Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Kroger Kids


I went to the local Kroger for baby shampoo, Q-tips, deodorant, and a new set of wipies for the baby. On my way out i saw they had itunes pepsi's in the fridge at the checkout counter. I started pulling pepsi's out of the fridge and tipping them looking for winners.

As i was looking, a pimply teen came around and said, "....i already bought all the winners. There aren't any in that fridge..."

Ha!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

RSS Feeds


What are RSS Feeds and how do they work?

D70 ? D100




Yet another 6.1 mpx released by Nikon. Connects via USB 1.1. Haven't yet found a significant difference between the D100.

SugarDaddies of the World


Whomever has the extra dough to purchase this will be have first pick at training videos. I'm sorry, i would love to buy it myself, but i simply don't have the money right now.

The demo version worked fine. It compressed the first 30 mins of an already ripped dvd down to about 590MB without burping. I think it would be pretty nice if we could fit two 'videos' per dvd; although, trying to squeeze an entire dvd onto one cd is tempting too.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Option Period - OVER


Well, the option period is done with. We have come to an agreement on price & repairs. The next step is getting through the long process with the bank. I've already done a good amount of shopping for insurance; i think i've found who i want to carry my policy.

The next big step is connecting all the dots; the dots being the title company, the bank, and the insurance company.

Everyone has to get everyone else's name and fax number.

There's a tremendous amount of paper pushing (i would imagine) going on behind the scenes.

One morning recently I heard the current housing numbers; If i remember correctly, they were surprisingly robust compared to speculations. Going through this process i can see how this is easily an economic indicator: so many people involved, so many companies (realtors, inspectors, lawyers, insurance agents, brokers, contractors, loan officers, appriasers...) and they all receive their piece of the pie at closing.

Fees, Fees, Fees..... title writing fee, money wiring fee, lawyer fees, appraisal fee....etc....

So i am being a good American, a good citizen ...

THeee best b-and en americ-uh..........


Sunday, March 28, 2004

Life on Mars, Austin

Well, it looks like scientists are pretty close to finding conclusive evidence of life on Mars. Amazing.

Also, I would like to thank everybody for making my big 3-0 a great birthday. It was really so nice to get the gang together for monkey-bar fun, good eats and other "entertainment".

Also, saw Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind. I do not know how much of the feeling came from me or from the movie, but regardless, the experience left me with dizzy nerves and all kinds of electric light in my veins. I highly recommend it to all intelligent forms of life.

Also, The Plant Lady Cometh!




Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Good News Is.....


I figured out how to copy the Total Training dvds!

The Bad News Is....



There is 7 gigs worth of data on one disk, so either we're going to have to get a burner that will burn two layers on one disk, or get a REALLY big hard drive. I've got a forty gig at home that i can clear off...

The Photoshop CS total training has a total of eight disks. Illustrator, InDesign, and GoLive each have two (i think). Then, there's another disk explaining VersionCue.

anyone else got some extra space?

Friday, March 26, 2004

Question


So todd, how would you dad deal with something like this?

Great Writers of the World

Paul
Today you celebrate your birthday with many other great writers of the world..


Garrison Keillor talks about it this morning.
A real PURTY poem too.

Happy Birthday to one of the greatest writers I know!

Happy Birthday Paul!!!!


30

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Option Period - Day LOVE

The whole time I am loving my loving husband.

I love you Killy....

Option Period - Day 8


Reading over the inspection report and deciding which repairs i can do and which i should have the sellers do...

thinking...deciding....

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Option Period - Day 7 (Tuesday)


I spent this day shopping around for homeowners insurance. I had to send over the inspection report so they could run the quote. AMICA was the most competative quote. If all goes well, i'll probably go with them. (Referred to me by my former financial consultant, Howard Peel).

Option Period - Day 6 (cont'd)


Steve, the inspector greeted me with a firm handshake and an apology for running a little bit late. We knocked on the door and the sellers answered the door - both of them AND their two year old son.

I wasn't expecting this. I thought for sure that they would leave the house so it could be inspected, mainly cause this is probably one of the more upsetting things for a seller to go through: a man running through your house telling the buyer what is wrong with it, ultimately resulting in necessary repairs and/or a reduction in value. There wasn't much we could do...

