Sunday, November 28, 2004

Details On The House!

Builders Web Site.
Landscape view of 5 acres. Note:
Black rectangle shows property line.

A Rick Pic
The House We Like!

A Rick Pic

Been Looking At A House...

It started on Thursday night, on the way home from Thanksgiving in Eugene, Deb and I started to discuss getting a new house. This discussion had happened many times before and ended with "We're fine right now, we'll do it later." This time however, the reality of rising interest rates, the fact that we have been in our house for 10 years, and the simple need for change made this conversation continue.

Friday Morning: Deb hit the internet and we started looking for houses and land that fit our desires. We want at least 5 acres, trees, privacy, and a little larger house. We hit the road, and by 1:00pm had visited 7 sites. Some were just houses sitting out in 5 acres of perfectly flat, treeless land. Others were very nice houses, but were older and we wanted new construction. One was a good posibility, trees, private, 5 acres, but was way up in Ridgfield, and there was a really rough road to get there. There were two houses that we just could not find however, and we really wanted to see those too.

Friday Afternoon: We feel that continuing the hunt without making sure we can do anything about it is not wise, and we call Countrywide and get pre-approved for a home loan. We also contact a realtor and ask for a list from her, of homes that fit our profile. Her list matches our list almost perfectly and also includes the two mystery location homes we had failed to find earlier in the day.

Friday Evening: We set out again to find the two last homes. Using the GPS we manage to finally find these two homes that are side by side in Brush Prairie. In the fading light we find the house we want! Both homes are being built by the same builder, both about the same size, and both on long 5 acre lots with frontage with Salmon Creek. One great! The other, "Not so sure." We get home and talk the rest of the night... is this really what we want to do, are we really ready, does this house warrant all of the change we are about to bring onto ourselves? Sleep does not come easy this night.

Saturday Morning: Meet with Loren and head out to the three final contenders. We hit the two side by side and in the good light really start to fall in love with 'The One.' We walk the property line all the way down to Salmon Creek and really give both locations a good look over. We then head back up the the Ridgefield property and seeing it again does not inspire us. We deside that the Brush Prairie house is the one we really want.

Saturday Afternoon: Worry starts to set in we begin to invest ourselves in this decision. Will someone else buy the house before we can get this all figured out? How long do we have to put this all together before the whole thing falls apart? We decide to meet with the realitor Sunday to make an offer on the house.

Sunday Morning: We meet with the realitor and make an offer on the house. We are prepared to put our house up for sale, but decide to wait to see if our offer is accepted before doing so. Our purchase of the new house would be contingent on the sale of our current house, and if the builder did not want to wait for us, there was no reason to put ours up for sale. Much paper work later we were set, just have to wait for word back from the builder.

Sunday Noon: We pick up Bob and Nora and head out the the house to show them, and we knew if we'd gone crazy they would tell us. When we arrive, there are, for the first time other people looking at the houses. This does not feel good to me as I am concerned that they will buy the house before the builder even gets to see our offer. It turns out that one of the visiters actually is the builder and he is showing the houses. We spend quite awhile talking to the builder and he says we are the first and only offer and he seems to be a very nice guy. We talk about the house and the property and we leave the site feeling pretty good about our chances.

Sunday Night: We head back over to the house with Ray and Juli and show them the house for the first time. They seem to like it and I take some photos while the dream of this working out takes hold of me. Deb and I are both tired and feel sleep will come tonight due to sheer exhaustion. So much for the restful 4 day weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I Made It!

It has been a hard road to get to this point, but I have reached the reward... four days off. My brain has almost turned to mush. As technology has marched on, my time to absorb it has headed in the other direction. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I plan on relaxing the whole time!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Mount Shasta On The Way Home

A Rick Pic
Just Finished. Rick Rating: B
(Way too short for the money,
only 140 pages)

A Rick Pic

Dome Growing Fast... | News for Oregon and SW Washington: "If lava continues to pile up inside the blasted crater of Mount St. Helens at the current rate, the volcano could rebuild its summit in about 10 years. The new dome now covers 70 acres."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Call Me.

