Tuesday, December 31, 2013

You can only bend the reality curve so long.



Today Mr S went to get some Dim Sum, and we wound up at the mall there in Cupertino. I like that mall because it's kind of a dead mall. I think the restaurants keep it alive. Mostly the Dim Sum one.

As we were walking through the parking lot I spotted this bumper sticker. The guy wasn't even out of his car yet, but I started taking a picture right away. Mr S. immediately told him he liked it because he looked apprehensive. We were in Cupertino after all. Which at this point he revealed it was magnetic. He sort of laughed and said "I have to take it off when I'm parking next to all these liberals". Which made us both laugh. Sometimes I want to make up magnetic ones to put over all the douchey President Money Bags/Biden ones. But I'm told that is illegal.

On a personal note - even though we have three years to go of this shit, I'm feeling the most optimist I have in 5 years. Everything I believe about the world is still true. You can make people believe a lot of stupid things for a really long time, but when it starts hitting your pocketbook the invisible hand takes over and people head for the exits. People will have to learn first hand why socialism sucks. I still believe we will win. All of history has shown that people only want to be left alone to make a better life. When socialism is such a distant memory that almost no one really knows what it is, or even recognises it, I guess you get to learn that lesson all over again.

I thought we were past that, but I guess not. Still, there are many times over the past few months where I just felt a wave of relief that we were going to be okay. You don't know if you are going to go the way of Venezuela. I'm not saying it wont be painful. But I think we will be stronger. I think we will make it.
In a week, everything I see at Fry's will look obsolete.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Am I the only one who finds this interesting?

I say this sarcastically because I'm sure this is straight out of the socialist handbook. What got my attention?

When ObamaCare started, I found it interesting they made an exemption for companies with fewer than 50 employees. If you had 50 employees or less you were not forced to provide coverage under ObamaCare. "Why 50 employees?" I wondered. What an odd number. Why not 75 or 100, or even 150?

Then I read this article about France which basically also has the same rule thresh hold. It is titled "Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies", and I urge you to read it. Because if ObamaCare stays, I wonder how long until CEOS here start adopting the same practice here. They clearly are already adapting by making people part time. But eventually this will really hurt production. Part time workers have no skin in the game.

"Here’s a curious fact about the French economy: The country has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50. What difference does one employee make? Plenty, according to the French labor code. Once a company has at least 50 employees inside France, management must create three worker councils, introduce profit sharing, and submit restructuring plans to the councils if the company decides to fire workers for economic reasons.

French businesspeople often skirt these restraints by creating new companies rather than expanding existing ones. “I can’t tell you how many times when I was Minister I’d meet an entrepreneur who would tell me about his companies,” Thierry Breton, chief executive officer of consulting firm Atos and Minister of Finance from 2005 to 2007, said at a Paris conference on April 4. “I’d ask, ‘Why companies?’ He’d say, ‘Oh, I have several so that I can keep [the workforce] under 50.’ We have to review our labor code.”

Sunday, December 29, 2013



I got this a few days ago. He was hard to spot beside that truck.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The unhappiest park ever.



Today I needed to go out and see if I could repair my reserve nerve. I just needed to be away from people. Plus, every year I like to think I am going to do CES training and I never do. Last year I took my pedometer and saw I walked eight and a half miles. Maybe this year I will do a full 10k. Anyway, we went down to Alum Rock Park in San Jose. I haven't been there in a really long time. The parks in my town are just flat fields.

At the gate you are greeted with the rules which include not taking rocks or plant materials. I mean, you might take all the rocks and what would they call the place? As I got deeper into the park though it felt a lot like being at your grannies house. I didn't even want to do most of these things until all the signs started nagging me not to.

Don't feed the wildlife.




No riding horses.



No peeing.



No 70's sedans.



No biking.



No burning. Yes, It is the middle of winter here, and we've had no rain, but that is another story.



No walking off the paths.



They should have added a sign for woodpeckers. No woodpeckers inserting acorns into holes.





