July 17, 2006: Bob Comes Down

It is a hot one today. We are expecting 100 degrees in the shade. Ouch. I really wish that we had a place that wasn’t so hot as the apartment. The air conditioning is running around the clock and we have two fans blowing on us while we sleep to keep us as cool as possible. It is in the high 70’s in the apartment even so. Every windows is covered all day long to keep the sunlight from heating the house any more than necessary. When I use my computer I have a fan there to blow on me as well. It is seriously hot.

I made it out the door a little on the early side this morning. Dominica is keeping the convertible to herself so I am just driving the “6” to work. Ho hum. How sad not to have a convertible to drive to work.

Today at work I discovered that I am able to listen to music from the Podsafe Music Network so I am able to don my headphones and audition music for the SGL Podcast. That is awesome – a great use of my time sitting at the desk all day.

Bob Winans had been planning on driving down first thing this morning and meeting us for lunch today but he wasn’t feeling really well and held off on his driving plans until this afternoon. He is coming down so that he and Dominica can go to look at the condominiums in South Bound Brook. We need an outside opinion to keep us sane. It is easy to go crazy when thinking about spending that kind of money. There are just so many variables.

Bob ended up leaving around noon which got him to my office at 3:15. That confirms my theory that from work to Ithaca is three and a quarter hours of drive time. Not too bad. Easy enough to get back and forth when you want to. Not far enough to be a real pain.

Bob arrived and came right to the office since it is so easy to find. He couldn’t come past security so I walked out to the road and met him in the one hundred degree heat with no shade and no clouds. Ugh. We sat in his car for about fifteen minutes before Dominica arrived. Then the two of them headed off to South Bound Brook to look at the condo and I returned to work. It is tough paying the bills.

Bob liked the condo and agreed with us that it was a good price for the amount of space and amenities. But he got a chance to meet the building company and I don’t think that he was impressed. The builder had promised us on Saturday that the electrician would be calling us today to tell us how they would be able to meet out wiring needs but he never called. I called in to the builder to see if he was at the office today since it was so hot I figured that maybe they were not working today. They said that he was in but that he was not calling me because they were not confident that their electrician could do basic network wiring. Now, for those who are not aware, basic network wiring is far simpler than basic telephone wiring or regular electrical wiring. It is also far safer because it does not carry the moderate voltages of a telephone ring signal. Network wiring is really the most rudimentary wiring work that one can perform and I am perfectly capable of doing it myself as is Dominica or my cousing Jeremy who helped do it for T-Mobile and for the school in Castile. But K. Hovnanian doesn’t think that their electrician is up to the task which basically means that they don’t have the slightest confidence in him at all and that if there is a fire or an electricution at Canal Crossing that they will most likely be legally culpable since they were aware that the electrician was completely unqualified to be touching the wiring. They were rude and definitely claimed that their buildings were shoddy construction and that they didn’t care in the least. They also said that there was no customization available and that they were not that kind of builder and they would have to check with a manager (who I am sure will call me back right away just like the electrician) to see if some elementary wiring changes would even be allowed if the electrician could pull it off. Basically they said, “We build cheap, crappy apartments for easily duped first time homebuyers who don’t know any better.”

But there is good news, it is not all bad. Believe it or not. While Bob and Dominica were in the Raritan at Canal Crossing looking at the upstairs loft they got into a conversation with a fellow home buyer who told them about some condos buying built in Lebanon, New Jersey that we needed to go look at. They said that they were less expensive, closer for me to get to work, closer to a train station and in a much better (read: safer) neighbourhood. It sounded interesting so we are planning on taking a look at that.

It wasn’t quite the end of day when Bob and Dominica finished looking at the Canal Crossing townhomes so they made a quick run over to Birch Glen that we had tried to look at yesterday while we were driving around the area but they had closed early and we didn’t get to see the model. Well, it turned out that they had closed early yesterday because of a medical emergency and they were closed today as well so we will have to wait to look at those. We don’t think that they are going to meet our needs but we definitely wanted to check them out. They are very attractive and look like a nice community. The only thing is that they are not walking distance to the train station so they have a huge negative over a lot of other potiential locations. If Dominica or I were to always work in New Jersey they might work out great but we know that almost all work is in Manhattan so planning for the commute is rather important, we feel.

Since they were still in the area they called me to see if I could get out of work on the early side. I had just finished putting in a regular, full day so I drove down to Warren and met them for some Thai at our regular place. Bob wasn’t feeling all that well and had decided that he wasn’t going to stay in New Jersey but was going to return to Ithaca this evening. So we had dinner and hung out for a little bit before he left. It is too bad that after all of that driving it was for a condo that we had to decide against and he never even got to see our apartment or even the city that we live in right now. Josh remains that only person who has made it to our apartment so far. Weird.

Before he left Bob dropped off a number of computers for me. He has three desktops that are likely to work really well down at the school in Castile (I guess that is UP at the school in Castile these days.) He dropped off a Celeron 466, Pentium III 500 and Pentium III 600 machine as well as an old Pentium laptop that we might be able to get to do something. Maybe. We will see. He was just going to through it out so it is worth investigating I guess. One monitor for the school as well. The school is really going to have a ton of new stuff come the new school year. Probably twice as many computers as they had last year and last year was quite a shock for them.

Bob took off from Warren and Dominica and I decided to run out to Lebanon to look to see if we could find the contruction going on on those condos that we had heard about. We didn’t really know where Lebanon is so we ended up doing a bit of exploring which is fun when you are on country roads in the BMW. There was a lot of nice scenary out there. It took us a while but we finally found the village of Lebanon, New Jersey. It is a cute, quaint little town. We drove down Maint Street and really liked the village. It took a little while but we found the condos as they were right by the train station. There are no models yet but several buildings are framed and sided. The builder is Kaplan and I have heard good things about them from people at work so that is a much better start than the place in South Bound Brook had. The places are definitely not as fancy looking but the price is right and it looks like the location would be amazing. The condo property literally touches the train station! How handy can you get? The sales office won’t be open until Thursday so we are left wondering a number of things but we feel that these units are a real consideration. Less expensive, plenty to choose from, better access to my work and to the train station, really nice village instead of bordering a slum, maybe lower taxes, etc. It is a funny location but it could be neat.

From there we went home. Oreo was very happy to see us when we got back. He couldn’t travel today because of the heat. I took him out and fed him his dinner. We went online and did a little research on the condos and got some solid prices, floor plans, etc. We aren’t sure that they will meet our needs. The biggest problem is that they have no three bedroom units but they do have two bedroom units with either two and a half or three bathrooms which is really nice for a two bedroom and they mostly have dual “recreation” spaces which are generally a living room as well as a basement den that just might work as a theatre which would be a huge bonus.

We got to do very little research before it was time for bed. I have to be in the office early tomorrow so I can’t stay up late at all tonight. I have to be up at five thirty in the morning.

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