Steve strapped on knee pads & his utility belt and got straight to work. He turned on all the water, crawled around the attic, stepped on the roof, pulled out electric outlets, checked the uptake and other miscellaneous crawl spaces...

I followed him for the most part, but took a few detours to familiarize myself a little more with the place. The place was cute. I could see my family living there. I could see adolfo running in the backyard; i could see carol cooking in the kitchen....

The termite inspector and her assistant showed up. After about 45 mins of poking around, they found live termites in the front of the house. Treatment necessary.

I was making my own list of repairs i could do; taking down the trouble spots on the landscaping; making a list of tools that i didn't have...

All the while the sellers were quickly trying to respond to things the inspector would point out. Bulbs were missing in several outlets, so they would scramble to get bulbs from their garage; One outlet had a hot wire on it, so the husband ran off to Home Depot and bought a new plug to replace it. It went on like this for a couple of hours.

Eventually their agent showed up, summarily ignored me, shook the hand of my inspector handed him a card, and wisked his clients out of the house. This all happend in the blink of an eye. I'm sure he told them to not be there for the inspection...who knows why they stayed.

We had the last hour to ourselves to check out the remainder of the house. I got a grand tour of all his findings all with digital photos...

Overall - a nice old house that needs some repairs.
Most Necessary - Termite Treatment, water heater replacement, air conditioner servicing, electrical grounding....

Total Time: 3 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Hey Paul!

Critical Section - Engineering Conversions: "1 millionth of a mouthwash: 1 microscope"

Option Period - Day 6


I'm typing this out a full day later ....

I dropped carol off at work and adolfo iv off at school. He didn't go all that gracefully. I left quickly enough so i had enough of my heart left...

I drove around the neighborhood. I watched all the kids file into Scarbarough H.S., which is just two blocks down. Most of the kids were dropped off or were walking in from 43rd street. I pulled into Georgi st to see if any kids were filing out of mangum manor specifically ... i didn't notice any. I cruised the streets looking at lawns, noticing which properties had old people sitting out front (quite a few), finding all the outlets to mangum, antoine, and 43rd streets, and listening most importantly...

so wonderfully quiet.

I took a good long drive down antoine. Not a starbucks in sight. A lot of small businesses, which was nice. I saw a lot of mexican 'La Tapatia-esque' places, but none with any character to speak of.

I dropped by St. Ambrose Catholic Church and picked up a bulletin. It's right around the block from our place. I would guess it's somewhere between .5 and .75 mi from the house.

I arrived at the property at about 9:30. I parked across the street and gave myself some time to walk down the block. All the surrounding houses were clean and well kept. The yards were well trimmed and raked. There was no standing water anywhere on the street. ****I mention that cause Maru/Mike's new house had some putrid standing water on the street in front of their place several days after it had rained. It was the ONLY water down the entire block.****

I struck up a converstation with who may become my immediate neighbor. Her name was anna, 60, and she was staying with her parents who had become too old to really take care of themselves. Her father was standing at the garage just smiling. He couldn't see too well, apparently. She gave me the scoop on most of the neighbors, and on the immediate block: most of our neighbors are fairly old; some have small pets, but most don't. A woman across the street home schools her two boys (aged 14,9). An older gentleman across the street came out of his house and shuffled around his driveway talking to himself.

Anna gave me a smirk, "He talks to himself, but he's the sweetest man. He comes over and watches my parents from time to time. He also happens to be the yard man for the church..." The older man goes back and forth on his driveway and then disappears around the corner of his house.

"He's probably going to come over later and ask who you were..."

We talked about her yard and about the pear tree she just planted smack dab in the front yard. The 'seller's' Rottweiller poked it's head between a break in a fence plank and stared at us. She turned, and then gave me a look that told me she hated dogs....or, at least, that particular dog.

"Do YOU have any pets?" she asked. I just smiled and said no. At that point, my inspector pulled up....

(to be continued.....)

CHAVEZES IN AUSTIN

If things work out well, we will be in Austin this weekend!
Keep an eye out for the Chavezes on the horizon!

Monday, March 22, 2004

The best thing about Army life. . .

. . . was the amazing wise-asses. It helps that there are a bunch of silly rules and funny clothes to wear and so much time sitting doing nothing that anything becomes really funny. Imagine sitting somethere for so long that you watch an entire 40 pound piece of ice melt in the Ft. Hood sun because they only deliver your ice rations every other day and your cooler only holds one days worth, not two. It helps that there is this surreal feeling of, "hmmm, this stuff is here to kill people pretty much just like me, the operator of this stuff."
Two Fisted Staplegun Mayhem at SXSW!



