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Herveus rambles Below are 10 entries, after skipping 10 most recent ones in the "herveus" journal:

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December 19th, 2011
02:13 pm


taking the leap
plentiful rain falling
water draining into hole in ground
puddle gathering deeply
water seeks its level inexorably
pumps are my friend

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December 14th, 2011
11:46 am


Update on the house front
Well, the house buying and selling drags on, although the end should be in sight.

The bank that owns the house we want took longer than it should have to get the signed contract back to us. However, that has been done. An appraiser looked at our current house today and promises a report in the hand of our bank by Friday. It may be possible that we sign the paperwork to refinance our home equity loan on Friday that will give us the cash Right Now to go to settlement on the new house. Before Christmas. Perhaps Monday or Tuesday.  Please!

Meanwhile, the buyers are being a bit goofy. They have to show the existence of the cash to go to settlement, but the money disappeared from the account it was shown in earlier. WTF? It is conceivable that they could be ready to settle before Christmas, but at worst they have until the 30th or else.

On the "excitement" front, after the deluge (what's a cubit?), the crawl space was flooded. Fortunately, that was because the circuit breaker for the sump pump was turned off. Oops. An hour and a half to two hours later, the sump pump ran out of water to pump. That's a relief.

So, we still have hope to own a new house by Christmas, but it will be close.

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November 14th, 2011
02:21 pm


We've got to get out of this place...
The house echoes. The acoustics of an empty house with no carpeting (save for the stairs) are very lively.

The putative buyers asked for an extension to the middle of December. We've said yes with strings made of negotiable instruments. We await their reply. Meanwhile, the house is officially on the market. Today, we had a showing to someone who had come through back in the summer before the contract was proffered. We'll see if they are interested.

Meanwhile, in order to not lose the opportunity to purchase the house we have increasingly become attached to, we have spoken with our Credit Union about creative ways to approach financing the new house that don't rely on the cash from selling the current house. Plan A foundered on the difficulty of getting some of the required signatures in a timely manner. Plan B involves going with a 95% 30-year loan instead of the 80% 15-year loan we were going for. Less cash at the settlement table is the name of the game. We await the approval of the PMI issuer, and I scramble to locate the requisite (though smaller) pile of cash needed to settle. This is not a solicitation. :)

I am expecting (hoping!) to be able to settle either Friday (18 Nov) or Monday (21 Nov). These appear to be realistic expectations at this time.
Meanwhile, we had an open house both days this weekend. Our realtor left the "OPEN" sign up in the front yard overnight. Sunday morning, I heard the front door open. A couple, out for a walk, saw the sign, and tried the (unlocked) front door. They were visiting their daughter who lives down the street, and are considering a move to our neck of the woods to be nearer the grandchildren. We showed them around the house and got them to sign the Open House roster so our realtor can get back to them. It was amusing, at the least.

If this all works out as (currently) planned, we will have time to do some of the work on the new house without having to vacate the current house completely (although if someone makes an offer with a short fuse to settlement, we will accomodate gladly). December looks to be right crazy. Christmas will be interesting.

This entry was originally posted at http://herveus.dreamwidth.org/105814.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

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October 17th, 2011
11:16 am


What a weekend
We arranged a container to be placed in our driveway. It's not from PODS; it's from United-Mayflower, and seemed to be of superior quality while being less expensive that PODS. Clearly, the container is meant to be stacked several high, judging from the corner posts.

It's about 1000 cubic feet of space. We spent all day Saturday trying to fill it. Michelle took the lead on the 3-D Tetris problem. The rest of us schlepped boxes and furniture and loaded boxes (sometimes of specific, requested sizes). The end of Saturday found it with something on the order of 75 cubic feet to go. Sunday afternoon was occupied with getting that down to 20 or so (number chosen more for illustrative value than objective accuracy).

Sunday morning was occupied by the formal inspection of the new place. No red flags rose, but, unsurprisingly, there are a couple of items that need prompt, professional attention. The crawl space is quite muddy; we'll want to get that dried out and properly treated promptly. It's probably been that way for quite some time, but all the same. Also, the furnace in the garage/apartment is shot. The inspector could see a crack in the heat exchanger (parted seam), so it's time for a new one. It's old enough to be not astonishing. We found that the house has a high-efficiency gas furnace. The "flue" pipe is PVC (and it has an air intake outside as well). If you look at the pictures of the rear corner of the house, you will see two PVC pipes sticking out of the roof that don't look right for sewer vents. They are the furnace intake and outflow. We also found that the electrical service is suitably heavied-up and does not need work. There are wrinkles, including open grounds on some outlets, but nothing ZOMG!