Engadget - "Verizon Wireless is already testing a ringback tone service right now in parts of California, but we just got a hot tip from a highly reliable source that T-Mobile has imminent plans to announce a nationwide ringback service of their own. T-Mobile had no comment when we asked them about this, but they didn't deny it, either.

P.S. - In case you aren't familiar with ringback tones (and believe us, you will be very soon), they're basically customized audio clips that callers hear when they dial your number instead of the usual ringing sound."

Woot! Site Of The Month!


"What is woot and who's behind it? is an online store and community run by the employees of a 10 year old consumer electronics distributor that focuses on close-outs and generally buying stuff cheap. Since the distributor doesn't sell to end users, Woot, Inc provides us with an employee-store slash market-testing type of place. Hopefully the boss won't take notice. We anticipate profitability by 2043 -- by then we should be retired; someone smarter might take over and jack up the prices.

I see only 1 item, do you sell anything else?

No. We sell 1 item per day until it is sold out or until 11:59pm central time when it is replaced (see next entry for details). However, each item we sell is in stock and ready to ship that day. Our warehouse manager thinks we are insane.

What is the schedule for new items?

OK - this is simpler than it sounds: A new product is released at 12am central time Monday through Friday mornings (if you are not a morning person, this can be described as Sunday - Thursday at midnight. better?) Friday's product will last through the weekend unless we sell out. If a product sells out during it's run, a new item will not appear until the next release time. You will know if a product is sold out, because the main page says 'SOLD OUT' instead of 'I want one'. (clever, eh?)

I missed yesterday's item, can I get one still?

No. Each product is discontinued at 11:59 central time monday-thursday and sunday. We may get more at a later date if we're lucky, but we offer no guarantees, we allow no backorders, and we have no waiting / notification lists. Too bad."

Amazing Deals! If you can stay up until 10:00pm that is - Rick

Get On The Ground!

Headed out to get some In-N-Out Burger and came home to some excitement! I pull into the Hotel parking lot and park the car. I do my usual removal of the stereo faceplate and I hear a powerful engine sound to my left. As I look up I see a blacked out police cruiser lock up all four and screech to a halt not 300 feet in front of me! A dog leaps out of the car and heads into a line of bushes and comes out the other side attached to a guy flaying and trying to run. The cop draws his gun and screams "Get On The Ground"... "Get On Your Belly!" Cop cars coming in from EVERY WHERE! Dog is chewing on this guy and he is screaming. (I can hear this because I have put down the drivers side window.) "Stay DOWN!"... "Get DOWN!" Three Police men with guns drawn are screaming at the guy who is STILL trying to get away from the dog. Six police cars now! Last one to arrive turns on a spot light and you can see that the dog has the guy by the arm and is shaking the crap out of him. (I have a french fry. Hey! They were going to get cold!) Man finally stops struggling and is decended on by the police (Whooo Hooo there's gunna be a Whoop'n!), hand cuffed, and stuffed into a car. From bits of post arrest conversation I think he was trying to steal a car from the next store car lot. HUH! Whatcha Gunna Do When They Come For You!

P.S. The burger and frys, though alittle cold were still good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

An AOL Trial Disk Has Beat Them There!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "Dome A is the highest point on the Antarctic Plateau, and it has never been reached by humans. It is thought to be the coldest place on earth, and is certainly among the most remote. Yesterday, a team of Chinese explorers set out from Fremantle, Australia to reach Dome A and set up a robotic weather station which will monitor the local conditions for up to five years. The team is expected to arrive at Dome A in early 2005."

Now This One Could Piss Me Off...

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: PVRblog is reporting today that TiVo will begin to place banner advertisements on your screen when you are fast forwarding. As one of the whole points for people getting a TiVo is to remove obtrusive advertising, it seems like a really bad move to force advertising on people at the exact moment that they are using your technology to avoid advertising. This act points to the desperation of TiVo and their management team and although it might help them in the short run it will most certainly backfire in the long run." This is ironic for a company whose slogan used to be "TV Your Way," but not surprising, since its CEO says he wants to move to a largely advertiser-supported revenue stream. I've bought three TiVos in the past four years, but my next PVR will run MythTV -- unless HR2391 passes and makes me a criminal for skipping commercials.

