Monday, January 31, 2005
Sunday, January 30, 2005
We have this checklist from a realtor that details what you should do to show your house, and we prioritized that list to do the big things first, and are now working down to less important things (organizing closet space, etc.) I will be so glad when we actually accept an offer! Then we won't have to keep making it nicer and we can sit on the couch without worrying if it will leave it looking wrinkly when people show up.
We have already had one offer, but it was low and they were maxed out at what they could finance, so we just rejected it. Hopefully we will get word today of some offers from yesterday, when we had at least 7 groups come through the house. I say "at least 7", because that's the number of realtors that left cards. We even have some folks coming up from the bay area to check it out today.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Fascinating study. California comes in next-to-last in economic freedom. Texas fares quite a bit better at #17, though in the last study (1999) it was actually 8th. Not sure what caused the drop, but I do note slight changes in the rating are meaningful where Texas is. An improvement of 0.2 would move Texas to 15th, whereas CA would not move up even 1 spot with a 3.5 point improvement. This is one reason why I am bearish on mid-to long- term economic prospects for California, if this rating cannot be improved. It will become more and more like France, creaking under the weight of socialism. However, I also believe this is why Arnold was "hired", so hopefully he can make some improvement.
Monday, January 24, 2005
According to recent U.S. Census estimates, McKinney, with a current population of nearly 90,000, is the fastest-growing city in the United States of those cities with a population of 50,000 or more as of the 2000 Census.
Here is the church we visited this week and really enjoyed. Everyone was very friendly, the worship was great, and we liked the message. It's a new church - only in existence 15 months, but they already have two services.
Stonebridge Ranch community.
The local paper.
We are also just in the next town over from where the Dallas Stars play, if the NHL ever gets its act together and they do actually play.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Friday, January 21, 2005
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A) I can't imagine wanting to combine Japanese and Mexican food, which is what the name suggests
B) The literal translation of this would be something like "crazy vinegared rice dish" (note: sushi does NOT equal raw fish), which is not something that would I would ever want to eat.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Just to give you a little more insight on the author, Mr. Johnson is British and an unabashed conservative, and also writes a column for Forbes magazine. I will likely soon check out some of his other titles as well. However, none of his works are a quick read, so it does take a little commitment to dig through them, even though he is an excellent author.
Here's the quote from Adams himself
"The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved"One must question if either knowledge or virtue is diffused generally amongst our populace today.
This quote from the above link should make clear that this article is from the Washington Times, as no other major newspaper would be able to say something nice about President Bush without half of their editorial board suffering simultaneous coronaries.
"A supply-side tax-reform movement, a shrinking budget deficit, new-found spending discipline, and a determination to confound conventional wisdom by reforming Social Security has George W. Bush's second term off to a roaring start even before he is officially sworn in. "
Sunday, January 16, 2005
And the prize for this is WHAT??? "
For her trouble, Stelnick got a special certificate, a T-shirt and other prizes and — as advertised — Leigey picked up the $23.95 tab for the burger.
How is that worth it? The thought of that much food actually sickens even me. And I LOVE food.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Citizen's Against Government Waste - Sometimes you have to spend money to help stop the government from wasting our money.
National Taxpayers Union - Sometimes you have to spend money to help stop the government from taking our money. Plus, they have great info in their newsletters.
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association - Sometimes you have to spend money to help stop the California government from taking our money.
The NRA - because they'll take my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers. ;)
I probably forgot one group.
I won't be renewing my HJTA membership this year, as I will no longer be in California, but I certainly wish them well in their struggle. Hopefully Arnold will stop being a girly man and actually cut spending to make the budget work, instead of raising more money through long-term bond debt.
Now my focus is more on donating money to charities and various ministries instead of politics anyway. A lot less frustrating than politics and a lot more rewarding, certainly in the long run (like eternally).
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Rules to Enter Texas:
Applies to each person as they enter Texas. Learn & remember:
East Coast and California-types pay particular attention!
1 Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.
2 Let's get this straight; it's called a "gravel road."
I drive a pickup truck because I want to.
No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus.
Drive it or get out of the way.
3 They are cattle & oil wells.
That's what they smell like to you.
