I've been busy today with work, so I haven't gotten to this until now: We have our keys!!
That's really all I have to say, but it's huge to us. Oh, but I do
have a cool tidbit. The locks/keys we have on the house are really cool. Stop and wonder about this: What happens when you get a new house? Do the contractors change the locks? Do they give you all of their keys? How do you know if you got all of them? Maybe one of the contractors "lost" a key and now he'll break into your new house...
Our locks/keys take care of that. The contractors have a set of keys which I will call the "contractor keys". Those work great on the locks. Then there are the keys Kelly and I were given yesterday, which I will call the "owner keys". These also work great on the locks. Now I get to the cool part. As soon as I use an "owner key" on a lock it switches a tumbler in the locking mechanism which permanently disables the contractors keys. Now that is some cool technology.
Walkthrough and Paper Signing
We have a few more items checked off of our list. We had our long walkthrough and paper signing yesterday. The paper signing was boring, but we gave our last certified check over and signed/initialled like 100 pages of stuff.
The walkthrough is your last chance to point out chips, nicks, cracks, crookedness, etc before you get the house. They put pieces of blue tape next to everything you point out and some guy comes in with various mud/tape/fillers/buffers/sanders/screws/paint and removes the pieces of tape as he "fixes" them. At the same time the Ryan Home crew tells you every last detail about what you are getting. They show you how to open your windows and pull out screens and check for blinking lights on your water heater and turn on your dishwasher and stove. A few hours later you know just about everything there is to know about your new house...and you find out some stupid details that you weren't expecting.
For example, I already knew that our driveway is only temporary (we have gravel). We will be getting a driveway and sidewalk during the summer. Our yard doesn't have it's "final grade", so some big vehicle will push dirt to a fairly even level.
What I didn't know is that they will not seal the driveway. So now I will have to get a pourous sealant so the driveway doesn't crack and/or get holes in it. I also didn't know that the garage comes unpainted. You can still see the drywall and tape (and it is not 100% flush with the wall). So, at some point I will have to paint the garage. A "quick fix" way (since it's just a garage) is to make a mix of drywall mud and paint and slop the whole mix on all at once in a single thick coat.
The other thing is that I made a list of restaurants I wanted to go to at least once before we moved. I went to the 2nd last item on the list: The Cheesecake Factory. It was my first time there...pretty good place. On the other hand, going to all of these restaurants has been extremely expensive.
I'm Drowning In Boxes
We have been very busy getting every last thing in our house boxed up for our big move this coming Saturday (April 1st).
Kelly, the rock hound that she is, has discovered these amazing fossils and precious stones. She has packed these items so we will be able to cash them in for big money when the time is right.
Kelly also has saved this magical slipper. It is strikingly similar to Dorothy's "Ruby Slipper" from the Wizard of Oz...only, this one is black.
Kelly and I have been packing like crazy. I can't believe how long it takes to get everything stuffed into boxes. We've been slowly packing for weeks, but now we need to bring our "A" game because the move date is getting dreadfully close. The plan was to pack up 75% of the house over the weekend. I packed exactly as much stuff as I had envisioned I would pack. However, I severely underestimated how much stuff we actually have. I started the weekend out wondering if we would even need to get a Uhaul at all to move our stuff. Now, a couple days later, I wonder if the biggest Uhaul has enough space!
Anyway, you should all see our living room. I pushed the tables up against our windows and I pushed the couches together (leaving almost the entire room open). Since then we have been piling boxes 5 feet high all across the living room. It's a pretty cool sight to see.
On a totally different note I have been deleting things from the internet all willy-nilly for the past few days. I've had my fun...I think I'll give the keys to the internet back to somebody that is a bit more responsible. Unfortunately, I think Al Gore ended up with rightful claim to the internet once again.
I had a bit of a revelation over the weekend. I had an idea which seemed brilliant to me, and hopefully it sounds like a good idea to a bunch of my friends.
You see, I don't like the shrunk-down versions of photos that people share with one another online. If I want to print it out...it won't look as good as the original. That's the reason why I wrote the program for my website after camping...to share full quality pictures. I never really made use of that program...and I've stopped updating my website in favor of my blog as well.
Anyway, on to the idea. I know there are tons of pictures out there that I would love to get my grubby hands on. Pictures of friends kids. Pictures of my wife and I that other people took. The best pictures that other people have of themselves.
So, I want to organize a giant photo trade. This is so much easier than ever before. We have no need to print off doubles. That's because this trade is going to be 100% digital. All that has to be done is throwing a bunch of pictures on to a cd. At the minimum do that once and I (or somebody else) can make more copies for you. At the most find out how many people will be part of the trade and burn that many copies of your
picture cd. In the end, each participant should end up with like 6 or 7 new cds of pictures. Of course some of the pictures will seem useless...but I'll guarantee that some real gems will emerge from your new stack of pictures.