March 19th, 2004


House update

Yesterday afternoon we went to visit Susan, our sales manager. The visit was memorable for quite a few reasons, not least of which was that there was a very cute, very skittish miniature Doberman in her office. Apparently she'd been hiding underneath one of the foundations. Four big burly construction guys found her and got her out after much furrowing of brows. She was obviously Someone's Dog: she was wearing a collar, her coat was clean, she was reasonably comfortable with people. Very very skittish about coming near willowisp or me, but I can understand that: any way you slice it she was having a Bad Doggy Day. I hope her family can be found. I'm not too worried, though: apparently there are already a few offers to adopt her if it comes to that.

Meanwhile, back to house business. Susan wrote up the addendum to our contract that says that if our close date slips past the end of our mortgage lock, Centex Construction has to pay the extension fee. I'm glad to get this executed. While the sum involved (somewhere between $500 and $600) is a handful of peanuts compared to the size of the whole mortgage, well, that's $500 to $600, which is quite a lot of money. Our build mangler was convinced (strongarmed) into moving our close date back to May 7, which is not my department review, but merely the dry run for same: it is much more reasonable for me to take off in midafternoon when it's just my own manager than when it's my great-grandboss and all the managers underneath him watching. Apparently the latest estimate is that the house will actually be completed by April 30. If the standard schedule holds without any further delay, there's a chance this will happen: drywall goes up typically 6 weeks before close, and, well, drywall's supposed to be up right now. However, what with the radiant heat on the second floor still needing to go in and the general slipperiness of our schedule to date, I have my doubts.

Further updates, as usual, as events warrant. Pictures this weekend.
  • Current Music
    Tim Story, "The Perfect Flaw"

amusing social commentary

I've noticed something in the last several trips willowisp and I have taken for lunch and dinner out by ourselves. I tend to order a big salad. She goes for fish and chips (at Flying Star) or enchiladas (at Garduno's). When the food finally arrives, the person bringing it out will usually offer her the salad and me the, um, greasier stuff. This has happened enough times that I don't think it's random chance.

Deconstruction of potential stereotypes is left as an exercise for the reader.

House update

Two things of note happened today. First, I got the voice mail Susan (sales manager) left for me yesterday when I was out of the office. She has convinced our build mangler to move the close date up to May 7. She said, moreover, that she and Pam set it for the latest possible window during the day (3pm) so that Pam could use the entire day for a workday. This is in contrast to something else Pam has said within the last few days, which is that the house should be finished by April 30 at the latest. I no longer know what to believe about the schedule except that delays are more likely and that preventing them is not my problem.

Beyond that, our house now has a lock on the front door. This is standard once they put the drywall up, since at this point a kid with a screwdriver can cause a great deal of expensive damage in about 15 minutes. Normal procedure is to go to the sales office to get a key: however, since our neighborhood is closing, the sales office isn't there any longer (someone lives in that house now). So. Backup procedure is to go to the next nearest Centex neighborhood about three miles away, where we were told they would have the construction keys.

We did so. They were utterly clueless. Their suggestion: "Um... we don't know anything about those keys. I don't think we have any. Could you maybe come back tomorrow?"

willowisp and I were not amused. Susan was not amused and promised to make a phone call: she says she gave the keys to the staff there and told them to keep careful track of them. If they haven't found the keys by 10am tomorrow when I go back, I will be very much not amused, probably to the tune of "Fine. I will stand here while you find them."

Judging from the mess in the front yard they've made a lot of progress in the last few days. The whole house has been wrapped and chicken-wired in preparation for stucco. The cement blocks for our courtyard wall have arrived. The trench for the base of that wall has been dug. There is also a large pile of scraps of sheetrock. I'm looking forward to getting inside and seeing what it looks like now.