Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So Weird

I was perusing my Google Analytics, looking at where my visitors come from and I noticed I had one from Massachusetts, my home state. A google search. For "east cuttybumfuck." I must have said this at some point... Here it is. There's my potty mouth again.

Anyway, the strange part is that the hit is from my hometown - born and raised, 18 years in this city.

Is this phrase specific to Southeastern Massachusetts folks? Are we the only weirdos that use it?

Monday, October 27, 2008

EeEEeeK!

Compadres! I have found another light! You hate my right now, don't you. I think I hate me for being so damn indecisive, but I seriously didn't think to look at CB2 (Crate and Barrel's cheaper, more mod sibling).

I found this one.


Only $79.95. Very wallet-friendly. Swings around, too, not that I need to aim it anywhere.

I have major problems, people. On a lighter note (Ha!), looks like my contractor is nearly complete with his portion of the work! I have pictures that I'll post tomorrow...

Ready to Be Primed!

Well, folks, looks like progress is slowly, but surely, being made. We have walls that have been floated and sanded and are ready to be primed with drywall sealer! Then it'll be fun with wall texture and a funny-looking roller, which I anticipate to be an unholy mess, but since we have decided to skip the "hopper" method (i.e. that sprayer thingy that shoots the goop all over the place) we are probably taking that potential mess level down several notches.

So, here is a shot of the two holes where the pendant lights will go. If I can ever make a decision on it. I also exercised by DIY prowess with the switches this morning before the contractor came. He was supposed to install the dimmer switch and a new 3-way switch (the other was broken, it sort of half worked), but I figured I'd do it myself and save some time and $$$. Took me about 30 minutes to do both and they both work! Installing a dimmer switch is a piece of cake, people. Oh, and there is the back of the Husband. He is attempting to vacuum up dust which is really an exercise in futility right now.


Ta Da! The Pass-Through! That used to be a solid wall - couldn't knock it out since the post there on the right holds up our master bedroom. So, next best thing was to open a hole to add some openness. Work of the contractor, of course. No way in hell I am going to mess with a load-bearing wall. Gotta draw the line somewhere. The low wall area is actually the counter area where four stools will be. Since we re-purposed the nook area I felt we still needed a casual eating area. And it works as a work area, too - so, dual purpose!


Entrance to the dining room - you can see where we are keeping the stove during the renovation. Poor stove. Soon, Mr. Stove, you will be back in business!


The newly shortened windows! Still haven't gotten a nasty-gram from the city which is good, but until at least 30 days have passed, I am going to anticipate the potential arrival of "where is your permit for that windows thingy you did." The sink will be centered on the big window with the dishwasher to the left...


In this one picture you can see one of the can lights. We went with CFL recessed can lights - they take a CFL bulb that has a 4-pin plug - not one of those screw in CFLs. They cost 3 times more than incandecent 6" recessed can lights ($34 instead of $10), but I figured it was a one-time thing and better for the environment and my wallet. The bulbs don't give off any heat and since we got 2700K color bulbs they give off a warm light that is close to incandescent light. Overall, they were worth it.

Splurge

I was walking around Target this morning picking up an insane amount of candy for Halloween (I spend $20 bucks - but I have a feeling we may be out of candy before 8pm - I have at least 300 pieces - and this year I'm going to be "stingy" and only one piece per kid since last year we were out of candy by around 7pm - our neighborhood is very enthusiastic about Halloween), and I spied the wall clock that I have been eyeing for several months now. And this time I caved. I rationalized that since I had returned those ill-fitting jeans last week I could buy the clock. I mean, if two months later I still want the ding-dang clock, then I should get it. Right? I mean, clearly I am frugal if I feel that $25 for an unplanned purchase is a splurge.


I think it's super-cute and I figured it could be some color inspiration for the rest of the kitchen. Sure would have looked good with white cabinets but that decision has been made. I know, beech and this red may not be ideal but I think I can still make it work!

Friday, October 24, 2008

We So Should Have Done This

This folks really had the right idea. Generally, I tend to be a decent planner, but I so underestimated the dust factor. Life would be so much better if we had a bubble... Though we would have spent too much time going in and out of the bubble since the TV/family room is at the back of the house!

