Jun 30, 2008

Getting Close

What a day! Today was a crazy day of getting ready for the new house. I started off working on our finances for the loan. We needed to liquidate some money market funds to use for our down payment. I then worked on the wiring instructions for the bank. We met with our mortgage broker, Blake Priest, from Park Cities Mortage, who went over the settlement statement with us and helped us understand what exactly we are paying. In between all of this money talk, I met with our painter, Jason Rock from DFW Painting, to go over everything one last time before they start work on Thursday. He wanted our final color choices - but I didn't have them yet so I will have to get that to him on Thursday. Then I bought a microwave at Rodenbaugh's in Allen. We made the decision to pay a little bit extra and get one that would be built-in rather than one that would just sit on the shelf - here she is. Looks very similar to our ovens (which is good since they are on the same wall!) The microwave, ovens, and fridge will all be delivered Thursday afternoon.

Here is also a picture of my new kitchen television:

Count Down til Closing: 39 hours
Count Down til Moving: 12 days

Jun 29, 2008

3 More Days

In three days we will be homeowners. It's really hard to believe that we are old enough to be doing this - but we are. Today we went out and looked at microwaves for the new place. The house at one point had a built-in microwave (it has a hole cut for in that has power and everything) but at some point someone took it out and put a cabinet door over the whole to create more cabinet space. I don't want a microwave sitting out on my counter all of the time, so we are looking to build it in again. Because the house is older, we need to find a 24" microwave and trim kit set, which is not going to be cheap. We think we know what we want now and just need to figure out who has the best price on it. We bought our fridge and ovens at Rodenbaugh's and I think I will head up there tomorrow to see what their price looks like.

While we were out shopping today, we saw an undermount television on the clearance rack at Sear's and I am so excited about it! I love to watch Wheel of Fortune while I cook and now I'll be able to. It is a stainless undermount from Sony that will blend into our kitchen - yay!

Tomorrow I am also meeting with the painters we hired to go over the final details like colors and work schedule - so glad we are wrapping all of this up. I can't wait to be in the new house.

Countdown til Closing: 3 days
Countdown til Moving: 13 days

Jun 25, 2008

Black Cabinets?

Considering painting my kitchen cabinets black a la this kitchen which is laid out almost identically - thoughts?

Jun 22, 2008

Puppy Play Date

Rory and Toby had a play date on Friday. Toby is Jessica's new puppy. He is a 2 1/2 month old Pappillion and will be about the same size as Rory when he is full grown. This was the first time I have ever thought Rory looked big!

Jun 21, 2008

Lessons from Two Geeks

I have been hearing how funny “Big Bang Theory” on CBS is and a while back started DVRing episodes. I finally started watching them now that summer programming has left me nothing to watch while Bucko WoWs. If you haven't seen this comedy ... what the heck is the matter with you? (Not that I can judge since I’ve only seen a few episodes!) You are missing out. I'm a huge fan of geek jokes and this has it in spades. Two theoretical physicists, a hot blonde neighbor and a theme song by Bare Naked Ladies ... what's not to love?

One episode in particular really got me thinking -- Schrodinger's Cat. Leonard (finally) asked out Penny (the hot neighbor) and now both are worried they are making a mistake. For goodness knows what reason, they both ask the socially awkward Sheldon for guidance. Sheldon tells a story about Schrodinger's cat. Schrodinger’s cat while often described as a paradox, is actually a thought experiment devised by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935 toillustrate what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics being applied to everyday objects, because in the example of a cat, it may be either alive or dead, based on an earlier random event. Basically it is a thought experiment where you put a cat, a Geiger counter, and a vial of poison all in a sealed box. If the Geiger conuter detects radiation, the vial of posion shatters. As long as the box is closed, you don’t know if the cat is alive or dead, therefore either reality could be real. Therefore, in a quantum superposition, the cat is both alive AND dead. Until the box is opened at which point it is possible to determine while reality exists and the cat is either alive or dead. So Leonard decides that he has to open the box (meaning he is going to go for it) and give Penny a big ol’ kiss before the date. Penny decides that the cat’s still alive and they go out.


So taking this a step further, every decision is really just a 50/50 proposition. As long as you continue to take no action you have neither A or B (or perhaps you have both A and B?) So if you are worried about a bad thing and fretting over a decision you are allowing the bad outcome to remain a reality by postponing the decision making process through fretting. Once you have made a decision you have 50/50 chance of eliminating the bad outcome that existed until you opened the box!

