8-30-16: Doe tags, national news, my truck, and LePage.
The other top local story, besides some fire in southern Maine, was about our polarizing governer, Paul LePage. Apparently he is pissing off more people with his comments and his voicemal threat to a local representative. LePage might be a few fries short of a happy meal at times, but I do think he is trying to make our state better. Sadly his methods are crude more often than not. I think he's hilarious and I'd vote for him forever if allowed to do so, but all the liberals and softies can't stand him. This is the voicemail that he left for that representative:
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” a recording of the governor’s phone message says. “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (expletive). I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist (expletive). You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.” -Portland Press Herald
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG THIS IS AWESOME! "I need you to just friggin." WTF, over? Makes no sense but is hilarious anyway. I also love how at the end he asks him to make it public and then has the courteousy to end with "Thank you." Hahahaha. LePage for president in 2020 anyone? Inagine the voicemails he would leave for Putin and Kim? What would he do about peace in the mideast? WWIII maybe?
In national news they are talking about some guy whose last name is WEINER. His chick hauled on him because he sent dick-pics to other wommens, and they are talking about this news affects Hillary Clinton. When your name is WEINER and you are a sex-fiend does that qualify for ironic? Me thinks it does. There are a few hurricanes and tropical storms plus a side of "invest" storms in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans right now, but nothing is forecast to hit the USA very hard and we won't see any moisture from these things. It has been a dry summer, almost a drought in this area and much worse in southern Maine, so we could use the rain.
Now they're talking about the company that makes Epipens. Epipens are used to help people live when they go into shock from diabetes and stuff, but they have a strong hold on the market so they jacked up the price to ridiculous levels. The CEO of the company went from making a few million a year to $19 million a year, and the profits are pouring in. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! More corporate greed. I have never used an epipen before so it doesn't affect me personally, but it's still sad to see people taking capitalism to the extreme. Capitalism > socialism, but when I see stories like this it does make a part of me understand why socialism has some merits. (Greedy and lazy people do not make socialism work.)
I need to clean my truck; it is filthy. I took this photo of my truck bed before blueberry raking started last month:
OMG THERE WAS A PLANT GROWING IN THE DEBRIS. My bed-liner is peeling, and that is a bunch of crap. Aren't those things supposed to last forever? Mine lasted less than five years gods damn it. I do use my truck-bed hard, though. I've taken countless loads of nail-filled debris to the dump, I've hauled gravel and dirt, and I've also loaded and unloaded firewood, lumber, and seemingly everything else. Now that plant is dead, it didn't survive the raking season, but the truck bed is even more filthy. My cab is messy, too. I have half-chewed sticks in the back thanks to the puppies and dust and dirt everywhere. What a bunch of crap! I really need to spend an hour just cleaning out the inside of the thing. I'm not a slob, but by looking at my truck you'd never know it.
Oh well, it is just a work truck. I've had the truck almost six years now. If I can get another four out of the thing I'll be happy. I do love my truck and it has been good to me. I think I have about 65k miles on the odometer right now. Not bad! (I looked at the odometer later in the day and was at 62,799. Even lower then I thought. Score!)
I should get off this bootleg thing and get ready to go use the gym. I've gotten all kinds of exercise so far this month; it has been my best month of exercise since 2012. Wow! Plus I still have today and tomorrow to add to my August totals. After I exercise I'll work on my Bangor duplex for a few hours. I worked on it a lot yesterday, and Bruce finished up all my plumbing repairs and upgrades. Bye bye $460 for that (including parts), but it was money well-spent because now I not only have nice new kitchen plumbing but I also have plumbing in the basement that flows much better. A potential buyer will hopefully like the looks of all the new plumbing, and if not then they can gggggggggggggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt ooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttttttttttttttttt!
Friday, 8-26-16: FOR SALE
In the fall of 2013 I listed the building for sale at a price of $115,900. No one made a serious offer then (what a bunch of crap!), but the front 3BR was in need of some work so now that I am doing the work and making it look nicer (putting lipstick and perfume on my pig) it might show better. Plus I didn't list the house for sale until around November in 2013, and a listing in September might be slightly in my favor as it seems the market slows way down as winter nears. I asked Jody for his honest opinion, but he was fairly noncomittal about things. He said he thought the price of $109k might be a little high, but he also said the market will tell us so we can't know until we wait and see what happens.
I figure about 18 more hours of my own labor should get me to a point where I'd be comfortable with showings. That will give me time to do some more touch-up painting, yard cleanup, install a window, trim, finish a ceiling, paint or stain the kitchen cabinets, etc. Today and tomorrow I won't work on the place too much so that leaves me next Sunday-Wednesday to put on the finishing touches. I could work on that building for a half a damn year, spend tens of thousnds of dollars, and still not have it perfect, but as long as I can get the place good enough then I'm happy.
