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Started: 2004-09-07 23:18:25

Submitted: 2004-09-08 00:20:14

Visibility: World-readable

It's past my bedtime already, but if I don't start documenting my life as it happens, I'll never document anything. A wise man once said "If you didn't document it, it didn't happen."

Astute readers of my site may be aware that today (being the seventh of September 2004) is my twenty-fourth birthday. It also appears that today is Google's sixth birthday. If you happened to miss today's birthday doodle, right now it's on the top of the holiday logos. Or, for the ease of future generations, I've archived it here. (For some strange reason, I didn't see the doodle most of the day at work today; I guess I caught a different Google server than much of the rest of the world that hadn't been updated to serve the latest doodle. Instead, it showed the last frame of the 2004 summer Olympics doodle.)

I grepped my journals and found my first official mention of Google: 9 February 1999, when I searched for chemistry experiments involving caffeine; Google still bore its "Beta" logo. Google's own history page places the official birth on my eighteenth birthday, a fascinating coincidence I don't think should be overlooked.

Being one of the boring adults I seem to be morphing into, instead of doing anything terribly special I just went to work today. (Our Epic Printer Project is coming along nicely.) After work, Kiesa and I met at home and quickly headed up to Longmont, where we rendezvoused with our realtor (the mother of one of Willy's friends; she helped my parents buy and sell their last three Boulder real estate transactions) to eyeball houses.

The first thing we noticed about the first house we looked at was the yard -- it was covered in massive bushes, which was a little dubious. Inside was better; the house was laid out fairly well with a good-sized (and recently renovated, although they kept the original cabinets) kitchen attached to the dining room and living room. On the back of the first floor sat a large family room that would be perfect for megafests. A bizarre screen porch was attached to the back of the house like an afterthought; it would need serious attention to work well. The house had three bedrooms upstairs; the master bedroom had a huge closet but was significantly under-sized for the massive bed in it. We tried to figure out how big our queen bed would be in the room and concluded it would fit better, but it still wouldn't be pretty.

(Kiesa tells me her plan is to redo any kitchen we end up with at some point in the hypothetical future, since we'll never find one that's perfect. She assures me that her renovation schemes are more likely to happen than any wild schemes I might come up with. Somewhere deep within me I know there lurks a fragment of someone to undertake epic house-modification schemes, but I know I don't have the temperament to actually make it happen, so I consciously suppress any epic projects.)

I made sure to double-check the height of every shower head we passed. The average American adult male is somewhere around five feet, ten inches; I'm one whole inch taller than that, yet somehow I find myself ducking under many shower heads. This continues to confuse me; while I search for a good answer, I've learned that I need to take control of my destiny and check shower head height when I have the option.

The second house we visited was a dump. It showed a pattern of consistent lack of maintenance for at least the past decade, probably longer. The roof was falling apart, the basement stank of mildew, and there were ugly stains on the carpets and floors. It didn't help that the current residents lacked a basic habit of cleanliness; the kitchen was a mess and the bedrooms were in shambles. This house didn't last on our list.

The bizarre thing was that the house was on a reasonably nice street (not in a great neighborhood, but at least ok); the house across the street had a hedge that belonged in a ceremonial garden. (It must take daily maintenance; it was immaculate.) The web photos for the house show a far better front yard than reality. Gem and I had no trouble guessing why it had stayed on the market for a long time.

The first thing we noticed about the third and final house for the evening was the trim, which had recently been painted a ghastly cyan. The interior was better; it had a fairly open plan, a nice kitchen, central air (unlike the other two houses we visited), and a large (although shallow) yard. The yard featured a small above-ground pool, which I viewed as more of a maintenance hassle than a feature. One upstairs bedroom had a wrap-around mural depicting various marine animals with the inscription, "To [boy's name], love Mom".

This house was not without its flaws. The lower level had been finished by a previous owner and was a little rough. The drywall texture was overdone. The three-quarter bath was maybe two feet wide; upon entering, I couldn't turn to reach the toilet; I had to slide around the sink. The downstairs bedroom had no closet and had a linoleum floor. The deal-killer, though, was the lack of a dining room. Gem and I need a place to put our table, and the third house didn't cut it.

The good news is we still have plenty of time to contemplate our next residence. (Our six-month lease renewal isn't up until the end of January. We'd like to spend at least a few weeks with overlap between our residences so we can fix any critical issues on the new residence prior to moving in, then take our time cleaning up the Temple of Castor and Pollux. Given that, plus a month for closing, implies we should have a pretty good idea what we're doing by the beginning of December, which still gives us three months.) I have confidence we'll find somewhere to live with a bit more room than the Temple and a good deal closer to Gem's place of work.

After the housing adventure, we headed to Tokyo Joes (a Japanese fast food restaurant, following the general format established by Noodles and Wahoo's Fish Taco, with an amazing Flash-only website) for my birthday dinner. I amused myself by eating with chopsticks.

Back at home, we ate my German chocolate birthday cake baked by Gem, which was most excellent. I played my early birthday gift from her, Pikmin 2, which is most entertaining.

I guess it's after midnight now, which means it's no longer my birthday, mountain time. (I could make some bizarre assertion about my being born in pacific time, so my birthday should last for another hour... but I won't bother.) I still have more content I want to write, documenting this past weekend... and another epic changelog documenting the weekend before that.