12-31-16: What to expect in 2017.
I met most of my goals for 2016. I made a fair amount of money working at JH in the winter and early spring (and now!), I got a lot of important repairs and upgrades done on the bootleg apartments, it was a good blueberry raking season, I mostly finished the home addition, and we took two fantastic vacations. There were ups and downs, but that is life and I think the ups outweighed the downs by a comfortable margin. Hopefully Kat agrees.
For the first time in three years I met my exercise goal for the year. Oh jesus, hell ya! I exercised a lot in the second half of the year, and last night just before I went down to Jester's I lifted a few weights in my bootleg gym to hit goal. For some people I suppose the goals would be stupid, but for me it is a source of motivation. I do not set goals for the amount of weights that I lift or my jogging pace; I just have the goals for the time spent making a good effort to burn the calories. I jogged slightly less this year than I have in at least the past decade (only 243 miles), but I did play more racquetball so it balanced out. For a 41-year old guy I would say I'm doing pretty good for myself. I'm not ever gonna be in a bodybuilding show (F that!), but I am happy with how I feel.
I'm hoping 2017 will be the year where I can pay down the Lowe's and Hope Depot cards and start getting really serious about paying off my first rental-property mortgage. I owe around $20k on that house still so it probably won't happen until 2018, but these days a huge chunk of the $530.33 monthly payment is equity so that principal balance is shrinking at a rate of about $375-$400 a month. Who knows, maybe I will sell my bootleg Bangor duplex in 2017, too. I'd like to haul on that place, but only if it makes sense to do so. I now know that the next time I have Jody throw a FOR SALE sign on the lawn I need to be agressive in my asking price. Maybe list it for $99k instead of $105k. Maybe list it for $95k... I still owe about $52k on that property, but much like some of my others these days a huge chunk of each $705.87 mortgage payment is now principal so in another year that $52k would drop to about $46k. I am so glad I did a 15-year note instead of a 20 or 30-year refinance note on that property back in 2009.
I usually don't make New Year's resolutions and this year is no different, but I do plan to keep exercising as much as possible and to not eat too much garbage. Last night I shovelled in a Hannaford My Essentials brand vanilla yogurt and glanced at the nutrition label. I thought I was eating something fairly healthy, but that friggin' little yogurt had 30 grams of sugar packed in. OMG What a bunch of crap! I think that's as much as a can of soda. Next time I'll find a yogurt that is not half-sugar. Even the Dannon yogurts that I like to eat have a lot of sugar so I might cut those out of the diet, too. I'm not gonna go sugar free, F that, but a reduction can't hurt.
The observation about the sugar content of yogurt is certainly not a New Year's resolution thing. I just happened to notice last night that I was eating chilled fucking garbage and not a healthy yogurt. I love yogurt so next time I'll just buy better ones that aren't as loaded with sugar. Not the Greek ones, though. F that. Those little greek yogurts cost like a buck apiece. What a bunch of crap! The ones I buy now are about 50 cents each, give or take. Cookies, donuts, cakes, pies, etc. Those will continue to be a part of my diet because they are all too good to give up entirely!
I was scheduled for 36 hours next week at JH, 1000-1900 M, T, T, and F. However, the boss texted me a couple hours ago and asked if I could work Wed and Sat, too. One of the new-hires no-showed for training, and one of the other new-hires is off the grid like Sara Conner from The Terminator so that is all bad. Now I am working 48 hours next week. What a bunch of crap! If the apartment stuff is easy I'll "only" work a combined 55-60 hours, but if I have repairs and other issues then bye bye precious... precious free time. Working 48 hours in one week at JH is nothing I haven't done before, but I prefer not to do it. Thankfully 8 of those hours will put me into the 1.5x overtime bracket and Oh jesus hell ya to that. I haven't even been doing any taxes these past couple days here at work because no one has a w2 yet and not that many people want to do a refund advance. What a bunch of crap!
Friday, 12-30-16: From the JH office in WalMart.
Compred to this time last year I really have no major complaints as far as office setup goes. My first day last season (actually this year since it is still 2016) the office was a total shit-show. It was a bunch of crap! Thankfully this year the most important things like Internet and the phone were set up for my first day. I still need to hang up a few more signs and stow some clutter, but that's no problem. I need some more tape so maybe I will just buy it and then stay clocked in an extra five minutes to pay for it. Or who cares because it is 99 cents. However, that double-sided stuff I need might cost more so we'll see.
I did just have to drive over to the Hammond St. office to "steal" some supplies. I got the podium, some more paper, highlighters, a tax book, etc. I didn't really truly steal anything because it was stuff they didn't need and I do need. The podium is not really for giving speeches; we use it to stage flyers. I also use it to block the door when I go take a leak. I don't get a key to this bootleg office because only certain WM managers can be trusted with the magic master-keys I guess. Pretty much same stuff different year.
Yesterday would have been a very boring day for me at work, but I was able to spend some time training a new guy and then leave early because a storm was rolling in. First they said 4-8" of snow then they said nevermind because it is going to rain and then just before we bivouaced last night they said nevermind 5-8" because the rain turned back to a heavy, wet, pasty snow. What a bunch of crap! It seriously took me over an hour to shovel this morning both at home and at the bootleg rentals because the 5-ish inches we did get were 100% waterlogged and weighed a ton per square foot. Maybe not literally, but that is how it felt. What a bunch of crap!
I work tomorrow here at the office from 1000-1800 and then Kat and I will have a little free time before I help her set up at Jester's for a New Year's eve celebration. She works both tonight and tomorrow night there this year. Hopefully both nights will be fun.
Wednesday, 12-28-16: A couple more celebrity
I liked George Michael's music. I remember hearing that song "I Want your Sex" in the 80s and liking not only how catchy it was but also how pushy. I don't know how much radio play that song got in or area, if any. Maybe we heard it on a cassette or something? I do remember being in New Jersey visiting Uncle Pete, Aunt Shirley, cousins Emily and Annie, and Grammy and Papa when that song was popular. We were at a Chuck-E-Cheese and one of the adults (Mom?) was talking about how offensive that song was. Michael had a lot of cool songs that I remember well from my youth.
