Thinking Man

October 2010

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Oct. 3rd, 2010

Thinking Man

Where to find us

Greetings,

It’s become quite clear to me that Kate and I have given up on posting on this blog in favor of the many forms of social media that are quicker, faster and certainly more interactive.  We’d like to welcome you to participate in our lives using the services below where you can continue to read what’s going on, see pictures and be informed about the many exciting things we’re doing.  We are both active users on Facebook and in order to interact with us you’ll require a Facebook account.

Kate:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/kate.waxman

Dave:

Facebook http://facebook.com/davewaxman
Twitter: @dwaxman

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Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

Jun. 24th, 2010

Thinking Man

Summer!

I can’t believe it’s June… the end of June.  It has been the fastest 6 months ever, I swear it’s March 3rd, but the calendar keeps arguing with me.

Dave and I have been feverishly working on the house, trying to get projects done whenever we have the time and energy.  We’ve successfully gutted the walls and ceiling of our kitchen, moved the light fixture, added a light switch, patched the hell out of it, and painted.  That was about 3 months worth of work spread over 6 months.  We’ve also painted the dining room, mulched around the entire house, and acquired a ride-on mower, a weed whacker, and a new dishwasher.  Whew.  You don’t even want to know what’s left.  But, we’re going to do it and in about 2 months, this place will be awesome… because the housewarming is in August.  LOL!

So, if we haven’t invited you over, please don’t take offense.  This place is a disaster but it will be open season to drop by come August.  I promise!

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Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

Feb. 25th, 2010

Thinking Man

Redefining the word “indestructible”

Indestructible, despite many peoples belief, does not mean that it can not be destroyed.  The dictionary definition provided by our mighty overlords at Google is,

  • not easily destroyed
  • durable: very long lasting

Our dog Molly has numerous toys that claim they are indestructible however fail to meet either of the definitions above.  She has managed to pull appendages off stuffed ducks, squirrels, and most recently the nose off a hedgehog she has had for no more than two weeks.

Her ability to destroy the indestructible is not limited to those toys that represent animals.  Kate and I purchased her a set of toys for indoor/outdoor use.  Waterproof, floating, and indestructible.  After about three days she had pulled the rope on a tugging toy completely apart and I was forced to cut the rope off as it became a choking hazard.  She has since, in the past week, removed the entire assembly where the rope connects as well as a corner of the toy.

My dog is a gentle player, not a biter and probably one of the worst dog wrestlers I have ever seen.  She’s managed to lose a wrestling match to a friends dog who is blind!  So I am not convinced the destruction of these toys is because of my dogs unique behavior and more the poor use of the word indestructible by the toy manufacturers.

I am putting forth the following change to the definition for these reasons.  Indestructible will now be defined as,

May or may not easily be destroyed

If any dog-toy manufacturer reads this and has some serious desire to “quality” test their products, Molly would be a great beta tester!

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

Dec. 22nd, 2009

Thinking Man

Remember The Milk: A website that has made my life easier

As I am preparing to leave for vacation I am realizing just how powerful one website has become in my life.  I had become very stressed out over the staggering amounts of tasks I had to complete each day.  Using the traditional “todo” list was not helping and my todo lists were spanning multiple pages.  I was pointed in the direction of a great book and after reading the book, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen I tried many different applications in order to organize and keep on top of my very busy work days.

An average day for me starts with many tasks and has more added on throughout the day.  These tasks must be prioritized, remembered and most importantly completed on-time.  On a day like today I have already completed 45 tasks.

The site I finally settled on is http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ .  I chose this site for numerous reasons.

  1. It provides a very simple user interface which I as a minimalist at heart appreciate
  2. It has a pretty decent companion iPhone app for adding tasks when you actually remember them; not when you get back to a computer and can remember what you thought about while in line at the store
  3. It is platform independent.  I get the same UI on my work computer as on my home computer
  4. Amazingly *knock on wood* it is not yet blocked by my corporates “Big Brother” proxy

This website has helped me organize my professional and my personal life.  I can easily create a “list” to tackle a specific large project (like our kitchen renovation) or use one of the numerous smaller lists I’ve created; like one for each of my accounts at work and one entitled “Pets” that reminds me to get cat or dog food, clean the litter box etc etc.

For anybody looking to get on top of things and to reduce what I found to be a good deal of stress give RTM a shot.  It’s even FREE!

