howeird: (Default)
This morning's adventures started with gassing up the car, expecting price gouging on this travel-fest of a weekend, but it was the same price as last fill-up. Onward to the new place, with an automotive dolly (the 4-wheeled thing which mechanics lie on to slide under a car). I used my super-human strength to lift the 6-foot-tall pressboard cabinet onto it, and started to wheel it through the archway into the kitchen, which is when I discovered it is taller than the archway. Even without being on a dolly. So I walked it down to the floor, pushed it through and then walked it up against the kitchen wall, shoving it into place, making sure it cleared the archway on the right and the kitchen light switch was still accessible on the left.

The space which it occupied was originally the place to hang clothing as it came out of the dryer. It will soon be the place where the litter box goes.

Then I measured the width of the spring-loaded window shade which I thought I needed two of. 45".  Took a look at the blue patch which I painted on top of the Affirmation, in full light I could no longer see the lettering. I guess those extra two coats did the trick. No need to buy thicker paint. Tossed the roller and pan and put the small paint can in one of the laundry room cabinets. 

Jotted down the model number of the TV Which Must Go Away. Looked it up online and it's a 43-inch rear-projection HD-ready TV with the matching "stand not included". 

End of Round 1 for today

Next, the hunt for window shades and other stuff.

Lowe's, returned 2 of the 3 keypad locks, and the two dummy door knobs. They had brought in a series of those lane-marker ribbon stands which made one line perpendicular to the registers, but there were not nearly enough customers or cashiers to justify it. All it did was obstruct.

Next stop, Home Despot. They had the door knobs I wanted, and a re-keying kit which was supposed to work with the brand of locks in the house. Also got four Scripto BBQ lighters on sale, they did not have the kind of window shades I wanted. On impulse I walked the cart through the outdoor plants section, and found a little Kiffir lime tree, just the right size. The leaves are a very strong and delicious spice. The fruit not so much.

Then Target. They didn't have any window shades either. Nor did OSH.

Somewhere in there the movers called to confirm the date & time, and let me know I had 3 days to cancel or change without a penalty.

Back to the apartment for some relax time with Domino.

And then to the house, armed with a page from the furnace service guide which has a better picture of the pilot light location than is on the furnace. The Scripto lighter got it first try, and the heater kicked in about 3 minutes after I tweaked the thermostat. The fan is NOISY.  While I was having a gas, I tested the oven, and it works. Pilot light was on, or electric spark-lit. The burners have the sparker.

Set the temps on the fridge and its freezer, they were a bit low. Discovered the unit has an ice maker section, but it doesn't have the mechanism, just the plastic piece. Two ice cube trays can fit into the pull-out tray, I think.

Next chore was re-mounting the window shade. Turns out it just needed to be wound up. Put the left side into the holder and rolled up the shade with the right side loose, then inserted the right side into the holder. Tedious, but it worked.

The livingroom door was the next victim. Turns out the re-key device only works on a certain model of Kwikset locks, which these were not.
So...

Removed the knobs with the keyhole/lock and replaced it with a pair of keyless knobs. Easy, because they made it so the screws stay attached. The kitchen door was more of a challenge because the deadbolt was set too high for the hole in the door frame, so first I had to remove the keyed knob/lock and move the deadbolt to its place. Lining up the screw holes was a summer festival. Took about an hour. But putting in the dummy knobs was easy, having done it once, and not caring that it doesn't latch all the way as long as the deadbolt works.

Whew!

Looked for a place to put the lime tree. We're not allowed to plant anything in the ground, and the most obvious place was on the wide cement strip on the left side of the house, but the two water hoses are at the opposite corners. So it's next to the driveway, on the right, where there is a narrow strip which used to have shrubbery but now just has square spaces filled with bark. One of these days I will get a large wooden tub or some such and some mulch and transplant the tree, but for now it's fine the way it is.

Done for the nonce, time for a Starbucks visit. The place was almost deserted. Everyone must be out shopping. Or just out. Checked online and found Ender's Game was playing at the local AMC in an hour. I figured there would be crowds for Hunger Games and a blockbuster Bollywood film, and Frozen and I would have the theater to myself. Almost. Movie start is listed for 5:55, at 10 minutes before it was about 10% full, I got a good seat in the back row center. But by the time the trailers were done half an hour later, we were up to about 80%.

