Monday, March 27, 2006

Weekend Updates

I had a great birthday weekend. Aside from the fact that Mike is now out of town and Tom is still laid up, Amy was able to round up a good chunk of my friends for a surprise party at the hockey game! I had a great time, aside from the fact that Amy had a photo of me at the age of 6 posted on the scoreboard.

The house is coming along fantastically! The tile is almost all laid, the block wall is in and the garage door is on. It looks fantastic! It's nearly done, and we are getting the loan docs ready.

My house is being inspected today. That should be the last hurdle and we'll be good to go.

Anyway, another weekend and another week.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Like sands through an hourglass...

Well, another birthday is come and gone. The benefit of having a mid-week birthday means that more activities are coming this weekend. I had a great birthday. It was mine and Amy's first birthday together and it was nice. I got up to some cards, a way-cool present from Leni and candy! I got a pretty regular string of phone calls/e-mails from family and friends which only added to the joy of the day.

The unfortunate part about changing jobs is that you lose a TON of vacation time, so I'm rebuilding my bank. I've been off on my birthday the last three years. But I opted to work this year and save the time for our honeymoon. However, the day ended up getting booked solid, so it was a pretty frantic day.

After work, it was off to dinner with Amy and my folks. I had no idea where we were going - I thought for sure we were going to Binion's Ranch Steakhouse. Well, I was 1/3 right. We ended up a Circus Circus Steakhouse. OMG! It was fantastic! Different than Binion's, but just as good. We'll add it to the list of special occasion restaurants. Then I got my gifts from my folks and Amy. I got my typical gift from Mom and Dad, which was nice. Then I opened Amy's gift. It was in a big box, that was pretty light. I had no idea. I opened it, to find a 10-game pack for the 51s! That is way cool!

If my birthday day was this good, I can't wait until this weekend!

Monday, March 20, 2006


The unexpected consequences of planning a wedding or buying a house are the decisions you weren't aware you were going to have to make. As an example, we decided to go appliance shopping the weekend. While the new house comes with the range, oven, dishwasher and microwave, we still have to provide a refridgerator, washer and dryer.

We went to three stores this weekend looking at appliances - Sears, Home Depot and The Great Indoors, which is owned by Sears. We were amazed and the selection in terms of all appliances. Luckily, we knew what we were sort of in the mood for. We've pretty much settled on our refridgerator. We knew we wanted a bottom freezer, french-door style unit with a filter, water dispenser and ice maker. However, then we were faced with the prospect of cabinet depth or something that was going to stick out about four inches. UGH! If there was no price difference, there wouldn't have been an issue but not only did the cabinet-depth offer fewer raw storage space it was also more expensive! After discussing it, we decided on storage space versus aesthetics since it wasn't going to look bad.

Going into the weekend, we decided we wanted good capacity, top-loading washers with a matching dryer. We looked at those options and wrote off the high-efficiency top-loaders and front-loading units. That was, until we met up with some friends Sunday afternoon who recently purchased some front-loading units. To make a long story short, they told us along with using less water and overall energy, you can do more laundry in less time. That lead us to our next debate. Still not sure the way we are going to go, so we are looking for input.

The only question remaining is when do we purchase. To get a 12-months no interest/no payments deal we would have to open up a new charge account we would have to open up a new trade line. But we don't want to do anything to screw up the mortgage. So, I'll be calling the mortgage guy today...

Friday, March 17, 2006


As many of you know, Amy and I are having our engagement photos taken on Saturday. We decided to go somewhat casual and I'll be wearing jeans with a button down shirt. However, my current jeans are all frayed around the heels. It's the curse of having short legs and being awkwardly between a 29 length and a 30 length. So we went to Kohl's last night to look at jeans for me.

Well...this wasn't exactly a pleasant experience for Ken. I knew I was no longer 34 waist, but we grabbed a bunch of Levi's in a size 36. Man were those tight. While I could get into them, they looked tight - and not necessarily in a good way. Luckily I was able to save my ego and bought a bunch of the Kohl's store brand jeans in a size 36 that fit just fine. It just underscores the point that I need to loose a few pounds again. Ugh.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cooking dinner

Now, I'm not one who is afraid to plan and cook dinner. I did it when I was single, and I've even cooked for Amy a few times. But everything has always been relatively uninteresting - Some sort of meat, a vegetable and a potato/rice/pasta. Well, tonight, I'm making one of those things that people request of me - Mexican Lasanga. I was so excited. I was cleaning out my house this past weekend, and found the recipe. I knew pretty much what was in it, but it was still reassuring to have the recipe.

So I'm making it tonight for Amy and Dave. The biggest difference is that we had a ton of ground turkey in the freezer, so I'm using that instead of ground beef.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Why I hate hurry-up-and-wait

Things are really starting to move fast when it comes to buying and selling homes. First, I signed the offer and counter-offer on my house. It was a list-price offer with $5K back at closing. A little less than I wanted to take, but nothing huge. Plus, they want to close by the end of March which is even better. This way, I won't have to make an April mortgage payment and can start eliminating utility payments.

The second exciting detail is that we have our Pre-Closing Orientation (walk-through) and Title Appointment. I love how builders spin things now. It's no longer a walk-through, because you find problems during a walk-through. Calling it an orientation is a more positive spin, and if you happen to find issues to correct, so be it. That date in April 20th. We'll be able to pick up our keys on April 25th.

The house is evolving so rapidly. Two months ago, it was just some trenches and maybe forms for the foundation. Today, it's a full-blown structure with windows, doors and closets. Very, very impressive. It's getting closer, and we are getting excited!

On a completely unrelated note, every morning I am reminded why I love satellite radio. Amy's alarm is set to a specific radio station with a morning team I can't stand. This morning was no different. In an effort to address topics of the day, they opted for a call-in segment. That's when you realize how many uneducated people are out there in this town. Amazing.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Home again

Well, made it back from India in one piece. It is good to be home. I had been warned that India will shock you, and it didn't disappoint. The difference between rich and poor is very evident. Some folks drive around in nice sporty cars, while you see others clearly walking for miles or taking busses with no glass in the windows and no AC. The food was good, and I successfully avoided drinking the water. No residual stomach issues from the trip.

The air travel was long. There is no way to sugar-coat a 15-18 hour flight or 10-14 hours worth of layovers.

Next time, I promise I'll take a camera and will take some photos. I may even go into Singapore to help pass some of the time.

One of my worries heading out was that I was going to be out of the country when offers were made on my house. Luckily, they didn't come in until the end of the trip. I'm crossing my fingers, but I think we may finalize one of them today. Very exciting.

The new house is progressing nicely. The outside is stucco-ed and they have delivered our doors. It's not going to be long now.

Anyway, I'll do a more organized post in a day or two.