Of course to me Carrie Fisher was most beloved as Princess Leia in Star Wars. I laughed so hard at her line from the first Star Wars from 1977 when she said "Somebody get this big walking carpet out of my way." after her rescue on The Death Star when she was walking by Chewbacca. Her role in not only that movie but also Empire and Jedi helped all three films achieve mega-status. Who can forget that Jabba-slave-slut outfit from Jedi?
I was supposed to have my first day of work today at the JH kiosk/office in the Bangor WalMart, but the boss sent me a text saying they are not ready yet so I get the day off. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I wrote back and told her no worries and perfectly fine by me if I don't work at all this week. I have plenty of other things I can be doing, that's for sure. I was hoping to get the addition on the house 100% done before I started full-time at JH, but that seems unlikely so I will have to settle for 99%. I still have to do some white trim and cabinet polyurethane in the kitchenette area up there. If I had all day today I might be able to finish. Maybe? I already have one coat of polyurethane on the cabinets and two on the countertop. However, I have other things that need to be done today and I don't want to work all damn day.
I ended up skipping lunch entirely and working close to 7 consecutive hours yesterday at the building over at the gym and my bootleg office. What a bunch of crap! The plan was to work about half that, but those plans turned into epic fail when I found a couple "bonus" leaks and needed to replace an entire kitchen faucet and both sink basket strainers in the first-floor apartment next to the one where I used to live. Plus in the one where I did live there was a small leak in a toilet-water supply line so I had to replace that as well. Gods damn it. Oh well, better to take care of that stuff now than when I am trying to also work full-time at JH.
Thankfully I got it all done yesterday just in time to go out on a fun date with my beautiful wife. Mom gave us a $25 gift card to Applebee's (part of Xmas gifts) that we used before going to see the new movie Passengers. We both liked the SciFi space-travel gone awry flick, but we thought the ending was just a tad lacking. Overall I'd give it a 7 on a scale of 1-10. It would have easily gotten an 8 or maybe even a 9 with a better ending. At least is was a unique concept. The special effects and presentation were all top-notch, too.
A snowstorm seems likely starting tomorrow afternoon so maybe if I do have to work at JH I can get off early. I'm scheduled 1000-1900, nine hours, but I'd love to only work half that. It won't be busy at all yet so there is no sense at all for me to hang out in an empty office once the weather takes a turn for the worse. Who knows, maybe the boss will send me a text message tonight saying they still aren't ready to open anyway... I can only hope!
I suppose I should go do other things now. RIP Carrie Fisher and George Michael. RIP to all the others, too.
Monday, 12-26-16: Another Christmas came and
We had a fire all day yesterday (well not for a couple hours in the afternoon when it got up to 85 degrees in here), we played a few different card and board games, we all ate plenty of food, and it was a nice Christmas.
I got some great gifts yesterday. "Santa" got me a Nintendo 3DS. It's like the GameBoy that I knew well as a kid, but a more modern version with better graphics, fancier games, and other features that I probably will never use like 3D. I would not enjoy the system if it had X-Box or PlayStation 4 quality games because those graphics are too much for my NES-trained ass, but this 3DS seems perfect for me because it reminds me of the SNES from back in the early 90s. I got all side-scrolling games like Yoshi's Island, Donkey Kong Country and even the original six MegaMan games in one cartridge. Oh Jesus, hell ya!
I'll use this some when I have slow days at JH this winter, and it will be fun to play during lazy days around the house and when we travel to exotic places and have to sit on a plane for hours. A great gift!
I also got a cool Goonies bottle-opener, some socks and shirts, a brad-nail gun (from Jason), a scope for my .22 (from Dad) and a FitBit from "Santa." The Fitbit is like a watch, but it tracks heart rate and can do other cool workout-related things. It can sync to cellphones and do apps and stuff, but all of that is way above my pay grade. In fact, right now this entire FitBit is above my pay grade. I can't even set it up because I am too stupid. What a bunch of crap! I tried to do it yesterday, but I got this giant FU from my computer:
Hopefully Kat is smart enough to get the software working so it can sync and do stuff that is cool. Then hopefully I can wear it when I go jogging and it can tell me how slow my ass is. However, I might not go for a jog for some time to come because it is winter and jogging in winter is too hard most days. Tomorrow will be 44 so it will be warm enough, but there will be snow and ice all over half the damn sidewalks since some precip is expected tonight. What a bunch of crap!
My JH work schedule was finally posted. I work Wed-Sat this week so that gives me two more days of freedom. I'll have New Year's Day off, but after that I expect to work full-time hours through the winter and into early spring. There are actually appointments scheduled already for next week for my location. This week I see only one Friday PM appointment so it might be slow. I actually expected to work starting tomorrow so I am very happy to get one more bonus day off. I'm "only" working four days this week instead of the five I expected. Oh jesus, hell ya!
Saturday, 12-24-16: I have to brave the crowds
I still have some Christmas cards to fill out. What a bunch of crap! I should have done them already, but F it better late than never. All the cards are done and distributed to the tenants; I just have to do a few more for friends and family. In about 24 hours we will be sitting by the fire and opening gifts. I hope Sweet Pea likes her "main event" gift from me this year. I won't post it on here today for obvious reasons. I don't think she has a clue what it is, but she is sharp as a tack with a mind like a stainless steel trap so maybe she already knows. I hope not because I want her to be surprised.
I wish I knew when I worked at JH next week. Hopefully I can find a schedule somewhere. I feel confident that I have Monday off because the company-wide grand opening for all locations is Tuesday the 27th. I assume I will work at least Tuesday next week at the Bangor WM, but that is only a guess right now. I still don't even know what our hours will be or what other days I will work. I don't know who will work with me there besides Lucas on occasion. Lucas is good; he was with JH last year. I know just he and I can't run that Bangor WM ourselves, not unless they plan to schedule my ass for 60-70 hours a week. (DO NOT WANT.)
