Wednesday, September 24, 2008


In case you didn't make it to the end of my last post, the big news this week is that Julia and I finally closed on the house Monday morning. So, despite the fact that we've been living there for the last three or four weeks, we didn't actually own it until late in the day on Monday. The builder has been incredibly accommodating and really went above and beyond. The same can be said of the people at Wells Fargo, who really did more than they should have to get us some help due to the changing market. If you're looking to buy a house, talk to me and I'll give you their contact info. They're great.

After we signed, Julia and I both had to work, but we went out that night with her parents and her brother, both to celebrate the closing and because it was her mother's birthday. Chinese food in Renton, what could be better?

Tuesday night was gaming at Seth's new digs. I happened to notice while rereading the previous years' September entries that I started the Warhammer campaign two years ago this month and Kristian took over running it one year ago. I'm really happy with how the Tuesday games are going and it's been fun to play in such a long-running game of Warhammer. They don't usually last that long, in my experience, and some of the characters are on their 3rd career, which is pretty cool. Last night we dealt with recovering the Chaos-tainted fiancee of one of the player characters (Johnzo's character Otto Tack) who we thought had been kidnapped by vampires we've angered, but it turned out that she was actually led away from the house before the vampires could attack by our Chaos-tainted fighting cock Mr. Cluck. Yes, very silly, but it was fun. Next time we hope to kill us some vampires. Probably by burning their house down.

I'm thinking of starting a new blog to post my gaming bits over there. I'm sure that most of my readers aren't interested in the gaming stuff and I'd like to expand that portion of my writing a bit, not so much to track my games, but to get some thoughts out "on paper". I'll let you know what I decide. Mostly I just have to settle on a new blog name.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today (And Everything Leading Up To It!)

Julia keeps a calendar with notes of what she has to do and what she's done. Just little notes and such that makes sense to her. Last week she emailed me the list below about what we've done over the course of the last 9 months since we first discussed buying the new house and over the weekend I cleaned it up a bit for posting here. (Taking out things like how much we paid, things like that.)

This is a breakdown of what we've done so far this year mainly as it relates to selling the old house and buying the new one (see the last entry below for more on that). Not all of the detail is here, but this should give you a pretty good idea of what we've gone through this year to prepare the West Seattle house for sale -- and all of those notes would make a pretty good checklist for anyone wondering what sort of things they have to do in order to stage and sell a home -- and buy a new one.

Anyway, here it is:

January 4th: Julia and her mom have lunch -- discuss buying a new home.

January 15th: Make offer, contingent on Seattle home selling.

January 17th: Make sure we can afford the price they counteroffer.

January 18th: Get mutual acceptance.

January 18th: Get market analysis on Julia’s condo, decide asking price.

January 18th: Talk to our renter about buying the condo.

January 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th: Get market analysis on West Seattle home.

January 22nd: Hire agent for West Seattle home listing and sale.

January 23rd: Take jewelry order to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM).

January 24th: Move boxes to Julia’s parents’ garage, get SAM order ready.

January 25th: Stage home with Julia’s mom.

January 26th: Stage home Julia’s mom, Elena listing agreement @10am.

January 27th: Initial yard work, coworker picked up furniture, trip to Julia’s parents’.

January 28th: Wash bath walls & ceiling, pack stereo & speakers, finesse the office, add bricks, purge cd's, little lamps to bedroom, feathers to desk, tall lamps away.

January 29th: Paint bathroom, pack boxes, pack up jewelry room, add curtain rod & curtains, move slab & furniture, TV from studio.

January 30th: Moving truck 6-7pm: From outside: 2 BBQ's, 2 plastic chairs & table, bakers rack, all pots. From garage: nook shelf, product, boxes, knight light, from basement: tent, bike. From porch: lounge, chandelier, bedside table. From Living: stereo, speakers, jewelry boxes, peg board. From upstairs: TV.

January 31st: Jon’s last day of work. Complete form 17, paint shower walls latex, touch up paint on moldings, purge furs, pack studio closet clothes, , line shelf in office, add jewelry to cabinet, remove coats from porch, Ikea drawers, wicker drawers, wipe up cable dust, cooler, geraniums, fans, iron curtains, hang curtains, pantry contents, downstairs closet content/shoes.

