(Last updated: 3-17-2018)
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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 $14.99 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!
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!
Saturday, 3-17-18: Happy St. Patrick's Day you
I have the weekend off from JH again. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I thought I might play some racquetball, but Gav is out of town and Deno is sick so I guess it's my gym or nothing. Ah well, maybe I will play tomorrow if Deno feels better. For the first weekend in what seems like forever I really don't have much on the "to do" list. At least nothing that needs urgent attention. The last week at work was relatively slow, and getting a giant nor'easter midweek did not help business at all. We got a massive 23" of heavy, wet snow Tuesday PM into Wednesday. What a bunch of crap! The dogs loved it, but me not so much. I haven't gotten the plow bill for that one yet, but it will be a big bill. I'm guessing I'll get charged for 3 plows for that one storm.
It took me about two hours to clean up the snow. Our driveway, with Dillon, Debbie, and Katherine's help, took over an hour then I had to shovel some around my office/gym rentals. The snowblower was a HUGE help for our own driveway, but it still took a very long time.
There is now only one month left of tax season. I'll most likely work 5 days a week for the next four weeks then the final Monday and Tuesday April 16th and 17th. That's 22 potential work days left, and I need to do 65 more to reach my personal goal of 301. Three per day should be do-able; I just looked at my tally from last year (did 308, but was paid bonus for 322 so my own count was a tad low) and I did 89 in the final month of the season. If I do that again then Oh Jesus hell ya! Our own taxes are done and filed as of a week or two ago, and we owe $1445 to the IRS and $328 to Maine. The balance due would have been more, but a pending IRA contribution will offset our taxable income.
For at least the past few years I haven't paid what I owe to the IRS until a day or two before the deadline. Actually, there were a couple or three years that I didn't even pay the total amount due until the summer. One year I don't think I paid my entire balance due until late in the fall. What a bunch of crap that was! Thankfully this year, thanks to the sale of my bootleg Bangor duplex, I can afford to pay it a month early. It is a good feeling being caught up on the bills. I hope to keep it that way.
Tuesday, 3-13-18: Major blizzard. Again. Epic
When I got to work at 1100 there was no snow yet. I didn't expect to have jack friggin' shit for customers today, but I have actually done two tax returns and had a guy come in with some questions. Katherine is off work at 1530 so I'll pick her up in a bit; my shift here in my bootleg tax office will end around 1515. Right now there is already an inch or more of snow so I'm thinking the drive to Hannaford to pick her up and then to home will suck. Thankfully it's only a few miles of in-town driving.
The storm is expected to slowly meander north before it blows itself apart during the day tomorrow; we could still be getting acumulating snow tomorrow during the day. What a bunch of crap! I really hope we don't get two feet of snow because that much snow sucks to deal with. We got a 2-footer February of last year, and that was a bunch of crap. Back then I didn't have a snowblower so we had to epic shovel. Kat also had to get one of our neighbors to help plow because it was too much to shovel. I was gonna have my plow guy do it for us, but he no-showed. (He got terminated and I have a new, better plow company this season.)
I guess at this point half my wintertime bootleg updates that no one ever reads are my bitching about the weather. What a bunch of crap! I saw in the news we've already had 87" of snow this season, and after this one I guess we'll be over 100" with time left to tally more. Our average for a season is around 75-80" so needless to say my plow bills are excessive. Pwned. Rents will go up this spring/summer.
Including the two I did today I am up to about 230 paid bonus tax returns done for the season. That is slightly ahead of where I was a year ago, and I think as long as I work at least 4 days a week from here on out I will get to my goal of 301. Last year I finished at 322 so less than that is really a failure of sorts, but I'll be fine with "only" 301. The 300+ number is important because it marks a substantial bonus level reached. If I stay on my current track I think I'll get to 330-350. Not bad! I'll probably end up working 5 days a week for most of the 5 remaining weeks because the boss somehow thinks having me on duty is what is best for business. I sure fooled her! Hehehehe.
