media comments edit

I went a couple of days ago to the video store and bought a couple of previously viewed DVDs. I got them home and saw that a couple of them had some scuff and scratch marks on them.

The thing is, while they have a year long warranty, I may not get to watch every single minute of all of the special features and everything right away. How do I tell how readable the disc is without having to watch every second of the movie? And then, what happens if later down the line, the discs become too scratched to read anymore? Am I out of luck?

Not so - I picked up a copy of DVD X Rescue by 321 Studios. They license technology from Arrowkey (or look awfully similar to the Arrowkey software package CD/DVD Diagnostic). DVD X Rescue has the ability not only to analyze a messed up disc and retrieve data, but also to analyze messed up video DVDs and retrieve data from them.

Got a bad DVD that your player doesn’t like? Pull the movie off and burn it to a new disc so you can watch it again.

The reason I got it, though, is it has a “readability test” such that you can put discs in and see whether you’re going to get errors when you try to play them. No longer do you have to watch 20 hours of extra features to see if it skips - run it through this media tester and away you go.

auto comments edit

Just went to Progressive to pay my six-month bill and found that my insurance was $300 lower for this six month period than it was for the previous period. Woohoo!

home comments edit

Ann, my mortgage broker, just called and I’ve not only had my home loan approved (well, pre-approved; I don’t have the money, I just know it’s there if I need it) but I’ve got excellent credit to boot. She’s sending all of that info to me in the mail, and she’s told me that she put a smiley face next to my credit rating to indicate how awesome it is.

Looks like it’s time to focus on finding that house. We’ve got a couple of walkthroughs on Saturday scheduled, and hopefully by then we’ll have something new to look at, too.

traffic comments edit

We have an extra special Traffic Asshole this week. Even more special because it wasn’t even me involved. (Which means you’ll have to forgive details, since I’m sort of filling in the blanks. Also, this is by no means any legal account of what happened, it’s just what I heard, so if you’re with the insurance company, this ain’t for you.)

Jenn was on her way home yesterday from work and was going to stop at the store to return some bottles. Six blocks from the store, she’s stopped at a light. Behind her, a bus. About a half car length in front of her, a lady in a Buick.

Sitting at a light. Getting ready to go.

Out of nowhere, the Buick lady throws it into reverse and steps on the gas. Jenn, stunned, starts honking madly.

Still honking, Jenn gets… uh… front-ended(?). The lady gets out of the car and asks probably the two stupidest questions I’ve ever heard a human ask. Again, I wasn’t there, and Jenn answered probably a little more diplomatically than I would, but let’s re-enact the conversation, substituting me in for Jenn.

Stupid Lady: I didn’t see you! Where were you? Me: Behind you, you fucking tard! Where else would I be if you were backing up and hit me? In front of you? Stupid Lady: How come you didn’t honk? Me: How come you were fucking backing up? We’re on a major road in rush hour, here! Where the hell did you think you were going? And why didn’t I honk? Are you deaf? My arm’s still sticking through the window of my car with the horn on full right now. Maybe I should get the cops to come check this out, not only for my insurance, but so they can shoot you.

The killer thing is, it hasn’t ended here. Jenn got the lady’s name, license plate number, and insurance info and came home. Jenn called the lady’s insurance company, and there’s no policy for the lady. Jenn got bogus insurance information! What is the world coming to? My insurance is sky high and she’s driving around handing out bad info?


Let’s go to tape:

Here’s a bit of a side view. You can see the worst of it - the license plate and frame are now embedded in the bumper and there’s quite a gouge out of the bumper just to the side of the plate.


Here’s a better look at that gouge.


And a top view of the plate so you can see how messed up it is. Jenn hasn’t even had her first oil change in that car - the plate used to be brand new.


Jenn has since left a message with the lady (we actually did get her real phone number) and is asking for revised insurance info. Otherwise, Jenn’s going to have to file an uninsured motorist claim… and that’s no good at all.

home comments edit

I checked my email this morning to find that had finally sent me the estimates they promised me, last night around 5:15p. So, only about a day-and-a-half late.

Somehow, when someone’s dealing with my money, I’m huge on punctuality. Don’t tell me one thing and then do something else. That may seem petty in a case like this, but I feel like sometimes these little things are indicators of something larger.

After I looked over their estimates (closing costs were way higher than everyone else, so you’re definitely paying for their service), I called Ann over at NW Mortgage Group to tell her she’s the one. She was pretty excited, and I’m glad because I feel like that’s enthusiasm she shares with me in the whole process. Plus, she’s always easy to get ahold of and is very punctual about things. Maybe if I had gone through this process before I would consider doing something based solely on the money, but the first time I run through it I definitely want the service and I think that’s what Ann’s providing.

I gave her all of my vital stats and she’s running my credit and coming up with a new, more accurate estimate to walk me through. She’s also sending me a packet of stuff to look over which basically signifies the beginning of the paper trail that will end in my home loan.

One interesting thing she pointed out, which I think is a smart deal and I’m not sure if all new homebuyers do this: When someone asks you for a loan pre-approval letter, many times that letter shows the total amount the buyer is approved for. If you’re the buyer, that’s tipping your hand to the seller, who is trying to get the price to go up. What I’ll end up doing is calling Ann to get a letter tailored to my offer, so the approval will only show the amount of money I’m willing to pay for the house. Sounds good to me.