There is plenty of snow on the ground so it seems almost assured we will have a white Christmas this year. We have't gotten any huge storms, but there is more snow than I expected in the woods. I had to trudge through it yesterday to take down my tree stand. The dogs loved playing in it, but I did not love walking through it. It was good to see where the deer have been going, though. (to every apple tree) Another mild winter will really boost the deer population. So far we have had plenty of cold, but not a lot of heavy snow. Deer can handle the cold, but the deep snow makes their lives miserable. Deep snow makes my life miserable, too!
I had to evict a cat from the Christmas tree. Katherine's new cat, Winston, seems to be the culprit more often than not lately. At first things seemed fine with the cats and the tree, but over the last few days there have been signs of mischief from the cats, and I have caught them in the act a couple times. ALL CATS STAY OUT OF OUR PRECIOUS... PRECIOUS TREE!
Kat loves the tree. It is her precious... precious. Funny we have a beautiful tree and right next to the tree in the background is a poster for one scary-ass horror movie called The Conjuring. That movie... I didn't even want to watch the sequal because the first one was too damn scary. What a bunch of crap! I also love how the masks on the wall are visible in the photo, too. Kat has all kinds of cool things on display here at our house.
I suppose I should get moving and hit the road to finish up my Christmas shopping now. Merry Christmas you drooling simps, all two of youz. Now drop and give me 25!
Friday, 12-23-16: Getting into the Christmas
Thankfully my amazing wife does holidays like a boss. If I didn't have Kat in my life I might not even be in Maine for this holiday because I would not even care... whether or not I cared. Kat did 10000 gifts plus she baked 24 dozen cookies and one cheesecake while I worked on the upstairs new addition earlier today. I exaggerated the cookie and gift count, but we do have a shitload of delicious cookies in this house right now, and that makes me very happy. I will gain a pound or two, but maybe not because I exercised like it was my job this week. Kat has made me appreciate the holiday, and that is no small task because before I met her all I wanted to do was to drink and disappear for this time of year. For many years I hated Christmas, but now I think it's not so bad.
I think part of the reason I have not liked Christmas since I was a kid is the fact that I don't know what to get for my own biological family anymore. Mom is incredibly hard to shop for, and these days all we do is exchange stupid gifts. I need to find a polite way to tell her ass not to even bother. We opened their gifts last night so I know Pop got me a scope for my new .22 (great gift!), but Mom was epic fail. She gave us towels (again) and perhaps one of the worst gifts I have ever seen in my entire life:
OMG MOM ALL I WANNA KNOW IS WHY? WHY DID YOU THINK FUCKING WORTHLESS PIZZA COASTERS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR OUR LIFE? THESE THINGS ARE FUCKING RETARDED. EVEN FORREST GUMP WOULD NOT WANT TO USE THESE TURDS. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! Even worse is the fact that there are three "flavors." Epic fucking fail. I cannot even re-gift these useless piles of shit. Worst gift ever. Seriously. I hope she only paid a dollar for them so I don't feel badly about how much she spent.
I need to convince Mom and Dad to just skip the gifts and donate to charity. Dad gets me cool hunting stuff, but all I know to get him is cashews and gift cards to hunting stores. Hell, I haven't even gotten him cashews since about 1992 so maybe he doesn't even eat those anymore. Gods damn it!
Today I finished another room upstairs. Score! Now there is only the kitchenette area to finish, and even that space is 95% done. I painted the trim and installed the bi-fold closet door in the now finished second north (driveway) side bedroom earlier today. I have some photos to share:
The flooring pictured is the old floor that was in the living room and kitchen when I bought this house 2.5 years ago. I used that old floor like a boss; it is in Katherine's bedroom upstairs, in the bedroom in the photo, and in a dining room at one of my apartment buildings. The floor was new when I bought the house, but I had to tear it all out in order to open up the kitchen/living room area.
The bedroom measures approximately 11x13 feet, and in the photo above is a closed-off doorway that connects that room to Katherine's bedroom. Both bedrooms have the same dimensions, and the original design called for them to be two totally separate spaces. Unfortunately, code enforcement told me my egress windows were too small so I had to put a doorway in there in case of a fire. What a bunch of crap! Eventually I will install something to close it off that looks less ghetto, but for now it does not really matter because Kat is just going to use that room to stow some gear and do some lighting demos for her business website. Eventually maybe it will become a guest bedroom?
The room is not officially 100% done because I have to install a smoke alarm as you can see in the photo above where the junction box is on the wall. However, there is a working new smoke alarm up there so things are safe for the time being. I didn't want to intsall the smoke until I was done sanding sheetrock, painting, and cutting trim because all the dust is not good for the smoke alarms.
The kitchenette is looking good, too:
The countertop is oak, and I stained it with two coats of a Miniwax Ebony, one of their darkest stains. I still need to polyurethane not only the countertops but also the cabinets and doors. In a perfect world I'd do that tomorrow, but it's Christmas eve day tomorrow and I want to relax so it probably won't get done until next week.
Once the kitchenette is polyurethaned I still need to paint some white trim in spots, install that pantry door, and install the sink. I will need Bruce for the sink plumbing so that might not happen until the spring because I need to be cheap and pay a lot of bills this winter. We'll see how that goes. I could try to do the sink myself, but F that I would make a dumb mistake and $100 for Bruce would be money well-spent to have it done right. I can easily do the sink, faucet, etc. However, the drain and water supplies is where I would probably fail in some epic way.
Oh awesome, Iron Maiden Stranger in a Strange Land. I love this song. Always makes me think of the time Tommy and I were walking down to Jester's about 2.5 years ago and I was playing this song on my bootleg cellphone tinny-sounding speaker. Then I got to Jester's and there was my future wife. Ahhhhh, good times!
I think I work at Jackson Hewitt next week Tuesday-Saturday, but I am just making that up as I go because I don't even know where my work schedule is. There is a new website that I don't really know how to use called DayForce so maybe my schedule is there? I don't even know who my boss is yet, but I think I work for Regina. Funny story, she lived only a few houses down the street from us as a kid. I never knew her that well, but I knew of her and sometimes she would play kickball with us. She lives down in the midcoast still so if she is my boss I'll see her once or twice all tax season. Good thing I (mostly) know what I am doing so I don't need a manger for much because I don't think there is a manager within 65 miles of my location. What a bunch of crap!
