the whole first level, built walls around the garage, and assembled three or four other pieces of walls.

On Tuesday they finished all the exterior walls except the front entry piece, and pput up the fiber board around the walls.

Finally today they finished all the interior walls on the first level, except the stairs to the upper level, did all the rafters for the garage and built the front porch ceiling.

It's starting to look a lot like a house!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Movies

I watched two movies over the past couple weeks.

Glengarry Glen Ross was the first one. I picked it up because it was mentioned in Boiler Room or some other movie and I had never heard of it. When I looked it up and saw all the big names in the film, I was like "Oh, must be good". Unfortunately it was far too slow for my tastes. I enjoyed Alec Baldwin's opening rant, and a few of the other parts, but in general I was bored and wishing things would move along.

Get Smart was the second. This was chosen because I thought Linzy and my Dad would enjoy it, and actually it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. You had to be in the mood for silly humor, but that was true of the old TV series so that shouldn't come as a surprise. The physical humor was pretty good, and I also enjoyed the two computer geek characters. All in all it was far better then I thought it would be (but keep in mind I was expecting cringe-worthy terrible).

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Eighteen Days

IMG_0584The topic of much conversation at the Eck household these days is the progress on the new house. Specifically, how long framing is going to take. Even after framing there is a lot of work to do on the house, but given that it is nearly October in Minnesota a key concern for delays is the weather. And having the framing complete means that delays will back to things like "We can't find the right ceramic tiles", or "The HVAC guy totally said he would come today and then didn't show", but not "It's rained all week and so we couldn't do anything".

Framing is something that, while involved, should actually be pretty quick especially if you are banging out another copy of a house you've built 8 of in the past three years. So as the builder was getting ready for framing last week, there was much debate about exactly how long framing should take.

The consensus for Linzy and I was about two weeks with a crew of around 5 guys. In talking with the builder, they say 18 days. And it wasn't a 'think about it' type answer, he knew immediately. Having never framed a house, nor watched a house be framed, I have no sense of whether this is long or not. But to my totally uninformed thoughts it seems long.

It seems to me with a crew of five guys you could have one guy cutting boards to length and two crews of two putting the sticks together. Since a significant portion of the boards are the same length it seems like the cutting would go fast. And then with nail guns the assembly would go quick. Assuming lumber keeps getting delivered as you need it, a day or two for the basement/foundation, four days for the first floor, four days for the second floor, and a day or two for the roof seems like it would pretty much get it done.

It's all academic at this point, but I will be interested to watch the progress and compare it against my official schedule of where my crew would be.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Record

At work we don't have a specific dress code, but as with most things that I can control, I tend to follow a routine. In the summer I usually wear polo shirts and in the winter I usually wear button-down dress shirts.

For the dress shirts, because I'm far too cheap to pay for dry cleaning and too lazy to iron my shirts, I am pretty particular about what kind I have. They need to be made of a material that doesn't get too wrinkled even after months of no ironing, and ideally I like button-down collars. Again, because I'm not going to iron anything, don't wear ties, and the button-down collars tend to stay a little nicer looking then the regular collars with plastic straighteners.

The trouble with the plastic straighteners is that in a lot of shirts they aren't stitched in, so they get lost in the washer/dryer. A few weeks ago Linzy bought me some new dress shirts she found on clearance at Macy's. Last week when I went to wear it for the first time, I realized that one of the plastic collar straighteners had already been lost. At that point it had only been washed once, and never worn, yet already the plastic piece had been lost. Which had to be a new record.

Luckily the shirt came with two extra collar pieces, but at this rate in a couple weeks the shirt's collar will be a lost cause.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

House: Second Week

Only a bit of progress on the house this week, several days were lost to miscellaneous tasks that had to happen in a specific order.

Last week they insulated the foundation.

On Friday they hooked up sewer system and water pipes, which didn't make for interesting pictures. The foundation inspection on Monday didn't either.

Backfill on Tuesday made a big difference though.

It was surprising how much of a difference the backfill made in terms of making the foundation look like a basement.

Wednesday was lumber delivery

According to the jobsite inventory list, there will be 508 2x4s delivered at some point. Right now it was mostly floor joists, flooring, beams. And fiber board, for some reason.

Today the framing started, which should make for more dynamic progress next week.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Jaywalking

On my way home from work today, I was stopped at an intersection and watched a lady jaywalking across the street at an intersection. This was across half a four-lane divided highway, and while she was crossing at a crosswalk, it was against traffic. After she made it across the first two lanes and had stopped in the median to wait for the light, not one but two cops pulled up and stopped in the middle of one of the lanes of traffic to question her.

