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February 26, 1999
a year ago


The morning flight was relatively uncrowded. Ryan and Francis had made it on the same flight, so that they'd have a day or so to look around before the party Saturday night and afterwards on Sunday for a bit. We arrived a little late because some plane was in our gate when we arrived, so we had to wait until they got out of it. So we were a bit late all along, after that. The rental car, this time, thank everything, was a Taurus instead of the no-guts, big-nosed Mustang. This one had a few more guts, but a really odd automatic shift that rev'ed up to 5000 rpm before shifting, which annoyed the heck out of me because that high in the range the engine had no torque whatsoever, but the automatic shift insisted that it needed to go that high. Have I said, before, how much I hate automatics?

I think Carl's BMW 540i is the only automatic I've ever driven that I had no objection to how it shifted. The Only One. I guess I have expensive tastes.

Anyway... I drove to the house, as we were late and we had to make up time, and when we have to drive somewhere fast, it's usually me behind the wheel. Not that I took it too fast anyway, but it was fun to just floor it when I could see miles of empty highway. We arrived just fifteen minutes late, and the inspector was out, walking around the house as was the owner/builder of the place. That was very cool, having the knowledgeable resource of the man who built the place to answer questions that we had. He also liked to talk about the place and what he did to build it.

He was very obviously very proud of the work he'd put into the place, and understandably as we started to wander through the place and check on every nook, cranny and stud. The inspector was extremely meticulous. It was a real joy to watch him work, actually. As he took a real hands-on approach where he went into every nook that he could, and saw every surface for himself. Going into the attic of the garage, into the attic areas in the bedrooms, crawling under the porch to see how the pipes were laid, and then up a ladder into a tiny crawl space from the basement to see exactly how the bathtub was wired. He did checks on all the gas lines and fixtures when the utilities were still, and then did it all again when the things were running. These were just the tests that I saw, and I know that I was running about doing other things while he was testing stuff.

The inspector also tested pretty much every electrical circuit, and all the lights and all the switches and all the electrical outlets. That was cool, and he wrote down everything that needed fixing.

The owner even had the original blue prints of the house. And the more we went into detail about how it was constructed and what went into the construction the more pleased I was about the house. There's two phone jacks in every room, along with one out in the garage. The garage, which is nice and huge also has three entire banks of many lights that should keep things well lit in there for John. The bedrooms had extra storage in areas I hadn't seen before. The entire house was done with 2x6 construction instead of 2x4, so the insulation is thicker than usual. The electrical feed can take 400 amp service, when 200 amp is the norm for that size of house.

The windows were extra insulated and some of the windows had cool setups where you could slide the upper half down or the bottom half up. There was a huge, cathedral-style window in the kitchen that was all extra-thick double pane that would keep the cold out but still let all the light in.

Quite a few things were well thought out. The humidifier, the layout of the master bath and bed. The layout of the family room and dining room and kitchen, along with the layout of the garage and the upstairs bedrooms spoke of someone that thought through the uses of those rooms. That was very keen to see and finally know. The stables turned out to be beautifully and well built as well as the shed outside. Both were solidly foundationed and very solidly built to stand up to wind storms and cold weather. The outlets were thoughtfully placed inside and out for access to power just about anywhere.

Bo, the dog, followed us just about everywhere, except the basement. It was good to see that he liked the yard, hesitated before going into the horse areas, and that, in general, he was comfortable with all the room he had. That was cool.

John disappeared for a long while, as he wandered off to find batteries for his camera and food for our lunch. He got back to see the latter part of the inspection and to get a lot of good pictures of the view from the house and from the airpark as well. The view makes for a marvelous commute to work, actually, as we get a full-blast view of the Rockies and the Back Range on the way into work. That should be cool. He got me a Sonic burger! Which was a bit old and dry by the time I actually got it, but I imagine it was pretty good when it was fresh, as it took a good twelve minutes for him to get it to the house.

The day itself was bright and clear and windy. As before, the thing that hit me the most was just how huge the sky was out there. No trees, nothing to block it at all. Wow.

The one big mistake was forgetting our sunglasses. Ow ow ow... anyway. The inspection itself was great. The inspector was really good at explaining things to us, and we worked out some things we hadn't known about. I have to admit that I like the house much more now than when we bought it, even. The details are very nice.

We went back to the hotel knowing that it was an even better deal than we'd originally thought. That was a good feeling. We talked with Colleen to setup how to get the inspection report and what we'd require from the sellers before we bought things. We also contacted Ryan and Francis about dinner and got together with them pretty soon after. We went to the Mall, smelled garlic and followed it to a pub and pizza place that was actually originated in Portland, Oregon, which got a laugh from us. The beer was wonderful, and the pizza yummy.

We also found out from Ryan that Seattle was heading well on its way to a record. That there'd been 88 straight days of measurable rainfall. Yow. And it's still coming. Another week of probable rainfall is in the works, and it's going to be a weird spring after such a wet winter.

Sleep was finally good, especially after the early flight.

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