We were figuring on dropping a moderate chunk of change on repairs; we now know where it will be spent first.

We won't do near that justice to the second box, but we will need it for the stationary shop tools and tables and whatever else we can wedge in there. Hmmm...maybe we have the second box be the last minute thing that we have moved to the new location for immediate unloading. We also have the trailer to load up with stuff.

I'd like to thank lowen_kind (from LJ) for coming down to help out. Kurt and Michelle and Topher; Craig and Elizabeth and Patty for helping out as they were each able. Finally, I'd like to thank Evan and Sallie for spending the whole weekend helping out. We could not have gotten the work done without  all of their various contributions.

Moving forward, I need to finish up in the shop (which is now mostly lumber and heavier tools and equipment) and we have stuff in the garage.

I'm expecting to get another bin in place for this next weekend, and a few strong backs will be welcome.

Moving farther forward, we are supposed to take possession of the new house on 28 October. We plan an orgy of carpet removal for Friday evening before we get too much stuff inside. There will probably be the ritual replacement of hardware on the doors. We aim to paint a couple of bedrooms immediately so we can settle in to them before we disgorge too much stuff from storage bins. I don't expect to get too carried away with unloading until the first weekend in November.

Oh, yeah, I need to call the various utilities and get things changed. For better or worse, we don't change water, gas, electric, or phone companies. Just new addresses.

This entry was originally posted at http://herveus.dreamwidth.org/105659.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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October 12th, 2011
03:25 pm


Home inspection follies...
So the buyer finally arranges the home inspection. We get the report. I haven't seen it yet, but to say my wife is livid would be a monumental understatement.

Among the gems was the characterization of the dryer as "aged" (I think meaning "will need repair or replacement within five years"). The dryer was installed in August. Or was it July. New.

If the inspector can't get that right, how can we trust other evaluations? Really.

I suspect that the response to a number of items will be "and your point is?" Is the appliance in working order?



Now I've had a chance to read the report. Can you say sloppy? Can you say "can't spell simple words"? Words like "caulk" and "deferred". Can't tell the difference between swollen drywall and nail pops? 

The number of details that are wrong is amazing. Yeah, he called out some legitimate things, but the quantity of bovine fecal matter is astonishing. 

The short form is that we need the chimney cleaned (no surprise there). The sump pump doesn't. I need to do a bit of work tacking down some loose siding and trim painting. Nothing drastic.

This entry was originally posted at http://herveus.dreamwidth.org/105284.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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October 11th, 2011
10:51 am


Moving forward on house foo...

The bank has finally ratified and accepted our offer to purchase 9219 Greenwood Lane, Lanham, MD. Google Maps has street level pictures that are accurate. I've put several dozen photos of insides and outsides over on PhotoBucket. The album is: s84.photobucket.com/albums/k31/herveus/9219%20Greenwood%20Lane/

We have a moving container scheduled to arrive on Thursday. I'm hoping to have enough bodies with strong backs to get a bunch of stuff in to the bin including some stationary tools from the shop. I'm offering food and beverage to thems what are able to help out.

In the meantime, I need to spend more quality time in that shop working on looms while I can. Then comes packing up the shop. Ugh.

Less than three weeks to settlement. This entry was originally posted at http://herveus.dreamwidth.org/105033.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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October 5th, 2011
05:55 pm


The afternoon update...the dove brought an olive branch?
We are reliably informed that the listing agent has changed the status of the property to "under contract", although that hasn't propagated to all the listings, so you can see it below:


Still no formal word from the bank that they have accepted our offer, but...

Meanwhile, the buyer has not yet arranged the inspection. If we were so inclined, we could claim breach of contract and keep the earnest money, but then we wouldn't have a buyer, and that would be worse. It appears that the problem is being worked on.
This entry was originally posted at http://herveus.dreamwidth.org/104883.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Current Mood: crankycranky

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September 23rd, 2011
12:40 pm


House foo
We have a properly executed contract on our current house. Yay! Settlement on 28 October, circumstances permitting.

We tendered an offer on another property last night. We await the seller's acceptance.

The prospetive new house is only a two bedroom house, but there is a detached two car garage with an apartment above. Daniel has called dibs on the apartment, and we're playing along. The garage will be my workshop. It has separate utility drops from the house. There is also a substantial shed (large enough to be a one car garage) that will hold a bunch of stuff. The garage apartment has a large deck beneath which is pavement well suited for stashing our trailer. The driveway will hold something like ten or twelve cars at once.