The great thing about thought experiments is that they are open to interpretation by anyone who care to think about it (which, for the most part, means they are rarely interpreted at all!) I’d love to hear your interpretation of Schrodinger’s cat.

Jun 19, 2008

The Marriage Mortgage

A really interesting article on marriage (comparing it to my current life predicament - a house!)

(News-Herald, June 19) It’s the wedding season, the time of year when many folks are preparing to get hitched. Predictably, this leads to lots of other folks thinking about divorce.
While it’s not strictly true to say that half of all marriages will end in divorce (it’s an example of statistical abuse for rhetorical effect), it’s true that many attempts to enter that lifetime institution come up short on the “lifetime” part.

We wonder why. We talk about why marriages fail in general, and we devote plenty of time to discussing why particular marriages failed. It ought to be educational, but despite the wealth of negative examples, the failure of marriages remains a mystery (well, at least to many people whose marriages fail).

Of course, it’s popular and comforting to assign all the blame for a marital meltdown to just one party. However, it’s almost always wrong.

A marriage is a complex and dynamic relationship between two people. When a marriage succeeds, hardly anyone says, “The success of that marriage is totally because of Spouse A. Spouse B had nothing to do with it.” Why take the same view of divorce?
It is often true that one particular spouse sets off the bomb that creates the final spectacular collapse. But marriages don’t reach that point overnight, and usually it takes both parties to get there.

I suspect that you could select any two people at random, and they could have a successful marriage—if they decided that they would do whatever it took to have it. Heck, in many places and times in human history, that’s how it worked.

Nowadays it doesn’t work that way, and that’s probably a good thing. Sometimes “whatever it takes” ends up being “learn to live with emotional isolation” or “cheerfully accept being a punching bag.” But I think the basic concept is sound.

Here’s my analogy for the week. A marriage is like a house.

I don’t mean a house as in “large structure with walls and foundation etc etc etc.” I mean a house as in “big expensive thing that you spend most of your adult life taking care of.”

The first rookie marriage mistake is to put all your care and attention into the wedding without thinking about the marriage. This is like putting your down payment on the house, signing all your closing paperwork, and imagining that all that remains is to move into the house and live there.

But, of course, there are payments to make, every month, for years and years. Telling the bank, “Well, we signed the papers and gave you a down payment—what else do you want!!” won’t cut it.

Lots of folks buy that marriage house without really understanding what it will cost. And then lots of people forget about the monthly payment, the cost in time, attention, putting something ahead of yourself.

They get comfortable. They start spending on other things. These expenses can be good and noble (children, health, the World Peace Club) or they can be selfish (fancy clothes, snazzy car, cheek implants) or they can be stupid (drugs, gambling, illicit petting zoos). But if the couple spends too much money, at the end of the month, they can’t make their house payment.

If you end up a hundred dollars short, it’s easy to blame the mortgage default (divorce, for those of you getting lost in this metaphor) on the person who spent that last hundred dollars. But that last hundred only hurts because of all the other expenses that preceded it.

Occasionally someone does end it all unilaterally. Chris cleans out the entire bank account, so they lose the house.

But usually both parties have spent in other places the bits and pieces that they needed to make the marital mortgage payment. Sometimes they’ve done it with good intentions; one classic marital challenge is the person who basically dumps their spouse in order to spend everything on their kids.

And sometimes even when the couple scrimps and saves, it’s not enough. Some people can’t resist getting a house they can’t afford.

The one big flaw in this comparison—with a house, you usually know up front what the cost will be. With a marriage, you can discover down the road a cost far beyond what you imagined. But one similarity holds true. When you find the right one for you, the cost won’t bother you, because it will be worth every bit of what you pay.

Jun 16, 2008


Wow! Painters make a lot of money! I met with a few people to get quotes to have the ceilings scraped in our new house before we move it - and wow! That's all I can say. I think we are still going to do it, but it is a lot more expensive than we thought it would be.

A Relaxing Week

I just got back from a great week in New Jersey with my Mom. We flew up on Monday, in time to attend Aunt Joyce’s retirement party on Tuesday night. She had no idea we were coming and was so so surprised to see us! It was really special to share this time with her and celebrate her 32 years of teaching in Delaware Township, New Jersey. I was only 2 when we moved away from New Jersey and so didn’t know very many people (but they knew me!) My Mom really enjoyed catching up with many of the people she taught with in Delaware Township 20 years ago.

