Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Credit Scores

Child has an excellent credit score, but no income.

I have an income...but as we found out today, no credit score. Not a bad credit score, just no credit score. Apparently credit cards don't build your credit if you're responsible and pay them on time, and (car) loans over seven years old don't count.

That leaves us with basically four options as far as obtaining a house goes.

1. Wait a year to buy a house while I build credit by taking out loans I don't need and paying interest I don't want to. Note that credit scores are a black box, so this isn't actually guaranteed to give me a credit score.

2. Wait a year to buy a house while we save enough money to put down 20% on a home, jump through all sorts of crazy hoops to prove to our mortgage lender that I'm a responsible buyer despite the lack of a credit score, then almost double the amount of interest we pay on our mortgage.

3. Save money until we can pay cash for a house. Note that this would actually be our daughter's house, since given California prices, Child and I will be kicking the bucket about the time we finished saving. Since the plan is for Ash to be supporting us in our old age, not vice versa, this option is out.

4. Steal one under cover of darkness and move it somewhere convenient like the beach, or perhaps my work's parking lot. I'd have to look into how much it costs to hire someone to move a house though. And they'd probably run a credit check.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I'm teaching Ash the alphabet backwards, but I'm thinking about teaching her the numbers backwards also. We'll start at infinity and work our way down.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Writing Meeting

So I finally found a writing group locally and attended a meeting last night...and this morning.

Yes, it went that long.

Pros: nice people, decent critiques.

Cons: I arrived at the meeting at 7:30 p.m., and got home at 1 a.m.

When I arrived, it was only the host and I. My first irritation was that it was 15 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start that the next person came in, and 45 minutes or more before most of the people had arrived and we actually started the meeting. Apparently this wasn't uncommon. From the joking as people straggled in, I gathered this was the usual modus operandi.

The second major irritation was that it took five hours to critique what every other writing group I've attended has done in two. The problem started because we didn't get each other's entries ahead of time. Each person showed up with their submissions and started by reading them aloud at the meeting. Seven submissions, ranging from two pages (mine) to six or seven pages, and you're talking probably 45 minutes just for the reading alone.

Without any advance preparation, you're critiquing on the fly, which is inefficient and doesn't allow for any sort of thought-gathering or organizing, which means most critiques were stream-of-consciousness. Throw in one or two people who like to ramble, and there was a very low signal-to-noise ratio.

That said, the critiques were good enough, but again, nothing that couldn't have been accomplished in half the time with a little more organization.

I'm not sure I'm going back. The usefulness of the critiques didn't really seem to outweigh the late bedtime and frustrating meeting procedure. Maybe I can find another group that follows the sort of format I'm a little more appreciative of...or perhaps start one.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You're kidding, right?

The above poll from CNN.com astonished me. I can completely understand there being a huge variety of opinions about the wisdom of building an Islamic center near Ground Zero, but there should be no question as to whether they have the right. Isn't religious freedom one of the foundation stones of our country?

(Granted the poll is unscientific, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of the respondents confused the "right" to build an Islamic center there with it being a "good idea" to build an Islamic center there. If that's the case, though, then I can rant about the poor comprehension skills of poll respondents.)