It has been a while since I last posted and I blame
society myself. We’ve been relatively busy lately and much of my free-time has been dedicated to learning about our new city-to-be. Beth and I bought a house, hooray for us, and while we wait in agony patiently for our closing date in June, I’ve been reading up on New Hope, MN. I’ve mapped the area (I wonder why that particular task was appealing to me?). There’s a new grocery store going in half a mile away so now there will be two within two minutes. The area has a number of restaurants (but no Chipotle sadly). I’ve also read/skimmed most of the building code and city ordinances. I can now tell you that we will be allowed to build a six foot fence without a permit but technically you need to warn the police and get permission to park on the street overnight! I also know that our future neighbor across the street has an illegally parked RV next to their garage. Yeah, I’ve done my research. Being bored does create opportunities sometimes.
We’ve already gone through inspection without any major hiccups but there are still a few things to do before closing. We need to start accounts with the utility companies. We’ve got to schedule a rental truck for our furniture (it will nice to move over a week or two as opposed to moving all our shit in a single day like we have done the last two times). We need to finalize our home insurance. Another thing we have to do before our closing date is scrape together as much money as we possibly can. Have you won the lottery recently? I’m a good cause! We’ll need some new furniture pieces but until the house is ours it doesn’t pay to do anything but look. All the first-time homebuyer books I’ve read (three to be exact) warn readers not to sign any layaway deals on furniture before the closing because depending on the type of financing used it could negatively affect your credit. I’m not an amateur capable of making such a mistake, of course, but those authors don’t write these tip books for nothing. Out there somewhere is the idiot that leased a $30,000 car the week before closing. Actually, speaking of cars, I just mailed the final payment on mine!
I won’t go into huge detail on the house just yet but I will say that the backyard is not fenced. That was a major need of ours on our home search so the fact that the house we chose doesn’t have one means we need to get one built ASAP. I often call our dog, Maeby, a “flight risk” because she likes to chase after other dogs (and cars, people, squirrels, birds, light, shadows, her own tail, the wind…) but she absolutely deserves a yard where she can freely run around. We want to deliver that for her right away.
Between now and the first week in June I have lots of travel planning to do too. Our trip to Winnipeg is getting closer. Beth’s sister, brother-in-law, and one year old nephew are going to fly into Minneapolis from Houston and make the drive with us seven hours to Winnipeg (it is cheaper than flying). Additionally, Beth and I were ecstatic and lucky to find out that the Vikings-49ers game this season is scheduled for September 14th, the second game of a Monday night double-header the first week of the 2015 NFL season! We’ve been planning to attend this game in San Francisco (Santa Clara technically) since the winter last year when I realized the 49ers were on the Vikings schedule. The divisions schedules rotate and the last two meetings between our two favorite teams were played in Minneapolis. My Vikings are 2-0 against the 49ers since we started dating in 2008 and I know Beth is dying for a victory. We’re going to take a two week road trip out to San Francisco for the game and catch up with her extended family in California. I will write a post as my planning comes together.
Enough catching up, LET THERE BE MAPS!!
Map 41 shows the projected annual growth rate of country populations through 2050. See, it’s right there in the title.Not much surprises me in this map except perhaps that China has a negative growth rate. Actually, the fact that the growth rate isn’t higher in more of the map is a little surprising. That’s not a bad thing, however. This planet has lots of people and quickly diminishing natural resources. Check out the full report for more information on population growth projections and how that affects religion. I won’t comment much on that because I’m not very religious. I was raised Lutheran but I started to appreciate having my Sundays free when I was about 13.
Map 42 ranks each of the fifty states by their dependency on the Federal Government. I found the information and a less pretty version of the map below on Wallet Hub. Sure, their version was interactive but trust me, it was boring. Anyway, each of the states is ranked by how much they mooch off of the Federal Government. “But Bryan”, you may ask, “how can the states mooch?” Well, dear reader, some each state taxes it’s citizens based on their own tax laws. Some states provide the Federal Government with a lot more tax revenues than others.
The lower the numbers above, the less a particular state gets from the Federal Government after taxes are collected. In other words, they (meaning the citizens of course) pay in more than they get back. A lot of data went into the amalgamated scores including return on taxpayer investment, federal funding as a percentage of state revenue, and federal employees per capita. Check out the article on Wallet Hub for the full data breakdown (just come back here to view my superior map). Is your state a mooch? Minnesota ranks very high, which might explain why I am feeling overly tax-burdened this year.
Bonus Map Link: I am happy to report that our wedding was less expensive than the average in Minnesota.