Joe's New Blog

Nothing special, this is just my third effort at writing a blog about my life and what goes on in it: Hobbies, cooking, work, maybe the occasional book or DVD review, and so forth. Nothing really noteworthy, but this is sort of a little subset of my world...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Checking on a home loan...

The girlfriend and I went down to Dallas this morning to see if we could qualify for a home loan. On the way down, she was concerned that her credit score would be so horrible that even HMS, the company that supposedly helps people "with bumps and bruises on their credit," would just laugh us out the door. Instead, they turned out to be quite nice and gave us some good tips for improving our credit. The minimum credit score needed to qualify for a loan is 620. Mine is a little over that, about 645, but hers is about 591. So it's nowhere near as bad as she thought. In face, we were conditionally approved for a loan to have a new house built. The condition is based on her getting into their home-buyer's credit program, which will help improve her credit score but will also cost us a fair amount of money.

So we're probably going to use some of their tips and try to do a little credit repair on our own, then go back and see how we've done in a month or two. I know it's going to take a while before we get our scores up to the good levels, but we'll see what we can accomplish on our own dime. And maybe home-ownership will be back within reach in the not too distant future...

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's my "point of view"?

I've been watching "The Next Food Network Star" on TV for the last season, and I've watched it a few seasons before. I realize, of course, that it's a silly reality type show (complete with air-quotes around "reality") which pits 12 cooks selected from their audition tapes (and presumably a live audition) against each other with the goal of becoming the host of a show on the eponymous Food Network. I realize that this show was not created with the actual idea of finding the next Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, or Rachael Ray. That's much like the idea of "American Idol" actually finding the next great singing sensation. It's just not going to actually happen.

The idea behind the show is actually to get a bunch of people to watch it, thinking they're going to be seeing the creation of the next Emeril, Bobby, or Rachael. In all honesty, I'm sure Food Network would be tremendously happy to get another Guy Fieri, or someone similar, who could host a couple of second-string shows on the network. If they really wanted to find a new star for their network, they'd be able to pick from the best of the culinary world. In any case, that's not what this whole post is all about...

What this post is about is one of the questions that the judges on that show keep asking the contestants: "What is your culinary point of view?" Of course, I don't really give a rat's ass about my own point of view from a culinary standpoint, because I'm not planning to compete on that show, nor am I planning to open a restaurant or write a cookbook. But just as a general question, I find myself lacking an answer. What's my viewpoint? What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to be when I grow up?

Why don't I have an answer?...

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