(Last updated: 8-19-2019)

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Welcome to my crappy website. It truly is a bootleg bunch of crap, but I don't care. Not at all. I'm not doing it just to entertain you scumbags; I'm doing it because writing is fun but I am too lazy to actually write a real book. Don't laugh because I'm serious.

If you want to know who the hell I am and why I spent my hard-earned $17.99 to register this domain and to share my thoughts with the world then you can click here to find out. I have no update schedule so if you don't like it then you can ggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttt oooooooouuuuuuuuttttttttttttttt!



"I'd tell you the door is unlocked, but I don't have a door anymore." -Gavin's text message to me when he wanted me to bring his vodka from his apartment to the camp for blueberry raking season. (Building under renovations a mess everywhere.)

Click here to check out my bootleg quotes page.

 

ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: Why are you still here? Chances are pretty damn good that I WILL insult you in some fashion if you choose to continue beyond this point. The purpose of this site is to entertain me, and I am often entertained at the expense of others. Therefore, prepare to be slandered. A lot. It's still not to late to leave with your feelings intact!

Monday, 8-19-19: A "FOR SALE" sign should be on the lawn in about a week.
It's barely Monday, and in my mind I'm still calling it Sunday night since it's just a tad after midnight. I worked at the Holyoke house for just over four hours this evening while my awesome wife is working at The Pour House hosting their weekly karaoke. I got the mudroom all sheetrocked with a first coat of mud, and I took care of some other things on the checklist as well. The mudroom/kitchen entry is only about 4.5x12 with two doors and two windows so it didn't take too long to do. Still bye bye a few hours of my precious... precious time and probably $100 in materials cost. Jody recommended I spruce up that mudroom since it's the first thing possible buyers will see and since it looked incredibly bootleg before I started to fix it up.

I think Dakota and I can get the place mostly done this week, at least done enough to have Jody put up a FOR SALE sign and list it officially either this coming weekend or early next week. I have plywood installed in the downstairs hall and living room so hopefully tomorrow Dakota feels like installing the flooring in those two areas. If he can tackle that tomorrow then awesome. He can work on that and I can go into the bootleg cellar and start cleaning and removing old knobs still hanging out from when there was once knob and tube wiring. Thankfully there is no more of that bullshit, but when Jody stopped by on Friday he suggested getting rid of the old stuff anyway. Don't wanna scare off a potential buyer.

^I had to plywood the living room because the subfloor was too bootleg. It was a bunch of crap! It was usable for carpet, but not at all for the nice flooring we are installing.

Speaking of a bunch of crap, on Saturday I had to haul all the old carpet and other debris over to the landfill. This would scare off potential buyers, too:

^What a bunch of crap! I did fit it all into my truck and trailer so bye bye $25 and bye bye old bedbug-infested flooring. (Not sure bedbugs lived in that old carpet and pad, but I'm sure at least some were in there.) I haven't seen any bedbugs at all in that house so hopefully fumigating and ripping out the old flooring made enough of a difference. I needed to rip out all the carpets anyway whether or not there were bedbugs.

Jody plans to list the house FOR SALE at a starting price of $115k. Maybe $114,900? I could try for more, but no sense being greedy the house is a good size but it has almost no yard and a shared driveway with the back neighbors. Hard telling if it will sell quickly or if I will have to sit on it for a few weeks and then do a price-drop. Selling for even close to that asking price would be fantastic. Hopefully all the work we've been doing will entice a prospective buyer to make a serious offer. The place is starting to look pretty good.

If I can sell the house and end up with $100k after Jody's commission and possible other concessions I'll be happy. I only owe $25k on the house so that's $75k for me. Seems like a lot of money, and it is a lot of money. Unfortunately, it will disappear quickly. The Home Depot and Lowe's cards will chew up at least $10k of that ($18k if I decide to pay every dollar off.) The IRS and state will want several thousand in income taxes, too. I might get a newer truck with a plow so bye bye $20-$30k more. I don't need a brand new truck, but I want something a lot newer and with a lot less wear and tear than what I have now. My F150 "only" has 85k miles on it, but it is 9 years old and showing its age. Rusting rocker panels = what a bunch of crap! I'd love to get some 2017 or 2018 model 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck for a fair price.