This week looks like I'll finish at 4.5 days because staying here til close would just be stupid. It will be NASTY outside later, especially from about suppertime into the night.
Poor Dad, he was supposed to have a hip replacement surgery today, but it was cancelled due to the blizzard and pushed all the way back to April 10th. What a bunch of crap! That really messes up their plans because Mom has a good chunk of this month off from work (toy store in Camden, season hours not much winter business this time of year) so the logistics of keeping and eye on Dad after his surgery will be a challenge. No doubt I will spend some time down there after tax season visiting and/or helping as needed.
Sunday, 3-11-18: FOR RENT.
My choices are to either just replace all four electric water tanks with brand new ones or to do a single-unit natural gas tank to feed the whole building. Replacing the four tanks with new ones would cost about $1600, and tenants would continue to pay for their own hot water. If I install a larger 75-gallon natural gas tank then I pay for the hot water, and I have to pay Bruce a few hundred or more for upgraded plumbing and venting. However, I can get a single tank for as low as $900 so that leaves $700 for Bruce and for B-venting. Plus I can raise rents since tenants will no longer be paying for their relatively expensive hot water. Gas hot water is cheaper than electric by a lot.
Edit: I am back and I actually met with Bruce around lunchtime! I texted him to see when we could meet, and things fell into place perfectly because he had some time at lunch so he took a look and gave me a few suggestions. I wasn't even expecting to meet with him until much later this month so score for me. He also was able to connect with Gavin since he and I both have a lot of work to do at our neighboring properties. I think I'll have Bruce start things for me at the very end of this month or early April, and I will hope like hell I don't have a blowout between now and then.
There are two water heaters that I am considering. First is an atmospheric vent 75-gallon unit that sells for $879.99 plus tax. I like the price of the water heater, but the atmospheric venting means I would have to spend $200-$300 on B-venting and run it from the basement up through two closets and out the roof. That's at least 30, maybe 40 feet of B vent. F that! I could do it myself (mostly), but it would be very labor-intensive.
The second water heater, and the one that I am most likely going to order, is this one:
Both units are sold at Lowe's, but the one pictured above is a power-vented unit that does not require such extensive B-venting. Bruce can run a PVC vent right out the side of the building, just a few feet, and he already suggested the best place to run it. Bruce can do that much quicker, and at a lower materials cost than B-venting with the first option. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Not necessarily. I have been doing reading at various spurts on the difference in operating costs between the atmospheric and the power-vented units. There is no difinitive answer online about which one costs less to operate annually, but in general the atmospheric would cost less because it requires no electricity and no fan. However, there is a flip side to the atmospheric. Air can back-draft down the vent and compromise the air quality inside. Plus cold air can infiltrate. Lowe's actually lists the atmospheric annual cost at $400, and the power-vent one at $351. All I wanna know is why? Why does the power vent one cost less? I think it should be the other way around, but I guess the $49 per year, $4 per month, is not a huge difference overall. Since the power-vented unit has more moving parts it could fail sooner than an atmospheric unit, too. It also won't work in a power outage, but oh well to that because the ones there now also don't heat water in a power outage since they are electric.
The operating costs per year posted online means almost nothing to me because fuel costs vary. It is good to have a benchmark number, though. Bottom line is one single gas unit will cost a lot less for the entire building than will four separate electric units, one for each of the four apartments there now. The electric units cost several hundred a year each to run so that savings to tenants will offset my planned rent increases. If I do $30 more per month per apartment then that is $120 more a month for me. That is $1440 a year. Not bad! Even if it does cost me half that just in operating costs (very likely could) then I still end up ahead, and the entire upgrade will pay for itself in under three years. ($1200 for the unit, $800 for Bruce give or take.)
Getting back to my old apartment, the run-down and dumpy-looking place was $545 a month with heat included way back in September, 1998 when Doug, Jon, and I moved in. I'm renting it now for $960 a month, and I am advertising it at $1045 a month (with $25 off for timely rent payments so really $1020 for a responsible tenant.) Not quite double what it was from almost 20 years ago, but close. I actually think I will have several parties interested when I do give it a good advertising push, too. Over the years it has become a very nice apartment thanks to all the upgrades that I have done. Plus the current tenant is great about taking care of things and keeping it very clean. That helps for showings that I will schedule in the very near future.