And not just roll by slow and say "Don't Jaywalk" or something, but actually turned on the flashing lights and stopped right in the middle of an intersection blocking traffic and got out to hassle her. By the time the light changed they had already gotten her id and the second cop was getting out of his car to 'assist'.

It seemed pretty crazy. Admittedly she shouldn't have been jaywalking, but having two city cops blocking traffic on a busy road seemed unsafe as well. I guess things were slow on the police patrols this afternoon. It's also a reminder that jaywalking with two cops sitting at the light on the other side of the intersection might not be the best plan.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TV: Burn Notice

Just shortly before we moved, I happened to be taking a break from packing and stumbled upon an episode of Burn Notice on TV. I was quite amused by the show and ended up recording a few other episodes that day (it was a marathon) and watching them later that weekend. Since then I've moved to getting the show from Netflix and have watched the first season, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I haven't quite put my finger on why I like the show as much as I do. I do find it quite funny, but I'm pretty sure not everyone is going to appreciate the humor. And of course I generally like spy movies/shows and this definitely has some fun with spy cliches and storylines. Plus it stars Bruce Campbell, so really, what's not to like?

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Sunday, September 20, 2009


So far this summer I hadn't been able to do much biking at all. This spring had relatively uncooperative weather, on top of extreme busyness at work. Then earlier this summer the house and moving preparations were taking most of my time. The end result was that I had only been on serious bike rides a pitiful number of times. But once we got settled at the new house, the nice weather and a little less stress in my life has resulted in pretty consistent two bike ride weekends. Which has been a lot of fun.

I've found some good routes nearby, including a difficult hill route that is continuing to challenge me even after several rides, and a longer (relatively) flatter route that is good for a break from the relentless hills of my training route. My average speeds are still depressing compared to with past years, but I'm having fun with it.

Now if only it would stay light enough in the evenings that I could go after work, but I guess I can't have everything. And sunny beautiful weekends are probably a better trade anyway.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Video Games: Shadow Complex

When we moved out of our house, I was fairly ruthless in determining what would go into storage and what would remain out. Basically the only things that made the cut were my computer, the cameras, seven books, and the XBox 360 and two games. Everything else went into storage.

When I set up the 360, I realized it would not have a network connection. Which isn't a problem in-and-of-itself, but what I didn't consider was the fact that I never bothered to transfer the licenses for all my games to the replacement console after my original one died. As long as you are online, the licenses don't really matter and it is a pita to re-download everything you've ever bought. Which in my case includes an embarrassing amount of Rock Band DLC.

Anyways when I rigged up a temporary way for the console to get online and downloaded all the licenses, I decided I should spend some of the MS points that were burning a hole in my virtual pocket. I was debating between Castle Crashers and Shadow Complex, and after trying both demos I decided on Shadow Complex.

Since then I've really been enjoying the game. If you have any appreciation for Metroidvania games, you will definitely enjoy Shadow Complex. At first I was wierded out by the occasional use of 3D depth for enemies, but eventually it has just become part of the game.

The exploration and secret discovery gameplay is done very well, with a very tolerable amount of backtracking through the map, cool advancements and a steady flow of rewards. I'm probably a little over two thirds complete, and still really enjoying the game. I'm dragging my feet and going for 100% completion since I know that the end is nearing.

I don't have many negative things to say about the game. The timer for running out of breath is a bit aggressive and causes problems if you try to explore around too much early in the game. Also I encountered some minor bugs with the placement of save rooms and respawning enemies if you exit the game and restart.

Overall Shadow Complex is a lot of fun, and thoroughly recommended. Although I should note that I am a known fan of 2D Castlevania (Symphony of the Night, Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin being favorites) and Metroid games (Super Metroid in particular).

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Week

There's been lots of progress on the house in the past week.

Last Wednesday they had just leveled the ground a bit:

Then they excavated:

And poured the footings:

Then after a few days, they set the forms:

And poured the walls:

The pictures of the foundation are somewhat deceptive, because the walls are much taller then they appear. I'm excited with all of the progress, even if I do know we have at least 16 weeks still to go.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Unexpected Refund

At the closing of our house sale several weeks ago, the final distribution amount was lower then I was expecting. Now to some degree this is expected, at least if you understand how the system works, because everything anyone ever shows you for costs is always qualified as an estimate.

In this case, however, the amount they came up with was about four hundred dollars less then even the high end of all of the estimates combined. Of course I had no paperwork with me at the closing, and even if I did, it would have just been an estimate. But I still was questioning the amount rather strongly.

In the end I was more interested in selling the house then $400 and so I let it go. And by let it go I mean I signed the papers and then bitched to Linzy about it for 20 minutes on the way to the State Fair. That evening I checked our estimates and found to no one's surprise that a bunch of the fees had come in higher then the highest estimates.