Another big-ticket cost item on the list will be the garage at North Main. That fuckin' garage is busted and in need of bigtime repairs. I could see that easily costing $20k, but I don't know for sure. The biggest expense will be the earth work getting the thing jacked up with proper footings. I need to get some quotes for that ASAP. I might just demolish the garage and turn it into a parking lot for the businesses if repairs and restorations will cost too much. Unfortunately demolishing that garage will still cost a shitload because just removing the asbestos siding would cost over $3000. What a bunch of crap!

Before I can figure that other stuff out I just need to get Holyoke sold. I'm looking forward to unloading that property and freeing up a lot more of my precious... precious time. I feel like I've worked way too much this year and I want to work less this fall. I still have a lot of work to do this fall, but I'm hoping to spread it out so I don't have too much to work on at once.

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Friday, 8-16-19: Awake at 0400.
All I wanna know is why? Why can I only get a good night's sleep for about 2-3 consecutive nights at most before I have epic failer? I guess I can't call last night a total bust since I did sleep from 2200-0400, 6 hours. Not terrible. I suppose I don't need that much sleep? I dunno, but sleeping until 0600 would have been like a gift from the gods who do not really exist. Getting up too early, especially on a Friday morning when I know I won't bivouac until very late tonight, is a bunch of crap.

I shovelled in some breakfast, I surfed around on the web a little, and now here I am writing my useless thoughts to almost no one. I was seriously considering going over to Holyoke to do some work, but F that I think I will just update this bootleg site and then go back to bed. Maybe I will sleep, maybe I will not sleep, but at least I can try. If I don't sleep then I can try to take a nap after lunch, and if I don't take a nap then oh well it's not that important in my life. I've functioned just fine on much less sleep in the past. Back when I worked at UPS (F that place!) I would have already been at least an hour into my work shift. What a bunch of crap that place was! I miss working there a grand total of ZERO percent.

At Holyoke the upstairs is pretty much done. Not 100%, but damn close. The downstairs is also coming along nicely, and here is a photo of the "master BR" downstairs:

Dakota did that floor while I worked elsewhere in the house. I did need to install new plywood on an upstairs bedroom floor, but thankfully the other rooms upstairs did not need a new plywood subfloor. All the floors upstairs are done, and Dakota has most of a bedroom floor downstairs done as shown above. Today I'll plywood the downstairs hall and living room so he can start those floors at his leisure. After that (Sunday?) I can start cleaning the cellar and sheetrock/tape/mud the smaller kitchen-entry mudroom. I probably should also dig out the grass and weeds and redo the front walkway so it has a little more curb-appeal to a prospective buyer...

^I just did a basic gravel walkway a couple years ago, but I didn't do it right so it filled in with weeds quickly. No landscape fabric underneath to help deter plants. Now it just looks like all lawn there. What a bunch of crap!

I feel confident that by the end of this month we will have Holyoke all done. We might even have it done sooner; I'd love to have it ready to list FOR SALE in 9-10 days. However, I'm not going to work long-ass days just to meet what will be a fluid deadline. Yesterday I made sure I took care of other things (mowing, etc) so I "only" worked at that Holyoke house for about 4 hours. That still left me enough time to quit working at 1530 so I could go for a jog before we had a nice supper. The weather has been great most of this week, and these past two days the humidity has been comfortable so that makes working and jogging a lot more tolerable.

