Sunday, April 30, 2006

Chrysler Air Raid Siren

The most powerful siren in the world. It's the size of a car, measuring near 12-feet in length and standing more than 6-feet tall. It also weighs twice as much as today's typical car.

I Want a Freeware Utility to...

Extremely useful free utilities that do specific jobs really well and save time and money.

450+ common problems solved.

New Home Sales Soar

March gain of 13.8% the biggest in 13 years, showing surprising strength in housing market, but that was partly driven by builders cutting prices.

I Need A Haircut!

A man from Tewksbury, Mass., wants to open a barbershop where the female hairstylists would wear lingerie. Men would be able to set up appointments with their favorite stylist and even choose what they wear.

Pay Up Or Else!

When activated, the Trojan horse, dubbed Ransom-A, displays some explicit images. It then shows a message that demands a $10.99 payment, or it will delete one file every 30 minutes!

There is Hope For VW Bugs

Alright, so maybe they can be cool.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Kuna, Idaho

Latest House Photos

Arched hallway to the kitchen

This is the control box upstairs for the Russound A-BUS Whole House Audio System. This will allow music to be sent to any room in the house, and even out on the patio. Learn More

Siding looking good on the back side of the house.

Insulation is going up in the garage.

Shingles are going up on the front of the house.

5 Park-like Acres in Brush Prairie Part III

Now we are down to $350,000 dollars... how low will they go?

Why Rice Krispies Go Snap, Crackle, Pop!

There’s a bumper sticker out there that reads, “I do whatever my Rice Krispies tell me to.” Before taking orders, you might want to consider that no one really knows how the crispy cereal gets its commanding voice.

In fact, we may never understand the full story behind the snap, crackle, and pop, because finding money for experiments on cereal noises isn’t easy.

Whale Thanks Rescuers

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around, she was thanking them.. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

US Gas Price Map

We're not the highest, but not the lowest by a long shot!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Full Price Offer...

We have an offer of $565,000 dollars on the house. The offer is contingent on their financing going though, (which it did) their $5000 dollar earnest check not bouncing (which it did not) and a home inspection. (that will happen in the next 10 days.) We are slated to close on June 9th and then rent back from the new owners until July 9th. This gives the builder of our new home in Kuna, Idaho 75 days to complete the job. I fly to Boise tomorrow to drop off our $5000 dollars worth of earnest money and sign a paper indicating our intent to buy. This is, of course, a giant juggling act and we will continue to try to keep all of the balls in the air. Keep your fingers crossed that the builder comes through for us, or we will be living in a Hotel in Boise with all of our stuff in storage until he gets it done.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Arrow Rock

This is the Community Banner that the developer is working on at the entrance to our neighborhood. There will be 50 houses on a giant horseshoe shaped road. All of the lots are at least a 1/2 acre up to 1 acre.

Panoramic Of The Back Of House

For me, this is the best part of the house! I just can't get over the covered deck off of the master bedroom AND the covered patio below. The view from the deck is 180 degrees of mountains and city lights.

Four Corners Of The Lot

SW corner of the lot.

SE corner of the lot.

NW corner of the lot.

NE corner of the lot.

I had not idea that an acre was this big! Note: vinyl fence along the back yard, 250 feet of it.

A Couple Of Inside Shots

This is a shot from the kitchen toward the family room. This is the main great room on the lower floor.

This is a shot from the family room toward the kitchen. The door goes out to the lower porch.

Idaho House Photo Flood...

Left Front: columns and arches will be done in stucco. Lower windows are to the living room. Upper from right to left are, master bath and main entry way.

Front Right: Three car garage with a drive through on the far right bay. Upper windows are all for the theatre room.

Left Side: Hmmm? What the hell is going on in the back of the house you ask. Lower windows from left to right, kitchen, two for the living room, and the far right one is to the garage. Upper windows are both to the master bath.

Right Side: Back side of drive through garage bay. Bottom window is to the office. Top window is to the laundry room.

Back Side: The top right is a covered deck off of the master bedroom. Below that is a covered patio off of the kitchen nook area. The four windows on the left ground floor are to the main family room. Continuing to the right are the kitchen nook and then the kitchen on the far right. Top floor left to right are, guest bedroom, exercise room, master bedroom sitting room (2 windows and a door) and then the last row of windows is for the master bedroom.

