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Here’s my day, play by play.

9:38a - Ann (mortgage broker) called. I gave her the details on the house I made an offer on so that she can issue the loan approval letter to Gregory (my realtor). She didn’t have Gregory’s contact info so I gave her that, too.

10:17a - Gregory called. He was pretty upset and said Ann wasn’t cooperating with him and wouldn’t give him a letter of approval for my loan. Having just talked to Ann, I double-checked this with him and told him she didn’t have his phone number so wasn’t able to get in touch with him. He said he’d call her to close the loop.

10:38a - Gregory called. He talked to Ann and now realizes he’s worked on a deal with her before a year or so ago and she’s a great broker. It was all just a miscommunication (or lack of communication, more accurately) and everything’s cool. She said she’d get him the letter of approval in about 15 minutes.

10:50a - Gregory called. He talked to the listing realtor and the two offers are neck and neck, like, within a couple hundred dollars of each other. One key difference that Gregory thinks may make the difference is that our offer allows the seller to stay in the house a week after closing free of rent (though she has responsibility for utilities and taxes) so she can get herself moved out; the other offer doesn’t have that. I told Gregory to let them know that we could stand to let them keep the refrigerator if that would be a deal breaker (my offer asked for the fridge). He said we might want to bump up the price by $1000 or so but I didn’t do it. I already bumped up my offer price a little over list; much more and I’d be outside my budget again.

11:41a - Ann called. The listing agent called her to confirm my vital stats. She told him (without being specific, because she can’t reveal specifics) that I had good credit and a steady job, both big plusses. She also confirmed to the listing agent that the money to close is sitting in the bank (which is true). All good impressions.

12:20p - I’m anxious. They met at noon and it’s 20 after… what’s the hold-up?

1:15p - I’m having difficulty concentrating. I still haven’t heard anything. Jenn sent me an email expressing the same frustration.

2:00p - WE’RE IN!!! I’ve gotta go to Gregory’s office at 3:30p to sign papers. I’ll need to have a check to Gregory on Monday with my earnest money. Finally, an end to the search. Now to arrange the house inspector, call the moving company, talk to the insurance agent…

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I spent at least half a day trying to get ViewCVS set up on a Windows 2003 server running CVSNT so I could browse my code repositories. What a pain! When browsing folders in my repositories, I kept seeing errors like “There are X files, but none match the current selection criteria.”

I searched all over and saw that other people had similar problems, but the most anyone would ever say was “it’s either an RCS problem or a permissions issue.” Uh huh.

So I contacted our CVS guy (one of our CVS guys) to see how they had set it up in the product department. The guy I talked to didn’t set it up, but he pointed me to this ViewCVS Setup on Windows with CVSNT 2.0.x and IIS or Apache program.

Oh. Hell. Yes.

It even gets enscript and CVSGraph installed correctly. So painless, so easy. Just like it should be. Anyone using CVSNT who wants to put up ViewCVS should check this out.

I generally try to stay away from political topics but I’m getting hammered by this one from all sides so I gotta vent.

The whole gay marriage thing. Sigh. What do you say, right?

I could go into a rant longer than I care to dedicate time to and discuss my feelings on how I support people and any alternative lifestyle they can come up with as long as I’m free to do my own thing. I could further go into the fact that everyone should be treated equal regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation, but then, I don’t see a Straight Pride parade running down Broadway every year, and somehow I don’t think the Million Man March would have gone over so well if it was oriented toward caucasian interests. Do I think minorities push their interests and get away with it far more than they should? Sure. Am I against their rights to do that? No, as long as I get that same right.

So here I sit, in the middle of Portland, OR, where a county-level decision was made to start granting same-sex marriage licenses. People lined up around the block on the first day and now they’re renting out auditoriums to perform mass amounts of ceremonies.

I don’t understand a lot about this whole thing.

I don’t understand why a decision even needs to be made on this at a governmental level. If I want to go marry my cat, I should be able to. Okay, maybe we don’t go that far, but you see the point. It’s my business who I want to marry, and the separation of church and state should dictate that I can do that without legal interference. Sure, there are a couple exceptions to the rule - I mean, we need laws to stop things like inbreeding and genetic issues from cropping up - but by and large, that should be wide open.