Today I won't work a full day at Holyoke, or anywhere. I'll work this AM and then maybe take a nap after lunch. Or if I do go back to bed shortly and if I do go back to sleep then I can work this afternoon before I quit again around 1530 to go play racquetball. In a perfect world I'll play rball about once every five days on average and then I can jog 2-3 of the days in between. If I play rball too much then I will have tennis elbow issues, and lately my elbow has been much better so I'd like to keep things that way. Earlier in the year I had serious tennis elbow issues because I was doing so much carpentry. Mainly I think the sheetrock sanding and painting caused me the issues. Hammering also. Everything, really. What a bunch of crap!

I always have some paperwork that I can be doing, and shit like this does not help because it wastes my precious... precious time:

^OMG BANK SERIOUSLY?! What a bunch of crap! It was some escrow accounting error overage so they paid me, and I just threw it away because that is ridiculous. Also speaking of ridiculous, we got the new property tax bill for the house and it is now officially over $4000. Closer to $4100 actually. OMG BREWER F THAT. We have a very basic house so all I wanna know is why? Why do the taxes cost so much? This fucking city is too gods damn expensive to live in... gods damn it! We are seriously considering a move to Eddington next year, but that all depends on how the sale of Holyoke goes down. The sooner I can haul on that place the better so I really should go over there and work on it right now.

My awesome wife and I had a great day Wednesday when I took the day off. We went up to the Brownville area to look at some bootleg campground where she will be the DJ for a wedding on September 1st. I was planning to go with her, but I think she will want me to stay here so I can help Dakota run the karaoke show at the Pour House that night. Dakota has been training to be a DJ so hopefully he is confident and ready to run that show in a couple weeks (two weeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssss!) Also on the 1st is Mom's birthday. I know the family is doing a birthday party for her that day, but I won't attend because I will be too busy up here. Hopefully Kat and I can stop in on Tuesday the 3rd on our way back from Boothbay Harbor. We both have appointments down there on the 3rd with the lyme disease doctors. I'm getting tested, and she has a follow-up visit with her lyme doc. She has three different strains of lyme. OMG! Thankfully they have her on a serious antibiotic protocol that might be helping. Maybe? Hopefully.

Also on Wednesday we went to Gulf Hagas and hiked about 3.5 miles up to Screw Auger Falls. The hike was not something I 100% planned when we left the house, but in hindsight I am glad we did it. I was worried the hike would cause her a lot of pain and discomfort the following day, but amazingly she said yesterday she had no pain at all. AWESOME. We've also been able to go for a walk each night this week so she does seem to be doing better overall. I've felt pretty good lately as well, but I still think spending the $400 to get the basic lyme panel is a great investment for me to make since I have been bitten by many ticks over the years and since I have a lot of days where I feel beat and exhausted. Is it old age or is it something else? The lyme test will help me to know one way or the other.

Alright turds, all two of youz who read this bootleg site, I'm gonna go lay back down and see if I can fall asleep for another hour. I guess I'll post this useless blog to the Interweb later since I haven't even uploaded photos of that Holyoke St house yet to post. What a bunch of crap!

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Wednesday, 8-14-19: I'm taking today off gods damn it. Hey a photo of our old apartment from 1982.
I'm not going to work on the bootleg apartments or at Holyoke St today because I want to spend the day with my awesome wife. I'm not 100% sure what we will do yet, but the weather should be great so hopefully we can do some things outside. This morning we'll do some household chores and cleaning, but not just yet because it is not even 0700. While I'm spending the day with my Sweet Pea hopefully Dakota stays motivated and installs flooring over at Holyoke. Tomorrow the upstairs will be all done, and the downstairs is prepped for flooring in the bedrooms. I had to spend precious... precious time dealing with this bullshit:

^Those dark spots are bedbug droppings/residue. What a bunch of crap! That house had a severe bedbug infestation so hopefully the treatments that I have done along with ripping out all the carpets/underlayment/trim will keep the place bedbug-free. I saw a couple of those little mother fuckers yesterday, but they looked dead and stuck in a cobweb. I still sprayed the hell out of them, just in case they were alive. Disappear, scumbag bedbugs!

