Monday, March 16, 2009

The Tile has been Pickety Picked.

I have to say, it's so much easier to blog on a daily basis (if one has the time). This once or twice a week deal is hard. My brain is working overtime trying to remember what the heck went on this past week.

There is much good news, really. First, I still have a job and it's still going well. Good stuff. Second, the Husband's problem with the TPS (throttle position sensor) is covered under warranty - Nissan extended it through to 150K miles (guess it was previously, only until 100K). This is like a $500 savings. Gives me a warm-fuzzy about Nissan - that they recognized the TPS was crapping out in some of its cars and is footing the replacement bill. Third, I picked tile for the first floor. We went to like fifteen million different places (4 places) last weekend and found that the first place we walked into had the best selection so we went back there this weekend. I ended up picking a porcelain tile that looks similar to saltillo. It's probably twice as much as saltillo but installation will be easier and it's 18" x 18", as opposed to 12" x 12". It's $3.60 per square foot which isn't bad, but I would have liked to stay closer to $2. The husband took up the last of the tile yesterday, but the new stuff is currently on a big-ass ship sailing from Italy, so we won't have them in until the middle of April. Here is said tile:


I had a very hard time picking between this color, which is called "cotto" (cooked, in Italian), and another one called "rosso" (red). This one is a little darker. Now it's a matter of picking the wood. I got a 12 months no interest financing thingy from Home Depot so I may take them up on that offer (though, seriously, how much interest am I really losing by paying it all up front when my money market rate is down to 1.6%).

And what's the deal with this ceramic tile that looks like wood flooring? When I first heard about it, I thought: "Ew", but I've seen it now in several tile places, installed on their floor, and it actually looks pretty cool. But I'm kinda thinking it's a fad... Alright, folks, gotta go shower and head to the old jobaroo.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Routine

My routine, or lack there of, has been flipped upside down. Clearly, I didn't have enough work at my last job because that's how I kept up with reading other blogs and writing my own. New job = no time to blog. Poopy.

So, recap on the whole changing my flight for an interview. Turned out that it was 100% the right decision not to jeopardize the contract position. I am actually liking my contract job (though it has room for improvement with it's processes - it's not a free-for-all but developers are doing support which isn't ideal). I went to the long and tedious nearly full-day interview before I left for Houston and it went fairly well, though some of the technical questions were completely irrelevant to the type of programming I do. With honesty being my saving grace and also fault, I simply went with "I don't know" because I am the last person who is going to attempt to bullshit her way through a technical interview. Friday, I did not hear anything from them, so, already I knew I did not sail through. Monday, I started my contract job and got an email from the other company telling me that they thought it went well but are not ready to make a final decision (in other words, "we like you well enough but we think there's better out there and are going to leave you hanging as a back up as long as we can"). The crazy thing is that my former coworker who has more experience than me and knows the VP and manager of the engineering group very well got a rejection. I was shocked. I thought, for sure, he was in. You just never know - which is exactly why I chose to cough up the $275 to change my flight rather than jerk around the other people. That money was "peace of mind" money. I would have been wondering "what if" about the other company had I just decided not to interview.

Now I am sitting here waiting for EDD to call me. Yeah, I have a mandatory phone interview (interrogation?) with the unemployment department, for whatever reason, that they scheduled for me between 8 and 10am. I'm glad they chose a Saturday, but it's a little unnerving. I guess they are being extra careful with vetting people's claims seeing as the State of California is Broke.

Oh, and just to touch on some economic stuff - I am really encouraged by the new Administration's latest home affordability bill they released this week. It addresses folks like us to have been responsibly paying their mortgages, yet can't refinance. I'm not sure, yet, if our house will qualify - our loan is owned my Fannie Mae, but the maximum refinance is 105% of the market value. We owe $450,000. That would mean our house would have to be worth around $430,000. It's a stretch. However, perhaps if we finish up the flooring and such, we can get an appraisal that could come close to that number. Maybe. The neighbors sold for 420K and our house is bigger (though our yard is crap). This would drop our mortgage from around $2800 (not including taxes & ins) to around $2450 (assuming 5.25%). That would allow me to breathe easier should one of use lose our job for an extended period of time. It also would mean should we ever need to move we could rent it out for a only a small loss (rather than an enormous one). This is really a great idea on their part - if people can refinance into more affordable loans it will decrease the incidence of foreclosure. Not to mention, it finally throws a bone to the responsible faction of America that got plain 'ol screwed by the system.

Well, can't say I know when I'll be writing again. I'm going to shoot for a few time a week. I can't say I'll be able to compulsively read all the blogs I did when I was under-utilized at my last job, but I'll try to check-in when I can. I hope everyone is doing well out there in the blog-o-sphere!