Changing up my writing routine

It may be time to change up my writing routine. A long time ago, I would hammer out a weblog post before going to sleep. That happened almost every day. It could be something that starts happening again. During my morning writing sessions pretty much everything out ranks a good weblog post. My efforts are typically dedicated to other types of writing. That is not a bad thing, but it does limit my functional journaling. Perhaps from this point in time moving forward a nightly weblog post will be a part of my routine.

On a stack of old journals

My Nalgene 1000 ml water bottle has been working very well. That was a solid purchase. It was not the only purchase I spent time thinking about today. I thought about journaling by hand today. A stack of old journals sit on my bookshelf. Most of them are from my days in college. My primary notebook sits on the shelf. My handwriting has not really changed very much over the years. During the course of going through a box in my office, I found the oldest journal still in my possession. It was first written in on November 28, 1999 at 3:20 AM in Lawrence, Kansas.

My first entry in the journal contained the passage, “I begin with a few words to describe my intentions. I have always wanted to express myself in words and I hope to express my thoughts in manor that will be understandable by others. I apologize ahead of time for all grammar, words misspelled, and otherwise poor penmanship. Otherwise, my phrases are mind and I will them to the pages in the spirt of persevering my thought form the inevitable loss. If only I can begin to express my desires and dreams in words, then I will be able to unlock my passions and give you a glimpse into my mind. I wish all who read these passages well.”

Watching AMC

For the last two nights, I have watched the two part premier of Better Call Saul on AMC. Breaking Bad was a pretty fantastic television show. That was enough to guarantee that people would watch Better Call Saul. It was enough to guarantee I would watch. I’m not sure where the show will end up, but it was interesting take on the character.

Today was a rough day. It has been a rough week. Swarms of things have had to get done. I have been looking for a real challenge. Last week the edX group sent me an email about an MIT class called The Analytics Edge. I signed up to take the class. It should be a thought-provoking experience. It might just be enough to challenge me. Based on the description it should be an interesting course.

I’m still getting used to working for a new college. Apparently, earlier this month the rights to my employment were sold. It seems like a better arrangement. It might be an arrangement that includes a pay increase. That would be nice.

Furniture Day

The coffee of the day happens to be a Green Mountain Coffee product called Dark Magic. It used to be my favorite. I brewed a cup at 5:00 AM on a Saturday for a call that had already been cancelled. That fact was unknown at the time. I booted up some Netflix and started working on some academic projects. At some point in the next few hours, a rather large truck with some furniture will arrive. John Paul’s new room has been painted and the blinds have been put up. Getting the box with the blinds upstairs was pretty easy to accomplish. 8 screws had to be put into the wall to support the blinds. The whole process took about thirty minutes.

Speaker systems seem to have changed over the years. Right now is a very interesting time for audio equipment. Companies seem to be trying to build awesome systems at reasonable prices. That is probably a function of how expensive some of the high end systems parts have gotten. People seem to really honestly like the Audio Engine products. A number of technology magazines seem to be recommending their products. My computer setup sports some very basic JBL speakers. Audio Engine’s A5+ powered speakers would be a major upgrade. I’m a fan of the bamboo version.

Oh Cyber Monday

It is Cyber Monday. For what it is worth, that is mildly exciting news. I don’t mind visiting a few of my favorite websites in search of a good deal today. Last year Cyber Monday had a few memorable deals. Last year, I managed to pick up a couple of bottles of wine from the Stag’s Leap wine cellar. This year that vineyard does not appear to be having any legitimate sales.

Here are the places I searched for deals today:

I had scheduled an appointment to have the Honda Pilot serviced tomorrow. However, the tire light was going off this morning. The express service department at our local Honda dealership Costopened at 7:00 AM. It made sense to stop by this morning. A sign read free WI-FI in the Honda dealership lobby area. The speeds were pretty slow, but they were faster than my phone hotspot. The free coffee was not memorable.