Didnt' get to check out much of SXSW, but I did manage to make it downtown to the Flatstock Poster Convention. There was a ton of great image and line to check out; and it was swell to meet some of the artists whose work I admire. Anticipating that my weak will might be tested beyond its limits, I wisely brought only a few bucks to spend ...

Also ran into Jennifer Compton from SWT; her boyfriend is he of Mexican Chocolate Design.

It was also swell to meet up with Stephen Donovan, who is trampolining his new site.

Blarg

Saturday, March 20, 2004

sleep................

Managed to get a SxSW wristband this evening....
just in time to go see They Might Be Giants at 12a.m.
Was a great show. Really fun.
Manana going to see Ted Leo in the afternoon.
hope all is well out there.
T

Friday, March 19, 2004

Option Period - Day 3





The Inspectors are coming monday at 10 o'clock. I took the day off so i can be there all day. And now i have little to do but wait for my contract to show up in the mail; wait for my new sprint phone to be delivered; and sleep...

Precious sleep, where have you been?

Oxymoron?

Killy writes: ". . . they still need original copies . . ."

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Option Period - Day 2 cont'd


We've put a bid on a house. We've exectued the contract. This essentially closes off the property from any other bids until we're done with them. Although we have essentially agreed on a 'price' this doesn't necessarily mean this is the price we will pay. Now begins (besides the option period) a time of specific information gathering about the house.

Next, i schedule a home inspection. The easiest thing to do is find someone who has bought a home recently and get a recommendation. You can search all day for inspectors on the internet and the yellow pages and still be just as lost as you were when you started. I called Doyle and got a recommendation from him. End of story.

I've also got to schedule a termite inspection. For this one, i'm going with the lady my realtor has recommended to me - mainly because i just don't have anyone else who could recommened a bug inspector to me (can you?). She lives and works in the area.

At the same time, the bank has to get started on it's work. I've sent them all pertinent financial documents, but they still need original copies of bank statements and other misc forms. (Remember that: original documents). I had a copy of the executed contract sent over to them so they can get the paperwork started on the loan.

I also called an insurance agent at my credit union do to a check on the property for any claims made on that property. Result: 0. I also had her give me an estimate for Homeowners Insurance and a Flood Policy. This is when i found out that, contrary to my assumption, i WAS NOT in a high risk flood area. As a matter of fact I am in an 'X' zone, denoting a minimal risk of flooding. The numbers came back: about 2000/yr for home ins and 248/yr for flood. She thought that was a little high, so i should shop around.

I contacted another insurance agent today and sent him on a quest for more affordable insurance for me. The quote should come back sometime tomorrow, hopefully.

I'll prolly schedule the inspection for sometime early next week; probably monday. Once all the inspections are done and the bank sends out the appraiser and surveyor, the real fun starts. Everyone returns to the negotiating table and tries to work out any problems that may have arisen from the various inspections - and potentially the price gets re-negotiated.

Possibilities Include:

Structural, mechanical or plumbing problems that need to be taken care of before the house will be bought.

or

The house is appraised for less than it's being sold for. (This is my biggest fear - a real potential deal killer)

So this is where I am at right now in case anyone was wondering.

Option Period - Day 2


Adolfo IV fought waking up. He fought his diaper change; he fought getting dressed; he fought to get into the car seat...

It was shaping up to be a miserable day. Carol was running late for work.

I spent the majority of the day shopping for homeowners insurance. I also got ahold of Doyle, who pointed me in the direction of a good home inspector in the area; he's a little more expensive, but extremely thorough, respectable, and knowledgeable.

The further I get into homebuying the more i look back at what i've done so far - the more i second guess my every move. I'm trudging ahead, though, and trusting that i'm educating myself enough and have assembled a pretty good team of people to help me along the way: my agent and my lender.

