10 Montenegrin Commandments

Kotor, Montenegro
Kotor, Montenegro

We visited Croatia last week and paid a visit over the border to Montenegro, where we were introduced to the

10 Montenegrin Commandments

1. Man was born tired and he lives to rest.
2. Love your bed as you love yourself.
3. Rest during the day, so during the night you can sleep.
4. Do not work, work kills.
5. If you see someone resting, help him.
6. Work less than you can, and what you can give away to others.
7. In shade is salvation, nobody has died of rest.
8. Work brings illness, don’t die young.
9. If, by chance, you wish to work, sit, wait, you will see, it will pass.
10. When you see others eating and drinking, move closer; if you see them working move away, do not disturb them.

Makes sense to me!

Mortgage Myths Busted

Myth: A 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) is always the best option.

The 30 Year FRM is attractive because, right now, it provides long-term rate protection for low payments. However, a FRM is the most expensive option in terms of the interest-to-principal payment ratio. Other loan products offer borrowers greater savings—for example, a 5/1 adjustable rate (ARM) can be more beneficial to a borrower over 7 years when compared to a 30-year fixed, given today’s rates. Consider how long you expect to keep the mortgage before moving or refinancing.

Myth: At least 20 percent down is required for a home loan.

A 20% down payment will often come with the lowest rates, without mortgage insurance, and give you the best shot at qualifying for a mortgage. However, cash-poor but good- income home buyers can get a good loan for as little as 3.5 percent down and mortgage insurance through many lenders. Sometimes it makes sense to pay the mortgage insurance in a lump-sum up front to keep your payment lower.

Myth: The rate must drop by 2 percentage points to make refinancing worthwhile.

Cutting the interest rate by even half a point can be a prudent decision. Also, do the math and check your budget. Even switching from a lower ARM to a slightly higher FRM can be a viable option that allows you to lock in your mortgage payment and not worry about interest rates inevitably rising, if not for a year or more down the road. The key is to sit down and run the numbers to find the break-even point to see if refinancing makes sense for your given situation. Don’t forget closing costs, and the amount of time it’ll take to recoup them after refinancing to a rate that saves you money each month. You’ll have to remain in the home for sufficient time after refinancing if you want to recoup your closing costs and not cancel out potential savings.

Myth: There’s no point in shopping around for a mortgage when all lenders offer the same programs.

There may be fewer loan programs available today then there were 5 to 10 years ago, but lenders continue to offer a host of different home loan programs. And rates can vary by more than a point from one lender to another. Always comparison shop for home loans, but not just the interest rate. Look at closing costs and other fees that can amount to thousands of dollars.

Myth: A pre-qualification is the same as a pre-approval.

A mortgage loan pre-qualification is simply an estimate of how much house you likely can afford and, based on that, how much money a lender might be willing to loan you. Pre-approval means that a borrower has a commitment from a specific lender for mortgage funding based on actual credit, income and asset verification. Most sellers won’t consider your offer if you don’t have a pre-approval from a well-known lender.

Please let me know if you would like a referral to a trustworthy lender.

Pull Up, Dammit

[rant]

OK, so you are coming up to a traffic light and you want to get in the turn lane, which is empty.

In front of you are four cars waiting in the through lane.

Each of the last three cars has left over 20 feet of empty space between them and the car in front of them. This is 50% more than a full car length.

As a result, there is no room for you to get into the left turn lane.

What is with these people? They can’t possibly need more than a few feet of space.

Is there an invisible car they can see that no one else can?

Do they think if a truck hits them from behind they will somehow be able to keep from hitting the car in front of them? How altruistic.

If someone tries to carjack them, they can maneuver away? Where are they going to go? Is carjacking that prevalent in the ‘burbs?

So now I’m going to wait through another full light cycle because they want their little “safety” bubble. Ridiculous.

[/rant]

Why “One more thing . . .?”

You might be wondering why I titled my blog “One more thing . . .”. And I will tell you.

I have been an admirer of the late Steve Jobs for many years. He focused on making great products and was a master presenter; in fact, his presentations came to be known as “Stevenotes.”

A typical Steve Jobs keynote started with Jobs presenting sales figures, a review of Apple products released in the past few months, followed by the introduction of one or more new products. In homage to Peter Falk’s “Columbo” character, he typically pretended to conclude the presentation, made as if to exit the stage, then turned back to say, “but there’s one more thing”. Often the audience had some idea as to what product would be unveiled, and in time it came to be an expected part of the presentation, receiving applause and laughter when the phrase was invoked.

Some of the products which were revealed as “but there’s one more thing”:

  • The AirPort base station and AirPort card after the iBook was introduced in Macworld Expo 1999
  • The first version of iMovie, along with new iMac G3 DV models. He then introduced, in another “One more thing” moment, the iMac G3 Special Edition in a special event in October 1999.
  • The PowerBook G4
  • The PowerMac G5 at WWDC 2003.
  • The fifth generation iPod with video, announced at a press conference self-referentially titled “One more thing…”
  • The MacBook Pro (at Macworld Expo 2006).
  • The iPod Shuffle
  • Introduction of selling movies via the iTunes Store in September 2006; a second “One more thing” in the same presentation also unveiled an upcoming product dubbed iTV (renamed to Apple TV at Macworld 2007). A third “One More Thing” was the lead-in to introduce a live performance of the song “Waiting for the World to Change” by John Mayer at the conclusion of the presentation.
  • Introduction of Safari for Windows beta
  • The iPod touch
  • The wireless version of the iTunes Store on the iPod touch and iPhone
  • The new MacBook was introduced in October 2008 after the new MacBook Pro was introduced.
  • The announcement of a video camera and speaker in the fifth generation iPod Nano at the Apple Music Event in September 2009
  • FaceTime video calling for the iPhone 4 at WWDC 2010
  • A revised Apple TV
  • A revised MacBook Air in October 2010
  • The iTunes Match service at WWDC 2011
Here’s a compendium of several of Steve’s “one more thing . . .” moments. Enjoy.