We anticipate an orgy of carpet removal right away as we get the bedrooms worked over. Electrical heavy-up is clearly indicated. The breaker box does not have a main cutoff. It's almost certainly a 60 amp service, 1950s original equipment. I don't yet know what is under the carpets. It may be hardwood; it not then it will become hardwood.

The kitchen is roughly comparable to what we have now minus the island. The appliances are up-to-date and the plan is open. The kitchen flows right into a dining area and then into a large room on the back that opens out on the patio on two sides. The front room has a real fireplace. It has windows on the driveway end that are a bit odd. They go floor-to-ceiling as if the opening had sliding doors once.

We'll need to get the fence completed (meaning a gated driveway) so we can turn Chocolate loose in the back yard.

The new house is in Lanham, at 9219 Greenwood Lane. It's just off 450. The lot is .40 acres -- somewhat larger than we have currently, so I'll have more lawn to mow. I think it's got useful potential, and we see some ways to enlarge the house a bit.

We're going over on Tuesday to examine more closely, take pictures, and measure the crap out of it.

This entry was originally posted at http://herveus.dreamwidth.org/104490.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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September 16th, 2011
08:59 pm


Real estate transactions in process...
We signed the contract tonight. Now it needs to get a few more initials and dates from the buyer to be completely official, but it looks like we will become homeless before Halloween.

We have four properties we want to look at on Sunday. One appears to have an apartment over the garage. All appear to be reasonable at first glance. We have another four or five to look at another time or two. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the packing can commence. The shop and the garage will be particularly "interesting". I figure I have a week or three to get some woodworking done, but then I'll have to pack down in earnest. 

But first, Storvik Birthday. I've got a case of homebrew with me for sharing. 
This entry was originally posted at http://herveus.dreamwidth.org/104335.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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September 9th, 2011
09:35 am



Rules: Bold all of the following TV shows which you've ever seen 3 or more episodes of in your lifetime. Underline a show if you're positive you've seen every episode of it. If you want, add up to 3 additional shows (keep the list in alphabetical order), but you must delete one show for each one that you add.

30 Rock
7th Heaven
American Gothic
Arrested Development
Babylon 5
Babylon 5: Crusade
Batman: The Animated Series
Battlestar Galactica (the old one)
Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
Beavis & Butthead
Beverly Hills 90210
Blake’s 7
Bosom Buddies
Boston Legal
Boy Meets World
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Chappelle's Show
Charlie's Angels
Commander in Chief
Cowboy Bebop
Crossing Jordan
CSI: Miami
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dark Angel
Dark Skies
DaVinci's Inquest
Dawson's Creek
Dead Like Me
Deadliest Catch
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Designing Women
Desperate Housewives
Dharma & Greg
Different Strokes
Doctor WhoDragnet
Due South
Everybody Loves Raymond
Facts of Life
Family Guy
Father Ted
Fawlty Towers
Get Smart
Ghost Whisperer
Gilligan's Island
Gilmore Girls
Grey's Anatomy
Grange Hill
Growing Pains
Happy Days
Hercules: the Legendary Journeys
Highlander: The Raven
Hogan's Heroes
Homicide: Life on the Street
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Invader Zim
Hell's Kitchen
Kim Possible
Kung Fu
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
La Femme Nikita
LA Law
Laverne and Shirley
Law and Order: SVU
Lie to Me
Little House on the Prairie
Lizzie McGuire
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Lost in Space
Malcolm in the Middle
Married... With Children
Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission: Impossible
Mod Squad
Mork & Mindy
Murphy Brown
My Life As A Dog
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
Ned Bigby's Declassified School Survival Guide
One Tree Hill
Perry Mason
Power Rangers
Prison Break
Project Runway
Quantum Leap
Queer As Folk (US)
Queer as Folk (UK)
Red Dwarf
Remington Steele
Rescue Me
Road Rules
Saved by the Bell
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Seaquest DSV
Sex and the City
Six Feet Under
Slings and Arrows
So Weird
South Park
Spongebob Squarepants
Square Peg
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Enterprise
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Starsky & Hutch
Teen Titans
That 70's Show
That's So Raven
The Addams Family
The Amazing Race
The Andy Griffith Show
The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Brady Bunch
The Cosby Show
The Daily Show
The Dead Zone
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Golden Girls
The Honeymooners
The Jeffersons
The Jetsons
The L Word
The Love Boat
The Magnificent Seven
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Monkees
The Munsters
The O.C.
The Office (UK)
The Office (US)
The Pretender
The Real World
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Three's Company
Twin Peaks
Twitch City
V (2009)
Veronica Mars
Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
Will and Grace
Xena: Warrior Princess

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