Anyways, that was the end of it. Until earlier this week we got mail from the title company containing a check for $372.24 with a hand written note on the check saying 'refund of closing cost overage'. I'm not positive why they audited the account to determine they owed us a refund, but I certainly was glad to take the money back. I barely even mentioned how I had been right about them overcharging us.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Recent Movies

Over the past few weekends Linzy and I have been watching a few movies at home. We've had a pretty bad stretch recently.

Max Payne - I never played the video game, but I am aware of it and the 'bullet time' feature. I'm not even sure why exactly this was on the queue, but it just showed up at home one week and so we watched it. The movie was really not very good. The plot was simplistic and predictable, and the acting was uninspired. I was bored, though some of the special effects were kind of cool.

I Love You Man - I added this to our queue after my Dad mentioned that someone had told him it was hilarious. Not so much. It had funny moments (though not the kind you should be watching with your parents), but overall I found most of the humor to be of the 'behavior so awkward it is hard to watch' variety. There were a few really amusing parts, and they did feature Rush, so it wasn't all bad.

Fast and Furious - Not to be confused with The Fast and The Furious, this was the fourth movie in the street racing series. I've only seen the first movie and parts of the second and Tokyo Drift. But I did enjoy the first movie. The fourth was more of the same, and actually better then I was expecting. Some of the racing was exciting, and things kept moving along fairly well. It wasn't particularly good, but was clearly the best of the last three movies we've watched at home.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

See My Belly?

DSC_2656This weekend we had a few people over to the house for dinner. Pippen was really excited to see everyone, as always, but in particular she really liked the kids now that they are all big enough to interact with her a little. Unfortunately for Pippen she is far more interested in the kids then they are in her. After some initial laughing and petting, the kids are on to more interesting new things.

Pippen on the other hand kept following them around getting in front of whatever direction they were going and being submissive. She'd flip over on her back so they could rub her belly. Except of course the kids would just ignore her, so Pippen would reposition herself a bit more directly in front of them. The kids would move away and Pippen would reposition herself again.

It was hilarious and sad all at the same time. No one loved the Silky as much as she loved them.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

About Time

Almost exactly two months after we signed up to build a house, they finally got started with actual construction.


I guess the mad rush of zero other people buying houses in the neighborhood slowed things down. But at least things are moving now.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Location Awareness

Last week my passport renewal was completed and I got an e-mail on Thursday saying that it was winging its way back to me via overnight FedEx. By the time I got home on Friday evening I had kind of forgotten about the package, until Linzy and I were coming back from a walk with the dog. At that point I checked the front porch and couldn't find the package.

Thinking perhaps I hadn't done overnight delivery back, I checked the tracking, only to find out that the package said it had been delivered. So then I really started to wonder and checked the front porch, the front door, and the garage. Plus my Mom was home at the time of the delivery but wasn't home that evening, so I checked the entire house thinking maybe she had accepted the package and had left it inside somewhere. Still no package to be found.

So I called FedEx to ask what happened, and of course at that point it was late on Friday night and there was no one to talk to at the Bloomington center. Which meant it was going to wait until Tuesday.

All weekend I was expecting one of the neighbors to stop by with the package, assuming it had been delivered to the wrong address. But then again, this was FedEx, so you don't really expect that kind of US Postal Service behavior.

No package showed up, and so it was back to waiting for the driver to figure out what had happened. It turned out that he had delivered the the house across the street (say, 608 rather then 609). The people there claimed that they didn't realize there was a house 609 and so hadn't know what to do with the package.

Cause, you know, it's the house across the street. That whole orderly odd/even street numbering is pretty tricky.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Not Much To Report

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, there hasn't been a whole lot to report. Last week I was on vacation, at least from work, but put in a full week of manual labor packing and moving. That hard work, coupled with regular emergencies for work resulted in a less-then-relaxing vacation.

Regardless, we're all settled at the new place now and impatiently badgering our builder about why everything is taking so much longer then planned. I have a feeling the answer to that one is soon going to be a simple 'get used to it'. Right now the approximate time-line is early January. I'm not holding my breath.

We did find time to go to the State Fair last Friday, which was a lot of fun. I wasn't able to try the peach-glazed pig cheeks, but I did have deep fried cheese & jalapeno ravioli which was very tasty.

Then on Sunday we went to go see G.I. Joe, which was just about the right level of seriousness after a stressful few weeks. It was not a good movie, but I thought it was entertaining.

Finally yesterday it was back to the real world, and work. You are now all caught up.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Going, Going, Gone

As of 10am tomorrow morning, we are officially homeless.





The full set of pictures from the past week of packing and moving.

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