Archive for November, 2004

Happy THanksgivings and such

Friday, November 26th, 2004

Hope everyone had a good one!

I was browsing the recently released music this week on iTunes and found the Beyond the Sea soundtrack. This movie comes out in a couple of weeks and is based on Bobby Darin’s life and his relationship with Sandra Dee. Unlike Jamie Foxx in Ray, Kevin Spacey actually sings all of the songs in the movie as Bobby Darin. Its pretty badass and I always love the actors that REALLY play the part. Anyway… if you like Big Band music, check it out.

This weekend will be consumed with packing and getting ready to move. Only a few days away! Thankfully we have some help on Sunday to load up the truck. Should not take too long as I have rented all kinds of aids to help us get stuff in there. Oh and most everything is already stacked up so it just takes someone with a dolly to roll it up the ramp. ANYWAY… By this time next week we will be moved in, and we will be headed to San Antonio for our annual break from the monotony. I’ve got to run up to the university for a quick interview before I am granted a position as an adjunct professor. Hopefully things will work out well and I’ll be in for the spring semester!

At any rate, its about time for me to start to get ready!

Wha?? Where’d ya go?

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Sorry about that…. Last week was quite insane. Allow me to explain. But first, check out this interesting experiment relating to filtering cheap vodka through Brita filters to see if it gets any better. My its amazing what the human brain can think up when it has a little bit of time.

So since the last posting on the 15th, we have made some serious progress on the move stuff. We got through both option periods on both houses, we’ve been packing and trashing (the act of packing the things you really need and throwing out or donating the things you don’t) since. Really little stuff until this Saturday when Mary & Teri came over to help pack. The kitchen is almost entirely packed save for a few (and I really mean a few) utensils, a couple of cups, and the pantry/fridge. We’re eating stuff we have here to try and make the move a little easier.

All of the wall decorations are down (those three candles in that hutch area were SCREWED in… man, what was I thinking?), the guest room is almost entirely packed, the studio has been deconstructed (and some things eBay’d or sent to a local pro camera warehouse on consignment), some strides in closets such as the one under the stairs and in the master, guest, office, and studio. Once we get to the actual moving stage, things will be pretty easy hopefully. We’ve just got stuff stacked everywhere so a dolly can pick up the boxes and run them on the truck.

The buyers of our place did their final approval of the repairs they asked for, had a termite inspection and also the FHA appraisal. Things are a little disorganized on their side, but I’m just hoping and praying that their mortgage funds at closing.

Also last week, I had to make a quick run up to St. Paul for a client, then Houston (via O’Hare) for another client, and then back home. That was a beating. Tues-Thurs sucked badly. Not much packing got done during the week (regardless of my presence) but we sure did make up for it this weekend.

Hopefully on Wednesday I’ll be running out to our new place to do the final walk through, and then Chris and I will hit a couple of Home places to look for 2 new appliances. We are going to replace the original gas cooktop with one that is sealed and matches the other appliances, and we will take a look at a new dishwasher. At some point in the future (give it a couple of years) we will probably replace our fridge with a black one to really match all appliances. For the moment, I just ordered a new part for ours so that it looks brand new.

We also may be closing on our place on Wednesday. The buyers want to close early (which I would prefer) but we will still not leave until the 29th. Then we drive across town to close on the new place. But we cannot move in until the 30th. So we will twiddle our thumbs for a short period of time.

ANYWAY…. quite an update for ya. Can’t make too many promises on the frequency of things until after we get good and settled in. Maybe mid-december :) I’ll be taking pictures to document things and hopefully we will be in and settled without any hassles. Keep us in your thoughts and enjoy your week!

When weeks seem like months

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Man… last week was a drain. Both physically and mentally. Ever have one of those weeks that just seems like it was a month long? From executing an offer on our house on Monday to attempting to do that twice on Sunday & Wednesday (second time worked out so far), and then beginning the packing process, and FOOTBALL SUNDAY and other stuff, I am beat.

This week will be a little better starting Wednesday when both of the option periods will be over. Then its just moving forward to closing. And I thought about it, man it will be here super fast. 2 weeks from today!

Anyway… back to work…

Our Inspection

Friday, November 12th, 2004

So we did the inspection on the potential new place yesterday and the buyers of our current place did their inspection today. The inspector was almost 2 hours late. We went over to Jerry & Sharon’s for a few minutes just to pass the time.

They were there for about an hour or so, poking around in the dark outside and inspecting inside. We have not heard anything as of yet, but I would expect to hear something by Monday. Sheesh, talk about the last minute.

Ok, sleep now, but haircut tomorrow! YAAY!

Inspector Brown?

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

We had the new house inspected today. Everything seems to be in order, minor issues here and there, but hopefully things will continue down this path. We’re moving forward it seems, however slowly that might be. If things are all good, it’s about to go MUCH faster.

I’m pretty tired today, so I’m heading off to bed. Have not been sleeping much lately so hopefully the sleepiness will let me get through the night!

Flag in the ground!