We had bedbugs in our own house, in the newer addition, but yesterday Modern Pest said none were found. We're on a 6-month treatment plan, and next month is their final month. I really hope I don't need Modern Pest to come over to Holyoke; I'll have a better idea on that when I meet with Jody at the property later this week or next week. He and I will do a walkthrough and he can hopefully give me some good advice and a possible starting selling price before we list it officially FOR SALE in just under a couple weeks from now. List price $109,000? That was his very rough number a few months ago, but back then the place looked like ten pounds of shit stuffed into a five-pound bag because the tenants who lived there were fucking disgusting. They are still fucking disgusting and now I am stuck with them at my other rental house. What a bunch of crap!

The fact those fucking assholes left Holyoke with a bedbug infestation still pisses me off. I won't forget that, and I might haul on them in the near future. However, if I haul on them it will cost a lot more precious... precious money so I'd prefer to see them make it right and stay living where they are now.

^Tenants who leave me bedbugs are EPIC FAILS.

Last week Jason emailed me a link to a real-estate listing. He's not looking to buy anything since they got their beautiful house last fall so I had no clue what he was sending. Turns out our old apartment building, the one we lived in for just about a year wayyyyyy back in 1982/1983 (or 1981/1982 hell I can't friggin' remember), is now for sale:

That is a duplex right on Route 1 in-town Thomaston, and we lived in the upstairs. I barely remember living there because I was only 6-ish years old at the time. I remember walking to second grade at the Laura Libby school, and Dad worked within walking distance of the state prison as a guard. We moved to Maine from Cape Cod, Mass and that decision by Mom and Dad changed everything about who we all are as a family in this world. Imagine if they had decided to stay on Cape Cod? I might never have leaned how to deer hunt. I never would have met any of my current friends, ever. I'd have all different friends and I never would have met my wife or had any of my memorable life-experiences.

Mom and Dad moved away from Cape Cod because that peninsula was becoming too crowded at the time. What was once a quaint and more rural locale was quickly getting discovered and booming. Dad loves to hunt and all his favorite hunting spots on the Cape were turning into strip malls and houses. Somehow the prison job became an option for Dad, and wow he ended up working there for 30+ years. He started off as a guard and advanced up to running one of the premiere firearms programs in the entire state. He really knows his firearms, and he actually writes books and articles now in that field of study. I should read more of his stuff, but I am a shitty son and find myself doing other things instead. What a bunch of crap!

We only lived in that apartment for a brief period in life before Mom and Dad got the house in Warren. That house on Highland Ave in Warren was my real childhood home; the apartment pictured above was just a way-station on the road of my life. it amazes me that, all these years later, Mom and Dad still live at that same house on Highland Ave in Warren.

Alright turds, all two of youz, I need to go do other things now. I'll spend some time tomorrow and Friday working on that Holyoke St house so hopefully when I update this pile of shit next time I'll have more updated photos. Goonies never say die!

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Sunday, 8-11-19: Some Holyoke photos.
Holyoke St is coming along nicely, but it is not even close to done. Dakota has been helping with paint and flooring, and the upstairs should be done this week. I just got back from working over there tonight, and it is close to midnight now. My awesome DJ wife is working her usual gig at the Pour House and I decided not to go because I can get my work done instead. Plus I don't really care for that bar too much. I did help her all day yesterday for a wedding down in Gouldsboro at a quaint little inn-place. She has a lot of weddings these next couple months so most of our Saturdays will be long days.

I will have to work some on the downstairs at Holyoke this week because I need to address this major issue:

^Epic rot! That joist is in very bad shape, and it really can't hold up the floor above it much anymore. I bought a 2x8x10 today so I can sister it and jack it up with a post that I already have so hopefully a $10 piece of lumber and a few dollars worth of nails and bolts gets me back where I need to be with that mess. Here is the toilet and vanity above:

It looks way worse in person than it does in the photo. It is a bunch of crap! I don't need it to be perfectly level, but I want it to look a lot more presentable than that shit-show. I figure there is a 50% chance it could turn into much more work and require my loser ass to rebuild the entire bathroom floor there. It wouldn't cost a shitload of money, but it would eat up that precious... precious time that I often lack.

