So I was driving to go grab some coffee while waiting for my kiddo, when what do I happen to see by the side of the road in Golden Gate Park but this absolutely gorgeous flowering tree. Well, of course I had to stop and snap off a couple of pictures of it.

Now, I did correct them a little bit, but that was mostly to make up for my crappy camera, and not to change the color.

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So I was driving to go grab some coffee while waiting for my kiddo, when what do I happen to see by the side of the road in Golden Gate Park but this absolutely gorgeous flowering tree. Well, of course I had to stop and snap off a couple of pictures of it.

Now, I did correct them a little bit, but that was mostly to make up for my crappy camera, and not to change the color.

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ARGH!!!1!!1!

So we're trying to buy a house. We've been looking for a while, but kinda took a break over the holidays, and now I'm trying to get started on viewing properties again. Which of course, reminds me of all the reasons why I hate setting up these appointments. I'm trying to make Thursday 'House Viewing Day' from now on. I figure if I just make it a standing event that, yes, that is what I'm doing on Thursday, then eventually, hopefully we will find "THE ONE".

Imagine for a moment, that you are trying to buy a new washing machine. You look online at all the different washing machines available, and then you go to the store to look at them. You find yourself a sales associate and you say, "Hi, I was interested in seeing the MXWash3000, could you show it to me, please?"

The sales associate gives you an appraising look and says "First time washing machine buyer, eh?"

You smile and say "Yes, and I'm really excited about it. Do you think you could show it to me?"

The Sales Associate continues to look at you and says, "Well, have you considered getting a Washing Machine Buying Consultant? They would be able to help you buy a washing machine without having to go through the hassle of researching the various new machines coming out, they'd be able to give you reviews of a machines features, and help you find a machine that suits your needs."

You, now feeling slightly defensive, having already done much research online on washing machines say "I'm not really working with a consultant at the moment. Do you think you could show it to me?"

Associate, "Well, you know, most people use a Washing Machine Buying Consultant, why don't you want to use one?"

You: "Well, I really don't think that I should need to defend my washing machine purchasing methods really. Are you going to show me the machine or not?"

Associate, "Look, I just want you to think about this here. If you view 8 different washing machines, with 8 different sales associates, they're only making a commission if they sell it. It's
really not fair to them to work with so many different associates."

You, now feeling rather annoyed, "But, isn't it their job to sell the washing machines?"

....

Associate, "Well, I'm just saying that a Washing Machine Buying Consultant would be able to build a relationship with you, figure out what you need in a washing machine, and help you find the right one for you. They could send you updates of new machines coming out, and help guide you through the process."

You are now very annoyed and respond with, "You mean by going to "AllWashingMachines.com" and reading the information and updates there?

Associate, "Yes, exactly!" as if you had just made his point for him.

Annoyed silence, then "Look, are you going to show me the MXWash3000 or not?

I have this conversation with real-estate agents more frequently than I care to whenever I try to book appointments with the listing agents. Grrrrr.... If I were a seller, especially in the current market, I would be furious with my agent for putting potential buyers through that rigmarole.

I mean, it's their JOB to SELL the house. They do a little bit of paperwork, give the seller a few tips on staging, put up a sign, throw a listing up on the MLS, and then sit back and wait for an offer. In any other commission based sales job, that kind of attitude towards a potential buyer would cause you to lose business. Listing agents have it easy. They put the house on the mls, and then the poor saps who may want to buy it have to go out and find ~another~ agent to show them the house. What kind of weird system is that? If I want to buy a Whirlpool washing machine, wouldn't it be better to talk to the whirlpool salesman, rather than the Maytag one?

Bleh ~ anyhow, I have some appointments tomorrow regardless, including the big poopie-head who put me through the ringer I just relayed via the washing machine story. Wish me luck! :-)

ARGH!!!1!!1!

So we're trying to buy a house. We've been looking for a while, but kinda took a break over the holidays, and now I'm trying to get started on viewing properties again. Which of course, reminds me of all the reasons why I hate setting up these appointments. I'm trying to make Thursday 'House Viewing Day' from now on. I figure if I just make it a standing event that, yes, that is what I'm doing on Thursday, then eventually, hopefully we will find "THE ONE".

Imagine for a moment, that you are trying to buy a new washing machine. You look online at all the different washing machines available, and then you go to the store to look at them. You find yourself a sales associate and you say, "Hi, I was interested in seeing the MXWash3000, could you show it to me, please?"

The sales associate gives you an appraising look and says "First time washing machine buyer, eh?"

You smile and say "Yes, and I'm really excited about it. Do you think you could show it to me?"

The Sales Associate continues to look at you and says, "Well, have you considered getting a Washing Machine Buying Consultant? They would be able to help you buy a washing machine without having to go through the hassle of researching the various new machines coming out, they'd be able to give you reviews of a machines features, and help you find a machine that suits your needs."

You, now feeling slightly defensive, having already done much research online on washing machines say "I'm not really working with a consultant at the moment. Do you think you could show it to me?"

Associate, "Well, you know, most people use a Washing Machine Buying Consultant, why don't you want to use one?"

