A Bird in the Hand?

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that a month ago my wife and I moved out of our San Francisco home and into a new home in an East Bay suburb. And you may also know that we bought our East Bay home before selling our San Francisco home by taking out a bridge loan. The sooner we sell our San Francisco home, the sooner we can pay off the bridge loan and stop incurring the carrying costs on our old home.

The good news is that there’s been a lot of interest in our San Francisco home. Our realtor had set tomorrow morning at 9 am as the deadline to receive offers on that property and she is expecting from six to ten competitive offers.

But yesterday morning, she sent us an email telling us that we had received a surprise, “preemptive” offer. She wrote,

Good morning! An agent sent in an offer (terms are above asking, all cash, all contingencies waved, and a quick closing). They know we have an offer date Wednesday morning. Likely her client does not want to have to compete against others in what will be a competitive situation.

Are you fucking kidding me? Over asking price! All cash offer! No contingencies! Quick closing date! It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

And then our realtor wrote,

It’s in your best interest to do as we discussed and honor the offer date for the other agents. You will definitely have multiple offers to choose from and can negotiate with the highest competing offers to get more. Though this offer is strong, if the buyers are serious about your home, they will resubmit their offer on Wednesday at 9.

Yikes. All I could think of was my Fandango’s February Expressions prompt from last Friday, which was, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”A54E39A6-30B7-43E0-B083-A921AC11EA07Should we jump on this really strong offer (the bird in the hand)? Or should we, as our realtor suggested, take a chance and wait until tomorrow morning to see if any better offers (birds in the bush) come in? We have until 1 pm Pacific time today to decide.

Yeah, I know. This is a really good problem to have, right? But I’m agonizing over what to do. If we wait, and the people who made this amazing offer pull out and a better offer doesn’t materialize, I’ll be kicking myself for not having jumped on the bird in hand. But would we be making a costly error if we do accept the “preemptive” offer when other, even stronger offers might come in from the proverbial birds in the bush if we wait until the prescribed offer date and time? Gah!

What would you do?

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — January 31

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 31st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on January 31, 2012 in my old blog.

San Francisco Scofflaw

scoff·law [skawf-law, skof-] noun: a person who flouts the law, especially one who fails to pay fines owed.

I am a law abiding citizen. I’ve never been arrested and have, only a few times over the course of my nearly fifty years of driving, been caught going over the speed limit, the operative word being “caught.” Okay, I admit that I have a tendency to exceed the posted limit, but hell, I’m just trying to keep pace with everyone else.

I also have to go on record that, having spent close to half my time in San Francisco over the past two years, I rarely drive when in that city. I mostly walk and use public transportation to get around, only infrequently pulling my car out of the garage.

So I was quite surprised the other day to receive a very official looking letter from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). I opened it up to see large, bold lettering that read “Notice of Delinquent Parking Violation.” Yikes!

My first thought was parking violation…what parking violation? Then I looked closely at the delinquency notice, at the date and time of the violation, and realized that this alleged parking violation took place on the same morning I drove my wife to the dentist after she chipped a tooth. I dropped her off and was sitting in my car, in the driver’s seat, in a parking space on the street in front of her dentist’s office patiently waiting for her return.

8217BA78-75CD-4AC6-A82B-F08F0F4CB350After about 10 minutes, a San Francisco meter-maid pulled up next to me in one of those weird little traffic carts, like the one pictured above. She motioned for me to move my car. I was a little puzzled by why she was gesturing for me to move; I was parked at a legitimate parking space.

However, being the law abiding citizen that I am, I immediately complied. I drove the car about a half a block away to an alley between the dentist’s office and a motel parking lot, where I waited another 15 or so minutes until my wife’s appointment was over.

I gave this brush with the law no further thought until this aforementioned notice was delivered to my home back east. My alleged violation, the notice indicated, was that it was a designated street cleaning morning, meaning that parking on that particular side of the street on that particular morning was not permitted.

96871F18-E890-465E-8F9F-3CF1B6012C6AOkay, that explains why the meter-maid motioned for me to move, but since I promptly obeyed, it doesn’t explain why a ticket was supposedly issued, or why I was never presented with said ticket.

The letter said, “Our records show that you have failed to respond to the parking ticket listed herein.” Yeah, I failed to respond because no one ever gave me a friggin’ parking ticket! How was I supposed to respond to something I never received?

The only way to clear up this matter, the notice advised, would be for me to immediately remit a check for $95 — $55 for the parking violation plus a $40 “collection fee” for being “delinquent.” Seriously?

NFW, I said to myself. Without delay I sat down at my computer and composed a scathing letter in which I stated all of the relevant facts and put the SFMTA on notice that I would be vigorously appealing its invalid violation and outrageous fine.

Another Fine Mess

Speaking about outrageous fines, I am also contesting a $480 ticket…seriously, $480…I received in the mail for being caught on a traffic-cam in Millbrae, CA turning right on red without coming to a full stop. My wife and I were driving our daughter to the San Francisco airport and I somehow missed the airport exit. I got off at the next exit, ultimately made my way back to the freeway, and headed back to the airport…in time for our daughter to catch her flight.