I'm glad I worked there tonight because I feel like I might actually be a little ahead of my informal schedule for the place. I installed subfloor in one of the upstairs bedrooms and prepped for the new floor. Today Dakota did a floor in the other upstairs bedroom while I dropped $530 at Lowe's for plywood and sheetrock. I only need 5 pieces of sheetrock for the kitchen mudroom. I want that to look nice since it will be the first thing a prospective buyer will see. I should install that later this week so I can mud and tape it, get it painted, and throw in a simple drop-ceiling by the end of next week, just before I hopefully can have Jody officially list it for sale.

When Dakota was doing the floor upstairs he found a very ususual item in the heat-vent, especially coming from a child's bedroom...

^OMG WTF IS THAT?! It is a hilarious little penis-thing. I'm guessing it could have been in that vent for many years, long before a little kid used that as a bedroom, but who knows with the bedbug, gross-ass tenants who were living there. Dakota left me an awesome note that I saw immediately after losing to Deno at racquetball. What a great find and an even better note. AHAHAHAHAHA! What a funny bunch of crap!

I'm hoping to start getting back to "normal" this week. Blueberry raking always takes a chunk out of the routine, but since that is over I'd like to get back into doing yoga, using my gym, playing rball, and jogging. Not all four every day because that might send me right to a grave, but a enough of all four that I feel like I'm getting solid exercise. My poor wife will likely struggle just to do yoga for the time being because she is working and she has lupus, lyme, and bartonella (cat scratch fever.) OMG I FEEL TERRIBE AND EVEN WORSE THERE IS NO EASY FIX WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! She should not even be working, but she loves to do it and the money does help keep a roof over our heads...

My awesome wife has to be on antibiotics for nearly 6 friggin' months. Plus she needs to reduce sugar intake, gluten intake, and in general eat less tasty and more healthy foods. There is no 100% diet restriction for her, but from what we've been told and read a healthy diet can make a substaitial difference. I don't eat terribly, but even I could use some improvement in the food choices. We did have a nice healthy meal earlier, but then we each had a piece of Ninja Turtle cake. What a bunch of crap!

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Friday, 8-09-19: Getting back to normal after raking.
Dakota and I went down to Appleton/Union to blueberry rake yesterday for what could possibly be my final day as a blueberry raker, ever. Dakota has never blueberry raked before, and he has never even seen a blueberry field. I tried to convince Gavin to come along, but he is now retired (for now hehehe) since he had to get back to his "real" job. It's for the best that G didn't come since the raking wasn't great and since the weather was a giant bunch of crap. It was BAD. We were expecting some heavy rain to taper to showers, but the heavy rain lasted for the majority of the morning and we both got 100% drenched. We had HEAVY rain for a while, the heaviest rain I have ever worked outside in. Oh well it made for an interesting day, but it did suck when we had to hole up in the truck just to shovel in some lunch. The weather finally did improve slightly in the PM, but by then Dakota was feeling the blueberry raking back pain...

^He is tired.

^Then he is wondering why he didn't stay up in Brewer to install flooring for me instead of going blueberry raking in a tropical deluge. Hahahaha. Today he didn't even do any flooring for me because his back was so sore. My back is also sore as is the rest of my bootleg body. What a bunch of crap!

We got so much rain up here yesterday that our own roof leaked around the mocrowave/oven vent hood and good friends of ours had their cellar flood. I thought for sure I would have issues at the rentals, but the only thing I saw was a lot of moisture in the Holyoke St house cellar. I think a shitload of water washed through that basement yesterday and then drained out. That cellar does have some moisture issues so I will be glad to haul on the place. Hopefully a potential buyer doesn't bail when he or she sees that bootleg "Silence of the Lambs" friggin' cellar. I will have to put some work into that basement to hide its many flaws.

