Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Report: Hurd to Succeed Fiorina at HP

Report: Hurd to Succeed Fiorina at HP

Hey, if they were choosing someone from Dayton to be our new CEO, why couldn't they have just picked me?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Fashion?

Doesn't this kind of look like a wastebasket? I think it might actually confuse people. On the other hand, I'm all for cooler toilets. They haven't changed in 100 years, and really aren't taking advantage of modern technology. Although Japan may be the exception; I hear they have very impressive toilets there.

Friday, March 25, 2005

So Demanding!

To satisfy the rabble-rousers in the comments section, here is a link to our new fridge. Don't worry, we didn't pay the price listed on here.

It is so nice to have a fridge. I was finally able to enjoy cereal and milk this morning for breakfast! It's been almost three weeks since I've had that (counting my hotel time, time staying with a friend, and time in our house with no fridge). Further good news, it doesn't stick out very much at all. We certainly wouldn't have wanted to trade the extra space in there to go down to a "counter-depth" 22 cubic foot one.

More excellent news is that we had our first visitor from California last night. One of our friends was out here on business, so we had him over for dinner. His office is actually in McKinney, only about 7 minutes from our house! Super convenient, considering that he really could have been in Dallas and still been quite far away from us. We actually got to see pics of he and his wife's house in CA that they are in the process of buying right now. We tried to woo him here with the prospect of how much more house that would buy him here, but so far he is unconvinced. Our efforts, however, will continue unabated.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

New Fridge!

The new fridge we bought from home depot arrived today. Finally! Without a fridge or TV, we've been forced to live like the pioneers. Well, pioneers who had take-out available to them and unlimited DVD rentals from Blockbuster. And running water and electricity. But other than those things, just like the pioneers!

Apparently the fridge sticks out a bit in the kitchen, but hopefully that isn't too much of a problem? We'll see. To answer statements/questions in the previous posts - yes we definitely got the ice/water dispenser in the door. My wife doesn't like the taste of the water here, so that was a must to be able to get filtered water from the fridge. Sears? They were way more expensive than everyone else, plus HD offered free delivery (after rebate). Also, I have to give huge credit to the Home Depot web site as being by far the easiest one to sort down to just the fridges you're interested in. WAY better than Lowe's. We also visited Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sears in person, so we could make sure we knew the exact features we wanted and then I did a thorough web search to make sure we were getting the best deal.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Moving In

Well, good news and bad news on the move in.

The good news is that the movers were able to bring our stuff out Saturday morning, so we didn't have a long time of having possession of the house without having anything to put in it. The truck driver kept thanking us for switching delivery dates which made things easier for him (he switched up the way he was going to do his route so that he could get an extra day off), but in reality we were the ones who it helped even more! So we have all the boxes in the house, mostly still waiting to be unpacked. We've done most of the kitchen and some of the master bedroom but not much else.

On to some of the bad news: The reason we haven't done more unpacking is that we've had to spend a significant amount of time looking for a new fridge, and not having a fridge means that we have to go out for every meal, again taking more time. We decided to not have the movers put our old fridge in the kitchen, since we're just going to replace it shortly anyway, and we are concerned that it appears to be leaking a little. We planned on leaving it plugged in in the garage however, until we could find a new one sometime in the next couple of weeks. However, every time I plug the fridge into an outlet in the garage, it blows the circuit. I don't know if the garage is just wired poorly, or if the same thing would happen if we managed to move the fridge into the kitchen, or what. So, in the midst of trying to settle in, we're also trying to buy a fridge. Could something just go easily?

More bad news is that we can hear some traffic noise from highway 380 inside our house. In our previous trips there, I had never even noticed the noise OUTSIDE the house, much less inside, but Saturday it was pretty bad even inside. Discouraging. I guess we will figure out ways around it (leaving music playing, etc.) or just get used to it, but we're worried about the affect on our house value. I talked to our next-door-neighbor about it, and he had a similar experience with it of not noticing it while they were looking at the house but now being more aware of it. I do think Saturday was a worse than normal day, due to wind direction or something carry the sound toward us. The neighbor mentioned trying to get the city to install a sound wall along the highway, which we are all for. Tell us where to sign up!

