Movers are a gift from god

The movers, Aviv Moving and Storage, came right on time this morning at 8:45, and they had all our stuff loaded into the truck by 10:30ish.  While they were loading the truck, Mauro dropped off the keys to the new place…  He also mentioned that the road our new place is on was closed for the day due to some power company work.  Fortunately, when we got over there with the moving truck, the cop let us past the cones and the truck made it into the driveway.  It took us awhile to get over there, mostly because we had to come in the “back way” due to the road closing, but we passed several “No Trucks” roads before finding one that would let us turn around and come in the back way.  The guys probably started unloading the truck around 11:15a and were done in an hour.  The total move time was about 3.5 hours, which is at least half of what it would have been had we done it ourselves.

I still have a few small things left in the old place, but I will throw most of that into the car tonight.  Our buyer has her final walkthrough scheduled for 6:30pm tonight, and our closings are at 10am and 3pm tomorrow.  Then, finally, the “buying” phase of operation new home will be complete, and we can move on to the insurgency.

Shipped It

 and I had our first open house this past Sunday, so we spent a lot of time leading up to it tying up all the loose ends in the place..   I was feeling pretty ill, so I wasn’t pulling 100% of my weight…  But I still managed to do some cleaning while she finished off everything else…  While our place had been listed midway through last week, we held off on showing it until the open house, to kind of kick it off with a bang.

We were kinda freaking out because when we listed our place, there were two other units on the market in our building, both of which were priced much higher than ours (in my opinion, they are both ridiculously overpriced).  But at the last minute on Friday, another unit went on sale for a few grand less than ours.  From the pictures in the listing, it looked pretty comparable to ours, but it was on the first floor.  So we really went to town on our place so it would show really well.  On Sunday, we found out that not only did this other place undercut our price, but they decided to have an open house at the same time as us…  So on our way out of our place, we decided to swing by and check out our competition..  This turned out to be an excellent idea, as this place didn’t compete with ours at all…  It’s not like it was a tenement or anything, don’t get me wrong, but it certainly didn’t show anywhere near as well as ours..  The walls were all flat white, with lots of very visible patching, etc..  The shades were drawn, so even though it was noon on a beautiful Spring day, the place looked dreary.  The bathroom was in dire need of overhauling, something we just had done a few months ago..   They opened up the wall between the kitchen and living room, but the kitchen wasn’t terribly pretty, so it was a turn off for me..  And they closed off the archway from the living room to the bathroom, making the place feel really claustrophobic when you were in the front entryway.  All in all, I felt that our place looked so much better, and I felt good that people would visit this other place first (since it was on the first floor) before making their way up to ours…   It totally re-framed expectations and made our place look that much better.

So after seeing this place, the nervous feelings lifted and we were able to simply enjoy our lunch and the beautiful day.   Mauro, our agent, was expecting 12 or so people to come by, but whether it was the weather or the great pictures in our listing, we had 20+!  Corinna had been saying for the past week or so that she had hoped to get an offer quickly after the open house, but I was quite skeptical..  There were several comparable places on the market in our neighborhood which had been listed for weeks or even months…  But it was hard to deal with that data as the real estate market is always kind of slow leading into the spring..

Anyway, to make a long story short, a woman made an offer on our place a few hours after the open house, and by noon the next day, 24 hours after the start of our open house, we had agreed on a price… (When I say “we”, I really mean Corinna and this woman, since I don’t own any of our current place…)  Corinna and I were completely caught off guard by how fast this all happened, and we are totally chuffed…  Obviously the deal isn’t completely secure yet, so I’m not completely relaxed, but it certainly is helping me sleep easier.  The woman has scheduled the inspection for this Saturday (at 8am, ick) and wants to close by May 31st!

Strange Week

I’ve felt out of sorts all week, and I’m not sure why…   I ended up driving to work most of this week, so perhaps that has something to do with it.  I slipped and fell on the way to work on Monday, thanksto some piece of shit who couldn’t be bothered to clear their sidewalk…  After I got to work, I hooked up my iPod to the computer and it wasn’t seeing the connection.  I thought it got damaged in the fall, but after banging it on the desk a few times and blowing out the dock connector, it finally seemed to work.

Corinna and I continue trying to button up the remainder of the pre-sale house tasks…  Last weekend we moved even more stuff into the storage locker..  We have a few final things to put in there, and I will hopefully get them together this weekend and be able to check that box.  Last night I took

to Home Depot so she could pick out paint for the bedroom and get some other supplies.  I am no fun to shop with, so we have an agreement where I am the chauffeur and then I sit in the car doing whatever..   Last night I spent the time catching up on old issues of Skeptical Inquirer.  I have a stack of about 6 issues that I never even opened, and I’d rather not move them if I don’t have to…

Today I walked in…  It’s so beautiful outside, it was really invigorating!

This Sunday, the film club is going to a pre-screening of “Hot Fuzz” at the Brattle, and Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright will be there in person…  Should be a good time!

Busy Weekend!

