House building update

Yesterday, Jessi and I signed many many documents saying that we promise to pay back the money that the bank will be lending us. Now I know why they call it Legal sized paper.

While I haven’t gotten around to scanning in the full building plans, we received the appraisal from the bank’s appraiser today and it included a simplified floor plan drawing. I scanned it in case anyone wanted to see it. (And if you want to see the full plans, come over sometime.)

Upcoming plans

Tonight, I’m running another Standard Constructed Magic tournament at Card Stop.

Friday, I get to join millions of Americans by acquiring oodles of debt! We’re doing the closing on our mortgage.

Over the next couple weeks, we’re having various people over for meals, and occasionally going to someone else’s place for a meal. You may be able to be one of those people if you contact us.

April 1st through the 3rd is SFS Gaming Weekend, which I’m looking forward to. I’m also planning on running another tournament there.

And this summer, we get a house!

Happy Government Bureaucracy Update

Just got this email from my mom:

Dad got a call from the Planning Board chairman, John. John and the
Planning Director talked with the highway foreman about the driveway
permit. They have reached some kind of agreement so the permit will
be signed, and the process for a building permit will continue.


Oh, and in other house-building-related news, we’re closing on our mortgage Friday.

Random Thoughts

It occurred to me today that I very very rarely need a physical mailbox. I wonder if someday it will be common to not bother putting one up. That is, much like nowadays where fewer and fewer people are bothering to get a physical land phone line in favor of cell phones; maybe someday physical mail will get phased out in favor of electronic mail (especially when it has authentication and encryption in common usage). Of course, package deliveries and such would still need to occur, but I’m not so sure about “normal” mail.

Which brings up another interesting question: Whom does one need to notify when creating a new address? Do we need to tell the Post Office to start delivering mail at our new house once it’s built? Does that all happen automatically somehow?

I’ve also been wondering about the future of Digital Rights and Copyright. Other companies want to control what you can do with particular blocks of bytes that you “possess”, or at least possess in the sense that they are on a hard drive that you own. This is quite a logical thing for a company to want to do. This has been the case with software for quite some time, although in recent times the discussion has focused more on music files. However, I’m not sure how such restrictions can be implemented in practice. It’s odd that other company could put restrictions on what manipulations I can do to particular bytes on my hard disk. Let me give an odd scenario that I came up with. Suppose that I have purchased and “own” a chunk of bytes called song.mp3. One of the constraints that the seller of that file gave me is that I cannot distribute that file to other people. So, suppose that I construct some arbitrary file file1.bin, which contains arbitrary bytes that I came up with myself. (And thus, I own all the rights to it.) Now, suppose that I also construct a compression program pccompress.exe using an algorithm I designed myself. (I own all the rights to this chunk of bytes too.) Suppose that if you compress file1.bin with my program, the output file file2.bin just so happens to consist of exactly the same byte sequence as song.mp3. (And suppose that I designed my compression algorithm to try to get this to happen.) That is, you can use the two files I created completely on my own to construct the same sequence of bytes as the copyrighted song.mp3. Can I distribute my two files to others? Can I tell them this particular interesting fact that I happen to know about my algorithm? What if my compression algorithm had this behavior completely on accident, and someone else discovers it and tells people about it? I’m not even asking about what the law actually is here, but more what the law should be (although I’m kind of curious about current law as well). Other random thoughts or contrived scenarios?

Government Bureaucracy Update

First of all, if you haven’t checked out Google Maps yet, I suggest that you do so. It’s very nifty. Its only downside is that it doesn’t support Opera yet, but I’m sure it will eventually.

If you look at the area surrounding our future house with most mapping services, including Google’s, you will see that Berry Corner Rd. comes southwest past Ten Schoolhouse Rd., and then curves around onto Ayers Rd. That curve is where my parents’ driveway ends. What you do not see on that map is that Berry Corner Rd. continues, eventually connecting (and ending) at Mcgilpin Rd. in Sturbridge. You do not see it on that map because the road has never been paved, and has not been maintained in any way for a Very Long Time. It is on this segment of Berry Corner Rd. that our house will be built on. Apparently, most maps have forgotten that it exists.

However, this has never officially stopped being a town road. We have documentation from the Town Clerk proving this. The Planning Board agrees and gave us permission months ago to build there. The town has been receiving money from the state for many many years for this road (local aid for roads is based on the miles of roads, and they count this segment of road in that calculation).

The Highway Superintendent, however, refuses to sign our Driveway permit. He doesn’t think that it is a town road, and apparently doesn’t want to be responsible for maintaining it. He has no legal grounds or authority for doing so. He is apparently holding a grudge for when the Planning Board refused to let a relative of his extend an existing road.

The chairman of the Planning Board has said that since they signed the approval for the lot, the Highway Superintendent has no choice in the matter. The Planning Board Chair is going to try to talk with the Highway Superintendent. If that doesn’t work, then we’ll need to go to the Board of Selectmen (the Highway Superintendent’s boss) and chat with them about it. We may even need to threaten a lawsuit against the town, and be willing to follow through on that threat if needed. The law is quite clearly on our side. We don’t want to take this to court, and they certainly don’t want us to do that either, so hopefully we’ll be able to reach an understanding.

I don’t want this to drag out for years in courts. I just want to move into a new house. *sigh*