The Brick is full of himself -- we noticed an oven out on the curb by our neighbor's house, free for the taking. The neighbor told him nothing was wrong with it; they'd just updated their kitchen and gone to stainless steel, instead. (The oven is black.)
Mr. Engineer saw right away that it wasn't just an ordinary appliance -- it's a convection oven. He has been dying to try this type for ages; it's supposed to cook more evenly, and at lower temperatures. (The neighbor said, 'What's a convection oven?')
Lots of panting, crashes and pans rattling are ensuing from the kitchen now, as our new 'purchase' gets put in place. Okay with me -- it's just in time for the Brick's new commitment to cook supper every Monday night.
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Apologies -- I planned on getting this out sooner, but other things got in the way. We had a flurry of paperwork to be finished up for the Brick's retirement, and some other things. Business-wise, it's been extremely dead...but I am happy to report that the boatload-of-appraisals job (an appraisal day booked by a guild two years ago, who knows me well and insisted on my keeping the date) has been done for some time now. Other than a quickie appraisal or two and some orders, all's been quiet.
It's no fun to have your income go down. But it has given me some time to write in other areas -- and reflect on my dad, gone now for years. A bluff, tough Dutch farmer, he didn't speak unless he absolutely had to. (Unless it was in private to his daughter about subjects ranging from the idiots in office to pioneer history, or the books they'd read together. Even to Bigfoot. Then he wouldn't shut up.)
He enjoyed saying, "I'm just a dumb Hollander," using that as an excuse for bowing out of commenting, giving talks, etc. Truth was, he was one of the smartest, wisest men I have ever known -- and a master at the art of listening.
He knew his reputation for honesty and integrity preceded him. (That same reputation, he taught his children, was priceless -- worth more than any amount of money.) He knew some people were so busy shouting that they weren't listening for answers. And saying it loud, however effective in the short term, doesn't necessarily make it in the long run.
When I was just starting out in this business, it was easy to be The Expert, making comments (sometimes loudly, I am sorry to say) on anything and everything. What I have learned over the years (thirty-plus as a teacher, more than a decade as a judge, and 18 1/2 years as an appraiser) is that experience, study and research count. A lot. Sometimes the wisest course is to say nothing at all.
Thanks, Dad. I miss you more each day. See you soon.
One possibility for paying your student loans back even faster: refinancing. (From the Penny Hoarder)
Dealing with unintended consequences. From J.D. Roth, the founder of Get Rich Slowly. Although I don't agree with all of his decisions, he's a thoughtful writer who deserves to be heard. Think about subscribing to his new site, Money Boss -- there's a link in this post.
The verdict on Burger King's Halloween Whopper.
'Amazing Race' past winners pass along helpful tips.
Ghost-shaped rice krispie treats...just in time for Halloween. (From Who Needs A Cape)
Doing it -- but doing it on your own. (From Funky Junk Interiors)
A fishtank in the shower?? Yes, in this 200 sq. ft. tiny house in the Ukraine. (From Treehugger)
And in honor of the Brick's (and Daughter #2's) upcoming hunting trip:
Have a great week -- and stay warm.