I wish I had pictures for you, but I don't :( The drywall is up - no more beams, insulation, etc, exposed! And I gave my parents (who are contractor-sitting for us) strict instructions to ask our contractor dude to finish the electrical first. I am tired of having to shut off all lights in the house while heating up dinner. I mean, it's worse than camping. I don't even have a fire to navigate by. We literally have a flashlight near the microwave which is on a dining chair by the front door. It's madness, I tell you.

Thank you, all, for the lighting comments! I just found two comments that blogger failed to email alert me of so they spent 2 days languishing in limbo. One commenter recommended a part time job at a light store. With a full-time job as a Java programmer and also a part-time job as a yoga teacher, I really can't add a third job to my mix. It's nearly too much as it is. Plus, I live in an area where the closest nice store with lighting (like, lets say, a Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware) is quite far. Like 20-30 miles.

I have, though, found that someone is selling a customer-return of the Benson pendant on e-Bay; I put in a reasonable best offer and the seller chose to let it expire [grrr]. So I'm going to let him/her sit on it for a while with no offers since he/she has 4 of them (I only need 2) and no one else has put in an offer the entire time it has been listed. If those don't come to fruition for me, I have settled on the $140 one. The Husband likes it better, and I have a feeling the Kichler brand is better than the other brands of light I had chosen. But I loved them all, so I took the one with the most "votes" and that was the first one...

Hope everyone has a good weekend! I have to go return some pants from American Eagle now since my butt and thighs have apparently expanded in the last couple years. That and they make pants for women without curves. A bigger size wouldn't fit because of my waist and hips. Oh well. C'est la vie.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Apparently These Are Called Mood Boards...

Thanks to one of Amy's links to This Young House, I learned that these collage type thingys are called mood boards. I use Gimp rather than Photoshop to make them since Gimp is free and Adobe Photoshop is one million dollars. Ok, it's like $699. Which might as well be one million dollars.

As usual, I am second-guessing my lighting choice and it's mostly because Restoration Hardware decided to be all "terms and conditions" on me and not allow 20% off on sale merchandise for thier coupon. I mean, at $169 per pendant, that doesn't scream sale to me, but apparently I forgot they are RESTORATION HARDWARE. So I set out to do a little more research to find something similar for less moola.

I narrowed it down to four different ones I liked. I actually found more than that, but many were more than the RH ones. Like, I remember seeing one I thought was fabulous and then nearly crapped a concrete block when I saw a price tag that exceeded $1300. Right.

I am not sure on then pulls/knobs - likely something chrome/nickel/silver-family to match the other stuff, but there is time decide on those. And the faucet I have on the mood board is kind of funny - the Husband commented on a similar one at IKEA when we were getting the cabinets - he said he thought it was "cool." I wasn't sold on it; I though it looked weird but I took a mental note that he liked it and then checked out some similar ones last week and the style started to grow on me. In fact, I saw it again in this cute couple's house in NC, which kind of sold me on it (not that I can't change my mind later!). But, as always, the Man is impossible to read. Below is a Danze version; it's a bit smaller and likely better quality than the IKEA one. I sent him the link and he replied it would look silly in our kitchen. HUH? I thought you liked it? Response: it would not match the rest of the kitchen. I pointed out that we have only purchased cabinets, so we hardly have a cohesive design theme therefore how could it NOT work? Can someone tell me what planet I am on? Anyway, I am leaving the faucet in. Along with the pot-filler from the same Danze line (Parma).

Countertop is tentatively soapstone - but could end up to be something else of the grey-black variety depending on cost. Floor I now have as a dark blue-gray slate - that will have contrasting grout lines - I just couldn't find a good sample with that.

This pendant is $106...

This one is $140...

Another for $110...


And this one probably doesn't really go, but I just love the dangliness of it. That can't be a word. It doesn't go with the rest of the stuff, does it? It's $116.