Kat started her karaoke gig in Orono again on Wednesday night of this week. They de-facto gave her the summer off because the place becomes much more of a ghost town when college is not in session. They did try to still have karaoke up there after school got out in May, but there was not enough business to justify it continuing week after week so they just stopped asking her to come. Fine with us, we got more free time this summer! It wasn't too busy up there this past Wednesday, but that is because school has not yet begun. Students are just starting to arrive this week to get settled into the dorms, to do orientation, etc. Next week should be full swing balls-to-the-wall busy. I had time this week to finish my August JH training so I'm glad it wasn't too busy. When it's busy I have to actually work, especially for the last 1.5 hours when dozens upon dozens of drunk college kiddos keep begging to sing. Dealing with a full house = what a bunch of crap! However, it does make for some damn good job security for Kat.
In other news Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton is still the major political story. Some polls show Clinton with a small lead, but some polls do not. Who do you believe? Who do you vote for? There is no viable third party who has any chance so I guess Stallone will still get my vote. Trump > Clinton with no doubt in my mind, but Trump will not be a great president either. At least Trump knows how to run a business, and this country needs someone with some business experience to run the show. Or someone who was once Rocky Balboa and Rambo, John J. Hehehehe.
The Red Sox just finished an 11-game road trip and went 7-4 so they worked their way up the standings a bit into a tie for first place with The Blue Jays. Here are the current standings:
The Patriots play their third preseason game tonight, and I really don't give a crap because it's just the preseason. Tom (God) Brady has to serve a bogus 4-game suspension for some deflated footballs that he didn't even deflate back in early 2015, and that is a bunch of crap. Hopefully the team can at least go 2-2 without Brady so when he comes back they can tear shit up and crush their enemies and hear the lamentations of their wommens.
Mom turns 60 next week. We are going to do a birthday party for her next Saturday Sept. 3, but her actual birthday is Thursday the 1st. I have no idea what to get for her because she is the hardest person to shop for, ever. Oh well, at least I can get a cake and give her a card. Kat has a birthday gig of her own to host down in Searsport on that day so I will help her set up for that and then scoot the rest of the way down to the midcoast to do Mom's birthday and to visit the family. Pretty convenient that the gig is halfway to Mom and Pop's house! The timing on that is great; we can kill two birds with one stone. However, I would never want to really kill two birds with one stone and I'm pretty sure that is impossible to really do unless your name is Rambo, John J.
I suppose I'm all done with this bootleg thing now. I gotta get ready to head over to the gym with my Sweet Pea, take the dogs to the park, and then go pick up windows at Viking in Holden plus run a couple other errands along the way before lunch. Drop and give me 25!
Thursday, 8-25-16: I need
to get this property done and post an eviction notice.
I have tenants who suck so I think I will wash them out for good. They've been mediocre at best since they moved in last summer; most of the time rent has been paid late and, worst of all, the excuses this chick has for paying late are ludicrous. Now she hasn't been able to pay August in full because her boss has been on some epic vacation in Greece, no one else has the keys to the safe, and her $600 of overtime pay is in that safe. OMG LAME EXCUSE. Even worse this week I called her, left a voicemail, and got this text message back five minutes later:
"Steve...don't have good service where I am...my grandmother passed away...I am in NH right now...I wanted to get here to say goodbye... I will be home Friday... I still didn't get my $$$$$$$ from my boss... it's in the safe in an envelope for when I get back..."
HEY CHICK WHY DON'T YOU USE ACTUAL SENTENCES IN YOUR TEXT MESSAGE? ALL I WANNA KNOW IS WHY? WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE A GIANT LYING ASSHOLE GIBLET-HEAD? WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! It really sucks when I call someone for an important business reason and then I get some lame-ass text message back just a couple minutes later. She obviously saw on her caller ID that her landlord was calling so she ignored the call since she didn't want to have to make excuses on the spot as to why she is a failure. She promised rent would be paid last week and then she blew it. Gods damn it!
I didn't even post the worst part of all this yet. Kat has her as a Failbook friend, and she posted that she was going camping. Katherine used to babysit for her until just a few weeks ago when she got hired at Hannaford. Katherine couldn't stand dealing with her asshole kids anymore (seriously), and Katherine said she has had this epic camping vacation planned for a while. OMG. Plus when Kat and I were talking to this chick last year she was saying she was expecting some magical check as a result of her grandparents' passing. I guess that was another late-rent excuse back then? Hell if I know, but I do know her bullshit lies are the reason why she is first getting a 7-day notice and then, once she pays her August rent (if she pays, which I do think she will) then she will be getting a 30-day notice. It's time for her to disappear from our lives. Disappear, scumbag! I wonder how many times one of her grandparents has died in her life? I feel badly if she really did have one die, but my gut tells me it is another lame excuse. Death in the family is a hard one because if you call bullshit on it and there really was a death then you are the asshole.
