Competitiveness

So I occasionally get labeled as “competitive”. This happens often at work where we have various things going on. I can kind of agree with it, but I’ve never really thought of myself as overly competitive.

This past week though, I realized that there are 2 kinds of competitiveness. I usually think of someone that is competitive as someone that just hates losing. You often see this in pro sports. There are stories about Michael Jordan or so just really HATING losing and when they lose they are just livid.

I’m not really like that. I really don’t mind losing. This is in contrast to my early life when I think I did hate losing much more, and I also had a pretty bad temper. I’m much more mellow now-a-days.

But my philosophy is that if I’m going to play, I might as well win, right!!!

So I do get a little competitive in the sense that I seek out every advantage / loophole I can in an attempt to win. I don’t cheat or actively break the rules but here’s an example. A few years ago, the IT department where I work had an “Amazing Race” around Mason. So in the few days before, I drove around Mason looking for possible clues, including visiting the Chamber of Commerce seeking possible locations that we might be sent to. We ended up finishing 2nd there due to this one guy sinking a crazy half court basketball shot at one of the stations. Of course, the fact that I still remember this maybe means that I do hate losing a little bit at least. I think it’s mostly due to the luckiness of that other team. I don’t really mind losing to a team / person that just played better; but I do get a bit singed at playing well enough to win only to lose due to luck or other factors out of my control.

But anyways… it was once again National Employee Health and Fitness week at work, along with the various competitions that they had. I of course signed up for just about everything.

Monday there was kickball – despite successfully instituting a no bunting rule, our team lost the first game and were eliminated.

Tuesday we had Ultimate Frisbee. We ended up winning that, and then my friends’ volleyball team needed one more player so I played that afterwards. I typically do not like volleyball because people get so particular about the various rules like “in the net” or “carrying” that makes it not very fun for me, the not very good player. But this was a pretty laid back game, and fun. We ended up losing in the finals.

Wednesday we had a relay race. It was pretty lame. 4 legs and only 2 teams showed up. First team finished in 45 seconds and then we finished in 31, winning. Then we went over to the croquet station. While not quite the Extreme Croquet that I prefer, it was still fun. My team won 2 games and the overall championship.

Thursday was an off day.

Friday we had a scaled down version of the Amazing Race, just around the campus at work. My original partner had a “production work issue” (supposedly!) so I had to find a backup partner. The sabotage of the other teams was very much an issue as I got a flat tire on the way to work which delayed me. The first clue had us finding a particular emergency pole (we have 5 or 6 around in the parking lots and out back and such that I guess if you are mugged while walking around the path you can get help?). My new partner just happened to know which one was pole #5 and that was pretty much the ballgame. We ran around to the various stations and ended up winning in about 14 minutes, about 5 minutes ahead of the 2nd place team. In fact, we finished, got our food (free picnic at work also that day!), came back and sat down and ate outside and watched the last few teams arrive!

So we ended up winning 4 events and finishing 2nd in another one. It was a lot of fun, even if some of the events were not organized quite up to “Dan standards” :-D

Rental woes

So since we’re moving to a new house, we have decided to rent the home that we’re currently living in. We decided that with the market the way that it is, even if we could sell it, we couldn’t get as much as we think it’s worth.

I put a sign out front and some ads on Craigslist. We’ve had lots of interest. I think that it’s priced appropriately and we’ve gotten a lot of the work done to “pretty it up”. This is a good time of year too – lots of people moving around with the end of the school year and such.

I’d say that we’ve had 10-15 people actually show up and see the house. Many of them have taken applications. But nobody has returned them or taken the next steps. Mostly they just disappear. I used to try and follow up with people, but after thinking about it and discussing it with other landlords online, the consensus was that it was just a waste of time; if someone is interested, typically they are very aggressive about following up.

So yesterday we had 2 calls about people potentially interested in BUYING the house. And I’ve started feeling like maybe we are supposed to sell the house. Certainly if we could sell it, we could definitely use the equity that we get out of it. So I’m going to post an ad in the for sale section of Craigslist and see what happens.

I’m not really worried at this point. I always have felt like God takes care of us. I can point to several times in my life where things have maybe not happened as soon or the way that I’ve wanted to, but in the end, it always works out just fine, and usually in a better way than I’d have done it if left to my own devices. First mortgage payment on the new house is due 7/1 so we have a little more than a month before it starts to get dicey :-)

What we’ve been up to

Haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve had a few blog posts milling around in the ol’ noggin, but just haven’t gotten around to posting. I’ve been really busy over at the new house. I haven’t quite reached my breaking point, but I have been quite busy and worn out.

In addition to the various physical labors that I’ve been doing (mostly painting and tiling in the bathroom floors), it’s my responsibility to coordinate with the various contractors. My general contractor (Ron) has actually been very good, though there are times like when he shows up an hour or 2 later than when I was expecting him when I have to remind myself “he is still a contractor”. This is the guy that I have used to fix up my other houses and I’ve been happy with his work and his overall communicativeness and just everything really. I really feel like we’ve been blessed in my starting this rehabbing business a few years ago mostly because of the connection we made with Ron; I think that we would not have come close to being able to afford this new house if we had had to go with a construction firm – most of them were bidding $30-40 thousand more than I think we’re going to end up spending on this project.

We’ve had fairly good luck even with most of our subs. But let me share one story about the electrician. Him and his crew had gotten all the electrical work roughed in a month or two ago and then I hadn’t heard from him in awhile. This in and of itself was not a problem, because there wasn’t anything for them to do until we got things all drywalled and painted and such. But after a few weeks, we were getting close to ready for him and so I called him up to see what his schedule was like. And called him. And called. I left many messages but never got a call back. One time I did get a hold of him and he said “Can I call you right back?” I said sure, but he never called.

Finally, (after maybe 2 weeks of messages) I get an email from him saying “I’m back from Iowa – I’ll be over tomorrow”. When he said that, it did sound vaguely familiar that he was going to be out of town. After talking to him, it turns out he was involved in some sort of custody soap opera, the details of which I will not go in to here, but the good news is that he’s back in town and back on the case. Switches and light fixtures have started to go up.

Oh, and my other job is making sure we have enough money to finish this dang house! We currently are in the positive (And that’s a good thing! ™) But there’s always things like “Oh we’re going to need another $100 to pay Ray to finish mudding out the drywall” or “well since we took out the chimney, we need to either move the gas water heater so we can vent it out the side of the house or buy a new electric water heater”).

One of our friends is coming to watch the kids today, so we’re planning on going over there this morning I think – I’ll take the camera and try to post some pics later.