I think the $140 one looks most like the Restoration Hardware one... Sure, it's only $29 less per pendant but I won't have to pay tax and shipping... So, it saves around $100. Or should I just cough up the money and go with the Restoration Hardware one? Or go with one of the other options...

Aaurggh! I am usually quite a decisive person - I am no Libra! But this kitchen is making me the Vascillator of all vascillators.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Illegal Blogging

Technically, I'm not supposed to blog about my experience volunteering for the campaign this weekend. They asked us not to, so, I'll have to be brief and fuzzy on specific details. Anyway...

So, I arrived with the parents at the Las Vegas Hilton around 8am and shockingly, they already had a room ready. I asked the lady at the desk if it was slow and she said yes. My father read that traffic/money spent at Vegas casinos is down 8% over the last year. Economic downturn anyone? At least we didn't have to wait until 3pm to check in. I left my parents there and headed to the campaign office. At this office, there were 300+ Californians that drove in to volunteer. This doesn't include the other offices where other people were directed. I ran into two ladies at the Hilton that were sent to a different office. So who knows how many Californians were there this weekend. It's really an amazing amount of enthusiasm and everyone was super-nice. And people of all ages! Not just 20-somethings and 30-somethings.

I was a little worried about being alone, but I struck up a conversation with a guy behind me and it turns out that the two other people he was with he had only met the day before! They connected through a website for folks looking for rides and those having extra space. I spent the rest of the day with them - and they were funny/cool people. One guy was 26, the girl was a military wife a year older than me, and the other guy was maybe 34-35. The two guys had voted Republican pretty much every election but changed their tune this election. I would have totally gone out with them in the evening but with my parents around and me also being exhausted from getting up at 2:30am and driving, it didn't seem like the smartest idea. So I went to Vegas and didn't put a single solitary penny in a slot machine. How crazy is that???

I knocked on many a door and spoke to lots of folks. It was tiring but fun. If I wasn't in the middle of this remodel and my in-laws weren't in town, I would have considered going back again this weekend. The level of organization and enthusiasm is amazing and if it were possible to affirm my support for "That One" more, this weekend did that. Fifteen more days! And whoever you are supporting, get out there and vote. If you can, vote early!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Girly Stuff's "Book Thingy"

That's a technical term: Book Thingy. That's what she called it so that's what it is.

So I grabbed as a random book off my shelf, which I read a while back.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Page 56, Sentence 5 - 8

"In my mind, I had a flash of Sophie kneeling before Cross while he sat on the mattress of a lower bunk, both of them naked. The image seemed so grown up, and so foreign. Everything I didn't understand and wasn't part of at Ault rose up and loomed over me, like buildings in a city; I felt myself shrink back into a small, hunched figure, walking against wind. When I looked up again, I knew that my ability to talk to him unguardedly was gone. Who was I to be having a conversation, to be joking, with Cross Sugarman?"

It's about a middle-class teenager who gets a scholarship to a prestigious prep school in Massachusetts. It's a tour through high school, except probably more painful than we had to deal with as she's there with a bunch of wealthy kids and never quite feels like she fits in. It's a good book. A New York Times bestseller.

Ok. Who to tap...

I have so few blogging buddies that read my shtuff!

Frankie
Amy? @ capecodemakeover (if she is still stopping by)

Who ever might reading that wants to play the game - leave me a comment! I will edit the post and put you up there as well. Maybe you'll get like one extra hit for being on my site. I am self-deprecating type.

Ok, folks. Gotta hit the sack so I can get up at 2:30am to hit the road by 3am. Vegas, baby, Vegas!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lighting

I think we may have settled on a pendant light (well, two actually - one for each end of the barstool area). For the first time, we actually agreed on a style. Now I am struggling a bit with the finish options (it you are curious, check out the link. Unfortunately, they only show you swatches and not the actual light).


I think I am leaning towards one of the silver finishes because I feel like it'll look more polished. But I do like the dark brass finish as well.

We haven't nailed down finishes for faucets or hardware... This may influence that though. Oh! And I decided while the plumbers were at the house last weekend running pipes to also run a cold line to the stove area so we can put in a pot filler! That way we don't have walk from one end of the kitchen to the other carrying a pot filled with water. Unless we need to dump it. That's another story.