Hang on, I have to eat a chocolate chip cookie and a piece of fudge. Delicious with my coffee brandy and milk! Yeah, I drink "fatass in a glss" on occasion. Beotches! I like the taste, and I like even more the fact that I can drink milk and get precious... precious protein and calcium while I catch a buzz. I don't eat whey protein like some serious gym rats would, but I still like to intake plenty of protein to feed my precious... precious body. Many years ago I did use whey protein, but then I stopped because I don't want to be some huge powerlifter-guy. 148 pounds is just fine with me.
I guess if I were a true Christmas-lover I would be ripping out Christmas tunes right now, but instead I opted for the Pandora Pop/Hair Metal channel on my computer. Tesla, Hang Tough. Cool song that I do not possess. Earlier today I was listening to 100.3 WKIT, but I did turn it off so I could listen to some Christmas music that was playing down in the kitchen so that means I am not a lost cause just yet. Kat loves Christmas and I love Kat so of course her enthusiasm for this time of year rubs off on me in a positive way. I think we will have a great family Christmas here at our cozy and now-enlarged house. I even dig some firewood out of the snow yesterday so if it actually burns we will really be in the spirit come Sunday morning the 25th. I have a few bottles of lighter fluid so mark my words, our fire will burn.
Tuesday, 12-20-16: One more week of freedom before
it's back to work.
Last week JH had their 3-day training session in their new Augusta location from Mon-Wed. Since Kat and I already had plans to go to the Monday night Patriots-Ravens game with a Monday night stay in Portland I only did the Wednesday training. Missing Monday and Tuesday was actually a blessing for me becase it is a pain in the arse to drive 80 miles one-way for training that I have already had two other times. (This will be my third year with JH.) Hanging out with my wife > sitting in a makeshift classroom and trying not to fall asleep.
The refund advance program rolled out in select locations last Thursday, and I foolishly agreed to work in the Bangor office Thursday and Friday. My bad there. As usual the training on how to do things was half-assed, the systems still had glitches, there was only one working computer in the entire office, and worst of all it was BUSY. I got swamped with so many customers that I actually had to have a couple of them leave and reschedule. What a bunch of crap! Thursday sucked so hard that I wished I didn't work. Friday was better, but it still wasn't really worth it. In hindsight I would have been better off just skipping it all and staying home, but nevermind because the massive sewer freeze and backup at my bootleg Bangor duplex last Friday night cost me around $900-$950 so I could use the money.
Kat and I never made it to the Patriots game last Monday night. What a bunch of crap! The weather was bad here last Monday so we decided to sell the tickets on stubhub.com for about half of what Kat paid for them. Gods damn it! We could have made it to the game if it were that important, but it was not. We still went to Portland that afternoon to go Christmas shopping and to get away for a night. The drive down to South Portland was rough until Augusta; we saw two cars in the ditch and we had to take it slow because the highway was snow and ice-covered. What a bunch of crap!
Last year on a Monday night Kat and I stayed down in Portland to do some shopping and to relax, and the Patriots played the Bills that night. I remember watching the game on the TV in the hotel, and we stayed at the exact same hotel this year so we figured we could just watch the game on the TV in our room. However, when I turned on the TV to what was supposed to be ESPN we got NESN instead. OMG FAIL. I checked every single gods damned channel they had, but there was no ESPN so to add insult to injury we could not watch one frigging minute of the Patriots-Ravens game last Monday night. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
Thankfully the Patriots won the game, and the Patriots actually won yesterday as well in Denver so now they are 12-2. They clinched the AFC East for the 8th consecutive year, and they also clinched a first-round playoff bye for the 7th consecutive year. Oh jesus, hell ya!
I woke up to a 68 degree living room this morning. Not too shabby considering it was -9 outside. Before we had Bruce install new baseboards last month the living room would have been about 57. Not joking either. The house can't 100% keep up when it gets this cold, but most houses can't keep up when it gets so damn cold outside. The bedroom is just fine this morning. There have been no calls or text messages from tenants so far, and it better stay that way. Especially at my bootleg Bangor duplex. Winter has been 100% horrible this past week or two, and the worst part is this technically is still fall. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully the extended forecast is more normal with a few days even getting to the upper 30s. No arctic air in the next 10-15 days. 30 is damn cold, but it's a heat wave compared to -9!
I suppose I should get off this turd-heap and get going on my Christmas cards. I did two cards yesterday. Go me! Now I only have about 20 left. Hehehehe. I was supposed to do my cards Saturday, but that plan went to hell when I had to spend the day at my Bangor duplex cleaning up the aftermath of a sewer backup and replacing half a kitchen ceiling. What a bunch of crap!
Sunday, 12-18-16: Hopefully this is a better
week for me than last week was.
I got to the front apartment at my Bangor duplex yesterday morning to find it was a chilly 40 degrees in there. WTF?! I know I looked at the thermostat when I left late Friday night and it said 67 so all I wanna know is why? Why did that have to happen? I had to pay for a hotel for the tenants because the place was not functional with a gross kitchen (sewer backed up and leaked from their ceiling.) so no one was home. They said they didn't turn it down before they left, but it is one of those programmable ones so I think it set itself down to 40. What a bunch of crap! Of course that caused the furnace downstairs to not run so I had to waste my precious... precious time thawing two more frozen water supply lines to the upstairs bathroom. When I finally got the water working I knew the sewer pipe was probably half-frozen again because the drains were running very slow. Thankfully it didn't back up again or else the building would have burned to the ground when I pulled a Milton from Office Space.
It took me a while to replace the ceiling, the brand fucking new ceiling that I had just installed back in August, in part because I had to drive extra slow in snow just to get more tiles. Lowe's didn't have the tiles that I needed, Toys R Us didn't have the stupid American Girl Doll accessories that I needed for Nadia's Christmas gift, and finally I got my tiles at Home Depot. Oh, on my short 2-mile drive I hopped onto I-95 from the Broadway to the Hogan Rd. exit. There was a red pickup truck in front of me who caught a patch of ice just the wrong way and spun out and around in a complete 540-degree spin. That driver thankfully ended up gliding into the unoccupied Stillwater Ave exit and off to the breakdown lane and came to a stop facing the woods. It was a damn close call to me, though. What a bunch of crap! It snowed all day, but I think we only got 4-5". Let's check the official report... 3.3"?! No way we got more than that!
