Wednesday, March 11, 2009


These early March days have us on a roller coaster. Last weekend I was wearing shorts and sandals and I was outside long enough for my face to get some color; since then we've been back down into the 30s, and today we are promised a high in the upper 60s before another cold front blows us back down. With any luck, if the anticipated wind doesn't blow everything away, it will be warm enough later today for me to prime the sanded areas on the porch balustrades, those long, skinny pieces of wood that make up the decorative railing. It's just spot work that won't take long--and I won't have to do deep knee bends to accomplish it.

I've been wasting some time this morning playing a few computer games that Distributorcap NY posted on his site yesterday. The "most common words" game is a terrific and frustrating teaser. You're given 5 minutes in which to think of the most commonly used words in the English language and write them into blanks provided. Some of them are obvious, while others you come up with may be common to you but not to the majority of English speakers ( and you get no points for them). The game itself gives you instant feedback, telling you if you are right or wrong. I confess I didn't do so well. I hate racing a clock.

And then just try to think of all 17 of the Beatles' number 1 hits!

There is little today to inspire me to timeless prose. Real estate issues are not dire but not interesting, either. We're just waiting for the bank to approve our loan for the North Carolina land--well, supposedly we are approved, but there was a glitch on paper work that should have been caught weeks ago and wasn't, so everything screeched to a halt last Friday until a corrected document is retrieved. We are making appointments with people in North Carolina for the weekend of March 27 (including settling on the land purchase), assuming all will be straightened out by then.

If you're interested, I wrote a piece about relationships on the Peace Corps site yesterday. If you read it I'd love a comment or two, yay or nay. Since there is as yet no way to count hits on the site, the writers there have no way of knowing if we are attracting any audience at all.......

It's Hump Day! Hope yours is good.


Jeff said...

Hey Ralph:
What I found interesting is that it read as if you were taking it away from a gay issue and focusing more on the relationship issue. Gay or straight, a monogamous relationship between two people carries its own baggage, good and bad. My wife and I lived together for four years before we got married - and probably did it more out of tradition than anything else. I realize that there are such things as property and insurance issues to be considered - but would gay marriage be that much different than straight marriage?
We grew up in the same generation. I was aware of a gay community yet the mixing of the two was at a minimum. Or at least appeared to be. I always had a "live and let live" attitude. I wasn't afraid of what I didn't understand. But race and sexual orientation were hot button issues at the time with feelings and prejudices running quite strong.
Your thoughts are good ones. But I'm still left to wonder, are there really that many differences between you and me? :)
- J.

Ralph said...

No, there aren't many differences, Jeff, and if I have an over-arching "life's work," it is demonstrating that fact every day I walk the planet. My approach to writing about such issues is precisely to demonstrate how all of our concerns are basically the same--it's just that the federal government, in thrall to the socially conservative right, refuses to admit it, either out outright ignorance or fear of losing employment. Thanks for "getting" the obvious and giving me a chance to expand.

I don't really write for a gay audience. They already know this stuff. I'm a teacher at heart; that's why I take occasional forays into the subject in this space, too.

Anonymous said...

I am moving a doctor from Fairfax City, VA into a hi rise with up river views end unit end of month. She has had her house on the market up there two years and can no longer wait to get established here where she eventually wants to retire. So rather than buy, she rents till her house sells. We are climbing out of this dive down here but only because prices are dropping like a rock. We are down 33% since the 05 boom. What's dragging the values down are the foreclosures. Banks must be OK to sell a $350,000 product for $195,000. Hope you keep that in mind when buying the lot in NC.

Ralph said...

Sad situation, Z&M. We won't have that problem, if it is one in NC, because this will be a cash deal. We're taking a home equity line of credit, not a mortgage.

Anonymous said...

You said you had a good Realtor but our market values change daily. You should focus on any "pending" land sales. Don't buy till they close. It's a crazy market everywhere. Just sayin.

Ralph said...

You mean we run the risk of losing the deal even though the seller has accepted the offer? What should we be looking out for? He was asking $135K and accepted our offer of $119K. What are the potential pitfalls?


Hi Ralph,
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes! I read with interest your pc article. I wonder, wonder, wonder..who wrote the book of love? Certainly not some government guy/gal. Why do they get to make the rules?

Linda-SE PA said...


Sending lots of positive thoughts to you and Steve for NC!

Read the commentary on the PC site - very good! I agree, that there has to an individual knowing of one's self and maturity. The core base is so very important as I sense a child imprints a photo-type memory of actions as well as words and even when we can shuffle the words to our "way of doing" - the photo images imply yet another set of behaviors.

Anonymous said...

I did not know you had already negotiated a price for the land. I thought you were holding off till you got your finances in order, then would revisit the site and negotiate the offer. So, no. If that is where you're at you and Steve are good to go.

Ralph said...