Good advice

I found this article today... It mentions a pretty good idea, putting a list of goals for the year in the mail to yourself and reading it on years end with the idea that you will then have perspective on what you did or did not meet... kind of a letter to the future or a time capsule of goals.

Keep in mind that the article is financial in nature, but the general idea is a great one. Much of the thoughs cross over to what I'm trying to accomplish with this blog. Enjoy.

-Don

Just a quick note about second mortgages and doing a home refinance.

This isn't about my life... yet. I do plan on evaluating the need for a refinance in my future, as I have in the past. But this post is about my sister and how she is looking at things in a slightly skewed perspective.

One of the things that I've done several times in the past to get things re-aligned is to refinance my house/houses. I've done this because it has always made sense at the time to do so. Ultimately each time I've refinanced, I have sunk a few thousand dollars into the new balance of the mortgage, but the math always worked out to the better side in the situation that I was in. I've never done this to get any money out of the house. I've always aimed towards a lower interest rate or a better set of terms... never to "cash out".

Just some advice for you - Do your math first.

When a mortgage company rolls the points into a loan, you are paying interest on those points. Do your math before you sign on the dotted line. When applying for a mortgage, take the amount you save per month, divide your total closing costs by that amount. Divide the number that you come up with by 12. The final number is the number of years that you need to stay in your house before you actually save any money at all by getting the new mortgage.

Now... Sometimes, it just makes sense to buy more than you can normally afford. If housing costs are going up... way up... then equity will surely follow and you can always refinance later at a cheaper rate or even sell out and move somewhere cheaper.

Just think first.

Lets talk about old friends

We all have friends that we have known over time. Sometimes these friends seem like the best ones in the world when we are around them, often, it seems like they will always be around.

Friends are transient.

I don't mean that in a bad way. Friends just come and go. Often, not by your or their choosing. Things just add up one day to a parting of ways. The really sad thing about this is that sometimes, with friends that aren't best friends... Friends that are just good friends - they can go away without even so much as a goodbye. You never say goodbye because you don't intend that last time you saw them to be "the" last time you would ever see them.

They move... You move... You get busy.

That last one was my excuse. I've been so busy over the last three years that pure exhaustion prevented me from keeping up the friendships that I really should not have left in the weeds.

So now I have a lot of work to do. I've got a ton of friends in Omaha that I do keep up with, but not as well as I should.

I've also got some people down here that I should follow up with... some that I don't even know how to get hold of.

How does one get hold of someone when you don't know where they are and their last known email and phone numbers are all dead?

Suggestions?

Visitors

Not the kind that come from outer space... the kind that come from Omaha, Nebraska. My sister and nephew came down this past few days and we had a great time. I had her down so that we could work on some details for a family business that we have, but also just to visit and spend time together. It was great to see them.

In the process, I've learned a couple things. First, it's much easier to have a clean house if there are not a lot of things in it. Second, sometimes the best tips in life come from the movies. (a tip in itself that sort of came from "grand canyon", a movie) - The tip I'm referring to is about toys, and I got this from the Great movie "Toy Story" made by one of my favorite companies, Pixar. In toy story, the toys have an innate fear of not being played with.

My nephew played with the toys that I've saved since childhood - saved mostly because my mom saved them and they wandered down here when she passed away - but also saved because they might be valuable (star wars toys, micronauts, all manner of other collectable and fun things.)

These toys might bring in a combined value of a thousand bucks if I slaved over selling them on eBay. If they were in great shape.

The truth is, when I looked at these items it was obvious they needed playing with. They still have value, but I think the value of giving them to a boy to play with is far greater than that of a few dollars for a good deal of effort.

Of course, I may keep luke's landspeeder.

Update: Just for fun I've added this google video of a couple minutes of fun had while cleaning... silly I know.