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No internet for you today...

April 12, 2007 11:18 AM

At least at the restaurant. I forgot my cell-phone so I don’t have a way to connect while out and about. No biggie. I can upload this either from the work network, which I prefer not to do for a lot of reasons, or when I get home.

It snowed yesterday and that rightly sucks. I can understand why we need it but it still sucks. I blew another 50A cartridge fuse in my truck yesterday too because it was cold and I had left the blower on high. When I started the truck up it surged the circuit and blew the fuse. This time I bought three because it’s obvious to me that I have a rear grounding issue or a short in the back end of that truck. I can fix it but I’m trying to wait for warmer weather to do so. I figure the grounding issue is the most likely and I’m betting that it’s the same ground that is causing me a problem with my gas gauge. Regardless it’s going to be under the truck and in this weather that is not something I want to dig into - especially since I can’t put it in the garage to work on it now that we’ve got two mowers in it.

Put myself on the waiting list for the spin-on oil filter adapter for my Yamaha. It’ll make changing the oil in that bike just that much easier and if I get the adapter in before I do the first change of the season then so much the better.

Having power issues at work again. I think I’ve come up with a good solution but I need to get the electrician in there to find out how much it’ll cost to run the 50A circuits for each quad of cubes. We’re running pretty much four machines per each 20A circuit so wiring each quad of the cubes with 50A circuits should easily cover the load. I’m betting I could even go down to a 35A circuit but I want to make sure since 7 of the systems are engineering workstations that have large CRT monitors on them. Those draw quite a bit of power.

Still haven’t heard if we’re going to need to move yet or not. I should call the person in question but if he’s in the middle of handling something I don’t want to intrude. I figure he’ll call us when he knows for sure - or he’ll pass the info to me via e-mail or something.

My wife and I would like to buy a house and move anyway but I’m not sure if we can manage it. I’m pretty sure we can manage the monthly payments but I’m not sure if we make the grade credit-wise or not. I think it’s time for me to get our free credit reports again and pay the extra $$ to get our credit score from each of them. Then we’ll at least have some way of telling where we stand on things. If we’re on firm enough ground then I’ll happily try and find someplace that my wife can be happy with and someplace within our daughter’s current school district. A narrow range but quite doable. A fenced yard, a garage, good broadband, and a basement are the priorities for me. I can work with anything else but those are quite necessary. I’d prefer someplace that was out of the way and was old quality construction but those houses usually go for a crapload more money unless they’re seriously run-down. I don’t mind making repairs but I don’t want to stick us in a rathole for what will likely be at least 5 years. (I figure it’ll take us 5 years to get on top of a mortgage.)

My other concern is that I want to try and get a mortgage that has payments we can meet with only one income source between the two of us. For instance we could probably pay $2k/month if we factor in both incomes but if something goes wrong and we lose one job of the two then we end up not being able to keep a place to live. I don’t want that uncertainty and I REFUSE to be like the rest of Amerika and live beyond our means. That is not sustainable and is not a game I want to play.

Still, if we buy a house then I can put in things that will reduce our energy consumption and maybe even things that will generate power for us - like solar. I’m betting that after a couple of years I could get an equity loan to buy a small supplemental solar-voltaic system that is expandable and could help offset our electricity use quite a bit. I wonder if I could build a gravity-fed water tank system in the attic that would supply micro-hydro off of the existing water when used. That’s an interesting idea. If you’ve got city-pumped water then you’ve already got pressure to fill an upstairs tank. If you draw the house water off of that then you could easily put a micro-hydro system in there both at the fill-point and at the drain point of the tank. I’m betting that if the price of the water/sewage service were below a certain point you could supplement your power a little and not raise your water bill too much. Water would have to be pretty cheap in your area though. But then if you could supplement enough you would reduce what you’re paying for electricity and shift that usage to the water/sewage bill which might, notice I said might, be lower in cost. I’d have to have hard numbers and know how to apply them before I was sure. Either that or but a house and test the theory.

Which would be the whole point wouldn’t it.... ;-)

The sad part about all this is that I’ve currently given up on the idea of building our own house for now. We can’t agree on a style, the materials would cost more than we can currently afford for a conventional house and my wife refuses to even consider an unconventional house even though it’s less maintenance, which she hates, is thermally better usually, which means she stays warmer/cooler as needed, and is built exactly the way you want it in the end, complete with the front porch swing she wants.

But no. She won’t settle for anything but a damn McMansion or country farmhouse. Neither of which is cheap, nor easy to maintain, nor built exactly the way we want.

*shakes head sadly*




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