The anarchists in their f-u ways wrote the symbol in moss. Sooooo.. they were technically following the rules. Except the world will never be the same because I'm sure they've disturbed some indigenous rare moss.

Happy Now?



Thursday, December 26, 2013

No squares to spare.

With one day left before my lock expires - I got my docs in. They arrived on Christmas Eve. And thankfully they were shipped from California or I would have been completely effed as UPS seems to have had a pretty good meltdown over the holiday. As it was - it took me all day to read the documents. Go to the bank to send a wire. Where Mr S. and I found out how the banks profile you. Seriously.

My particular branch the girls have been working there for as long as I've lived in this town. A couple of months back they got robbed. Which was weird because at every teller is a monitor with your face looking back at you. I really like these girls so I wanted to tell them how happy I was they all were safe. Which at first was awkward because like an airport - you don't want to say the wrong words. I've gotten to know them reasonably well even though I almost never bank inside. They've just worked there forever. One thing led to another while we were waiting to get the wire in, the gal was making small talk about the robbery which lead into how they ask you questions to somewhat profile you. For security reasons. I'm not surprised by this, but that friendly teller might be talking you up for other reasons. Just sayin'.

Then I had to find a notary, and take  the docs right the to the distribution center. I didn't want some UPS truck getting in an accident or vanishing!  I'm superstitious.  Who knows. I'm right down to the line Yo!

In some of my more paranoid moments I wondered if Frannie or Freddie was getting twice the money for my one house. I mean, the government is obviously bailing them out. My mortgage servicer says I own the house I live in. Fannie and Freddie think I own a house one digit off that doesn't exist. Double dipping?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas.





You know I had to get the viper. Even though they are dead to me now.



It's was a good start.



I'm having a weird Christmas this season. You read about that whole refi thing. Well, on the day my lock expires (Dec. 27)I'm suppose to have a slab delivered to my house for the hearth we ripped out. I will post pictures later. I'd been in the middle of this project before I was even in a refi and had to stop it to comply with the inspection.

While I was losing my mind with the bank, Mr S. was searching the valley for refractory mortar on Christmas eve, eve. And today we were putting in a footer. It takes a couple of days to cure. I would have done it sooner, but well... the other thing was stressing me out so hard. Plus I hate having to yell at people. I'm not the kind of person who likes that.

A happy surprise was the base was level side to side. It looks like an ocean after that. Which is why I have to use mortar rather than just putting down some hardy backer.

Monday, December 23, 2013

I am the other people shit happens to. Part 3.

I should be preparing to have a sloppy good time for the holidays. But guess what I am doing? I didn't even start bitching until my close date on the 16th. Mostly because I don't think banks these days lend to people who need money. They only lend to people who don't. So I left them alone. I have a lot of rage for banks, and I didn't want to say anything that would screw things up.

When I did this with BofA earlier in the year that worked fabulously. My primary is suppose to be a prime lender unlike BofA.. Everything that has been going on is in the cushion period. And my lock expires Dec. 27th. I haven't gotten my docs yet. Allegedly, they went out today. I've never had to fight for something so hard in my entire life. And I'm a honey badger! I've bought a few of houses before. Now you know why there is such a large percentage of all cash buyers. The new way banks try to stop from refinancing you is by running out the clock in the hopes you have to lock in at a higher rate.

I used to read stories about this and suspected these people had less than stellar credit or payment histories. I sent docs back the day I got them. If I would have procrastinated at all - I would have lost my lock. I'm not sure I won't lose it now.

And it's all because (allegedly) Fannie or Freddie Mac thinks I should be paying on another house, despite the fact that house doesn't exist at all. My address is XX24, and they think the house I live in should be XX25. My mortgage company has been sending my bills to the right house (XX24) except for a 6 or seven month period of time. They send you statements every six months to give you a status on your loan. When it happened the first time I thought it was a typo. When the next statement came I knew there was a problem. But that was corrected several years ago. And the statements had been correct several years prior to that.

Plus! I know what documents I signed. I even had to go back over my mortgage docs to make sure I wasn't going crazy. That is how intense this address issue has been.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mehsi.