After I finally got their kitchen put back together I had to figure out what was causing the stink-pipe to freeze. We had some nasty cold air hit Thursday evening through yesterday morning with a low of -8 and a high on Friday of 4. Yeah, four fuckin' degrees. That air temperature is not enough to cause the freeze, at least I don't think so based on past temps and winds, but on top of that were stiff NW winds that gave us a -30 wind-chill. That wind pushed the cold air right into the cavity where the sewer pipe makes a slight jog and heads down into the basement. I took a picture:
I have owned that property for 12.5 years and there have been several water-line freezes in that spot but never a sewer line freeze. My theory is that when I did the renovation in August I adjusted some insulation and closed that space where the pipe runs off enough to totally trap the cold air. I actually made it worse by insulating it and closing it off. What a bunch of crap! My solution was to run a 4" heat duct from the nearby furnace for that apartment over to that space from below in the cellar so now it should be heated and it should never freeze again, ever. (Unless the furnace dies and the whole apartment freezes.) If it does freeze again I'll torch the place! Just kidding about that last part... I think.
Want to buy the place for cheap? Hehehehe.
Last week was a busy one for my ass. On Sunday last week I went down to the ol' homestead to help Dad chainsaw up some trees out back near the pond and his food plot. I know the woods back there so well that it is sentimental in a way to return to them each time. Mom and Dad have lived there since the summer/fall of 1983; I turned 8 on that property in November of that year. Since then the field has mostly grown in, but the mature oak between the field and the pond looks similar to how it looked when I was a kid. Art's neighboring "junk pile" is much smaller because as kids we raided the thing for scrap lumber to build tree-forts and even a ground fort or two. The remnants of our primary tree stand still hang from an oak just at the top end of Dad's food plot. He has a blind down there that has gotten me one deer and him two or three deer since he put it there three or four years ago.
After we worked on the food plot we had to go over to Jason and Holly's for Nadia's birthday party. It was pretty crowded and busy there because Holly's family was squeezed in as well. Jason tried to convince me to go halves for an 80-acre piece of land so we can have our own hunting preserve, but F that my half would be $40k and that is just not happening. The highlight of my trip was seeing Nadia open some stupid-looking dress that Holly gave to her. She held it up for us all to see and Jason muttered "What is that Jesus crap on the bottom of the thing?" The dress would have been a pretty blue skirt if not for the Jesus-manger-images all along its bottom. What a bunch of crap! Holly is religious and Jason is not, but they make it work.
I didn't know if Nadia would like the Legos that I got for her, but she called yesterday to tell her Uncle Stevie that she wanted some American Girl Doll accessories for Christmas and to say thank you for the Legos. She also sent me (with Holly's help I'm sure) a sweet thank-you card:
I wish she wrote Uncle Stevie and Auntie Kat because Sweet Pea helped pick out the gift as well, but I forgot to write on the gift that it was even from us at all so that is my bad. Without Kat I would be a fail at Christmas and most birthdays, but she helps get all the gifts, do the wrapping, etc. She's the best!
On Monday last week we were supposed to drive south to go to a Patriots-Ravens game, but that got fucked away. I'll write about that next time, and I'll also write about my Jackson Hewitt experiences. Both had their "what a bunch of crap!" moments for sure.
Mom and Aunt Susie are driving up for a visit, but it is 28 degrees and freezing rain. It is near 40 and all rain in Warren so hopefully when they get to Bangor it's all rain here. We'll meet them at the casino for a lunch buffet in a few hours. Kat just asked if I did a Christmas card for Aunt Susie and Mom, and I felt like a deer in headlights. I fail at Christmas. What a bunch of crap!
Friday, 12-16-16: What a fucking disaster tonight
turned out to be.
^WILL SELL CURSED BUILDING FOR CHEAP.
Things have been going great at that duplex since I got a tenant in there about two months ago. However, tonight I got the hose with no lube and no basket to put it into after. I got a call from the rock-solid back apt tenants at 1900 tonight saying their shitter did not flush and it was backing up into their shower. I knew immediately what the problem was because I know that pinko fuckstain building very well. Too damn well. A sewer backup. At the exact same time I was on the phone with them I got a call from the front apt and sure enough, right on schedule, their kitchen was raining because when a shitter backs up from above the excess come out ALL OVER THEIR GODS DAMN KITCHEN. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
No problems only solutions at Bootleg Properties, right? I knew what to do. Just call Nichols plumbing because the last few times they have taken good care of me. They don't work for cheap, but they are reasonable in cases of "oh shit." (literally!) However, it was -8 this morning with -30 wind chills, and we maybe got up for 4 today for a high. Tonight is still below zero so it is fucking cold. I mean COLD. Like, bad. Like the worst of the worst kind of cold. I know I have seen -25 a few times in life, but this -8 came with a brutal wind and that makes pipes and car batteries say fuck off and die as I freeze. Suicide would be a piece of cake on a day like we had today. Drink a fifth, forget your worries, and go sit outside for a half hour and bye bye cruel world because you become a popsicle.
No, I am not planning a suicide because I still have one reason to live. Weather like this on a regular basis would end me, though. I'm out of this fucking worthless state because of this type of bullshit.
FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK
OMG TIGER LILY JUST PUKED UP A MEGA PILE AND I JUST TOOK A PICTURE OF IT BECAUSE WHY THE HELL NOT THIS SITE IS A BUNCH OF CRAP AND THE DOGS ATE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND SHIT WHILST I WAS WADING THROUGH SHIT AND I HAVE TO GO CLEAN IT UP FUCK MY LIFE RIGHT NOW WHERE IS THE SNOWBANK SO I CAN GO FREEZE?