She has a roomate who seems like a decent guy, but I guess he just pays her cash every week and she supposedly gives that money to me. The problem is she has only paid $280 of their $970 August rent that is due and I am not cool with that at all. It's time for her to get an eviction notice. It's time for her to ggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt ooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt! I really don't want to give her the boot, but at this point it would be a bad business decision to let her stay. Oh, she's also a bit behind on the water/sewer bill so that is another reason to flush the turd in the business punch-bowl. The tenants who lived in that house for the first 4.5 years that I owned the place moved out owing around $900-$950 in back sewer bills last year, and I got stuck with that bill so I do NOT want a repeat performance.
When I have to ghost a bad tenant it opens up for door for some bad reprecussions. The tenant could refuse to pay any more rent, and it takes a few weeks to get an FED court date. During that time any tenant under an eviction notice could decide to damage the property, cause neighborhood disturbances, and generally be a menace. I do budget for bad debt, but I already have my Bangor duplex half-vacant as I prepare to list it for sale. That 3-bedroom apartment being empty for a projected two months = bye bye around $1800 in potential rental income. I don't need to pile any more lost rent onto the pile, but thanfully I do have her security deposit of $1200 that will help cover any back sewer, lost rent, etc. (if needed.) Hopefully she decided to leave quietly and on fair terms with me, but she does seem like the type of person who will not take it well and who will be a total beeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooootttttttttttttttttttcccccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh about it. She might take it all the way to court and then plead to the judge "I have two kids to feed and I don't have anywhere else to go." My reply of course would be "I don't give a shit your kids are going to grow up to be failures like you anyway so disappear, scumbag."*
All I wanna know is why? Why does it have to take seemingly forever to feed these dogs? Tiger-Lily gets excited for her food, she starts digging in, but then she decides to wander all over the place before we can influence her to finish. Copper is even worse. I haven't even put his food down because he seemed to give no cares right now about eating. Sometimes he acts like he is not hungry at all, but we think he's just distracted because he always wants to know what his "sister" is doing. Before we got Tiger-Lily Copper would always eat his meal right away. The two dogs do play great together, but they distract each other at times and that makes feeding them a chore.
I'm meeting with Jody at noon today over at my Bangor duplex to hopefully sign the needed papers to get the place listed FOR SALE. The building is not ready to hit the open market just yet because I have screwed off too much on the place, but in a few days I think it will be about ready. Definitely by the end of the month. Okay, hopefully by the end of the month. I did some trim painting, landscape work, and a new window on the front right side of the house on a beautiful Tuesday morning:
If I don't sell the building then
I will have to address this bootleg, sagging porch at some point in the
Much like half the frigging building nothing is level on that bootleg porch. What a bunch of crap! See where the blue trim paint is peeling? The wood is starting to rot in some areas so the paint does not stick like it should. Plus I paid $5 or $10 for that paint back in 2013, a Marden's special buy, so I got what I paid for. Cheap paint = bad decision every time. However, I did think I might sell the property in 2013 before I did that painting so I didn't really care if it lasted. Oops, my bad there.
If I do end up keeping the place I think the old aluminum siding will also need to be replaced along with that porch. There are a couple sections of the foundation that aren't looking the best, especially under that porch, so hopefully a potential buyer doesn't walk away because of that. Some sections of the foundation are pretty sweet thanks to repairs done in years before I bought the building and this $2000 repair from 2013:
That was the first job I ever hired Bob for, and in hindsight I should have hired someone else because now Gavin is stuck with Bob. However, Bob does work for cheaper than some of the other guys and his work is passable for a rental. Maybe. Bob is a giant turd of a human, but he did great work on the foundation here at this house around this time of year one year ago (probably because I kept him on a VERY tight leash and I did a lot of the work myself, too.)
In a perfect world I will find a buyer for that Bangor duplex fast, and the Giblet-Head epic fail tenant will move out quietly and without a battle in September. Thankfully I cashed in some magical FedEx retirement account that I never knew I had so I do have the funds set aside in case I do have to deal with a shit-show. I need to get my arse going because I gotta see if Viking Lumber has the two windows in that I ordered for that Bangor duplex, I gotta play with the puppies, and I gotta live my life.
*I won't really say that. Hehehehe.
Saturday, 8-20-16: Looking
ahead to the fall.
I still need to stain the cabinets, install the countertop, hook up the sink plumbing, install trim, etc. Nothing is level over there, and that is a bunch of crap. Oh well, I find ways to make it all work it just takes a little extra time. The kitchen looks like this right now:
Also today the landfill here in Brewer is open. Those mudda fuckas only open the landfill twice a month now, on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 0730 until 1400. What a bunch of crap! How stingy is that? This friggin' city has a population that must be near 10,000 and they only let you haul on your construction debris and bigger junk twice a month?! They used to be open three or four times each week. Makes it hard when I have a pile of crap to dump because I have to stow the stuff for a while or else meter it out into the dumpster. For smaller construction projects I do just toss junk into the dumpster by my bootleg office, but that dumpster is also for the tenants to use for their household trash so I can't put too much into the thing or else it will be too full. Evergreen does empty it every other Thursday so I can plan around that schedule to use it sparingly. Unfortunately, the trash pile at my Bangor duplex now is a little more than what I feel comfortable tossing into the dumpster.