February 1st: Julia’s mom, Elena @11am, Interior Designer Olga @11:30am. Do any staging recommendations, mirror from Julia’s parents, can lights from Julia’s mom, bench from Julia’s mom for front porch.

February 2nd: Take trip to Julia’s parents’, paint stairs, paint bathroom door, clear out jewelry room, fix doorknob, buy welcome mats, begin lining kitchen shelves, eliminate recycling from house.

February 3rd: Trim ivy, weed front bed, prune forsythia, clear back beds, replace all light bulbs, pack up the rest of Jon's room, work on basement room.

February 4th: Shred documents , get a one week extension to list house, Jon cleans out driveway, yard clean-up, finish painting stairs & door plates, trip to goodwill.

February 5th: Jon move items w/James' element, Jon pack up closet & pantry, Jon tape nook, Paint the nook, go through goodwill piles in basement.

February 6th: Jon to goodwill, post office, forsythia shoots cut back, Meeting w/Elena, do kids room, clean out nook closet, move cat food & water to nook closet, line kitchen shelf, install doorbell, drift wood to back yard, finesse front porch.

February 7th: Drop SAM items downtown. Off work, Julia’s mom in afternoon to help stage, lay pavers & small rocks, move stump. Fill in hole in back yard, bark into side yard beds. Another move w/James' element. Move stump, rug into basement.

February 8th: Pick up bark, flowers for pots. 11am Elena-house looking & pricing discussions. Yard work, cut grass. Finesse jewelry room, bedroom, basement.

February 9th: Clean basement & basement windows, vacuum basement ceiling, vacuum all window coverings.

February 10th: Finesse bathroom, finish lining kitchen shelves, repaint house numbers, finish painting screens, mount on porch, move boxes into attic.

February 11th: Jon pressure wash walk & steps, drive way. Remove weather stripping from doors, clean. Tape clean living curtains, remove plastic from windows, clean sills, vacuum whole house, clean kitchen, microwave, oven, stove, floors.

February 12th: Fresh flowers for 6 places: flowers onto porch, coffee table, mantle, kit sill, toilet, dresser. Put out welcome mats. Photographer at noon. Primroses on front step, plant onto porch.
February 13th: Professional cleaners come.

February 14th: List House. Remove hangers & some clothes from basement closet.

February 15th: All remaining recycling to empty bin, for sale sign is put up, get “house book” put together, get a plan of the house going up next door to show potential buyers what it will look like. Compost into back beds.

February 16th: Keep clean, picked up, cat litter.

February 17th: Keep clean, picked up, cat litter.

February 18th: OFF-holiday, keep clean, picked up, cat litter.

February 19th: Brokers Open, keep clean, picked up, cat litter.

February 20th: Brokers Open, keep clean, picked up, cat litter. Mutual acceptance.

March 19th: Meeting with Conner Homes for construction upgrade choices on new house.

March 21st: Meeting w/Designer for design preview choices.

March 20th: Conner Construction begins.

April 4th Meeting w/Designer for color/custom choices.

May 1st: Close on May 1st on the West Seattle home. Give first payment to builder of new home upon closing.

May 5th: Change to renters insurance.

May: Rent 3 month + 23 days lease: (May, June, July, and August until the 23rd).

May 18th: Plan landscape & out buildings at new home.

May 31st-June 1st: Repaint, clean, stage condo for sale, then decide to take out line of credit instead.

June 5th: Get line of credit for condo Equity for Conner down payment.

June 18th: Turn in plan for landscape & out buildings for new home.

July: Rent out the Condo.

July: Jon gets great Job.

July 15th: Give second portion of down payment to builder on July 15th.

July 24th: Julia sells jewelry at the Renton Annual Art Show.

August: Yard work.

August: Pack & clean West Seattle home, stove, cabinets, floors, fridge, curtains.

August 18th: Home is scheduled to close on 8/20.

August 23rd: Move to Renton!

August 23rd: Out of West Seattle home.

August: New home insurance.

September: Landscape yard: paths, grass, buildings.

September: Add good soil to raised beds.

September: Plant trees & plants from pots, vines onto fence.

September 22nd: Write very large check. Close on new house!

