8-27-15: At Tags in Ellsworth tonight.
We got a lot done on the addition this week. A LOT. Probably too much because I haven't spent enough time with my sexy fantastic wife. Even though I am right there at the house when I get going on the work out there I don't even notice when she is watching me. I dive right in and go for it. Bob has been helping with the foundation work, and today we went BEAST MODE and got the frost walls poured. Yesterday morning we risked some rain showers and got the footings poured (24" wide, 9" deep) and today Bob and his helper formed the walls all up fast. I did a couple supply runs and helped them as needed, and when the 3 yards of concrete came in the early afternoon it was time for us all to work. The driver was new so he fucked up the pour from the truck down the chute and we had to move it all with the shovel. What a bunch of crap! The concrete was a little stiff (not enough water in the mix), but in the end we got it all in the wall. Today was a long, hard day of work and poor Kat got stuck with our assface puppies for too many hours. Crowley pissed on the floor and in his cage a lot today. A lot. What a bunch of crap!
I'm thinking that getting two puppies was a huge mistake. Crowley was supposed to be Katherine's dog, but she has work, friends to hang out with, work, and soon it's back to school in just 4 days. She's 17 and has too much else going on to devote enough time to her puppy. I have too much going on to devote lots of time to Castiel as well so my poor wife gets stuck with them the most. I need to start taking longer lunch breaks and spending more time during the day with our dogs, but that renovation eats up a ton of my precious... precious time. In a perfect world we would find a great home for one of the two puppies because I hate their faces about 50% of the time, but that's a dick move to just haul on one of them. I know it's not cool to play favorites with kids, but these are dogs and so I can play favorites and not feel guilty about it. Of the two dogs Crowley is the more loveable and sociable, but he pisses all over the floor too much so fuck him, he can get hauled on. Castiel doesn't ever piss in the house anymore, but he is less sociable, he plays deaf half the time when you call for him to come, and he inhales his food and then tries to steal Crowley's food so he can be a dick. He really gets agressive sometimes with the food and we can't have that so he can also get hauled on.
If I had a choice I would flip a coin, heads we keep Crowley and tails we would keep Castiel. The ladies would never approve of my idea so here it will die a slow death. Am I a dick for even writing that thought? I don't hate either of the puppies, but they are too much for us to handle since Kat gets "stuck" with them the majority of the time. I know today was just frustrating because the damn diesel concrete truck was rumbling in our driveway for close to three hours, Kat couldn't rest at all, and I worked a long day. We won't really haul on one of the puppies.
I'm out of here because I need to do some more research and work on my
design plans. Hopefully the next time I update this turd heap that only
two people ever see I will have some frost wall photos to post. Anyone
want a 5-month old puppy? Hehehehe. I'm mostly just kidding. Goonies never
Thursday, 8-27-15: DO NOT
FALL INTO MY HOLE.
On Tuesday morning Kat and I were out back with the puppies when we heard a clanging and scuffling noise. At first I had no idea what it was, and my first thought was the neighbors across the street were making a racket. However, I climbed up "dirt mountain" in the yard so I could peek through the opening between the garage and the house (former cat room area) and to my total shock I saw something and blurted out the following to Kat "There's some old guy in the hole!" In hindsight that may have been rude because that old guy was our aforementioned neighbor. OMG OUR CRUSTY ANCIENT NEIGHBOR FELL INTO THIS HOLE!