It's hard to trust myself. That prolbably doesn't reveal a very healthy self-image, but it's the truth. My head is spinning with all the information. A cool site for those of you in houston who'd like to learn a little more about the properties and people around you: www.hcad.org

Speech Therapy

After I read about Spoken Interface I opened up the Speech control panel of my computer. Turning it on is like having a whole different computer. Instead of contorting my left hand into <command><tab> to switch between apps, I just say "Switch to Safari." "iChat with Killy." "Connect to server." It is amazing what it is capable of. The next day, or maybe it was later that afternoon, O'Reillynet.com posted this article on speech with the Mac, which is a pretty good place to start if you are interested in exploring what it is capable of: MacDevCenter.com: Are You Talking to Me? Speech on Mac OS X [Mar. 17, 2004] Once you turn on the extended controls for assistive devices, the speech recognizer is able to control most things on the screen.

I wonder how long it will take for someone to write some glue in between a voice over internet application (like iChat) and speech commands.

Killito's Email Address

Everyone, please send my little baby an email.

KillitoDivino@hotmail.com

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Move On!

http://www.moveon.org/censure/caughtonvideo/

And from: http://www.onion.com/
"Warriors of the world, hear me," said Rumsfeld, seated on the onyx throne overlooking the fighting arena at the island's central volcano, surrounded by a phalanx of exotic but murderous beauties and his seven-foot-tall guard Omarra. "I declare the Eagle Fist all-styles, hand-to-hand combat world championship open once more. For the next 10 days, the world's mightiest fighters will come together here at Fang Island to compete for a prize of $1 million and the post of Associate Secretary Of Full-Contact Defense!"
















Option Period - Day 1


All the paper's have been signed and the option period begins. The next ten days is a window in which we can leave the contract without question, so now is the time for home inspectors, bug inspectors, appraisers and surveyors. I've been shopping around and have begun getting estimates on all the necessary insurances: flood, homeowners...etc...

This is when the real fun begins. Our home is still lightyears away, it seems.

Here are some interesting facts about the area:

- The nearest fire station is exatly .3 miles from home.
- The Hispanic population of Oak Forest/Garden Oaks area is 15,440
- Two of my neighbors are lawyers.
- One of my neighbors is co-owner of a pawn shop (I read her application for business license online)
- The apprasied value of 4126 Donna Lynn has more than doubled since 1990.
- My home has never flooded.
- There is a park right around the corner.

Anyone know any good (or bad!) Home Inspectors? I'm really looking for someone who might know who NOT to use.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Mer-lettuce

A google image search
reveals a picture of Chard.
Maybe Mr. Lettuce was thinking about his other girl friend "Ms. Chard"
when he was hittiiin' it up with the Weed.

Insanity

I encourage you to cultivate your insanity, Paul!! Did you know that Salvador Dali used to on occasion fall asleep with an egg in his hand so that he would remain on the verge of sleep for as long as possible, where the imagination is most lucid and ripe with creativity or insanity or both -- he would start to doze off and, then, just as the egg would start to roll from his hand he would jerk awake ... he continued to do this apparently over the course of an evening until he had gathered together some pretty far out material to inspire his art. I, for one, would applaud a painting that depicted the love affair between a lettuce and a mer-lettuce ....
I think I am going crazy

cause i just had a dream about a head of lettuce that falls in love with some seaweed that washes up on shore but instead of calling the seaweed 'seaweed' he calls it 'mer-lettuce'. Isn't that just ridiculous?








Kid pictures

I Personally think you should dress the little guy up like a some furry creature and slather his face in mud and possibly roll him in some fecal matter. That always helped me win friends and influence others.

makes for a funny picture.

just think, when he's older and he calls you from jail again, ya'll can laugh about that one time you got him all dressed up for pictures by getting advice from friends.

Ponche..Tufunama..dinquan...stut?

Hey Todd........do you have Mark English's contact info?

Amber.....You and Anthony looking to relocate?

Killy........are ya'll buying a house?

You take your eye off the blog for a little bit and everything changes.

Passion vs Misery

So I made a list, two lists really -- in one column I wrote down all the things that make me feel passionate ... in the other I wrote all the things that make me miserable. Why? To figure out what I should be doing with my life, of course. Here it is:

PASSION
New ideas, creativity, helping others, teaching, forging mental connections with other people, presenting an interesting idea to a group, designing gardens, reading, learning, solving problems, physical activity, interacting with new people, places, ideas, & situations, fighting for a just cause, philosophy, living with integrity, hard work, teamwork, nature, water, plants, animals, growth, planting, planning ...