I gots a little kitten here trying to drink my coffee brandy and milk. I guess I should shut that shit down. I don't know the cat's name because I suck. The kitten is cute, but really not my thing. We have two kittens in the house; one belongs to Katherine but she has a habit of getting a pet and then giving no fucks about it. First was a rabbit next was a dog now it's a cat and the same thing happens over and over again. The rabbit bit her (hilarious) the dog was an asshole, and the cat does what it wants when it wants including trying to drink my booze.

xssssssssssssssssssssssssssssxs Ok the cat just tried to help me update this bootleg site that no one will ever read. He really just stood on my keyboard while I protected my booze. Kat wants me to go to the bar, but I don't want to go just yet. I'm gonna finish this bootleg update and watch some of the Red Sox and then head on down. I never get to do my own thing anymore, and sometimes that pisses me off. JD Martinez just hit a home run so now it is 11-4 Red Sox. Unofrtunately they lost 7 in a row when we were blueberry raking so that is a bunch of crap. Now their season is close to being over; there is only a very slim playoff hope at this point for them. Good hitting, bad pitching.

I don't even want to go to Jester's tonight, I just want to go to bed. I am sick of Jester's, and last week when I was camping and blueberry raking I missed that place a grand total of ZERO percent. Some of the people who go there are awesome, but overall the place gets repetitive and there are a couple retards there who just piss me off. They really are retards, too. I know saying RETARD is wrong these days, but I don't give a fuck if you go down there and drink water and offer nothing and take up precious... precious space and then act like an asshole then fuck you very much. If you act like an asshole in general then fuck you, but if you are a paying customer and act like an asshole then at least thank you for helping to keep the place in business.

I might not take a day off for a while to come. I have my own work to do, and all this month my awesome wife works Fri, Sat, and Sun so I will help her at least some on those nights. The Saturday gigs are the longest and require the most effort since they are weddings. it will be a 12-hour day for tomorrow's wedding and that is a bunch of crap. For as much as we work and for as much as we put into our bank account I think we have issues. We're not on the verge of bankruptcy, but we should have more than we do. Where does it all go? Damn mortgage, utilities, phones, food, pets, etc. Bye bye precious... precious money. What a bunch of crap!

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Wednesday, 8-07-19: One more day of raking. Ever?
I got back home yesterday midafternoon after raking for Cliff in Gushee's field for 5 hours. I raked 48 boxes so at $3.75 per box that is some decent money. Gavin stayed longer into the day and raked 66, and that is now the season daily high total. I raked 63 the day prior, and since yesterday was Gavin's final day as a raker I wanted him to go out with the lead. Years ago Cliff used to have a "race day" where he would put the power-rakers in great raking and see who did the most, but these days with a tiny 4-person crew (5 including Cliff) that shit doesn't even matter.

It seems very likely that Gavin and I are done with blueberry raking. I am not 100% officially retiring, but next year Cliff does not have a field and does not plan to rake. The year after that is still a possibility, but we told Cliff not to plan for us anymore. He is still a great worker and raker himself, but he just turned 69 and father time will get us all. Can't fight that one, ever. Cliff has been slowly downsizing his blueberry operation so we have seen this day coming for quite some time. We never knew exactly when it would be, but it is not unexpected.

^Cliff raking a row yesterday just before I left. The raking at Gushee's has been very good over the past three days so we are lucky to end on a sort-of high note in terms of the field we get to rake.

It was a weird feeling breaking down camp yesterday morning because it was final. Last year of camping and raking after an amazing run of 16 consecutive years. I do plan to drive down tomorrow to help Cliff, Phil, and Rachel try to finish most of the field. Plus as an added bonus I should be able to make a couple hundred bucks. Dakota wants to go so he can help cover the ground in place of Gavin (whose vacation is over and who has to be back to work at his job.) However, Dakota has never raked blueberries before so who knows how he will do. He certainly has the work ethic for it, but it takes a special kind of delerious nutball to actually succeed at blueberry raking. Not only is it arduous physically but it is also a serious mental challenge. You have to put yourself in the right frame of mind for the times when the raking is bad and it takes seemingly forever to fill one box.