Kat and I went over to try and help him out, we almost had him out, but the dirt at the top gave way a little and down into the hole he went again. What a bunch of crap! The guy looked pretty wasted from the fall, about as wasted as Doc-J and 8-Ball from Ful Metal Jacket, but thankfully he didn't have arms dangling sideways or a bashed skull or anything. No land mines down there to blow his ass up, just rebar and lumber. His elbow was all scuffed up and I'm sure he was hurting, but he didn't look like he was about to keel over and die for at least a few more minutes. I finally had to lower the little stepladder into the hole and help his old ass out of my frigging hole, and once he got out all he could do was kneel on the ground with his hands on the dirt and pant for a few moments. It was awkward for Kat and I because we wanted to help him, but sometimes there is nothing you can do but wait.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, the guy was able to get to his feet and then he told us what happened (already obvious.) He tried to hop across the hole, but he fucked it away and down he went when his foot his soft dirt at the other edge of the hole. He wanted to come over to ask us if he could toss an old diving board from his pool into the dumpster so he thought jumping across the hole was a great idea DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE FUCKING GARAGE DOOR WAS LITERALLY A FOOT AWAY AND THAT GOES AROUND THE HOLE. OMG DUDE WTF?! YOU BETTER NOT DIE AND THEN HAVE YOUR OLD LADY WIFE SLAP US WITH A LAWSUIT. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
In hindsight it's actually hilarious. The guy had a heart attack last November, and he looked pretty bad. I was up on the garage roof stripping off the shingles a short time later when I saw him and his wife go out to their back yard. He sat down/collapsed on their porch steps so I felt kinda bad for the guy and I shouted over "Everything ok?" She answered back "Yes, he is just resting." He looked like he was about to take a permanent rest forever if you catch my drift.
In conclusion, our neighbor fell into the footings hole
and almost died in our yard. The hole is 4 feet deep so it was quite a
drop, too. He is lucky no major damage was done. However, he did fuck
up my rebar and knocked a bunch of dirt into the hole so I had to spend
a solid 15 minutes fixing everything. What a bunch of crap! I am glad
he didn't die in that hole because I'm sure the cops would put up CAUTION
DO NOT ENTER tape all over the place and then I would be shut down for
months as I faced inquiries and lawsuits and shit. DO NOT FALL INTO MY
Sunday, 8-23-15: The home
There will be about 25 linear feet of footings and frost walls total (8, 9, 8) and roughly 175 square feet of between 4-6" thick floor to tie the existing house and garage all together. The digging has taken many hours, but the labor cost fits the budget just perfectly because I don't have to pay myself a dime in wages. Since I don't have any experience installing foundations I did a lot of reading online, and Kat and I discussed our options on Friday evening. We essentially have four choices: First, I do it all myself and there is a 98% chance I screw up something critical. Second, I post an ad on Craigslist and hope I can get someone halfway decent to help and not just Cousin Larry who works at the redemption center and once saw his Uncle Bobby patch a floor in 1996 so he thinks he is an expert. Third, I could call someone in the phone book (expensive!) or fourth and finally, I could call Bob, the Giblet-Head who left this mess over at one of my rental properties last year:
I don't really like Bob. He screwed over Gavin really hard last year by going way over budget on his house renovation, and he screwed me over when he never finished that cleanup above. It took me hours upon hours to remove all that debris. However, despite his failures from last year I still called him to talk some business and he is coming over to take a look this afternoon. Bob is our most cost effective option because I can use him only when needed and pay him cash after he helps out. Bob does have the knowledge in his fried pea-brain to do a nice job on foundations, but he fucks up by blowing all his money. He cannot function in the traditional contractor role where you pay him upfront do take on a large job, but I think he will be useful in a consultant/assistant role where I pay him by the day with cash.
After all the research that I have done I can do a lot of this foundation work myself. Setting up forms/rebar for the footings shouldn't be too hard, but once the concrete truck arrives I think I would be lost trying to do it solo. I don't even know where to buy the concrete from. What a bunch of crap! On this scale buying those three dollar 80-pound bags of Quickcrete from Lowe's is definitely not an option since I'd need about 300 total bags for the whole job. F that! No, I need a big truck to come deliver the stuff for each of my three separate pours (footings, frost walls, then finally the floor.) Bob will be very useful when it comes to that.
I am hoping to get the footings poured around midweek and then spend the end of the week setting up for the frost walls. I definitely need Bob's help forming up the 10" thick walls, and he has the forms I can use so that is a huge plus. I could have built my own, but bye bye a few hundred bucks for plywood and lumber if I had done that. Plus obviously the time it would take to build them, and I would still need help making sure I set them up properly.
