Monday, January 30, 2006

Be careful what you wish for

I used this line a couple of times today, and figured it was a good starting point for a blog entry.

First, I maintain that while the United States states that we want democracy and self-determination everywhere, it is generally appended with "as long as our interests are served." This is especially true in emerging economies and the Middle East. Recent elections in Egypt, the Palestinian territories and Bolivia should be a reminder of this. Don't get me wrong - I am for movements towards freedom and democracy. I applaud it. Just don't be surprised if they don't approve of your policies and call you on it.

Second, my company is in the process of bidding on a very large potential client. While everyone wants their name and the additional revenue, they don't care if you make money at it. Not exactly a win-win.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Movin' right along

OK. Dave is moved into the Durango house, and he hasn't seen the new house yet. I took him up to the Eiderdown house to show him our lot and walk him through the model. When we drove by the lot, they were framing the house. It's beginning to come to life. Very cool. We walked into the sales office on our way to the model and Casey was talking to who I thought was a potential sale. I went to contribute my two cents, only to find out she worked for Richmond American and was out doing competitive research since her sales office was without power.

Turns out that the development she is selling is offering three story houses. They ranged from 1450 to 1700 square feet with two car garages. The houses also offer a small backyard. They can fit 15 houses on an acre. While I'm sure they look very nice but it struck me how Amy and I made the right decision to buy our house now. New construction single story houses with any sort of land are going to become a thing of the past in any sort of affordable price range. The lady from Richmond American said it's the only way in this town to keep the base price under $300K. Casey told us that even Pulte is going to build three story houses in the not so distant future.

As a quick tangent though, who said that $300K is really affordable? A young couple just starting out these days could barely afford that.

Needless to say, I feel this bodes well for Amy and I. As the price of land out here continues to increase with each BLM auction, single story houses in gated communities with pools will be in high demand. Brian wasn't wrong.

Are they serious?

OK. I thought I was done with rants for a while, but this one really gets me going. I cannot believe that the Justice Department is continuing to defend their actions in spying on US Citizens on US Soil! Two reasons - 1. Americans are clearly unsettled by this and 2. Defending just keeps the news story alive. I mean really - have these people never seen an episode of The West Wing? Lloyd said something about it in his blog last week (and used a killer Ben Franklin quote to boot!), but I think it bears repeating. This White House time and time again has used National Security as a mantra to defend it's actions. At what point are the American people going to stand up and say ENOUGH! And the person who foisted this regime on us, none other than Karl Rove himself, said the 2006 mid-terms will be about security. Good grief.

In separate news, while I am slightly sad that The West Wing is being canceled after this season, I think it's time. I mean the show wouldn't be the same without, Josh, Donna, Will Bailey and CJ. It's run its course and now it's time to step aside. Now if only we could get the "franchise" shows off TV - I like Law and Order and CSI, I think there are far too many of them on TV. Just my 2 cent.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It's part of the drill

I go see my doctor every four months and I set the appointment when I have my last appointment. Well, I didn't write this one down and with the job change and all, so I was making appointments for yesterday - including the much delayed and requested appointment with a dermatologist. So needless to say, when the reminder call came in, I needed to scramble. Luckily, the dermatologist was in the same building as my regular doctor so I was able to do one after the other.

I do like my primary care doctor. Over the last few years, we've built up a relationship and he's pretty cool. I was expecting a lecture since I've gained some weight and haven't been real religious with my blood pressure or cholesterol meds. He just told me to get back on them and left it at that. I told him I'll eat better and exercise more, like I did when I lost all the weight, and he was OK with that. They took some blood to check liver and kidney function and off I went.

The dermatologist wasn't too bad. They were able to squeeze me in so I didn't have to reschedule (again), and got a couple of prescriptions to take care of some very mild skin issues I have.

Where I wasn't so bright was in getting three prescriptions filled yesterday. At least one could have waited (and that ended up being the most expensive), but at least it's done. I'm back on my daily meds, so that will be good. Now all I have to do is get back on a decent meal plan and start going to the gym on a regular basis.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pets are cool

So the cats are now settled at the Durango house with minimal trauma for them. Amy is a different story. She had an affinity for them previously, but they were always at the Henderson house so she could "visit." Now that they are at Durango, there are all these different noises. Plus, I really think this house is like Disneyland for them. There are new places to hide. The office is a veritable obstacle course where they can go exploring. We try to keep it closed up when we aren't here because first, we don't want them getting hurt and second, we don't want anything broken or knocked over.

One area that is completely off limits for them is the master bedroom closet. We tried keeping the master bath off limits, but they would set up camp outside there just waiting for their opportunity. Friday night, Midge just stared at the door and hissed for no apparent reason. Very funny.

