Professional ignorance

He’s qualified to tell you that you shouldn’t own things he himself is not qualified to use.

posted by Robb Allen @ 8/1/2014 11:33:20 AM | Feedback (1)
The rush of emotion was not something I had planned on

Last evening, a tow truck showed up to our house and took away the Liberty to the scrap yard.

Goodbye my old friend

This was done unceremoniously. I walked outside to make sure everything was copacetic, and something happened that I was totally not expecting – I felt a deep & profound sadness.

It was the *ding* *ding* *ding* from the car letting us know the keys were in the ignition and the door was open that did it. That sound has been with me since 2001 when we bought the thing (even thought it’s a 2002). I know the car is an inanimate object that has no feelings about any of this, but it struck me as if it was reminding me it was still there and it needed me.

I’ve never felt anything like that about a car. When I sold my Wrangler, which I loved dearly, I walked away without a second thought. I’m a utilitarian at heart and don’t get attached to specific material things that often, and never really cars. But that Jeep Liberty was the first brand-new car my wife ever owned. We carried both of my daughters home from the hospital in that car. I recall the night my wife & I went out to eat to celebrate her being pregnant for the first time and us making the calls to our parents to tell them in that car.

I even remember bringing it home (I have pictures!)

Still had that new car smell!

And now it’s gone. Thrown away, discarded, unloved.

And that leaves me kind of feeling sad.

posted by Robb Allen @ 8/1/2014 8:54:27 AM | Feedback (15)
Schrodinger's house

This has now gone beyond all reason & logic.

Let me explain.


No, there is too much. Let me sum up*.

Wife & I found a house we liked. To get the price we wanted the sellers wanted to do a quick closing. This meant buying that house before ours sold. In order to do that, we had to get a bridge loan on our current house to cover part of the estimated equity so we could put 20% down on the new place with reserves to fix the kitchen. This meant running the risk of having 3 consecutive mortgages, which we budgeted for.

3, plus a car payment (sorry Dave Ramsey, it had to be done)? That killed any hope.

Fast forward to yesterday. Our next door neighbor / Realtor texts me. 2 people want to look at our house. Both are pre-qualified, one of them is military looking to be near the base but not NEAR the base. She will be buying a house this weekend and likes our area.

But what good is selling a house unless you have a place to move? Unless the sellers of the house we wanted were willing to do a contingency on the sale of our house, which they must not have been since they wanted to move quickly.

Their Realtor said a contingent sale should be fine & will confirm by Monday.

So… it’s not over.

In fact, we’re in a better situation now. There is no risk of us having 3 mortgage payments. If our house sells, awesome! If it doesn’t, we’re not out any money we weren’t out a few days ago anyway. Why we didn’t do this from the start is beyond me.

Now, there has to be some limit to this. We can’t stop & start this process again. It’s just too stressful. I gotta give our Realtor some props, he’s putting up with an amazing amount of WTF’ery to make this happen. I’m sure it’s part of the reason he’s one of the top Realtors in his office, but still.

Right now, God has grabbed another beer, put his arm around St. Peter and went “Now, watch THIS!”

posted by Robb Allen @ 7/31/2014 11:02:11 AM | Feedback (14)
And I slept easy

Down the road from us are a few duplexes whose clientele provide ample reasons to judge them by the stereotypical ‘wrong side of the tracks’ persona.

We have friends who live in our sister neighborhood which is within spitting distance of the duplexes and the other night they were live-posting on Facebook about an argument that was going on which eventually ended in gunfire. According to our friend, she heard the gunshots and then someone screaming that he had been shot.

The popo were called and they sent out everything necessary to cover a shooting, including a helicopter to search for the perp which we heard while getting the real time feeds off of Facebook (I can’t find any news coverage of the event as it’s only news if there aren’t domestic disputes / shootings).

The odds are the shooter hopped in his car and left, but judging by the general quality of vehicles that park there, the chances that the car didn’t start and he took off on foot are actually kind of high. We’re not ‘next door’ to this area, but it’s definitely within running distance if the person is not a couch potato, so I grabbed the Mossberg, put it by the bed, and slept soundly.

I bring this up because of the latest Mom’s Demand Attention ad that is completely and utterly backfiring on them. It’s backfiring for the same reason I was able to sleep soundly, even knowing there could be ‘some dangerous person lurking about’. When you’re armed, you have a much greater chance at successfully defending yourself, and being armed with a firearm is even better.