Oh, and this weekend, Restoration Hardware has 20% off purchases...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Anger Is Palpable

Back onto politics folks, and this time I have a personal story to go along with it.

It's no secret that I support Barack Obama. I have an "Obama '08" bumper sticker on my car. That doesn't make me a bad person. Nor does supporting McCain and/or Palin make someone a bad person. But I'll tell you what does make someone a bad person. Terrorizing other drivers on the freeway.

Yesterday evening I was driving up to my yoga class in Orange County. I was on the 5 (yes, we preface all freeways with "the", like "the 405" or "the 110"), somewhere in San Clemente, doing my usual loud singing while driving. Specifically "Hero" by Mariah Carey. Not that I can sing like her but that song is actually accessible to my range whereas her other songs I can't reach all the high notes. Anyway. So I'm belting it out, having a gay-old time, forgetting about my heinous kitchen remodel which took another unfortunate turn yesterday (having to do with possible code/permit enforcement), but I'll have to get to that in another post. Yeah. So I'm driving along, about 70 mph (I'm not a speedster) and this white SUV pulls along side of me and starts going the my exact pace. Ok. After a while this is no longer normal. I look over and I see a sign in his passenger window. It says "NOBAMA 08".

OK, whatever. I actually start chuckling to myself that this guy feels the need to show this to me because of my bumper sticker. My song is still on and I'd really like to keep singing without this nuisance, so I slow down a bit to let him go by. He slows down, too. Stays on me like white on rice. Now I'm getting a little freaked out. Still nervously laughing to myself, I try to shake him by speeding up. I get up to 75-80 and he is still on me. Right next to me. And when I look over at him, he is looking straight ahead, like it's a damn walk in the park.

At this point, I take my foot totally off the gas so that my speed changes quicker than he has the chance to react (which is not a totally safe thing to do, but neither was having another vehicle attached to the driver side of my car). He finally leaves me alone and doesn't fall back to me again.

Thankfully, I managed to get out of this situation without an accident, but I am lucky and I am not a nervous driver. A different person may have reacted poorly to this situation and gotten themselves and other drivers around them severely hurt. This type of behavior is fear-mongering. It's dangerous. It's unacceptable and I am shocked that the anger surrounding the fact that McCain is very far behind in the polls is causing people to behave in reckless, despicable ways.

I'm taking this as a sign. We are in the middle of this kitchen remodel and back in August I had signed up to volunteer in our neighboring battleground state of Nevada to help out with the campaign. I have been wondering if I should bother going because it's a hassle for me at the moment. My kitchen is gutted and Obama is kicking McCain's butt in the polls. Do they really need me?

Well, now, I don't give a rat's ass if he was so far ahead he was winning Alabama at this point, I am going. I am going to do what I can to get Obama elected because this fear-mongering, hateful stuff has to stop. I am tired of hearing about people yelling "kill him" and "Terrorist" about Obama at McCain/Palin rallies, and this man's actions last night that directly affected me proves that I cannot get complacent. This hatred is not acceptable; it is wrong. Under no circumstances would Jesus, God, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, whoever you worship, condone this behavior. And It should not be rewarded by allowing McCain to win this election.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Thing I am So Over

Is fires. Fires on Camp Pendleton, to be specific. This is the second fire to come out of the Marine base in 4 days.

http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-113643

This one is a lot closer than the last one... 3 miles away.

I Am So DONE with Mickey

I used to think they were cute, but now, I feel like that old lady in Ratatouille maniacally shooting her ceiling with a shotgun. Where can I get me one of those? Because I am so there.

So, now that the walls are open, it is a free-for-all for the garage dwelling mice. On Friday night, I was sitting on the couch, watching TV while the Man was microwaving something for dinner, and a see a flash of brown. Under the TV stand, I see the little bastard and his tail. I yell, "the son of a bitch is under the TV!" It then runs under the book case and at this point, I stand up, unable to sit on the couch knowing it's probably underneath me, waiting to crawl up my leg. Husband comes back and tells me he put a trap in the corner because he saw him earlier but figured better not tell me about it. And that I should just sit down and make sure I keep my feet off the floor. Such nonchalance. There is a f*@%(^$g mouse in the room with me and I'm supposed to just sit and watch TV like he's not there?

