General Archive

Friday, March 21, 2008

!@#%!#$^%!# Wells Fargo

Stagecoach RobberyI will never again get a loan through Wells Fargo (at least not until all the other banks have similarly pissed me off and I have nowhere else to go).

When my wife divorced her ex-husband, she got full ownership of the house. The divorce papers stated so. She and her ex-husband signed a Special Warranty Deed, stating in detail that the house was hers, along with the loan, and all other monies (escrows, deposits) associated with the house. The deed was signed by a notary, and filed at the county courthouse. Everything was nice and official and legal.

Because of the fees that Wells Fargo would have charged to change the loan to her name, and because her ex-husband was renting and having the loan in his name wasn't doing him any harm, my wife didn't make it a top priority to get the loan in her name. However, when we decided to move last summer and put the house up on the market, we decided that we ought to get it done so that there weren't any problems when it came time to close on the house. Well, my wife talked to one of the loan officers at Wells Fargo, showed him the Special Warranty Deed, and he told her not to worry about it. He said the deed was official enough, and there was no reason to pay the fees since we were just going to to be selling the house, anyway. We thought we were in good shape, and figured everything would go smoothly when we finally sold the house. We were wrong.

Continue reading "!@#%!#$^%!# Wells Fargo" »

Friday, March 14, 2008


XKCD LogoHere's a short entry for today. I'm probably one of the last people on the Internet to find this, but I thought I'd put it here on my blog for those people I know that don't frequent nerd sites very often (by find, I mean actually going to the site and reading through it - I'd already seen a few of the comics on other blogs before).

To get to the point, there's a very good web comic called xkcd (which apparently doesn't stand for anything in particular), which according to the site itself, is all about "romance, sarcasm, math, and language." He probably should have mentioned science, too. It's pretty funny, with a few random, interesting sketches thrown in, as well. I've put a handful of my favorites below the fold to give a taste of what it has, or you could just head on over there to check it out yourself. Don't forget to let your mouse hover over the images to read his comments.

One note before you click through to below the fold - one comic drops the f-bomb, so you've been warned. Also, before you go to his site, here's the warning he has, "this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)."

Continue reading "XKCD" »

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

TAKS Test Day

Test Anxiety, from very short entry for today (hopefully I'll get a real entry out later this week). Today is the day for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, better known as the TAKS test. These tests are very high stakes for elementary school students - the children must pass this one test today in order to graduate to the next grade level. If they bomb it, they're doomed to repeat their grade, no matter how good they might do in school otherwise. (update 2008-03-05- Actually, the students get 3 chances to pass.) My daughter and one of her cousins are taking the test this year, and they're both fretting over it. 3rd graders, almost as nervous as college students at finals time. There's also the major concern that with the importance of this single test, teachers focus on teaching their students how to do well on it, instead of trying to give them a more general quality education.

Anyway, I found a good blog from a Texas teacher discussing this, Education in Texas. Take a look specifically at this entry,
Time For Some State Sponsored Torture of 8 Year Olds. He also has a few others dealing with this issue.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Fastnacht Day

Doughnut Picture from Wikimedia CommonsArgh. I can't believe I forgot this until now. This year, I was planning on making this post a day early, so people would have some warning and be able to get the recipe to make the fastnachts in time. As it is, with me having been sick, I completely forgot about Fastnacht Day this year, and didn't even make any myself. And actually, even though I'm starting to feel better, I still don't think I'm quite up to eating fried goodies, so I think I might skip making fastnachts this year. Anyay, here's my standard blog entry, explaining what fastnachts are, and what Fastnacht Day is all about.

Depending on where you are in the world, you may call today something else, like Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day. But from where I'm from in Pennsylvania, today's called Fastnacht Day. Traditionally, you make potato based donuts, called fastnachts, supposedly as a way to empty your larder of all the fatty, sugary foods in preparation for the Lenten fast. My elementary school even used to give out donuts with the lunches on this day. So, in celebration of today, here's a recipe on my main site on how to make fastnachts, and a link to the (not so thorough) Wikipedia article.

I know it's a little late, since you should have made them either last night or early this morning, so that you could eat them throughout the day, but better late than never. Oh well, maybe next year I'll remember to do this post on time.

Doughnut Picture from Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sad News

I have no energy this week to get worked up over the things I normally write about on this blog. I just got some sad news. A friend of our family has been diagnosed with advanced liver cancer, and has only a few weeks left to live, at the most. He wasn't a super close friend, which is why we didn't find out until now - the last we saw him in person was over the summer, but my wife had been keeping in touch with his wife through e-mail every couple months or so, and we always had fun every time we got together. It was the type of situation where you always said that you needed to get together more often, but somehow never found the time to do so.

He had just retired a few years ago, and his wife was getting ready to retire this year. Their house was paid off and they were getting their back yard all in order for their kids and grand kids to visit; they'd just recently gotten horses for each of them to ride; they'd already planned a Hawaiin cruise this summer that they'd been putting off for years. Now, they don't get to do any of that. I feel so sorry for him and his wife, and their kids.

It's probably a bit cliche at times like this, but never forget how precious life is. You're only here for a time, and then it's all over. Make the most of it. Enjoy yourself, and enjoy the time you have with the ones you love.


Selling Out