Tonight we're going out to celebrate. And maybe relax a little. Man, it's been a crazy year!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The House!

New pictures are posted on Flickr! These are of the now-lived-in house as well as a few of the garden -- just to show off Julia's hard work in the yard.

Some of the pictures are a bit blurry, please forgive us. The camera can be temperamental.

The easiest way to get there is Flickr badge located down just a smidge in the right-hand column.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Red Eye II

I still have both my eyes and the diagnosis from the other day was acurrate according to the opthomologist. My eye bled and didn't seal up quickly enough, probalby because I'd taken some ibuprofin. So it bled in my eye and made it look like I'd been boxing or something.

Already this morning when I checked in the mirror it looked much better as the eye had reabsorbed some of the redness. It still looks bad, but isn't quite as noticeable, and still doesn't hurt at all.

There you go. That's all I have to report. Everything's good here, move along.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Red Eye

I was driving home from work on Monday and happened to catch a glimpse of my left eye in the rearview mirror and it looked a little bloodshot, so I looked a bit more closely. Right under my eyelid, above the iris my eye was completly red and bloodshot. Like I'd been in a boxing match or something.

We'd had a little sickness running around the house lately (nothing major, just some coughing and such) and I was afraid it had mutated (or something) into an eye infection or pink eye. It didn't hurt, wasn't itchy, and didn't make my eyes runny, but it looked pretty freakin' scary.

First thing Tuesday morning I called the doctor's office and they had me come in to take a look. After the normal check-in routine, including the weigh-in, which was its own special moment of pain, and taking my blood pressure (122/84, not bad) the nurse practitioner looked in and around my eye and told me that since it was asymptomatic that it was likely a burst blood vessel. (Or subconjunctival hemorrhage, as she termed it.) Probably not a big thing; they can be caused by heavy lifting, straining, or just randomly. Considering I got it while sitting either at my desk at work or in the car, it sounds like random is the winner. Regardless, she said to get into the eye doctor this week since they're the eye specialists. So, I do that Thursday (tomorrow) morning.

I can see it's already looking a big better, but my eye is taking on a lovely shade of yellow in some areas. Bleh.

Oh, and I hate (hate, hate, hate, hate, hate) my glasses. They make me feel like I'm sick -- since that the only time I wear them for any extended length of time. Plus they make me hot and a little headachey. Man, I wish I could just see.

I'll let you know what the eye doctor says.

Oh, and I've taken a picture of my eye, but really, you don't want to see it posted here. It's not really that bad, but a picture of my bloody eye with my eyelid pulled back looks pretty nasty, so I'll spare you.

In other news, the house is looking good. We've rearranged some furniture downstairs (pictures coming soon Mom, I swear!) and I got the game room organized enough to sit down around the table and play some games -- which I did this last Saturday with Rob, Courtney, and another friend of theirs. We played a couple games of Fluxx (I gave them my extra copy), Citadels, and then wrote up some D&D characters. The plan is to play a few times while they're in town.

Sunday I was off to Tyler's to play in that once-a-month game. It's going well and we seem to be making slow progress through the Savage Tide adventure path.

And Tuesday night I played another D&D game. That one didn't go as well. The Scarlet Blades fought valiantly, but lost Miri, our wizard to a horde of kobolds and were then captured and enslaved. Until we escaped and, as luck would have it, replaced our wizard with another. (Okay, really it's just that the player really wanted to play a wizard, so he wrote up another one.) The defeat was a bummer, but we made it to second level, so it was worth it.

Enough of gaming talk. I'll update when I know more about my eye, but I'm sure it's fine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


PROTECT (The National Association to Protect Children) needs your help.

There is currently a crucial piece of legislation sitting in the Senate that would over the next five years provide over $320 million of funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.

Right now, the resources to battle these crimes are sparse; it's like sending one firefighter to tackle a raging forest fire.

The Bill: Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act.

The Time: Now. Senators will be voting on the bill soon, yet somehow this bi-partisan bill is now the victim of petty partisanship.

The Act: Go to your senators' web page and email them your own letter or cut and paste the one below.

The Site:

Not a Member: And if you’d like to do more than send the email, please consider becoming a member of PROTECT (

Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Dear Senator:

I know you believe, like I do, that we must do everything possible to protect children from sexual predators. That is why I am asking for your help.

