This past weekend was a little on the busy side. We got up early to go looking at potential new places to live as we’re hoping to move out of the in-law’s place by the end of June after Courtney’s graduation and open house. Only made it to two places in Canton before a stop at an Office Max resulted in Courtney buying a new computer desk for use in the new abode forced us back home. Why? Because our only vehicle at the moment is a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix and, with Courtney in the back seat, we had to try and fit the box of desk parts into the trunk and it didn’t fit entirely. I was reluctant to leave it sitting in parking lots hanging out of the trunk hoping no one would walk off with it.
What was interesting about our first stop is that it wasn’t an apartment building, but a mobile home park. It seems some parks have started renting out mobile homes over the past few years because folks are more likely to rent than to buy as these homes tend to be notoriously hard to resell. The rates seem to be slightly less than some apartments depending on the size of the home in question and you still have the option to purchase it later if you wish to do so. The tricky part about looking now is that they really don’t know what they’ll have available in a month’s time so we could only get ballpark ideas. The other place we stopped in was for town home apartments which include a usable basement. The rent on those was higher, but it’s hard to argue with the utility of having a basement to stick crap into. We’ve still got a few other places we want to look at, including some in Ypsilanti which would be closer to work and the community college Courtney and I are likely to be attending this fall so no final decisions as of yet.
The other thing we did on Saturday after dropping Courtney and her desk off at home was go to the local Honda dealer to consider a second car. I decided awhile ago that I think I’d like to get a Honda Civic as my next car and, after sitting in a couple of them, that lust has only grown. Still, after the debacle with the computer desk earlier, we also looked at the Honda Element which I also liked, but not as much as the Civic. New models are currently out of our price range at least until Anne can land a job so we also looked at some of the Honda certified pre-owned vehicles and, for good comparison measure, a brand new Honda Fit.
I have to say that the Honda Fit surprised the hell out of me. It’s a fucking dinky car, but for being so damned small it has a surprising amount of room in it. Headroom in particular was more abundant than I expected and, when you fold the rear seats down, the damn thing will haul quite a bit of crap around. The one we looked at was priced around $14,995, but even going with a no-frills base model we still weren’t sure we could swing the payments until we figured out what our monthly rent was likely to be. So we didn’t end up buying a car, used or otherwise, though once we get settled and have an idea of whether or not we can swing a down payment (we were basing our initial inquiries on not having one, which obviously drives the payments up) we’ll probably go back and get us a Fit to start with plans to buy a Civic later.
As for the new job, it’s been going pretty well despite a rather hectic week last week were I was on mornings for a good part of it, and today I was given a Special Project to work on. We have a number of machines set up as kiosks sitting around for the folks out on the floor to make use of during their breaks/lunch for browsing the web, entering their time cards, etc. that are largely run under Windows XP. Windows XP is much hated here and so I’ve been tasked with turning them all into Ubuntu based kiosks locked down to just a few apps and then turning that into an ISO image that can be slapped on a machine whenever it needs to be staged. Needless to say I’ll be reading up quite a bit on how to make a Linux kiosk setup in the next couple of weeks. If you folks have any recommendations for good resources on the web, let me know.