I was going to advertise the apartment at $1015 with $25 off for timely rent payment so $990, but with the planned water heater upgrade I think the $30 more is quite fair. I hope! It is all just projecting, and I have to do it well or else it financially pwns me in the end. I have checked what other places are going for, and I feel like I am ok on my asking price.
Speaking of financially pwned in the end, here is another $400 plowing bill. $100 of that is for Gavin, though. He was in Atlanta for work last week when the last big snowstorm hit so he had to pay my plow people to plow his driveway. What a bunch of crap! I could have snowblowed it for him, but F that it would have taken a long time and I had my best friend/awesome wife in the hospital so that was the least of my worries.
Another big storm is coming Tuesday. Epic fail winter. Thank the gods who do not really exist that I hauled on my Bangor duplex so I actually have money to pay for all this stuff.
Saturday, 3-10-18: A surgery and a snowstorm.
Wednesday was a very long day because we had to report to the nearby hospital at 0530 to get checked in. The surgery started around 0800, and it took 5.5 hours to do the "ablation." Thankfully modern medical technology is a wonder so they did not need to cut her open. They inserted tubes through her femoral artery right up into her heart, and they essentially burned the part of the heart that was causing the PVCs. Sounds all bad to me, but they know what they are doing. Unfortunately for Kat, she had to be awake for most of the surgery so her heart would actually keep having the PVCs and they could identify the problem area. Needless to say that was not comfortable for her at all, and I feel badly that she had to go through it.
I finally got to see my best friend/wife around 1430 Wednesday, and thankfully at the time there were no PVCs. Unfortunately, some PVCs started sneaking back in so she is not 100% PVC-free yet. Poor Kat was very tired and overall beat from the very long, arduous surgery. I think the doctors did their best to be helpful and to fix her heart 100%, but from the way they described the process it tends to be somewhat of a guessing game because the heart is a very complex organ with lots of nodes and other highly functional moving parts. The heart is a fascinating organ.
I think that photo above (that I mooched from a basic Google search) is simple compared to all the actual stuff that is in a heart.
Kat spent the night in the CCU convalescing, and I spent as much time with her as possible. Unfortunately she had a "semi-private" room with just a curtain between her and some other lady so that kinda sucked. Plus the other lady was loud and stayed up late making noise so my poor wife got jack shit for sleep. What a bunch of crap! I actually slept at home Wednesday night because I felt there wasn't much room for me there, and plus we had a huge nor'easter incoming. It started snowing around bedtime Wednesday night with 12-18" total forecast snow. What a bunch of crap! I thought I'd wake up Thursday morning to a foot of snow, but thankfully there was "only" about a half a foot. Still enough to need to snowblow and shovel before I left to go back to the hospital. Thursday morning was a whiteout with very heavy snow so the 2-mile drive to the hospital was a bunch of crap. Thankfully EMMC is very close to the house, just across the Penobscot. As the crow would fly it's probably less than one mile away.
Kat was discharged from the hospital around noon, and by then the snow had let up a bit. We actually didn't get too much snow during the day Thursday after about 0830, but the storm lingered all day and gave us a few more inches into the evening so I'd say we ended up with a foot of heavy, wet snow. It was a big storm with a long duration so I'm nearly certain I'll be charged for two plows. What a bunch of crap! Another storm is possible Tuesday, too. This winter has been like a turd that will not flush, but thankfully lately there has been no brutally extreme cold air. Just overall way too much snow so the plowing bill is outrageous. Gods damn it.
I have the weekend off so I can spend some time hanging out with my awesome wife. I'll step out for a bit to lift some weights and to play racquetball, but I plan to be home for the majority of the time. Then next week it's back to the grind, M-F for a scheduled 40 hours at JH. There are only about five weeks left in the tax season. Even though I do like the tax job I'll be happy when it is over. The end of tax season is also the end of winter. Oh Jesus hell ya to that!
