June 30, 2005

Property News

Well, today we closed on the sale of our current house and the purchase of our new house. We get to rent our just-sold house for 6 days, but expect to be completely moved out on July 5. (We're using professional movers, as our "stuff" has grown quite a bit over the last 10 years, so the only real grief will be the packing and unpacking).

Don't expect much content around here until the end of next week or so. Assuming Comcast gets us hooked up on time, there should only be a two-day Internet blackout (on the 4th and 5th).

Posted by JohnL at 10:40 PM | Comments (5) |

June 29, 2005

Helicopter Cheesecake

Wow. Jeff at Gravity Lens found a really cool helicopter: the CarterCopter.

So far, it's just a prototype technology demonstrator, but it has already achieved a milestone for rotary-wing craft: a mu of 1 for the first time in history (achieved on June 17, 2005).

Yeah, I didn't have the faintest clue what that meant, either, but read more about it here and keep your eyes peeled for these very attractive rotorcraft.

Posted by JohnL at 11:00 PM | Comments (0) |

Carnivals to the Left of Me, Carnivals to the Right...

Left behind the bars, rows of Bishops' heads in jars
and a bomb inside a car
Spectacular! Spectacular!

- From "Karn Evil 9, First Impression Part One," by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

First up - Carnival of Music #5 will be taking place at And What Next on July 4th (or 5th).

---> Send your musical submissions to our new gmail dropbox: music.carnival@gmail.com.

(Thanks, Ted, for the gmail invite!) Remember also to check out Carnival of Music #4 at Owlish's place (you might need to scroll down, since his permalinks are bloggered up right now), and review the paleo-proto-musico-carnivals at the archive page.

Next, the first Carnival of Liberty will be taking place at The Unrepentant Individual on or around July 4. This is like the debutante ball for the newest unruly group I've joined: Life, Liberty, and Property. So send your liberty-themed submissions to carnivalofliberty@gmail.com.

Posted by JohnL at 10:44 PM | Comments (0) |

Music Meme From Gunner

Gunner tagged me with a music meme last week. Things have been a bit crazy here, so I'm just now getting around to answering it.

Here's the game: What are your top three songs to listen to whilst running? And if you have the server space, will you post one or all of them for the rest of us to download? (If running is not your preferred method of exercise – which more or less guarantees your intelligence – well, songs that you would listen to are just fine.)

I usually don't listen to music while doing my nightly walk/run with the dog. I like to talk to him, and my suburban neighborhood straddles a creek and is covered with trees, so the nighttime chorus of toads and crickets makes a great soundtrack.

I do frequently listen to music while (whilst?) mowing the lawn, and my current favorites are:

I have to say, though, that I have several mix CDs I listen to during yardwork, so this list would definitely change from week to week.

Posted by JohnL at 12:04 AM | Comments (3) |

June 28, 2005

Marketplace of Ideas

Looking at my Google AdSense ads, I marvel at the diversity of opinions seeking to be heard.

They represent, quite literally, a marketplace of ideas. People are spending money to get these small commercial blurbs read by web surfers (please click on them to support this site, btw).

Looking at them today got me to thinking about the figurative marketplace of ideas. Consider this quote, from the originator of the phrase, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes:

"Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition. To allow opposition by speech seems to indicate that you think the speech impotent, as when a man says that he has squared the circle, or that you do not care whole-heartedly for the result, or that you doubt either your power or your premises. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas -- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country."

Whenever some leftist gets the vapors over some alleged suppression of dissent, read the facts in the case that led to the above dissent and ask whether we are more or less free today. Are we hauling Michael Moore into court under some sedition act? Are we shutting down MoveOn.org or the Democratic Underground under the Espionage Acts?

Call me Pollyanna, but I think we have it pretty good.

Posted by JohnL at 11:51 PM | Comments (0) |

June 27, 2005

Take the Survey Already

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Posted by JohnL at 10:28 PM | Comments (0) |

Carnival of Music #4

Owlish has posted the fourth installment of the Carnival of Music.

A nice eclectic mix of stuff there, so go check it out.

Posted by JohnL at 10:06 AM | Comments (0) |

June 26, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (Ki-61 Tony)

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Tony:


(Image from Stof's "Virtual Flying" Page).

If you read the linked pages above, you'll see why it's no accident that this plane resembles the German Me-109.

Posted by JohnL at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) |

Venus Calling Mars...