Finally, I have no clue how to install a new cement floor. I understand the basics of it, but getting it level and smooth is way above my pay grade. Bob will be my biggest asset when it comes to that largest and final part of the job. If we stay right on top of things then I am hoping to get the floor poured around the first week of September.
Yesterday I placed a $2600+ order at Lowe's, mostly lumber and some rebar. I took 20 2x4s and 20 2x6s with me so I have some lumber to begin framing in the garage, and the rest of the order is scheduled for Thursday morning. That gives me until Wednesday to finish most of the demolition before the dumpster gets scheduled for a haul-off. I really need the dumpster gone by Thursday AM so I have room to receive the Lowe's lumber delivery. I have 45 16-foot 2x8s coming on that load so I need ample space to have it dropped, something I don't have right now with that massive dumpster parked in the driveway. The dumpster has been great to have, though. I'm guessing the weight will be 2.5 tons total when I'm all done filling it. The debris adds up fast! I will still have some more debris after I have the dumpster hauled off, but I can handle that easily enough with my little trailer and the small dumpster over by my office.
In between working on the foundation for the renovation I can start doing
some framing in the garage. I sold the 9x7 garage door with the open/close
motor for $175 a couple days ago. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Thank you, Craigslist.
I put the door on there for $200, but it had a small dent that I never
noticed before so I let it go for $175. In place of the garage door will
be a 36 x 80 entry door. I have most of the floor plans drwan up, and
I should find a way to post them onto this bootleg site when I write again.
However, for today I am all done. I gotta drink half an energy drink then
get ready to go play racquetball. Hopefully I don't suck too badly today...
Thursday, 8-20-15: I passed
the fuck out.
On Monday I went into full house renovation mode when I demolished most of the "cat room" vestibule that connects the house to the garage. It was 89 degrees and humid so I sweat buckets, but I got a lot done. Then on Tuesday morning Kat, Daniel, and I finished the demolition in the morning. I took Katherine to work around 10, I got home, and I worked some more before lunch break. Tuesday was HOT, 91 degrees (first 90+ degree day in Bangor in 2 years according to official reports), but I drank plenty of water. I thought. Right before lunch I was doing some demolition in the garage, and I used my larger crowbar to start removing a piece of trim on the innner part of the door. I gave the trim a good pull to get it started, but a shard snapped totally off, flew up, richocheted off a handrail nearby, and flew right into my left forearm. In that one piece of trim were three 2" finish nails, and of course the shard had to hit my arm just so the middle of the three nails bored right in. What a bunch of crap!
I don't know how that shard flew so violently into my precious... precious arm, but it flew fast and bounced back very hard. The trim was standard 3/4" thick pine so 1 1/4" of the nail was exposed, and every millimeter of that nail drove right the fuck into my arm all the way to the wood. OMG. I thought I would pull it out and blood would flow like a river, but there was hardly any blood. It frigging hurt, but I was like Swayze in his best man movie so of course "Pain don't hurt." However, the pain did piss me off so I swore about 15,476 times including many F-bombs and I confess I ain't no Dalton from Road House like Swayze was because that shit did hurt. That nail drove right through my precious... precious muscles and stuff. What a bunch of crap!
Kat poked her gorgeous head out the door to tell me our sandwiches were ready, but I was nursing my injury so she had me come inside and ran water over my arm and stuff. Sweat was ROLLING off my body so she wiped me down with a cold, wet towel. She would wipe off the sweat and more would form so I drank water, but then I got lightheaded and a little nausious. I thought I could pass out, but then I manned up and felt a little better. Kat said she was gonna put some alcohol onto my arm and then my world went away for a bit and I had a dream. I don't remember any of the dream, but when I woke up I was on the kitchen floor and Kat and Daniel were by my side. I laughed and told Kat that I just had a dream, but she was all worried because apparently I passed the fuck out over the sink. She said I convulsed some and then went down, but thankfully she kept my ass from splattering onto the floor.
