Bwahahaha. What is it about Security, that big, complicated, scary word, that makes people think so stupidly? I've thought about this a lot in connection with the banning of nail clippers and cigarette lighters from airplanes, but it's even more in focus reading about Orlando Airport's new "security" program.

Busy weekend, with a nice coffee date and watching movies at the Stanford Theatre and hot tubbing and all. We broke through some of our frustration at work, with an apparent workaround for our intractable problem, and me making some headway on the root cause and a possible solution. It's horribly complicated geek stuff, so I won't bore you with it, but suffice to say it appears to be at least as screwy and obscure as I originally thought.

I'm still on the fence about how comfortably I can afford this townhouse, and the likelihood that I'll be screwed in the short term for buying now. I went back and read the Bay Area Housing Crash blog, which doesn't really bolster anyone's confidence in the market; on the other hand, its author (and the authors of articles linked at the bottom) doesn't really take into account the unique history and makeup of the Bay Area. Here, prices are high because of (1) low supply, (2) absurdly high demand, and (3) plenty of people with lots of money who can afford the high prices. Now, the kink here is that our normally lunatic housing market has been aggravated over the past few years by speculation and investment buying, and I'm inclined to agree with the folks who say that we're due for a correction. I also stand by my belief that while places like New England and Minnesota and Florida are going to get nailed to the wall, we here on the Left Coast won't do quite so badly. And this is a nice little starter place, especially with the second (small) bedroom, and the shiny fireplace and kitchen and all.

Ultimately I have to consider a small handful of things and see how they balance out:

  1. How much am I stretching on this? I need to think a bit more harshly about how the financing will work, and the transaction costs of buying. Also consider that I have almost no furniture or housewares, not even some basic stuff that I need for happy living; I can't just move in and start eating rice off the bat, because, well, I don't own any pots. Ikea is my friend here, but it's still a cost.
  2. Given that prices are already slipping a bit, how good do I really feel about buying right now versus a month or two from now?
Actually that's about it. I really like the place. And it'll probably be a moot point, because whatever I bid on it, someone else is likely to be richer or less careful and bid way more than that. I'm not in so much of a hurry, I don't think.

My coffee date on Saturday was really interesting. It started out a little on edge and at some point broke into the beings of a comfort zone. And she's tall, easily 5'7" in flat shoes, which is new for me. I don't know how much we have in common, but if we're having fun and can carry on a peaceful conversation (or have peaceful silence when it's time for that), who cares?