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December 2009
 
 
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Fri, Apr. 3rd, 2009 02:39 pm

I looked at my horoscope earlier this week...it said Friday would be my lucky day. And so it has been. We've been approved for our home loan.

Woohoo!

Offer going in as soon as we're able.

Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic

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Tue, Feb. 3rd, 2009 04:58 pm

So...my nephew, Gabriel Martin, was born yesterday. Yep...he's gonna be called a groundhog for the rest of his life.

Today marks two years for neophobic and I. Happy anniversary, baby. Though if I had known we were getting married on the "Day the Music Died," I might have suggested a different day.

Had a great time at a friend's watching the super bowl. Just wish we'd gotten home a bit earlier. This week has really dragged.

In positive news, we have an appointment to move further along on the home ownership front tomorrow. Fingers crossed for that going well.

Time to blow this popsicle stand. See ya's tomorrow.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: The Long Winters - When I Pretend to Fall

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Fri, Jan. 30th, 2009 09:32 am

So, Rosie and Elsie are coming back to us today.

The woman who adopted them has decided that she doesn't have the time to dedicate to them that they need.

I appreciate her honesty. That's a hard thing to tell the people you adopted your animals from, and I'm happy that she had the courage to tell us and allow us to take them back.

So while I'm sad we're having to take them back, I'm glad they're not going to be in a home where they aren't getting the time and attention they need. And I've really missed them over the past few weeks, so it'll be nice to see them again.

That said, our apartment is becoming a zoo again. 5 cats and a dog is just too much for us to care for for any extended period of time. Here's hoping we can find them a permanent, loving home soon.

Current Location: The office
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: Fresh Air Interview with Bill Paxton Re: Big Love

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Tue, Jan. 20th, 2009 11:15 am

The annual MLK-Weekend camping trip was excellent. We went up into the mountains northwest of Dahlonega, and camped on a flat area near the top of one of the mountains, with an amazing vista of the surrounding area and valley below. There's no denying it was cold...it snowed all three days we were up there, and the wind coming out of the valley was bone-chilling at times, but it only made building a huge-ass fire all the more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, when I got home, I was greeted by a car that wouldn't start. I was supposed to be one of the drivers for the trip, but once we had my car loaded and ready to go, we couldn't get it to start, and it wouldn't jump either. Turns out, though, that the battery had given up the ghost (still had a charge, but couldn't send enough juice to the starter, even with jumper cables attached). I wish I could have figured that out on my own and saved the cost of a tow and all the other associated crap, but at least the car got me to work this morning.

Also...as of Saturday evening, Rosie and Elsie went to their new home. I'm really going to miss those two.

Watched the inauguration at work today. Was cool to see just how many people braved the cold to be a part of it. I just hope our new President can exceed the expectations of his detractors, and live up to as many expectations of his supporters as is reasonably possible.

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Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 11:18 am

So...one big thing that I (somewhat intentionally) neglected to mention in my last update is that neophobic and I are strongly considering buying a house. With our lease expiring in mid-February, and housing prices what they are, we were hesitant to spend another year in a place we didn't own, but didn't know how doable it would be for us to buy a house. Well...it appears that question has been (mostly) answered.

First, we explained our situation to our apartment's leasing office, and while I have a decent number of complaints about living where I do, the staff there is not one of them. The people are great, especially the maintenance staff. Anyway, they ended up offering us a 1-year lease that we could cancel at any time with 60 days notice, and there would be no cancellation fee. On top of that, the rate is $150 less per month than what we're currently paying. So...we're set with housing until we can close on a house.

Then, there's the issue of buying.

I thought it would be years until we could afford to buy a house. We don't have much savings (largely a result of paying too much rent combined with neophobic being underpaid at her previous job), and our (okay...my) credit is far from perfect. It's not -bad-, but it's not great. A friend who, until recently, sold mortgages suggested that we check out NACA. After checking out their website, it seemed a bit too good to be true. Below-prime 30-year fixed mortgage with no closing costs or down payment required. Further, there's no PMI (though there's a $50/month fee you have to pay by getting your mortgage through this group). So...neophobic and I decided to go to one of their workshops. This is the first step to securing a mortgage through the organization. The problem is, all the English-speaking ones in Atlanta were booked until March. So, we signed up for a workshop in Birmingham this past Saturday at 10 AM.

Now...getting to Birmingham by 10 AM isn't too bad. That's 11 AM here, and it's about a 150 minute drive. However, when you're out at a game until 6 AM the night before, and have to get up at 7 AM to get ready to drive out to Birmingham, that's a little more problematic.