Once I finish working on the Bangor property September will be upon us, and my next bootleg properties project will be replacing some baseboards at the building by my office, including my old apartment. Back when I lived in that apartment on really cold days in the dead of winter we would have to use electric space heaters because the place just couldn't come up to 68. In the brutal winter of 2014-2015 the tenant who lived there cried and whined because it was only 60 in the apartment for a bit. Thankfully last winter was much more mild so that apartment didn't suffer too much. Only when it gets below zero outside for a stretch does that heat in that apartment begin to epic fail. I also have a couple bedrooms in the other first-floor apartment there that need new baseboard, and the upstairs baseboards mostly look like ten pounds of shit stuffed into a five pound bag so I might as well replace those, too.
I'll be hiring out the baseboard replacements to Bruce so I won't have to be hands-on the whole time. That won't take all of September, not even close, but I also want to do some heating improvements here at this house in September because this place is an epic fail in the dead of winter. Using space heaters = expensive and not ideal at all. When I'm not doing the heating upgrades with Bruce I'll try to work on this bootleg place some. Also in September Kat has a few bigger gigs and her Wednesday night gig up in Orono will be in full swing (that starts in four days) so I'll be busier helping her run her business.
In October I have tenants moving out of a 2BR on Chamberlain. They've been A+ tenants for three years so I hate to lose them, but they more than fulfilled the length of their one-year lease so I am very happy to have had them. The carpets in that upstairs apartment need to be replaced, painting will need to be done, etc. That will take up some of my October, and again Kat has many gigs lined up for that month as well. Plus I want to go deer hunting. Speaking of that, I should drag out my bow and start shooting a few times a week in advance of the coming hunting season.
In November Kat and I fly out to Phoenix, AZ for a week-long stay in nearby Mesa (5th-12th.) We plan to tour around the state and see if any places grab us in a positive way. Plus there's the Grand Canyon. Tommy lives only a couple hours south so we will hopefully visit him. I'm excited for the trip because the weather should be fantastic. Once we return from the vacation I'll do some deer hunting (if I'm not tagged out) and keep working on the house. Hopefully no other tenants give notice to leave so I don't have to mess around too much with the bootleg apartments. As of now if no one else gives notice or needs to get the boot I'll have had five of my twelve rental units turn over from just April through October of this year. That's a lot!
December will bring real winter and my last month of relative freedom before the JH tax job begins. Kat bought tickets to the Patriots-Ravens Dec. 12th game so I think that is awesome and she is as cool as the other side of the pillow for doing that. It's an early birthday gift. Oh Jesus, hell ya! We'll spend the night down south somewhere in order to break up the trip. Plus we can also do a little Christmas shopping. That will just about wrap up 2016 so it looks like once again I'm pretty much booked for the entire year. What a bunch of crap!
Friday, 8-19-16: Summer
still goes strong, the Bangor duplex, and life in general.
Kat and I will be heading over to the gym shortly to get our swell on, and I will drink half a can of Monster to give me a little boost. Hopefully within the next week I can pull the plug on the dehumidifier down in the cellar there; I might actually unplug the thing today. Running a dehumidifier in the gym/basement spiked my office electric bill up to $84 last month. What a bunch of crap! Normally the bill is around $20 this time of year. Last month the bill was around $65 so I'd say the dehumidifier costs between $50-60 a month to run. Ouch! It's a pretty good sized unit rated for a big space, though. Without it I think things would be unbearable down there so I have no regrets about keeping it on for the summer.
I put some of my $1745 blueberry raking loot to good use for the benefit of the gym. I ordered this back-row machine from Amazon.com for $284:
Oh Jesus, hell ya! Can't wait to get that set up in my badass gym. I can get a good back workout with the cable rows, but that machine is really awesome and is like the cherry on top of an already pimped-out array of possibilities in that gym.
The back-row/chest pull shipped yesterday and is scheduled to arrive next week. I used to have a back row down in the gym, but a couple years ago I had to give it back when the cops came to scarf it up along with a bunch of other exercise equipment that I had purchased. Long story there and documented in the archives of this bootleg turd-heap of a site, but basically I bought used stuff for $500, turns out the stuff I bought had been stolen, and I had to give it all back and get slow restitution of the $500 that I spent. The whole ordeal took over two years, maybe three before I got my final restitution check. What a bunch of crap!
The gym has been a whopping 75 degrees for a few weeks now. OMG. The hottest I'd ever seen the gym before was probably the low 70s; this has been a very hot summer and the extended forecast shows plenty more summer weather to come. Thankfully the dehumidifier in that gym and cellar keeps things somewhat tolerable. Years ago I never had a dehumidifier down there so this time of year it would be extremely sticky in that gym come summer. I definitely can get a better workout in when it's not so humid, and as an added bonus my office and other personal belongings down there don't get musty and gross from the moisture in the air.