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

Dec. 21st, 2009

Thinking Man

A protest against Buy.com

Kate and I will no longer be shopping from online retailer Buy.com.  Their customer service is horrible and they almost ruined Christmas for Kate.  The long story made very short:

Kate purchased an expensive gift for a family member from Buy.com.  The item was received with some flaws.  She tried to find a number to call them and discuss this and learned that they do not provide you a number; but instead a call back service.

We were ready for bed but wanted this taken care of so she selected for them to call her at that moment; which was actually an option.  Nearly 20 minutes later and after we’d turned the light off for bed thinking they were’t going to call they did!  20 minutes of argument and the requirement for a supervisor and they agreed to allow us to ship the product back, when they had confirmation of shipping they’d overnight a new one.

Needless to say that is not what they ended up doing.  Another “please call me” request was put in.  This time they said they couldn’t do what they promised before, they wouldn’t get us a new product in time and even tried to lie to Kate and tell her no manager works there and there is nobody else we can speak to.

We demanded cancellation of the order and I still wait to see that it was fully cancelled and I don’t receive more billings from them.

However, I will say that Amazon.com saved the day with the product and a competitive price and overnight shipping for a product ordered on the weekend.  Product was delivered and all seems good!

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

Thinking Man

The Molly dog

It’s hard to believe the last post I wrote was after we’ve had Molly for only a week.  We’re now a week shy of two months with her in our home and hearts and I honestly don’t remember life without her.

Molly is a joy 95% of the time  She has a very gentle and easy going personality.  While she is still hyper at times and can go crazy for attention and play time she also quickly calms down and responds to more commands than I’ve been known to understand.

She will now sit, give paw (paw), stay where she is (stay), Go to the door for bathroom time (Outside) and goes back upstairs (upstairs) without any fight.  She knows sit, paw and stay by both oral and visual commands.

Currently I am working on crate with her to get her into her crate all on her own.  She doesn’t seem to be so willing on this one as she knows that means it’s time for bed or we’re going to leave her for some time.  I am certain she understands and just chooses to ignore our requests.

Good friend JF and I put her in-ground invisible fence in about a month ago.  We mapped it out and Kate and I felt it wasn’t large enough so we traveled out to the Home Depot and got more wire to extend her running area.  It’s now a very large area in our backyard that she really enjoys running and playing in.  Unfortunately it’s a huge area for us to do find her waste in.

Krispy is still not terribly font of her and will purposely sit in her way knowing she’ll cry and not try to get past him.  They’ve gotten into it a few times with Kate getting the worst of it the most recent time.

Dexter on the other hand seems to recognize that she is not the most evil thing in the world.  He’s not certain he likes her, but he doesn’t dislike her.  I personally think he is trying to figure out how to harness her mass and strength into doing things he wants … like liberating large amounts of food for his consumption.  She has licked him on the face or back multiple times and that is just funny to watch.

Molly has taken a long road trip to CT to visit the in-laws and behaved so well there that MIL actually allowed her free roam of the house.  She was super well behaved and has been invited back … so she will be joining us for Christmas (leaving on Tuesday and returning the following Monday).

I have been very lazy about taking worthwhile pictures.  The only snapshots I’ve taken have been with my iPhone and they’re less than satisfactory as they don’t catch enough of her facial details to show how cute she is.  Pictures will come in time.

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

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Nov. 8th, 2009

Thinking Man

First week of dog ownership is complete

Well, it’s now moving onto a week and a day since Kate and I picked up Molly, our Boston Terrier Border Collie mutt.  She’s an adorable, overly friendly and loving animal with a lot of energy but the ability to easily calm down and just “chill”.  She’s fitting in with Kate and I perfectly and hopefully in time the cats will learn to at least like her.

I’ll post some pictures later, all I have are the garbage ones from my iPhone.

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

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Nov. 7th, 2009

Thinking Man

No longer behind bars

This week I broke free of the jail created by Apple on their iPhone.  Overall I have to say I am very happy with it  While many break for things such as themes, no longer paying for applications, or using the phone for unsupported purposes; my reason was much different.

I made this decision because I learned that if I just simply modify a configuration file stored on the phone I can have different vibration patterns for different events.  No longer am I unsure if I have received a text message or an email while the phone is turned to silent mode and in my pocket.

Of course, as I’ve already taken the steps to do the jailbreak I have been exploring the other nice features out there.  I’ve modified my phone ever so slightly to give me a more accurate battery meter and add video recording as well as to allow me to more quickly enable or disable features like WIFI and GPS.

The final modification I’ve made was purely visual.  I added my background, but slightly muted, behind the icons, removed the dock’s background and made the dock icons reflective.  Overall I think it’s made my phone look very sharp and personalized to me without making it look lame and childish like most of the themes I’ve found posted around on the internet.