Here's a funny comment at Slashdot characterizing (stereotyping?) female and male communications styles. My wife appreciated it, so I think it's OK to post.

(Via Utterly Boring).

Posted by JohnL at 11:10 PM | Comments (1) |

June 22, 2005

Yet Another Theology Quiz

Rob keeps retaking tests and getting the same result.

Here's a slightly more sophisticated one, the Belief-O-Matic, as it tests you on 20 questions ranked by importance.

I took this quiz a couple of years ago and it told me I was a Reform Jew. I definitely like the Reform Jew congregation members I have met, I just don't think I could ever adjust culturally to the different mode of communal worship. As long as there is a semi-traditional Methodist church around, that's where I'll be when I go to church.

In any case, my beliefs must have changed a small amount over the last few years, as I am now more Unitarian (100%) than Reform Jew (94%). I am also - disturbingly - barely more liberal Christian than Islamic.

I would be interested in seeing your top 5 results in comments (or post them at your blog and trackback here).

Here are my full results:

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Reform Judaism (94%)
3. Liberal Quakers (90%)
4. Secular Humanism (84%)
5. Neo-Pagan (83%)
6. Sikhism (78%)
7. Bahá'í Faith (77%)
8. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (71%)
9. Islam (70%)
10. Orthodox Judaism (70%)
11. New Age (66%)
12. Nontheist (65%)
13. Jainism (62%)
14. Mahayana Buddhism (62%)
15. Scientology (59%)
16. Theravada Buddhism (59%)
17. New Thought (57%)
18. Taoism (53%)
19. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (47%)
20. Hinduism (47%)
21. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (44%)
22. Orthodox Quaker (44%)
23. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (32%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (22%)
25. Jehovah's Witness (22%)
26. Roman Catholic (22%)
27. Seventh Day Adventist (18%)

Posted by JohnL at 11:24 PM | Comments (9) |

June 21, 2005

Far Out

As soon as you think you have figured out Eggagog's sublimely bizarre storylines at THIS IS FUN TO MAKE A BLOG ON THE COMPUTER WEBSITE, go check out UFO Breakfast Recipients.

I love the Internet.

Posted by JohnL at 11:36 PM | Comments (0) |

Top 100 Movie Quotes

Frankly, dear readers, I don't give a damn. Actually, that's not quite true. Many of these quotes were truly quote-worthy, while others seemed to be included out of a sense of duty.

A real travesty was number 21, a quote which always grates on me: "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

You see, I think the original line in the book was far superior: "A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone."

Substituting Chianti for Amarone is like substituting Budweiser for Guinness. It's the kind of dumbing-down for which a real Dr. Lector would have eaten the screenwriter.

The top 25 quotes are below the fold:

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Gone with the Wind, 1939
2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." The Godfather, 1972
3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am." On the Waterfront, 1954
4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." The Wizard of Oz, 1939
5. "Here's looking at you, kid." Casablanca, 1942
6. "Go ahead, make my day." Sudden Impact, 1983
7. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." Sunset Boulevard., 1950
8. "May the Force be with you." Star Wars, 1977
9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." All About Eve, 1950
10. "You talking to me?" Taxi Driver, 1976
11. "What we've got here is failure to communicate." Cool Hand Luke, 1967
12. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." Apocalypse Now, 1979
13. "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Love Story, 1970
14. "The stuff that dreams are made of." The Maltese Falcon, 1941
15. "E.T. phone home." E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
16. "They call me Mister Tibbs!" In the Heat of the Night, 1967
17. "Rosebud." Citizen Kane, 1941
18. "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" White Heat, 1949
19. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Network, 1976
20. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Casablanca, 1942
21. "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
22. "Bond. James Bond." Dr. No, 1962
23. "There's no place like home." The Wizard of Oz, 1939
24. "I am big! It's the pictures that got small." Sunset Boulevard, 1950
25. "Show me the money!" Jerry Maguire, 1996

Posted by JohnL at 11:09 PM | Comments (5) |

Anakin in Lava for Children

Rob mentioned the lovely tableau of Vader Sinking in Lava on the neighbor-kid's birthday cake the other day.

In some weird synchronicity, my 8-year-old was constructing the same scene out of Legos.

(Click the image for a larger, annotated version).


Posted by JohnL at 06:53 PM | Comments (0) |

June 20, 2005

Carnival of Music # 3

Administrative stuff first: I have put together an archive page for the carnival with FAQs, a schedule of future carnival hosts, and a list of previous carnivals. We need hosts! It's fun and easy and a great way to learn from a large selection of bloggers about a subject you love. Owlish has volunteered to host, and I have penciled him in for next week's carnival.

