Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Rest of the Story

Remember when I mentioned that the MomVan was history? And that the salesperson had a hard time keeping a straight face when we inquired about a trade-in value?

This is/was the MomVan:

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It's ugly an dated on the outside, but it ran great and the inside was in excellent condition. Sure it had dings and scratches, it was eight years old, and had nearly 101,000 miles on it. It was still reliable transportation, but when the dealer offered $500 as a trade-in...well, we decided to keep it and sell it ourselves.

After a few days on the Lemon Lot and a few inquiries, we received a phone call from a guy who wanted to trade his vehicle for a MomVan.

His vehicle was a 5-speed (difficult to drive on some parts of the island), it was small (his pre-teen child was tired of trying to crawl into the back seat), and had the same blue book value as the MomVan. His was the same year, but had 20,000 fewer miles.

So one night a few weeks ago we met him in the Wal-Mart parking lot and considered the trade. The kids were totally blown away when we turned into the driveway that night driving one of these:

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We kept it for a few weeks and taught the Diva and the Blonde One to drive a 5-speed. Destructo, being a fan of the movie "Cars", dubbed it The Race Car, and claimed it as his own.

Last week we parked it on the Lemon Lot with a $4,500 price tag. Three days and several offers later, it was sold for full price.

(No one has told Destructo.)

And now I am shopping for a new camera......

Monday, September 24, 2007

Friday at the Beach

This week's PhotoFriday topic is "The Beach".

I can't pass that up, as I have a gazillion beach pictures. Well, I DID have a gazillion before the Blonde One worked his magic on my computer. Now I'm left with a few hundred.

I guess that makes it easier to choose a beach photo for PhotoFriday, huh?

We go to the beach nearly every evening, mostly to let Destructo burn off some energy before his bath and bedtime. The kid is perpetual motion, so the pictures I have of him aren't always what I was aiming for.....I often end up with the back of his head or his left eyeball instead of a nice shot of his face.

Like last Wednesday, when I tried to snap a shot of him as he was running, spinning, tossing sand in the air and creating his own private sandstorm. It wasn't the shot I was looking for, but I really like this one.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The Blonde One crowned himself Computer Guru and decided it was necessary to "F10 the computer".

F10, if you haven't been there, restores the computer to its original settings.

Soon after he did this, I discovered that my photos were all gone. I had backed up everything through December 31 2006, but that was a LONG time ago!

The lucky little shit had to leave for soccer practice ten minutes after I realized he had erased everything. It probably saved his life.

I've spent the past week trying to restore things. I was directed to a program that will find all the files, but restoring them takes a long time, especially when you have a gazillion of them to find.

I'll be back after I finish cleaning up his mess...........

Friday, September 07, 2007

Does This Make Me a Nerd?

Tonight I attended a meeting at the Wildcard's school. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the parents of a huge History Day project the students would be working on.

The teacher talked for nearly an hour about the importance of choosing the right topic, how to do research and take notes, and the proper format for footnotes. She said there must be note cards and outlines and display boards and a presentation.......

I left there so excited for the Wildcard and so bummed that I couldn't do one too.

Monday, September 03, 2007

House Hunters Hawaii

Yesterday was Sunday, so we did the Sunday Open House thing to see what is out there.

There was one house that had intrigued us for a few weeks, but they hadn't had an open house in the past month. It was 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 3,500+ square feet, in a great location, and the price had been reduced twice already. We had seen more than a dozen pictures of it on the internet and had driven past multiple times.

When we drove past today, there was a big "Open House" sign out front. So we stopped.

The thing about the internet is that nothing is as it seems....and that held true for this house as well.

From the moment we walked inside, it was like one of those optical illusions where you see different things if you look at different angles. That, and one of those "Highlights" magazine puzzles where you try to find all the things wrong with the picture.

We walked in to find a huge living room and a friendly, young realtor eager to show us around. He quickly escorted us to the adjoining room.....which was exactly like the room we just left.

Me: Wha...? Is this the living room, or is that the living room? What exactly is this room for?

Realtor Guy: It's whatever you want it to be!! It could be a living room, or a family room if you like.

We stepped into a small room just off the second living room. It was a dark, odd-shaped, tiled room with a door leading to the carport and one to the front yard.

Hubster (thinking aloud): This looks like a laundry room.....there are no hookups for it.....

Realtor Guy: It's not a laundry room. It's whatever you want it to be.

We headed back across the identical living rooms and took a peek at the first small bedroom. It had two doors. from the living room and the other leading to a hidden hallway with a bathroom and another bedroom.

After looking at the bedrooms and a huge dining room/family room/rec room combo, Realtor Guy pointed out the door leading to the master bedroom. From where we were standing, it looked like a nice sized room with a large walk-in closet and nice carpet.

We stepped inside the room, glanced around, and looked back out the door to see if maybe we had come into the wrong room.

Nope, Realtor Guy assured us that this was the master bedroom.

Me: Ummmm....why is there a washer and dryer in here? And a utility sink?

Realtor Guy (pulling back a curtain next to the sink): And a water heater.

Me: Why?

Realtor Guy shrugs his shoulders.

The Hubster and I look at the walk-in closet and....another little room in the corner. It was about 4' x 4 ', had windows on two walls, and an outdoor light fixture on the third wall.

Hubster: What is this?

Realtor Guy (shrugging his shoulders): It's whatever you want it to be.

Hubster: There's no bathroom in here.

Realtor Guy: No. No bathroom in the Master. But you do have the washer and dryer.

The Hubster and I looked at him, trying to see if he was being sarcastic or serious.

After that, we headed to the kitchen, but it was too much for us to wrap our brains around, so we immediately headed toward one of two doors in the corner. It opened into a rather large windowless room with another water heater and a fuse box.

Me: Is this space whatever we want it to be?

Realtor Guy: You guessed it.

The other door off the kitchen led to the master bath.

That's right....the master bath was on the opposite side of the house from the master bedroom, and you had to go through the dining room and kitchen to get there.

The bathroom itself was huge - larger than all three bedrooms that we had seen. It had an 'L' shaped vanity covering two entire walls, but only had one sink. The tub (I kid you not) was about 4' by 8'. One end had two shower heads and one faucet, and the other end had one shower head and one faucet. And there was some sort of spicket thing that came out of the wall but was tapped off.

All of the tile, plumbing, and fixtures were circa 1970.

After spending several minutes there trying to see if we really were seeing what we thought we were seeing, we headed back to the kitchen.

The kitchen was too bizarre to describe, but it was all circa 1970 with wicker floormats attached in random places. The Hubster and I exchanged glances, and this is when Realtor Guy lost it. He started giggling like a little girl and said, "I'm sorry, guys. This house is wicked crazy. I've seen a lot of bizarre houses, but this is one of the best. Best, as in worst. And since I'm the new guy, they put me out here to try to sell it. I don't know how to sell it. There's no real selling point...."

The last stop of the day was the "Diva Suite".

Many houses in Hawaii come with a mother-in-law suite or a guest suite. The Diva has called dibs if our house has one.

The Diva Suite was a new addition, upstairs off the kitchen. As soon as we got up there, Realtor Guy pointed out the uneven floors and the sliding glass doors that were installed inside-out.

The Hubster noted that all the electrical outlets up there were installed upside down.

Me: Yeah, but the bathroom is actually connected to the bedroom. And it has a kitchenette and sitting area that would be a nice escape. We need to let the kids have the entire downstairs.

We've decided to keep our options open.....