seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy


Miscellaneous topics

Settling In

Michelle and I are settling into our new home. I'm sitting on the couch, watching Watchmen with Michelle. Looking out on the street, greatly enjoying the view. Banjo seems to have settled although he is not yet ready to poop in the backyard. To be fair, neither am I...

Photos coming soon, or so I keep telling myself.

Home Owner

It is official - Michelle and I own a home. We closed on Monday, started moving our stuff and will complete the move over the weekend. Exciting!! We have already met several of the neighbors - a very friendly block it seems. Photos to follow.

Checking In

Haven't had much time for blogging lately. I'm on some deadlines - running out of time before the insane Fall season. Need to prepare to move, organize my hard drives to prepare for the data onslaught, and enjoy some time before everything changes!

So even though I'm not blogging much, I am doing well. Just went to ValleyFair for the first time in over 10 years and loved the roller coasters - it was great to go (wish Michelle could have come) - Gina, Perry, Kimmi, and I along with Gina's younger brother and a friend of his. Good times.

Housing Appraisals, Age of Kings, and Upcoming Events

For those who wondered about our judgment when the house Michelle and I wanted to buy had an appraisal that came in alarmingly below what we thought the house was worth, MPR has a story about appraisals and suggests that low-ball appraisals are becoming common as a cover-your-ass reaction to the housing bubble in previous years.

However, everything is lined for another house that we really like. I like the location of the new house better but the yard in the first house was definitely bigger and better suited for the doggie dog dog. It would have been nice to be moved in by now, but whatever - we should be pretty well unpacked by the end of August. It is going to be a rough late summer and fall.

In other news, the Orf and I reconnected over the weekend to play some Age of Kings. I hadn't played in many years but we discussed the good ole times while in Portland last week and I realized how much I needed a break from my normal busy life. Kim and Michelle laughed at us as we played games for hours at a time, chatting with each other over an open skype connection. Whatever, it was awesome.

I have some photog gigs this week. I typically have few gigs in the summer when I try to decompress from the insane fall and spring schedules (and catch up on photo processing). But I'm looking forward to some youth soccer on Wed night.

I'm heading off this weekend to see Andrea and Greg get married. They are great together and I'm excited to again see Andrea's parents, sister, and the best dog ever. On the way back, I'll be stopping in Brainerd for a car race that I'll be shooting for one of the racers. I have not yet shot auto racing, so it will be some on-the-job learning.

Portland and Portland

Last night, I flew into Portland and Adam picked me up at the airport. Had a good day today, got some work done, prepped for the presentation on Friday and am now waiting for Russ and Lisa to come by for Lebanese food before we all head out to the latest Harry Potter movie.

In other Portland news, the house that Michelle and I are buying is one step closer to being ours (and is located on Portland Ave)! Apparently the appraisal came back with plenty of margin so it looks like all our financing is wrapped up. Weeee hoooooo!

Post Arkansas Roundup

We have returned. Kimmi, daddYman, and I drove to Chicago to pick up daddYman's sister Nina (pronounced neener) and then down to Berryville in Arkansas to visit daddYman's brother (Seanly) and family friend Kriste-le. Good times were had by all! Pinball, poker, good food, and lots of conversations and memories. Can't miss... especially when the weather cooperates by staying below 100.

It was a pretty durn good 4th - especially as Seanly and I, occasionally abetted by daddYman, solved the world's problems. It turns out that some of the solutions involve minding your own damn business. As for the other solutions, well, we came to no consensus.

I got some photo editing in and showed off some photos to Kriste-le and Nina. Now we are back in town and back at work. If you want to read a recent op-ed I wrote and was publishing in a paper in West Virginia, check out my new work site, You can also see a recent interview I did about the site.

In other news, Michelle and I completed another house inspection today. She has details on her blog about the new house. The other house fell through after the appraisal came through way lower than expected, leading us to realize we could not finance that house. The appraisal was low, somewhat absurdly so, but there was little we could do so we had to move on. If someone gets that house for anything near the appraised value, they are lucky lucky people.

Housing Hoopla

Michelle and I have been looking at houses for a few weeks - maybe 2 months? One week ago, we saw one that we really liked so we made an offer and went through all the paperwork and such and inspection and blah blah blah.

The end result - Michelle and I bought a house. We'll be closing on July 15. Michelle has all the details - for those who aren't "in the know," Michelle's blog is a better place to follow for details of our life. I am always way behind ... breaking news for me is generally weeks after it happened.

I think we will be moving out of the apartment approximately 7 years to the day after I moved in. I'll miss this place - not only was the landlord great, but the location is unbeatable. Close to 94, next to a corner store. Good bar and coffee shops within 1 block. Taste of Thailand two blocks away. Good neighbors (especially upstairs with a small dog).

So if you know someone looking for a two bedroom apartment, send them my way.

Face Lift

You may have noticed that I made some changes to my blog. I never really liked the old design and I needed to, once again, update the code behind it. Over the past 2 weeks, I took some time to design a new theme that I liked much more. I'll be adding some new features over the next couple of weeks/months.

In the meantime, please leave some comments with any problems or suggestions you have. Thanks.

Back in the NBA

I'm writing this while watching the NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic. I don't know that I've watched an NBA game in 15 years. I'd been really down on it, but figured I needed to see Lebron James play as so many are already calling him the greatest player ever. The dude is huge.

It is better than I remember it. Maybe is just the Cavs, but they play defense. The refs have called the travels I saw and I don't see many of the tendencies that drove me away. That said, I still like college ball better - mostly because of the longer shot clock maybe.

Aside from tuning into the game, I've doing a lot of web work - between a site I am designing for work, the main work site, and my personal site (which I have nearly completed - prepare for a launch soon).

Michelle and I had a great long Memorial Day weekend - I spent Thursday at my parents' place after Michelle developed a painful migraine and couldn't leave the apartment. Got some landscaping done. On Friday we headed up to her parents' place and enjoyed our time, although Banjo went a little crazy here and there, attacking Pokey for no reason.

Since then, Michelle and I have been house-hunting, hoping to find something we really like that fits into our budget. We currently have 2 candidates but nothing definite.

Good TV News!

Michelle and I have started watching a little more TV in 2009 with the addition of Dollhouse and Castle - two great shows that cater to our love of both Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion. I suspected that both would be canceled, because it inevitably seems like shows that appeal to us never garner enough eyeballs for networks to keep running them.

Well, it looks like we picked a couple of winners this time! Not only are they both supposedly coming back, but apparently Scrubs is back for another couple of episodes!

In other news, I may be updating this website code this weekend, so don't be surprised if things stop working here and there from time to time.

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