4-28-20: Our ceiling, Gavin's floor, some snow.
^Now 10 sheets used, another 12 needed, and after I write on this bootleg site that almost no one will ever read I'll go to Lowe's to pick those up along with a few other things. I also plan to stop by Harbor Freight Tools to see if I can get a new roofing nailer; my old roof gun is ready for the dump.
Today we woke up to a slight coating of snow on the ground. What a bunch of crap! The weather is supposed to slowly improve today, but it's not gonna be good. Still breezy and crisp. Another good day to work on Gavin's floor. I don't think I can get all 12 needed sheets cut and installed, but I can get a good chunk done and finish the rest later in the week. He doesn't urgently need it done so I'm grateful to be able to pick away at it when I have time. On good weather days I'd rather be working outside; tomorrow is supposed to be our only really good weather day of the entire week.
We did have a nice weekend with decent weather. Saturday was fantastic with unlimited sun so I sat outside and read my book for a while before I went for a jog. I got a little bit tan, but not much. Sunday was also decent enough for us to get outside for a while, and I also spent some time working on our ceiling.
I need more cans and recessed lights that I ordered over a week ago but that won't arrive for a while to come thanks to Covid-19. What a bunch of crap! Oh well I'm not in a huge hurry to get it done. Nothing on my list has a hard deadline so that is a great feeling. My next time-sensitive project will be the roof I plan to start midweek next week. I want to get that done fast so I'll work full days on that. Hopefully 4 full work days on that roof with one helper each day will be enough to get it all 100% done, but we'll see how it goes. There may be a day or two where I don't have a helper, but I can fly solo on some of it and having no helper for some of the job = more money for me!
Some states are reopening with limited guidelines, and our state's "Stay at home" order ends in 3 days. Whether that gets extended or not remains to be seen, but for sure things will be very different once they do reopen. Karaoke at bars? Likely not going to happen for a while to come. Now the morning news is talking about potential food shortages because some meat processing plants have had to close due to employee Covid-19 outbreaks. As a nation we are still a LONG way from reaching the end of this mess.
Saturday, 4-25-20: Another weekend we can work
around the house.
I spent some time budgeting for the next couple months before I came onto this bootleg blog to write my useless thoughts to almost no one. If the tenants all pay rent next month (no guarantee on that.) then we'll have a nice income to help offset the losses we've sustained from the Covid-19 pandemic. Gavin will have me installing a plywood underlayment next week and then *hopefully* starting sheetrock next month. I also have this roof to start around May 7:
I lined up my helper(s) for that job, and if all goes well we can get it done in 4 work days. Maybe less if we really push it and make great progress each day. I talked to the homeowners yesterday; they are our tax-office neighbors, retired, very nice. She gave us a delicious apple cobbler earlier in the week. How cool is that? It was delicious!
I might also end up down at Phil and Danielle's house next month to do some more work for them. Their trim needs caulking, painting, and in some areas where there is rot, replacing. They also have a leaking skylight that damaged some sheetrock inside the house. I don't have the confidence or knowledge to repair the skylight leak so Phil has a professional coming to look at that. Once the leak is fixed I can do the sheetrock repair for them.
When I'm not doing carpentry for others I can pick away at some more projects for the rentals. I've done most of the landscaping work at my Gilmore house. Yesterday afternoon I finished plants and mulch on this side just before it was time for supper and drinks:
I still need to add more mulch and do some steps there; next week on good weather days (Wed?) I can work on it some more. Monday and Tuesday will NOT be good weather days so I will do Gavin's subfloor underlayment. Hopefully by the end of this month I can have the landscape work at that property 100% done and check it off the list.
Turkey hunting season opens in one week, and I'd like to go opening day. The season was supposed to start Monday the 4th, but now it is the 2nd. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Hopefully Jason wants to do some hunting, but this Covid-19 mess might mean I can't go. All depends on how Jason and Holly feel about the social distancing thing by then. Same for Mom and Dad. Also the weather needs to be at least halfway decent or there is no sense going at all. Turkey hunting in a cold rain = what a bunch of crap! I bought my 2020 hunting license online a couple days ago while Bruce was finally installing the last sink at the tax office. I also worked on canceling our Mexico vacation. We've known for many weeks that our trip was not going to happen due to the pandemic. What a bunch of crap! We were supposed to be gone May 2-9 so now instead of lounging around in the tropics I'll probably be turkey hunting and doing carpentry for that week. Hopefully we can get to Mexico later this year.
^Finally got that sink hooked up. Maybe we'll never use it, but in theory is does add some value to the place if we ever decide to sell it.