History of the Mehsi here and here. I've never seen a canary yellow one.

I still have a lot to talk about with the refi but I was in a micro construction project before I applied. When that comp hit a few doors down and I had to completely stop the project because the appraiser will ding you for active construction. Luckily it hadn't gone so far that I couldn't make look like something that was "distressed" rather than ripped out. I wasn't actually planning to try until January. But when that house hit - I had to just go for it. I have an exploding mortgage. My reset is still two years off. But it's all I can think about.

Anyway. Now I'm on a time deadline for the construction thing. The minute I get more time - I will fill you in.





Friday, December 20, 2013

I am the other people shit happens to. Part 2.

My loan sat in underwriting so long over the address issue, I finally had to send an email. Paper trails are your friend. This is what I said verbatim trying to get them to move this thing forward and recognise my address even though they had been sending my stuff to the correct address most of the whole time I've owned it. I also notified them that if my rate lock fell through I was leaving them. I mean - my loyalty evaporated when I learned they didn't own my loan.

"You sent a representative to my house. Zillow, Trulia, Google and the (the county I live in ) County Tax Administrator are all on line. "

Now, one of the reasons I was pretty impressed with them as a company initially is because I thought they were being really thorough. They sent out an appraiser the first week. She laser measured every single space in my house and took pictures. This is the sign of a proper mortgage company I thought.  And clearly there isn't such a thing as no docs now.  I'd already done a dry run - so I knew what I needed before I even started the process.

The appraiser was actually really sharp. She kept talking about mortgage rates not being this low since the war. I wasn't sure which war, but when I google searched it I freaked out. Which led to this post. Things that can not go on forever - will not.

When I first started this refi I was feeling pretty rosy. By the time the appraiser came out I realised I was a little too late. Five weeks later I was losing my shit. I was glad about the shutdown and Christmas. It meant no one was paying attention yet. Sales have fallen three months in a row now. The comp that allowed me to refi was appraised at the top.

Cont.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I am the other people shit happens to.

You know when you read stories on the internet and you think - surely this could never happen into today's world. Oh yes. Yes it can.

Soooooo. I've been in a refinance for almost the past seven weeks. It was going swimmingly well for the first 5 weeks. I was thinking - if this was a different world I'd invest in this company. Then hit week six. The loan was going nowhere. The reason being? You see, even though I put 20% down. I've been paying on this loan for eight years now - Fannie or Freddie Mac still owns all of my loan. And they think I'm the house I'm living in doesn't exist, and the house I'm paying on doesn't exist. It's one simple digit really. My mortgage company has the correct address.

A few years ago my statements just randomly started showing up addressed one digit off. I didn't think much about it and called to correct it. I figured it was just a typo. No so. Apparently the reason this happened is because of Frannie or Freddie. It never got sucked through the whole system.

When I called to see how they were going to resolve this and to find out what happens if I lose my rate lock the person who was handling my loan said I might have to lock in at a higher rate. The girl didn't know it yet but the wheels completely came off this bus car chase style where the rims are cutting a groove into the pavement and sparks are flying everywhere.

Cont. Hey I have to give you something. Now you know why I haven't been posting.

Monday, December 16, 2013

I know my readers are wondering WTF. December is a little like this. Sparse. I do have a lot of stuff to talk about. And it's going to be so deliciously ranty. It's taking up all my mental energy. Just be patient a little longer.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It has to burn like the surface of the sun.

The only consistent thing I know about people is inside they hate when people tell them what to do. Especially men. When I face resistance from a man - I know he's thinking "don't tell me what to do". No matter what the topic. It's all they are about. They should just have signs over their heads. So, I just really don't understand the brain trust that thinks this is going to happen. I don't really understand why people are putting up with this in the first place.

Home improvements will trigger new rule on replacing plumbing fixtures in 2014.

"Starting Jan. 1, any improvement or alteration to a single-family home more than 20 years old will trigger a 2009 state law mandating the installation of water-saving toilets, shower heads and faucets." (emphasis mine)

Soooooo.... if you put on a deck? Get ready to replace all the fixtures in your house. Toilet, faucets, and shower heads. Seriously! Because it's just that simple. Apparently.