My first ever bootleg update about blueberry raking was wayyyy back in 2005. I wrote about the "Excalibur" rake which was a novelty item back then, and I also wrote this that pretty much sums up the highs and lows of being a blueberry raker:

My buddy, Gavin, and I camped out for the week and we lived a life of drinking some beer, doing some blueberry raking, and hanging out last week. The first day of raking started out pretty badly when we awoke to pouring rain on Monday morning. That was a bunch of crap! The rain did end so we got to the fields a couple hours later than we had wanted, and when we arrived everything was still drenched. Then we discovered the first field we had to rake was some total piece of trash that had a lot of weeds and that had been raked just last year. What a bunch of crap! Fields are supposed to be harvested every other year in order to maximize yield, but I guess the owners wanted to harvest it again so they could syncronize it with the surrounding fields. I'm still not sure why we had to do that, but it sucked because we didn't make much money at all. The crew boss, Cliff, felt so badly we had to rake it that he decided to pay us $3 a box instead of the normal $2.50!

Tuesday wasn't any better because we were still in the shitty field so after working a couple hours for a mere 5 boxes I got frustrated and I took an hour break to go drink beer. After a couple PBRs I was ready to get back to work so I did a few more before lunch and several more after lunch. I ended the day with only 19 boxes, the worst total in the history of my life as an adult raker for one day's work. (I have had days with fewer boxes in previous years, but I only worked in the morning on those days.) Fortunately we got done with that horrible field and went on to rake better fields in the following days. I raked 75 boxes on Thursday, the most I've ever done in my life! It took me about 10 hours of work, though. Prior to that I had never worked so many hours in one day in the fields, but we took plenty of breaks so I don't feel like I killed myself. Being in the blueberry fields isn't all hard work because we take enough breaks to joke around with the crew and drink water, eat food, maybe drink a beer, ect. Of course the only way to make money is to get motivated so there is plenty of hard work involved as well.

I believe that was only our second year of raking for Cliff, and back then we were far from having it locked in like we do now. No canopy to protect camp from the rain, no solid plan for food for the week, no firewood so we had to buy it, etc. We had many awesome days together on the blueberry field, and Monday night Gav asked me what my favorite raking moment was. That was a damn hard one to answer, but my first thought was the time Cliff's daughter(s) and their teenage friends were squirting each other with water and Phil said "Wet tee shirt contest!" It was gods damned hilarious because Phil is a little older than Gav and I so we must have all been in our 30s and the girls were maybe only mid teens. He didn't mean it as a pervert he is married with kids, but it was just still hilarious.

We also brought Tommy with us for a couple of the years and had fun with him. Phil (my friend not raking Phil) came down and raked one day, my own wife blueberry raked back in 2014, and Gavin ended up dating one of Cliff's daughters for a long time. In fact she showed up to the field to rake this year, but she only lasted for 7 boxes before she left. Turns out she felt uncomfortable after Gavin flipped her the middle finger and made fun of her shoes. She dumped him and treated him like a piece of shit last year just before raking so she deserved it and I'm glad he pissed her off. We did need a 6th raker, though.... What a bunch of crap!

I sincerely will miss raking, and it will be weird next year around August 1 when I am not either starting or in the middle of a blueberry harvest. There is something about blueberry raking that makes me who I am, and now it will be gone. However, blueberry raking takes its toll and I am feeling the pain more than ever this season. My right arm has been going numb a bit and I think I have a mild left forearm strain. My back is sore and so is everthing else. I used the "Excalibur" rake for 10 boxes a few days ago and I was so sore after that I almost had to stop raking for a while. What a bunch of crap! Several years ago I could use the Ex for most or all of a day. Now I mostly use a high-handled 90-tooth rake and even that puts a hurt on my ass. Hopefully a day of rest today will have me ready for one final blowout day as a raker tomorrow. I'll stop tomorrow at 65 boxes so Gavin can still be the champ with 66 for a daily total. Hehehehe.