We drank and sang karaoke at the house last night, and we started early since Katherine's area is above the studio and she needed to bivouac earlier for her work shift today. She definitely can't sleep when we have the music cranked up, and even worse for her having to listen to my NFT-ass. NFT = NO FRIGGIN TALENT! I am a BAD singer, but once I get liquored up I don't mind doing some songs here at the house. Last night I did songs I've never done before, and I just picked songs as they came to me. Don Henley All She Wants to do is Dance (1985 Building the Perfect Beast great album!), Thompson Twins Doctor, Doctor, Crowded House Don't Dream it's Over, The Cars Magic. Yes, as usual I am stuck in the 80s hehe. We finished singing a little after 2100 and it was almost bedtime, but then Neil and Ang invited us to their place so we went there for a little while.
Katherine was PISSED that we went to visit Neil and Ang. She still thinks we should be "social distancing", but I think it's time to get things pushing back towards normal again. Yes Covid-19 is a real threat, but the hospitals are not overflowing and here in Penobscot County there have only been 50 reported cases with 33 recovered. We know there have been a lot more than the official report, but by now most people whom I know have had some random sickness this winter, myself included, that probably was Covid-19 and we just didn't know it.
Nationwide the virus has killed over 50,000 people. New York continues to be the hardest-hit area, and our president has boneheaded suggestions like "What if injecting some kind of disinfectant might kill it?" Yeah, his bright idea that caused Lysol to post a bold disclaimer saying something like "DO NOT ACTUALLY TRY THAT." Man Trump is such a shit-show president. I do like a lot of his economic policies, but personally I think he sucks. A lot. The end.
Tuesday, 4-21-20: A weird 5-year anniversary.
I was going to work on the house Saturday and screw off Sunday, but I ended up doing things in reverse. I screwed off on Saturday for most of the day and worked on the house for several hours on Sunday. Working on our anniversary seems weird, but I was here at home and there was nothing else going on. No fun road trips on the schedule, no overnight getaway that would have been fun for us in a normal world and in a world where she hasn't been so sick.
I finally started redoing the ceiling in the kitchen/dining room on our anniversary:
^The pets were fascinated with the sheetrock debris. There is a double-layer of sheetrock so that is a bunch of crap. Looks like the original ceiling was the "popcorn" style and at some point in the distant past someone decided to install strapping and a new layer of 1/2" sheetrock. I have to pull down the newer layer of sheetrock and the strapping so I can do it "right." As an added bonus for Gavin I can give him all the strapping and install it for him at his place.
I plan to install about 15 total recessed lights (6 in dining room, 9 in kitchen) so bye bye stupid-ass low-hanging dining room light that has annoyed me for about six years. Unfortunately, I have to crawl around in the insulation-filled attic to do the wiring. What a bunch of crap! Also, I started the job when I don't have all the supplies so Kat rightfully crapped on me some for that. I only have enough lights and cans for the dining room. I ordered 10 more from Amazon.com, but they might not arrive for 3 more weeks. What a bunch of crap! Gods damned Covid-19.
^I got two lights installed and some ceiling tiles Sunday before I quit with plenty of time to go for a jog and then spend the late afternoon/evening with my best friend/wife. We had a nice takeout meal and watched Stuber. That movie is so funny! We've seen it once before, but it's so good that we own it. There is a scene where the "comedic-relief" guy references The Neverending Story during one of the funniest fight scenes you can ever see in a movie.
-Stu: Do you remember that part of NeverEnding
Story where Atreyu walks through the oracle gates and those guys, big
statue things, can see a warrior's true internal nature and that super
scary knight just vaporizes because deep down he doesn't believe in himself?
^One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. If you don't think this movie is hilarious then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more.
I have three different projects underway right now. Two others besides our kitchen/dining room ceiling. I'm doing some work for Gavin as needed; he asked me if I could install a floor underlayment for him in his soon-to-be apartment so yesterday I got 10 sheets of 15/32 plywood staged up there for him while he got a sweet-looking screw-gun and the screws. I plan to start that tomorrow since it will be 37 degrees and windy all day. A high temp of 37 this late in April = OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! Definitey not a day to work outside. The weather this month has been a ball-sack. Today we probably hit 50 degrees, not terrible, but it was so windy that my jog was epic failer. I made it 1.5 miles, had to walk some, and it was fucking cold with a really gusty south gale. This has been a very windy month. Gods damn it!