Right.

I stood there, motionless, in the middle of the room, for about 15 minutes, waiting for the mouse to make a move. I finally resign (since standing there was getting a little old) to sitting just so that the mouse might run to a different spot. He does. Runs to the closet (I saw him in the reflection of the patio sliding doors). At one point I turned around and looked back at the closet door and the thing was looking right at me, half his body in the coat closet, the other half out. I literally yelled at it, "Get the hell back into that closet!" I was in a state of ridiculous, people.

You are probably wondering why we didn't go after him in the closet which has no "exit" other than the one door. Well, the closet has holes in the drywall, just above the baseboards, to help air out the wetness that resulted from the slab leak, so he would just escape under the staircase. We are at a disadvantage, folks. He finally ran into my office; 30 minutes later, he ran into the living room at which point I lost track of him (It might be a her, but I'm annoyed with them so they are all "he").

I have no idea how many we have. That evening, we set one trap with cheese danish (couldn't locate the peanut butter), and he ate it all without setting off the trap! The next evening, Saturday, I pulled out the peanut butter, and we set 3 traps. He cleaned them all off without getting caught. Sunday, I bought glue traps. We put one in the garage since I saw one on the power-washer around 7pm while I was doing laundry. About 2 hours later, it also had been cleaned off, and he had left a couple of his hairs on it. What kind of freakin' mouse is this? Super mouse? Mensa Mouse? Jesus, Mary, and also Joseph. Last night, we went to the blue cheese option. Set about 14 million traps. Ok, I exaggerate. Ten traps is accurate. This morning I found that he had cleaned off one, and on another, ate half the cheese (clearly, he knows exactly how to deal with these traps so as not to set them off), the rest were untouched.

We did, however, have one small victory (I hate saying it that way, calling his death a victory, but, like I said, I am SO OVER THESE MICE). I got an email from the Husband that said we got one in the garage with one of those old-school wooden traps baited with blue cheese. I have no idea if it's the Rhodes Scholar mouse or a regular-intelligence mouse that doesn't have the ability to skirt every human-engineered mouse trap. I am hoping it's the smart one who definitely scored 1500 on his SATs, that way if there are any others, they should be easier to get. Unless they are related to him. [Sigh]

And if you are reading this through an RSS reader thingy, sorry for all the edits/re-posts but I keep finding typos and I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. Had to fix them.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Cabinets

Last night we made the pilgrimage to the local IKEA down in San Diego. It's down near Qualcomm Stadium where the Chargers play and it's also maybe 10-15 miles from the border; it appears that folks from Mexico like to frequent it because I saw 18 million Mexican license plates on cars. I would not have expected this since, I figured that IKEA would be a pricey option when you can probably get stuff much cheaper in Mexico, but who knows. Maybe not.

Anyway, after all that hemming and hawing of "white MDF" versus "light birch" versus "medium-brown birch," we got there and looked at the beech and the Husband liked that better. I actually thought it was a little warmer. The light birch was feeling a little "cold" and a bonus was that the glass door for the beech is monumentally better than the birch. For whatever reason, they have chosen to put a freak-nasty square pattern of frosting on the light birch door glass (I mean, it is so bad that I was going to buy regular doors, take them apart and insert special ordered glass). The beech is just all frosted glass except for a tiny border around the edges which is clear glass. Much better.

The cabinets arrive some time on Wednesday. Because we got the beech door, it had to be delivered, though I wasn't sure how we'd get the cabinets home by ourselves even if it was an option. Pains me to pay the $199 for it, but, whatever. So be it. The grand total for the cabinets was $3731 including tax and delivery. Not bad. IKEA is running a kitchen event and if you buy cabinets totalling over $2500, you get 10% off. I rarely see this kind of thing at IKEA so I am thinking that times are a little tougher than normal. Before tax, it was $3279 (tax and delivery really kicks it up a couple notches, huh?). It 's about what I expected, but I don't think I anticipated the tax and delivery to end up over $400.