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Thursday, 8-01-19: Home for a little bit before more raking.
I am briefly home, and that was not part of the original plan. We were supposed to be camping and blueberry raking and approximately in the middle of our season. Unfortunately it got fucked away when we got late-word that the field we want to rake was not ready. Gushee said it was not ripe enough, and when we got that news we were pulling in to set up camp. What a bunch of crap! Cliff did let us rake in his dog-shit second-crop field for the past couple days, but we decided to come home and to skip the bad raking in order to get better raking starting either later tomorrow or Saturday.

We didn't leave to screw over the boss. He agreed that sending us home made the most sense for him since he needs a crew for Gushee's field and Gavin and I are half his crew. Not even joking either; there are only a few rakers. Gavin worked today, he will work tomorrow, and he is now taking next Monday and Tuesday off next week for what should be decent raking at Gushee's field. The change worked better for me as well because I could hang out with my amazing wife (GOOD) and replace a totally clogged toilet (BAD.) That hopper was pwned, and I was not going to call a plumber when the thing kept clogging. The entire toilet needed replacement so by doing it myself today I saved a couple hundred over the cost if I hired it out. It was a fucking nasty job. Since I couldn't auger out a jam I had to dig out my old shop-vac and then throw away the vacuum after. Thankfully it was an old bootleg vacuum that I never used anyway.

I am tired and will bivouac soon. Kat and Dakota went to do a bit of karaoke, and I didn't want to go so here I am. I didn't really plan to update this bootleg site that almost no one reads, but it will help me wind down before I go to sleep shortly. The raking for the first two days in Cliff's field was fucking terrible, and I am glad we came home. Plus it was brutally hot with temps close to 90 and dew points of 70-ish. Epic humid. Bad raking and extreme heat = terrible production. 22 boxes for me Tuesday, 15 yesterday. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP THAT IS. I had the most raked of anyone so that makes it worse. Cliff did pay us $6 per box, but it stil was not worth it. We will get less per box at Gushee's, but we will rake 3-4 times as many boxes. It shouldn't be as hot either so that will help. Temps still low 80s, but less humidity. Maybe? Hopefully!

I am short on time so won't write much more. We did come close to dying last night at camp when a severe thunderstorm gave us a direct hit. It was all bad and gods damned scary. I've never seen anything like it before. The winds cranked up in a hurry, marble-sized hail started falling sideways, and then within moments trees started falling down. Big trees, too. I am not joking about that. Our camp (that we have through next Monday night) is set up under some questionable trees, and branches were coming down left and right. Gavin actually watched a huge tree fall on the other side of the ball field. We scrambled into the truck, but I fell down and got sap all over me while I got soaked from rain and pelted by hail. For a brief period of time there was no visibility either. What a bunch of crap!

^Our campsite. The trees in the photo that are tipped over by the fire pit were not knocked down by the storm. As you can see we are surrounded by trees so we got lucky that no big tree fell on us.

The violent storm passed quickly, but it did huge damage. Trees down all over the place with some campers damaged. Thankfully no one we know of was hurt. It was not full there being a midweek. Power was out all night and this morning, but we didn't really need power. Hopefully that huge hail didn't hit the blueberry field or else that might be game over. Hail on a field is no joke and can be crippling. The field was 6 miles away and it was a smaller storm (on radar) so we are hoping for the best. We'll know for sure either tomorrow PM or Saturday AM.

Whether or not we rake at all tomorrow depends on how Gavin's day goes. He might get off work early or he might work til later in the day. We rode home together since we live so close and we will ride back together tomorrow. The raking has been awful, but at least the camping part has been fun. Except for when we almost died that was a bunch of crap. The end.

 


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