Today I worked on this job:
It took me hours to dig out so many old roots and crap, and now I am wasted like Doc-J and 8-Ball from Full Metal Jacket. My entire body is sore after hours and hours of digging. I won't work on that again for at least a couple days. No rush I'll get it done eventually. Still needs landscape fabric, mulch, plants, steps, etc. (That photo was taken last week.) It doesn't look like it should take that long, but it has used up many of my precious... precious hours already. Oh well at least it is an inexpensive project that I can work on and get exercise at the same time.
Saturday, 4-18-20: A no-booze, early bivouac
Friday night. How rare is that?
My body is beat, no exercise today for sure. I did yoga and lifted weights yesterday morning before I met a tax client to do a simple tax return for her high-school-age dependent son. Piece of cake, low price, maybe he will use my tax service for the rest of my years in business. At least half my clients are retired or nearly retired so getting some younger clients is a good idea for the future. I like my older clients the most, but they will all die off eventually. Morbid to write, but that's how the life cycle works no cruel intentions behind that last statement at all.
After I finished that simple tax return I shovelled in some lunch and then went over to Deno's house to clean up this shit-show for him:
^Doesn't look that hard to deal with, but I had to be very careful about dropping it down to the ground because trees are deceptively heavy. I'd guess that entire mess in the photo weighed a few hundred pounds. There was another smaller branch not in the photo that I also had to cut up. I worked like a boss and got it all done in half the time that I had estimated in my price quote. Not even 3 hours later I had this:
^A nice little firewood pile that he can use for his backyard fire pit. I even split up the bigger pieces with my maul. The brush should get hauled off early next month when the city does its annual spring cleanup. I came in under-budget on that job so I charged less as well. A fair price for a friend but enough to still make it worth my precious... precious time. I'm not a professional arborist and don't plan to make a habit of doing crap like that. Trees are dangerous. Running a chainsaw on a ladder is something I did twice yesterday at two different locations (tax office property also needed some limb cleanup) and it is something I don't want to do regularly because it's a good way to get hurt or dead.
Mother nature really put the screws to use this month so far. Two massive storms within the past 9 days knocked down a lot of trees, and limbs. What a bunch of crap! Our own back yard needs a cleanup, but thankfully only smaller branches and junk out there that the dogs enjoy chewing on. I'll have to rake all that up soon so we can try to get it looking nice and prepped for when the grass starts to grow.
After I cut up wood for a good chunk of the afternoon it was back to the tax office to finish up two more tax returns for clients. Both of those were already mostly done, but I was still at the desk for over an hour. From working outside in snow flurries in a crappy paint-stained shirt and sweatshirt (It was fucking cold what a bunch of crap!) to sitting at my tax desk with my nicer tax-shirt on. Two very different jobs to switch back and forth from yesterday.
I have a bunch of plants and supplies so next week I can hopefully finish this side at one of the rental properties:
^It will take several more hours, maybe longer, because there are still old roots and crap to dig out before I rake it all, dig holes for the new shrubs, roll out the landscape fabric, go get mulch, etc. I also need some landscaped steps there around where the rocks are siting on the lawn in the foreground. I'm not in a hurry to finish it, but I don't want it to sit like that for too long. Will be good to check it off the list and then go do something else. It was damn cold these past 3 days, windy, crisp, a few sprinkles and even snow flurries. Today will be another cool day outside, but I'll stay in and work around the house anyway. Tomorrow is looking nicer, though. Maybe tomorrow I can clean up our back yard.
There is still no real way to project when things might start getting back to normal around here. I'd guess Kat won't be working until at least mid-May and maybe not even until June. I know I have plenty of work between the rental properties, Gavin's remodel, some tax clients here and there, and a roof to reshingle next month for one of the tax office neighbors. Hopefully I can convince Gavin to help me do that job, but he stays busy and has his own work to do so I'm not sure I can convince him. I did tell him the extra $$$$ would be a good way to replace what we usually make from blueberry raking. It seems almost certain there will be no raking this summer. What a bunch of crap! Not from coronavirus, though. Cliff told us last year that he wasn't planning to take on a field to rake for this coming year. I don't blame him for that at all since the price of berries has been low and since he is pushing 70 years old...
Thursday, 4-16-20: The strangest tax filing deadline/not-deadline
day of all-time.
My tally through April 15th for the tax office is now 67 paid tax returns filed with another 8 or 9 in the queue that will definitely finish with me before July 15. My goal for the year is 100 paid returns done, $10k gross revenue, so I am not even close. I still could hit the goal if I stay steady for the next 8.5 months, but typically I don't do much business in the summer and fall. This is obviously NOT a normal type of year, though. Who knows? In any case I have already exceeded by far what I did for taxes and tax-office income in my first year so I have no complaints.