The other bummer is the countertop cost. IKEA carries Caesarstone and the Raven is $74 a square foot. OUCH. At 56 square feet of counter, that is $4144. It's really nice but that is a painful amount of money. Zodiaq at Lowes is around $62. Silestone at Home Depot is $59. Neither of them have colors as nice as Caesarstone. We're going to check a couple more places to see what the other options and prices are including soapstone, because the Caesarstone option is looking like only $10 per square foot less. Not that much. If we can find soapstone at anywhere less than $80, we'll probably get it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Well, I'll tell ya what.

What.

Ha! No, actually my head space has been completely consumed by all things stressful. And whatever thing should not be all that stressful, I will make stressful because that is all that I can cram into my head at this point. Only stressful things.

The kitchen is slowly moving along. 80% of the framing is complete - took about 4 days (longer than I expected). Still looks like war-zone. The dishwasher has been out on the back patio since Saturday. Waiting for unexpected California rain to ruin it and make me spend more money. I managed to get very little sleep Tuesday night (maybe 4 hours) because, like I said earlier, if it isn't meant to be cause anxiety, I will generate it on my own. On Tuesday, the framing dude framed out the pass-through which is in a load bearing wall. Load bearing, like, holding up my master bedroom. It was like 90% done that evening; instead of a doubled 2x6 at the top of the opening, he only had a single 2x6 (looks like he had run out of lumber at that point), which, really, the second floor was not going to come crashing down, the single 2x6 was sufficient in the short-term, but you bet your ass that as I laid in bed I heard every house-settling noise and assumed we were sagging further towards falling down through the floor. And that no way in hell could we convince the insurance companies to pay for it, never mind they are all going friggin' bankrupt.

Speaking of the bankrupt, we have now spent around $2500 on this project, and have yet to do electrical, complete the plumbing, drywall, cabinets, etc, etc, etc. We will easily hit $12,000 and that does not include flooring. All this, while the economy is getting flushed down a commercial-grade turbo-flush toilet. I can't help worrying that I may not have a job in a couple months. The company I work for is not yet profitable, our stock is now WELL UNDER a dollar (ummm, can you say "delisted"?), so, how likely are more job cuts? I would guess that it is something that might be considered if the financial and credit markets continue to disintegrate.

Then yesterday a brush fire broke out on Camp Pendleton, which, in the afternoon didn't seem like a big deal, but when I drove home from teaching my yoga class, it was dark, and it was much larger than it was earlier. Last year, the fires were horrible, however, we never physically saw any fires from our house since we were 7 miles from the closest one. Well, last night, I actually saw fire. Could see it from my front window. I was a little freaked out. Sure, it was blowing away from us, but at 1000 acres, it wasn't that small a fire and seeing actual flames freaked my shit out. As of this morning, it is like 90% contained, but I'm a little shell-shocked from last year.

Basically, everything right now feels stressful. We have to finish the kitchen, have no choice there, however, I am feeling nervous about spending money as I don't feel like my job is secure. Job prospects right now, are far fewer than they were even 3 months ago. I read that if the credit markets don't get loosened, California will run out of unemployment benefits by March as we now have a state-wide unemployment rate of 7.7%. One of the highest in the country. Doesn't give me a warm fuzzy, folks.

So, yeah. I wish I had some lighter material for you folks, but figured I should write SOMETHING even if it is depress-O. Hopefully y'all are not having the agita that I am having...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Love this Kitchen

And please look at the kitchen in this post. I would never have thought of using red as a backsplash but it looks fabulous.

http://www.topsyturvystyle.com/2008/03/topsyturvy-home-tour.html

It Wasn't The Trainwreck I Expected

Girly Stuff prodded me for my thoughts on last night's VP debate so here and they are. Overall, I thought it was boring. They were both well prepared. Biden didn't put his foot in his mouth and didn't act condescending; Palin managed to answer questions without sounding like she was completely clueless. Neither of them laid the smack-down and handily won it. I would give the edge to Biden mostly because he stayed on the subject better and did an excellent job rebutting the points Palin made.

