Finally, some rain. We got 2â€ yesterday with some real thunder, lightning and hard rain. That’s the first real rain in a couple of months and should have really soak the garden thoroughly. Rain water is not the same as well water when it comes to growing things. I guess there are nutrients embedded in the rain that don’t exist in well water but you can sure tell the difference in growth rate. Of course the downside to a storm this time of year is that it’s caused by a cold front moving down from International Falls and within a day or so our temps will drop dramatically.
They got me. A few months back I decided to take advantage of then current low interest rates by refinancing the house. All went well until the new bank said that, per FEMA, we needed flood insurance. When we took out the original mortgage in 2003, Chase required flood insurance which cost us $250/year. No big deal. When we refinanced (with Chase) in 2008, the requirement for flood insurance went away. Nice. Now the new bank said that FEMA once again required flood insurance. We had to produce what’s called an elevation certificate and based on that, we ended up with the insurance that cost $500/year. We came close to pulling the plug on the refinance when the estimate first came in at $2000 until we produced the elevation certificate. A month after closing I get a call from the insurance company saying FEMA took another look at the elevation certificate and determined that we needed a $2000 policy, not the $500 one we agreed to. Well that’s not exactly true – what FEMA said was that for the quoted $500, the house is only insured for $19,000. That would be ok with me but not for the bank. At this point there is no recourse – I can’t back out of the refi because it closed and we have a new mortgage. I can’t change insurance companies simply because they simply act as an agent for FEMA and it will be the same for all insurance companies. I checked on that and it’s true. And to add insult to injury, I have to have the surveyor come back and resurvey the property. As if the property moved or something. Lucky for me the original survey company still exists so it will only cost me $250 for the resurvey. It seems clear to me that FEMA is broke by virtue of Katrina etc so they decided to just reach into my pocket. My house hasn’t moved so it’s in no more flood danger today than it was 10 years ago or 3 years ago. I guess I could just pay off the mortgage and tell them to jam their insurance scam but that wasn’t the way I wanted to roll on into the future. Too bad they don’t send the FEMA guy to the house so I could ………………………..
One tradition that seems to me has been trashed over the years is the college bowl game season. Used to be that all the games were played on New Years day in warm places. You knew who the teams were and cared about the results. That has been completely devalued with loads of games throughout the month of December and among teams that were barely able to put together a winning season. What’s the San Francisco Bowl, the Take a Homeless Person to Lunch Bowl? Where Portland A&T plays Iowa T&A and the best part of the game is the half time show. Bowl games you never heard of among teams you never heard of. I guess it’s just as well they’re all on ESPN instead of regular network TV. Real men don’t watch football on cable or satellite. We’re antenna on the roof kind of guys. At least they had a little respect and put the Florida – Penn State game on a regular channel.