Comic Books

John Paul does not seem to like my collection of Farscape comic books. This week I picked up a couple Super Dinosaur books from the I Want More Comics store. Joni was not thrilled at the lack of back story. Allegedly, starting on the 21st book created some back story problems. I’m not sure John Paul was worried about those types of problems. I am hopeful that John Paul will like comic books.

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A few more steps

The weekend is almost here. This week has been a little wilder than expected. When we purchased the house we knew the air conditioning unit was 50/50. At this point, we are looking at replacing the entire heating and cooling system. I expected the technology to be a little more advanced. It sure is some expensive stuff. Apparently, I really (yeah, really) miss having air conditioning. My Fibit flex tracks sleep patterns and restlessness. Over the last two weeks, I have not slept very well. I’m hopeful that the new heating and cooling system install is only a few days away. Summer in Colorado has a couple weeks of high temperatures.

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Thoughts on selling the house

Putting your house on the market can be stressful. Uncertainty about timelines and processes can be truly frustrating. The house was only on the market for 7 days. Based on the state of the economy and other market conditions we were lucky to receive an offer the first week.

A couple months ago when our relator walked the property for the first time before it was listed, Brandon made three major comments about our house: 1) the half-dead lawn needed some work to look good for pictures, 2) our lighting fixtures needed to be updated to silver vs. brass, and 3) the master bathroom had to be pained a color other than lime green. If you have ever seen the color of the mask in the movie “The Mask” with Jim Carry, then you know why the realtor wanted the bathroom repainted.

The next move in the waltz that is listing (and selling) a house involved having a professional stagger come in and provide critical feedback on every room in the house. The staging process was eye opening. It lasted about two hours and Joni took notes as we walked throughout the house. We ended up having to move a dresser out of the bedroom to make the room seem less full and rearrange the sofas in the living room. We also removed our giant rug from the living room to help the room seem less dark. Beyond moving things around, we ended up taking a ton of stuff to a storage unit. I’m taking 10 loads in the Honda Pilot. I have never had a storage unit before. The process of getting one was interesting, but that is a story for another day.

After spending an entire weekend getting the house prepared based on the staggers advice, we were ready for pictures. The professional photos take of the house turned out to be phenomenal. Tons of houses on the market have substandard photos posted online that do not represent the property very well. Our photos were crisp, bright, and showed off the rooms in the house. The relator posted the pictures online and prepared the listing.

Showings are stressful with a 19 month old kid. Everything the kid thinks is fun seems to make a mess in the house. In this case, keeping the house clean was not controlled chaos – it was just chaotic. Everything turned out ok in the end. We received an offer 7 days after the house was listed. I’m ready to close the house selling chapter and open the house buying one.

What advice would I give someone trying to sell a house? The following thoughts are for informational purposes only. You should consult a professional before making real decisions, but here are my thoughts on the matter. Make sure you understand the financial ramifications of selling your house before you call a relator. Make sure you go over what will happen when the house sells with the relator. Trust me – you don’t want to be surprised by the financials. Make sure you know your limits and understand the consequences. Having a stagger and professional photographer helped us sell our house. The stagger and the professional photographer were part of the standard package our realtor uses. Obviously, you need to hire a great realtor. They need to be great at their job and somebody you can trust. During the course of 7 years, our realtor Brandon helped us both buy and sell the same house.

I took a new job today

Today for the first time in a couple years, I took a new job. It’s with the same company. I’ll still be working for Corinthian Colleges. The switch involves moving from online operations to our information technology department as a Sr. Business Systems Analyst. I’m looking forward to the new challenge. After two years of continuous escalations from 46 different groups, I’m ready for a change. Over the last two years I have worked for four different levels within the organization: 1) a divisional director of operations, 2) a vice president of operations/general manager, 3) associate vice president of call center solutions, and 4) a group vice president of shared solutions. It has been a wild ride, but it’s time to open the next chapter in this book.

Update Notes & Welcome

Greetings! The Functional Journal of Nels Lindahl receives weblog post updates based on the speed of inspiration tempered by the availability of time. The majority of my work is currently offline pending review. The complete collection should be available at some point during 2015.