Category Archives: New House

My Sandy Story Brain DrippingNew HouseNews

Everyone in New York or New Jersey has a story to tell about what happened during Hurricane Sandy. Here’s mine. Not because it is particularly entertaining, enlightening or inspirational, but just for posterity.

It all started around Tuesday when I began hearing about a huge storm coming up the coast. It still had a 50/50 chance of turning out to sea but it didn’t stop all of the over-reacting hive-minds from emptying the stores of milk, bread, eggs and water. Not that I was too bothered because I always have a ready stockpile: A case of water, a case of gatorade, 6 quarts of various juice, a six pack of organic “doesn’t need a fridge” milk, a dozen cans of veggies, a propane generator with 30 pounds of fuel, 3 sump pumps, 2 oil lanterns, 2 propane lanterns and flashlights a-plenty… and I didn’t even have to go to the store this week. I love it when a plan comes together!

By Friday the Governor was ordering evacuations and it was pretty clear the storm was going to hit somewhere in our area. It was an otherwise slow news week and the giddiness of the “reporters” was truly disgusting. They seemed ever so pleased to have something to say – even if it was “Cuba is getting battered but I’m safe in downtown New York!” Sandy heard that and took offense at being called “Frankenstorm”. I think it is the epitome of bad taste to be coming up with snarky marketing terms for anything that caused billions in damage and had 100+ people feared dead or missing in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas. But, hey – that’s show business, right? Superimpose the head of Frankenstein’s monster spinning in the air over a the Caribbean and enjoy those ratings!

Anyway, by Sunday we had hunkered down pretty well and stowed or tied down everything that could move. The “reporting” had reached a level of hyperbole that I couldn’t tell if they were trying to be serious or just trying to out fantastic the channel next door. Monday came and things had gotten pretty scary already. With my family freaking out I opted to stay at home rather than go into the office just to be sent home when the power went out. We went dark at 2:20 PM. I setup the generator, ran the extension cords and settled in for the long dark. Word on the street was that the power company had turned off the grid at the source in anticipation of lots of problems. Whatever the cause, I must not have been too worried because I decided to take a nap. I woke up around 4:30 as the sun was getting low and took a walk up to the end of the street to see the bay. The wind was insane and the trees were whipping all around. The remaining leaves were being shredded and the air was filled with colorful confetti. As I got near the bay I could hear the tide. Tide? We don’t get waves here on the bay, right? You sure as hell do when they’re backed by 60-80 mph winds! It was still a few hours before high tide and the water was cresting over the seawall and the waves were lashing the upper walkway. I couldn’t stand there too long as the rain coming sideways hurt and I was getting soaked by the spray. I retreated to the house, fired up the generator to chill the fridge for the night, lit the lanterns and read stories to Allison who had a perplexed and worried look but didn’t seem to be actually scared.

During the night I was awakened by the cessation of tempest noise and figured we might have been in the Eye of the Sandy. I fell back to sleep then awoke to a clear sky and very little wind. Turns out the storm had turned inland instead of hanging out around the coast. I went out for a walk before the family was awake to check out the damage. We lost the top of a tree in the back yard. It landed in the neighbor’s yard chipping their siding and crushing a little red wagon but narrowly missing their glass patio table. The big trees in the front lost a few branches each but nothing huge. One birdhouse was tossed down but our house was just fine. I fired up the generator and headed out to see what I could see. The leaf litter was fantastic. I’ve never seen leaves shredded so thoroughly and dispersed so efficiently! Tree tops were equally shredded and a big one was partially blocking the road at the top of the street. I helped a neighbor drag it out of the way so he could get his van through. The seawall was still there but the walkway was torn up and tossed aside. The trees that had grown up alongside the walk were nowhere to be seen and the telephone pole with the fake cameras on it was also M.I.A. When I reached lower ground – the actual beach – I was floored by the damage. There was no beach – it was all bay complete with waves and undertow. Ignoring the cold I waded across a stream that used to be the road to get some pictures. It was at this time that the rainbow appeared to the west. I snapped the picture below while standing in knee deep water next to a downed utility pole with wires and transformers laying all around. A water dept pump house had been smashed open by the storm surge and I could smell a natural gas leak. I phoned that in to the New Jersey Natural Gas hotline and headed for home.

Cliffwood Beach Rainbow


That day was spent without knowing anything about what was going on outside our own little section of town. No cell service. No radio stations. No anything. We did however have hot water thanks to the old-school completely mechanical water heater. We also had heat thanks to the even older-school natural gas heater in the basement. Its ambient heat – and the floor register in the bedroom – kept the house near 70° throughout the outage. Wednesday brought back the radio stations and we learned that it was this bad or worse all over New Jersey. Two dozen people were missing in neighboring Union Beach. Laurence Harbor and Keyport had been equally crushed. JCP&L – the Electric Company – was saying 7-10 days without power. I figured I had less than a week’s worth of fuel for the generator but offered to charge all of our neighbor’s phones and  proffered up our shower to those without warm water. They didn’t take us up on the offers but did bring over whatever propane they had laying around once they got done grilling everything in their freezers as food started to thaw. We had rarely hung out with the neighbors before this week but actually got to know a few more of them during the blackout. We actually sat around playing games by lantern light one night. Another evening we had a Victorian era sing-along…. with some Raffi thrown in for Allison’s sake.

Going stir-crazy I went for a bike ride and toured the horrific state of downtown Keyport. Until this time I just thought we had wind and high water. I didn’t realize the force with which it had come in. Every building at or near sea-level was gutted or utterly crushed by the storm. Fortunately nobody lived that low and only restaurants and a museum were demolished. By now you’ve seen pictures of much bigger devastation than what I saw that day so I’ll just link to the pictures rather than include them here. Throughout the week I occasionally checked in with co-workers and with the hotline to see if the office was open. I heard on Thursday that some people were inside holding down the fort but non-essential employees didn’t need to come in. I took this to mean they had POWER and went in. No power. Just generators. I was able to help out though by going on a mad shopping spree for extension cords to power the parts of the building that were still dark. Getting around wasn’t too bad down that way but up by us most of the roads were blockaded because the traffic lights were down and/or out. On Friday I went in to the office again to find the power was actually on now. I did a little work then got lost in the pictures and news reports where I saw for the first time the havoc that the storm caused. Unreal! Back at home we had gotten into a groove with the running of the generator every few hours to keep the fridge cool, run the sump-pumps and circulate the hot air in the basement. Halloween’s rescheduled date came and went and nobody much cared. After a week I finally stopped trying to hit the light switches!

Then the N’oreaster hit. The snow-storm was just rain and slush up by us but dumped nearly a foot of snow on the office. I left early that day to get home before the roads got too bad. Being perpetually cold was really starting to take it’s toll on people and the electric company was still saying “7-10 days”. It turns out we’re on the main grid powered by South Amboy which chose to build its main substations just outside a tidal marsh. Good idea! Once that was rebuilt it would only be a few days more while the bulldozers cleared the road pictured above so the poles could be replaced. After nearly 10 days in the dark our home town held a Town Hall Meeting with the mayor, chief of police and a bunch of silent nodding heads that were presumably some kind of board members in the town. Very few people in my area “lost everything”. Most were just without electric. Being hungry is bad. Being scared is worse. Being cold is even worse still and everyone in that room that evening looked like they had forced to take cold showers – or more common, none at all – for at least a week now.  I hung around for an hour until people started getting very animated berating the mayor and police chief. I heard later that the mayor ended up breaking down and admitting that he was powerless and that his is just a part-time job. I almost felt bad for him.

After 11 days, 2 hours and 20 minutes the power was suddenly restored. It was a crew from West Virginia that actually got in to do the work on our neighborhood. It came on while I was driving home from the office. It was nice to hear … nothing… in the night again after nearly a fortnight of generator noise all around. So, we survived Superstorm Sandy and its chilling aftermath. I learned that I could go long periods without power. I learned that I have neighbors that are people. I learned that a crisis brings out the best (heroism) and worst (looting) in people. Most of all I had real gratitude in my heart when Thanksgiving rolled around. I also had very little love for JCP&L. . .

A Song for the Electric Company: 

At first I was afraid. I was petrified.
Kept thinkin’ I could never live without my house electrified.
But then I spent so many nights thinkin’ how you did me wrong,
And I grew strong.
And I learned how to get along.
So now your back! From outer space!
I just walked in to find lights on all over the place.
But now I’ve got a solar charging dock.

And I can charge my phone for free.
My generator is gassed up and you’re powerless to bother me!Go on now go! Don’t want no more!
You keep your poles now.
Cause you’re not welcome anymore.
Every estimate you gave turned out to be a lie.
Did you think I’d crumble?
Did you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no, not I!
I will survive!
As long as I have my carbon monoxide tester I know I’ll stay alive.
I can’t watch “One Life To Live”
But I’m not about to give
and I’ll survive.
I will survive!
Hey hey!

God willing, we’ll never have another storm like that one in my lifetime… but if we do I’m ready. Ready to move to somewhere further from the ocean that is!

Life Alterations BabyNew House

Here I sit on the cusp of 2011 visualizing the baby in diapers wearing the “2011” sash and ruminating on alterations. I’m altering the “spare bedroom” into a nursery when I think that this could be a life altering event. I’ve heard that having a kid changes everything. So far it’s only changed the paint in our smallest bedroom. And Heather’s waist measurements I suppose. Perhaps we’ll have her pants altered.

Because I’m completely out of control of the entire situation I look for the things I can control – even if they’re nearly a year in the future – like what to do about all the non-kid friendly furniture and electronics stored so conveniently at ground level?

My plan: Eventually the whole house will have to be altered. I don’t like to have to redo work so I’m not just going to childproof the house but do so in a permanent fashion. Gone will be the end-tables with lamps just waiting to be pulled onto unfused skulls. So long media cabinet filled with oh-so-shiny and tasty DVDs. Book shelves? Not a chance. Any drawers/cabinets that can’t be locked will be emptied. The kitchen will basically have to be gutted from everything below 3 feet. The solution will be shelves. Lots of them. Covering every wall. Not so high so Heather can’t reach.

But that sounds like work and I’d rather charge out to play… alas, there’s a wall of snow impeding my stampede so I’ll stay in and make a list of things to do but I wont do them because I’m too occupied making the list and thinking about snow and typing blog entries with horrendous run-on sentences, with ill-placed commas. Logically I know I must finish everything on my honey-do list and my bucket (ehem – diaper pail) list before the kid is born in April. Realistically I’ll put it off until such time as I’m actually nervous when The Great Alteration is nigh. I can’t think of a better use for nervous energy than very amateur carpentry. I might accidentally sand off my knuckles and will probably lose a finger tip to a jigsaw but I consider that preferable to having to think up baby names. *shudder*

Monthly Projects New HouseNews

I had the bright idea to do one substantial project for the house each month. So far it’s looked like this:

January: Re-arrange the living room so the TV could be on an adjacent wall. This involved installing a new wall outlet and re-wiring the cable in the basement. We got it done in one day but it required extra trips to Home Depot to buy a mammoth drill bit and matching wall plates.

February: New faucet for the bathroom sink. I can’t say this one was fun. More trips to Lowes as the new pipes didn’t fit the old pipes and the bloody thing kept leaking. We went over into March but it works.

March: Get the killer thorn bushes out of the yard. The one was a well-established (read: bignormous) bush used to keep people out of the previous owners bedroom. Some folks plant a Garden. They planted a Guardian. It never really bloomed, hurt like hell if you got near it and was an ugly brown all winter so we decided to take it out. The others were the standard “sticker bushes” that you get if you don’t weed for a few years. We’re both perforated but most of the bushes are gone. The big one still has it’s root structure but we’ll hopefully be getting rid of those soon too.

April: Not sure yet. Paint the den? Build a new bathroom in the basement? Finally have that yardsale with which we’ve been threatening the neighbors? Whatever it is I can promise this: It wont make me bleed as much as those damn bushes did!

Captain Kidd’s Treasure Found! GeocachingNew House

Captain William Kidd stood on the Gallows & a thin rain began to fall. He was dressed in the full splendor of a decorated colonial captain of the seas from the spotless coat to the new pair
of boots. A list of crimes for which Kidd stood accused was being read for the gathered crowd but Kidd wasn’t listening. He had spent the past few weeks becoming familiar with all of the crimes he had been charged. Right now he was busily scanning the crowd & looking for a familiar face. Had his friends shown up at the last? The noose was placed around his neck & a dark sack over his head. As the darkness covered his eyes, his life, as it tends to do in these situations, flashed before them…

William Kidd was born in 1645 in Greenock Scotland. His family sailed to the New World while
Kidd was still young. They settled in New York City, which at the time was merely struggling to support itself as a seaport. Kidd spent his life on the Ocean & won acclaim fighting the French during King William’s War. He was granted the Rank of Captain & held in high regard by his community & peers. In 1695 Kidd was called to Great Britain. At the recommendation of the Earl of Bellomont, who was the Governor of New York at the time, Captain Kidd was granted an official Letter of Marque from King William III.

“William the Third, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, … To our trusty and well beloved Captain William Kid, Commander of the Ship the Adventure Galley… GREETING; Whereas we are informed, that Captain Thomas Tew, John Ireland, Captain Thomas Wake, and Captain William Maze… do, against the Law of Nations, commit many and great Pyracies, Robberies and Depredations on the Seas…. Now KNOW YE, that we being desirous to prevent the aforesaid Mischiefs, and, as much as in us lyes, to bring the said Pyrates, Free Booters and Sea Rovers to Justice, have thought fit, and do hereby give and grant to the said William Kid, to whom our Commissioners for exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral of England, have granted a Commission as a private Man of War, bearing Date the 11th Day of December 1695, … full Power and Authority to apprehend, seize, and take into your Custody… all such Pyrates… which you shall meet with upon the Seas,… with all their Ships and Vessels; and all such Merchandizes, Money, Goods and Wares as shall be found on board…”

King William also granted Captain Kidd a license as a Privateer to attack any French ship he should chance to encounter. The expedition was funded by Lord Bellomont, several politically connected Nobles & King William himself. Kidd was given command of the Adventure, a 237-ton galley featuring 34 cannon & oars for out maneuvering enemy ships. He loaded his ship with the best sailors he could find & set sail. Before the Adventure could even hit open waters a Navy vessel approached. Showing some early colonial disdain for imperial Great Britain, Captain Kidd refused to salute (or possibly mooned) the Navy vessel. The end result was the Navy forcibly impressed (or drafted) the majority of Kidd’s crew. Undaunted, he sailed for his home harbor of New York where he hoped to be able to find enough sailors to round out his crew. Unfortunately, New Yorkers had enough problems of their own without worrying about “Pyrates” hiding in the West Indies. Those he could convince to join him on the voyage were mostly made up of men who needed to flee the colonies for legal reasons & they demanded the lions share of the profits. With this inauspicious start, the Adventure set sail for Madagascar seeking pirates… with a crew made up of men who had most likely been pirates just days before signing on with Captain Kidd.

When the King of the most powerful nation in the world decides that he’s going to start hunting pirates the word spreads quickly – even over the seas. By the time Kidd was finally en route from the Americas all of the pirates mentioned in the official charter had made themselves scarce. Kidd & his crew bided their time & were able to take over a small French ship but it did little to serve their purpose… or line the greedy crew’s pockets. The Captain used the same methods he had employed with success back in the Colonies – to mingle with the other Privateers of the area. Many of the other Captains were small time pirates in their own way but Kidd was after a larger prize. Unfortunately, his crew saw this as wasted time & became restless. The Adventure encountered many richly laden Indian vessels but, despite the opposition of the crew, Kidd made no moves against them. Men started to desert &, sensing an eventual mutiny, Kidd set sail for the Red Sea with talk of intercepting a rich fleet of which he had caught rumor. “We have been unsuccessful hitherto; but courage, my boys, we’ll make our fortunes out of this fleet!”It was not meant to be & the Adventure never met the fabled fleet.
On October 30 1697 a rich Dutch ship sailed into view &, tired of waiting, the crew urged Captain Kidd to attack. The Captain refused, knowing that attacking the Dutchman would be both piratical & sure to anger King William who was of Dutch descent. William Moore, a gunner under Kidd’s command spoke out loudly against his captain & burnished a sharpened chisel. The two exchanged words & it became clear that a full-blown mutiny was sure to occur if Kidd was unable to quiet Moore. Without speaking a word Captain Kidd strongly suggested that Moore return to his work by heaving a wooden bucket at him. It was an unlucky throw as the bucket struck Moore in the head & he died the next day. A bucket is a far cry from a deadly weapon & it’s obvious that a mortal blow wasn’t intended, but the act didn’t do much to improve moral on the Adventure. The next time they docked to resupply much of the crew deserted.

In late January or early February of 1698 their luck finally turned & they were able to easily capture an Armenian ship the Quedah Merchant. Kidd & crew boarded the ship & learned that though the captain of the ship was English, he had purchased passes from the French East India Company making the Quedah Merchant a fair target of the war. The ship was one of the greatest prizes ever claimed by a Privateer. She was a 400-ton beauty laden with gold, silver & all manors of extremely valuable linens. The value might have exceeded 100 million in modern dollars. Kidd kept the French passes & the ship which he renamed Adventure Prize.

Back in England, disgruntled former crew members of the Adventure told the crown that Kidd had refused to attack pirates & had even turned pirate himself. A fantastic political scandal ensued when political opponents of the Kidd’s backers got wind that King William himself was funding a pirate! Great stories of piracy & barbarism on the high seas were invented to fan the political firestorm.

When Kidd learned he was a wanted man most of his crew deserted him so he left the Adventure behind & sailed for home in the Adventure Prize. Only 10% of the original crew remained loyal to their Captain including Monmouth County residents Moses Butterworth & William Leeds. Upon arriving in the Caribbean, Kidd learned that several British men-of-war were patrolling the East coast looking for the Quedah Merchant. Realizing his prize was marked he scuttled the Merchant & set out for New York confident he could convince Lord Bellomont of his innocence. Kidd made several stops in New Jersey & Long Island before the authorities knew he was in the area. During this time he secretly buried much of his treasure – some 40,000 pounds – to be used as leverage. Kidd, leaving several of his men in West Jersey with strict instructions on what to do in the event he was arrested, then sought out Lord Bellomont who was residing in Boston at the time. Unfortunately, Bellomont decided that bringing Kidd before the throne in chains was the best way to save his own neck & had Kidd & his men arrested.

The trial was a travesty of justice & the nobles who had financed Kidd’s voyages made sure to burn Kidd’s logbook & lose the French passes from the Quedah Merchant. In the end Kidd & most of his crew was found guilty of piracy & the murder of his gunner William Moore. Moses Butterworth & William Leeds had remained in West Jersey where they were tried & found not guilty.

… Captain Kidd awoke from his reverie in time to hear the official proclamation that he was to hang by his neck until he was dead. The rain had begun to soak through the thin sack & he could almost see through it. There was a disturbance in the crowd & some shouting but he didn’t have time to wonder what might have caused the fuss because at just that moment the floor dropped out from beneath him… & he fell… & the noose pulled tight… & the rope snapped! The crowd gasped as Captain Kidd disappeared through the trap door & landed with a grunt on the ground beneath the platform. In those days this stay of execution wasn’t seen as a sign of divine provenance but rather an indication of a poorly made knot. After a few moments of confusion Captain William Kidd was bustled back up onto the stage where the noose was refitted & secured into place. Though most of the crowd & the officials on the stage were nearly soaked to the bone, Kidd was gauged dry enough that the noose would not slip free. Without delay the trap was sprung & a few agonizing seconds later the saga of Captain William Kidd ended at the end of a taught rope. As the crowd began to disperse, William Leeds, loyal to the end, fought against the crowds until he was near the front. An old muddy pair of boots dangled at eye-level only a few yards away. He smiled.

So what of Kidd’s buried treasure? Well, there are more rumors than fact. Every state up & down the coast has a tale of Captain Kidd’s buried booty, but only two states have ever found any of it. The first cache of gold was unearthed on Gardiners Island just off the coast of Long Island New York. The owner of the land had cooperated with the British authorities in retrieving some 10,000 Pounds. Gold coins have also been discovered in New Jersey within the Raritan Bay. The first strike was at Money Island & the second at Duck Pond, now known as Treasure Lake. Let’s look at the legends & skim the fact from the fiction.
It’s a fact that William Leeds had money. In his will he left 438 acres of land to the county & the Christ Church. This land is where Thompson Park & Brookdale Community College is
today. On the foundation of an old jail (the very jail that once held his friend Moses Butterworth) Leeds built the Christ Church of Middletown.

It’s a fact that Money Island is no more. It’s been excavated to the point where it’s nothing more than a sandbar. If there was treasure on the island it’s long been spent or sent to Davy Jones’ Locker.
It’s a fact that the Army Corps of Engineers surveyed & excavated large sections of Cliffwood Beach a few decades ago. They built up the seawall as if to protect the unfound treasure from the elements. The positioning of their benchmarks is very suspicious.
It’s fiction that Captain Kidd used two gigantic trees as range markers to navigate to the hiding place of the gold. These trees, known as “Kidd’s Rangers” were supposedly at the mouth of the Raritan Creek & atop of Rose Hill in Matawan. There were indeed very large trees in those locations but it’s highly unlikely anyone could use them as markers from the bay. Of course someone did try eventually… & by no small coincidence there’s a small park at the site where the trees would lead a sailor. In fact, the exact center point has been calculated – & an ACoE benchmark labeled PL190 exists there to this day.
It’s a fact that Treasure Lake is just North of this mysterious park – & the actual site of the buried treasure! After Captain Kidd was arrested William Leeds dug up the treasure
& moved it. This is why some coins were found on Money Island. He spread rumors of “Kidd’s Rangers” to throw people off the trail but actually buried it … where X marks the spot! To help guide Kidd back to his treasure Leeds left a clue in the church he built – he carved a cross above the pulpit. The cross represented a prominent feature of the landscape of that time. It has since been replaced with a man-made structure. The treasure hunters of yesteryear got everything right except one crucial detail… they dug in the wrong direction!

Keyport in backgroundIn days gone by treasure hunters found “the cross” & started digging into the sand right on the beach but the base of the cross isn’t telling you where to dig… it’s pointing the right direction to dig! The addition of the benchmarks makes it easier on current treasure seekers. To find the current resting place of Kidd’s treasure you’ll need to locate benchmark PL160 – or the spot it would have been if treasure hunters trying to cover their tracks hadn’t removed it. You’ll need to search the seawall & find the midpoint between PL150 & PL170. From that point, follow the line of the cross 30 feet. You’ll know you are going in the right direction if you pass a smaller vertical cross. Back in Kidd’s day, your “tunnel” would have ended in buried treasure. Today you do not need to dig, as a 30-foot tunnel would come right out the other side of the hill. That spot is where you will find the treasure!

Some may call me a fool for sharing this information, but I trust that you will treat the treasure as the historical artifact that it is & take only a small sampling of the treasure for their own. Do not feel the need to trade swag at this cache. While exploring the seawall be mindful that it’s called Cliffwood beach for a reason. Be careful. Be safe. Have fun.

This cache is certified Central Jersey.
Gold Hot Rodders Cliffwood Beach Ninja Pirate Always Open Go the other way! Yarr. It be purdy. All about the Kidds Park & Walk Pirates! Central Jersey Silver

Why I don’t trust banks… New HouseNews

After my rant about paying off the load early the banks took interest and did the only thing they could to prevent me from paying… they lost the check I mailed to them.

This accomplishes several things:
1) They get to charge me $78 in fees.
2) They get to call and bug my wife.
3) We pay the missing month & next month up-front.
4) Profit.

So they manage to fast-talk us out of paying the extra not just this month but NEXT month as well. Bastards! Well, they messed up… they also sent me a “late” notice and now I have their damn address. Let’s just see them “lose” my next check with the extra several hundred dollars.  I’m sending it Certified.

New Home – Pictures & Dollars New House

First, I’m proud to say that I finally uploaded some dang pictures. Not sure why I waited so long except that I didn’t have the uploader utility installed. 🙂 That’ s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. See pictures here:

Click on the appropriate album and enjoy!

Secondly, I wrote my first check towards the mortgage today. Big Check. Gunna do it for the next 23 years apparently. What? How’d I get a 23 year mortgage? I didn’t! I simply rounded the amount I owed up to the next even thousand. It’s 9% more than what I would have been paying but it chops 7 years and over 75 thousand dollars off of the total that I will have spent over that period. If I choose to also make an extra payment with the year end tax refund I’ll most certainly be getting the loan will be shortened an ADDITIONAL 5 years and I’ll be saving $116,395 over the term. The bank will absolutely hate me and that’s fine. I want them to hate me and sell my loan every other month if it makes them feel better. Know what makes me feel better? One Hundred Sixteen Thousand Three Hundred & Ninety-five dollars. And Seven Cents. I’ll be 50 years old before I get to laugh all the way to the bank with my final payment if this plan stands. 18 years is a long long time to live in one home but you never know. One thing I do know is that I plan on doing a good deal of damage to the principle of this loan over the next few years. There’s an old tradition of displaying an eagle on a home you own. I can’t wait for the day that walk out of the bank, still laughing, and stroll over to the corner Iron Eagle store. I already have a spot picked out on the house. Until that time I’ll be pouring every cent I have (that’s earning less than 6.8%) directly into the house and I’ll have it paid off before I’m 50. You can bank on that.

Excel spreadsheet to show interest savings