So I spent a couple hours at the tax office yesterday morning; only about one hour with my lone client and the rest of the time finishing up some paperwork and draining the water out of that gods damned cellar. We got dumped on with huge rains Monday, and the rest of the snow melted from our last Thursday night big snowstorm, so that basement had close to a half a foot of water in it Tuesday morning. OMG! Most water I've seen there, and only a couple inches below the bottom of the furnace. Thankfully that furnace is on blocks or else bye bye several thousand dollars for a new one. It took a total of about 4 hours to drain that cellar all day Tuesday. What a bunch of crap! I stayed there and did some paperwork for some of the time, and I left to use my gym and to finish installing furring strips at Gavin's for some more of the time.
^Looking from the stairwell/entry into what will be his kitchen.
^From the stairwell/entry facing the other direction, into what will be the living room, bathroom, and at the far end the bedroom. The slider in the bedroom (furthest wall away) will lead to a nice little covered deck.
I'm all done at Gavin's for a while. His place is prepped quite well for sheetrock in many rooms, but I have to wait for him to do some more framing and layout. He needs to locate lights and outlets and have more wiring run before I can start sheetrock install; tentatively he's thinking I can jump on that starting next month. I think I'll have a decent amount of carpentry work to do for others next month including a roof and some trim work/painting at Phil and Danielle's besides all of that upcoming sheetrock work. I actually had one of my tax clients call me yesterday wanting to hire me to do their kitchen and faucets, but I declined that offer. I'll do a kitchen in a rental, but not one in someone else's house. Especially not when the people want granite counters. That is way above my pay-grade!
I don't mind being all done working at Gavin's place for a bit because I feel like both he and I are ahead of schedule right now. Originally I was planning to be at the tax office full-time and not even start any carpentry for him until probably tomorrow. Now most of the Rockwool insulation is installed and I got a shitload more prep done for him, 47.75 total hours spent there getting work done during the first part of this month. Now I can spend the last part of this month working around the apartments and doing a bit here at our own house as well before I get busier next month.
I was talking to my awesome wife last night about the state of the world these days and how it's all-bad. An average of 1500-2000 people per day are reported as dying here in the USA from Covid-19 so everything is still shut down. Now around 30,000 dead from the virus in our great nation. What a bunch of crap! It feels like we're in a life-holding pattern until things start to get back to normal, but overall we have it pretty good compared to people in places like New York City and Michigan. Not too many confirmed Covid-19 cases around here, but we all have to social-distance and be cautious.
So yesterday during what should have been a fairly busy tax day for me, my final regular-office tax day of 2020, I was only in my tax office for a couple hours and I spent the rest of the day doing landscape work at my Gilmore house. I actually worked quite hard; it was like using my gym because I had to dig out old roots and various junk. The weather was poor, but mostly dry. Passing light shower with some snow mixed in and a cold wind. Nothing that made me have to turn off the radio and run for cover. I could still rock out to Heavy Fuel on 100.3wkit hehe. I'll post photos of that next time.
Monday, 4-13-20: Power back on, but for how long?
Mom and Dad suffered some serious tree damage down at their house. Not sure if they will need my help, but I offered to go down with my 18" Poulin chainsaw and help clean up. Thankfully nothing damaged their house, at least as far as what Dad told me. An apple tree did fall against the corner of their place. Dad said it was the worst damage he'd seen there in the 37 years they have been at that property.
Thankfully I do not have to deal with this property anymore:
^I resigned from managing that duplex last summer just before blueberry raking, and I gave up about $150 a month income when I did so. Do I have regrets about giving it up? NOPE! Not even a little bit. I still know the tenants there, and they think their new management company is terrible. The tenants in one of the apartments there are my distant family. Kat's older sister and her husband = my in-laws. In the other apartment there one of the tenants had me do her taxes, and I just saw them last week when I helped them with a couple little things.
The forecast for this afternoon is not good at all. We are going to get rain all day, and there is a high wind advisory for all afternoon with gusts possibly over 50MPH. Hopefully we don't get winds like that because I already have some cleanup to do tomorrow around the properties, some smaller limbs that came down here and there. Plus I don't want to lose power again. Widespread outages are expected again in our area down to the coast, though. What a bunch of crap! I definitely won't be working outside today.