I don’t understand why some people feel that gay marriage will destroy the meaning of marriage or remove any sanctity from that institution. Can someone tell me a definition of marriage that doesn’t involve two people who love each other forming a union? Isn’t that what these people are trying to do? Isn’t that the purpose of marriage?

I don’t understand why the county made the decision to go about this without consulting the public. If you’re going to change county ordinance or create new rules, we have this system in the US called “democracy.” That means to change the rules you have to do what we call “voting.” None of that seemed to happen, but here we are.

I don’t understand why it’s such a huge issue right now. It wasn’t until really recently I even heard all the hoopla about this whole thing. Why’s it such a gigantic case? I mean, it’s a presidential campaign point. Gimme a break, people. It’s not like it’s assisted suicide or anything. Heh.

I just… don’t… get it.

So, anyway, to all the gay people who wanna get married, you go for it. Good luck. It’s a free country.

That said, try to spread yourselves out while doing it. Just like I don’t want my city to be labeled the “Catholic capitol of the US” or the “Caucasian capitol of the US,” I don’t want to be labeled the “Gay Marriage capitol of the US.” The “Rose City” was quite enough for me, thanks.

I have no choice but to use E*Trade in my online stock dealings. My employer goes through them for stock option grants and the employee stock purchase plan. I, though, have an account with another, more friendly brokerage, where I keep my primary account.

Every time I get stock stuck in my OptionsLink (a subsidiary or something of E*Trade) account, I have it transferred to my preferred brokerage.

Normally that goes smoothly, but this time they’re taking their own time, and it’s gotten out of hand. Thus, I present an open letter to E*Trade, in response to their customer service representative asking for five business days to respond to my transfer status inquiry: Dear E*Trade:

As you requested up to five (5) business days to respond to me, and today is the sixth business day, I am writing you back to follow up.

If you have not yet heard back from your transfers department, please pass this along to help put it into perspective from a customer’s point of view:

I currently HATE E*TRADE. I hate you guys. I hate everything about you. If I could get away from using you at all, I would, and the only reason I HAVE to use you is because my company has some sort of deal with you and OptionsLink and I can’t change that.

Why, you might ask, am I so irritated? I could list any number of reasons, but they all come down to customer service.

The E*Trade web site, from the beginning, is geared more towards the user who actively participates in online trading, who sort of knows something about stock trading already. (This may not be the case, but that is my perception based on the options available and navigational structure.) I am not a heavy trader. I have stock in my company, but I require an entry level sort of service or guidance.

I was able to muddle through and find the transfer request information, but you only seem to be able to transfer INTO E*Trade, not OUT. To transfer OUT, I have to fax you - FAX! - a letter, then wait an arbitrary number of business days for my stock to transfer - get this - from OptionsLink to an E*Trade brokerage account, THEN from that account to my preferred brokerage. At no point in the process am I alerted to the state of my transfer; I am kept in limbo and have to keep checking back and hoping the transfer has completed.

I came to discover this transfer process because I was told that a transfer takes UP TO 5 business days. At the 10 business day level I became concerned. I was told that “things were behind, but everything should be done in 5 more business days.” I waited that length of time, and it’s still not done. I contacted you via your web site. I did get a timely response from you (which I appreciate) that told me to wait up to ANOTHER 5 BUSINESS DAYS. I have now waited A MONTH for a simple transfer to happen, with no status update during that time other than “WAIT.”

I am very frustrated with this whole situation. Obviously I am not in a financial position occupationally, so I hesitate to say that a transfer is a “simple process,” but considering that this must be a common thing that occurs daily, I also hesitate to say I have some exceptional circumstances which would require so much additional time.

Please let me know what the status of my transfer is and when EXACTLY I can look forward to seeing it completed. This is beyond nuts.

Thanks, -T

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Jenn and I went to three different houses this past weekend to see if there was anything worth buying.

There wasn’t.

The first house was far too small with poor use of space. Good condition, nice neighborhood, but that’s about the limit. The second and third houses were beautiful but were backed right up against a major road. Standing outside, I could barely hear what Jenn was saying standing five feet away. Crazy.

Thus, as usual, the search continues. I’ve been at this for a month now and, aside from the one that got away, I’ve got nothing. A little disheartening, but even more generally annoying. I’m in for the long haul.