Get $25, free

I posted about this earlier, and a couple of people have taken me up on it, but I wanted to offer it again. You can get $25 deposited to your account when you open an online savings account at ING Direct. They currently offer a 3% interest rate on savings accounts. Just email me at jvreagan at gmail.com and I will have an invitation sent to you.

Not a bad sale

A lot of people got good deals today, but at least we cleared out about half our stuff we wanted to gid rid of. Lots of people dropping by before noon, but after noon I didn't sell a thing. I will say I was shocked what people were, or weren't, interested in.

Will do this again Sunday morning and see if we can clear out a few more things. Still have a lawnmower and a grill2go to sell, as well as some of Spencer's toys. And of course a bunch of little stuff. And, based on what actually sold today that I never thought would sell, I will go through the house again and see what I can put out in the morning.

Ah, Moving Sale

We actually found more stuff to sell/get rid of than I thought we would. All the "must get rid of"s have already been sold (freezer, air hockey table, snowblower) before today, as was some of the "nice to get rid of"s went too (power washer, treadmill, foosball table). Will see if we get any traffic today. With the rainy weather, methinks the Chicagoans will be staying in Chicago, and that's half the population of our neighborhood.


Lining things up for Seattle

Going to be a busy couple of weeks. Amy is heading to Ohio with Spencer, Garrett, and her folks on Friday and will be back Wednesday May 4th. While she's gone I will be selling off stuff on eBay and via a moving sale on Saturday April 30th. If you want something from our shed or garage, let us know =)

All four of us will head out to Seattle on a house-hunting trip on May 6th, returning Monday May 9th. The movers will show up Thursday May 12th to pack our stuff, and will load everything May 13th. May 14th we fly out to Seattle, where we will be staying in "interim" housing in downtown Seattle (about 2 miles from Amazon... I will walk to work and try and trim a few pounds).

We have about 6 weeks from May 14th to try and find a more permanent home. Doesn't seem like a lot of time, but the relocation folks say most people don't have a problem.


Lions' draft

Not a bad draft, but what do the Lions have against offensive linemen? Except for a brief period between 2000-2003, they seem to shy away from linemen. Rounds 6 and 7 are a good example: three picks, and they opt for 2 DEs and a WR? Would have like to see some hogmollies in there.

Like the first 5 picks; Williams is a stud - I would be surprised if Charles Rogers starts a game next year, even if he is healthy. The kid from Connecticut is impressive (caught a few UConn games on Thursday night ESPN and this kid has mobility, a good arm, a good head on his shoulders and is a competitor).

Actually looking forward to this season. Seems like some talent is lining up for the Lions to start making a run at the playoffs.

Looks like the house is sold

As with anything, there might be some last minute hiccups along the way that might derail this, but we got a great offer on our house (and the fact that we aren't paying realtor commissions makes it that much nicer) today. We have not signed, yet, but intend to do so tomorrow after sleeping on it. Very nice to get this out of the way and to know exactly what we will have for a down payment as we house-hunt in Seattle. Plus we don't have to worry about the last minute cleanups to make the house presentable to prospective buyers!

Not bad for having the house on the market for 3 weeks and selling it ourselves!

Apparently an offer is coming on our house

Good news when we got home early this morning - had a voice message that a realtor has an offer to buy our house. We are meeting with the realtor this afternoon and will get the documentation; have two days to make a decision. Will be interesting to see how many low ball offers we get and whether this is one of them.

Keeping our fingers crossed! Would be great to have the house sold this early in the process.

Argh, snow

After having a great day visiting family and relatives on Saturday, we were treated with a nice three hour drive through a snowstorm last night. Yep, a snowstorm in late April. Not sure if I remember it snowing that much this late in the year. Some areas appeared to have a couple of inches accumulation. None on the ground this morning here in Michigan City (thank God).

As much as I like snow in the winter, when it's done, it's done. Unlike Indian summers, these "cold and snow" days after we've had 80 degree weather drives me nuts!


A new chapter begins

No, I'm not talking about Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. My family's path is taking us to Seattle in the next month or so. I've accepted a position with Amazon.com, and am damn excited about the position, the company, and moving to a great area of the country.

It will be tough leaving so many friends and family in the Midwest - Amy and I have spent our entire lives here between Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois - yet it is exciting to start anew, hopefully giving Spencer and Garrett a great environment and foundation for their lives.