Still...we made it there with time to spare (though the parking situation at the Birmingham Public Library leaves a lot to be desired), sat through the 4-hour workshop, and made it home by 5:30 PM, after which I promptly collapsed into bed. However, after attending the workshop, I feel very confident about our ability to get a damn good loan and move into a house of our own in the fairly near term.

In other news, we adopted a new dog on Sunday. If you've followed neophobic's journal, she's had her eyes on this dog (Bandit) since this past summer, but when the dog was adopted, we just wrote it off. Well, neophobic went to help with adoptions at PETCO a few weeks back, and when she saw the dogs who were brought there for adoption, there was Bandit sitting in one of the cages.


(Not the best picture of her, but I'm sure there will be more available on neophobic's journal soon)

We initially planned on waiting to get all the foster kittens adopted before bringing Bandit (now Marzipan) home, but her time at the shelter wasn't doing her any favors. She was unhealthy and unhappy, and neophobic finally convinced me to bring her home on Sunday. I won't say it's been easy dealing with all the animals, but I suspect it will get much easier as they all acclimate to each other, and once the kittens are adopted.

(On that note, does anyone know someone who might want to adopt 2 ADORABLE kittens?)

Finally...the new iMac should be here today. I'm struggling to come up with a name for it, particularly since I don't know if we're going to stick with my Simpsons naming scheme or not. I guess I still have a few hours to decide before we power it up and have to decide on something.

Tags: , ,
Current Location: The office
Current Mood: hungry hungry
Current Music: Jay Farrar - Terroir Blues

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Thu, Jan. 8th, 2009 11:16 am

It's funny how I decide to make a post, and have all these things in my mind to post about, but then immediately upon clicking "Post an Entry," they evaporate from my head.

Interesting times this new year. Some good, some bad, but interesting nonetheless.

neophobic and I are getting a new computer at home. She fell in love with her iMac at her previous job, and considering that our current desktop can rarely go a day or two without needing to be rebooted (or rebooting itself), time has come for a new computer, an iMac. We've found a pretty good deal at MacMall, but if anyone has any tips on saving cash on a new mac, I'd appreciate the advice.

One (of the three) foster kittens (Cookie) found a home on Christmas Eve, leaving us with two more adorable 9-week-old kittens. Check neophobic's journal for pictures if you're interested, or know someone who might be. We want them to go to a home together, though. They're kinda attached (from the same litter, I'm told) and besides, kittens kinda need playmates to keep themselves (and their parents) sane.

Once the kittens find a home, we're planning on adopting a dog. neophobic fell in love with a mutt at the shelter back in the summer, but the dog was adopted. However, during a recent adoption day at PETCO, the same dog was brought to be adopted out. Apparently the previous owner had returned the dog since she was a bit too active for their other, older dog.

I have the annual MLK-Weekend camping trip coming up soon. Some friends and I have been going camping in January for the past several years. Eventually it settled on MLK weekend since one friend, who's a teacher, automatically gets that day off every year. It was a bit chilly last year. Okay...so it snowed. But it's always a great time to get away and enjoy the great outdoors. And gluttony. We're getting 2 pony kegs of beer this year, to go along with the deep-fried turkey and other assorted tasty treats.

Work has actually been better lately. I've been doing some database programming/configuration for a client that most people in the Atlanta-area have probably heard of (and likely some have done business with). It's nice to work with high-profile clients like that, and the people I'm working with are much better than my normal boss. There's even a chance I may switch to work with them on a permanent basis. Here's hoping...

Current Location: The office
Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Fat Freddy's Drop - Based on a True Story

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Sat, Nov. 15th, 2008 11:07 pm

Via vertamae

Delilah

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Daisy

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Gremlin

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Rosie

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Elwood

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Cookie

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

There's a...0.02% chance that none of my cats are plotting to kill me (and a not-insignificant 17% chance that they all are). But half of 'em are only about 5 weeks old, so I think I can take 'em.

Current Location: Home

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Thu, Nov. 6th, 2008 08:51 am

The past couple weeks have been a whirlwind. Frankly, I'm exhausted, but I can't get to sleep early enough to do anything about it. That said, I'd rather be busy than bored. So...a recap of the more important things.

Animals

(apologies to anyone who's read most of this in neophobic's LJ)

Last week, neophobic, ldysteph, and I (as well as Shanna and Dave, but they don't have LJ accounts, so they aren't cool enough to get links) went to a volunteer meeting for the shelter. I learned a few things about doing adoptions, but given that the meeting pretty much took up the entire night, it would have been nice to get more accomplished. Not that I should complain, though. The meeting was at Mellow Mushroom, and both food and drink were quite enjoyable.