More tomorrow, right now it is time for bed!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

We Have Found The House...

Well, we are 99.9% sure we have found the house we want in Boise, Idaho. The house is still 90 days from completion, so we have been able to add many custom features and design it the way we would like. The photos below are from the builders web site and will give you a very rough idea of the general shape of the outside and a shot of the kitchen. The lot size is just over an acre and the house is 3600 square feet. We have taken many photos of the house as it sits right now, but I forgot the USB cable so no real photos until tomorrow night.

This is the general shape of the outside of the house. The outer finish will include stucco, rock, and shakes. The builders web site does not show the back of the house, I will post that tomorrow... You will not believe what you see, we still don't!

This shot will give you an idea of the kitchen layout. The kitchen is just flat huge!

We are exhausted and must go to bed, we fly home tomorrow and I will post a lot more information Sunday night. Until then, have a great weekend.

Greetings From Boise...

Deb and I spent all day Friday looking at houses here in the Boise area. We have found an under construction home that we feel very good about. We are spending today looking at some other options and getting more information on yesterdays prospect. Last night also brought a call from our realtor at home letting us know we had a serious look and probably an offer today.

We are off to breakfast and then back on the hunt. We'll keep you posted...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

"Ugly American"

Click title for the full article:

Loud and brash, in gawdy garb and baseball caps, more than three million of them flock to our shores every year. Shuffling between tourist sites or preparing to negotiate a business deal, they bemoan the failings of the world outside the United States.

The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not, however, just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate. Now, the State Department in Washington has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave

Saturday, April 15, 2006

5 Park-like Acres in Brush Prairie Continued...

Well, we must have made a slight impact on the people selling the land down the hill! Suddenly the lot is cleared of all the old buildings, and the price drops to $375,000.00. We are quite happy that the old trailer and associated out buildings are gone, as they were quite an eye sore, and I am sure they did not help our prospects of selling the house much.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The History Of Easter Candy

Join us as we delve into the delectable not-so-distant past of Easter candy and learn, among other things, just how Marshmallow Peeps came to rule the world.

Forget Bird Flu, It's The Mumps!

The mumps epidemic in Iowa continued to widen this week and reached 605 cases by Thursday, public health officials said. Although the highest concentration of cases remained in eastern Iowa, the virus that causes mumps has infected at least one person in half of the state's 99 counties.

"I certainly would consider this a serious threat," said Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the state's epidemiologist. "We're doing everything we can to try to address it, get information out, do what we can to try to get it under control."

The state has received about 50 reports of new infections a day, a level which has remained consistent for at least a week. As of Monday, Nebraska has 43 reported cases; Kansas, 33; Illinois, four; Missouri, four; Wisconsin, four; and Minnesota, one.

Iowa Department of Public Health Director Mary Mincer Hansen said questions about how the epidemic started and why it has hit Iowa so hard have not yet been answered.

Deb Joins The Lung Club!

That's right, Deb headed to the doctor today and came home with the same cough, diagnosis and drugs I have! So like the clock work we together take our Prednisone and Erthromycin in the kitchen, of course being careful to not share our water glass, because gosh I wouldn't want to give Deb what I have!

How Do You Treat The Waiter?

Office Depot CEO Steve Odland remembers like it was yesterday working in an upscale French restaurant in Denver.

The purple sorbet in cut glass he was serving tumbled onto the expensive white gown of an obviously rich and important woman. "I watched in slow motion ruining her dress for the evening," Odland says. "I thought I would be shot on sight."

Thirty years have passed, but Odland can't get the stain out of his mind, nor the woman's kind reaction. She was startled, regained composure and, in a reassuring voice, told the teenage Odland, "It's OK. It wasn't your fault." When she left the restaurant, she also left the future Fortune 500 CEO with a life lesson: You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she treats the waiter.

The Easter Bunny Hates You!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Boise & Portland Dodge Housing Bubble

Click title for full article:

10 bubble blowers -- appreciation should continue to grow

Boise, Idaho.

Besides having a happy-sounding name, Boise is consistently mentioned as a small, but strong real estate market. Forbes magazine ranked it first on its 2005 list of the best places for business and a career; John Burns Real Estate Consulting puts it almost at the bottom of its list of markets headed for a potential housing bubble.