Please email me to submit a post for inclusion in a future carnival or to let me know that you would like to host one.

Without further ado, we start this week's program with an assortment of favorite springtime CDs, offered up by the HeadGirl at the Common Room.

Bart at the Well-Tempered Blog recommends a CD of Iren Marik playing Bartok as his tip of the week. Bart also provides a free link to an mp3 of Marik performing a piece by Debussy.

Michele at A Small Victory started another one of her trademark music lists today, after seeking input on the 20 best songs from the past 20 years. She was of course responding to the silly list put out by Spin magazine, reported here.

Every musician has a store of "war stories" -- things gone wrong in a performance. Harpist Helen Radice shares a funny one regarding a bird, a turd, and a word. (Rhyme inspired by the third and very funny comment to her post).

Brian Sacawa of Sounds Like Now has posted an mp3 sample of a live performance of pastlife laptops and attic instruments for alto saxophone, turntables, and electronics. If you like experimental saxophone electronica or abstract impressionist jazz, you will like this number.

For the past year, my Munuvian sponsor, Ted "RocketJones" has been receiving comments on this classic 2004 post on Stripper Music. Earlier this year, he put together a master list here.

Speaking of moving to music, Talvi of Of Music and Men doesn't like it. And, curmudgeonly as it sounds, I don't either. My organ teacher discouraged all extraneous movement, not only because it distracted from the music, but also because it hampered proper technique. Flailing around may look dramatic, and large arm movements may appear artistic, but they are really excess motions that can throw off your balance and timing while performing.

Fred is a vocalist who has discovered the humbling experience of learning from a recording of himself. I agree that a microphone can be a great teacher. Remember, however, that the musician is rarely an objective critic (either too harsh or too lenient) and a teacher can help recommend techniques to fix the perceived problems.

Finally, Music Thing posts about Paia, a do-it-yourself synth kit maker since 1967. The post features a very nifty photo of a synthesizer and effects installed in a drill case. (I once owned a broken-but-reapairable Paia modular synth but had to abandon it shortly after marriage during one of our moves. Lack of storage space has been the continual bane of my music hobby).

I hope you've enjoyed this week's carnival. For earlier carnivals, please remember to check the archive page. Thanks!

Posted by JohnL at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) |

June 19, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (Me 262)

The first jet fighter in history to see battle, the Messerschmitt Me-262:


The Me-262 Project is a private effort to create reproductions of this historic and beautiful aircraft. Interesting to me, much of the initial work was done in Fort Worth, Texas, just about an hour and a half southwest of here. Here's a picture of one of their creations in flight:


Update: The Country Pundit wrote a nice piece about this airplane, with more detail and history than I typically use in these kinds of posts.

Posted by JohnL at 09:46 PM | Comments (1) |

June 16, 2005


So leftist fever-swamp proprietor DailyKos likens the "torture" allegedly perpetrated by American troops in Iraq and Guantanamo to the torture inflicted upon Iraqis by Saddam Hussein. In fact, they are "equally bad" in his eyes.

Bullshit. [Warning! Graphic images provided for the sake of providing perspective].

Only the willful mischaracterization of [allowed] aggressive interrogation techniques or occasional instances of abuse or mistreatment by Americans as "torture" allows Kos to draw that conclusion. This same sort of reality-distortion field also allows the loony left to compare Gitmo to the gulag.

Posted by JohnL at 10:49 PM | Comments (1) |

Fun Math Puzzle

GeekPress found this puzzle at Car Talk:

I'm getting old and a little absent-minded, so my friends got together and bought me a stylish little desk calendar. It's a cradle for two cubes, each with one number per face.

They figured I probably had enough left in me to figure what year it was and what month it was, but the date was going to elude me. So, this little gift was going to show the date. So, for example, if it were the 21st, I'd rotate one cube until a "2" was showing, and the other would show a "1". The next day I would know to rotate one cube so, together, the two cubes would read "22".

With the two cubes, I was able to express every date. For example, if it were the 2nd of the month, it would be expressed as "02". If it were the 18th you'd put up a 1 and an 8, and so on.

Here's my question. If you were designing the cubes, what numbers would you paint on each one so you could express all the dates from "01" to "31"?

My answer (and reasoning) below the fold.

