Sunday, January 29, 2006

SpaceRocks! v0.91

Closer and Closer

Today, I got the game setup tweaked, so you get a bunch of random asteroids to fight, instead of just one or two. The game is also keeping score now, and when you die, you get a message showing your final score.

There are a few major tasks remaining:

  • Get the screen wrapping working
  • Make asteroids regenerate, so you get to kill more than 10
  • Finish the textures for the rest of the asteroids

Hopefully, I'll get more time to work on the game this week, and can put v1 out there to download.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Game Update

The game is getting closer!

I got the collision detection implemented, and a rudimentary scoring system. If the player dies, the game is over, and displays your score. Basically, all I have to do now is to tweak the gameplay settings, so the game has the right difficulty, and start creating new asteroids when the player blows up the existing ones. It would be nice to get some graphic effects and some sound, too.

Definitely making progress. Thanks to Brian for asking about the game, and reviving my interest yesterday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

House wrap up

Well, we survived.

Several people have suggested that we sue Idiot, to try to get the closing costs back. We are not going to do so. Neither of us ever wants to see Idiot again. I don't think I can keep my cool if I ever see her again.

We absolutely LOVE our new home. Neither of us has ever felt so at home in a place.

If what they say is true, that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, then Courtney and I are probably two of the strongest people in the world.

Idiot better stay out of my path, though.

Courtney and I would like to acknowledge a couple of people. First, the title agency. If you ever need to sell a house, please consider Sunshine Title Agency. They are amazing.

Second, Pulte Mortgage. The processor and agent there did everything in their power to take care of us.

Third, Pulte Homes. The closing coordinator was amazing. She worked with us until well after closing, several times. Nicole was her name. We LOVE her.

Fourth, Mike & Mindy. They took care of Mikayla for us for a week, while we were homeless. They are amazing, and we cannot thank them enough for their support.

House Hell, Day 3

The day starts out grimly. Courtney and I begin tag-teaming Idiot's phone at like 8am. Courtney is calling from work, and continuing to research other ways of getting in touch with Idiot.

Nothing is working. Around 10 am, I get fed up. I grab my gun, and head over to Idiot's house to confront her and find out what the hell they are up to. I knock on the door, and surprisingly, get an answer. I half expected the drug dealer to come out swinging or shooting. I was on edge a bit, ready to drill him if he did. I am shocked to hear Idiot's voice, asking who it is. I answer, and am even more shocked to hear Idiot say she will get dressed and open up.

I talk to Idiot for quite a while, about 30 minutes, convincing her that her mortgage broker wasn't totally screwing her. That was the best sales job I have ever done. I think Idiot even believed me.

It's now noonish on the third day of hell. She tells me she will get her son ready, and call me in an hour, to go and sign the papers. I head back to our old house, and sit on the floor, with my phone in my hand, and wait for the hour to go by. About 1:15 or so, I get a call from Idiot. Everything's good, right?

Not even close. The stupid freaking whore is calling me to tell me that her husband (the drug dealer) heard that no buyer ever pays closing costs. Furthermore, they aren't going to close unless we pay all of their closing costs. Her husband is upset because they offered our asking price, and didn't haggle enough. Never mind that I called her back, and had her lower the offer by $2,000, to account for a carpet allowance we were offering (I know it was stupid, but I wanted to have a calm, easy closing). Never mind that we had knocked their closing costs down by $3,000 already. Even the title company dropped some fees.

I start screaming, and tell her to go to hell. We are going to sue her for violating the contract, yada yada yada, then hang up.

I call Courtney, and head over to her office to talk to her. While there, I talk to Mike, Courtney's dad. He points out that the Idiot is asking for $4500, and our house has already appreciated by $25,000; not to mention the $9300 deposit we put down on the new place. That sentence was like a lightbulb going off in my head. I totally bent over, and got ready at that point.

I talk to idiot again, and tell her we will pay another $1800 towards her closing costs. The title agency agrees to pass along information that might lead a person to believe that the lender would only allow us to pay a certain amount of closing costs. But, I say, the deal is only valid that day. We have to sign before the end of the day, or she can shove a pole up her rear.