Further good news is that we've met some of our neighbors and they are all VERY friendly. I feel like we already know a couple of them as well as we knew any neighbor in California. The family three houses down from us goes to our church, but we haven't actually met them yet. The families to our left, right, and across the street are all empty nesters. It seems like just about everyone else in the whole neighborhood has kids. The guy across the street from us is from Vallejo! The first person from Northern California that we've met here, although we've met a ton of people from SoCal. He told us that he thought we were from NorCal when he saw our moving truck, because the same company did his relo 10 years ago. Now, how's this for weird connections? His wife's family that they drive up to spend every Christmas with, lives in Beavercreek, OH, where my parents live! Small world. According to him, it only takes 13 or 14 hours to drive there.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Frivolous lawsuits

Weekly Family Medicine Update: Friday, March 11 , 2005

Doing something right in Ohio.

Yahoo! News - Real Estate Reliance May Hurt California

Yahoo! News - Real Estate Reliance May Hurt California: "Only if external jobs catch on fire, Thornberg said, can the state maintain the status quo, which is lackluster job growth far behind historical averages.

'The best-case scenario is mediocre,' he said. 'That's what this boils down to.'"

More cheery news for California. Leave NOW! Join us in Texas!

Bring In-N-Out to Dallas!

My plea, submitted on the In-N-Out website:

Does In-N-Out have any plans to expand to the Dallas area? We need you here! My wife and I are in the process of moving to Texas from the Northern California area, and we already miss In-N-Out. I loved In-N-Out so much there that I received my own name tag. It is one of the few fast food places that my wife can eat at with her peanut and soy food allergies. I believe there would be a huge market for you in Dallas, since I already see a great number of In-N-Out license plate frames, stickers, and t-shirts. Please answer our cry for help!
Not exactly my finest writing, but regardless, their response:

In-N-Out Burger® is a privately held, family operated business which first opened in Baldwin Park, California, in 1948. As we continue to expand, we are always careful not to open a new location until we can guarantee the same quality food and service as we provide in our existing locations.

We appreciate your interest in a location in Texas. Eventually, we do plan to reach your area. As such, we are happy to share your ideas with our Real Estate Department as we establish our future location goals.


Should I get my hopes up? Will this happen, but not until the year 2018? Are they just leading me on? Definitely we need more denizens of Dallas to join the fight to bring In-N-Out here!

Monday, March 14, 2005

One week in Texas

Observations from life here so far:

The Dallas Morning News has 3 pages of comics! Pretty impressive. It also seems to do fairly in-depth reporting. I've seen more than one story that continued to three pages. This makes sense to me as what papers will have to do to combat the rise of internet news. I can't speak to the bias yet of the paper, as I have only been reading for a short while.

What the heck is a farm-to-market road? I know the answer to this as well as other Texas oddities (Frito pie, anyone?) thanks to my purchase of Texas Monthly at the grocery store.

I've never seen a place with as much emphasis on Dr. Pepper. I even saw a diet, caffeine free version at the grocery store. I don't think I've ever seen that anywhere else I've lived, but I could be wrong, as I detest Dr. Pepper. People here seem to love it, though. I just consulted the Dr. Pepper web site and it appears it was created in Waco, TX and is headquartered in Plano, so that probably explains it.

I've found a grocery store near our new house that I am pretty excited about - Market Street United. While this sounds more like the name of a soccer team to me, it may be a replacement for my favorite grocery store in CA - Raley's and Bel-Air. Now if we could only find a replacement for the beloved In-N-Out.


Observations from working here:
Having an office is generally nice (vs. my cube in California). Definitely quieter, which is always a plus. Also, it limits your interactions with your coworkers (that can be a plus and a minus).

I can see outside through the window in my office door. That is very nice. I don't feel trapped in a prison cell as much.

I can park much closer to my office here than I could in California, where it took about five minutes to get out to my car. Hopefully the fact that I have to go up a flight of stairs will make up for any of the health benefits lost?

I HAVE A 20-INCH FLATSCREEN MONITOR! I get excited about coming into work just because of that. Did I mention it rotates to display in landscape or portrait modes?

Cheaper drinks in the vending machines - 55 cents here vs. 75 cents in CA.