MISERY
Corporate America, rules without reason, micro managers, routines, lack of purpose, mundane tasks, menial labor, laziness, escapism, glib, glossy, & shallow interactions, greed, polite conversation, questions and answers that involve an utter lack of thought, blatant dishonesty, manipulation, wasting time ...

hmmmmm ... am I any closer to discovering what I should do with my life? I don't know ... still doesn't seem very clear. Am I missing something really obvious here? Probably.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Dress-Up

I vote for brainiac -- a cute nerdy little bow-tie would be really sweet, too ... but might not go over that well with the other kids -- hmmm, maybe stick with the v-neck and khakis ...
Beware the Ides of March!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Links To Your Left

I put some links on the left to the Amazing Image Uploader and to some other websites. Please give me more links.

Also, my changes made the template look like ass. Todd, can you help please?

Blarg.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

SPRING BREAK IS HERE!

I'm partial for the brainiac look, but the jock would be totally cute too!
I NEED PAUL'S WEBSITE!!!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2004

PABLO

Can you please re-post the link and instructions for using the amazing uploader thingy?
That would be super great!

Also,
DeVida says HI!

Also
How's the job

and hey

what happened to all the archives???
Is it just my computer or are they no longer accessible?

The new goings on about town.

Killito will be taking his first school pictures on Wednesday!!! Please submit your votes today.
Should he dress as a
1.) Jock - Tennies, running shorts, a Sports shirt of some sort and a baseball cap (all sports themes represented)
2.) Brainiac - V neck sweater, kakhis, sensible brown boot shoes (nothing really matches)
3.) Ladies' man - Dress Pants, Dress Shirt, Dress shoes, jewelry (think shiny, black/red combo)
4.) Ivy Leaguer - Polo Shirt, Sweater tied around his neck, slacks, boat shoes (think pastel)

I'm torn...

PABLO

Can you please re-post the link and instructions for using the amazing uploader thingy?
That would be super great!

Also,
DeVida says HI!

Also
How's the job

and hey

what happened to all the archives???
Is it just my computer or are they no longer accessible?

The new goings on about town.

Killito will be taking his first school pictures on Wednesday!!! Please submit your votes today.
Should he dress as a
1.) Jock - Tennies, running shorts, a Sports shirt of some sort and a baseball cap (all sports themes represented)
2.) Brainiac - V neck sweater, kakhis, sensible brown boot shoes (nothing really matches)
3.) Ladies' man - Dress Pants, Dress Shirt, Dress shoes, jewelry (think shiny, black/red combo)
4.) Ivy Leaguer - Polo Shirt, Sweater tied around his neck, slacks, boat shoes (think pastel)

I'm torn...

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Newspaper jobbies

Todd, don't you know Spanisch and Quarkish? Graphic Designer and Layout

Making DVDs


At adolph's instruction i tried to image one of the photoshop training videos. It won't work. Disk Utility in os x won't let me do it cause i don't have 'permission' and disk copy in os 9 won't do it cause it's too big (greater than 2 gigs).

Any suggestions? (besides copying it to a vhs tape - which is what i'll prolly end up doing if no one comes up with anything.)

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Happy YesterBirthday Todd!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Fog of War

Todd, Ryan and I went out to see Fog of War, a documentary about the infamous Vietnam era Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. It blew me away. I left the theatre with a huge headache, induced as much by the thoughts swirling in my head as by my poor vision.

also, here is some Good News For Todd.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Friday, March 05, 2004

Carolina's New Email Address

Carolina_Chavez@Hines.com is work.

I am also still at CarolinaDivina@Hotmail.com

Also,
Killito's email address is

KillitoDivino@Hotmail.com

Only send him CLEAN emails please.

Home Depot

I think Home Depot sells islands.
Typically they are usually off the coast of georgia, south carolina, florida, or oregon.
Buy a condo.

Google Ads

I'm glad Google knows what we are interested in:


Island Stoves

Hey Killy,
There is a stove fix-it place over by my place on Almeda. Island's, well you typically have to save up a few million megabux, but there are some in the world for sale. Ha, I'm joking, you can get them at Rent-A-Center, along with a giant screen TV, perfect for watching the game when you are supposed to be knocking down walls.