This ad clearly show that a sudden danger is not best solved by calling the police and reminding the attacker that there is a restraining order. No, it clearly shows that had the woman had a firearm herself, her safety would have increased exponentially.

Sebastian worries about Gun Control 2.0 and generally for legitimate reasons. However, this group is showing that they cannot even manage the emotional-bs angle correctly. Glock could have spent millions of dollars and not created an ad as effective as that one at selling guns as self defense.

posted by Robb Allen @ 7/31/2014 10:33:54 AM | Feedback (2)
After action report

Yesterday was a rough day for my family, but as I look at it, I realize the only really bad thing is that I’m out a chunk of cash. My wife & children are happy, healthy, well fed, clothed, sheltered, and secure – thus, I am living the real American dream.

In fact, what happened was that we missed the chance to extend our luxury. The house was much larger, had a pool, and a waterfront view – nothing we need to live. Instead of that, we got a new(er) car. Talk about First World Problems. As the day has progressed, my depression has almost disappeared completely. I’m still sad the house didn’t work out of course – I’d love to worry about how we were going to gut & rebuild the kitchen while dipping my toes in my pool - but like I said, none of that’s required for living.

I feel bad for my Realtor. He texted me not too long ago telling me he’d have covered the repair costs until the house sold (better to risk a % of his commission rather than 100% of it), but alas even that would have put several thousand dollars into a car that may not have another 3 years on it. Plus, that money would come out of the profit on the house, which was necessary to rebuild the kitchen.

Could we have done it? Yes. We could have paid on the current house, the new house, the bridge loan, and a new car payment, but then we’d have nothing else. No money to continue to put into the girls’ college funds, no money to put into our retirement funds, or put aside for emergencies, etc. That was too much risk for us to deal with, so cutting our losses was the best option (technically, I had another option that the Mrs. did not like as it would have dipped into our retirement funds but that was our ultra-safety net we never, ever, ever wanted to touch).

Next steps are to continue what we were planning on before we found the home – put new flooring in, paint, replace some doors & frames, add some cabinets to the laundry room.

Oh, and continue to hug and cherish my family. Because that’s what’s important.

posted by Robb Allen @ 7/30/2014 12:58:48 PM | Feedback (7)
And like that, it’s over

All the stress, all the worries, all the money put into moving into the new house is now over. The wife’s car decided to blow a cylinder and is, for all intents and purposes, totaled.

We are no longer getting the house. I’ve cancelled the loans, we’ve lost our escrow and all the money we’ve put into inspections & appraisals, various fees & whatnot, which all added up to a considerable amount.

Too bad, so sad. My problem to deal with, not the government’s responsibility to bail me out, there’s no blame to be put anywhere, sometimes life just sucks. The worst you all will have to deal with is me bitching about it, but at least I won’t demand your tax dollars be used as a salve to my disappointment.

Oh well…

posted by Robb Allen @ 7/29/2014 1:49:23 PM | Feedback (8)
Uh, that was kind of embarrassing

I’m still busy as hell. Work. Moving. Wife’s car died & is getting fixed. Etc. So I needed to blog something yesterday just to fill in some space and let everyone know I’m still alive.

I didn’t think about what would happen if I said “I can’t afford a friggin’ book!”

Suddenly, I have the book. And many offers of other books. And more people willing to send me books.

So, thank you all, it’s very much appreciated although that wasn’t my goal at all. Book has been acquired (thank you Mr. Amazon Gift Card Donation Guy Who I’ll Keep Anonymous Unless Otherwise Instructed) and you folks are awesome.

posted by Robb Allen @ 7/29/2014 9:17:05 AM | Feedback (2)

Because we’re in the process of buying the new house AND selling our current one, I’m broke. Brokity broke broke broke. Every dollar has to be stretched to cover the move and pad the safety net for the unforseens. The Mrs’ car is currently sitting at the mechanic’s and who knows how much that’s going to cost (I’m voting for ‘clogged fuel filter’ as that’s exactly how the car is acting, but a 2002 Liberty is known for being a PITA when it comes to replacing them).

Thus, I haven’t had the $ to purchase Larry Correia’s latest installment of Monster Hunter.

Franks is out there killing who knows how many people and I have to wait until things settle before I read about it.

It must be nice living off other people’s money.

posted by Robb Allen @ 7/28/2014 12:27:33 PM | Feedback (4)