OMG I PASSED OUT LIKE A LITTLE BITCH. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! I guess the combination of heat and the adrenaline rush of getting pokerized by a finish nail did me in. There was only a drop of blood so I know excssive blood loss didn't do it. Plus I've bled my own blood plenty of times in the past and the sight of blood doesn't make me want to pass out so I know it wasn't that. Thankfully I was "only" passed out for about 30 seconds so I didn't have to take an expensive ride in an ambulance over to EMMC. I would have been PISSED if I had to go to the hospital because hospitals are expensive. Thankfully Kat is a genius and she know all I needed was hydration and the hospital wouldn't do jack shit besides charge a lot of money for IV fluids. I felt much better after I ate food and drank more water. I didn't do any more work for the rest of the day, though. Kat shut me down. I was DENIED from working. It was the right decision for us both.
I'm almost 40 years old, and I've never passed out before unless you count getting blackout drunk. Hehehe. Thankfully these days I mostly control my excessive drinking and after this past July 4th I am not allowed to ever get pass-out drunk again. I sweat gallons in the blueberry field this season, and I sweat gallons just the day before doing demolition work yet I never felt dizzy. All I wanna know is why? Why did that have to happen? Wh did my body fuck up? I guess a combination of the heat, the morning of hard work, and the shock of getting stabberized by a fuckin' nail forced a body reboot. We relaxed and ate pizza for the rest of the day while watching a Denzel Washington movie called The Equalizer. A decent movie because Denzel is great, but not a classic I would own. Pretty standard plot, but that's not always a bad thing.
I've been doing a lot of digging for foundation over the past couple
days, and I have several more hours worth of digging before it is ready
for foundation footings. I will write all about that next time because
for now I gots to get off this bootleg thing. Goonies never say die and
Rambo never says I passed the fuck out... until two days ago. What a bunch
Friday, 8-14-15: A busy
We took all three dogs to the park this evening, and the puppies can finally outrun me. Speaking of running, I have not done much jogging over the past 3 weeks thanks to blueberry raking and a mild strain in my right calf. Back on July 25 I was doing my normal 3-mile loop when, about halfway through, my calf seized up on me so I had to hobble-walk back home. What a bunch of crap! It didn't bother me at all during raking, but I went for a jog yesterday afternoon and it acted up on me again. It wasn't as bad at in July and today it doesn't hurt, but WTF body get it right or get stabbed. Gods damn it!
Today I did some demolition in the former "cat room" vestibule that connects the house to the garage. I only worked on it for about an hour before Kat cooked us a delicious supper. I wanted to work on it more, but that frigging house across the street from my bootleg office needed some final touches so that took up several hours of the day. I finished the side porch over there, and I am pleased with how it came out. I also had to do some yard cleanup, etc. There are still a few things left to do over there, but nothing pressing.
Kat and I will have a very busy weekend because we have to go to some podunk town all the way in western Maine near the NH border called West Newfield to DJ a wedding and reception. It's alomst 3 hours away one-way. However, it's a good paycheck so Oh Jesus, hell ya! We will spend the night in Augusta tomorrow night because we have to meet another client in Augusta Sunday around midday for an upcoming wedding. Kat is getting more and more gigs because she is awesome. Unfortunately, her less than stellar health so far this year is very concerning to us both.
I am hoping to free up a lot of my precious... precious time next week
to do some major demolition, digging, and prep work for the house renovation.
Cliff texted Gav and asked him to come raking this weekend so hopefully
Cliff doesn't call or text me and ask me to go rake early next week. He's
a great guy so of course I would go, but I don't really want to. He's
been in the final 8-arce field since Sunday so it must be close to done.
Cliff would have asked me to come help, but he knew I would be busy helping
Kat DJ that wedding. I really need to free up as much time as I can to
work on this house. There is still plenty of warm weather left, but it
will go fast and the next thing we know it will be frigging November and
snowing so I gotta get on it and stay on it. If I keep my nose to the
grind I can get most of the remodel done in 3 months, but that will have
to be a perfect storm of sorts. I'm sure it won't be 100% done until next
spring, but things like siding and some trim can wait. For this year I
just need to make it habitable. I think we can do that. I hope!