Small bathrooms in older houses? You are looking at the wrong older house. The house I grew up in (1920's) had a larger bathroom than the place I'm in now, which is so large that I've thought about moving into it. Then again, maybe I was just smaller in the memories of the house I grew up in, as my memory of the bathtub is that it was enormous.

Didn't you have something about a house that has been used, Killy?

The Question still Remains




So....

Are you farting less?

Yoplait - Products - Original

I started eating yogurt because Colin said Laura said it makes you fart less. I'm still scared of any flavor other than peach, but I've gown to have enough of a taste for peach that I have started to care about my yogurt packaging. This comes to mind because I just opened up a package of Archer Farms (Target grocery house brand) and it is the kind where it has a little resealable lid with a plastic seal underneath. Why is this? Do people really eat half a thing of yogurt and then cap it off, "mmm, mm, I'm full!" on 6 ounces of material? I know my grandmother reuses yogurt and cottage cheese plastic containers to hold chex mix and the like, but neither seems to present much of a business case for the additional packaging. I think this is why I appreciate Yoplait's minimal packaging. There is just a little foil seal at the top and voila, you're in and you aren't wondering "Do I keep this lid around in case I don't finish all 6 ounces?

The price of a house, variable; house hunting, priceless


Well, Amber the price of houses varies from place to place, from neighborhood to neighborhood, suburb to suburb. In the area that we are looking there are houses that range from 80,00 to however much we would like to pay, so there is a good spread. The houses we are looking at in Oak Forest are older houses, built in the fifties (i think the earliest i've seen was built in '48) which means that the bathrooms are generally smaller and located in the hallways rather than attached to any one bedroom. The idea of a 'master bath' simply doesn't exist unless the previous owners have updated it (and with updates come price increases).

For this reason alone, am i even remotely considering living a little further out so that i can get the larger bathroom that exists in more modern homes. I like big bathrooms, i hate small sinks. I hate having to wash my hands 'in sections, cause i can't fit my entire hand under the stream of water. I hate having to stretch un-naturally to reach the toilet paper while stiting down. I have lived in apartments too long.

Carol is adamant about living in the city. She hates the drive. I hate the drive myself but find my head spinning whenever she begins talking about the houses we've seen. Most conversations go like this:

Carol:"This kitchen is nice and big. There's plenty of room for us to put an island right here, and it's facing south so i can put an herb garden here (motions towards the windows)...

Killy (thoughts): What are islands made of? Wood? I guess i would have to somehow stick it to the floor, huh? I would have to change out the tile in the kitchen too. What kind of tile --- oh, i like that ceramic tile. How many sq ft is this kitchen? I wonder how much ceramic tile is per sq ft? How long would it take me to change out the tile? oh yeah, the island, would that have to be built? or could you just buy an island? I guess she would want drawers in the island to hold stuff. Jeez, this sounds like a lot of work, i wonder how long it would take me. Would i have to design the island, or can you just buy a pattern like those patterns you can buy at craft stores for clothes? I wonder if Wes would know how to build an island in a kitchen. Adolph's dad has an island in his kitchen. Was that there when they first bought their house? Did they build it? ------ What?

Carol: This oven is so cool! It doesn't work? Oh man, i would get this oven fixed. It's so beautiful.

Killy (thoughts): Who fixes ovens? How much would that be? Lessee, one island plus, changing the tile in the kitchen plus one fixed oven (so far) ---- huh?

Carol: This part could be a dining room....

and on and on and on it goes ... for every single part of the house. The bedrooms are too small, so what's the answer? "...we can just knock out this wall!"

Killy (thoughts): What does it take to knock out a wall? What if that part of the wall is holding up the ceiling? What about wiring? What about plumbing? Do any of my friends know how to do sheetrock? Ryan is in construction, but how often do i see him? Knocking down a wall seems pretty serious. Is it easy to do? I don't know how to knock down a wall.

and then the bathroom:

Carol: We can extend the bathroom in to this closet.

Killy (increasingly frustrated thoughs): Knock down another wall? Jeez, why don't we just knock down the whole fucking house and start over? That showerhead is way too low. Who lived here before we did? Were they oriental or what? pigmies? Why is the tile in the back corner crumbling? I guess that'll have to be taken care of too? I see a dead roach.

All of my thoughts are represented by a single grunt-like, "...eh..."