No one knew about this rule until super recently. And ya know. Who cares. President Money Bags has done nothing but punish people who actually follow the rules. So expect permits to fall precipitously.

Every single day is a game of nipple twister, and the pain just has to get much worse before this cult of an admin gets vomited out.


Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/11/3660664/home-improvements-will-trigger.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, December 05, 2013



Every single day I see someone doing this. Some worse than others. And they are complete dicks. They almost universally refuse to move. Did I mention what assholes they are? They create a giant pocket of traffic because people have to go around them. Some people are foolish enough to think that if you ride their ass they will move. And even worse there are so may out of towners here right now. So, I know the Canadians aren't any better or people from the middle states. Utah and Montana.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

That's new.

Today I was down in one of the seedier parts of San Jose and I was twenty minutes late for an appointment.  I couldn't find the address I was looking for, so I was a little frantic. I passed this homeless man and he called me from behind.

At first I wasn't sure if he was talking to himself, so I just gave a sideways glance and realized he really was talking to me. So I stopped. I'm sure he's going to ask me for money and I prepare to give him a polite "sorry". Instead he starts telling me he's from Canada. And starts getting into this involved story about how he thought I was someone else. I know the eventual end is to ask for money, but he was so effing polite. He looked newly homeless to me.

I listened to him for a couple of minutes. I was sure he's bullshitting me because well, you read this blog, right? But he's got a full on Canadian accent.

So I finally ask him if he's really from Canada and ask how he got down here. At this point I'm more than 25 minutes late for my appointment. I wanted to hear the story honestly, but I had to tell him I was late. He was taking a really long time to tell the story. Which bummed me out because while I don't talk to a lot of homeless people, I didn't know we had Canadian homeless here. How is that even possible? Get a visa to be a bum in California? I've just never heard of it.



It's true.



Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Living in the cracks of my mind.



I never let Ruby out and she's still alive in my house. The whole time she's been inside she's been too weak to do any exploring. Or else I wouldn't just let her live life free range like she is now. I'm not a freak. She's been spending her retirement years gazing out the window wistfully remembering her youth.

She basically hangs out in the window jam when she doesn't fall in the sink - which I think is a bonus. She can get water there. Plus it makes the whole free range insect thing really clean.

In winter it's much harder find insects for her. But when you do, they are pretty chill to get because they don't move fast. So she has had some insects. But I never expected her to live this long for sure.

Then, last night, I was making leftover turkey sandwiches and offered her some lettuce. Mr S. and I had this whole" she's never going to eat this" conversation. They only eat bugs. And wouldn't you know it... she ate a pretty big wedge out of it. Despite the Internet saying they do not eat plant material. At all. This is the first year I've done this and only because it is so freaking late in the year. And she couldn't have been searching for water because she has the sink, and we'd made a special effort to water her before I did this.

They are actually really amazing at taking food and water from humans. Though she is at the super cranky point of old age and you have to use a skewer or else she will bite the shit out of you. And it really does hurt. For a little while I was able to dip my finger in water creating a drop and she would drink right from it. At this stage her brain is telling her everything is a food source. Normally they are the pandas of the insect world.



Monday, December 02, 2013

This blog sucks this time of year. Just say'in.

It's not that I won't have anything for you. I just have less for you until basically CES. I'm going Wednesday this year.

It takes a lot of effort to get the occasionally interesting stuff I get you now.  So, this time of year I just want to catch up on my sleep. And really, it's a good time of year to pick up some diversionary vices. It's easy to ignore the economy in the summer when the weather is beautiful.

A couple of weeks ago Sprint pushed an OS update to my phone and I realized I could stream stuff from my phone to my TV. It also talks to the Tivo remote. Yeh. Tivo made a new feature! Go figure.

So... over the holiday I watched a lot of Getting Doug with High from youtube. Oddly - the interface for that is more simple than going computer to TV. You'd think I'd have a much more chill personality for that kind of content. But there ya go. (shrug)
 
http://www.wikio.com