The Man On The Right Was Airlifted Home!

A Rick Pic

And On The Eighth Day...

Heavy Fog moving into the area tonight as I sit in my Hotel room digesting a Carl's Jr. Burger. I sent my laundry in this morning so I am in some fresh relaxing clothes as I enter a bit into my Blog. Ray and I had a pizza feed last night and I will be posting a photo of the feast next. I was hoping to eat the left over half tonight, but Ray got the nod and headed home.
For that the Bastard WILL PAY!
From this moment on his name will not be spoken in the city of Vacaville, and any who utters it shall have his tongue cleaved from his festering hole! I swear by this, and will uphold it until I breathe my last breath! May his meaty soul writhe in pain as he sleeps in his soft bed next to his woman while I once again I fall to sleep on the doorstep to HELL.... Vacaville, California. There, I'm over it!

Well, I am off to do some reading and see what the Woot! of the day is.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Fall in Vacaville California!

A Rick Pic

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Vacaville, Sweet Vacaville!

So ends my 5th day of being on the road. The pile of dirty clothes is now even with what I have left in the suitcase. I have unwrapped 5 new bars of mini-soap and layed 5 new mats down in front of the shower. I sat in front of the television and looped around the channels for 30 minutes looking for the show I needed... It never happened. I noticed that the elevator in the Hotel does not have current operation permit and that they sell candy bars for a dollar in the lobby. The person who cleans my room is named MICKI, and a card with his (or hers) blocky scrawl is left in my room each time it is cleaned with a big 'thank you'. I think the next time I leave some towels on the bathroom floor I will include a note with RICK on it and some equally cheery greeting! I eat a bowl of 'Golden Ghrams" cereal every morning and this morning I saw a big rabbit in the Hotel parking lot. I set the thermostat to 68 degrees every night before I go to sleep and set it to 72 when I wake up. These repeating activities seem to take on a 'Ground Hog Day" feel to them when you are doing an opening. Well, It is time to go and do some reading and hit the sack for the big day tomorrow.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Hey Baby, Got A Light?

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "MSNBC is reporting that a 'Boeing Co.-led team has successfully fired for the first time a powerful laser meant to fly aboard a modified 747 as part of a U.S. ballistic missile defense shield.' The test called 'First Light' has a budget of $474.3 million in the fiscal year 2005 and is part of a larger $10 billion dollar missile defense system."
Hmmm, That's A Good Place To Hang My Shirt!

A Rick Pic

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Say That 10 Times Fast...

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "NASA intends to break its own aircraft-speed record for the second time this year by flying X43a scramjet ten times faster than sound. On November 15 the X-43A supersonic-combustion ramjet - or scramjet - will again take to the skies aiming for Mach 10."
Mobile Nerd Station

A Rick Pic

Fall in the Mountians of Northern California Posted by Hello

Oh, You'll Love California!

Well here I am once again captive in my Hotel Room in the Heart of Vacaville California. Just finished my delightful In-N-Out Burger while surfing the 13 channels of quality TV. Bed meets the softness requirements, toilet has the necessary pressure to handle the 'out of town' gift I plan on leaving it once (or twice) a day, and, I smell NO smoke! This establishment does have an indoor pool as well as wireless internet and a breakfast area, so it ranks well on my all time list of fine hotels in the under 100 dollar range. I find that I am starting to change with all of the travel I do. I still get a thrill every time I come back to my room and the bed is made, but I have lost the desire to bring home small bottles of shampoo or bars of soap. I think if I had to design a hotel there would be some improvements that I could offer. One would be more plugs, lots more plugs, and put them at waist level. The fatter I get the harder it is for me to get down on my hands and knees, crawl under a table and plug in my laptop! Also,
If you are going to run Wi-Fi in your hotel, at least make the signal strong enough to reach the friggen desk in my room!
Oh, and why does every light in the place have different kind of switch to turn it on and off? So, at night when I need to get up and address the above mentioned gift it takes me an extra 15 seconds of fumbling to get the light on? And... what is a man or woman to do if he or she wants to eat his or her take out food in front of the TV? How about the super high tech idea of a TV Tray? No, it is much better for me to try and balance all of this stuff in my lap while I sit at the edge of my bed squinting at my 15 INCH SCREEN WATCHING 13 FRIGGEN CHANNELS while catsup drips down the front of my SHIRT!!!