While we were at the meeting, Carrie, one of the shelter's board members, mentioned that someone had just abandoned 4 tiny kittens at the shelter the previous day. She said that they were too young to be apart from their mother (3-4 weeks), and that Dorothy, the shelter director, had chased down the people who had abandoned them (running stop-signs and red lights to do so), wrote down their tag number, and filed a complaint with the police for animal abandonment and animal cruelty. Carrie said that the kittens needed a foster home, and suckers that we are, neophobic and I agreed to foster the kittens.

I met Kristina (another volunteer) the next day to get the kittens. Unfortunately, one had already died, so it was down to three. They looked so pitiful. Look!. We named the three kittens Cookie (the one reaching towards the camera), Cupcake, and Moonpie (the orange one). They were a bit sick, and Moonpie especially wasn't all that active, and barely ate.

By Thursday, all the kittens were eating solid food mixed with kitten formula, and looking better, but Friday both Cupcake and Moonpie took a turn for the worse. They hardly moved and barely ate. neophobic and I made the decision to stay home from Halloween festivities to look after the babies (apologies to wilsonodk and ldysteph for that...we really wanted to go). neophobic and I took turns getting up every couple of hours through the night to check on the kittens, but come morning, Cupcake was gone, and Moonpie followed shortly thereafter.

It made for a rough morning. Taking these animals into your care, and failing in the end, it's hard not to blame yourself, even when you realize they had the deck stacked pretty heavily against them.

We were scheduled to help with adoptions at Petco that day, and it turned out to be a good diversion. It was a beautiful day out, and nice to be out there with the dogs. One dog got away from me while I was taking it out of its cage and I sprinted after it. Eventually it came back to us, but two people later commented on how quickly I went after the dog. It's not often that I get compliments on my speed, so that was nice to hear.

By the time we had closed up, only one dog had been adopted, but while we were putting the dogs in the van to go back to the shelter, an older woman came by and expressed an interest in a Bridgett, a border collie. She said she'd be back the next day with her husband. However, it looks like she wasn't adopted. :(

Cookie has improved since losing his brother and sister. He's a mischievous ball of fur, but cute as hell. Here's a pic:



However, we quickly realized he was getting lonely, and how important for his development it was that he have a playmate. So we called Dorothy at the shelter and asked her to look for an orphan kitten about the same age at animal control that we could foster to give Cookie a playmate. Of course, as we predicted, Dorothy didn't just get one, but two kittens (we were thankful it wasn't more than that). I picked up those kittens last night, so allow me to introduce Rosie:



and Elwood:



Rosie is a sassy little girl (and given my hatred of the word "sassy," the fact that I still use it should tell you how well it fits). She can be a bit vocal, and when she wants to get your attention, she can meow pretty loudly. She's also a little purr-box when she's happy, as she was while I was holding her when that picture was taken. The cutest thing she does, though, is that she has a tendency to make growly noises while she's eating. It's one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

Elwood is a cuddly little guy and mews at just about everything. It's almost like he's talking. He's also a bit of a wimp, as he whines any time Cookie is a bit rough with him. Still, he's an adorable little guy, and quite the lover.

So...that's what's going on in animal-world. We're planning on holding onto the kittens until after they've been fixed, so if anyone is interested in a kitten around new-years (that's when I'm guessing they'll be old enough to be fixed) we've got three cute ones which would love a new home.

Election

Until Tuesday night, I had been nervous for weeks. It looked like Obama had sealed the deal, but after the disappointment of 2004, I wasn't going to take anything for granted.

Last Sunday (the 2nd) I went out and volunteered for Obama, canvassing apartments/condos near Five Points. With me was Matt, a guy from New York who had been in Atlanta for a few years. He was dressed in dark pants, a white button-up shirt and a black suit coat, with tattoos, piercings, and bleached hair that looked like he'd stuck his finger in an electrical outlet. All-in-all, a pretty interesting guy.

All of the buildings we canvassed were access controlled, most with security personnel as well. One security guy stopped us from going into his building, but was still very helpful in letting us know which residents on our list were still living in the building. At another building, while we were walking out, a resident who was fairly rude to us when we knocked on her door met us in the lobby and told us security was looking for us.

By the time my shift was over, we hadn't talked to that many people, but we knocked on a lot of doors. I went home feeling like I'd done a good thing.

This is the first presidential election that I have:

  • Volunteered for a candidate.
  • Donated to a candidate.
  • Read a candidate's book.
  • Voted for the winner of the election.


It felt really good to be a part of this campaign, especially from the beginning. Realizing that I had been supporting Obama since before most people even knew his name, it was nice to see this all come to fruition. It's hard to believe that a year ago, everyone was saying Hillary was going to be our next President, and to see history happen right before your eyes.