I helped Gavin move his washer and dryer up into his under-construction penthouse apartment yesterday morning before I came home to have a weird Easter dinner with Kat and Katherine. Gav does have some more work that he needs done in that space so my plan today is to finish strapping the ceiling. I actually think I have a good 6-7 hours of work left there before I shut down for a while so maybe I'll get it all done today. I need to go to Lowe's for more materials so that will cut into the time I'm actually there installing and working. Once the strapping is done I will stop working at his place until he can get his framing finished and some electrical figured out. Then I can hopefully start sheetrock install later this month or next month. I'm not in a rush; whatever works for him works for me.
We are not religious at all, but we do have an Easter meal usually with the kids coming over to the house. Unfortunately Covid19 fucked that all up so in order to properly "social distance" we only ate with Katherine since she lives here. After we ate a delicious meal (thanks awesome wife!) we brought plates of food to Dillon, Debbie, Travis, and Daniel. They all live close in 2 of our 10 rental units so that is convenient for us all. It sucked not having everyone here, but that is our new world.
The top story on the 0700 news is actually NOT Covid19 for once. Tornados did massive damage to the southeast, people died, very sad. That nasty weather is racing up the coast to us for the afternoon, but we don't expect any tornados. Just very high winds with power outages and more limbs coming down. Lots of people who went to church yesterday for Easter services even though we are supposed to be social distancing from each other. Fucking idiots! I hope they all get coronavirus. There is no reason to go to church; if you believe in a deity then you can do your worship from home. I say this as a hypocrite since I do NOT believe in any god and have never actually tried to worship a higher power, ever.
I guess I'm gonna get ready to do yoga before I start working for the day. I really haven't worked in the past 3 days other than a very little here and a very little there. No work Friday since we got that terrible weather and all the snow. No power = no need to work at Gavin's. I could have worked at his place some Friday PM once the power came back on, but I have no regrets about not working at his place Friday since I am so far ahead of him at this point anyway. After today I'll be doing other things and waiting for him to need my help again anyway.
Friday, 4-10-20: Snowstorm pwned our asses.
^I took this picture around 0800. Dogs love it, and it is beautiful to look at.
^Sideways trees and bushes = what a bunch of crap! Also a bunch of crap is the fact that I put the snowblower in that shed last week so I had to drag the thing out and spend almost an hour clearing our driveway. It would have taken well over an hour, but thankfully while I snowblowed both my awesome wife and Katherine cleaned off vehicles, steps, etc. The snowblower could barely move the stuff because it's so frigging heavy. Gods damn it!
I took a tour of the neighborhood enroute to all the rental properties. Thankfully there is no damage that I can see at any of our properties, but there are a lot of downed trees and limbs. A LOT. The property I used to manage doesn't have a yard anymore because two large hardwood trees fell down. One tree hit the building, but I didn't see major damage. Thankfully I don't manage that property anymore! Not my circus, not my monkeys. However, I did take pics and will email them to the owners so I can offer my chainsaw services. I'd charge them a couple hundred to get rid of it all; I doubt their current management company will do anything about it because, get this, since I got done at the end of July last year no one has mowed the lawn and no one even plowed the driveway there at all this winter. What a bunch of crap! The new property management company sucks ass. I don't want to take back over, though. F that. I like having less to watch over; I have plenty more time now to do things that I have been wanting to do for a long time. A couple days ago I started landscaping here:
I had to dig up a bootleg-looking pallet fence that was along the front of the house, and I want to clear that hillside and plant some evergreen shrubs there. That stone wall might have to disappear, too. Obviously I won't be working on that anytime right off, but maybe next week I can get some more done there. I'm almost done at Gavin's for a while until he does more framing so I can do other things while I wait for him to catch up.
My computer is down to 50% battery so I guess I won't write too much more. Not like I can even upload this bootleg blog that almost no one ever reads. I update it and don't bother to post it half the time anyway. What a bunch of crap! This storm fucked us gods damn it! Bye bye more precious... precious money for plowing. I did use my gym at least, and I got a pretty good workout in. I had my work radio with a charged battery so I had tunes and enough daylight coming in through the window on the door to get it done.
I have my book so I can read some this afternoon. Maybe my awesome wife and I can also play some trivia games as we sit by the fire. I did a piss-poor job staging firewood in our storage area last week because I thought we wouldn't need a fire in the house for at least half a year. My bad there. Thankfully I have a nice stack of good, dry wood under the deck out back so I can use that. It will suck digging it out of 10" or a foot or whatever we got from this huge storm, but this time of year the snow melts really fast so a lot of it is already gone. Disappear, scumbag snow! This is definitely the worst April storm I can ever remember getting. The wet snow stuck to the trees, and the winds made it come down sideways so that is what pwned us all. What a bunch of crap!
