Time For A Re-Fi?

What with rates as low as they are, we are looking into a refinance of our home loan. Yes, I know: we just bought the house not six months ago. But, I assure you that the lock we put in at 5% is such that we will be saving almost $300 per month on our house payment without significant cost. In fact, it’s almost a wash with the costs of the loan being the same as a month’s payment, which we’d get to skip. The only thing "bad" is that our loan length will be 6 months longer. But, with diligence, we can decrease the total loan time – and the total payoff amount, which will be over $100,000 less than the old loan even if we only pay the minimum payment.

What we’ll have to decide, though, is if we divert the additional savings to a savings account or just keep it going to the principal to pay it off early.

Probably a little of both.

Merry Christmas, World!

Merry Christmas to all those reading all around the world! Remember to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ who was born to save us.

Our Christmas today was wonderful and intimate with just Laura and I with a few presents [we bought and gave each other gifts all year long, so it’s hard to find more to give!] and some music.

We wish everyone out there a wonderful Christmas celebration with family or friends or however you wish to celebrate!

It’s Really Winter Now!

This morning when I got up, I looked at my laptop and in the weather gadget, it said 14 degrees. Wow. Now that we’re officially into Winter, I guess it can get cold, eh?

Actually, I’m kinda stoked because I get to wear my real Winter coat that I bought in Minneapolis that I can usually never wear here because it’s too warm. And warm it was this morning! The only thing cold was my ears! I guess I need some sort of ear-protectors in this kind of weather – especially when there’s powerful wind like there is today.

Of course, it’s warmed up now… close to 18…

Christmas Approaches…

2012-01-08 23:30:33

Are you ready? I’m probably not. We don’t have much in the way of decorations this year, but we’re still not fully settled in to the new place. Yes, I know it’s been six months, but we take time to find the perfect layout.

This year for Christmas, we won’t be traveling. Staying home can be fun, and we might even get some work done! [Maybe. I’m not promising anything, though…] At least I’ll be able to get more regular with my workouts, I hope. I’ve started getting back into the gym already… ouch… I have to work off the extra weight from Thanksgiving and hope I don’t put more back during Christmas.

Well, enjoy your weekend!

All Silver’d Up

I’m back from my ’round-the-South mileage run. In a couple of days/weeks, it should register that I’ve achieved Silver Elite status.


All in all, the trip wasn’t too onerous, like some in the past have been. It was a quick trip to Houston, a nice wait while I ate Cajun food [yum!] and then a hop over to Gulfport/Biloxi and back. Now, I get to add another airport and another state to the places I’ve been.

One interesting thing I did see was the remaining devastation from Katrina that still lines the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Gulfport. I saw many empty lots, empty foundations, and damaged buildings. I also saw a lot of rebuilt or newly built houses as well. It looks like at least some people were able to start again, but many may never be back.

You Really Can’t Go Home

That’s what they say anyway. [Who is "they" and why do we listen to them?] I dropped Laura off for a massage and I went exploring in the old neighborhood. It feels strangely familiar, but very different at the same time. Little here has changed, so I think it must be me. Well, little except which streets are under construction.

I have to say, though, that there are many things here in Houston that I miss: the friendly people, the wonderful food – food that you can get at any hour of the day, and cheap stuff… like houses, gas, etc. SO cheap down here. Of course, there’s always the things I don’t miss, like nasty tasting water, some pollution [nothing like Los Angeles, but it still stinks…], traffic and things like that.

Of course, working in the Federal space like I do at home also gives me a sense of doing something "important"… At least, more important than making some CEO feel better about getting his email faster. I don’t know: maybe living in the DC area makes one feel more important. Maybe it’s a false feeling, or even arrogance, that says the rest of the country’s problems seem smaller and more trite. It could be that.

Or maybe it’s time for me to think about changing what I do. Should I dive head-first into photography or maybe move to Redmond?

I guess, when it comes down to it, Houston is always good at making me think. There seems to be more time to do so here.

That is also something I miss.

Must… Work… Out…

After many days in Texas, Laura and I are wrapping up our whirlwind tour of the families located there. I have to say that I certainly miss Texas food, too! Although, I’m not exactly “missing” it right now… In fact, I think I’m gonna take it with me!

Once we get home, I’m going to have to go on a strict workout regimen. I think I may have gained a few pounds while here… And we have two big dining events to go!

It’s definitely good to see family, though. I got to see my parents new house for the first time.

Well, it’s back to vacation now!