ALL I WANNA KNOW IS WHY? WHY DID A FUCKING STINK PIPE HAVE TO FREEZE TODAY? HOW THE FUCK IS THAT POSSIBLE THE THING IS 4" AND GOES DOWNHILL AND WATER AND SHIT FLOWS THROUGH IT AND I DO NOT UNDERSTAND BUT IT COST MY FUCKING ASS $756.15 PLUS $79.48 FOR THE HOTEL THAT THE TENANTS HAD TO GO STAY IN PLUS I HAVE TO INSTALL HALF A NEW CEILING THAT I JUST FUCKING INSTALLED 4 MONTHS AGO AND I NEED A FUCKING TIME OUT I CANNOT FUNCTION IN SOCIETY RIGHT NOW AND THAT IS UNFORTUNATE BECAUSE JESTERS CLOSES IN AN HOUR AND I WAS PLANNING TO DO.
WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
MOST EXPENSIVE REPAIR EVER IN 12.5 YEARS AND I STILL HAVE TO GO FIX THE CEILING TOMORROW WANT TO BUY A DUPLEX IN BANGOR?
I CANNOT DO THIS RIGHT NOW. FUCK IT. THE END. I LOSE AND YOU LOSE TOO BECAUSE YOU JUST READ THIS TRASH-HEAP. I NEED ALCOHOL OR ELSE I WILL NOT SLEEP IT IS SO FUCKING EXPENSIVE. OH, AND IT IS SO FUCKING COLD. THE COLD IS WHY I HAD TO PAY HARLEY THE PLUMBER THEIR RAPE FEE BECAUSE NO OTHER PLUMBER WAS AVAILABLE TONIGHT BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL OFF ON NO-HEAT CALLS THIS FUCKING SUCKS WORSE THAN IF HILLARY HAD WON THE PRESIDENCY WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
OH, AS AN ADDED FUCK OFF TO MY LIFE I HAD TO WORK AT JACKSON HEWITT THE LAST TWO DAYS DOING REFUND ADVANCES AND MY BAD AGREEING TO THAT. ALSO, WE DIDN'T EVEN GET TO WATCH ONE FUCKING SECOND OF THE PATRIOTS GAME MONDAY NIGHT I AM SO PISSED RIGHT NOW THIS COMPUTER SCREEN CAN GO GET FUCKED, TOO. THE END.
Friday, 12-09-16: A pretty easy week. Next week
will be much busier.
I am not finished on the upstairs remodel yet, but I am damn close. Hey, at this point I'm only a 11 months behind schedule so what's another week, right? I could have had the second bedroom up there done, but I shifted gears and spent time working on the kitchenette area. Installing trim, flooring, and custom shelves/countertop in that section took many hours. I decided to use 3/4" oak plywood for the kitchen countertop, and I also used that same 3/4" sheet of plywood for the custom smaller counter over by the window. Here's what it looks like now:
I still need to install oak trim around the edge of the plywood, use wood filler for finish nail holes, sand, stain, and polyurethane. I installed another layer of 1/2" (cheaper pine underlayment grade) plywood under that oak plywood sink-area contertop for added strength. Hopefully it comes out looking like a boss because that oak plywood was $53 so I don't want to F it up! If things fall into place for me it will actually be a more cost-effective and nicer-looking countertop than that prefabbed formica and particle board sold at Home Depot and Lowes. That's the stuff I usually use for the rental properties, and that is what we have in our own kitchen. It's not bad stuff and it does last a long time. Hopefully my oak counter lasts a long time, too. I don't think it's normal to just use hardwood for a countertop, but since it's going to be a low-use area I thought I could pull it off. I hope!
Last week I thought I had a chance to finish that entire upstairs with one more easy week, but once again my hopes were dashed. I could have finished it if I dropped the hammer and worked 8-hour days each day. However, F that. I need to do other things, too. Thankfully I got my deer last week so I didn't need to go hunting this week. That freed up a lot of my precious... precious time this week, too.
I won't finish this house next week because I have to drive something like 800 miles Sun-Wed. On Sunday I have to go to Nadia's 6th birthday party down in Rockland. I have not seen my niece in many months because I am a turd-heap of an uncle. What a bunch of crap! I bought her Disney Princess Legos for $20 bucks so she better not throw a fit or already have them. Fucking Legos are expensive gods damn it. The Lego kit has some horse and a snotty-looking beotch sitting on a swing. or maybe it's a stool. Oh, there also is a stupid-looking castle-turret-thing on the box. Maybe this whore is supposed to be Rapunzel? There are 145 pieces so that works out to be 13.79 cents per Lego piece.
FUCKING RIP OFF BUT IF MY NIECE LIKES THE THING THEN I AM A WINNER. HEY, EVEN IF SHE DOES NOT LIKE IT I AM A WINNER BECAUSE... REASONS.
If that is Rapunzel I need some explanations. Why is she not in the castle? Why does she have a horse? How many fucking flowers does she need in her life? Mind = blown. Hey, WTF? The WalMart website says it is $15.99 yet I am pretty sure this useless turd cost me $20 at the store a couple days ago. What a bunch of crap! Online shopping > store shopping. However, not so much for donuts and beer.
A close-up of this box reveals a disturbing truth. That oblivious whore has escaped from her turret by magic or... reasons. Now she sits on her open-faced outhouse (park bench?) seemingly with no cares in the world. However, she should care and she should probably be weilding a Rambo-knife because there is a WANTED poster on that thing just to her right. It just looks like it says PNTED on that image above, but trust me it really says WANTED. (This is not a pwned thing.) Some fucking pervert white-no-window-van-driving freak is on the loose in Lego-Disney-Land, and Princess turd pocket gives no fucks. Does she have pepper spray in her blouse? is that a penis logo on her shirt? Does she have claws for hands? At this point I need a psychologist. Again. Unfortunately he is in San Diego all week. What a bunch of crap!
Kat is at Jester's, and I am ripping out 80s tunes and writing on this bootleg blog that maybe two people will ever read. What a bunch of crap! I bought this bootleg booze called MIXX TAIL (Long Island) and it is not that great. I don't hate it, but I don't plan to buy it again. All I wanna know is why? Why did they spell Mix with two XXs instead of one? Is this one of those All your base are belong to us things? Pwned? Foreign language beer? I already want to change the subject because I don't even care... whether or not I care.