Housing costs

We have found some houses in the 110k and 130k price range for 1500 square feet, three beds and one bath. These are in a very good area, not prime retail spot, but still within the Loop (and a hop skip and a jump from the museum area). If you move out into the subdivisions, you could find a 2000 square foot 4bed 2.5bath 2garage home for 130k. But then you have at least an hour commute in Houston's famed traffic.

Houston's not too bad.

Houston Wind


Yesterday, Houston was awash in rain. The wind and the rain were so strong in the early part of the afternoon, that if you wanted to look out the 48th floor windows, you could actually see the building sway as you watched the traffic building up below. Also, if you were riding in the elevator during this time, the cars would screech and groan as they bumped their way up and down. If you were so inclined to be in the bathroom during a particularly strong wind, you could see the water moving in the toilets to and fro.
Hmmmmm.
Pretty scary stuff.

House Hunting

Killy, how much do 3 bdrms in Houston go for these days? The cheapest digs avail up here start at $300K and that's for a crappy 2 bdrm condo with a shoebox front yard 2 hours outside of the city -- it's tough to find anything larger than a 1-bdrm anywhere in a 1-hour radius of the NYC metropolitan area -- Texas is looking better by the minute ...

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Working!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I never realized...


how wholesome it felt to listen to a Beatles album. (Revolver)

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Morning Notes: Haiti

What a strange world we live in. I've been following the Haiti/Aristide thing through the lense of Pacifica Radio (KPFT) and last night caught some mainstream TV. In some ways, the situation in Haiti leads me to believe that NPR/BBC is remarkably limited in their world-view, neither's coverage seems very strong to me. The Charlie Rose show last night was excellent, mostly because Rose had someone who was actually from Haiti, partly because he had a broad range of viewpoints:

  • a Republican congressperson (representing the administration),
  • a former state department official (representing US government history),
  • a professor from Columbia University (representing US opposition), and
  • a radio journalist from Haiti (representing a knowledgable and intelligible Haitian).

One of the conversational gyres was the Columbia prof saying that the current administration was undermining Aristide by withdrawing aid as soon as it came in office. The congressman affirmed this and stated that the US stopped monetary aid because Aristide was embezzling it; however, other forms of aid to Haitians, like food aid, have never stopped. Rose asks the Haitian journalist if this was the case, and she basically confirms it.

The prof then went on about how the stopping of monetary aid was more than just that because it caused a financial payment crisis as the government couldn't pay debt without the cash aid. I missed the response to this, but the point seemed pedantic. Ultimately, if the point about Aristide's aid abuse was correct, then shutting it off would suck, but would be a more preferable method of affecting positive change than sending in the Marines guns-a-blazing.

The Pacifica coverage of the evening took a pretty hard-line stance that the US is supporting the opposition and basically abducted Aristide. One of the more interesting points of coverage is that Aristide's bodyguard was an American company, paid for by the US State Department. I'm thinking, what the hell? If the US is anti-Haiti and anti-Aristinde, why would they spend money on his bodyguards and why would he accept that kind of aid? It doesn't seem to make any sense.

In some ways I wonder if this is a sideshow for other things happening. Maybe it is a sideshow because it has been a pretty slow-news month. Maybe it is a less confusing alternative to attention paid to Venezuela, which is pretty confusing (Caracas Chronicles). Who are the bad guys? What is democracy? What is the purpose of government other than an alternative to anarchy?

Oh, and is there anything about the story of US Special Forces coming in to get Aristide at the Presidential residence that reminds anyone of Ghost Recon scenarios?

Dirt Waxes, Newness Wanes

The train stand by my place is no longer new. the grooves in the anti-slip pavement are browned with dirt, the platform edge's fascia is stained in blooms of mold or perhaps where most people step on or off. The funk is collecting fast, litter is present in the cars now, although Houston evil-doers have not yet learned how to scritch-scratch their messages into the plexiglas. There seems to be a bit more up and down vibration at the car picks up speed; it makes me feel somewhat seasick; I wonder how true the rail-bed will stay in Houston's shifting soil. They can hardly keep the streets from buckling in the heat and random subsidence. The train's internal sign points the wrong way to the exit at McGowen; the announcer lady still makes Bell Street sound like Bill. Despite it being the first night of the rodeo, the train is largely empty northbound at nine. The trains are running doubled up in anticipation of the traffic.