SHOCKING

Yahoo! News - Study Shows U.S. Election Coverage Harder on Bush: "The annual report by a press watchdog that is affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said that 36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry, a Massachusetts senator.

Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism."

Really? Other revelations from this study: "farts smell bad" and "eating less, exercising more helps lose weight".

One last quote I found mildly entertaining:
"It may be that the expectations of the press have sunk enough that they will not sink much further. People are not dismayed by disappointments in the press. They expect them," the authors of the report said.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Look Who's Talking at the Drive-Through

Yahoo! News - Look Who's Talking at the Drive-Through I find this story fascinating - outsourcing drive-through functions to North Dakota call centers. The only real rationale for this that I can see is so that they can hire more workers actually at the McDonald's who don't speak English, because they are handling the communication aspect of it remotely. This is a whole new type of outsourcing. Outsource communications jobs to Americans, so local jobs can be done by immigrants? This is sort of the opposite of outsourcing, so I nominate it to be dubbed sourceoutting.

Boeing sends flirtatious CEO packing.

Boeing sends flirtatious CEO packing | The Register: "'However, the CEO must set the standard for unimpeachable professional and personal behavior, and the Board determined that this was the right and necessary decision under the circumstances.'" Strange choice of words, given that this guy was basically fired for the same thing as Bill Clinton's activities with Monica Lewinsky, without lying to a jury we might add. Apparently the standard is higher to be CEO of Boeing than to be President of the United States.

So why would anyone want to leave California?

Yahoo! News - California wants new houses, bubble or not: "The statistics in California have become almost comical. California's homeownership rates put it at No. 48 in the United States. By another measure, 19 of the 25 cities with the least amount of affordable housing are in California. The median home price in the San Francisco Bay Area, traditionally the costliest market in the nation, stands at $666,740, according to the California Association of Realtors."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

FLAT TAX NOW

Wait....so businesses are more likely to invest in countries with a flat tax? More people comply with simpler tax laws? What? A country may take in MORE revenue with a flat tax than with regressive taxation? SHOCKING!

Favorite quote from the article:
Flat taxes used to be the norm in Western countries. But in the 19th century, Communism founder Karl Marx listed a "heavy progressive" tax as a top priority. Soon, higher income-earners were being taxed at higher rates around the world. The irony today is that every flat-tax country (except Hong Kong) is a former Communist nation. (emphasis mine)
Hmm...these countries have learned from their mistakes. Can't we learn from them too? Or must we continue progressing down the path toward socialism?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Is it me or the big D?

I've made it into Dallas. Mixed feelings for sure. Mostly sad right now, as I will be apart from my wife for 10 days, which is the longest so far since we've been married. Yesterday, I added up the time we've been apart, and it looks like due to work, this move, travel for weddings, etc. we will have been apart one month out of our first year of marriage.

I was in kind of a daze all day, exemplified by when I tried to go up the down escalator in the Sac airport.

It was really nice to fly first class. I actually even dozed off for a while, which is rare for me on a plane. Normally I can't get comfortable enough to do that.

Every time I get on highway 635, there's a huge accident. I still don't really know what a normal rush hour here looks like, since there's always been an accident. Of course, if that happens every time, maybe that IS normal. Do people here just suck at driving?

There will probably be more blogging, now that I'm in TX and don't have a whole ton to do at night, but for now I'm off to hit the hotel gym.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Grrr.....

A little tip for any of you who might be moving into a house in the near future - DON'T DISCONNECT THE SERVICES OF THE PEOPLE ALREADY LIVING THERE BEFORE THEY MOVE OUT!!!!! I had to spend three hours on the phone with Comcast last night getting our internet service back up and running. RIDICULOUS. I'm a little busy with moving plans, and that was the last thing I needed to spend time on, particularly for such a stupid reason. Anyway, the only way Comcast could fix things was to create a new account, so my old Comcast e-mail is now completely gone. Most of you have done a good job of switching over to using my gmail account, but there has been at least one holdout, so get with the program Wendell. Also annoying is that I just flat out lost the e-mail I had on the comcast server. Fortunately I pop3 my e-mail, so I had most of it downloaded on my computer, but still, it's irritating.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy

Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy No time to post commentary right now, but I find this article quite interesting. Will update later, just didn't want to forget about it.