I offer title agency lady $100 to stay late and get us closed. Then, I call the Pulte title agency and offer $200 if they will stay late to close us on the new house. The catch is that if we don't close on the Pulte home that day, Thursday, we can't close until the next Tuesday. That would mean another four days in the hotel, and not having a home for Mikayla's first Christmas and first birthday. This is not acceptable to me, or to Courtney. The $300 is way worth it. Pulte says no problemo. The title agency chick says she will stay late, but only within reason.

It's now almost 5 pm. We were supposed to hear from Idiot around 3 pm. I am starting to think that she is bailing again. I get a call from the title agency chick at 5:10 or so. My first thought is 'oh crap, she is giving up'. Title agency lady tells me the drug dealer just left her office, after signing the papers. He didn't bring money, but he claims she is on her way, with the cash.

I literally ran inside Courtney's office to get her. I drag her out, and we speed to the title agency. I get there before Idiot. 5 minutes later, I call her, she's about 10 minutes away. She shows up, we sit down and sign (not saying a word). She gives up the cash and signs, and walks out.

I give title agency lady the hundred, and we head for Pulte. The Pulte closing takes like 15 minutes.

It's now 7 pm or so. We are finally DONE! We head to Courtney's parents house to get the UHaul with our belongings, and I muster the troops to help. Only Jeremy is available, but he meets us at the new pad. By 9:45, we are on the way back to UHaul to drop off the truck. By 10:12, we are back home, in our new house, both of us feeling like we have dropped a huge, 5 ton load off of our shoulders.

House Hell, Day 2

So, on day 2, we have all agreed to meet at the title agency at noon to sign our papers and get on with our lives. Courtney and I are now pretty happy that Pulte needed to delay the closing, and everything looks good. What's two nights in a hotel to get our dream house, right?

Yeah, right. The buyer shows up at 12:30ish. We sit down at the closing table, and start signing stuff. The buyer seems like a complete idiot, who hasn't read anything about the mortgage industry, or how home purchasing works. First off, she reads EVERY word of the closing papers. Since the woman seems like such an idiotic ass, the title agency chick starts going really slowly, and explaining every part of the documentation.

Of course, that brings up a whole nother set of problems. Apparently, this woman is completely stupid about mortgages, and never asked questions of her mortgage broker, who is equally stupid. Or incredibly smart, depending on your point of view. She screwed the buyer both ways to Sunday. That idiot signed a mortgage agreement for an adjustable rate mortgage. The first mortgage was fixed for 2 years, with a 2 year prepayment penalty, and then the rate started doing flips every quarter. I think it could go up like .5% four times a year, to a max rate of like 200% or something like that. If you can believe it, the second mortgage was even scarier. Her second, a $45,000 or so loan, is a balloon mortgage. At 15 years, idiot has a $20,000 single payment.

When the idiot sees this mortgage package, she starts crying and blubbering.

Then, we get to the HUD-1. It shows ~$8,100 in closing costs to the buyer. Her mortgage broker immediately starts talking about how the title agency made a mistake, because by her calculations, the closing costs should only be ~$5800.

We finally show how the broker idiot made a mistake with her addition (subtracting the seller's closing costs twice). Then, Courtney and I split the $2300 with the broker. So, we have the idiot back to the amount of money she was prepared to spend.

At this point, we have been in the closing office for three hours. The idiot only has $5000, and it's in CASH. She plans to use her debit card for the rest. How freaking stupid do you have to be to think that a title agency is going to accept debit cards? And what kind of person carries $5000 in cash? I can only think of one kind: drug dealer.

So, idiot says her bank is right around the corner, and she's going to go get the other $700, and a cashier's check, and she'll be right back. While she is gone, she is going to find her husband, who has to sign some paperwork. Of course, he is balking about signing any paperwork (drug dealer much?). We had already signed everything we needed to, so we head out. The title agency is going to call us when the idiot gets back, so we can go pick up our check.