This was a pretty crazy weekend!  On Friday night I went to Symphony Hall to see Artie Lange, from the Howard Stern Show (and formerly of MadTV).  It was a great time, Jim Florentine and Greg Fitzsimmons opened, both of whom I’ve enjoyed for some time, so it was great to see them live.  The MC was some local guy, who wasn’t that good and got pretty heavily booed, but he handled it well and probably knew what he was in store for… 

Saturday was a hugely busy day for

and I.  After grabbing breakfast, we headed over to the newly-rented storage locker to check it out, and then went across the street and rented a van from U-Haul.  We only really needed the van to move some of the bigger stuff (closet shelves and one of our dressers), but we ended up taking a bunch of other shit that was ready to go over as well.  I think the U-Haul guy was startled when he saw our total mileage was 3 miles in 2 hours, but then again, they are probably used to that in the city.  Moving that big stuff into storage sucked, but not as badly as it could have.  We spent the rest of the day packing away some unnecessary clothes and items..  The goal of all this is to make the apartment look less cluttered when we start showing it (hopefully in April).  This was a good motivator, imho, because the whole house was a mess, so it was hard NOT to be compelled to clean it up.  We ended up getting into a fight, which I guess can be expected when doing something so stressful, but we worked it out.. :)  We took another carload of stuff over Saturday night, and when we got back from that trip,  I turned the car off and realized I could pull up in my spot a bit more.  I went to start the car and it wouldn’t even turn over (even all the instrument lights were working fine).  I’m not entirely sure what’s wrong with it, but I guess I’ll have AAA tow it to my mechanic tonight.  Hopefully it’s just a bad battery, but I guess it could be something far more nefarious…

Sunday was spent cleaning and doing laundry..   I was pretty tired by the end of the day, and was nodding off a little bit on the train ride over to the movie theatre.  The film club saw 300 last night, which was fun…  It was much better than I expected, and while I had some minor criticisms, overall it was a fun flick.

Warranty Fortune Smiles Upon Me

I had a great time in Rochester for the CSH Welcome Back Party, but I think I might be skipping future Welcome Back parties… More and more of my friends are leaving Rochester, and I know fewer and fewer people who live at CSH. I think this realization comes to all alumni, but I guess I finally hit the sweet spot. It seems that each year I spend more time in Rochester catching up with my friends who are visiting from out of town, and less time doing anything with the house. It occured to us that if all we are going to do is hang out with each other, we can pick a place that’s a bit more fun than Rochester… :P This decision doesn’t effect Fucked Up Movie Night, however, so I still plan on being at CSH once or twice a year.. Of course, it’s very possible that next September I will change my mind and end up in Rochester anyway, so this could all be bullshit.

I have had great warranty luck lately… First off, Apple recalled both of the batteries I have for my Powerbook. This worked out fantastically, because I was just getting annoyed by the diminished capacity of the two recalled batteries. Around the same time, I got an email from Sirius saying that due to supply shortages, my warranty exchange on my Starmate Replay (for a scratchy 1/8″ audio jack) was being upgraded to a brand new Sportster 4, which is a much nicer radio. I got that in the mail the other day, the only sucky thing is that I have to send back all of the original equipment for the Starmate, so I had to rip out the old antenna and install the new. I had the Antenna wire hid very nicely through the trunk, and under the molding on the passenger side of the car, so I had to reproduce all of that again. Also, the Starmate ran on 12V DC so lopped off the lighter adaptor that came with it and hardwired it into the cars power inside the dash. I can’t exactly return that, and the new radio runs on 5V DC, so I will take some kind of hit on that..

and I have been trying to finish up all of the lingering projects around the house. She started staining the doors the other day, and I masked off the bathroom to finally prime and paint it. After it’s painted, the bathroom needs baseboard and door trim, and all of the old radiators still need to be painted. I want to finish all of the woodwork this weekend so we can finally clean up the apartment fully…

Bathroom Update

got a call from the contractor a few days ago asking her to be home at 3pm yesterday to sign off on the bathroom. Corinna and I called bullshit on this right away, looking at the work left to be done in the bathroom. I advised her to call the company before she left work so she didn’t waste any of her time. When she did, they were “running behind, but should be done around 6pm”. I left work a little early so I could be home at ~5pm to have a word with the contractors. When I got home, the owner, site manager, and plumber were there, surprised that I came home.

They started off saying they hadn’t finished, and that they’d have to come back to finish the access panel for the water shutoff as well as the radiator. I took this opportunity to add the chase they were on contract to install to box out the steam main. They looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. My temper flared instantly, as I knew they had convieniently forgotten about this work. I calmed myself down (“He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots”) and pointed them to the original sales agreement which specifically mentioned either moving the steam main into the wall or boxing it out. I was originally concerned when I saw the plaster guy doing the walls but not boxing in the pipe, but I remembered someone mentioned they usually use some kind of panelling for those tasks. But I honestly think they were trying to not do the work, which pisses me off.

I’ve continued to updated the photos of the job, but don’t be fooled by the titles, “Day 15” is not elapsed time, but worked time. This wednesday will be the 4 week mark since the beginning of this job. “Day 15” doesn’t count weekends or the several days (one stretch was 4 days in a row) that they didn’t do a god-damned thing.

Renovations Fun

So the contractor eventually showed up yesterday and begun demolition of our bathroom. Corinna waited around all morning for them to come, they were supposed to show between 8 and 9am, but didn’t show until 2pm… The guy doing the demolition got most of the wall down (which is a tall order since it is all steel-backed plaster) and came back today to finish the job. I will be taking pictures each day as I did for my parents’ renovations. I will also be showering each day at work, which should be interesting.. Fortunately I won’t be spending the next two weekends in Boston, so I don’t have to figure out a showering procedure for when I’m not at work.

Attended a great lecture today on some interesting image processing algorithms developed by a colleague at our parent division (Goodrich Optical & Space Systems).