Fortunately, it's never really come back to bite me in the ass the way you would expect, even after employing the same strategy with the six apartments I lived in post-suburbia. I've ended up living in some fairly decent apartments in some really cool neighborhoods. Maybe that's why I never learned. Now that we have entered House Hunting Mode, I'm having some difficulty getting into the right frame of mind. Whereas previously the activity of apartment hunting involved little more than looking at the rent, checking my bank account, and making sure that the place has a working toilet, now I need to worry about things like potential renovations, surrounding property (created_by, alias, sectionid, catid, metakey, metadesc, state, urls, introtext, `fulltext`, title, title_alias, created, created_by_alias, modified, modified_by) VALUES, and exactly how big the hot water tank is.
It feels like January and I have seen just about every house on the market over the course of the last week and, being the guy who wants to find something immediately, it's been a little discouraging. It seems like every place we look at has something we love about it, but we can't find one complete house embodying all of our requirements. It helps that we have three months until our lease is up in our apartment, but I think we both just really want to get the process on the road so we know what we're working with.
Four more houses on the schedule for tonight. Maybe we should just grab up the first one, to get it done with.
Yesterday afternoon, January and Gus stopped by my office so we could all walk back home together. This is a walk I take every day, but taking the walk with an energetic puppy tethered to your arm turns it into something quite different. Typically, the walk involves plugging into my ipod, selecting some weather / mood appropriate walking music, and ignoring everyone I pass while they reciprocate in kind. But when you have a little ball of furr walking beside you, apparently everyone feels that it is their duty to stop and pet the little guy and ask him very confusing questions such as "aren't you a cutie?" It's a good thing Gus can't talk, because I'm sure he wouldn't really know the right way to answer that question. Instead, he just tries to chew on their shoes, which seems to satisfy all parties involved.
After a handful of such encounters, as we were rounding the corner to head up our street, we could see an older, grey haired woman picking up trash from the sidewalk. When I see a woman like this, I tend to mentally pigeonhole them in with the stereotypical Sweet Grandma type. I imagine her spending her retirement years sitting on her front porch, catching up with neighbors, baking cookies for her grandchildren, and maybe if she is one of those hip new technology-savvy grandmas, scouring eBay for Precious Moments figurines to complete her collection. Based on this mental image I had created, I prepared for the inevitable moment where we would have to stop so she could pet Gus, ask him how cute he is, and regale us with stories about a dog that she used to have that looked just like him. Instead, as we came within earshot, we had the pleasure of overhearing this gem, spoken to the gentleman helping her clean up the sidewalks:
"You don't have to pick up the trash in her yard; She's a nasty bitch!"
We proceeded to hurry past her to the appropriate distance before you're allowed to burst into laughter. "That woman is half my age, she can get off her fat ass and clean up her own yard!" As we continued up the street, the continual defamation of the unknown neighbor followed us a surprising distance. I couldn't make out much more, but it was litered with more than its share of "bitch" and "fat ass" references.
Seriously. Don't ride your bike on the sidewalk. Here's a simple rule for you when trying to decide whether you belong on the street or on the sidewalk:
Are you on some sort of vehicle that has wheels? Get on the road.
Are you walking, running, jogging, or otherwise keeping your feet in direct contact with the ground? The sidewalk will be just fine.
Just so we're clear on exactly how the decision making process works in this scenario, I have put together a concise flowchart for you:
Additionally, when you are riding your bike on the sidewalk, and I'm blocking the sidewalk with my car trying to pull out to the street, don't yell at me and tell me that I'm blocking the sidewalk. I know I'm blocking the sidewalk.
Furthermore, when I yell after you in the spirit of public service to tell you that "bikes belong on the street," don't turn your bike back around, all indignant-like, to ask me repeatedly "what did you say? WHAT did you say?!"
The last really good work "adjustment" i undertook was the week before January and I got engaged. She had gone to Prague to visit Tasci and I was taking advantage of the freedom by locking myself in my office and working nonstop. I had taken on several big projects and committed to a few deadlines that were a bit unrealistic... but I had a plan. Not just a plan, but a plan with a name. It was The Four Hour Plan: work from 7am until 11am, grab a quick lunch and sleep from 11am until 3pm, get back to work until 7pm, spend a little time socializing from 7pm until 11pm, then hit the work again until 3am when I would crash on the mattress in the closet and get up at 7 and repeat the cycle. This schedule was the definition of insantity, but it did succeed in helping me accomplish two very important things; I managed to work more than 100 hours in a single week and meet all of my overly-ambitious deadlines. Additionally, the sleep-deprivation-induced insanity forced me to focus solely on work and sleep rather than the fact that my soon-to-be-fiance was halfway around the world wandering the streets of the Czech Republic without me.
But I've gotten off topic a bit. What I wanted to get at was that another big advantage of self employment has been the chance to work alongside Phil and Nathan, two of my self-employed friends, in some office space we rent on OSU's campus. Nathan does the same sort of work I do, and it's been helpful to us both to have someone to bounce problems and ideas off of. Phil, on the other hand, is a salesman. And I put that in italics to indicate my disgust. Or maybe jealousy. I'm not quite sure. I sit one office over from him and hear him, on a daily basis, convince people of things. What these things are depends on who he is selling for that day; maybe it's the criminal defense lawyer with a lot of experience helping people accused of DUI or GSI (as an aside, try to spend as little time as possible in Licking County -- trust me, that's where all the crazies are) or maybe it's the photography company who will take pictures of your kids and sell you packages of pictures. Up until now the bulk of these jobs has involved waiting for potential clients to contact him, whilst passing the time playing solitaire or watching Battlestar Galactica. Recently, however... this has changed.
Phil has stepped up his salesman abilities into the dreaded area of cold calls. It is because of this, and the fact that the door between our offices isn't quite soundproof, that I know the following. There has been a lot of change. Law-type changes. Especially laws about 401(k) and HSA's. But it's OK, because.... I know this guy.
Brendan knows about these laws. Not only does he know about these laws, but he is going to be in your area soon and he would love to set up an appointment with you to show you how your organization can stay current with said laws. Now, when would be a good time for Brendan to meet with you?