Last year alone, U.S. law enforcement identified over 300,000 criminals who were trafficking in movies and pictures of young children being raped and tortured. Experts say that one in every three of these criminals has local child victims.

Child pornography trafficking over the Internet has given us a trail of evidence that leads straight to their doorsteps, but the vast majority of these children will never be rescued because investigators are overwhelmed, outnumbered and underfunded.

I urge you to do everything in your power to pass the PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 1738, Biden-Hatch). This bipartisan legislation passed the House 415-2, but it is now the victim of petty partisan politics.

Now that we know where these children are and how to protect them, there is no excuse for the Senate to fail to take action this session.

Please, pay what it costs. Disrupt this market. Go get these children.

(Your name here)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

That's Funny

I just had an instant chat with two people in India about problems and changes to my cable service.

When we signed up we didn't get quite the TV package we wanted, so we had to upgrade that a bit. I didn't have the literature in front of me, but we figured out what the correct package should be. I'll check it tonight when I get home to make sure.

As for the other guy, that was about the Internet at home. For some reason last night things were working fine, then all of a sudden my connection crapped out and I couldn't figure out if it was my computer or the line in, but nothing seemed to fix it on my end despite a lot of futzing about and investigation. Comcast said there were no issues they could see, but that doesn't mean there wasn't some yesterday. So, I'll do some more poking around and if it's not resolved, the guy gave me a number to call for troubleshooting support. Here's hoping.

While I was talking to them I was also writing and email and setting up a new meeting request in another window -- and receiving email in another screen to tell me that a couple of new people are following me on Twitter.

And now I'm blogging about it all here. It's a high-tech world. And it's funny because this whole post was predicated on the fact that my high-tech wasn't working like I wanted.

Monday, September 08, 2008

An Actual Weekend!

Julia and I had a challenging, but overall good weekend. We tried to get some plants for the backyard and ran all over town to find what we were looking for, but to no avail. Even though we were looking for a small evergreen, it seems it's just not the best time of year for them. Regardless, we got a number of other, smaller errands accomplished including buying a new comb/brush for me! (It was a late birthday gift. We kept forgetting to pick it up.)

I'm also very happy to report that we grilled out Saturday and, because the burgers were so good, Sunday as well. Julia said they were $12 burgers and I think she's correct. Wow, were they good. We haven't been able to use the grill all year because we packed it away to clean up the yard when we put the house on the market. We thought we'd bring it right back once the house sold, but we learned when we moved it that the grill didn't quite fit in either of our cars. So, we were grill-less all Summer. The plan for tonight is to grill some brats we have left over.

Rob emailed last week to let Seth and I know that he and Courtney were coming to town for about a month starting this last weekend, so Sunday he came to town and we, along with Melissa played Trias after a yummy lunch at a nearby Mongolian grill. Melissa won after swearing she had no strategy whatsoever. It's a neat little game of dinoaurs and continental drift.

Since Rob's here for a while, we may try to play some D&D (which Courtney has also expressed interest in) over the next few weekends. That should be fun.

Julia spent most of the day rooting around in the garden, which is really starting to take shape and look good. It'll be nice when the plants have some time to mature and spread.

In the evening (after grilling), I mowed the lawn, then carried in another dozen or so boxes of books to the game room for culling. I'm trying to make room to get at least one car into the garage in the next week or so. I'm sure I'll move some more boxes tonight.

Okay, more soon.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

For Julia

Happy birthday!

I love you.


I was just settling in at work this morning and it hit me that the move is over. Everything is in the new house and I don't have to worry about going to get anything more or getting another load of stuff from someone's garage or storage unit or whatever. And, man, I gotta tell ya, that's a big relief.

The other big relief is my elbow feels much better after icing is last night. It's been sore since the move and it hasn't gotten better on it's own, probably because I'm still moving things around on an almost daily basis. I did some reading yesterday and found out it's likely tendonitis, so I iced it based on what I found out in my reading. I'll be icing it more tonight.

Last night we have Julia's family over to celebrate her birthday a day early. It was pretty simple as far as parties go; pizzas, soda, ice cream cake, presents, and that's about it. We had a good time and there are a handful of pictures that will be coming soon.