Monday, May 26, 2008

House owner, part 3

So everybody has been telling TBO and I that one of the first things we need to do is call a locksmith to come and change out all the locks. Seems like a reasonably sane task to accomplish. We have 3 doors and 1 gate that have locks (although I had forgotten about the gate), and a total of 6 locks altogether. When the locksmith arrived, however, he told me that for just the "medium level" of security he would charge me $110. That would be per lock, folks. Plus labor. Ack! I decided to get 1 lock per house door, and the grand total was still just under $500.
File under: amount of money I didn't expect to pay out for this.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

House owner, part 2

Well, the warranty company won't cover any of the electrical work (at least, they won't definitively say they will until we pay them for a visit, but the agent was less than affirming), so it looks like we're on the hook for at least $4K in repairs before we can even move in. Grrrr. On the plus side, there is a whole pile of dead ants in the master bathroom. Oh, wait, that's not good, either.

Monday, May 19, 2008

House owner, part 1

Well, we own it now . . .
TBO and I are the proud owners of a house, with all its blemishes and weirdness. It is currently a death trap, with electrical miswiring all over the house, so we can't move in yet, or get our appliances, or much of anything. The alarm is always beeping when we arrive to unload stuff, but we can't turn it off permanently because we don't have the code, and the inspector was unable to find the control box. There are so many items on our "to fix" list that it's scary, and the realtor has us convinced that we should call the home warranty people first in order to get some things fixed under their contract. Of course, they don't have our contract ready yet, so we can't order any work from them. We could simply call the electrician, but the estimate for all the work was in the thousands, and it would be nice to reduce that a bit first.
Yikes and 1/2!
But, it's all ours, yay!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Human rights advance in California!

The California Supreme Court just announced its decision that same-sex marriages are indeed constitutional in the state. The money quote is on page 7:
Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to
establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care
for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and more generally,
that an individual's sexual orientation--like a person's race or gender--does not constitute a legitimate
basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance
and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California
Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether
gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.

Congrats to all!

Labels: ,

Sometimes, we all need an editor--apparently

Ok, so I usually don't--make that, I've never before--clicked through on any of the stories or spam recipes that Google slaps up on my gmail page. But this one, for some reason, caught my eye: "'Snake Man' Slithers Out Of Prison Cell". (Don't ask me why. I don't know.) The story is silly enough, but what kills me is the byline: (Reporting by Paul Bolding; editing by Keith Weir). This is a story that contains all of 3 sentences, but the good Mr. Bolding needed an editor? How did that happen? Was the challenge of boiling down a story about an escaped prisoner to its elements too much of a strain for Bolding so that he gave up? How much background did Bolding write for Weir to cut out? Or maybe Bolding was merely such a bad writer that Weir had to bail him out. I'd love to have been in on that conversation:
"Hey Paul, great piece on the Snake Man, but it needs some tightening up."
"No way, Weir! You touch that 4th sentence and I quit!"
"Easy there big fella. Let me take a pass at it and we'll go from there."
I mean, c'mon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Hot on the heels of the Democratic Party's House election successes in Republican strongholds in Louisiana and Illinois comes the news that in Mississippi one more Dem has taken a formerly Republican seat. Travis Childers will be filling the seat left open by Roger Wicker, who was appointed to replace Trent Lott when he quit. So, in effect, we traded Lott in for a Democrat! (Yes, I know the difference between the House and the Senate, but give me a break--this is exciting stuff!)
While Childers only sits until November, when he has to run again, the trend is clear, and so were the results--he blew a strong Republican scumbag away by 8% points. Congrats to Mississippians and Representative Childers!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

House hunting, part 5

Things have proceeded apace--apace like wildfire. (Huh?) We're set to close on Friday; TBO and I are gathering up the masses of cashier's checks to take to the title company along with our signed and notarized loan documents today. Note: at some point in your life, make friends with an escrow officer who is also a notary public! Our friend saved us a lot of pain and frustration in this endgame. She looked over the loan documents to let us know where there were errors (and there was about $10K worth of them!), and was also generous enough to notarize our signatures and initials as well. Thanks, Mihee!
The house itself needs thousands of dollars of work before we can even move in safely, so the fun hasn't ended. We dragged our feet just long enough in the process to squeeze the selling bank into giving us a $2K credit toward repairs, which was nice. It would have been nicer if they had simply made sure the house wasn't a death trap before putting it on the market, but we can't have everything now, can we? The seemingly endless series of "hurry-up-and-wait"s are coming to an end, thank goodness.
Now about that list of things to do . . .