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Call me impatient, but it’s been 45 minutes and no word from the mortgage broker. Fuck this, man. I put in a request for consultation from MortgageDesignGroup.com, so we’ll see how that goes. Supposedly I’m going to hear from someone within 48 hours.

According to their site, rates are nice and low and I might be able to get somewhere between 5.5% and 6.125%. Not too bad; might mean I can get a better house.

General Ramblings comments edit

I have this mug that a friend at work got me for Christmas. It’s a nice mug, but over the weekend I had a couple of problems with it.

First, it’s one of those mugs that can’t go in the dishwasher because of the way it’s insulated - water can get between the outer layer of plastic and the inner layer of metal and mess up the design that displays on the mug.

I took the mug home and put water in the mug and set it in the sink. No, the sink was not filled with water - it was just sitting there. Dry sink, mug full of water. By the end of the weekend, I was going to wash it but somehow water has gotten between the plastic and metal on the mug and has soaked down half of the design inside. So much for that.

Second, there’s something weird and stinky inside this mug. I’ve washed it over and over, using different types of soap, really hot water, cold water, you name it. It smells like sour-washcloth-meets-coffee. I can’t figure out what’s up with it. I have to drink with the lid on it because otherwise it’s… well, it’s just bad. I have no idea what it is.

General Ramblings comments edit

The toilet in the main bathroom (as opposed to the master bathroom) had the seat on it break (actually, it was a bolt in the hinge), so we reported that to the maintenance people at the apartment complex last week.

We found a note on the toilet a couple of days later that said the whole toilet needed to be replaced. Apparently it was cracked and was about to become a problem.

Sunday Jenn and I went shopping. When we came home our old toilet was sitting out on the curb and there was a guy in our apartment installing the new toilet. I talked to him for a bit and it turns out not only was our old toilet cracked, but it also wasn’t installed level, so we’re really lucky we didn’t end up flooding out the people downstairs.

Not that I would have minded that so much; they bug me. It just would have been something I didn’t need to deal with.

So we got this new toilet. Due to the old toilet not being level, there was a little bit of a gap between the toilet bottom and the floor. The cat liked to take a length of yarn and run feverishly around the base of the toilet until the yarn caught in the gap and then she’d wrap the yarn firmly around the base. This new toilet doesn’t have a gap.

The result of there being no gap is that we heard the cat running around the base of the new toilet for probably half an hour last night, trying to get that string caught in the nonexistent gap. Every once in a while, she’d be running so fast that she’d lose control and fly sideways into the garbage can in the bathroom, which would consequently *clang* against the side of the bathtub and echo. We thought there was someone hammering something or breaking in; turns out it was just the cat.

I’m not sure if she eventually just lost interest or got it hooked somehow, but when I glanced in the bathroom this morning, her yarn was wrapped around the base of the toilet.

General Ramblings comments edit

As I progress towards buying a house, I realize how that’s a big ticket item - probably the biggest purchase I’ll make in my lifetime - and how I’m a cheap bastard, which means I’m going to end up with the hugest case of buyer’s remorse ever seen. As beneficial as it will be to me, it’s a huge commitment. I don’t fear commitment in the general sense, though - pretty much just monetarily.

Thinking about that, I started looking around the apartment at the stuff we’re going to have to move and it occurred to me that there are certain things that we’ve got that I will actually comment on occasionally, saying, “That’s some of the best money I ever spent.” I decided to write up the list of those things and share them with you. There are four. Sony 40” WEGA XBR TV [$3,000]: This is the largest tube television on the market. I wanted a larger TV, but I can’t stand rear projection because you have to be looking close to dead-on at them in order to see the picture correctly. Not so with a tube. Every time I look at this thing, be it watching a movie, playing a game on my PS2, or just watching TV, I am constantly amazed at the clarity and just general coolness of it. Besides my car, this is probably the largest single purchase I’ve made, and I’ve never looked back.

Cat Declawing [$300]: There are some people who claim this to be inhumane. I see their reasoning, but let’s look at it this way. I love my Tiny Cat. She’s cute and fun and very playful. She’s also a wild child and always has been. I paid the money to have her declawed and get her all the best pain meds, and now she can still be her natural wildness, but she won’t destroy everything I own (though she still kneads on everything, at least I know she can’t hurt it). She can’t be trained (she likes water and doesn’t care about smells) and she won’t be dissuaded from doing what she wants. By contrast, the Tubby Cat we have is very dormant but still has claws. (Both cats are indoor only.) I’ve had aluminum foil on the side of my couch for three years now because the second I take it off, Tubby shreds my couch. I would like to have my cats around but also be able to have (gasp) nice things. Let me tell you - if I could safely get the larger cat declawed, I’d do it in a second. (Larger/older cats have problems with declawing; you need to do it when they’re young.)

Scat Mat [$60]: This is the only thing that affects the smaller cat. She used to sit outside our bedroom door at night and cry and play with the springy doorstop attached to the door (Jenn and I are allergic to cats so we can’t have them sleep with us). We tried a mat that makes noise, but she didn’t care. We tried spraying smells, using the water bottle… none of it worked. The Scat Mat uses a nine volt battery to generate an electric shock that you get when you step on it. The shock comes in three levels

  • “mildly annoying,” “just got out of the car on a staticky day and touched the door,” and “gaping flesh wound.” We leave it on “mildly annoying” and the cat leaves us alone all night. I can tell you now that many a night’s sleep has been saved because of that thing.

Cable Internet Service [$43/month]: I used to justify dial-up Internet service by having a slow, old computer that we didn’t get on very much at home. Then we bought a new computer and I found that half my time was spent connecting to the Internet so I could not only download information slowly but also busy up the phone line at the same time. Now I’ve got cable Internet and a wireless router. I can’t believe I was in the Dark Ages for so long.