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Saturday, June 24th, 2006

Time Event
No tie
Yesterday I wore shorts and a T-shirt. For the first time possibly since I started work I came in on a Friday without wearing a tie. I know -- it *is* a big deal! But I've been getting a bit tired of the habit and doing it only out of tradition. So this week I stopped and to my surprise, the Universe didn't grind to a halt. In fact, no one noticed.

I'll still wear ties but I'm no longer tied (heh) to wearing them only and always on Fridays. I'll shock my officemates more by putting one on on a Tuesday. Yeah, that'll throw 'em off.
Today's open house
Driving back home I saw an Open House sign in my neighborhood and decided to follows its trail of arrows. The house standing open is a smallish structure (1116 sqft) on a lot only barely big enough for brief side and back yards. The interior is brand new (new paint, floors, kitchen, and bathrooms) but the fit and finish wasn't so crisp. Eg, the closets are lined with painted plywood, not drywall, and the trim around the doors and floors was missing or not secured well. It's listed at $800,000 so it's definitely not for me but it's always fun to walk through houses for sale nearby.

The house is for sale by owner yet there was an agent staffing the open house. I wandered through and asked some questions and he played *dumb*! "This is my first day with this house." Yeesh. I made some observations, like "oh, that's the plenum for the forced air heat" (which was actually well disguised) and he'd reply "oh, well what do you know." Man. I'm 98% it was a ruse, though. In the kitchen the building inspection report was on the counter and I leafed through it. I'd noticed some bad wiring in the garage and found the page in the report that mentioned it. I said only the *first word* about wiring and suddenly the agent knew the details of the bad wiring, how it would be easy to replace, and how it wasn't such a big deal. First day, my ....

The other funny thing is the listing price. It's $800,000, which of course is higher than it ought to be. Back at home, I looked up the address and found a newspaper site listing home sales in Santa Clara. This house was sold less than *6 weeks* ago and for $650,000. Back then the house didn't have the new paint and simulated(!) wood floors, I'm sure, but those improvements surely don't add up to $150,000.

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