They smell like money to us.
Get over it. Don't like it?
I-20 and I-10 go east and west, I-35 goes north and south. Pick one.
4 So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed.
We have $250,000 cotton strippers that are driven only 3 weeks a year.
5 So every person in every pickup waves.
It's called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
6 If that cell phone rings while a bunch of doves are coming in,
We WILL shoot it out of your hand.
You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
7 Yeah, we eat catfish & crawfish.
You really want sushi & caviar?
It's available at the corner bait shop.
8 The "Opener" refers to the first day of deer season.
It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first
9 We open doors for women.
That is applied to all women, regardless of age.
10 No, there's no "vegetarian special" on the menu.
Order steak. Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds
of ham & turkey.
11 When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes:
meats, vegetables, and breads.
We use three spices: salt, pepper, and Picante Sauce.
Oh, yeah We don't care what you folks in
stuff you eat. It AINT REAL CHILI!! Chili was born and bred in
12 You bring "coke" into my house, it better be brown, wet, and
served over ice. You bring "Mary Jane" into my house, she better be
cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
13 College and High School Football is as important here as the Lakers
and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.
14 Yeah, we have golf courses.
But don't hit the water hazards - it spooks the fish.
15 Colleges? Try
They come outta there with an education plus a love for God and country,
and they still wave at passing pickups when they come for the holidays.
16 We have more folks in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines,
than any other state, so "Don't Mess with
17 Always remember what our great governor Sam Houston once said:
Friday, January 07, 2005
You're going to see a lot of Texas-focused commentary on here for a while, so just get used to it.
Bad News - Texas has 3 of the 10 fattest cities, including number 1.
Good News - Dallas is improving from last year.
Quote - "Texas cities Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth and El Paso were in the top 14, which Boulton said was no surprise. "It's pure big indulgence, just living big, and that's part of the culture," said Boulton. "
Thoughts - The metrics used to determine this ranking are a little strange. For example, I don't think the number of gyms vs. the number of fast food joints a city has NECESSARILY indicates anything. However, I will say from having visited a lot of them (and currently living in fittest city #7), that the cities on the fittest list do seem to have a lot thinner populace in general than do the fattest ones, so the metrics do seem to correlate to observable experience. And you can't just blame weather either, as Seattle would not seem to be the easiest place to be active in, due to the rain.
How is Vegas on the fattest list? Noting the geographic trends present on the list, that seems out of place. Must be the casino buffets!
************** Update **********************
Just thought I would link to the actual site for the rankings here. I also pulled out items of interest from the Men's Fitness site for Sacramento and Dallas.
BRAGGING RIGHTS AND SOBERING FACTS:
|REPORT CARD: Sacramento, CA|
|Fitness Centers/Sporting Goods Stores||
Oddly, they both have 3 times the national avg. for donut shops per capita.
Also, some funny Texas-related t-shirts that a coworker pointed out to me. If you go down to the "How To Speak TEXAN" t-shirt image, I find the images for heaven and hell quite amusing. In fact, I think I laughed out loud when I first saw it.
And the ever-popular "Don't mess with Texas" t-shirt referenced in b-dub's previous comment.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Monday, January 03, 2005
The Great Divorce was very thought provoking. In a dream, Lewis is transported to both heaven and hell. In his world the occupants of hell are actually allowed to visit heaven, but the fact is they still choose not to stay. Lewis is able to watch as various "ghosts" (occupants of hell) have discussions with occupants of heaven whom they knew on earth as they try to convince the ghosts to live in heaven. All the various excuses the ghosts give for not doing so often hit quite close to home. The one most intriguing to me is the guy who refuses to enter heaven because he wants to continue searching for truth. His friend who is in heaven tells him how there is no more point in searching for truth there, since in heaven people actually know what the truth is. But the search is more important to this man than the object he purportedly seeks, so he does not enter and thus does not have the thing he really wants. The obvious parallel from all the discussions Lewis witnesses in his dream to our own lives is that we often hold on to things here that actually prevent us from obtaining the far greater things God has for us.
Best quote: "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'"
This book is a must read, as is every Lewis book I've read so far.