Archive for June, 2009

Oh The Shame. . .

Friday, June 26th, 2009

So, it turns out that Fred REALLY hates when people leave their office windows open when they leave for the day. I was unfortunate enough to feel his wrath:

cow of shame

Yup, a giant cow sitting at my desk in place of my chair. This cow is on wheels, so I experienced the “Roll of Shame” when I put Milky (that’s her name) back in her usual spot. EVERYONE here knows that the cow is a symbol of shame for leaving the window open! I suppose public ridicule is better than being yelled at by Fred!

p.s. Still no word on the house!!

And the house drama continues. . .

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Here’s a mini-update:

We put an offer in on a house on Satruday – the owners rejected it and came back with a VERY small decrease from the list price. We came back at them on Sunday morning with a moderate increase from our original offer, and they still didn’t budge! SO, we had pretty much written it off and were on to thinking about different houses.

A little back story here – this house has been on the market for 439 days! It’s a very nice place with a big yard. You can definitely tell it’s been well-cared for. The one problem is that it has electric heat, which really freaks people out around here. We would be planning to convert to solar at some point and to install a wood stove in the meantime (to help lower heating costs). I’ll give more details if this whole thing works out (don’t want to jinx it!!).

Anyhow, yesterday afternoon, our agent called and said they wanted to know what our best offer was, so they could try to negotiate with the owners of the house THEY want to buy and this could all work out. We gave them the price we were willing to pay, and now we wait! I hate the waiting game!

House Saga

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Phew, our apologies for abandoning the blog for a bit. This house hunting thing is for the birds. We’ve already been outbid on two houses (in two days) and are working on a third. It seems like there has been a sudden flurry of people buying homes in our price range – many first-time home buyers trying to cash in on that $8,000 tax credit. So anyway, we have been so consumed with this process, that we have not been fulfilling our duty to keep up with everyone!!

Regarding house-hunting, though, here is an interesting tip: write a personalized letter to the owners about why you like the house and in what ways you can picture yourself in the house. While we haven’t actually landed a house yet (we’ve been putting in low-moderate offers on expensive houses with the hopes of catching someone who’s desperate), we have had great responses to the letters. One couple seemed genuinely bummed NOT to sell the house to us and gave us multiple chances to bid higher on the house (the back story is that we gave a very respectable offer, and then some butt came in and made an offer ABOVE list). So, while we just couldn’t match the other people’s offer, the owners actually told us what their offer was (which they DO NOT have to do) and wanted to give us a chance to compete if we wanted to. They told our agent to tell us that they loved the letter and were sorry. HA! Anyway, the letter seems like a nice touch that may sway the owners to move a bit more on their price or to choose your offer over someone else’s. Just an observation.

We’ll check back in as things progress!

Pics of new digs

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Some people have been asking for pictures of our new office. I took these yesterday from my phone, so excuse the poor quality.

Here is the hallway outside of my office:
hallway outside of my office

Here is the same thing from a slightly different angle (note the wall of windows on the right!):
hallway outside of my office

This is my desk (kind of bare at the moment…most of you have never seen my desk so clean!):
my desk

This is the view from my office window:
view from my office

Sooo, now you can see what I see every day (note the cloudy weather!!). hehe.

Relieved to find out I’m not dead – thanks Michael!

Friday, June 5th, 2009

So I got this email from the ever-wise MMW. He explained how we should expect to be treated upon our arrival to the Cape. He says:

“As to the New England, especially Cape Cod, warmth you’re feeling it is after Memorial Day! Though the attitude toward tourists is about the same everywhere, Cape Codders are proud of the fact that they’d rather you left your money at the bridge and go home. After the townies have seen your faces for more than the typical two week vacation they’ll ignore you all together, if they continue to see you after Labor Day they might let you buy them a beer and if you survive the winter you’ll end up being just as snobbish to the tourists next Memorial Day.”

He couldn’t be more right! Yesterday, it was sunny just long enough to take a nice walk along the bike path, through the forest, along the salt ponds and eventually to the beach. It was a gorgeous post-dinner walk filled with singing birds, bunnies, and a muskrat! We passed MANY people out biking, walking, running, rollerblading etc. and only ONE of them acknowledged us (and we said hello to everyone we passed) – and the one guy who did seem to notice us just gave a curt nod. Couldn’t waste his breath on us, but at least there was some acknowledgement. I was beginning to really wonder if I was dead…a ghost of sorts flittering through town and invisible to all! I was relived to know that I am not, in fact, dead. Rather, this is perfectly normal behavior and should be expected. Yay.

Just an Observation

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

So, it’s interesting being back here in New England. Of course, it’s great to be back and to be amongst fellow natives, but I think I have a bit of a different perspective now that I’ve lived somewhere else. When Jesse and I moved to Vegas, we were amazed at how NICE people were. Even when we went to the grocery store, we were taken aback by how every employee would ask “how are you today?”, “can I help you find anything?”, “would you like a free sample of this delicious peach?”, “Would you like help out to your car today?” etc. We were literally confused (and actually suspicious of the person’s intentions) the first time it happened. That’s definitely NOT the New England way!

Yesterday, we went to the good ole Shaw’s to pick up some food for lunches. When we walked in, NO ONE talked to us…in fact, we were largely ignored. Ah, good to be home. Then, when we went through the checkout line, the cashier spent the entire time making fun of Jesse for wearing sunglasses in the store (they are prescription and he didn’t have his other glasses with him). She started with “it’s not sunny in here you know, buddy.” She then made several “stop looking through rose-colored glasses” comments. Good to be home, indeed.

Sprint Retrospective (hehehe). . .

Monday, June 1st, 2009

This whole experience truly was a sprint, so I feel completely justified in using “Agile” terminology (I had to rationalize it).

So, it turns out we have the best friends and coworkers both from Vegas and from the east! Since we broke the sad news that we were leaving, there were so many goodbye lunches and parties; it was absolutely mind-blowing! The response was truly touching, and we were genuinely sad to leave. Of course, the professional experiences we gained while working for the Water Authority/Parsons were/are invaluable; however, the lifelong friendships we gained are what really count. We really hope that everyone will keep in touch and VISIT!!! We will definitely be back to Vegas as well…we still have stuff on our “list” that we have yet to see!!!

Our arrival to Woods Hole has also been a great experience. Everyone here has been extremely welcoming and accommodating; they even had a welcoming bbq for us when we arrived yesterday! Jesse knows almost everyone already, but I really look forward to getting to know this great group more as I settle in.

Thanks, everyone, for helping to make this such a wonderful time in our lives!