Pay Attention Upfront

First Home

When we were looking for our first home we toured the one we eventually bought. On the tour I noticed a number of things I did not like. They were:

  • There was no fenced backyard and we could not fence it because of the Association covenants.
  • The driveway was too steep to play basketball in
  • It was a townhome and therefore was at risk for whatever the neighbors might do
  • It was a split level home that you had to walk up and down the stairs to do just about anything
  • The kitchen was extremely small
  • There was a musty smell in the lower level
  • There was hideous pink carpet that I hated

Those things aside it was in a great neighborhood so we bought the house.

We lived in that house for the next 15 years.

My son could not dig in the dirt without getting in trouble with the neighbors because there was no backyard we could fence. He grew up spending way more time inside then he should have because of the lack of the backyard.

We could not play basketball in the front because the driveway was too steep.

Eventually neighbors with troublesome boys moved in and there were several neighbors that I would have preferred we not live by.

Because it was a townhome and connected to another home painting it was problematic and was long delayed.

We cooked many meals in that tiny kitchen and I hated it from day one till the day we sold it.

I spent many hours in the crawlspace of that home and more than a few dollars attempting to figure out what the musty smell was and to eradicate the problem. I never did eradicate the problem or discover its source.

After several thousand dollars and many hours of work I finally replaced all of the carpet with laminate flooring throughout. I never did completely finish the trim on the laminate flooring.

You could argue that I should’ve sold the house and moved much earlier. However, selling a house involves many thousands of dollars of transactions costs and up until this point in my life money has never been plentiful. 

At the time we purchased the house there were several other homes on the market that would have suited our needs much better. 


Several years ago about a 1997 Oldsmobile Silhouette. I had done some research before purchasing the vehicle and discovered that they have a design defect which often causes an expensive head gasket repair. To replace this $50 part cost over $1500. I was armed with that knowledge before purchasing the vehicle but purchased it anyway. I did not know that this particular car had the problem and it did not have a blown head gasket when we purchased it but it did develop later.

Video Game Console 

My wife and I had noticed that our son had an addictive personality. He tends to focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. I brought home a PlayStation 2 for his birthday or Christmas or something I don’t remember. My wife was very angry with me and told me it was a bad idea. 10 years later my son wants to do little but play video games. Stopping this before it started or removing the games within the first few months would’ve been the right choice. In this case I was simply stupid. I kept hoping and still hope that he will change in this aspect of his life. Not paying attention to the signs and not listening to my wife has resulted in much sorrow and many problems with my son. I have been stupid beyond words in this particular aspect of my parenting. Bringing that game system into the house and letting games remain there was the worst parenting mistake I made.


In my last job I was financial manager, human resources manager, HYPPA manager, risk manager, building manager, and IT manager for an organization of about 100 people.

The job was too much for one person. The prior person who had occupied the job had much help and have been there for 15 years accumulating these responsibilities over a long period of time. I knew that the job is too much for one person going in. I had even observed the long-term managers replacement fail spectacularly in the job. 

I took the job anyway knowing that a new director was to be hired and hoping that the new director could change the job so that it was not so overwhelming. 

The new director took the Director job believing that the old manager was to stay on until she hired a new one of her choosing. When she reported for the job she found that I was already in the job. In retrospect it was clear that she did not like me from the beginning. We soon parted ways leaving me unemployed for the first time in 36 years of working. The point here is that I could see the job was too much for one person but took it anyway without negotiating the needed changes.


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