Wednesday, 4-08-20: If Looks Could Kill.
The song they were playing is If Looks Could Kill, and it totally rocks. I did not know the song so I looked it up thank you very much Interweb and Google. The song is from their 1985 album simply titled Heart. Damn rare these days I hear a rocking song from the best decade of all-time and don't know it. Score! I'm in Kat's studio here at the house right now, and she just played it because she is a DJ and can play anything. As an added bonus she also has the karaoke version so hopefully when I drink my coffee brandy and milk on Friday night, 48 hours from now, she can sing it. She has a great singing voice and I love it when she rocks out on the mic. My favorite song she does lately is Quarterflash Harden My Heart; maybe If Looks Could Kill will be my new favorite for a while! She never sings Heavy Fuel for me hehehe.
^Heart = FUCK YEAH. There are no bad Heart songs, only good ones. That 1985 album would be a great one to own. I do not own any Heart albums at all. What a bunch of crap! If you don't like Heart then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more.
I'm working "banker's hours" lately, or something like that. Work 2-3 hours in the morning, lunch break, work 2-3 more in the afternoon, quit and just do a little of this and a little of that. I thought If Looks Could Kill would fire me up for a good jog yesterday since I heard it right before I ran, but sadly there was no psycological or physical way to accomplish that. I "jogged" 2.25 miles both yesterday and today, but I had to stop and walk a few times because I suck ass. Doesn't help that it has been crisp outside with a stiff north wind. Also doesn't help that I am like Danny Glover from Lethal Weapon and am getting "Too old for this shit." Every year jogging is harder to do so eventually maybe my body just won't let me do it. I can take up biking or something else, right? Or just walk more. I did great on the treadmill over winter, but running outside is much more of a challenge.
I've gotten plenty of exercise lately because I have tons of "bonus" free time. Unfortunately it is not really bonus time when over 14,000 people in our country have died from Covid-19. We're still in the middle of the pandemic so everything fun is cancelled. No bars to go to, no movie theaters, no restaurants, no date night except for takeout and hanging out at the house. Half of our date nights are just takeout and a movie at the house anyway, though.
I did have a paying tax client today so that was another $99 towards the tax office goal that is now insurmountable. I wanted to take in $10k, but it seems $6k is more in line with reality. However, I will take in another grand or two over the spring, summer, and fall so overall I won't epic fail, I'll just regular fail. For sure Covid-19 cost me several customers because now my office is never open. Being "By appointment only" is not ideal in what would normally be a week before the tax filing deadline. About 33% of my tax office business this year was from "walk-in" clients so I obviously lost all of that. What a bunch of crap!
I worked for Gavin Monday for a few hours, and for the last two days I have worked on the rental properties raking leaves, cleaning, doing yard work, etc. I also finally built 3 more shelves in what was once my rental-property office and got that space a little more squared away. It's not done yet because the weather was nice so I went outside after it warmed up some. That office is a good rainy-day project. Tomorrow we're getting a cold rain that will turn to wet snow tomorrow night, 5-8" forecast, so I won't work outside again for a bit. Snow in April = gods fuccking damn it! Last time (2 weeks ago?) they said 3-6" and we got a heavy 7" so hopefully this time we get less than expected.
Even though I won't work outside due to epic fail weather I can work at Gavin's place some more and clean that old office. I don't have lots of work for Gavin, but it will keep me busy and make me a few extra precious... precious bucks. I think I'll be taking a break from Gavin's for a while until he can get caught up. He needs some more wiring and plumbing before I can sheetrock. He wants it done so hopefully he gets right on top of it. I don't mind not working for him for a bit because I have plenty of other things to keep me occupied. I'm focused now on the things that are cheap since we lost a lot of income from the rentals and from Kat's lost DJ gigs.
Thankfully every single tenant paid rent, all ten units paid = Oh Jesus Hell Ya! Three of the ten didn't even even take the $100 discount for timely payment, but they have it in their "pockets" for future use. I did NOT expect everyone to be able to pay rent. Since the pandemic is getting worse I might have some issues in May, but I won't worry about that just yet. Government stimulus checks should help everyone, too. $1200 a person and $500 per dependent. If you make too much money you don't get that money, but none of the tenants are that wealthy. We're not even that wealthy so we'll get $2400 either later this month or May. Maybe? Hopefully!
Saturday, 4-04-20: Our new Friday night karaoke.
