Having fun

September 29, 2012 by · Comments Off on Having fun
Filed under: Fun Stuff, House 

It’s been a bit over a year since we moved into our home. We purchased it with a VA loan through our credit union. That’s the best part. Then last November by mother passed away. I didn’t know it, but she had a rather large savings and investment portfolio. That along with the house she owned and had lived in for the past few years made for a nice inheritance.

Since moving in we’ve been bombarded with the folks that want me to refinance my loan with another company. I wouldn’t do it, but for the most part was pretty nice in telling the folks no thank you. A few of them were very persistent. Especially the callers. I got to the point where I was rude to them. The calls started to slow and that was nice.

The most fun though was this past week after we used part of the inheritance to pay off the mortgage on our house. That’s a great feeling. About two days later I got one of those phone calls wanting to lower my mortgage payments. I decided to have some fun. The guy on the other end gave me all the good news about lower interest rates and so on. Then he asked me a question. Do I know how much I own on my loan. Well, yes I know the exact amount I told him. He said that great, how much is it. I said zero! What he said? Zero I said. I paid the mortgage off earlier in the week. At this point, he muttered some unprintable words, and hung up on me.

Oh, darn, did I really make him mad? I sure hope so. It’s fun to make these clowns work for nothing. I’d told everyone of them that I wouldn’t switch my mortgage. I have been a one bank/CU guy for years, and wasn’t going to change.

So that’s the story. I finally got back at these clowns that have called for over a year. Now if I can just get rid of the political calls.

 

Politics

September 22, 2012 by · Comments Off on Politics
Filed under: Politics, Rants 

I never realized how politics worked in the states while we lived overseas. Now I know. With all the polling phone calls, folks at the door, and TV commercials it’s almost continual. Now I don’t mind talking to someone, but the robocalls get hung up on. I’m not going to give any information to a machine. That’s plain silly. We’ve had two of the local politicians come to the door looking for a vote. My wife listened to one, and the other wasn’t that interesting and I was courteous, but sent him on his way. Well, that and he was here at 9 in the morning. That’s just not right. We’re retired, and don’t like to be bothered early. 😉

I’ll be so glad when the election is over. All the BS in the commercials is really getting old. You can’t watch a show without being bombarded with it. I guess it’s a way to get the word out, but all the snickering is silly. State your case. Don’t try to stick it to your opponent. It doesn’t work for me, and I doubt it works for others.

Helping

August 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Helping
Filed under: Uncategorized 

A few years ago, I first read the Blog of Helios and was impressed with his enthusiasm towards linux. Ken Starks was adamant about helping out kids and getting them involved with technology. He took donated computers, configured them with linux, and gave them to needy families so they might have a better chance at life. In the process I donated some of my older equipment that was still in good shape. Hard drives, DVD Rom/burners, and various other stuff. He was always grateful and my wife was pleased that I’d gotten rid of a few things.

Now I’ve read that Ken himself needs help. He was diagnosed with throat cancer a few months back and got treatment for it. All seemed to be going well until recently. It’s seems that a few of the cancer cells have migrated to a lymph node. Not good. He needs surgery to remove the node which they say will definitely give him more time. You can read about it here. If enough help, then Ken can continue with his mission down there in Austin.

Finally! Well, not now

July 15, 2012 by · Comments Off on Finally! Well, not now
Filed under: Happenings 

This past week, we finally got an offer on my mom’s house down in Denver. It’s not as much as I would have liked, but it was reasonable, and a cash offer! Yep that’s right. When that happens, our realtor said unless we had some really good reason, we should take it. I agree as the other offer we had wasn’t even close, and actually cost us due to closing costs and such.

I’ll be glad when this is finished. It’s been over 6 months since mom passed away, and I’d like to get things finished so that we can move on. I miss her, but I know that she’s in a better place now.  The past few years were hard on not only her, but also Donna, my sister. She took such good care of mom and I’ll always appreciate it. I didn’t live close enough to help but when we came back on vacations, we’d visit. It was hard because a lot of the time mom didn’t recognize us.

Things will change for us once this is done. Hopefully my sister and I can keep in touch. Now that I’m closer, we’ll be able to get together and have some fun.

Update: The buyers backed out for whatever reason, so we are back to square one. Damn.

FIRE!!

June 26, 2012 by · Comments Off on FIRE!!
Filed under: Colorado, Fire 

It seems that Colorado is starting to go up in flames. There are several fires burning in different areas of the state.

New fires are starting almost daily. Just today there were two fires that started near Boulder. I’ve been watching the news and they say that the fires are building quickly due to the dry conditions in the state. That along with the winds make for a very bad situation.As I sit here and listen, the fire started about 2:30 and was about 2 to 3 acres. Now about two hours later it’s at 200 to 300 acres. That’s quick. Not a good thing.

The most destructive fire is of course the High Park Fire. It’s located near Fort Collins where we live, and during the day it’s not too bad, but once the wind dies down, the town gets covered with smoke so opening the windows isn’t something we do. According to the news reports, 248 houses have been destroyed. The people will probably rebuild, but it will be a long time before that starts. The fire has to be put out before they can even return, and then to start again.

I hate to say it but I’m hoping for rain. Lots of it. I just it comes soon. Unless it does most of the state will be burned beyond recognition.

