A Stupid Thing to Do to a House

We saw our first house that had been staged for flipping (yes, people still do that shit in this economy, somehow...) It had been HGTV'd to the nines, with granite counter tops and new floors kind of stapled onto the existing structure. The location was awesome and it was still a good house; we may well have made an offer on it except that...


Yes, part of the flipping thing is selling off the yard, which was just barely big enough that some dickhead developer is going to come in and build one of those obnoxious tall n' skinny townhouses that are springing up like deadly nightshade all over Portland. It was a huge bummer, because it immediately made even considering the place a non-starter.

So: to developers and house-flippers: please go run into something sharp.



Didn't Get The House

I haven't had a generic newsy post in a while, so here I go...

We've been going back and forth with the seller of this one neat house in North Portland for the last two-plus weeks. It's a cool place in a nice neighborhood. It also has a lot of big-deal problems, so the negotiations had to do with making sure that he'd fix 'em before we bought it. We finally reached a point today where there was just too much of an unknown potential money-pit factor (four foundation repair inspections later) and we bailed.

We are bummed, but also excited to look at other places armed with the knowledge gleaned from this particular $700 misadventure (the cost of all the inspections - the would-be buyer has to pay for those...)

All subsequent houses we consider putting an offer down on must have the following characteristics:
  1. Gas heat.
  2. No not-necessarily decommissioned old oil tanks buried in the yard.
  3. No foundation issues.
  4. More than a few feet in between us and the neighbors.
  5. A basement that is not too cavelike; actual stalagmites especially not okay.
  6. A neighborhood we'd be down with walking in.
Anyway, better luck next time, us.


So You Want to Know How I Do It?

Well, I shall TELL you, then!
  1. Pasta.
  2. Two fried eggs with runny yolks.
  3. A bunch of shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
  4. Olive oil.*
And I am good to go.

* Why the crap do chefs on cooking shows always specify extra virgin olive oil? Of course it's extra virgin! Would I purchase extra slutty olive oil? I think not!


I Love Bureaucracy. No, I Really, Honestly Do.

We're in the midst of full-on house-buying crazytown, a quest that took me to the Bureau of Something Something near PSU last week to look for old plumbing permits. While there, I was reminded again of the grace of professional bureaucrats and the ease of navigating a huge bureaucracy. Want to know the secret? Here you go:
  1. Be really nice to the bureaucrats.
These people spend their professional lives in front of spreadsheets and/or the public, both of whom can be bitches. Bureaucrats do not hate you; what they want is to have an easy time doing their jobs. What they want is a nice, polite person to make reasonable requests of them and to then follow the rules in having those requests fulfilled. They want you to be patient and understanding. If you do these things...they will DO WHAT YOU WANT IN THE CONTEXT OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL CAPABILITIES AND CAPACITY. They will get you that permit! They will process that request! They will transfer your child to the other school! They will DO THESE THINGS. Sorry to e-shout.

In short, to brag, I always get what I want with bureaucrats, because I am nice to them.


Verily Shall I Endeavor!

...to do the following things!
  1. I shall ignore the fact that I am on a bike, miserably racing past dorks in their silly bike clothes and dodging traffic. Note that this willful ignorance will not preclude me from due caution.
  2. I shall eschew the three hours of video game leisure I have per week in favor of maybe closer to 1.5 hours of it, along with 1.5 of something more useful!
  3. I shall write some new tunes for The Nervous. For lo, at some point shall we practice yet again!
  4. I shall continue my miserable fucking workout routine, in the vain quest of...what? Who knows?!
  5. I shall continue diving head-first into technical challenges at work about which I know...precious little.
  6. I shall blog slightly more frequently!


Big-Time Update, You Guys

House! An offer we made was accepted on a pretty neat house off of Rosa Parks in North Portland. Tomorrow is the inspection, and if that goes well, the days after are the other inspections (sewer, radon, Indian burial grounds, etc.), then comes the appraisal and title verification, and if we don't explode into bloody stains from the stress by then, eventually we write the biggest check ever written and become Dr. and Mrs. Zoidberg, homeowners. Crazy.

Bikes! I am the only person in Portland who has realized that you go much faster if you stay in the hardest gear on your bike (as far as I can tell. This is just the evidence talking.) Also, it's official: I kind of hate commuting by bike, but the exercise is so good and the price is so free that I can't stop doing it. Gotta be heart-healthy! Gotta burn those calories! Gotta have a good excuse to eat more Pad Khee Mao!

Babies! Plan C is equal parts brilliant, adorable, and totally bloody lazy. No walking, still. Little talking, still. Oh, she CAN talk if she wants to, she COULD finish learning to walk if she wanted to, but she's only just getting around to having more than one tooth, so she doesn't feel like doing much of anything but stealing hearts when she goes out and pointing at things and saying "buh?!" when she stays in.

My wife! Is hot. She gets sick of me telling her that, but it's the truth.

Fun stuff! A captcha (the download letters nonsense) the other day was "options typlig," which is my new pseudonym, or at least my new nom de plume. Also, I've agreed with my homie K to greet her by saying "DANGEROUS WEAPONS!"


Music and Pizza

Part I: Today, the men of The Nervous joined forces to produce the soundtrack for our homie K's 15-Minute Filmfest movie, a mockumentary about a kid who wears wigs all the time. We produced (wrote and recorded) three songs and one background musicy thing in the course of five hours:
  1. A sad song.
  2. A happy song.
  3. A thrash-punk song for the part where the kid burns his wigs.
  4. A weird ambient thing.
As ever, The Nervous were Clean, Punctual, and Efficient.

Part II: B, Plan C and I went to our favorite pizza place in Portland last night: American Dream. I just love that place. We always get a medium pizza with BBQ chicken and artichoke hearts. We also drank a pitcher of Full Sail Amber. Plan C was adorable, saying hi to everyone and being cute as the dickens. What I was most interested to see is that the Indie Rock Hipsters that used to work there back during Portland V. 1.0 are gone, replaced by Metal Hipsters! Those metal hipsters can really make some pizza, though!