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02/24/2006

House inspection and appraisal

We haven't heard a decision from our lender yet, but it looks as if we'll get our mortgage loan OK. Why else would they send the appraiser to that house? We were there at that time, going thru the house inspection. Nothing mayor seems to be wrong. Just some minor electrical problems - like not being properly grounded, a few switches not working, a few cables not thick enough. And we'd need a different water softening unit.

I really hope we'll be approved for that loan, the house has everything we hoped for.

02/23/2006

Driver's licenses are hard to get

Even though I have been driving cars, including taxis, and motorcycles for over 30 years, I start on square one in Indiana. I need to hold a learner permit for 60 days before I can take the road test for an operator license. And since I am an alien, I won't even get the learner permit handed to me right away - it will be mailed to me after some office in Indianapolis does a background check on me.

Today at the license branch they told me it might be more than 60 days before I receive the *real* learner permit. If that happens, I can't do the road test yet. I would then have to go to the license branch again and get another *temporary* learner permit. Which is just a piece of paper, saying that I passed the written test and the eye test.

The written test was a piece of cake - 50 very simple questions, most of them just common sense things, and you could mess up on a maximum of 2 *signs* questions plus 5 of the other questions. I passed that, of course, failing one sign and two of the other questions.  

02/14/2006

I have a Social Security Number now

I never imagined being happy about a number some government office would assign to me.

But once I found out, that you are non-existant in the USA without that number, I really wanted to have mine. Now, I don't have the SSN card yet, but today I went to the office and they printed an official paper saying that SSN xxx-xx-xxxx had been assigned to me. No, I won't tell you what the number is! That one number is your entire life here. If it falls into the wrong hands, you're done for.

Alejandra's SSN hasn't been issued yet - I was told her's would take another two weeks.  

02/12/2006

We found our new home

medium_newhome.jpgWe had been looking at seven different houses over the past three weeks. Friday night we saw the one that felt good instantly. Spacious four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a family room, a 3-season room, on a finished basement. A total of 2,183 square feet of above ground  and 850 square feet below ground area. It has hot water heat too, which was one of the things I really wanted to have.

All new carpet and laminated hard floor, and even parquet in two rooms. With an extra wide two car garage and a nice size yard with a small shed. It's an older house, built in 1969, in an older addition - so no crazy rules about what you can or can't do on the outside of your property.

We made an offer on it, and that offer was accepted!

So now all we need to do is get a mortgage loan for part of the prize. Keep your fingers crossed for us. The realtor is working with his own bank, and we've already been told that we should be OK for the amount we need.  

02/11/2006

Tom had an accident... got really lucky though

I had bought our second car (small, old, cheap) on eBay. So we drove to Ohio to pick it up. A 1991 Geo Tracker with lots of miles on it - and dangerously worn tires. On the way back home Tom drove the Geo, I drove the rental car. We were already close to home when it started snowing. Thick, heavy, wet snow. It was dark and windy. And then, on I-469, near the exit to 37, Tom lost control over the car on a long, slanting, ice-covered curve.

We were going at about 40 mph at the time. I was following him when the backend of his car suddenly started turning clockwise, twisting around twice before he went over the dark edge, down a steep, muddy, 50 feet deep drop, into a creek. I thought for sure the car had rolled over several times, and so did the people behind us. They called the police, saying that they just saw a car turn over and go into the ditch. I figured Tom would be badly injured and the car would be totaled before we even had the time to get it registered.

But when I walked to the edge of the road and looked down, I saw the car standing upright. Tom had already gotten out of it and seamed OK. Nothing bad had happened. He had turned around far enough to be facing almost straight backwards downhill. So the car didn't roll, it just slid backwards into that muddy creek. No damage done. We just got our feet wet and frozen from wading thru the creek, and then waiting for the tow truck out there in the cold.

The section of the road was so icey that three more cars went off around the same curve. While we were sitting in the police car, waiting to be towed out of the creek and onto 37, we heard several more similar accident reports coming in over the radio. 

It took us almost an hour to drive the last ten miles home, going 20 mph, with the flashers on at all times. When we finally arrived, Tom was pretty stressed out - and ready for a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate his survival. 

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