Title Mash-ups:
Ender's Hunger Game of Thrones
Frozen Thor
Philomena The Book Thief

Mini-review with possible spoilers under the cut:

Technically it is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. Superior camera work all around. The most amazing thing about most of the special effects is they did not look special. They looked real. Makeup followed the first rule of makeup - make it look like no one is wearing any. Ben Kingsley's Maori face tattoo looked real. Same comment about audio. And about the acting. In the whole movie I missed maybe 2 words. The only gripe I have about the audio is they pushed the bass a bit too much when the rockets blasted off, but it wasn't distorted, just loud. Costumes are mostly jumpsuits, no challenge there but well done. The battle suits were also understated but made sense.

This was not the Ender's Game I read in college. They changed the name of the enemy. I don't remember as much happening on Earth in the book as there is in the movie. I don't remember as much bullying of Ender. And they left out his real name, and how he really came to be called Ender. One thing they did get right was they didn't telegraph that the final simulation was the for real war.

And I don't remember the final scenes being on a former Bad Guys planet. And I'm pretty sure the final scene in the movie is actually the the start of the sequel, Speaker For The Dead. Which I hope to Hugo is not made into a movie, because the rest of the series is a self-deprecation suckfest.  

But despite any changes, it worked as well as or better than the original.

Home, dinner was a pair of sausages, a can of corn with lotsa spices plus margarine, sauerkraut and grey poop-on. While watching Restaurant Stakeout. 

Plans for tomorrow:
Try on my suit jackets, and the ones which don't fit go to Goodwill. Also cull my costumes. I'll keep the train engineer and one set of scrubs, but Elvis is leaving the building. That one will be dumpstered because I made the mistake of gluing on some very fine gold glitter, and it gets everywhere.
Pull out all my suitcases, keep my favorite one and the rest go to Goodwill
If I am feeling energetic, box up my camping equipment and my dishes and coffee cup collection.
It's about time to start boxing up my files. Need to hit an office supply store for boxes. U-Haul's are horrible. Also need some packing paper.

Tradeoffs

Nov. 28th, 2013 12:33 am
howeird: (Default)
Worked from home this morning, was able to finish two online classes before it was time to pack up Kaan and bring him to the Humane Society. The call it "surrender" but I prefer "recycle".

I will miss him. He is by far the most affectionate cat I have ever owned. Also the fastest, strongest, best jumper (had to shoo him off the top of the piano last night) and the only one who ever played fetch.

But balancing that out, Domino hated him at first sight. In his efforts to befriend Domino, he ended up bullying and terrorizing her. Lately his way of trying to get her to play with him was to take a running start from a room away, and leapfrog her.  When she went into her hidy hole, he would park himself in front of it. He would also block the bedroom door, keeping her out.

I had to keep the bedroom door closed at night because he would wake me at 6 am to play fetch. Or when I was asleep he would curl up against my back so I couldn't roll over. But I will miss him curling up by my head, or in the crook of my arm when I was in the recliner watching TV. And I will miss his head butts.

I'm sure he will be adopted quickly. When I brought him to the Humane Society HQ, they said the Sunnyvale branch where I had adopted him had requested he be sent to them again. They missed him.

I was hungry and hypo so I stopped off at IHOP for lunch. They have lost their touch making the multigrain & nut pancakes. They don't hold together. Used to.
At work I fired up the webcam app and saw that Domino had reclaimed the recliner.


And when I got home, she pwned me


She was on my lap or the arm of the recliner most of the time I was sitting there. As usual she sat in front of my while I ate dinner, staring at me. :-(

Her evening dose of kitty crack went mostly uneaten, probably because there was no Kaan to keep it away from.

Stopped off at Lowe's on the way home, spent about $400, mostly on three electronic keypad deadbolt door locks. One of them will be returned if the re-keying kit they gave me works with the one keypad lock already in the new house.