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Welp, we are getting closer to having a home. We signed papers on a new house in Flower Mound today! So as long as everything goes ok with our property, we should be good to go come December. Please, keep your fingers crossed!

Chris and I are spending our time packing now. I’ve also got to get our stuff transferred over to the new place. Utilities, phone, innanet, etc. Oh, and we’re still working on James’s themed room. Nascar, Star Wars and Playboy have been the suggestions so far, anyone else?

Ok…. time to run. Enjoy HUMP DAY!

Homeless!

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Welp, it happened. We took the offer with nowhere to live! We’re crazy.

We’re going shopping this afternoon, and if we do not find anything we’re just going to get a short term lease on an apartment and keep our ear to the ground. We did find a place on Sunday that we put an offer on. The sellers were “MOTIVATED” apparently… well at least the ad said so. Suffice to say, motivation in their eyes meant coming 5K off the asking price, and thats it. Considering the house has been reduced twice (by 5K jumps) and been on the market over 200 days, I think these cats are going to be sitting on it for a bit unless someone with money just HAS to have that house. It had a great layout, but we were about 10K apart on final offers and I certainly was not going up, and they figured they would wait for a better offer.

Oh well, snooze/lose, etc.

Wish us luck today that we fall in love with at least 1 of the 4 houses we will be previewing.

Interesting Article

Monday, November 8th, 2004

So I’m plowing along my normal routine of visiting sites that make me laugh, and I came upon a link to a site that says quite a bit of the things that probably need to be said about the American Left. It is entitled “An Open Letter to the Open Letter Writers of the Left”. Albeit, a circular sounding title, but it is quite interesting. I’ve often thought when the Democratic party would realize that they have to re-invent themselves if they want to be elected as a majority again. The liberal party of the FDR days was a needed relief, but that same party today needs to serve a different function.

Course, I ended up getting into an interesting discussion with an acquaintance regarding this election. He was an international guy, Canada I believe, and really enjoyed debating with me (I think anyway). The sad part was, people outside of this country seem to think they know America better than its own citizens. In some cases, this may be true, but its definitely hard to prove. Its pretty easy to sit up on your high tower, point down at us “Foolish Americans” and whine about how you are not getting what you want. That’s a very interesting differentiator between the haves and the have-nots (pardon the extreme use of an out-dated and un-PC colloquialism). The “haves” see opportunity where the “have-nots” see oppression.

Quick example and then its time for work. Think about the whole Wal-Mart issue (which ironically has many people divided on like other major issues we face today. Abortion, terrorism, etc). Wal-Mart comes into small-town USA and then local businesses cease to exist. Does it take away from local culture? Yep. Does it assimilate towns into the Wal-Mart way of life? Yep. Are they evil? Nope.

Why not? First off, Wal-Mart is just more innovative than the local business people. There is plenty of competition in this world to share among a few stores in small-town USA. The people who are going out of business have only themselves and their town’s residents to blame.

1) Uh oh, blame themselves? Shame on me for cheering the economic crisis bestowed upon small muffler shop owners! Granted, it is quite harsh to say it, but realizing that any small muffler shop, convenience store, etc can outperform a Wal-Mart if they understand their customers. A prime example of this is the Starbucks fad. Here in Dallas, you don’t see many other coffee shops. It appears that Starbucks owns the market. Travel to St. Paul or Minneapolis and you will find it divided between three distinct chains. Each are succeeding very well in harmony! And I would argue that Starbucks is not even the number 1 player. Its definitely not the best coffee, that award goes to Caribou Coffee, whose site seems down at the moment.

2) People have a choice on where to shop. Put something new in and you will see a surge of people shopping there. After time, the newness wears off and if there is no compelling reason to continue the new behavior, people will revert to old behavior. Meaning, if local shops are important to the towns residents, and they can provide more value (note I did not say lower prices) than WalMart which they most certainly should be able to, Wal-Mart will not be as successful and may even go away. It is possible!

Besides, Wal-Mart really takes care of their employees. Wages, full medical, stock purchase program, etc for all full time employees. Hrm.. not so evil anymore!

Have-Nots can become Haves by figuring out and working within the system. It’s a simple truth, but the more have-nots that figure this out will soon find themselves in another category.

Anyway…. this rant went on WAY too long and probably ruffled a feather or two. I hope everyone’s week progresses well!

Whoo, what a day!

Sunday, November 7th, 2004

Ok… so yesterday was pretty busy. We previewed some houses in Flower Mound and saw Suzette’s house for the first time! She has a gorgeous little place in Lewisville with a big back yard. Her new puppy Windsor (sorry for the oopsie) is pretty damn cute too.

We tried to hook up with Wendi, but she and Russell had some last minute guests that came by to help paint. Can’t really refuse that kind of help! So we elected to come see them another day when they are not scrambling to get ready for painting guests.