First, I was not a fan of the "if I attack you with a sweet voice and smile America won't think I'm a bitch." Personally, I'd rather she just go after him and not sugar-coat it. It's one of the things I admired about Hilary Clinton, is that you really got the feeling she was tough. For me, Sarah Palin seemed more "fake" than "tough."

As for Biden, there was a question or two that he bumbled through, but then again, Palin did as well, especially when responding to the question on climate change. She finally tried to make a point by turning it to oil drilling again and made a tenuous connection to American's drilling being more environmentally friendly than other countries and that would help the environment. That is not the issue, it's the fact that China is running rampant with pollution, burning dirty coal, not controlling emissions, etc. As a country, the United States has always been a leader, or at least, we have been leaders in the past (can't speak for the last decade or so). We can be a leader again if we develop renewable energy technology that is clean and efficient (cheap! affordable!). Other countries will want our technology and we can export it. If our only solution is "drill more", well, that ain't gonna do diddly squat for the environment. It's not anything new, not something we can export to other countries, not innovative, and, again, is just going after a resource that has a finite limit. When all the oil is gone, and it gets more and more expensive to find whatever oil is left - what do we do??? Is that the situation we want to leave for our grandchildren?

Biden did an excellent job rebutting Palin's argument for John McCain's health care plan, pointing out that giving Americans a $5,000 tax credit for health insurance while taxing our employer provided benefits as income is a recipe for disaster. Businesses and people are struggling as it is with health insurance premiums; if you then tax it, you can expect employers to throw up their hands and give up. Five thousand a year is NOTHING when compared to the cost of insurance. And that $12,000 is accurate for a family plan. For individuals, it's more like $6-7K a year, if you want a plan with a reasonable deductible.

And when Palin was not able to respond, she would just completely change the subject. For example, she was not able to respond to John McCain's track record of de-regulation, and she starting talking about something completely different - her experience in Alaska and taxes and energy. This happened at least one other time, I just can't remember what the question/issue was.

I could go on, and on, and on. Overall, she performed better than expected, but I give the win to Biden. He was better at answering specific questions and he was always able to rebut her points. Palin did not do as well staying on the topic at hand, and she was not very good at rebutting specific arguments made by Biden.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's That Time Of The Month Again

No, I'm not talking about Aunt Flo. It's the time I update my NetWorthIQ account with my numbers.

And it continues to suck. Despite paying off $1586 of debt and saving $3225 cash, our net worth declined $8544, or 10.84%.

My 401k accounts are down 18.7% and 22.7% for the year and the house is major contributor to the overall decline.

I think the house will continue to fall at this page if the government doesn't take the foreclosed properties off the hands of the banks...

Venting My Inner Control Freak

I am having a hard time with my Control Freakness. The one week early appearance of the windows give us the opportunity to trim a whole week off the kitchen project plan. The problem: who will do the framing and window installation this weekend. It is short notice and I am one to try to use referred contractors before resorting to the yellow pages.

The Husband mentioned that a guy he works with is interested in doing the work, and is available this weekend. I asked him to get a ballpark estimate on what he would charge. I even gave him a marked up GIF of my graph drawing (love my graph drawing) showing the scope of the work so that he could pass it along to the guy. As of last night, he had not spoken to him. This morning I sent The Husband an email telling him that if we don't get the framing and windows done this weekend, this project is not going to get done quickly (meaning, in-laws will be subjected to even more disarray when they visit in 3 weeks). He replied that he left the guy a voicemail. I am getting frustrated because it's Wednesday and Saturday would be the day that this work needs to start.

I have a referral for another guy and I have an idea of what he would charge. I would rather use someone one of us knows personally (that way if he screws something up, we know where he works/lives), thus why I am pushing The Spouse to get some information from this guy. However, the control freak in me is not able to wait around and risk having to call someone else with like two days notice in the event this guy flakes.

Arrgh! I need a magic wand, people! Alright, if I don't get information by this evening, I am calling my other reference to see if he is available this weekend. There. Thanks for reading this vent as at least it made me come to a decision.