After we use the gym we'll take the puppies to the park and then eat lunch. After lunch I'll scoot over to my Bangor duplex to keep plugging away at that remodel. I keep telling myself that one day I'll step it up and work a solid day over there, maybe 7 or 8 total hours, but then I decide I'd rather enjoy more of the day by using the gym with Kat, by playing racquetball, by taking a longer lunch break, etc. As a result I "only" end up working around 4 hours, give or take. If I really dropped the hammer I'd have it ready for showings already, but I want to work to live and not live to work so the place can wait an extra week or so. Bruce isn't coming to hook up the kitchen plumbing until Wednesday and Jody is on vacation in Vegas until next Monday so even if I wanted to list the place now I'd have to wait a few more days.
I figure I have about 29 more hours worth of work to do at that duplex before I have it ready to show. I'm sure I could spend all of this month and September over there if I really wanted to go over the place with a fine-tooth comb. However, that would be a huge waste of my precious... precious time and money. I'll do the best I can with it given my time and financial limitations and see what happens. Either someone will buy the place or I'll just keep it as a rental and continue to build equity and maybe make a little profit if I pick the right tenants. Only time will tell how it will all go down. The building is not great, and no matter how much work I put into the place it will still have flaws. the stairs are too steep leading to the upstairs rooms, and the floors are not all level. In the front apartment there has been much shifting and warping over time. When I bought the place in May, 2004 the floors were not even close to level, but I think the kitchen has gotten a little worse. What a bunch of crap! In hindsight I should have either found a different building to buy or I should have refused to pay any more than about $90k for the place. I paid $103,500 (plus some closing costs), but at the time the market was much more robust so I don't feel like I got ripped off.
I'm planning to list the building for $109,000 when I finish the kitchen, windows, painting, cleaning, and yard work. If all goes as planned I'll have it ready to list in about a week and then I will have to wait and see what happens. I'm not gonna tolerate some lowball BS offer; if no one wants to pay me what I want for the house then I'll pull the listing, keep the place for a while more, and try to get the vacant and remodeled 3BR front apartment rented. A new kitchen, fresh paint, new windows, etc. should make it a desirable apartment for someone. Hopefully it makes it a desirable house for someone, too. Live in the front, rent the back out and have your mortgage covered.
8-14-16: No power = fail. Hot night = fail more.
I guess power outages happen everywhere, but this time around all I wanna know is why? Why did it happen? I looked at the clock just as it flickered before dying, and the time was 2317. Now it's 2334 and still dark as a pocket in here. Well, it would be dark if not for the light on my precious... precious computer. I tried to stay in bed and just go back to sleep, but it's so gods damned hot that the air is like a sauna. When we tapped out a while ago weather.com said the dew point was 71 and the air temperature was 79. What a bunch of crap! The humidity is opressive and there is not even a hint of any breeze so I cannot sleep tonight without a fan blowing around all that warm air. It feels like it is 99 degrees right now, no joke. I felt myself starting to sweat when I was lying in bed so I had to get up. I'm actually going to sit outside in a minute because even here at the bar between the kitchen and living room it's stupid-hot. It's stupid-hot outside as well, but maybe it's a degree cooler on the deck and at this point I'll take what I can get.
I might as well keep writing about stuff because I will not sleep. Oh, Katherine has to work at 0400 so revielle for me is 0330, too. Great! [sarcasm] She just came down to ask me two questions that really did not need to be asked. First, "Why are you up?" Second, "Where's Mom?" OMG CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. I said her Mom went to the store to get donuts, but then I asked her where she really thought her Mom really was. She certainly didn't pack her bags and head for the train station. Obvious answer to obvious question, same answer as to why I am up. Sometimes the questions she asks cannot be explained. I probably did the same thing when I was 18, too. What a bunch of crap! She's an adult but not really because in America most people are still kids well into their 20s or at least so it seems. Probaby most men are kids in their 30s, too. In some ways I know I sure was. Hehehehe.
I took the puppies to the park earlier, and I snapped some photos of them playing around. They love to chase each other when they find a good stick:
Copperpot still loves his tennis ball, and Tiger Lily will sometimes chase him when he has his ball. However, she doesn't give a crispy crap about chasing the ball herself.
All I wanna know is why? Why does the power have to be out? There is no adverse weather that I know of. No thunderstorms and certainly no gusty winds. No ice accretion, no nothing. Maybe someone at the Hydro fell asleep and hit an OFF switch. Maybe some slapnut nincompoop driver hit a power pole. I remember a few years back we had a long-duration outage in this area when some chick drove into a pole. She was reaching for her sunglasses or putting on makeup or texting or something really ignorant.