One cube: 0,1,2,3,4,5

Second cube: 1,2,6,7,8,9

Each cube has six sides, giving a possible 12 numerals. The only repeated digits in a day's date are 1 and 2. (i.e., the 11th and 22nd of a given month -- there's no 33rd). So each cube must have a 1 and a 2. That leaves 10 possible cube sides to list the numerals 0 through 9. I just listed them sequentially on the first cube (i.e., 0,...,3,4,5) and then continued the sequence (6,7,8,9) on the second cube. Easy.

Update: Owlish points out a flaw in my reasoning. Not so easy after all! (Never do math while drinking ale). Not only would the third, fourth, and fifth days be just 3, 4, and 5, but there's no way to express "30" under my solution. Back to the drawing board...

Update 2: I had to cheat and Googled the answer here.

The answer is: 0,1,2,3,4,5 and 0,1,2,7,8,9(6)

Yes, the "9" doubles as a six. Very clever.

Posted by JohnL at 12:54 AM | Comments (3) |

Shat Seven

John at SFSignal points to this hilarious Shatner self-parody of the movie Se7en.

The last part is hilarious. Go watch (you need Quicktime to view it).

Posted by JohnL at 12:45 AM | Comments (0) |

Lovecraftian Vegas

Pete at A Perfectly Cromulent Blog describes Las Vegas thus:

I mean, I always assumed Vegas (the Strip, especially) was this massive networked series of gaming and security systems, all run by some vaguely Yog-Sothothian being housed in a giant cave under Nellis Air Force Base. I just wasn't expecting it to be confirmed so conclusively.

Love the Lovecraftian vibe. Glad he made it back safely.

Posted by JohnL at 12:34 AM | Comments (0) |

Theological Profile

You scored as Classical Liberal. You are a classical liberal. You are sceptical about much of the historicity of the Bible, and the most important thing Jesus has done is to set us a good moral example that we are to follow. Doctrines like the trinity and the incarnation are speculative and not really important, and in the face of science and philosophy the surest way we can be certain about God is by our inner awareness of him. Discipleship is expressed by good moral behaviour, but inward religious feeling is most important.

Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal




Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic




Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

The Quiz is really aimed at Christians. I don't see how a different faith adherent could answer the questions posed and get any meaningful profile back.

(Via LDH).

Posted by JohnL at 12:23 AM | Comments (3) |

I Am a Naked Midget...

... But successful enough at my linking strategy to gain the attention of the crack young staff at Hatemongers' Quarterly.

Fellow Munuvians Kathy and the Llamas made the cut too, along with John at Wuzzadem and the Maximum Leader (Happy Belated Birthday to "Max," by the way).

Posted by JohnL at 12:16 AM | Comments (1) |

June 14, 2005

SF Babes [Not Quite] Weekly Poll (The Incredibles)

Well, I finally saw The Incredibles this past weekend. Pixar sure modeled a couple of nice-looking virtual female leads, who will feature in this week's poll:

Mrs. Incredible a/k/a Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter):

And Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena):

Vote early and often and check back next week here for the results.

Results (Posted 2 August 2005):

Elastigirl: 204 of 411 votes for 49.6%
Mirage: 207 of 411 votes for 50.4% -- WINNER!

Posted by JohnL at 09:46 PM | Comments (9) | | TrackBack

June 13, 2005

House News

A lot can change in a week.

Remember the potential money pit? During the fateful inspection, My Lovely WifeTM ran into a realtor and a couple looking at the house being inspected. When she mentioned our contract, the couple said they (a) were aware the house was under contract, (b) lived just down the street, (c) were about to put their house on the market, and (d) wanted to check out the other houses currently for sale in the neighborhood to help them decide on a price.

My Lovely Wife, being the friendly and talkative soul that she is, got the couple's phone number, "just in case something turns up in the inspection."

Long story short: we sold our house only a few days after we took the sign down to the same buyers who had made an offer on it. And we bought the house from the couple my wife met during the inspection of the first one a few weeks before they put it on the market.

The newer house has everything we were looking for, and reminds us a great deal of our perfect-in-every-way-but-size current house. It has clearly been well-maintained and updated (in line with our tastes, even!) We'll be moving in during the first week of July, so if the postings around here are somewhat sparse, you'll understand why.