Hopefully Kat starts improving this weekend. She is still feeling beat from the entire surgery. They want her to take more meds, and that is a bunch of crap so she will try to recover without them and see how it goes. It is a letdown that she has had some PVCs still, but so far the frequency of them seems less. I am grateful to the doctors and the staff for the ablation because, even though the outcome is not ideal so far, the alternative was much worse in the long-run.
Saturday, 3-03-18: Almost time to go to the bar.
Kat also worked last night, but I did not spend much time at the bar. After I helped her set up I went over to Gavin's to hang out for a bit and to help him do his taxes. He could probably just throw it all together himself on the Interweb, but sadly I talked him into buying his own personal money pit so because of the rental property stuff his is more complex. That building, what a financial black hole is has been for him since he bought it about four years ago. I still feel a little guilty and I feel like I owe him because I talked him into buying it. What a bunch of crap!
Gavin is such a good guy. He bought me a $230 racquet for helping him do his taxes so now I feel like I owe him even more. It only takes an hour or two to do his taxes so he always gives me more than I deserve because that is how he rolls. Hopefully in the spring and summer he will let me work on his house with him for free because I feel I owe him a lot. He plans to do a new roof as well as tons of interior work in the coming months. The building is a 3-unit, but the back apartment has been vacant for most of the time that he has owned the place because of extensive renovations. Doesn't help that our foundation contractor died last year either. What a bunch of crap that was! I still dunno how Bob died, but my guess is he was doing something really dumb.
^From July, 2014. Kat and I had just recently started dating then, and Bob had also done some foundation work for me at my Chamberlain St duplex. I said this of Bob during that bootleg crappy update:
"Bob, our foundation "contractor" is such a jiblet-head! Gavin and I have hired him for about $27,000 worth of work in the past year+. I've had him do $12,000 and Gavin is around $15,000. OMG! Plus the guy has had other work so all I wanna know is why? Why is he always broke? His van died/got repoed/whatever so lately he's been conducting his "empire" out of a rented UHaul truck. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He was driving around some old, half-rusted out Subaru wagon but then the brakes on that car died while he was driving around in Bangor. He was telling us how "He almost fucking died!" HAHAHHAA! He also gouged the hell out of the side of that car when he was texting and driving and drove into a guard rail. HAHAHAHAHA! Epic fail!"
Okay now that Bob did die that last paragraph seems somehow morbid and wrong. He died in a vehicle crash, too. No joke. Poor Bob, he was a collossal fuck-up in many ways, but he did a great job on the foundation work at our own house in 2015 so he seemed to be heading in the right direction in life.
The entire back section of Gavin's house was pwned back then. There were rotting boards and the entire thing was sinking into the ground. Now is looks great even though it is still unfinished.
I was telling Kat earlier about how long Gav and I have been friends and about how when we were seniors in high school I would ride to and from school with Gav in his red Oldsmobile (Cutlass Supreme?) and occasionally chip in for gas. After school Gav would come to the house, Mom would have snacks for us, and we would play video games. Mostly we played Bases Loaded for the NES and I would be LA. Wales was a beast. I won like 99% of the time, but we had fun. Now Gav wins 99% of the time when we play Rball so what goes around comes around!
^God I loved Bases Loaded. I dominated that game. It was innovative because I think it was one of the first Nintendo games that had voices. The ump would say things like ball, strike, out. They made a Bases Loaded II and I believe also a Bases Loaded III, but F those games the original is the boss. The players in the field looked like little pixelated bean bags. It was the best!
By today's standards the graphics were terrible, but for me they were great and still are great. If you think 80s video game graphics are too crappy then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more.
Wales was the cleanup hitter for LA and hit home runs like a boss.
