Sunday, May 20, 2007

Been busy

I've been pretty busy of late, both with work and social life. I'll devote this post to my house, though, as that's where the most significant progress has been made.

I got my washer and dryer! It's a high efficiency front-loading washer. One thing I wasn't counting on was having to get all new high efficiency laundry detergent formulated to work with less water and the like. I gave my laundry detergent to a friend at work, so at least it'll get used.

Either today or tomorrow I plan on going to Nebraska Furniture Mart and picking up my breakfast area table and chairs, along with some bar stools for the kitchen counter area. My grandparents said hey want to make my kitchen table set a housewarming gift, but pretty much all gifts are hard for me to accept, let alone a $700 one. But, I'll go with it on this one.

Speaking of the kitchen, it's amazing how little cabinet space there really is in there. Alternatively, it's amazing how much stuff Carrie has. It is a very good thing that I have a roommate, or I'd be completely embarrassed at the empty nature of every room. She moved her big stuff in this weekend, too, which means I will soon have to move my couch into the basement.

Which means I need to get a TV for the basement! So far, my favorite is Toshiba 65" DLP at If it weren't for charging taxes in 4 states, including Kansas, I would be able to get it cheaper there. Also, TV stands are ridiculously expensive. I'm disliking that whole situation and halfway considering throwing together some ugly plywood and making my own stand. But, as anyone who's seen my desk knows, that won't look very good. I'm making an effort to get out of college mode, but $300-$400 for a piece of wood that just sits there is discouraging.

Having a TV will be great for watching DVDs, but I will also need to get some sort of live TV feed. Comcast cable is horrible, in general, so it's between DIRECTV and AT&T's Uverse. I would like to go with Uverse because it comes with 3 free receivers, including one DVR, while DIRECTV charges $5/mo for extra receivers and more for DVR. Plus, with Uverse, I'd get cable and DSL without having to buy a phone line for some reason, so it would be cheaper. Unfortunately, my address comes up on their website as not having Uverse available. Houses down the street have signs in their yards about it, though, so I will have to call on Monday.

Also, I got my new wireless/gigabit ethernet router and gigabit switch. The router is pretty nice, but I can't get wireless encryption to work with Carrie's laptop. I will have to try configuring it with my laptop from work, sometime, to see what the problem is. The gigabit switch is primarily for LAN parties, for now.

That's all for the moment. I will try to update a bit more often.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Thoughts on IBM

A couple days ago, I had a thought about my job at IBM. It was a pleasant thought that went like this: Even though I'm stressed out about work and insanely busy, I genuinely enjoy my job!

Now, I know people rarely keep loving their job after the initial novelty period, but for now, I'm going to enjoy it. Even better? I actually feel like I'm good at my job! I'm getting progressively more responsibility. Unfortunately, I haven't actually gotten everything done on time that I was supposed to, but because I've been taking time out to fix some other very important stuff, no one blames me.

Which brings up another good thing: I found the cause of a bug that's been nagging me for the past while! I think this should make next week just manageable enough that I can get some more moving done.

Unfortunately, this post can't be all happy.

This Slashdot article and the article linked therein (Lean and Mean: 150,000 U.S. layoffs for IBM?) talks about possible upcoming layoffs in IBM's Global Services division. The consensus at Slashdot is that Cringely have overly speculative columns, and that 150,000 layoffs would be 40% of IBM worldwide, not IBM's US workforce.

Still, it does make me a bit nervous. I don't know which comments are fully truthful, but there are some good points in general. Global Services consultants are who customers deal with. When they get laid off, customers don't appreciate having to walk a new person through their setup. If it's also true that our sales force has been making unprofitable contracts to up their numbers, then we have a bigger problem than Global Services having slow growth.

Software, though, is amazingly profitable for IBM. Thus, I'm not directly concerned about my job. I'm more concerned about the future of IBM as a whole. At this stage, though, I don't have enough information to really comment intelligently. So, I will wait to worry about this until more information is released. And in 10 years, when I'm CEO, I'll see what I can do.

House Closing

So, on Monday I signed a whole bunch of papers. Before that, there was a bit of excitement. My homeowners insurance wasn't officially processed yet, so I had to run down to their office and get everything sorted out. Plus, I wasn't told until about 9:30am what amount to get a cashier's check made out for. Incidentally, I don't think Bank of America charged me for my cashier's check. That made me slightly happy. Anyway, I was a few minutes late to my 10:00 meeting.

After another 15 minutes of waiting, all the paperwork was printed off, and I was ready to sign. That took quite awhile, but it was relatively painless. Finally, I went to get my house key, do a quick walk-through, then head back over to the insurance place to work out car insurance. And eat lunch.

So, the gist of it is that I now own a house, and a sizable debt on said house.

What's surprising, though, is how unexcited I am. I was quite excited during the offer/counteroffer/acceptance stage, but that has worn off. It is surely difficult to maintain a high level of excitement for most of a month, and I've had plenty to keep me busy in the meantime. We'll just have to see if the moving process brings a whole new period of excitement.

On a completely unrelated note, my serious little blog here has been flagged as possible blog spam by Google. I guess most people don't have such boring blogs primarily discussing mortgages. But, I have a mortgage, so there's little reason to talk about it anymore. I'm sure this means my blog will become ever so much more interesting...