I spent election night at a friend's house. Jim, a coworker, was throwing an election-night party, and I had the opportunity to meet some really interesting people. We drank, we ate, we talked politics. I ended up getting home sometime after midnight, after watching both McCain's concession speech and Obama's victory speech.

I know Obama can't live up to all the expectations everyone has of him. But I think he will be an intelligent and reasonable leader, and while I don't agree with all of his policy, I think he will be among the best Presidents for over a century. I just hope I'm right.

Other Stuff

It's neophobic's birthday this Saturday, and plans are still a bit up in the air. She's also getting her wisdom teeth pulled next week (oddly enough, coinciding with the release of Wrath of the Lich King), so the upcoming week looks pretty full. Additionally, she's in the market for a new job, and is pretty flexible on what that should be, so if anyone is still reading at this point and knows of any entry-level job openings, please let me or her know.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I'm exhausted. But...I don't know that I'd change a thing if I could. Sometimes, that just the way life is, and you just hold on for the ride. This is definitely one of those times.

Current Location: The Office
Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: Wheat - Every Day I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square

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Mon, Oct. 6th, 2008 03:03 pm

I just received this from the director of the shelter where neophobic and I volunteer.  This is important enough that it warrants sharing.

Subject:  Urgent Action Needed: Boycott/Email Petco --- Kicking out all Atlanta animal rescue groups from their stores for a very bad reason!

Please crosspost far and wide because this situation at Petco may soon affect all areas in the US!!!!!!!

Atlanta Humane Society is at it yet again! It wasn't enough that in the past month they sponsored a rodeo so that they could profit off of the brutal treatment of animals. Now, they are demanding that long standing, reputable rescue and humane organizations be kicked out of Petco's so Atlanta Humane can have exclusive rights to adopt animals there.

Petco is starting a new program and is building adoption centers inside their stores in Atlanta. But instead of Petco allowing their numerous longstanding adoption partners who adopt at their store every weekend to use the adoption centers, they have worked out a secretive, behind-closed-doors agreement with Atlanta Humane Society and are planning to give Atlanta Humane exclusive rights as the only group that can adopt animals at all the stores with the adoption centers. Under this contract, they won't even let groups stand outside the store and adopt animals if it is a store with an adoption center. And they plan to sign this exclusive contract within a few days!!!! We have to stop them before this happens!

How could this have happened? Well Petco first offered Atlanta Humane Society only the adoption centers in Petco's that didn't have adoption partners. But that wasn't good enough for Atlanta Humane Society and instead they demanded to see the adoption numbers for all the stores and then they demanded (bullied) exclusive rights to adopt animals in the nine stores which they chose, even though rescue and adoption groups were already adopting animals at those stores. And Petco is planning to say OK.

Please help us to stop Petco from signing the contract by doing the following three things ASAP!

Remember, this is urgent because they plan to sign soon and this might happen to Petco's in your area too!
1. Crosspost this email far and wide and ask everyone to email Petco.
2. Email Petco at the following email addresses and tell them you are going to boycott Petco and tell all your friends to boycott Petco if they sign this contract and throw even one rescue group out of any of their Atlanta stores. Tell them that they take their cues from Petsmart and offer their adoption centers to their longstanding adoption partners who already are adopting animals at their stores before they offer them to anyone else. And for those stores that don't have adoption partners, Petco shouldn't give a monopoly to one group and should instead let other rescue groups know about the opportunity.

paulj@petco.com
pjolly@petco.com
petcofoundation@petco.com
lisae@petco.com
kmeader@petco.com
karenm@petco.com

Besides emailing, fill out this form and let them know how you feel about what is going on at the Atlanta stores:
http://www.petco.com/content/contactsubtopic.aspx?PC=contactcompany&nav=17

3. Email and call the President of the Atlanta Humane Society, Carl Leveridge, and tell him that he should stick to Petco stores that do not already have adoption partners and he should not try to bully/kick out rescue groups from what is often their only avenue for adoption. His contact information is:

Carl Leveridge
president@atlantahumane.org
404.974.2888

Hurry before the contract is signed and it is too late!

Current Location: The office
Current Mood: pissed off pissed off

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Fri, Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:40 am

Got rear-ended on the way into work this morning.

I was on the off-ramp from I-75, turning right onto Chastain Rd. There was too much traffic for me to make the right-turn on red, so I had to stop. I looked in the rear-view and saw that the car behind me was coming up a bit quickly, so I inched forward a bit to give her a bit more room to brake. I thought it was fine, but moments later there was the distinct "thunk" as my car lurched forward.

We pulled over into the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel around the corner. Neither car appeared to have any damage, but I have her insurance info, and will probably be taking my car to get checked out to make sure there isn't any damage I can't see.

Not an auspicious start to the weekend...

Current Location: The office
Current Mood: frustrated frustrated

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