We get a call at 5 or so, from the title agency. Everything must be ready, right? Not even. The title agency is calling to find out where the buyer is, since she didn't show up. I start calling her on her cell phone. Courtney starts researching (working her mojo), trying to find out where the idiot lives and get a home number. She can't find anything. She can't find ANY records of idiot's husband at all. Drug dealer much?

Idiot has her phone turned off. I leave several messages, trying to find out what is going on.

We keep calling every five minutes or so, until after 9pm.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Windows Live Favorites

Windows Live Favorites. Now my favorite MS tool. I was thinking of writing something similar to manage and save my favorites from both Firefox and IE. I'm not sure how well this tool works with Firefox, since I dumped the fox for IE 7 beta 1. This service is great, and it's super cool that someone finally realized we need this. One of the most frustrating things about changing jobs or computers is losing favorites. No matter how hard I try to remember to transfer them, they don't get transferred correctly. Now, I have an online storage solution, free from MS.

I don't see myself using this on a daily basis, but since you can import from and export to IE with just one click, I can totally see this as a way to maintain my list of favorites, in an organized fashion.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


We interrupt this house hell broadcast to bring you breaking news on the work front.

Courtney is leaving her job. She got a demotion last week, and was told to report to the girl who she hired and trained, and who reported to her for two years. This was the final straw in a list of huge straws. They have been jerking her around since she started.

To make up for this negativity, I got a promotion to Lead Developer this week. The two kind of cancel out, even though Courtney is really stressed out about her job.

So, if you know of anyone looking for an entry level marketing freak, or a senior administrative staff member, or an event coordinator, let us know. You can email me at cullen_waters AT hotmail DOT com.

House day 2

Courtney and I got to the closing office at about 9:05 for our 9 am closing. We called the office to let them know we would be a little late. The title company tells us that the buyer's lender is holding things up a little.

At about 9:30, I call the buyer to find out where she is, since she's 30 minutes late. She informs me that no one told her about a meeting that morning. Funny, because I clearly remember telling her that we were set to go at 9am on the 20th.

The title company tells me that the buyer's lender won't be closing that day. They missed the cutoff for wire transfers that day, so it would have to be the next day. We set it up for noon the next day, Wednesday.

Courtney went back to work, and I headed back to the hotel to do some work.

Friday, January 06, 2006

House, Day 1

The day is Monday, December 19th. We are scheduled to close on our old house the 20th, at 9am, and close on the new place at 12pm. At noon, I leave work, and head to the old house, with Broderick in tow. We go and pick up the huge, 26-foot UHaul truck.

Broderick and I get busy loading up the truck. After we have about half the house loaded, I get a call from the Pulte closing coordinator, Nicole. She tells me there is a problem with the VA certification on the new house, and it will be Thursday before we can close. I am upset. I think, "Well, at least the problem is relatively minor". I tell Pulte that it isn't fair of them to only give us 22 hours notice that our closing is being moved. They agree to pay for two nights of hotel and two days of UHaul rental. Everything is fine again.

Broderick and I get just about everything loaded, and then Jeremy comes by, after purchasing his brand new truck, and helps with the remainder. We get done at like 10 pm.

Courtney comes over after that, and we drive the UHaul over to her parents' house, and park it in their driveway until Thursday. Then we head to the hotel to settle in (and to sneak Gizzie into the room). Mikayla is staying at her Grannie's until we get into the new house (thanks again, Mike & Mindy).

Not too bad of a day, and I am sleeping the righteous sleep of the exhausted. After all, we did load everything we own into a truck in less than 10 hours. The only other irritation was the noisy cat, who woke us up like 20 times that night. We'll forgive him, though, since he didn't have any choice about staying in the hotel, and didn't even understand why we were in such a funny place.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Intro to House Hell

Courtney and I just finished selling our old house, and moving into the new construction we bought. The process was not smooth, and I'm going to provide everyone with a breakdown of what happened during the sale of our old home, and purchase of the new house. Hopefully this series of posts will be cathartic, and help me get past the anger that I am feeling. I have never been more angry towards another human being than I have been for the last couple of weeks. I'll try to keep the hatred to a minimum in the posts, but you'll just have to forgive me if I blow it some.