As I get time I will surely blog about my transition and my experiences in the Great Northwest.


PSP for Home Control

Thanks to Aaron Dykstra for sending me this link that demostrates using the PSP as a home automation controller. It's really just using the built-in web browser from Wipeout to hit a home web server; nonetheless, it's interesting to see the number of interesting applications people are coming up with to use their PSPs.


I haven't laughed this hard in a while!

Go to this link and click on the audio link to listen to this apparently real 911 call. Priceless. God bless the 911 operator for keeping her composure.


Monitoring Prices at buy.com

Buy.com is one of my favorite online stores for four reasons: cheap prices, wide availability of products, fast shipping (they must have a warehouse in South Bend... I get things usually next day despite selecting the slow shipping option), and they participate in Upromise.

One cool feature I like: they have their product info available via RSS feeds. Want to know when prices drop on iPod accessories? Subscribe to their iPod RSS feed. New products, price changes, etc all make it to the feed. Just by having it in my newsreader I've noticed that they drop prices a buck or two quite a bit (although they do not get new products as often as I thought they would, which is the original reason I subscribed).


Down to the beach

I don't know why, but the first beach visit of the year is always exciting. No snow, no ice, usually just the sun and a calm, cool breeze off Lake Michigan. Air is usually clear and you can see across to Chicago without much problem. And not a lot of people around yet =)

We all went down this evening; Spencer insisted on getting into the water until he realized how cold it was! Didn't get to spend much time down there as we didn't head down until after dinner (we had spent the whole day raking the yard).


What a great day to take a nap outside

Nice to have Garrett outside not worrying about the cold or the wind.

Still waiting for those Bluetooth iPod products

The only need two needs I have for Bluetooth is a) Skype, and b) wireless access to my iPod. For b), I'm refering to scenarios where I am generally outside working (garage, yard, etc) and my neighbors really don't want to listen to my music or audiobooks. The work I'm doing doesn't gell well with headphone wires, so I need a wireless solution. And am willing to pay for it.

That's where the heavy power draw on Bluetooth works against it... very difficult to get a solution to work with something like an iPod.


Spammer gets nine years

This is a start. While he doesn't have to go to jail during the appeal process, at least this sends a message on how much people hate spam and spammers.


Trying to sell our house again

Like last summer, this summer we are going to try and sell our house and move to Granger, Indiana. Last year we didn't do any advertising, and didn't get any traffic after June (we put a sign up Memorial Day weekend). This year we are starting a little earlier and will advertise in the Chicago papers to see if we catch anyone's attention. Not ready to sign up a realtor - we don't "have" to move out of the area until summer of 2006 (Spencer will start kindergarten in fall of 2006 and we want to get to a good school district).

Will see how it goes!


For my colleagues at Whirlpool...

did you know Whirlpool had an eBay Store? I didn't either =)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Well, the movie may not be in theatres until May 19th, but Lego already has ROTS sets on sale.

After a week with the PSP...

I must say this is an impressive device. Forget gaming, the PSP should set a new standard for handheld electronic devices.

The screen resolution, granularity, and display is amazing. I kinda scoffed at watching a movie on there; now, I expect the PSP to serve as a portable movie player.

Controls are impressive. As usual, Sony has come up with a nice innovation in their thumb control, which gives the capabilities of a joystick in a centimeter sized button.

Wifi access works like a charm - you can even disable the radio to save battery life.

Speaking of batteries, the batteries seem to last forever.

Have not had a chance to try playing head-to-head wirelessly.

So, everything that comes with it is impressive. Most notable is what's missing:

  • No web browser. Given everything else that is there, a web browser would be a no brainer. Apparently there is a built in web browser, and the Japanese models have it activated, but it's not available out of the box on the US PSP. Waiting to get my hands on a hack =)

  • Lack of titles (both games and movies) for the new UMD format. I don't expect this to last. The form factor and ruggedness of the new UMD disc are impressive; I would expect other device manufacturers to adopt UMD.

  • Sizable Memory Stick Duo cards. Would love to "rip" DVD MP4s to a memory stick, but I'm concerned about video quality if I have to put it on a 1GB card.

All in all, very happy with this purchase. I can actually see it supplanting my XBox.