I would love to go back to bed so I can sleep another 3.5 hours. However, we're pwned so nevermind. After I drop Katherine off at work I'll try to sleep some more. Carting her to work for a 0400 shift really sucks a lot. However, it's better than driving her to and from school like I used to do most days twice a day. Plus since I'm working on my Bangor duplex I can work over there and it's not too much of a burden to pick her up at 1230 when her bakery dept. shift ends at the grocery store. She will hopefully have her road test really soon and get her license so she can just drive herself in. We're just waiting for the DMV to mail her a test date. She needs to practice parallel parking and I thought she might ask me to help her with that this weekend, but instead she hung out with her friends, played video games, and went to Denny's last night in the middle of the night. What a bunch of crap!
Well the power has now been out for 43 minutes, and it's no longer Sunday August 14th. I worked for about 3 hours on my Bangor duplex yesterday morning before I picked up Katherine from her work shift, but other than that I didn't work too much this weekend. Kat and I watched a couple movies including London Has Fallen (newer movie and fairly entertaining. A solid 6/10) and some bootleg yet watchable movie called SnowPiercer. Snowpiercer was on one of our 100 movie channels, and the Time Warner guide gave it 3.5 out of 4 stars so we thought it might be decent. However, those star ratings on Time Warner are often way off so I wasn't expecting an Oscar-worthy masterpiece. The same system only gave The Goonies 3 out of 4 stars. What a bunch of crap! That's the best movie, ever. Should be 5 out of 4 gods damn it. We watched some of The Goonies this weekend on TV, too.)
Snowpiercer is a cool concept for a movie, especially in this day and age when lots of the stuff out there is either a remake, sequal, or comic book flick. Unfrtunately, it wound up being sort-of a hot mess. The logic gaps required to make it believable were too much for us to accept, and the end was very unsatisfying. The movie is about a train that circles a future frozen earth. All of humanity has frozen to death except for those who managed to get onto this super-magic-like train. For reasons not explained the train just goes around the globe at what seemed like 100MPH, and it somehow was a self-contained ecosystem where the elite ate steak and fresh eggs on a regular basis. How, after 17 years on this train, is that possible? Cannot be explained. There were no livestock so wtf? Each train car got more and more ridiculous as the leader of the poor people in the back fought his way to the front "elite" section of the train. One of the cars contined an aquarium. A fucking aquarium?! How would those 100,000 gallons of water remain stable on a moving frigging train? Another car had swimming pools (again, water on a moving train?!) Another had saunas, another had a raving dance club, and one car had a bunch of henchmen stuffed into it for no explainable reason. These henchmen had hoods, axes, and were stuffed in there nut-to-butt as well. Logic? What's that?!
The big reveal towards the end was pretty cool, but it did not save the movie for us. Ed Harris (great actor!) was the engineer and founder of the train. Apparently he was smart and knew the world was going to freeze so he built a global train track and a magic train. The engine ran on the souls of children or something, and the lower class ate protien bars made out of bugs. There was an explosion, an avelanche, and most of the train was knocked into oblivion and pulverized. However, a chick and some kid lived and went outside with their coats on. The world was still a frozen tundra and there was a polar bear. The end.
OMG WHAT A FUCKING TERRIBLE ENDING HOW IN THE BLUE HELL COULD THAT CHICK AND LITTLE KID POSSIBLY LIVE IN THE FROZEN MOUNTAINS WITH NO SUPPLIES AND A POLAR BEAR EYEBALLING THEM AS ITS NEXT DELICIOUS MEAL?! WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
I like a movie to have at least a somewhat hopeful ending or some kind of resolution. The bleak "You escaped the mayhem but wait you're still fucked!" endings are very off-putting. Same for the endings where everyone dies. Come on, what's the point in even making those flicks in the first place?
Okay turds, all two of youz, I guess I am done with this bootleg blog update now. The power is not back on yet, but it's 1233 and my battery won't last forever so I might as well go lay down and see what happens. Maybe the boredom of being up at this hour with nothing to do will help me fall asleep. Unfortunately it's still extremely hot, 81 degrees here in the living room and probably the same in the bedroom, so I might not sleep at all until the power comes back on. What a bunch of crap! I can sleep without a fan making noise, but I sleep better with a fan on and tonight the opressive heat makes sleeping with no fan nearly impossible. It would be a major kick in the balls if the power stays off until I have to get up at 0330. If it's still out when I take Katherine to work I guess I will just go work on my Bangor duplex at 0400. Katherine said she can't sleep without her fan so maybe she won't even be able to go in. Not sure if she can function on only couple hours of sleep for a 8-hour work shift because she's still a kid and doesn't really know how to be tough yet. I would assume she will go in regardless of the power situation here at the house because she is still so new at that job that she can't be calling out just yet. Right? I hope anyway.
Friday, 8-12-16: 9-3 Sox.
Hang on, I gotta relocate a cat. I think 8 cats live here? Hell if I know; I tolerate them well enough but sometimes they think they can hang out in my personal space and that is not cool. I would like the cats more if they came to greet me when I come home like the dogs do, but I can tell the cats give no fucks unless they are bored and/or hungry. However, they are never hungry because they always have food so nevermind. Sometimes the cats do stupid shit like jump on the screen doors and knock over the trash can and all I can do is scratch my head and say "All I wanna know is why?" DOGS > CATS. Our two dogs are fucking awesome.