Posted by JohnL at 11:44 PM | Comments (6) |

Carnival of Music Number 2

Nobody stepped forward volunteering to host this week, but that's understandable since this is a new feature. Please let me know of any blog entries you would like to see included next week. From highbrow to lowbrow, we've got you covered this week.

James Lileks deconstructs Bobby ("Mack the Knife") Darin, including as portrayed in a movie by Kevin Spacey. Who knew that the swingin' singer of Mack was a hippie sympathizer?

Speaking of hippie sympathizers, one of Devo's founding members, Jerry Casale, was a hippie at Kent State. His experience at the riot/shooting so disillusioned him on the whole hippie-positive-vibe naivete that he became a radicalized devolutionist (DEVOlution, get it?) I'm sure hardcore fans of Devo already knew that, but it was an eye-opener for this casual fan. (And did you know that Head Like A Hole, popularized by Nine Inch Nails was originally donecovered by Devo? I only recently heard the originalDevo's remake, which kicks the remake'soriginal's rear end). (Hat tip - BoingBoing). (Thanks go to commenter Peter S. for setting me straight on Head Like A Hole).

And while we're at BoingBoing, check out Party Ben's "Drop It Like It's a Whole Lotta Love"
-- a mashup of Snoop Dogg and Led Zeppelin. Surprisingly effective, as I love Zep and loathe rap.

Neues von Bach! Big news for the music snobs this week. Something new from Poppa Bach. (I am a music snob, btw). Naturally Lynn and Rob Llama were all over this. I look forward to hearing this work once it's recorded (especially if they can get a good Baroque-style soprano who can throttle back her vibrato as appropriate for that era).

The next big thing? Ukulele. Well, maybe not, but Jake Shimabukuro, the "Jimi Hendrix of Hawaii," made the front page of Yahoo News, and will be touring with Jimmy Buffet this summer. Check out some of the samples from Jake's CDs here. "Sunday Morning" brings a smile to my face, as does his own rhapsody on a theme by Paganini ("Selections from Caprice No. 24").

And, to cleanse the palate, enjoy Bach's BWV 594 (Concerto in C Major after Vivaldi) and ask yourself whether overly aggressive copyright laws really are good for the creative arts.

Check for the carnival again next week. If you want to contribute or host, please send me an email.

Posted by JohnL at 10:41 PM | Comments (3) |

Re-actualizing My Core Mission Values

This corpra-gibberish-generator is too rich. Excerpt:

Think intra-sticky. Do you have a scheme to become proactive? Our functionality is second to none, but our 60/60/24/7/365 development and non-complex operation is invariably considered an amazing achievement. Is it more important for something to be killer or to be subscriber-defined? Do you have a plan of action to become customized? The partnerships factor can be summed up in one word: impactful.

And another (nice inside joke for anyone who knows about web design):

We think that most B2B2C, compelling web portals use far too much XHTML, and not enough JavaScript.

The scary thing is that some people I work with talk just like that.

(Hat tip: GeekPress)

Posted by JohnL at 10:14 PM | Comments (3) |

June 08, 2005

Robotic Exoskeleton

This very cool robotic exoskeleton was revealed at the Aichi World Expo technology fair taking place this week in Japan. It can enhance a healthy wearer's strength, and allows certain weak or handicapped people to walk.

Also unveiled was the Actroid, a pretty robotic receptionist (not quite a Real Doll, Jeff, but prettier than the ballroom dancer).

More information on the Aichi Expo here and here.

Posted by JohnL at 11:16 PM | Comments (0) |

June 07, 2005

Pictorial Food Blog

Undiscussable Realms is a blog I found while randomly trolling Blogspot.

It's like a one-woman Carnival of the Recipes, but with pictures. (Actually, she doesn't have many recipes, but some of the pictures illustrate the stages of putting together a dish).

Posted by JohnL at 10:34 PM | Comments (0) |

Secret to a Happy Marriage

Two words: "yes, dear." Of course, that's only for men. Wives can make up any rules they want to.

Now if you don't believe me and my almost fourteen years of wedded bliss, just ask the holders of the world record for the longest marriage.

Via Pack News.

Posted by JohnL at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) |

June 06, 2005

Carnival of Music (Number 1?)

Variations on a theme. I don't know if this will take off as a real "Carnival," but I have run across several interesting musical posts in the last few days.

aTypical Joe notes a recent New Yorker article on the effect of listening primarily to recorded music. Interesting, though I'm not sure it's all as bleak as the critic in the New Yorker makes it seem. I do know that listening to a symphony or an organist on CD is nothing compared to the immediate, physical experience of the music first-hand.