John Schleimer, a real estate market consultant to major builders, says that both Boise and parts of the Idaho Falls panhandle will "hold up very well" housing appreciationwise.

"They're getting migration of people fleeing the blue states," he says. Annual price increases on housing has been a modest, but steady 4 percent to 6 percent over the past couple of years, with a significant -- but not out-of-proportion -- increase of 14 percent in the last quarter of 2005.
Seattle, Wash./Portland, Ore.

The overall news out of the Pacific Northwest isn't great. The area lost jobs in the tech bust and is still recouping. But in terms of housing price appreciation, the thing these cities have going for them is a restriction in supply. Tight controls on development have prevented the normal progress of builders going farther out from the city core to find cheap land in the suburbs. Hence, demand stays high for available units. (Forbes Magazine lists Seattle as the most overpriced place to live in the country; Portland was third on the list.)

"Portland and Seattle have really benefited from California's growth," says Richard Gollis, principal of San Francisco-based real estate consultants The Concord Group. "Portland is starting to see the next generation of housing product, which is large-scale, high-density projects in downtown. The same thing is happening in Seattle. People who moved there 20 years ago for the tech market are older now and have a different lifestyle."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Me vs. Lung Infection: Part 2

Alright, maybe this stuff will work. After being placed on a couple of drugs to fight my lung infection over two weeks ago, I had to head back to the doctor again yesterday. I felt different, but not better, and my cough was getting really bad.

Here is my latest load out of drugs:

Erthromycin ES: Erythromycin can be used to treat Streptococcal infections of the throat (strep throat) and the skin. It can also be used in treating lung infections (pneumonias) caused by streptococcal pneumoniae, mycoplasma pneumoniae, and legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires disease). Erythromycin is used in patients who are allergic to penicillin for the prevention of recurrent rheumatic fever, and heart valve infections (endocarditis) in patients with heart valve abnormalities before undergoing dental treatments. Erythromycin is also used for the treatment of staphylococcal infections of the skin, and as an alternative drug for syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia.

Prednisone: Prednisone is an oral, synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid used for suppressing the immune system and inflammation. It has effects similar to other corticosteroids such as triamcinolone (Kenacort), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Prelone) and dexamethasone (Decadron). These synthetic corticosteroids mimic the action of cortisol (hydrocortisone), the naturally-occurring corticosteroid produced in the body by the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids have many effects on the body, but they most often are used for their potent anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in those conditions in which the immune system plays an important role. Such conditions include arthritis, colitis, asthma, bronchitis, certain skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions of the nose and eyes. Prednisone is inactive in the body and, in order to be effective, first must be converted to prednisolone by enzymes in the liver.

The Prednisone pretty much shuts down my cough, but I can tell a few hours before my next dose, because the coughing starts up again. I have been assured that this will be the last medicine I need. Actually the quote from the doctor is, "You'll feel like a million bucks by this weekend!" We will see.

My Blackberry Is DEAD!

One minute it was there frustrating me... It's slow, it's hard to dial on the road, the friggen hour glass while you try to do just about anything! And then the next minute, it was gone.

(Reset Error 365)

I looked it up... It is bad... Hardware error, phone must be returned to dealer.

I will start out tomorrow with no ability to contact the outside world! No email, no voice mail, no talkee period! Nervous laugh. Why now, I ask.

I sure did love that phone!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's Official... The House Is For Sale.

Railing Repair Project

Well, I spent last night fixing the deck railing from the Chrismas Day Tree Fall Event. I still need to pick up one ballaster and match the deck stain, all in all it worked out well.

As you can see, by the inset photo, the railing took quite a blow!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

It Has Begun...

Monday afternoon our house will go on the market for $565,000. We spent the day cleaning and meeting with the realtor to determine a reasonable sale price.

I was fine until all of the paper work signing started, and then it became real to me. We now have a lock box on the front door and (as you can see) a sign in the front yard. I will post a link to the MLS listing as soon as it becomes available.

We are happy with the determined value of the house, since just 13 short months ago we purchased it for $400,000. Not a bad way to make $165,000! We of course still have to actually sell the house, but the realtor is confident that we are priced right and positioned to turn the house in a reasonable amount of time. I hope so, because we won't be able to sleep again until all of this is over!