The cats are generally behaving themselves and getting used to their new surroundings. I'm feeling more and more at home at the Durango house...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More updates

OK. Things are really starting to get crazy now. Lots of stuff happening really fast. Here's a quick run down:
  • Met with the pool guy who was able to do a 3-D rendering of our pool in our backyard. That was cool as hell. Basically convinced us that the pool won't look stupid and we are moving ahead with it!
  • WE HAVE A CONCRETE SLAB!!!!!!!!!!! Yesterday, there were the post-tension bars, but now we have a concrete slab except in the garage, but that's OK.
  • Brian came by, and I signed all the docs to have my house listed as of Saturday. Sarah is cleaning the house now, and I have a few small things to take care of. I'll admit I'm a little nervous.
  • The cats get moved tonight. I feel bad. They are going to freak. But it will be good. Besides, they'll have new places to explore.
  • Amy's birthday is tomorrow. I think I'm as excited as she is.

That's all for now. Till next time...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

At least it's original

I think you need to give this lady style points for originality. But no points for brightness.

General updates

I think I'm done with rants for now, so that's good. The only thing that still bugs me are people that still have their Christmas decorations out. Sorry. We are into January now. Those should be put away by now.

The house is coming along nicely. As of Sunday, the plumbing and electrical box were installed and the lot looks like they are ready to pour the foundation. We were able to have Pulte refund us our lot premium and a little more because our yard is going to by shaped a little bit differently than everyone elses. I'm happy with what we got, and now we can move on.

Amy and I are meeting with the Pool Guy today. We really like him. He is going to show us a 3-D rendering of the pool as it's designed. That'll be cool. I need to call the mortgage person about including this, but that's a small matter.

Friday is Amy's birthday. Big plans for the weekend. I'm sure you'll get recaps here or on Overthinking either Saturday or Sunday.

That's all for now. Headed to Durango house to finish off my day.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

More rants

Because I didn't gripe enough the last time, here are a few more:
  • I don't know why the news media keeps reporting the crazy talk that comes out of Pat Robertson. I think because it guarantees them at least three or four stories and he gets to enjoy a news cycle. The process is always the same. 1. He says something nutty 2. People express outrage 3. He re-states his statement with a little bit of an apology and 4. Things calm down a little and he goes back into obscurity
  • Marcus Vick is a dumba$$. Either that or extraordinarily bright. I'm not sure which. Knowing he was on probation from Virginia Tech, he went out and got himself cited for driving with a revoked license and took a cheap shot during the Gator Bowl. Got himself kicked out of school and is now contemplating going to the NFL. I know he's Michael Vick's little bro and all, but still. At any rate, he'll make more money than I do.
  • Amy's just awesome
  • I finally went and got my photos taken for the visa. I'll print out the application and FedEx it to corporate on Monday
  • Let's go Sabres!
  • I should take my Dad to a Wranglers game. I think he'd enjoy it.
  • Satellite Radio and DVR are just plain cool products. I bitched about both of them when they first came out, but now I can't imagine life without them.

OK. I think it's out of my system now. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Random rants

It's one of those days, so here it goes:
  • I am getting more and more annoyed with the news media. I think journalists have a very important job. A free press in necessary in a free society. This being said, I think it is safe to say that we are seeing more and more "tabloid journalism" than actual journalism these days. I mean come on - talking to the families of the West Virginia miners after they learned of the "miscommunication?"
  • How can the Bush Administration keep defending their domestic spying program? As citizens, we would expect the Bill of Rights to be honored and to not follow the acceptable protocols is very disturbing to me.
  • The Bills fired President and GM Tom Donahoe. Thank god. We haven't been in the playoffs since 1999 - when Doug Flutie played for the Bills. The infamous "Music City Miracle."
  • My job is getting to me a little bit. Our infrastructure was built for a company that isn't as big as we are now, and we are going through those growing pains. We'll get through them, but the late-night conference calls are getting old.
  • I really need to apply for my Indian Visa. I've known about this for way too long not to have it.
  • Getting ready to put my house on the market. It's a little freaky. I have a lot to do.
  • We are moving ahead with wedding plans. Next up - interviewing officiants. For more info, check out For Better or Worse

That's all for now. Have a nice day!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Mom and Dad Update

It's been a while since I've posted an update about my folks. I think they have two or three boxes left to unpack, but other than that they are settled in their house.

They have made it through their first holiday season away from Buffalo. It was a little rough on them. While they were able to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with me, they missed out on seeing my sister for Thanksgiving and I know they miss my aunt and uncle. However, they do really like the weather out here. My Mom has taken great pleasure in telling her friends and family back east about the milder weather we are experiencing.

I honestly think this is the most time that they have spent together in a very long time. They are around each other nearly 24x7. I think they are both going a little stir crazy. Mom needs to have her gall bladder out, but after that she's going to find herself a job and that should help. I tell them they should get involved in church and the like so they at least start meeting other people. They've already been to a couple of HOA meetings, so they are getting to know their neighbors.

Minx has survived the trip, the move and the unpacking. Mom and Dad originally want to name her Trouble, but switched to Minx. However, they should have stuck with that first name. She is into nearly everything. Mind you, she's still basically a kitten, so she's curious. One of her favorite resting spots is on top of the kitchen cabinets. That's quite the sight to see. Minx rarely lets Mom read the paper in peace. We were showing them our pool plans yesterday and Minx decided that is where she wanted to rest. Pretty funny actually.

Both of them have welcomed Amy into our family, and Mom and Leni are developing quite the relationship. Needless to say, I think Mom and Dad just might make it after all...