The Impotance of Being Jeezus.

????
The Passion Ends.
You are left with two thoughts in your head.
1. Wow that movie was violent..!!!!!
2. What am I supposed to think about this movie.
To expound on these thoughts.
1. Wow that Movie was violent...!!!
Unbelievable. First if this movie was accurate Jesus would have been dead long before they ever crucified him.
Second you are relieved when they do. Crucifixion seems like a holiday compared with the scourging.
2. What am I supposed to think about this movie.
This follows the premise that you are supposed to actually think at all.
Once the ultra-violence plays out you are pretty much left empty handed.
There is nothing to mull over or think about.
This isnt the Last Temptation. or a M. Night Shamalany movie.
He is resurrected and the movie is over.
That said the flip side is this.
The more you know the more you be able to percieve.
This is the movie adaptation of a book.
Actually it is the movie adaptation of the last chapter of a book.
No the second to last chapter of a book.
If you knew nothing of jesus this movie would make absolutley no sense.
No context.
Like flipping through channels on T.V. stopping on H.B.O. to watch the second to last episode of Sex in the City.
Then canceling your cable subscription then moving to an Amish community.
Two months later a tourist comes along and asks you.
"What do you think about Carrie Bradshaw?"

Saw it at the Alamo Drafthouse.
The chicken wings were awesome.
The Pizza was okay.
20 minutes into the movie the guilt overcame me and I stopped eating.

Why this picture is important




I was driving away from my mother's house and realized i had forgotten my ipod in the house. I had left it sitting on the cradle with the itrip attached while it played music to my stereo in the house. As i backed out of the driveway i realized that the radio was playing the music from my ipod. I drove away until i just barely started to lose reception; at that point i stopped and snapped a picture of my distance from the house. You may have to work a little bit to make out my mother's house through the wet window.

ohmigod

Oh My God, that is
SOOOOO
cute!

5x7 please

I would like a 5x7 of this one.
please send to:
800 Nelson #203a
Austin, TX 78703

DUDE

You are giving me stomach knots just talking about it. JJJeeeeezzz!!!!!!!!!!

A movie of the little doggie


Just a little slideshow for those of you who haven't seen a lot of adolfo iv lately.

The Search for a Home


Two weeks ago, it officially started. We walked into our credit union and applied for pre-approval on a home loan. The next day we heard back, we were 'approved'. This, of course, means next to nothing. There is still a myriad of paperwork and higher ups at the bank that we have to cross before we are given any real money; this only provides us with a certain degree of legitimacy. The rate we were given was better (almost 2 points better!) than i was calculating, which only means we can afford that much more of a house than i was expecting.

My stomach is in knots most of the time. I am having weird 'house shopping' dreams that leave me with a sense of dread, regret, and buyers remorse. I have gone over our budget time after time. I have been watching every penny that leaves our account. I have been fretting over paying bills promptly and fully.

We have been 'out' three times, with three different agents. We settled on the last agent, Cookie, from Keller-Williams Realty. She is located there in the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area and sells most of her homes in that area.

All in total we have seen 8 homes. Two were vetoed from the curb; i didn't even have to go inside. Two we vetoed as soon as the door was opened....

****

This past friday I had a catharsis; carol and i both had to make the very real decision of where we really wanted to live. At the end of it, we chose the Oak Forest area. We had put sugarland into the mix out of frustration of not seeing what we wanted in a house right out of the gate. We wanted a bigger bedroom, larger bathrooms, bigger kitchens...in essence, space. The houses we had seen up front were WAY too small for us and it was very frustrating to hear "..that's the way the houses are in this area..."

Immediately i was imagining scooting around my bed the way I was doing on Marconi St.; I was imagining the smell of old sewer pipes in my back yard...all the shit i've experienced living in old montrose apartments. I was frozen by a fear that i would end up with something like that.

Carol talked me down, as she so often does. We are looking every weekend till we find 'the' place. I figure we'll be doing this for a few months, if not most of this year... we'll see. I'm trying not to think of it too much. I'm just going with the flow....



This is a photo of the backroom of an otherwise nice little house. What a fucked up addition! This was one of th houses that i had also put into my 'maybe' file, but after thinking about how much work would go into cleaning up that extra space in the back...i was more reluctant.

My little cowboy


Monday, March 01, 2004

BLARG!