There was only one thing that dampened our fun on Tuesday:

Tuesday morning Aunt Ellen went out to turn on her car which she hadn’t driven in weeks (must be nice to be retired!) When it wouldn’t start Uncle John called AAA but it turned out the battery was dead. Uncle John replaced the battery and then Mom and I were on our way. We didn’t get far before we realized the A/C was blowing hot. We pulled over and put the top down but that just meant we cooked in the pounding sun and crazy high humidity. Someday when my future kids complain I can now say – I remember when cars didn’t always have conditioning.

After our adventures on Tuesday we had a relaxing rest of the week. We took long walks on the boardwalk, sat on the beach, read our books on the porch, went shopping, saw Robbie’s townhouse, spent time with the Leahy boys, saw the Leahy’s new house, etc. It was really a great week!

A big thank you to Aunt Ellen and Uncle John for so graciously hosting us for the week!

Jun 8, 2008

Matt and Kathryn Do Dallas

Thanks Matt and Kathryn for such a great weekend! It was so wonderful meeting Kathryn, Matt's girlfriend, on their visit to Dallas. They make a great couple. We had a wonderful weekend - on Saturday night we went to the Fort Worth Rodeo and Billy Bob's followed by a party at the Meltzer's on Sunday afternoon. I loved seeing the Meltzer family again - such a great family and we have missed seeing them all since Matt moved. We can't wait to visit Matt and Kathryn in Charleston in August!

Jun 6, 2008


Please keep Casey in your prayers tomorrow - His CFA Level II Exam is tomorrow!

Jun 2, 2008

Mazatlan Mexico Weekend

This past weekend, Casey and I attended the Mine/Mill Inauguration for the Nuestra Senora project in Cosala Mexico hosted by Scorpio Mining. It was a fantastic weekend!

We arrived in Mazatlan, Mexico on Wednesday after lunch and spent the afternoon walking the shops in the “Golden Triangle” and saw lots of things we liked (but didn’t buy anything – nothing seemed more exciting than furniture for our new house!) That night, Scorpio had a welcome dinner for all of the people who had come in for the weekend. The shrimp and steak was prepared tableside – I love when they do that and you see all of the flames! Our room was incredible – our patio looked right onto the water. We couldn’t have asked for more.

On Thursday morning, Scorpio had arranged a tour of Mazatlan, the “Pearl of the Pacific.” We started by seeing some of the amazing development going on in the city – ½ million dollar homes in beautiful golf course communities, beachfront condos, a man made island with million dollar homes and lots of boats, etc. Then we drove up the main drag and saw tons and tons of beautiful monuments all over the city. We got off of the tour bus in the Old City and saw the cathedral (which has a Star of David in each window - our tour guy said this was done because the church was financed by a Jewish man who was trying to gain acceptance into the primarily Catholic community but didn’t want to do so at the expense of his own beliefs!) We walked through the old market which was really neat because the market is truly used by the locals for produce, seafood, meat, etc. as well as having the touristy booths with local wares.

Friday was the Mine/Mill Inauguration in Cosala, which was a 2 hour drive from Mazatlan. They had a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a tour of the mill where we were able to see the ore and learn about the process.

From the Scorpio press release: “The Inauguration was attended by over 650 people including Mexican state and federal officials, Canadian Government officials and representatives of various financial institutions from Europe, Australia, Argentina, Canada and USA, and was covered by all of the Mexican national and state television and newspapers… The cutting of the ribbon was celebrated by the Governor of the State of Sinaloa, Lic. Alberto Aguilar Padilla; the Canadian Ambassador, His Excellency Guillermo E. Rishchynski; the Minister of Mines for México, Lic. Roque Diaz de Leon and the Chairman and CEO of Scorpio, Peter J. Hawley…. At present, a total of 95,000 tonnes of ore is stockpiled at the mill site and being processed. In addition, underground production crews are drilling the second long-hole stope and opening a level for a future cut and fill stope from a high-grade area. Remote control mucking of the first blasted long-hole stope continues and the Company has completed an electrical upgrade throughout the mine to improve power distribution for jumbo and long-hole drilling, diamond drilling and ventilation.”

That night, Scorpio hosted a really fun dinner with traditional dancing, a mock cock fight, a mariachi band etc. Casey got recognized as a shareholder and received a really neat painting which he is going to hang in his office.

On Saturday, Casey went deep sea fishing (and his boat caught 3 fish!) and I lounged on the beach. When Casey got back we both went and enjoyed the zip line at Playa Mazatlan. All in all it was a really great trip! Until Saturday night that is.

Saturday night, I got really really sick. Lets just say it was not a pleasant night nor a happy plane ride home on Sunday.

Check out pictures of our weekend in the photo section