Chan the Bookish Gardener points us to the BBC's Beethoven Experience, taking place this week.

Caltechgirl similarly notes the BBC Beethoven Experience, and sends us to the page where free and legal copies of each of Beethoven's symphonies are available for download.

Music Thing (one of my new favorite reads) introduces us to Peter Pringle, King of the Theremin. (Article includes an mp3 of Peter playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow").

Finally, Robert and Lynn discuss the hazards of introducing classical music as primarily a representational art form, when in fact much great music is not strictly programmatic.

I hope you enjoyed this little carnival. If you would like some more, send me links to notable musical posts. If you would like to host a carnival or two yourself, perhaps we can launch yet another Internet carnival.

Posted by JohnL at 09:37 PM | Comments (3) |

June 03, 2005

Of Parrots And Real Estate

So what does a parrot have in common with the deal we've been working on our dream house?

They're both dead.

Stone dead.

Definitely deceased.

Bleedin' demised.

Passed on.

No more.

Ceased to be.

Expired and gone to meet the maker.


Bereft of life.

Resting in peace.

Pushing up the daisies.

Their metabolic processes are now history.

Off the twig, kicked the bucket, shuffled off the mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile. IT IS AN EX-DEAL!!

We instructed our agent tonight to send a notice of termination of the purchase contract to the sellers of the "dream house" upon which we recently made an offer (accepted by the sellers). We're still in the initial option period, so we're only out the small option fee and the cost of the home inspection that took place yesterday. The inspection (done by a neutral inspector we hired, i.e., not recommended by either of our brokers) revealed several flaws, each of which would be reasonable to encounter in a 25-year-old house, but all of which together indicate a long-time lack of maintenance.

We're talking basic home maintenance here: fixing leaks, monitoring drainage, replacing rotten wood, addressing minor plumbing issues, making sure improvements are done without compromising the house's structural integrity. That, and the fact that in a termite-infested neighborhood they never had a standard annual termite inspection and as a result have six active infestations in the house. They should have done the termite inspections and adjusted or replaced gutters to prevent water damage and drainage problems as responsible home owners with any sense of pride in their home.

But they apparently didn't have much pride of ownership in their house until it came time to sell. And they want a premium price for an un-updated house with some serious underlying flaws. We could have put all those flaws aside if we had gotten the smallest amount of relief on the price and agreement to perform a detailed repair punchlist.

No deal, though, since we had unreasonable sellers, represented by an a$$hole of an agent, who refused to replace the rusting gutters and rotten wood, or to do a complete termite treatment on the house (with six active termite infestations). They wanted to spot-treat the termites and "repair" the rusted gutters. We've seen those kind of "repairs" done on houses that were being sold before -- essentially bandaids. Or clown makeup.

And we know what we're talking about, as we have performed the basic repairs and improvements necessary to keep our house sound during the 10 years we have been here. Not only that, but we have updated it, so that it looks modern, not dated.

We had already stretched ourselves on the offer price -- the new house was listed at well over the highest selling price per square foot for homes in the neighborhood over the last year. We had signed a contract at a price per square foot just about 20 cents per square foot less than the highest recent sale based on the potential we saw in the house (it's on a corner lot along one of the most desirable streets in the subdivision and has a great layout and perfect configuration of bedrooms, bathrooms, living areas, and storage. And a nice pool, to boot).

Oh, and did I mention that our offer on the house is the only one the sellers have received over the last seven months?

After their agent came back offering a band-aid repair and no monetary relief, he really iced the deal when he told our agent, "tell the Laniuses we are doing the honorable and generous thing." What's honorable about a cosmetic repair that doesn't address the underlying years of neglect??!

Idiot. F**k head. A competent agent doesn't inject emotion like that into a deal. Or only does it under explicit instructions from the principal. So we have essentially told them to go f**k themselves with their "honorable generosity" and are taking our house off the market. At least until another house with the right amount of space opens up in our neighborhood again.

Oh, and the kicker? We received an almost full-value offer on our house in the middle of the house inspection and had to decline it.

Better to ride this roller coaster and get out now than to suffer in a Money Pit.

Posted by JohnL at 11:41 PM | Comments (12) |

June 01, 2005

Heinlein Quote of the Month (June 2005)

"At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that "news" is not something that happens to other people."

- Jake in Number of the Beast

Posted by JohnL at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack