I just got back from watching the new batman movie. WOW! I really liked that movie. It was 2 1/2 hours long but kept me glued to the screen. Heath Ledger’s performance was a definite highlight. Check it out if you haven’t already. The crowds have calmed down too. I tried to go last Monday night to the late shows (10:20, 10:50) and the 10:20 was sold out. I went to the 10:50 showing tonite and there were about 10 people in the theater.

Ryan Baker’s Mortgage Blog

Ryan’s Mortgage Blog:
Quick update before I get to some tax write off tips. Straight from Yahoo news desk….
“many economists predict the Fed will probably leave a key interest rate alone when it meets next on Aug. 5 — given all the economic crosscurrents. Boosting rates to fend off inflation would hurt the fragile economy and the already crippled housing market. On the other hand, the Fed isn’t inclined to lower rates because that would aggravate inflation.”
I know some may think it’s a bit late for some tax tips, OR maybe you’ll just be thankful it’s early for next year. Before I list the tips, I have a small disclaimer…I am not a tax professional and this information may not reflect current tax year rules and regulations. Please consult with your tax attorney for current regulations.

– One of the advantages of owning your own home is that the home mortgage interest and real estate taxes paid can be deducted from your federal income tax. To do so, you’ll need to comply with current tax laws and complete the appropriate federal tax forms and itemized deduction schedules. For your home mortgage interest to be deductible, it must be for a first or second mortgage, a home improvement loan or a home equity loan.
– Points (aka loan origination fees, loan discount, or discount points) are generally treated as pre-paid interest and, as such, the full amount can be deducted in the year paid on a purchase transaction. On a refinance, points must be deducted over the term of the loan.
– State or local real estate taxes can be deducted from your income if they are paid in the tax year. To qualify, the tax must be levied on the property’s assessed value, the taxing authority must charge a uniform rate for properties in its jurisdiction, and the tax must not be for your special privilege but for the benefit of the general welfare.
– Non-deductible items can include: Most settlement costs, including appraisal fees, notary fees, VA funding fees, and mortgage preparation costs. Insurance, Utilities and Depreciation are also non-deductible.

If you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at RBaker@PeregrineLending.com or 805-540-0866.

So I may have found the best dinner deal on a Tuesday night. At the McLintock’s saloons (Paso, SLO, AG) you can get a half chicken, salad, beans, bread, and choice of potato for $7.95. They start serving at 5 and have the special until they run out. I saw my neighbors there tonite and they said they came at 6:20 last week and they were out (needless to say they got there a bit earlier tonite!).

I’m planning on going to the “Golden’s in the Park” tomorrow at Laguna Lake Park. It’s a benefit for Wood’s Humane Society and should be interesting to see all sorts of Golden Retrievers in one place. I’ll be bringing my golden, Chip, too! If you’re around SLO tomorrow, you should stop by. It’s from Noon – 3.

It was time for an upgrade of my computer and this is my first blog post from my new Dell XPS with Vista. Vista wasn’t really what I wanted but Dell only offers a few models with an XP option these days and I wanted to get a quad processor to speed up photo and video editing. So, I thought I’d give it a try rather than spending time figuring if I could get all the drivers to reinstall XP on it.

I thought I’d give the “Easy Transfer” program a try which was supposed to make it easy to copy over my files and settings from my old XP computer to Vista. I tried copying over the network but after running it overnight, realized that something was messing up and it wasn’t going to do it. So, I then went to find an “Easy Transfer” cable which was a USB cable you hook between the old and new computer. I ran down to WalMart last night as they had the cable on their website but the Arroyo Grande store didn’t have it. I then went to Radio Shack, walked in, and was about half way into the store when a girl came up to me and told me they were closed. Since there were other people in the store I asked what time they closed and she said 8:30. My cell phone said 8:31 but I didn’t want to hassle trying to get her to let me just get the cable and buy it so I went to Office Max. They didn’t carry it either so I drove to Best Buy in SLO. They had the cable! I went home, tried the transfer overnight last night and when I checked this morning, it wasn’t doing any better than trying to update over the network.

So, I used an external hard drive, stored my Outlook settings and archive mails and transferred it this way. Luckily that worked!

There are other hiccups I ran into. I like my old keyboard better than the new one but the new Dell’s only have USB connectors on them now (no round keyboard connectors anymore). I was also surprised to find that they don’t ship computers with parallel ports on them anymore either. My black and white HP laser printer is a parallel printer.

Oh well…I know anytime you mess with computers you’re bound to run into something that takes 20x the amount of time you thought it was going to take.

If you’re a Starbucks customer, you don’t have to worry about having fewer store choices. None of the 600 stores Starbucks is closing are on the Central Coast.

Here’s a map of the ones they are closing in California