On our way back, we hit Burlington Coat Factory to check out the baby furnature. Chris also needed a couple of maternity shirts for work and I needed a new leather coat. We took care of all of them and have a pretty good idea of what we want :)

So we are on the way home and we get a call from the showing people, saying we are having a SECOND SHOWING!! Sweet! So we hang out at Starbucks for a bit and wait. Well, we get tired of the waiting game (Lets play Hungry Hungry Hippos!) and head back to the house a little early. Well, the folks were still there, but we confirmed our theories that Sharon (our neighbor across the street) has been shooing away buyers. :) She was standing on her front porch as they were outside our house. We ran by and she invited us in for a few minutes until the buyers left.

So nothing until about 1pm today. Our realtor (selling) calls us and says she has a contract in her hands. Everything seemed cool with the deal except they wanted us to close in 2 weeks. 2 WEEKS!? We don’t even have a house yet! So after calming Chris down and finding out they would be willing to push one more week (still…. 3 WEEKS?!?!), we ran over to see our other realtor (buying) and preview a couple more houses that we found. We ended up finding an absolutely gorgeous house that we put an offer on, but we lowballed it pretty bad and also put in the quick closing. The house has been on the market quite a while so we are hoping that the sellers really are “motivated” as it says in their ad. Anyway, we are pretty doubtful that any of this deal will go through and we will be back waiting for another buyer.

Tomorrow our new guy starts and man am I glad. I’ve got a ton of work keeping me busy and I’ll be glad to come back home for some good projects. Besides, I don’t like MN between Nov & March. :)

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Happy Birfday!

Thursday, November 4th, 2004

So I figured that there are two major things that happen today being my birthday.

1) I don’t have to carry my Selective Services card around anymore (ok, it was never really on me but was in fact readily accessable with updated address info. Damn I’m a dork).

2) I now don’t check the 18-25 box on marketing surveys, I check 26-Old.

Exciting stuff!! Not as cool as Lottery Tickets (18), Beer (21) or Rental Cars/Insurance Drops (25), but certainly exiting! I’m in for a drought until 35 I think in which case James and I can put together an Adamson/Williams presidential ticket.

Oh, also Happy Birthday to the NSA. Founded 52 years ago on Nov 4, 1952. Here are a couple of other noteable birthdays today!

Born on this day:
Laura W. Bush (58) [GO W!]
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs (34) [PUFF DADDY!]
Matthew McConaughey (35)
Walter Cronkite (88)
Doris Roberts (74) [Ray’s Mom on Everybody Loves Raymond]
Kathy Griffin (38)
Najee (47)
Jeff Probst (42) [heh]
Heather Tom (29)
Yanni (50) [w00t big 50! Still looks like my dad with long hair!]
Sharon Swallow (50) [heh swallow]

Born on this day, Now dead (Just borrowing Sturm und Drang):
King Edward V of England
King William of Orange (III), England, Scotland & Ireland
Will Rogers

So now that you know useless trivia about me, I hope you all have a great day today!

Bush Wins!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004

Welp, the networks are finally calling it so I will say a little congratulations to Bush and lets get moving!

Still too close!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004

DANG MAN! Ohio is going to be the Florida of 2004. If Kerry can finally concede OH to Bush and thus the election, do you think we might see a Guiliani/Clinton ’08 battle?

Will it end? Probably not by tomorrow…

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004

Well the election process is underway. If the hype is correct, we should see record turnouts this year among all groups of voters (which is a good thing). I just hope that with all the mud slinging, bias, and spin that America’s voters can make a choice based on their own research and not what is fed to them by CNN or Fox. It certainly is hard to fight through all the crap in this ever connected world.

I doubt this will be over anytime soon either. I could be surprised, but the lawyers will have their day. Oh, and fear the market. Until a winner is decided, it will not be doing much good, and if Kerry wins it will go down (function of uncertainty, not my opinion). Course, the market performance seems to be something of a back burner in this election. Good luck to all of those voting today!

On a sadder note, any of you that might have remembered my little playing days at Ivy’s, The Prison or The Ranch House might remember a guy named Eli. He was a great musician that loved the stage and influenced me greatly. Without him, I probably would not have played much with them past the first 2 times at The Prison. He passed away Saturday in a tragic car wreck on 635 coming back from a gig. He will be missed greatly; he was one of the good guys.

Eli, wherever you are, from now on when I play Round Here I’ll be thinking of you. I always remember that as your favorite song in any of my sets. Singing Sweet Home Alabama and La Bamba just won’t be the same without crazy backup vocals from me, lead from you and you and Jamie tearing it up on guitar. I will miss you bud, our time was too short.

All I can say is w00t!

Monday, November 1st, 2004

Got the iPod today and man is it sweet. Can’t believe it got here so fast. I was not expecting it for another 3-4 days and blammo it shows up on my door today at like 8am. Very cool. So in between phone calls and work stuff, I’m slowly importing CDs to iTunes so I can take the music with me. (I’ve got the music in me!)

We found out for sure we are having a little boy! He’s looking good so far and Chris is doing well. She is quite recovered from her kidney stone. We’re hopefully going to register within the next couple of weeks. Should be fun.

Now, back to work for me! Don’t forget to vote!