An update to this post. When I wrote it, the High Park Fire was the most destructive.  Since then, the Waldo Canyon fire became the most destructive. Over 300 homes were destroyed. It ripped right through a couple of subdivisions, and left little in it’s wake. All the pictures were terrible and I really feel sorry for those folks.

Today, it was hazy and smoky. It turns out that the smoke was coming from the fires up in Wyoming. That along with a temperature inversion made is pretty bad.

One year ago

June 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on One year ago
Filed under: Uncategorized 

It was one year ago today that the family finally arrived at our home here in Fort Collins. It was a long trip for Jane and I with two of our cats with us. We were just glad to make it and get started with our new life as retirees.

During the year, we’ve done quite a few things to the house. Nothing big except for the gas fireplaces. There were some small things that needed to be fixed and those got done. We really like the house and are very happy here.

I’m hoping that we have many more years together in the house. It’s so enjoyable and peaceful. We get to do things together when we want and not just on weekends like it was for so many years.

Lovin’ it!

June 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on Lovin’ it!
Filed under: Uncategorized 

I am really a happy camper. I’m loving this new computer. Damn, it’s fast.  A couple of posts ago, I described it and what I thought at the time. Now that I’ve had more time to work with it, I know I made the right choices on parts.

I mentioned that I’d had no trouble with the linux installs, but the Win7 might be touchy. Today when I started it up, it said it had been activated. So I guess that everything is OK. I’ll keep watching it and hopefully I can keep it working. It’s got a couple of things for the blue ray drive that are nice.

I’ve always been a hardware guy. I started running dual processors when most were only running single. I still have an old Athlon MB with 2 AMD MP processors on it. That should say how old it is. This latest one replaced a dual Opteron system that was getting long in the tooth. I bought it in 2005. That’s a long time for computers. But it still ran and took most everything I threw at it.

According to everything I’ve read, this setup would make a great gaming machine. But I’ve never been a gamer so I guess I’ll never know.

Being Realistic

June 12, 2012 by · Comments Off on Being Realistic
Filed under: House, Rants 

Several months ago, my mother passed away. In her will she gave her home to me. We decided to sell the house as I don’t want to live there. The house has been on the market for a few weeks and so far it doesn’t look promising. The house needs updating, but it’s big and the price is right.

What I get upset about is folks complaining about the street noise. Well darn, I can’t move the house and they see it when driving up. When we stayed there, I never really noticed the noise but I guess with an empty house it’s obvious.

Another thing that makes me so mad is talking about the appliances. It seems that everyone is sold on Stainless Steel or nothing. Well, I guess they’ve never had them because they are a real pain in the ass to keep clean. But hey everyone wants them. They are also the most expensive. Seems silly to me. Oh, and granite counter  tops is another want from everyone. They do look nice, but take it from someone that knows. The darker ones are a real bitch to keep clean. I’d rather have something that’s easy to clean. Our broker mentions all of this on his website, and while I’m sure he’s trying to cater to younger crowd, but our house really isn’t for that crowd.

I hope it sells soon. I’d like to have this finished.

It’s Finished!

June 9, 2012 by · Comments Off on It’s Finished!
Filed under: Uncategorized 

I finished building the new computer yesterday, and I absolutely love it. It’s quiet, fast, and works great so far. I used an ASUS M5A97 EVO MB with an AMD 8core CPU running at 3.6ghz. Then I added 16gig of G.Skill DDR3  ram.

I did have to switch cases though. I really don’t mind as this one is just as nice just bigger. The ATX MB just didn’t fit that well in my smaller case. It would have worked but the drive ports were sort of hidden and that just made the install too hard to do.

I put my original drives in and plugged in the power. It started right up but of course the first time you have to run though the initial settings in the bios. Did that and then started up my linux install. It hesitated for a bit, then figured things out and it was off and running. It sees everything and can use everything. It’s nice to work with. Then I restarted and fired up my Windows7 install. Well, it took forever and I had to get the driver CD out so it could find the drivers. I’m not sure how long it’s going to work because it told me I had three days before it would re-authorize or whatever it’s called the computer. If it dies, so be it. I’ll copy what I need off of it and then use it for storage. The only thing I used it for was my iPod and I can always use the iMac for that.

 

The only problem I had with it is the backplate. Seems to not fit so well. I’ll play with it today and get it right. It shouldn’t be that hard. I’m off to play with the new machine now and see what else it does.

Upgrading

June 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Upgrading
Filed under: Computers 

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I’d had trouble with one of my computers. Well, It’s not too bad, but while doing some cleaning, I happened to find the invoice from the company I made the purchase from. I couldn’t believe just how much I paid for that computer. It has run well, but I really think it’s time to upgrade. So I have been looking around and am actually quite amazed at what is available and the prices.

Right now the old computer runs a dual opteron setup with 4gig of memory. At the time that was a very powerful setup. The cpu’s run at 2ghz. That again was quite fast at the time. (2005).

Now I am getting read to buy another MB with a single cpu. The nice thing about that is the one I want is an AM3+ Zambezi 8core CPU running at 3.6ghz. The price is less than the price I paid for both opterons. Then there is memory. In 2005 I paid over $200 for 2gig of ram. Now I’m looking at 16gig of DDR3 memory for about $100. To me that’s amazing.

I really looking forward to building this one. Not sure exactly what it’s purpose will be, but I’m going to have fun with it for sure.

 

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