Blueberry raking ends tomorrow, but my services are not required so my season has already ended. Since Gavin is pokerizing the boss's daughter he was sorta obligted to go back to help Cliff and his 2-person crew finish the field on Bull Hill. Gav said they should be all done tomorrow around midday. Oh Jesus, hell ya! That means it'll be about 50 weeks until raking 2017. Hopefully Cliff doesn't retire because I love raking for the guy. I'll stick around here at home this weekend and hang out with my sexy wife. I'll also work on my Bangor duplex some, but not too much. Speaking of that duplex, I plan to haul on the place ASAP. I might not actually sell the property, but I am going to list it for about $109,000 once Jody gets back from a Vegas vacation next week. I won't sell it for much less than the asking price because my name is not SANTA CLAUS and my ass ain't living on the North Pole. I'm in the process of replacing the kitchen; I worked on it probably 12-15 hours this week. Not great, but good enough. I also had to replace a parallelogran window in that kitchen. Nothing is level in that bootleg piece of shit building and I am tired of looking at the place so hopefully some sucker wants to buy it from me.
It's 9-4 Sox now, but there are two outs in the 9th and I think Arizona is pwned. The Sox are something like 12-14 since the All-Star break, and they just lost 2 of 3 to the worthless Yankees thanks to bullpen implosions. What a bunch of crap! The Yankees suck this year and just hauled on Alex Rodriguez even though they still owe that pecker head another $27 million from the rest of this year through next year. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA. poor A-Rod had all kinds of talent but acted like a little beotch when he was accused of and found guilty of using steriods or PEDs (performance enhancing drugs.) I guess he had Mommy and Daddy issues or something. He made $462 million in his baseball career, but unfortunately his personal reputation is a toilet. I think he cheated on his wife, too. However, I don't know that for sure and I am too lazy to look it up. I'd rather be poor and have a good reputation than be filthy rich and be known as that D-BAG GUY.
Sox win, Sox win! God this time of year is great. However, it's bittersweet because every day that passes the sunset gets earlier and we get one day closer to the EPIC FAIL that is winter in Maine. Hopefully Kat and I can make good life decisions, plan accordingly, and find a way to GTFO of this bootleg state during the winter months. Summer in Maine = win. Winter in Maine = lose. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully we still have a lot of summer left so no sense even thinking about winter when it has not even happened yet.
Hopefully I can haul on my Bangor duplex and use the proceeds from that sale to find a nice summer camp somewhere within striking disctance. Owning a camp on a lake somewhere would be cool.
Alright turds, all two of youz, I gotta head on down to Jester's so I can hang out with my Sweet Pea and watch drunks sing karaoke until we get to pull the plug and bivouac later. However, Katherine needs to go to work at 0400 so maybe we will just stay up. We should totally go to Dennys and eat a GRAND SLAM breakfast at 0300. Ok Nevermind I'm like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon I'm too old for that shit. Hehehehe.
Wednesday, 8-10-16: Final
thoughts on raking, work begins on my Bangor duplex.
My great friend and former roommate, Phil G, came up to visit and to rake for a day last week. Awesome! (Not Phil in the photo above.) He's never raked blueberries before, but he did 24 boxes and kept a good pace. He's a fast learner so that helps. By early afternoon his back was burning and he was pretty sore, though. He stayed at the camp with us that night and went back home the following morning so we got a chance to visit and catch up. He and his wife, Danielle, just moved back to Maine from Michigan. They're going to live in the Waterville area because Danielle got a job as a doctor there. They've done very well for themselves and I'm glad they're within striking distance so we can visit each other more often. I need to give him a ring after I update this turd-heap of a site to see how things are going at his end. He's thinking of investing in rental real estate so I can offer him a little advice. Plus he's very sharp so I can learn some things from him.
I started working at my Bangor duplex this week. I dropped Katherine off at Hannaford for her first day of work Monday morning and headed straight for the building to work for nearly 5 hours while Katherine did her indoctrination training at the job. My mission Monday morning was demolition and planning, and I accomplished just that. Here is the old kitchen:
I ripped out the old kitchen and found some horrible "gifts" as a result:
Second is a closer look to reveal this:
This morning I ordered a ton of supplies, picked most of them up at Home Depot, and brought them all over before I had to pick up Katherine from her work. She forgot her hat and wanted me to bring it over to her, to which I did not even reply. However, her Mom is nicer than me and brought her the hat this morning. The reason she needed the Hannaford hat? The paper one she was usign instead made her head itch. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! I weep for society on many occasions such as these.
I expect the remodel over at the duplex in the photo above to cost around $2500, but that's really just a rough stab at it. I dropped about $1877 today alone! I plan to replace three windows so the entire downstairs will have good windows, I'll install a new kitchen (appliances are good enough and can stay), and replace that bootleg ceiling. It will take most of this month because I don't plan to work epic hours on the place. Work to live, not live to work. If I put in a few hours a day over there I should have it in good shape by the end of the month. I hope!
