Thursday, September 29, 2005

Spam Comments

For the few of you who comment on this blog you will notice a new addition to the comment form. It will ask you to verify the word that is printed in the window before your comment will be added. I'm getting tired of deleting spam comments every time I post, so this should thwart those wiley comment-bots.

Boy oh boy what a ride!

I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would break the silence. It's been a roller-coaster ride the past two weeks, but now that it's over I feel like I can address everything that went down. The last day I posted I hinted at some of the issues associated with the loan that had come up. They were all annoying but not insurmountable. It usually involved me having to fax over some piece of information to verify this or that. But on Monday the 19th a bomb got dropped on us. The bank told us they could not give us a loan for the house. This happened 5 days before we were supposed to close, and on the actual loan commitment deadline. We were devastated. By the end of the day we had a single long-shot to go on, but were not going to be able to make the commitment deadline, meaning our earnest money ($2500) would have been lost if we could not buy the house. We were assured that by Tuesday we would have an answer yes or no. Needless to say having this all happen well after it should have (all the problems we were having were immigration related and should have been caught during the pre-approval stage) got Melissa all riled up and she started kicking butt and taking names. By the end of Tuesday the answer was no, but another option had become a possibility. Our original loan could not happen but the bank was willing to try to push through a different loan (which ordinarily would have required a 25% down payment for non-permanent residents) with our 5%. But we would have to wait until Wednesday. Finally Wednesday came and we got the new loan. Being completely jaded by the whole process, I was not willing to count on anything anything until the keys were in my hands. That happened yesterday. So now having lost our hopes and dreams, worked through anger and depression, lived with cautious optimism, and moved-out, closed and moved-in in a single day, we can proudly say that through it all we survived an are now homeowners.

Looking back at it now I can see the hand of God moving in all of it. God saved this house for us, it was on the market for months before we saw it at a higher asking price. God got the loan for us, if the immigration issue had been caught at the beginning of the process we could not have got a loan at all and would not have been able to even look at houses. Because the bank messed it up they were willing to go out on a limb to get us the loan we got. I have learned a lot about the way God works through the past few months. He gives us blessings and miracles everyday, but never hands them to us on a silver platter. Like a good Father He wants us to learn and grow from every experience. This means that He will always have his will done in the end, even if we have to do some of the legwork. Would we have got the loan without Melissa's complaints? Would I have got this job if I had applied for it right away? Would I have been able to take this job on our current visa if I didn't know what I've learned about immigration through our time here? Probably not. All of these issues we've had have been God's design. It's easy to forget about your faith when everything goes your way, it's only in the hard times that we really remember who is in charge. Needless to say I will be asking my saviour to bless our house tonight with a dram of Ardbeg; one of God's gifts for another.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bluetooth Kicks Ass

On another note, I got a new phone this week. My old one was two years old, and Verizon allows you to get a $100 credit on a new phone when you sign another two year contract. So It gives you a little scratch to buy the more expensive models. I bought the Motorola E815, which I have been waiting more than two years for. When I bought my laptop in March of 2003 it came equipped with the ability to communicate wirelessly with Bluetooth enabled devices. But when it came time to get my new phone the last time, Verizon still had no Bluetooth enabled phones. So I went without. It turned out to be fairly good timing, because soon after Verizon picked up the Motorola V710, which was Bluetooth equipped, but hamstrung into only accepting connections from a Bluetooth headset. This phone turned out to be one of Verizon's biggest fiascos in the geek community, as Verizon kept stating that they would release a software upgrade that would allow the V710 to communicate with computers, but they never did. The end result was a phone that would not do anything you would want a Bluetooth device to do, mainly sync contact and calendar information wirelessly with your computer. Earlier this year the E815 was released and has had not much but rave reviews. The Bluetooth is now functional, and can be used to sync with your computer. Of course Verizon states that this is only possible with the purchase of their connection kit, but those of us blessed with an Apple computer can accomplish this seamlessly with iSync, which comes with the computer.

Anyway, I was happy to have a new toy and I was all set for a day of geekdom setting up the phone with the computer. Unfortunately, Apple foiled my plans and within 5 minutes I had set up the phone and synced all my contacts and calendar info. It was too easy. It works absolutely perfectly, every time I change a contact or appointment on my computer with one click it's on my phone too. And the opposite is also true, with one click all contacts I've added to my phone are on the computer. And my phone doesn't even need to leave its holster. This has been very useful at work as not a day goes by now where I don't have someone that I need to add to my cell phone. Now I just need to get a headset, as it always seems that someone is calling me when I'm driving to or from Boulder. Man, there was a time when I was embarassed to wear my phone on my belt, now I'm talking about a headset! What a difference a different kind of job makes.


I can't believe that some people buy more than one house in a lifetime. Or worse, refinance! Every day it's something different with these people. I keep telling myself that at the end of this I will finally be in a house but as the closing date draws closer all these issues and questions just add to my stress level. I just have to make it through 8 more days.

Friday, September 09, 2005

This vacuum sucks!

Well our new vacuum cleaner was delivered yesterday. Our old vacuum we got when we were married and it has lasted 8.5 years, but it was pretty much useless by the end. There was almost no suction at all. So we decided to buy a Dyson, which everyone seems to go on and on about. We found one on that was factory reconditioned and considerably cheaper than the new ones. Since we knew we were going to be buying a house I wanted to make sure that the old vacuum never got a chance to (not) clean it. Plus we will be able to give the apartment a good cleaning when we move out. We tried it out last night for a bit and the suction is incredible. It pulled up a ton of dust from just a small patch of carpet that had been "cleaned" just a few days before. Plus I no longer have to worry about buying bags. Needless to say, I may actually enjoy vacuuming this weekend.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Home Inspection

Yesterday we had our home inspection done. It was a really neat experience, and I got to know the home we are going to buy a little better. The Inspector had no major comments, and even went so far as to say that our next home buying experience will probably be a disappointment as there are so few houses in as good shape as this one. When you are spending this much on something that sure is a comfort to hear. Melissa was also busy during the inspection measuring everything to see where our stuff will fit best. And she took lots of pictures so that everyone can see a little more of the place. Only 15 more days for us, we can't wait!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Under Contract

Well after much hunting we finally bagged a house. And because it was a long weekend everyone was anxious and we were able to get under contract by Friday afternoon. Melissa has posted some pics on her website. It's a two story, single family dwelling, 1700 square feet with a 300 square foot unfinished basement. It satisfied all of our principle requirements (garage and a big kitchen) and all of the secondary requirements (too many to list). We close on September 23, and move that week. We are out of the apartment September 30, which coincides with the end of our lease. So it's going to be a busy month for us.

Today we are off to Peet's for a cup of tea, and a little shopping at Sears. We're hoping to see if there are some Labor Day sales for things we need. We might do a little furniture shopping too as now we have more rooms than we have furniture. Here's hoping for good deals!