Just slightly modified

Now, the only bars that are jailing me are those of AT&T’s limited network.

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

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Sep. 15th, 2009

Thinking Man

We’re moving

Well, it’s official.  We closed on the new house and are moving the majority of our belongings on Saturday the 19th.  That’s only four days from now and we’ve a lot of packing ahead of us.  Last night Kate and I completely emptied out our storage unit so that we could return the key and get 50% of this months rental returned to us.  We then began to pack boxes and still have plenty more to go!  We’re very excited to move but of course nervous of the actual task at hand.  We’ll be fine as long as we don’t end up like this:

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

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Sep. 4th, 2009

Thinking Man

Another complicated chapter closes on 9.10.09

As stated in a this post Kate and I have been house hunting for a while.  We’ve had some pretty rotten luck with the entire process and have learned that it is true; nothing goes really smooth and easily in life.  Kate and I stayed strong, we were diligent and we refused to give up.  Finally, after months of stress that I can only equate to mental hell I think everything has finally paid off for us.  An abbreviated recap of the events follows.

After we lost the house as mentioned in the previous post Kate and I went back to a house we had looked at and placed an offer on previously.  When we initially placed an order they countered us with a number that was above what we wanted to pay and knowing the work we needed to put into the home we were scared off.  We went back and fell in love with the house again.  It has a very nice layout, beautiful property, all the modern and luxury features you want and really great bones to be made what we want in a home.  Unfortunately the kitchen was terribly small and we knew that in time we’d be forced to get involved in a major renovation project to build a new kitchen.

We were willing on doing this and made another offer which was accepted.  While moving forwards with the process we learned that the house would require flood insurance due to its location.  When we investigated flood insurance we learned it was in excess of $5,600 a year.  Due to this ridiculous cost we opted to walk away from this house.  Again we were saddened but we knew we were doing the right thing.

On July 8th we placed an offer on another home.  After 7 weeks we have learned that indeed, third time’s the charm!  Of course nothing is final yet as we haven’t closed yet but for the first time in this entire ordeal I feel confident enough to now share some of the story with the public.  The events were very dramatic for us as it was a lot of time where we just had no idea or control of the situation.

We found this home, which is a lovely four bedroom ranch house with 2.5 bathrooms, a full walkout basement and sits on 1.15 acres of beautiful land.  The house is much larger than we expected to be able to afford and comes with a lot more land than we ever thought we could own.  We’re very excited and know this house has the bones to make an amazing home.  The layout is great, the rooms are large, the kitchen is large enough and with some TLC everything will be amazing.  The house was built in 1966 and unfortunately that shows in some areas such as horrible wood paneling that needs to be torn down and an outdated kitchen that we’ll need to upgrade to meet our style and usage.

We put an offer in on the house and the sellers came back pretty quickly with a very fair counter-offer we were willing on accepting.  We quickly moved into Attorney Review and things seemed to be moving along nicely.  Of course as soon as I feel something is moving nicely, going well or just perfect we must find bumps in the road.  Sometimes, like in this case, they turned out to be hurdles.

We scheduled our home inspection and were expecting pretty smooth sailing as I had looked the house up and down and tried to identify issues myself but found nothing.  This is probably because I have no idea about construction, plumbing, electrical or really any skilled craft.  The home inspector was great and very detailed making certain to find everything he could that could pose a problem in the future for Kate and I.  Boy did he find some problems.

The home inspection showed multiple major issues and a few minor issues.  We made up a list of all the issues we had discovered and sent it off to our lawyer who made it all nice and legal like and sent it to them.  I think it was well over a week before we heard anything back.  Thankfully they had addressed some issues; but the major issues they just stated were still pending review.

After five plus weeks of continuing in this fashion we are now satisfied with the work done except for one moderately large concern of ours that they have however granted us a cash amount at closing so that we may address it on our own. Now we’re very excited to be moving into the new house and trying to get ourselves ready for the adventure ahead of us.

We’re nowhere near ready to move however and closing in just a bit over two weeks time!  We don’t own a single packing box and unfortunately have still not sold our condo; which is a very sore subject for us.  We’ve had a couple of offers that were too low for us to accept and both buyers have shied away from the purchase rather than accepting reasonable counter offers.  We’re seeing a good amount of traffic but no bites.  It’s nerve racking to say the least.

Originally posted at The WaxNation. Please leave any comments there. Posts on The WaxNation are written by either Kate or Dave Waxman; however livejournal can not display the author details thus to determine its author you must visit the original post.

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