Yes, I suppose I was a bit flustered, having missed the airport exit and not wanting my error to cause our daughter to miss her red-eye flight back to Boston. And yes, I did sort of roll through the red light as I made my right turn.

But the evidence will show, your honor, that I did slow down and I did look both ways before sort of cruising…slowly, of course…into the turn. And as Rayman (the Rain Man) Babbitt would say, “I’m an excellent driver.”

And so, as I did with the SFMTA, I put the Superior Court of California on notice that I would be vigorously appealing its violation and the even more outrageous fine.

The next notice I receive, being the scofflaw that I apparently am, will probably be a warrant for my arrest.


January 31, 2020 postscript. The Superior Court of California ultimate did waive the $480 fine for rolling through the red light, but the SFMTA did not waive the $55 parking ticket, although they did, at least, waive the $40 “delinquent collection fee.”

Buying and Selling

C004A3A3-7663-4CE4-AA07-F7FEA4299F1EYou may remember in this post from December 19th I wrote, “…there’s a lot going on in my life right now. Some of it good. Some of it exciting. And, unfortunately, some of it not very good at all.” The “good” was that my wife and I are going to be grandparents. The “not very good” was that I would be having ear surgery around the end of the year. This post is about the “exciting.”

Our son and daughter-in-law both work and they have asked us, as well as our DIL’s parents, to help out with childcare after the baby is born. DIL’s parents live pretty close to where our son and his wife live, which is on the “East Bay.” But we live about 35 miles to the west, in San Francisco. And because we have to cross the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, which is always jam-packed with traffic, it’s an onerous drive that typically takes us about 90 minutes each way.

So, we decided — okay, my wife decided — that we needed to sell our house in San Francisco and buy a new one on the East Bay. And we did! Well, we bought one on the East Bay and we will putting our San Francisco house on the market soon.

Our new place will be only 10 miles south of where our son lives — about a 15 to 25 minute drive. And with no damn bridge to cross to get there and back.

Living in the ‘burbs will be a whole lifestyle change for us. Where we live now in the city, we can walk to shops, restaurants, entertainment, or we can catch one of a number of buses if it’s a little too far to walk. We hardly drive our car anymore (except when we go visit our son and his wife).

Once we move, though, we’ll be car-dependent, as our new house is located a little over two miles from the “downtown” section of the town. Not walking distance to shops or restaurants. But we may buy a couple of electric bicycles so that, rather than always having to drive into town, we can bike without exhausting ourselves riding up and down the hilly terrain. Fun times ahead, huh?

Why am I telling you this? Because, it’s all happening very quickly. We have the final walkthrough of our new place next week and the closing the week after that. And we’ll be physically moving in early February. Between now and then we have a ton of work we need to do. We need to get our current house ready to be put on the market. We need to pack up all of our belongings, arrange for movers, get stuff we’ll need before we can move into the new place. It’s going to be hectic and time consuming.

Bottom line, I’ll be a bit less prolific on WordPress for the next month or so. I will still post my daily FOWC with Fandango prompts because I can schedule them weeks in advance.  But I’m not sure if I’ll be able to participate in too many other daily or weekly prompts or to keep up with all of your posts, as my days will mostly be taken up with move related tasks. I’ll do my best to respond to your comments on my posts, which should be easier for me to do because I won’t be posting as much as I usually do. And I’ll read as many of your posts as I can.

Anyway, this is just a heads up that for a while, anyway, you won’t be seeing as much of me as you’ve seen in the past. But once we’re settled into our new place, I plan to come roaring back.

Weekly Song Challenge — Geography Lesson

E0991E6D-778C-4B4C-93B3-ACA5BAFA8848For this week’s Weekly Song Challenge, Laura has asked us to post videos of States, cities/towns, and countries or continents.

Her rules are:

  • Copy the rules and add them to our own post, pinging back to Laura’s post.
  • Post music videos for our answers to the musical questions.
  • Tag two people anyone who wants to participate!

So here goes.

1. Post a song that has either in title or lyrics the name of a state in the US.

2. Post a song that either in the title or lyrics the name of a town.

3. Post a song that either in title or lyrics has the name of a country or continent.

Okay, your turn.

#writephoto — I Miss This

4E6FE625-ED1F-4609-9D28-2C75214C5B47I don’t miss the hot, muggy, oppressive summers, the frequent and sometimes severe thunderstorms, the mosquitoes and ticks. I don’t miss the dismal, gray, bone-chillingly cold, snowy, icy winters. I don’t miss paying the outrageous winter heating bills and summer air conditioning bills.

But, since moving from New England to San Francisco a decade ago, I do miss one thing. I do miss the colors of autumn.

The temperatures in San Francisco are generally temperate throughout the year. With relatively rare exceptions, the city is blessed with mild winters and cool summers. The only real weather changes are the rains in winter (it’s dry for months at a time in summer), and a slight warm-up in September and October.

Hence, few trees in the city in which I now live shed their leaves in the fall. And for those few trees that do, their leaves go from green to brown to the ground. No reds. No oranges. No yellows. Just green to brown to gone.

In order to see any colorful fall foliage around the Bay Area, you need to travel outside of the city. But even then, it just doesn’t match the symphony of colors you can experience in the northeast United States.

And I miss that.

But the good news is that there are no leaves to rake.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.