ArchiveJanuary 2015

A Guilty Pleasure – Doc Savage Stories


I thought I had written about this before, but apparently, searching my archives, I haven’t. Today’s the day I guess. It is no secret that I have a voracious appetite for reading. It started young, when I was in High School, and was heavily Science Fiction oriented. It was escape from some reality, and I doubled down. My introduction to Doc Savage came much earlier than that though In...

House Hunting Journal – hidden meaning in real estate listings


Any serious time spent looking for homes for sale in the Bay Area, and you begin to learn some key codewords. You begin to think like Alan Turing deciphering the Enigma. In the way back time, when I was first hunting, in the pre-internet era, the code words were clumsy. For example, “A Mountain View” didn’t refer to being close to the now-Google headquarters, but instead was...

House Hunting Journal – 1000 Square Feet is really small


Looking at listings until your eyes bleed, and you see something that looks promising. Nice yard, well maintained, spruced up interior. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms. Sounds good. Then you hit the open house. Your instincts are correct, fabulous yard, kick-ass kitchen, indoor laundry (a RARITY in Silicon Valley). Nice. But then you realize that at 1100 square feet, it is tiny. When the master bath is...

The Middle Class – Its Origin


Politicians love to rant, and one thing they agree on is the importance of the Middle Class to the economy. It is taken for granted, and all that yada-yada. Like this middle class has always existed, and been the lynchpin of progress, but that is not true. This is the first of a series of posts on this thing called “the middle class” that is so popular. In the beginning… The...

House Hunting Journal – Slogging through Open Houses


A short post today. The hunt is on, and how the game is played here in Silicon Valley is that you pretty much have to hit open houses. How different this was than our experience of selling in Phoenix. There, open houses were drains on the agent’s time. They would come, set out some cookies, and wait. And wait. And wait. In 3 hours (or sometimes 5 hours, as they often started at 11 instead...

House Hunting Journal – Neighborhood Research


One thing the Internet has enabled in a huge way is the investigation of the neighborhood. Since we are placing an offer on a house we like, and we have learnt to not trust the Trulia crime map (it says our apartment is lowest crime, HA!) Fortunately, there are many options. Since we are in San Jose, we can use the SJPD Crime Map website to see what activity is in your area. (I would bet my...

House Hunting Journal – The Zaniness of Silicon Valley Real Estate


Housing in the Silicon Valley has always been different, but upon returning, it is crystal clear how odd it is. Our experience selling our house in Chandler, AZ was typical. You clean it up, fix all the warts, put it on the market, and are inconvenienced for months as agents (infrequently) bring parties through. Your life sucks as you have a 30 minute warning to get out for the next group of...

House Hunting Journal – You need an agent


In many ways, it is a glorious time to be looking for a house, the Internet provides wonderful tools to search, Trulia, Zillow, and others are easy to search, and useful for checking out properties, but they do have a downside. Unfortunately, they are plagued with out dated information. Often houses you are looking at, and watching are under contract, or otherwise not available. Additionally, it...

House Hunting Journal – Neighborhood considerations


Continuing on the thread of house hunting in Silicon valley – the search for a decent $700K house to buy – yesterday Barbara scratched one folly off her dream list. One thing that is charming about the downtown San Jose area is the “Craftsman” house. Typically built about 100 years ago, small lot, small house and tons of character. You see some that are extremely well done...

Bicycling Log


I have always had a passion for bicycling, and have recently gotten back into Mountain Biking. That and the layoff has engendered some commentary. Thorns suck. No, seriously, fuck them. I bought Mr Tuffy’s and still I get an occasional puncture. Grrrr Patch kits. I remember the “green” box patch kits with round and oval patches, glue, and a scrubber to roughen the tube. Now they...


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January 2015

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