July 25, 2008: So We Bought a House…

Little Lulu Moppet lives at 22 Main Street in Meadowville (aka Peekskill, New York.) Little Lulu is a classic American comic strip character from the 1930s.

Little Lulu Moppet

The rain is gone and the hot, humid weather is back in force in the New York Metro area. Not only is it hot today but tomorrow and Sunday are set to be even warmer. All week is going to be pretty rough. Autumn can’t come too quickly for me.

We are still pretty excited this morning about the prospects of our new home (pending) in Peekskill, New York.  We are trying to get the engineering inspection done as quickly as possible and then it is time to get the lawyer involved to check over the contracts.  October 15th will come much more quickly that it seems that it would.

One of the big challenges that we are going to have is the issue of moving one large load of stuff from the apartment in Newark as well as moving the huge load of stuff from dad’s house in Pavilion.  The new house is going to be completely filled with stuff for us to sort and find homes for as soon as we move in.  The entire basement will be just stacked from floor to ceiling with stuff until we figure out what to do with it all.

The new house is actually smaller than the house in Geneseo when all of the space is considered together.  The new house in Peekskill is listed at 2,000 square feet – which is large and luxurious when compared to our itsy, bitsy apartment in Newark.  Peekskill has that 2,000 sq. ft. split between three levels (that means two sets of stairs taking up space) and has two bedrooms and two and a half baths.  But the Geneseo townhouse was 1182 sq. ft. for both the main living level and the basement for a total of 2,364 sq. ft. of usable space with only two bathrooms.  So Geneseo had more space with which we could work by one stairway, one powder room and 364 sq. ft.  None of this takes into consideration the two car garage that we had in Geneseo as well in which we stored quite a bit of stuff.  So we are still being forced to squeeze down quite a bit.

Geneseo was also set up with one third of the basement being used for nothing but storage and my office area was lined with heavy-duty shelves that were used for storage as well.  So the percentage of the house used for pure storage was very high.  We are going to have to do some serious “compression” to make everything fit.  It is going to be pretty tough.  Dominica reminds me that there is a pull-down attic but I wonder how much storage that is going to provide.

I was doing some research on my commute from Peekskill to Wall Street today as well.  I have three stations to choose from when leaving Westchester – Peekskill, Cortlandt and Croton-Harmon.  There is a different monthly ticket cost from each station which are, in order, $261, $261 and $221.  The extra drive time to Croton-Harmon may be worthwhile for the cheaper monthly train pass and for the lesser time spent on the train each day.  We will see.  Cortlandt does not have the cost advantage that one would hope that it did.  Travel times are 56 minutes, 51 minutes and 42 minutes – Croton-Harmon also has a non-express line that would take 62 minutes or a semi-express that would be 53 minutes and a few random schedules that fall within that range.

Once reaching Grand Central Station in Manhattan I will need to take the 4/5 Metro line from there down to the head of Wall Street and then walk the length of Wall Street to get to the office.  All in all, the trip is going to take a really long time in each direction.  It is going to make my days really long.

Travel to the Peekskill station is just 1.8 miles from the house.  Croton-Harmon is 9.3 miles.  The Peekskill station could be walkable on nice days – but not very often.  If I am really lucky they will have some parking available for scooters and I will just get myself a Vespa that gets 73mpg and only costs $1,800 and I will use that to zip to and from the train station.  That would work out just fine for most days, I think.

I got a chance to have a nice lunch today.  Ronak and I managed to escape the office around one and went out to Mad Dog and Beans on Stone in downtown Manhattan for some serious American-Mexican fare and mojitos.  The food there was excellent.  The guacamole was by far the best that I have ever had and the grilled corn was amazing too.  The main meal was huge and way too filling and quite good and the mojitos were the best that we had ever had as well.  I am sure that we will be going back to Mad Dog and Beans again.

After eating at Mad Dog we stopped in to the Financier Patisserie to pick up iced coffee to get us through the afternoon.  We both wanted regular coffee but it is just too warm for that today.

In addition to the normal Friday evening work, today there was house-buying work to be done as well.  We found an inspector to look at the house for us.  We are, of course, getting radon and termite inspections done as well.  I called about an attorney as well but the attorney that we are trying to reach was out today so hopefully we will have something more solid come Monday.  I spoke to the bank as well.  It’s been a busy day.

Dominica and I managed to get scheduled for a house inspection for Tuesday evening at three thirty.  It will be tough for us to make, but both of us have already taken the evening off so that we can go so it will only be so bad.

I have been really busy the last several days listening to the latest batch of material from IT Conversations but today I got completely caught up and have decided to move onto a book so I am now “reading” Bill Bryson’s “Shakespeare: The World As Stage“.  Of course, you can get this book via Audible which is now a division of Amazon.

In tech news today, Microsoft did a bold experiment – setting up users in San Francisco who did not like Vista to try out Microsoft’s secret new “Mojave” operating system to see if they liked it better than Vista.  The response was overwhelmingly positive.  Mojave is, not perfect, but very close to what users would prefer as the successor to Vista.  Just one hitch – Mojave IS Vista.  Just like Pepsi is preferred over Coke as long as the consumer isn’t seeing the label, users don’t like Vista unless they can’t see the label.  The marketing and hype has created public sentiment that is based on the marketing and not on the product.  Once the public thinks that Vista is bad there isn’t much Microsoft can do.  Rational product choices are not the hallmark of the American public.  (Not that Vista is faultless, but overall it is a pretty good product and not the garbage that it has been made out to be, by and large.)

The main part of the day was pretty slow today.  I was busy but not backed up.  Five o’clock came and I got pretty busy.  I was in the office until well after seven.  And today is even SysAdmin Appreciation Day!  At least a couple of people in the office remembered and sent me nice emails.

Friday nights wouldn’t be so bad if Saturday mornings weren’t part of the normal work week.  We are not traveling at all this weekend which is great and my work tomorrow is not “scheduled” work meaning that I can do it at my leisure.

It was just a few minutes before eight when I was finally able to leave the office on Wall Street.  Quite a long day for me.  Since it is so late I am going to go ahead and post today’s daily!  Have a good weekend everyone.

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