I was talking to my Sweet Pea earlier about our childhood. We had such a great childhood. If I believed in God I would say we were blessed, but F that religion is for simps. We were not rich, we were very middle-class if not lower-middle class. Mom and Pop lived paycheck to paycheck and when overtime started to dry up at the prison in the late 80s and/or early 90s due to state budget cuts Mom had to go to work at Oakside Video. That job of hers got us access to so many great NES and later SNES games. Not to mention all the movies... I miss video stores but not that much because on demand is pretty sweet.
Mom worked in the video-store industry for maybe two decades. Hell, it might have been closer to 30 years total because she was the manager of Harbor Audio Video in Camden until that business went under just last year. Now Mom works at some toy store in Camden, a neat little place if you have kids. I went in there once I didn't even care... whether or not I cared about the place. I hate kids so that is probably why I don't belong in a toy store. I like some toy stuff like model trains, but the store she works in looks like it is aimed at kids under 10 and tourists. F that!
Last night Jester's was jammed so full of people that I had to leave and come home for a bit. I didn't even get to the bar until a bit before midnight, and I stuck around for a few before I came home. The place was mobbed and I'm sure the owner is happy because they must have had a decent profit. Hopefully tonight the bar makes money, but for selfish reasons I don't want it to be too full because it sucks when there is hardly room to move. I know half the people there so I always have someone to talk to, but it is a small place and being that crowded sucks.
Thursday, 3-01-18: New month, new outlook, fresh
The water bills all came in today, and nothing on those bills is too terrible. Brewer water and sewer is gods damned expensive, but thankfully the bill for our own house is "only" $200. It is a lot, but it is a steal compared to the $400+ we were paying a half a year ago. In additon to heat and water bills, I still have to pay the second half of the annual property tax bill for my old apartment and office/gym property so bye bye $3110 for that. What a bunch of crap! I just paid the $1253 semi-annual bill for the house across the street from my gym a couple weeks ago. Heat, water, and taxes always usurp my precious... precious money late winter and early spring and this year is no different. Thankfully I have the JH money coming in so we can get by okay.
This year so far I am ahead of the game, so to speak. Last year at this time I think I owed $5000 in property taxes, and I didn't pay those all off until the city threw a lien on a property and I got my final JH bonus pay in early June. I know there was a year in the recent past where I didn't even pay off one of my property tax bills until July. Epic fail there! For the past few years the city has had to lien a property because I have paid property taxes late so if all goes as planned this will be the first year in a long time where I pay my shit *mostly* on time. Awesome!
I still have some money set aside from the sale of my bootleg Bangor duplex, but it will go fast if I am stupid with it. The only big purchase we made since that sale was for a much-needed newer vehicle for my Sweet Pea. So far the 2015 GMC Acadia is doing just fine, but unfortunately Kat doesn't get to drive it too much because Katherine takes it to work. Katherine got her tax refund and wants to use it for a down payment on a car for herself, but we have to wait until the snow melts because right now with the GMC, my truck, Debbie's car, and Dillon's car there is no room for a 5th vehicle. Once tax season ends I can make more room by expanding the driveway so Katherine can get her own wheels and have a place to park.
The snow is melting fast. The sidewalks are mostly clear now, and it was a "balmy" 40 degrees yesterday morning so before I worked I went for a 2-mile jog. I had to stop and walk some of it because I am not in cardio shape at all. Plus my stupid right toe hurt so I limped along. I got brand new running sneakers, but they are not broken in yet. I hurt that foot way back in 2007 when Phil and I epic failed in the canoe while practing for the Soudabscook Canoe Race. We swamped the canoe and had to go to shore, but there was still a shitload of ice along shore. A huge piece of ice broke off and squashed that toe. The thing turned all black and blue, it was all bad. I remember that weekend I got drunk and tried to go bowling. I could not bowl because it hurt like hell. Pretty sure the beotch bar-wench there booted my drunk ass out that night, too. What a bunch of crap!
I probably wrote about that so maybe I can find it in the achives of this bootleg site that no one ever reads...
April 4, 2007:
I'm glad I went for a half-assed jog yesterday. Hopefully the weather is decent enough this month so I can jog a little here and there, bump up the cardio. I was sick for half of Feb so that sucked. A lot. March will be better.