Now, I am sure that all of you sitting in your own homes right now, reading this entry of my blog, are starting to wonder about my mental health. I'm fine, don't worry about me... much.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Great For The Nerdary!

"New Scientist reports that you can now buy your own automated Room Defender. 'Who would like this gift? Any child, or anyone who saw the director's cut of Aliens and dreamed of owning one of those automated sentries.'" The New Scientist gift guide looks pretty useful.

Things That Make You Go Hmm.

"The Seattle Times has an article about Microsoft's Foundation and their new partnership with Comcast to provide a TiVo-like service."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Attacking The Pile...

I have now completed all of the computer building projects in this cycle! Packed up the last one for set-up tomorrow. Now that the computer room has 7 more feet of desk space I can now give Deb back her kitchen table and dining room table. It has been my morning project to liberate these downstairs surfaces and put everything away. This being my last day off for quite awhile due to the coming store opening makes getting all of this done feel all the better. Back to the projects.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I Want One!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "The US Army is testing robots armed with shotguns. The robots are called Packbots and have already seen some action in Iraq. It also has chemical sensors that detect nuclear, biological, and chemical contaminants. Maybe I've seen a few too many bad sci-fi movies, but robots with shotguns scare me."

I've got a protrusion for ya! | News for Oregon and SW Washington: "A lava formation inside Mount St. Helens' crater has a new, glowing protrusion the size of a 30-story building. The protrusion, which glows red at night, has risen by 330 feet in the past nine days, pushed up by magma, or molten rock, within the volcano. "

Good Deed Done!

About 2 weeks ago I came home from work and and small black and white cat came up to me and begged for attention. She was very skinny and looked like life was not going well for her. I went into the garage and put down a handful of cat food... it was consumed in seconds. So began the pattern of the cat hanging around the house and greeting me everyday when I got home for me to feed her. I was obvious that she was an indoor cat at some time, as she was happy to be petted and was not afraid of me.

Deb wanted to adopt her, but I figured this would be very hard on our 2 cats that are now almost 10 years old. So Deb went to plan B and proposed to her new employer that the City of Happy Valley needed a cat! They accepted, "City Kitty" was moved to her new home, visited by a vet, and now will be the mouse hunter for the office space. Just thought you should know.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Shrek 2 is out on DVD Today! I picked mine up at Best Buy For $15.99 Posted by Hello

The Glory Of A Day Off!

Here I sit in my sweats, cat in my lap, heater at my feet, plugging away on my computer! My entire day is mine, ALL MINE! Last night I was so dog tired that I was in bed by 9:00 and asleep by 9:01. It is now time for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

DVD's That Can Take A Licking!

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters: "'NewScientist reports that TDK has developed a transparent polymer for LCD screens and optical media that is impervious to general neglect and abuse. Quoth the reporter, 'In one of the most convincing technology demonstrations this reporter has witnessed, I was handed a CD, a wire-wool pan scourer and some permanent marker pens, and invited to scratch or mark the discs. Hard as I tried, I could not make a single mark on the disc with the scourer. And the ink simply wiped off.' The coating is apparently responsible for Blu-Ray's new caddy-less form factor.' "

The Time Change Blues

Here I sit at 4:30am in the morning, pitch black outside and me wide awake! Now, remeber, it is really 5:30am due to the time change and if you factor in that I am over 40, this up at the Ass Crack of dawn thing doesn't seem that far out of line!

As a child... hell... 3 years ago, I could sleep until noon, wake up for a 5000 calorie meal and hit the sack again two hours later. I would then wake up the next day with a tan, a new car and not a care in the world. Now, things are not quite the same, I wake up at 3 in the morning with the thought of 'did I rotate the tires in the last 3 months?' or, 'My leg hurts, it must be from sleeping WRONG!' Sleeping WRONG? How the hell do you sleep WRONG?

Sleeping is so simple that they don't even include instructions with the mattress!

After 40 however, I can't even do that right!

Well, I am off to try my hand at the art of sleep again... wish me luck!