Bought some Goof-off for helping remove the Jesus sticker (I don't think anyone in CA sells lighter fluid anymore, [livejournal.com profile] lemmozine), and some plastic wood in case I need to drill new holes for the out-of-alignment strike plate. And a combination lock for the missing one on the small shed. I need to look into having those sheds removed and a new one installed. Major $$, though.

I am so sad for one of my team mates. He is a new dad, and lived in a motel for a couple of months while his wife was with her family having the baby, while he scouted out a new apartment. His biggest complaint about the old one was the noise (it overlooked the expressway & freeway). He says the new apartment is worse. :-(

Plans for tomorrow:
New house:
Drop off the rent check
Take "before" photos
Remove the Jesus sticker
Paint over the Jesus calligraphy
Install two of the keypad door locks, and their accompanying dummy door knobs
Try to re-key the third door. Replace the keypad if that doesn't work
Check to see if the satellite dish has been removed
Put a lock on the small shed
Take "after" photos
Back to the apartment, bake a pair of turkey legs, make dressing. Maybe buy an onion somewhere for that.
Watch some football
howeird: (Default)
Wednesday Marilee of Alliance Manufactured Homes gave me printouts for two homes in Willow Ranch Park, a 55+ community of 236 spaces, about 5 miles from where I work. In the interim I sent her financial items and identified which mutual fund to sell for a downpayment. Today I brought the final form, and she drove us out to take a look. She also had found one more listing in the park new today. All three had advertised open houses today at 1.

The first one already had a "sale pending" sign on it, and was not viewable. The second one we went to was the new listing, a 3Br 2ba double-wide built 15 years ago. The owner was home, but there was no scheduled open house. However, she (Bobbi) invited us in, and after some chatting in the kitchen (she was making kale chips) she gave us The Tour. She is still very much still living there, is the original owner, and has kept it in great shape. The appliances apear new and top of the line,  and it's very roomy. Big livingroom, wide steps to the livingroom door will make it easy to move in the piano. Fully carpeted, laundry room is inside but off to the side. Lots of closet space, a storage shed at the back of the carport. No lawn, no view, but a front porch suitable for mint juleps. It was 85° outside but comfortable inside even without air conditioning.

Next stop was down the road a bit, a 2Br 1Ba which also wasn't having an open house but the owner let us tour it while he went out for a walk. Not very well taken care of, it was only a notch better than a trailer. He has already packed everything up and is living with just the essentials - TV, computer, couch.

I really liked the first one we saw. When we got back to her office I told Marilee I wanted to make an offer. The listed price was fine, a good $20k less than others in its class. I was a little taken by surprise that she needed a 3% deposit (I don't have that much in my checking account) but I do have ore than enough in my brokerage cash account to cover that. We did the paperwork for the loan, and the plan was for me to go home and print a check while she went home before her next appointment at 4. It was a little after 2.

Home, I printed a check and also logged into the brokerage account and placed an order to sell one of my mutual funds, which will cover most of the downpayment. I have to call them tomorrow to mail me a check for the deposit plus another $5k to complete the downpayment. Drove back and dropped off the check.

Home, watched football.

The timeline goes like this:
By Friday confirm for her that there is enough in my checking to cover the deposit.
Need seller approval (maybe tomorrow)
Loan approval within 10 days
Park approval after that
Health & safety inspections are done somewhere in there. I'll pay for the inspections, Bobbi pays for any required repairs. I doubt there will be any.
Escrow closes in 45 days or so ( we are targeting 11/30)
My current lease is not up till 1/24/2014, which means if I move out before then I will owe them rent through that date unless someone rents the apartment.
Bobbi is nowhere near close to being able to pack up and leave, so this is probably mutually beneficial.

Interesting things about Bobbi's home:
On the windows by the doors are signs declaring this to be a profanity-free household. I don't effing swear, so that works for me.
The whole wall alongside the fireplace holds a collection of crosses from around the world.
Above the bedroom which serves as her office, she has had a calligrapher paint a Christian affirmation
The kitchen walls have small picture snippets painted by a very good 3-D artist. One makes it look like there is a tear in the wall and a brick wall behind it.
The kitchen has a central island, and she had rigged a cookware holder hanging from the ceiling a few feet above it. Very handy, very French Cheffy.

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