Kat got sick not quite three weeks ago (so yes her last show at Jester's was 22 days ago) with a fever and symptoms aligning with those of Covid19. She called her doc, they made her wait a bit, but then on Wednesday March 18th they sent her to a place in Bangor to get a Covid19 test. They said results could take 72 hours, but as it turns out results are canceled. My poor wife felt like ten pounds of shit stuffed into a five pound bag for the entire week of the 18th; her fever lasted 8 days and she was sore all over her body. Thankfully she could rest at home because a stay at the hospital would have been awful. Finally the fever slowly broke and she started feeling better about a week ago. Meanwhile, those test results were nowhere to be found despite calls to the doc and even to the state CDC...
Finally after 16 days she got a call yesterday morning, and things are as we suspected. Her doc called to say the CDC lost her swab-sample so there are no results because a test was never done. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!
^Whomever lost her god damn sample is epic failer. Where is it? It is in some freezer somewhere. Maybe? The doc said that on the day she went in for a test there was not enough capacity for testing so they saved hers and a bunch of others. Finally when they had capacity to test they had to prioritize testing for people who work in health care and people already in the hospital. Since she is neither of those hers was bumped so far down the list that it just disappeared. What a bunch of crap!
Now she can't go get another test unless she is sick, and since she is better now it is not going to work. At this point a test might show nothing anyway because we assume her body beat it by now, assuming she had it. Who knows maybe it was not Covid19? I think it was, but all I can do it guess. There is a test that can tell if you have had Covid19 and recovered from it, but that is not available to peons like us. It's probably not even available to anyone in our state yet...
Here in Maine the number of cases is still rising. We're at something like 436, and that is nothing compared to New York. NYC is in a world of shit due to this virus. Also pwned is the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, CVN-71. They have a lot of sailors onboard with the virus, and the Navy had to haul on the skipper because he let the world know all about it. Telling the world that one of your prized military assets is compromised is not cool. I'm all for being honest with the public regarding circumstances, but a warship should always maintain at least a veil of operational readiness.
I was stationed aboard the USS Carl Vinson, CVN-70, from 1994-1998. The Roosevelt and the Vinson are both Nimitz-class carriers nearly identical in their design and capacity. I know from personal experience that sailors are crammed in; a deployed carrier houses over 5,000 people. My berthing compartment housed 22 of us in a very small space; our racks were stacked three high and Lenart would sleep above me and rip the worst farts. There is no way to social-distance aboard a vessel like that. Hopefully most of the sailors aboard the Roosevelt are young, strong, and fit. When I was aboard the Vinson I remember PT was not a top priority, but I don't think they let you get fat. I exercised on the ship by using a treadmill and by sometimes jogging in the hanger bay. I lifted weights some, but not much. I exercise a lot more now than I did 25 years ago!
Since there is no Jester's anymore we have been doing our own Friday night karaoke at the house. Last night was our third consecutive Friday night staying at the house and singing in Kat's studio. We had some drinks, and it was fun. I normally don't sing much at all, but last night I got boozed up and sang a few songs. Dire Straits So Far Away, Genesis Land of Confusion, Tom Petty Don't Come Around Here No More, and finally Walls of Voodoo Mexican Radio. I am a terrible singer, but it doesn't matter. I made up my own lyrics on some songs so the Dire Straits song ended up being "Six feet away" instead of "So far away" on several verses. The CDC recommends we all stay at least 6 feet apart to social-distance in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. On top of that most states have strict "Stay at home" orders in place and have forced all non-essential businesses to close. I don't even know if my tax business is essential or not, but I only had one customer this week so it doesn't really matter since I'm almost never there anymore.
I worked for Gavin every day this week, M-F, but never full 8-hour days. I did work 6 hours at his place yesterday insulating and helping pick up supplies. A trip to Lowe's was easy because there were not 100 people in the store so we got right in. All stores are limited and have to count how many people go in and leave. A big box store like Lowe's can't have more than 100 people in it at one time. There is tape on the floor for spacing while in line to pay, and the cashiers have plexiglass barriers. The same is true of most stores in this new, strange, scary world of ours.
Thursday, 4-02-20: Rent discount got me 70% so
I offered $100 off rent to each tenant who could pay rent in full on or before April 7th, and so far that seems to have enticed people to make rent a priority because I have collected 7 out of 10 rents so far. Not bad! Bye bye several hundred in lost revenue, but that is okay I will just work more doing other things for the rest of the year and cancel some planned upgrades. New deck for Chamberlain St apts? Me thinks not. (Maybe if I get a good no-interest coupon at either Home Depot or Lowe's...)