Thursday, 8-13-15: One big project
ends as another much larger one begins.
Yesterday midafternoon I began my next project here at the house when I removed this piece of crap deck:
The deck doesn't look too horrible in the photo, but trust me when I say it was fairly ghetto. It sagged in the middle, bigtime. I think previous owners must have put a hot tub there? Based upon the basement plumbing and electrical that's my best guess anyway. Plus the HUGE sag that would be about the footprint of a hottub. Maybe they didn't have a hot tub there, and they just had a herd of Moo Moo Farm fat chicks over for late-night party? Even worse, Moo Moo Farm fat chicks IN a hottub? A herd of fat chicks = what a bunch of crap!
It took less than two hours to totally remove the deck, and I didn't even have to fire up the chainsaw or any power tools besides the drill. Nice! The pry bar and sledge got it apart in a timely fashion. Now it looks like this:
I need to get that debris out of the back yard this morning so I have room to pile dirt. Today I will spend some time digging down over four feet so I can prep for a foundation footing and wall. Why do I need a foundation wall there? Because I plan to make the house bigger! We are going to totally cancel the entry that connects the garage to the house, empty out the garage, rip off the garage roof, and then start turning it all into functional living space. Most of the old garage will be Kat's studio for her DJ business. [Hire her she is the best!] The space where the old deck was will hopefully be a new laundry/utility room, and stairs will lead up to a second floor out there that will hopefully have a bathroom and two other rooms. I have been working on these plans for a few weeks, and now it's finally all coming together. The vision that I had been forming in my head got put onto paper during some free time at camp during blueberry raking, and since I've returned I've been tweaking and improving upon the rough draft. Yesterday I finally got the ball rolling when I started demolishing that bootleg deck.
This will be a really big project that won't be cheap, but in the end it will pay us back in increased home value and some income that we will get from Kat's oldest son. He moved in with us a couple weeks ago, just as my blueberry raking season began, and now he's in the downstairs. Katherine moved back upstairs into the small spare room (10x10, no closet) so we need more space. It's a little crowded here, but not too much of a sardine can. The biggest issue now is the lack of space for Kat's DJ gear. We have a lot of her gear crammed into a corner in the living room right now.
I already checked with the city so permitting shouldn't be too much of an issue. I will go get my permit early next week; they said I can build a second floor above the garage. I suppose at some point I should figure out roughly how much it all will cost; my best guess is $20-25k with us doing a lot of the work ourselves. Thank the gods who do not exist that I can put a lot of that on the Home Depot and Lowes cards! The garage foundation now actually has some footings so that's a huge plus. If it was just poured onto a slab I would have had to do major foundation work to give it the strength that it needs. We don't use the garage for anything except cold storage now so it totally makes sense to finish it off and make better use of it. If we need cold storage we can just use the shed!
In other news, Donald Trump entered the 2016 presidential race a few weeks ago, and so far he's leading in the polls among many Republican potentials. Hillary Clinton is the leading Democrat and has been for many months. She's such a beotch! I would absolutely without hesitation vote for Trump over a Clinton. Trump is funny, but he can be an arrogant ass. His campaign so far has been entertaining because he has made controversial statements and done some bold, borderline offensive things along the way.
The Red Sox lost again last night. They are still in last place by a lot. What a bunch of crap! Their 2015 season is a joke. Epic fail. The Patriots have their first preseason game tonight, a game that I don't really give a crap about. However, we will be at Tag's for Kat's gig and it will be on some of their TV screens so I will watch some of it. Tom Brady took the NFL to court over his 4-game suspension regarding "DeflateGate." Hopefully he wins so he doesn't miss any games. Goddamn Roger Goddell, the NFL commissioner. He's a fuckin' DINK. DO NOT SUSPEND GOD BRADY.
It's just past 0700 now so I guess I should go move that old deck debris
before I start digging. This project will use up my precious... precious
free time until I maybe go back to work at USPS in November. Looks like
I'm booked until 2016. What a bunch of crap! This has been a VERY busy
year so far.