In conclusion, my 2016 blueberry raking season is most likely over, and it was another good one for Gavin and I. Cliff still has a couple acres left to cover, but he, Sierra, and Phil should be able to chew through that just fine without Gavin and I. I really don't want to go raking anymore because I do have to focus on the work at hand up here. In addition to my Bangor duplex I have some heating upgrades to take care of as well. Then after that I have to get this house finished up and hopefully spend some time in the woods deer hunting this fall. I won't get bored this year, that's for sure.
Saturday, 8-06-16: One
day off before I have to work more.
I always spend a little extra time in the field when not working enjoying the views, taking to Cliff and the guys, getting water, and taking a good lunch break. On hot days it's extra exhausting out in those fields, but thankfully this past week a sea breeze kicked up more often than not so we didn't roast too much. However, there was not one cloud overhead to block the sun for the past four consecutive days. FOUR DAYS. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! I have a great tan, but even that much sun wears you down after a while. I was raking in the "gravy" (good stuff) yesterday afternoon on my way to getting 50 boxes for the day ($3.25/box), but then I hit the mental and physical wall so I just quit with 47 boxes. I wanted to go home to see my Sweet Pea, the family, and of course the dogs.
I'm up to $1569 for the season, already $60 more than I made doing the same fields two years ago. Oh Jesus, hell ya! The fields are on a bi-annual rotation so we won't rake the field we're in now and in the photo above until 2018, assuming Cliff hasn't retired from running a raking crew by then of course. Cliff just had his 66th birthday and he told me a few days ago he's had a raking crew for 37 years. In 1979 his dying aunt asked him to rake her field, a 30 acre piece of land, so he got some friends and family together to get it done and from there things took off as years passed. He said in the 80s in his heyday he'd actually drive around in a school bus to pick up kids for their day of raking. Back then that was the thing to do if you were a kid. One of Cliff's rakers, Phil, actually rode the bus way back then 30-ish years ago and has raked for Cliff for decades. How cool is that?
Sadly the coastal Maine tradition of blueberry raking is dying off. Cliff has a skeleton crew these days, and his only "power rakers" are us adults who have done it since our childhoods. He does have some younger rakers, but they're mostly lazy and don't even come half the time. Most kids don't work these days, they would rather Failbook, play video games, etc. What a bunch of crap! Of course that's not true for all, but in general it most certainly is true. The movie Wall-E is slowly becoming reality. Machine technology has also taken major leaps forward so now a lot of relatively smooth fields can be raked with tractors in hardly any time at all.
Since Cliff has such a small crew these days it's taking longer to finish the fields. He still has several more acres to finish, and his rough deadline to get it all done is the middle of this month. Gavin goes back to his regular job Monday and I have to stay up here to spend time with the family and to work on my Bangor duplex so both he and I can't give Cliff too much more. My original plan was to take the weekend off from raking and maybe drive down Monday or Tuesday, but Gavin said he'd go Sunday so we'll go together and share the cost of gas. The 55-mile drive down to the field in Hope always seems to go by faster when you can travel with a friend, too. If Cliff still needs help next weekend I'll also probably drive down for a day.
After I rake tomorrow I'll shift gears and start working on my Bangor duplex. The front 3BR unit over there needs a new kitchen long with some other improvements. I'll work on that place in the mornings Mon-Wed so I can also give Katherine rides to and from her new Hannaford job on Broadway in Bangor. Later in the week I'll touch base with Cliff to see what he needs for help on the blueberry fields.
Monday, 8-01-16: Almost
halfway through the raking season so far.
So far this raking season has been decent. There has been some hot garbage to rake as usual, especially in Cliff's field, but thankfully Cliff had the machines come rake the worst of his fields. I've made $715 in about 35 hours of work, I have a badass tan, I feel pretty good, and I almost raked into a massive wasp nest. The thing was seriously the size of a soccer ball, but it was hidden in some taller bushes so I didn't see it until I was only a foot or two away. Thankfully I actually saw the wasps buzzing about so I knew I was in the danger zone and not in a good Kenny Loggins Top Gun sort of way either. Yesterday Gavin almost raked into a huge nest as well, but his rake just passed over the top so he didn't get stung. Every time one of us finds a huge hive we all gather around and marvel at it like we just found the Ark of the Covenant. Hehehehe. I did get stung once a couple days ago on the calf from a smaller nest that I scooped right up into the rake. Several years back this happened when I raked right into a huge nest:
I'm heading back down to rake this morning, and we'll camp out for the next four nights so I'll have raked for 11 straight days by Friday. However, a couple of those days (including today) have only been half days. I'm hoping to make $1500, but that is a lofty goal for only 4.5 more work days so $1200 will be ok. I can get to $1500 if I go back to rake more next week, but before I even consider that we need to get through this week first. Cliff does have a small crew this year so it is taking longer.