^Was planning to put a nice deck and door there, but now that seems like a luxury and even finishing the siding itself might not happen...
I have tenants in one of the three other unpaid units who are self-isolating because one of them is sick. In two others the people have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 so they might not pay. They said they would try, but until money is in the box I won't count those beans. I won't evict anyone during this pandemic, and I can't anyway because it is not allowed and courts are closed anyway. It's a giant shit-sandwich and we all have to take a bite. What a bunch of crap!
We will lose at least $3000 in household income, and maybe as much as double, triple, or quadruple that sum depending on what tenants don't pay and can't ever pay. A couple of the tenants who paid rent so far actually did pay the full amount and didn't take the $100 off so that is really awesome. Those people still have their jobs and wanted to pay full rent since they have it now, and maybe they can use the discount next time or in the future if things get worse for them. I expect May rent collection to be a challenge as well, and I might have to do another discount...
Wednesday, 4-01-20: No April Fools today. We're
GODS DAMN COVID19! The virus is now an entire sewer blowout on the world, not just a rogue misplaced turd.
Experts now think the worst of this virus will be around the middle to end of this month. Every single day lately the national news gets more bleak. 400-500 dead over the weekend each day, 700 dead Monday, 800+ dead yesterday, and already today 800 dead with several hours left in the day. My numbers are not precise, but they are close and they show an expected and disturbing trend. More and more people have the virus, and many are dying. Here in Maine we "only" have 344 confirmed cases and 7 deaths. We have it easy compared to some areas, but our shit is shut down as of midnight tonight.
Yesterday Governor Mills ordered a strict "Stay at home" order to take effect at midnight tonight and lasting through the ENTIRE FUCKIN MONTH OMG. Shelter in place, beotches. No soup for you! That last sentence made no sense, but I stopped caring. You can still go out for groceries and doc appointments, but no fucking around get your asses home ASAP whenever possible and stay the fuck home. Part of the new, more strict statewide rules are in-part meant to deter out-of-staters who have been coming here since we have it much better than they do in other areas. Have a New York plate on your car? I feel for you probably you don't want to be here for a while. The Gov will never admit that, but it's true.
So I guess a cop could pull me over when I am driving back and forth to my gym, to Gavin's place to do his work, etc. I dunno I have a Maine license plate so maybe they will leave me alone. Plus I can say I am going to get groceries and/or I am going to take care of my bootleg apartment buildings. That last part is essentially true even if I am just going to my gym because I get the mail there and my office/tools are there. My office over there is a damn shit-show joke these days all cluttered and full of misc stuff, but technically it is still an office beotches.
Gavin has a lot of work left at his place. Like, A LOT. I took pics a few days ago of what lies ahead for me.
^From the bathroom/bedroom area facing what will be the living room/entry/kitchen in his soon-to-be badass penthouse third-floor apartment across the dead-end from my gym. He had the place spray-foam insulated last Nov/Dec, but he needs more insulation installed over the spray foam for added R-value and to comply with code requirements. Code required R49, but that is impossible so we are making it work. I made it work when I did the new addition here at our own house a few years ago and code let me pass. I forget how much R-value I have here, maybe 30? 38? Definitely not 49! I just used the pink insulation here, no expensive-ass spray foam or more expensive Rockwool insulation.
Unfortunately the spray foam also got on sections of the framing where sheetrock will go so I have had to use a multitool and a flat scraper-blade to remove that bullshit as I progress. Gavin scraped a lot of it so that saved a few precious... precious hours.
I'm not facing a deadline on this project so that is a nice feeling. I don't want to milk it and take forever, F that, so I work at my normal pace. I've put in a total of 24 hours there since late last week so 4-5 hours a day a few days a week is good enough for now.
It's too bad Covid-19 took a shit on our entire friggin world because right now I'd be focused on my tax office if things were normal. I haven't had any tax clients at all this week, but I did have a friend send me stuff through my portal Monday and I have another acquaintence dropping off his w2s tonight so I can get his stuff ready tomorrow. No new voicemails on the tax office answering machine since one of my clients had an easy question on Monday. I really should put in more than 4 or 5 hours a day at Gavin's since the tax business is on life support right now, but I also want to use my gym and hang out with my awesome wife.
Poor Kat, she has been cooped up here at the house and it has now been two fucking weeks since her Covid-19 test with still no results. What a bunch of crap! At this point we definitely hope she has/had it because she is feeling better so that means she won. For the most part, based on other viruses, once you get a virus and beat it then you have won and can't get it again. Maybe? Hopefully! It would royally suck if she didn't have it because that means she could get it.