Friday, May 30, 2008

Hurricane Season

Howdy, y'all, from the great state of Florida! Hurricane season begins day after tomorrow so the stores are starting out with their sales on generators, shutters & all that stuff. Personally I think I prefer leaving if a hurricane is on the way. If the house is trashed; me being here won't help much. And it's all just 'stuff' so maybe we would have to do without or buy new. I can live with that.

The house has been on the market for three weeks and we've had six or eight showings. We've had two offers both indicative of the lousy real estate market here in Florida now. The first was just low; we rejected it. The second is a full price offer (great!) BUT it is tied to some kind of 'gift' program. The purchaser is given a gift of money to be used as a down payment by some foundation no one has ever heard of. The seller is then obligated to repay the down payment and then some to the foundation. This doesn't sit well with me.

There are several things I don't like. 1) The purchaser is given something that they needn't repay. I don't believe in the 'free lunch'. 2) The purchaser is not really involved in the transaction. They filled out some paperwork but.... When one works for and earns something, one is involved. When something is given to one, it just feels different. 3) This is clearly intended for "first house" buyers; this house is not a starter home. 4) The last thing is simply practical: they are asking for a larger discount than we wish to give.

So we are keeping the house extra clean. We pay rent on a storage unit with some of our things packed away. We are ready at a moment's notice to take the dog and leave so someone can view our house. There are several restaurants in the neighborhood who have tables outside where one may take a dog. We are getting to know them all! We are also creating a monster. The dog doesn't like all the traffic around our table. In an attempt to give her something else to think about, I feed her a few french fries. (Almost everything come with fries! aka chips in the UK, pomme frites in France, etc.) It does keep her quiet but maybe at the cost of her waistline! Hope the house sells soon!

Take care out there, it's dangerous.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Still truckin....

Originally I started this post whining about things around the house that are breaking. Then the ridiculous nature of the post hit me. I'm whining about a leaking filter and this is in a month when there are maybe two or three HUNDRED THOUSAND Asians dead from earthquakes & cyclones. There must be at least a million people in danger from who knows what diseases, lack of food and water, etc. That says nothing about the people in Africa caught in the many wars on that continent. Damn, it's getting rough out there and I'm whining about a leak in a pool filter. Isn't that crap!

It does, however, provide a segueway into the bigger question: my responsibility to the world. In this age of instant communication I can know about many of the problems on our earth. To effectively help with ANY of these problems, I'd need to do quite a lot of research. But, even if I could find an honest way to assist there is still the question of rightness. How much of my emotional/economic strength should I invest in the war in Dufur? How much in the Chinese earthquake? How much in the Myanmar cyclone? How much in the human rights fights in: China; Tibet; Palestine; Lebanon; Cyprus, etc? How much in the fight for economic progress & transparency in the US financial markets?

Isn't it right for me to be involved in my own (local, state & national) problems; and simply wish the best for others in their struggles in far off lands? Honestly, why would a fat, old American like me should have anything to contribute to the cause of freedom in Tibet? We have little enough freedom here, why am I setting myself up as someone who can advise them? I think I'll go have a V-8!

Good luck, y'all! It's dangerous out there!


Friday, May 09, 2008

Not a lot to report

Things are quiet around here for the first time in quite a while. Getting the house ready for sale was a lot of work. We had a couple of showings the first day but nothing since. I'm not expecting a lot really. The housing market is stuffed to overflowing with houses so the few buyers who are out there are kind of lost. Once in a while one might decide our house calls to them but it's probably not going to be very often. Just in case you would like to check out the house it is listed here: The MLS number is 7344770. The photo they show is just of the pool.

Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday. It is always difficult to go out and seldom satisfactory so we stay in. Our daughter will come up and do dinner; possibly with some help from me though I've been told that all I'm supposed to do is to provide champagne & beer. We'll see. These made up holidays are so stupid. They are just an excuse to buy cards & crappy little presents that no one wants. Bah, humbug!

I'm posting a photo of my room. I'm really proud of the way I've cleaned it up. The trash can is full for about the 4th time but otherwise, it's pretty good. I used to have an easy chair in front of the desk but it makes the room smaller so I put it in storage. The closet is packed full of crud, of course, but you can't see it!

Have a good one & be careful out there.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Operation Sellthehouse is underway

We choose our realtor and signed the papers to put the house on the market. The relief was physical. For better or worse we are going to find out if it sells or not. Actually, I'm not sure that I care. I'd like to go boating certainly but this isn't a slum and if times are going to get worse, it's nice to have settled expenses, knowledge of the area and all the rest. We'll see.

The news out of Myanmar is so awful. It's hard to imagine tens of thousands of people dead. They say twice the number known dead are missing. It is such a tragedy. For us in North America it is a little known place and the thousands of people lost are hard to imagine. Wikipedia suggests that about 1,800 people lost their lives in Katrina; so this is more than ten times worse! Not to mention that these people started with so much less than the people of New Orleans. The people of Myanmar will be in my thoughts for a long time.

I have no real opinion on the Olympics in Beijing. Clearly the country has human rights problems but since Mr Bush the 2nd came long, so do we. Not to mention that I can hardly conceive of the path China has followed for the last 20 years or so. I should have said they were the country most true to Communist ideals. I know that Communist does not equal socialist but there was some similarity. No longer! In a couple more years, they will have more billionaires than the rest of the world combined. But I imagine they will still have a government run by the Communist party for the party elite. It's an amazing place. Guess I'll have to visit one day. In the mean time, here's an Aussie who just spent a few days there.

Well, I'm off to bed. Can't do this stuff all night long. Be careful out there, it's dangerous!