We have begun to get listings for homes in Idaho with a target price of $600,000. Homes in this price range are very nice but come with the caveat of (at the most) being 2 acres or less. If we wanted to get our five acres back (flat treeless scrub of 5 acres I might add) we would need to spend over a million dollars. So, we have adjusted our search accordingly. I figure that as long as I regularly wash and wax the quads, that we will be able to run up and down the road in front of our house without any complaints!

... Now we have to make the bed every morning and pick up after ourselves. This is going to be tough!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Stone Age Man Used Dentist Drill

Stone age people in Pakistan were using dental drills made of flint 9,000 years ago, according to researchers.

Teeth from a Neolithic graveyard in Mehgarh in the country's Baluchistan province show clear signs of drilling.

Wow! Put down your club and spit!

Monster Rabbit Devours English Gardens!

In a tale reminiscent of the last Wallace and Gromit movie, furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit.

Leeks, Japanese onions, parsnips and spring carrots have all been ripped up and devoured by the mystery were-rabbit -- prompting the 12 allotment holders in Felton, north of Newcastle, to hire two marksmen with air rifles and orders to shoot to kill.

"It is a massive thing. It is a monster. The first time I saw it, I said: 'What the hell is that?'" the Northumberland Gazette newspaper quoted local resident Jeff Smith, 63, as saying on its website (

Whitten DVD Collection Goes Online!

Monday, April 03, 2006

That Strange Falling Sensation

Do you ever wake up suddenly to a falling sensation and a strong muscle twitch just after you have fallen asleep?

This strange falling sensation and muscle twitch is known as a hypnagogic myoclonic twitch or “Hypnic jerk” If this has happened to you on more than one occasion, don’t worry, you are not alone. Close to 70 percent of all people experience this phenomenon just after nodding off, according to a recent study at the Mayo Clinic...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

How To Pour Ketchup... The Right Way!

Google Earth In High, HIGH Resolution!

Load up your Google Earth and head to Las Vegas or Cambridge, Massachusetts for a look at what 3 inch resolution satellite mapping looks like! Who needs to fly to Las Vegas... You'll feel like you are there!

Dream Dinners

Dream Dinners is an innovative concept in meal preparation that eliminates menu planning, shopping, prep-work and cleanup by moving the meal assembly process out of people’s kitchens and into specially equipped stores.

Dream Dinners’guests preview a monthly menu online at and select their dinners from a menu featuring entrĂ©es such as Herb-Crusted Flank Steak and Citrus Ginger Salmon. Then they register to attend a meal assembly session at the nearest Dream Dinners retail location, and pay for their session online.

When it’s time for their session, guests bring boxes or coolers with them to the Dream Dinners store, where our friendly and knowledgeable staff greet them and explain the process. At the store, guests rotate through refrigerated recipe stations, scooping freshly cut and prepped raw ingredients into the provided baking pans or gallon-sized zip-top bags, which they label with the appropriate cooking instructions. The whole process takes two hours and costs about $3.00 per serving.

After assembling the dinners, guests then take the uncooked meals home and freeze them. Each week, three meals are taken from the freezer and placed in the refrigerator to be enjoyed during the week.

Deb and I tried this out! Since the meals feed 4-6 (and they mean it!) we were able to split each meal into two helpings when we created them. So bottom line is $210 dollars: 24 dinners all ready to go in our freezer right now! It took less than 2 hours to make all of the meals. I must say it was a fun process, and the provided coffee and snacks made it even better.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It's Been A WIld Week!

Well as most of you know, it happened this week. After two interviews and much wondering, I was offered a promotion at my place of employment Wednesday afternoon! This was of course an exciting, terrifying, and melancholy day! Much thought, conversations between Deb and I, soul searching, and emotional energy went into my pursuit of this life changing opportunity. Now that it has actually happened we are trying to work through it mentally one small chunk at a time. It is a little hard to get your mind around it when some of the chunks include:

- Selling the house and moving to Idaho!

- Finding a new home in a strange (to us anyway) land!

- Deb quitting her job here, and then hunting for a new one there!

- Leaving all of our friends and family behind!

- And me trying to figure out what the hell I am actually supposed to be doing!

... Every day will be unscripted for quite awhile as the comfort zone must be reinvented 440 miles away!

Deb and I thank everyone for their wishes and good thoughts.

As usual, tune in here for the latest in this next chapter of our lives.