You: "Well, I really don't think that I should need to defend my washing machine purchasing methods really. Are you going to show me the machine or not?"

Associate, "Look, I just want you to think about this here. If you view 8 different washing machines, with 8 different sales associates, they're only making a commission if they sell it. It's
really not fair to them to work with so many different associates."

You, now feeling rather annoyed, "But, isn't it their job to sell the washing machines?"

....

Associate, "Well, I'm just saying that a Washing Machine Buying Consultant would be able to build a relationship with you, figure out what you need in a washing machine, and help you find the right one for you. They could send you updates of new machines coming out, and help guide you through the process."

You are now very annoyed and respond with, "You mean by going to "AllWashingMachines.com" and reading the information and updates there?

Associate, "Yes, exactly!" as if you had just made his point for him.

Annoyed silence, then "Look, are you going to show me the MXWash3000 or not?

I have this conversation with real-estate agents more frequently than I care to whenever I try to book appointments with the listing agents. Grrrrr.... If I were a seller, especially in the current market, I would be furious with my agent for putting potential buyers through that rigmarole.

I mean, it's their JOB to SELL the house. They do a little bit of paperwork, give the seller a few tips on staging, put up a sign, throw a listing up on the MLS, and then sit back and wait for an offer. In any other commission based sales job, that kind of attitude towards a potential buyer would cause you to lose business. Listing agents have it easy. They put the house on the mls, and then the poor saps who may want to buy it have to go out and find ~another~ agent to show them the house. What kind of weird system is that? If I want to buy a Whirlpool washing machine, wouldn't it be better to talk to the whirlpool salesman, rather than the Maytag one?

Bleh ~ anyhow, I have some appointments tomorrow regardless, including the big poopie-head who put me through the ringer I just relayed via the washing machine story. Wish me luck! :-)

My Valentines Day

Because we were so busy on Valentines day helping our daughter with last minute Science Fair project stuff, we didn’t end up being able to celebrate on Valentines day. However, Don more than made up for it by planning an extraordinary evening out on Saturday.

We head out at around 5:00, which at first, I thought was way too early for dinner, since we’d had a late lunch, but it turned out that he had everything all planned to perfection. First, we drove down to Pacifica to this little Restaurant right on the waterfront called Ristorante Portofino We got there a few minutes before our reservation, so we looked around and snapped a few pictures.

These were taken in front of the Ristorante Portofino:
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Our Reservation was for 5:30, which Don had planned out to coincide with the sunset (Scheduled for 5:49pm).  We were seated and ordered in very short order, and then were able to enjoy this stunning sunset from our table.

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We ordered the Insalata Italiana to start with;

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And for Entrees we had the Gnocchi Fondenti:

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And the Veal Parmigiana:

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Sadly, the food was not as good as the view, but it wasn’t bad. The texture on the gnocchi could definitely have been better, although the sauce was very good. The Veal Parmigiana was ho-hum, although the pasta served with it was perfectly al-dente, which was nice. My favorite part however, was that itty bitty side of Spinach that was served with it. It was garlicky and yuuuuummmmay. Overall they were a 3.75 on a scale of 1-5. They got a 4.5 for view, but only a 3 for food and service. So I’d recommend them, but with reservations.

After dinner, we headed back to Downtown San Francisco to Great American Music Hall. We really lucked out, too – finding a fabulous parking spot directly across the street from the Venue. There we saw Sleepytime Gorilla Museum with Ovo and  Estradasphere opening for them.

The first group to go on was Ovo and I gotta tell you… I hated them. lol Hate hate hated. Their music seemed mostly to consist of the woman screaming or grunting, or them intentionally creating feedback to drums. It was probably the most jarring noises I’d ever heard that were intentionally made with the intent of providing musically entertainment. The drummer was good – really good. If it’d just been him drumming, I probably would have enjoyed them. One interesting (interesting re: offputting in a nails on chalkboard sort of way) was that at one point, the woman took one of her dreadlocks and a violin bow and ‘played’ her hair. > . < It made my skin crawl.

The second group to play was Estradasphere. They were a very talented group of people. Their music was sort of folksy meets rock, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t exactly my style, but it was fun to listen to. The one downside to their music, and probably the reason I didn’t care for it more, was that they did not really have many songs that had words. In fact, during their hour long performance, I think they had two. Now, I know that good music doesn’t have to have music, but in all honesty, theirs I think would have been well complemented by some lively words.

Then we get to the headliner, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. They were quite an interesting show as well, although in a different way. Some of their music was very primal and dark, and some folksy and lighthearted. They had a lot of new sounds, which is likely due to the fact that several of their instruments are handmade. Their music is actually kind of difficult to describe, to be honest – but it was good enough that I am actually considering buying some of their music. Except that I don’t think I’d listen to it. lol

You might think from reading this that I didn’t enjoy the show, but nothing could be further from the truth. They were all very talented musicians (with the possible exception of yowling dreadlock girl), and it was definitely a unique experience, and it makes me want to try other new events. By far my best Valentines Day to date.

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