HEY WTF 80s CHANNEL 1928? ALL I WANNA KNOW IS WHY? WHY ARE YOU PLAYING A SONG FROM 1979 BY SMOKEY ROBINSON? THIS IS THE 80S CHANNEL GODS DAMN IT. I WANT MORE DEF LEPPARD.
Now Bananarama is on singing about a cruel summer. It's never a cruel summer, but it is always a cruel winter. Next Monday looks like snow, and that is a bunch of crap because we are planning to drive to Mass for a Monday night Patriots-Ravens game. The Pats are 10-2 and have the best record in the AFC, but they might struggle some now that Gronk is all done for the season. Poor Gronkowski, he is a fantastic player but gets hurt 50% of the time, especially late-seaon when they need him in the playoffs. That injury might cost them a chance at a Superbowl run. Hope I'm wrong.
We are staying in Portland Monday night, and we plan to do some shopping Tuesday before we come home. Then Wed-Fri it's time for Jackson Hewitt for my ass. I have training in Augusta Wednesday, and I told the boss I'd cover the Bangor storefront next Thurs and Friday for some refund advance stuff. I don't know what that is, I've never done it, but I'm sure I can figure it out. I hope!
I'm all done on this bootleg turd-heap of a site now. Fin. Soon I will head down to Jester's, but I am waiting to hear back from Sweet Pea before I go down. I hate going there when it's 100% packed because there is no room so if it's too full I wait just a little longer before I go. Normally I'm there by 2230-2300 regardless, but if it's not too busy I'll get there just a tad earlier tonight.
Wednesday, 12-07-16: The 75th anniversary of
the Pearl Harbor bombing.
I was in the Navy during the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII, and I was a very small cog in that commemorative wheel. We sailed to Hawaii a few different times during my four years aboard the USS Carl Vinson, and each time we were required to "man the rails" while entering the Pearl Harbor base. I remember upon entering the inlet the USS Arizona memorial was very visible on the port side of the massive warship, and my peon low-rank ass had to man the rails probably each time. Once I was manning the rails on that port side, and I remember seeing the monument as we sailed by. I have to dig pretty deep for these memories because they are over two decades old, but I do remember we always had to hand salute in a show of respect as we passed the sunken USS Arizona. We always manned the rails in our dress uniforms, too. Back then I thought manning the rails was a bunch of crap, but I get it now. It's the right thing to do.
Google is awesome. I also found this link: http://www.navysite.de/cruisebooks/cvn70-95/index.html
We hosted a lot of old and still functional WWII-era planes, and we were even able to launch them from our own flight deck. I remember seeing those old planes up close. There was a parade of ships, Clinton gave a speech, and there was even the unveiling of a commemorative postal stamp. It was a huge event, but I was just a kid so I didn't really appreciate the magnitude of it at the time. What a bunch of crap! I was probably too busy complaining about having to man the rails and complaining about being sequestered during Firewatch so the old geezers could have a stupid dance on our ship.
I never went to the USS Arizona memorial when I was in Hawaii. I saw it from the sea, but I never went. Fail. I wish I could go to pay my respects. They said on the news this morning that 2400 people died in those Pearl Harbor attacks, and nearly half were aboard the USS Arizona. Sadly that ship sank in the harbor and the aerial images of the memorial are haunting.
Tuesday, 12-06-16: Real winter is here.
^Tiger Lily's first snow. We actually got most of the snow yesterday afternoon and into the early part of the night. It would be a great morning to go into the woods to track deer, but F that I already got a deer last week. Plus it's too damn cold! This coming weekend will be even colder, too. What a bunch of crap!
I need to finish this house. I was hoping to get the upstairs mostly done this week, but the friggin' finish work takes forever. The kitchenette area needs a lot more work. I decided to go with 3/4" oak plywood for the countertops instead of prefabbed formica countertop because in this corner I needed to make a custom set of shelves and countertop:
I also need to finish around that closet/pantry door area. Just doing that custom shelf under the window yesterday took 3 or so hours, and it's not done yet. What a bunch of crap!
The second bedroom upstairs is almost done; I could have had it done already because all I need to do is finish the floor and baseboard trim, but I decided to stop working in that room and make more progress in the kitchenette area. I need the space in that second bedroom to stow lumber, tools, and supplies and I also need to use that space to make my cuts and do my prep. I could do all that on top of a new floor, but it makes more sense to leave the floor unfinished so I don't make a mess or cause nicks and dents along the way.
Bruce came on Sunday to finish hooking up the new baseboards in our bedroom and in Kat's studio. So far I would call it a total success, and for the price of $1465 for Bruce's labor and all the parts he provided plus a Home Depot baseboard purchase cost of $653 for a grand total cost of $2118 this thing better be able to rip right along. We put away the electric space-heaters because we don't need them anymore. Finally after 2.5 years of owning this house we can have a properly heated space in the winter months. Hopefully that is the last big expense I have until next spring so I can spend the rest of the winter paying down the balances on the Home Depot and Lowe's cards.
Supposedly my JH tax job starts December 27th this year, but I have not heard a peep from any of the managers lately. If I do start on the 27th that gives them only three weeks to get the training and stuff all done. I don't want to start on the 27th, I want to start in January. However, if I do start later this month I make more money so either way works for me. I am hired for the job already so no worries there. For now I am content to just wait and see.
Friday, 12-02-16: A couple photos to share and
I did hit that deer too far back, but thankfully the arrow passed through at enough of an angle to hit some vitals. The exit was closer to the intended target lungs/heart area. I did save the heart because it is a "free" meal. Already ate that for lunch yesterday. Boom.
In other news, our Xmas tree is all set up and has been 100% operational since my birthday four days ago. The tree is more operational than the Death Star in Return of the Jedi ever was. For the record, ROTJ is the best Star Wars movie ever made. A lot of people online crap on the Ewoks, but F them the Ewoks are cool. If you don't think ROTJ is an awesome movie then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more.
