The last one
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Yesterday, we held our last Open House. Haven’t really spoken with our Realtor yet, just a text from him that said traffic was steady and that 2 couples sought financing (he had a finance lady with him). I’ve heard that before, so I’m not even remotely enthused. The only thing that will even register on my Give-A-Damn-O-Meter is an actual offer backed up with escrow. Other than that, it’s all talk.

Here’s where we stand currently. The new house is back on the market. We’re their ‘pocket offer’. If someone makes an offer on our house and we accept (aka. Escrow) and nobody has made another offer on the new house, we’re golden. If someone else makes an offer on the new house before we get one on ours, we’ll get our escrow back and things are then finished.

At this point, I don’t care which way it goes, I just want it to be over with. The emotional rollercoaster sucks as does having all our finances tied up with no clue as to when they’re going to be available. If we don’t get the house, that’s fine mostly since we’ll be getting a lot of our money back (if done within time, we can sell our inspections, elevations, & appraisals too). Then we can just dump all that money we tied up into the wife’s car and get that thing paid down ASAP.

If someone does make a solid offer for our house, then we buy the new house & revamp it to our liking.

We’re not doing any more open houses though. From this point on, we’re switching to a passive mode on selling our house. If our realtor can get showings, good for him. If not, we no longer care. If it were possible to pull our house off the market and get our money back, we’d give it until the end of the week then do that, but alas we have to be “actively on the market” for that to happen.

The sooner this ends, the better.

posted by Robb Allen @ 8/11/2014 9:52:57 AM | Feedback (2)
Knock knock! Who’s there?

At 4:30AM, if you don’t know, don’t open the $#&*(@ door!!

You can’t claim you are in fear for your life if you actively remove the barrier between you and the threat. Even if someone is trying to kick down your door, you don’t get to open it then shoot them and not expect a bunch of jurors to question your judgment. Toss in you calling it an accident, and enjoy your conviction.

posted by Robb Allen @ 8/7/2014 3:11:47 PM | Feedback (4)
Monkey see, monkey do. Monkey get copyright?

Tam links to this fascinating piece about a photographer whose camera was used by a monkey to take a selfie and the ensuing argument over who really owns the copyright.

Wikimedia, the US-based organisation behind Wikipedia, has refused a photographer’s repeated requests to remove one of his images which is used online without his permission, claiming that because a monkey pressed the shutter button it should own the copyright.

Generally, the understood agreement was that whoever pushed the button owned the copyright. Hand a camera around to a bunch of different people, there’s a bunch of different copyrights in the resulting clicks. Technically, if you are a wedding and they have those point & click cameras on the table, the bride & groom need to get permission to use the photographs from whoever took it (although proof of the photographer is so hard to be a moot point).

Sometimes though, what triggers the shutter isn’t cut & dried. For example – pictures of bullets in mid flight doing bullety things to other things. The bullet itself trips a light beam which causes the flash to go off (the shutter opened well before). Who owns the copyright? The photographer? The guy who pulled the trigger on the gun? The bullet?

I would think that generally, you’d consider whoever the photographer is to be the holder especially in cases where the tripping of the shutter is questionable (such as automatic timers or times when it’s automated).

In this case, I think the photographer needs to be awarded copyright of his photo. The monkey is not an actor with agency and cannot exercise the copyright in any meaningful manner. Everyone knows this and I believe the people arguing the monkey is the holder are just trying to get out of paying the royalties. The gentleman was the one who incurred the expenses to get the cameras in the wild and near the monkeys, he should see the fruits of his labor.

What say you?

posted by Robb Allen @ 8/7/2014 12:54:26 PM | Feedback (20)
Six strings and a Kickstarter

Virgil Guitars is a local shop for me. I’ve seen his work up close & personal with my daughter’s & my guitar teacher, and I was very impressed with the quality and playability. One of my dreams is to one day have a custom made guitar and the actually skill to make it worth while.

Virgil is trying to get his name out there a bit more and thus has a Kickstarter campaign. $2600 for a custom made guitar is a steal in my opinion. If I had it, I’d definitely grab one at that price.

Just trying to help out a local luthier, so if you’re into guitars and would like to help out, please do!

posted by Robb Allen @ 8/7/2014 10:55:48 AM | Feedback (2)
Just like this

This is the best ad I’ve seen in years. It accurately portrays fatherhood. The dad isn’t some clueless idiot, he accepts his role with the positives and negatives, is a role model rather than something to avoid.

I love Cheerios as it is. I plan on buying more.

posted by Robb Allen @ 8/6/2014 10:30:32 AM | Feedback (9)
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.

[pause]

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)