Tuesday, 8-11-15: Boston
It was a GREAT raking season, one of my best ever. Check out the final paycheck for about 74.5 hours of work over 12 of 13 days from July 28 - Aug 9. (I took Friday the 31st "off" so I could take care of some apartment work, mow a few lawns, etc.)
I averaged over $28 per hour, and it was a very good crop. Last week Gav and I did out usual camping routine down at Camden Hills; we had the campsite from Aug 1-9, and I broke up the 9 nights of camping on the 5th night by coming home for an overnight last Tuesday night. Kat actually came down to visit the campsite one night last weekend, and Gavin's chick spent most nights camping with us. A couple of the days I would get to the field before Gavin (when we took separate vehicles because I was heading home.) and Cliff would ask "Where's Gavin?" I was so tempted to say "In his tent at the camp pokerizing your daughter!" but I held my tongue. Gav has been dating Cliff's daughters for several months now. HAHAHAHAHA. I told him not to piss her off or else he and I would be raking rock walls all year. Hehehehe. She didn't blueberry rake with us because she has another job and is finishing up college stuff.
Kat and I went to Boston yesterday to visit the Brigham Women and Children's Hospital. Driving in Boston = what a bunch of crap! Most of the drivers down there are fuckin' DINKS who weave in and out and who do not signal. With no traffic the trip takes about 3:45. However, traffic was a beotch in many spots south of Portland and into the city so it took closer to 4:40. Screw taking the truck or the Mountaineer into the city, those vehicles are too big, so we rented a car for $63 instead. Putting 480 miles on a rental car = Oh Jesus, hell ya! Plus the 38.2MPG was a nice bonus, double what our vehicles get. The decision to get the compact car paid off big when we got to the parking garage and saw the 6.6-foot height clearance. My track-rack on the F150 cannot fit because it is too tall. Seriously. Plus my truck needs a sticker and new tires. I need to get on that ASAP since the inspection expired in June. What a bunch of crap! I should make an appointment for that today.
The trip to Boston felt like a waste in many ways, but I hope in the end it bears some fruit. We drove for 8 fucking hours so Kat could see some doctor for about 30 minutes. The doc was not too helpful and put her on another steriod, a stronger one, and sent us packing. I was supposed to see the doc with Kat, but I got stuck in the waiting area when they never came to get me. WTF, over? Poor Kat has been in constant pain for months on end now. She has muscle fatigue, headaches, and frequent nausia. The doctors around here haven't been able to pinpoint the problem so we decided to go to Boston for some better answers. Unfortunately, the Harvard doc whom we saw didn't seem to do a whole lot. We do have the name of another doc down there who hopefully will be more help, Dr. Dokken, so we will hopefully see him soon. Plus, as an added bonus, with a name like Dokken he obviously rocks!
The puppies are mostly behaving now as I sit here and wait for my Sweet
Pea to wake up. My right arm goes numb some so that wakes me up, but thankfully
I was able to sleep most of the night. Over the past few years after raking
my arm will experience some numbness, most likely from a pinched nerve
due to swollen muscles in my shoulder area. I don't have any evidence
to support that claim, but it's our best guess and I sure as hell ain't
going to a doc. They can't help Kat so I have little faith they could
help me. It's really just a minor inconvenience anyway. As I type this
now my fingers are all going numb in my typing hand so I guess that is
my cue to hop off this bootleg thing. It feels good to be back home!
Kat actually came down to camp to hang out with Gav, Sierra, and I on
Sunday night so that was awesome! It sucks being away from my sexy, fun-loving
wife. However, at an average of $28 an hour so far and only improving
it makes sense to work as much as I can and bank the money now. This has
been a GREAT raking season so far, and the field we are in (lower Bob
Wright's) is fuckin-A. I raked 48 boxes in 4.5 hours yesterday morning
including 39 boxes in the first 3 hours in one of the best rows, if not
the best row I have ever raked in my entire life. At $3.25 per box that
is well over $30 per hour. Nice!