Hey, there's new Star Wars movie coming out on two weeks. Hehehe. Twooooooooooooo weeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkksssssssssssssssssss. It's the first Star Wars movie to be a spinoff of the main story arc, and it is called The Force Awakens. (I just had to Google that name because I forgot it. What a bunch of crap!) The previews make the movie look fantastic so I am excited to see it. However, I will NOT be going on opening weekend because F that. I like going to movies once the buzz dies down and the theater is not full of turd-burglaring Giblet-Heads. Actually, for most movies the best scenario is to just be lazy and sprawled-out on the couch with my beautiful wife so we don't go to the theater too often.
Today was a pretty fine day. I worked on the house for a grand total of 15 minutes. What a bunch of crap! However, I had... reasons. I needed to hang out with Sweet Pea, get my swell on, hang out with Sweet pea, go for a jog, take the dogs to the park, hang out with Sweet Pea, watch Harry Potter and the Half-Giblet Prince, and live my life. I've never seen any of the Harry Potter movies until a week ago. Kat owns them all so we have been watching one a day for the past several days. Tonight was part 6, and we have two more movies left. At first I thought the movies were very overrated and just mediorce, but now they are better and the last two have been pretty friggin' good. Not as good as the original three Star Wars, but much better than the turd-heaps that were Star Wars prequals parts 1-III from 15 years ago. Jar Jar Binks. What a bunch of crap!
On a scale of 1-10 I'd rate the first Harry Potter movie a 5. Each one since then would get a slightly higher rating until part 6, the one we watched tonight. I'd give that one a 7 on the 1-10 scale. For comparison, I would give Star Wars Phantom Menace a 3, Star Wars Attack of the Clones a 2, and Star Wars... the next one (part III) a 4. I don't even remember the name of that one because fuck it, but I do know at the end it looked like a Super Mario Wii level 8 video game. No, seriously. There was lava and shit, and Darth Vader formed from that emo pussy-guy.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) rates a 9. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) rates a 9.9, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) rates a 10 on my 1-10 scale. All the original 3 Star Wars movies were totally awesome. Harry Potter is pretty good, too.
I want to go to Jester's now. The end. Fin. I also ordered Xmas gifts for my awesome wife tonight. I hope she likes them, and if not I will throw her into a snowbank. However, there is no snow so nevermind. However, there are still 23 days until Xmas to probably we will have some snow between now and then. However, I hope we don't have snow because each plowable snow costs my ass $180 in plowing. I'm becoming a crotchety old "hate winter" man. What a bunch of crap!
Thursday, 12-01-16: I got a deer!
I was actually planning to hunt in a gully at the front end, closer to where I park. Deer sign there is great. However, another hunter was right in the field behind some fan-looking popup blind (what a bunch of crap!) so I decided to go back further to my tree stand. As I was walking to the stand I decided I've hunted that too much lately and the tree it watches doesn't have much fruit left so I sat in my old ground blind from last year. I got there at 1505, a little later than I would have liked because of the other hunter being near where I wanted to hunt. Fortunately the woods were wet so I got in quietly. I had only been sitting for about 20 minutes when I saw two deer coming from exactly the perfect spot relative to my position. I drew before they stepped out, but the first deer turned at the last minute. Thankfully the second deer stepped out broadside and gave me a great opportunity for a 27-28 yard shot. The arrow was a pass-through, a good hit. At first I thought I hit the deer too far back, but I watched it run about 70 yards and then lie down. She then moved slightly but then all was still. Turns out it was a good kill shot and not too far back on the body at all.
After I saw the deer lay down I sat and waited in my blind, and only a couple minutes later the other deer reappeared and walked the same route that the deer I just shot had run. It followed to where the other deer was laying and then moved on. Then, only a minute or two after that, a larger doe followed and went near the spot where my deer was laying. By then I was almost positive I had a kill because both deer got to the spot within minutes of each other and each deer seemed confused. The deer had no clue I was there at all. Leafy wear is good stuff! In hindsight maybe I could have waited for that third and larger doe to come along before I shot one of the smaller ones, but I have no regrets because now I will have some meat for the freezer.
I waited a couple more minutes and made a half-assed effort to find my arrow (did not see it) before I slowly went over to the deer. Sure enough it was right where I saw it lay down and already dead as expected. I felt bad, I always feel bad when I kill an animal, but then I got to work. I had time to gut the deer and drag it out all before full 100% dark. The good thing about shooting a small deer is the drag, especially from way back where I hunt. The damp ground helped, too. Maybe today I'll go look for my arrow if I get my butchering done fast enough. I did use an illuminated nock, but I don't think it lit upon release. If it did it buried in leaves or something so I couldn't see it. Of course it was still broad daylight when I poked around in search of the arrow. I didn't look for long because I knew where my deer was and I wanted to get it gutted, washed out, tagged, and back home.
I left my deer in the back of the truck last night as opposed to hanging her from the back new deck because I didn't want the puppies to have a new interest out back for any longer than necessary. It stayed around 35-38 all night, and now just after 0700 it is up to 39 enroute to the low 40s for midday. I think the standard fridge temp is 38, right? No way my meat will have spoiled overnight, and that is important because every single useable piece of meat from that deer is going into my freezer. I saved the heart and the liver, too. The heart tastes good when cooked on a skillet with butter or bbq sauce. The liver, I dunno about that one but I'll give it a try and see what I think.
When I shot the deer yesterday there was a very fine mist in the air, light NE wind, and 100% cloudy. We got a rainstorm (snow up north) overnight, and only in the last few minutes has the deluge let up to a lighter rain. Everything is soaked outside. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, it happens and I am glad it's not snow.
My hunting season is over. I got my deer! I should have had two deer, but I suck and do not. One is better than none, though. I should thank that other hunter again because I talked to him at the end of my hunt as I was dragging my deer out, and he didn't see jack friggin' shit. If he wasn't there I would have been there, and I would not have seen a deer either. Sometimes other hunters screw me all up (last Friday), but last night another hunter worked to my benefit. Awesome!