12-31-17: Final bootleg site update that almost no one will ever read.
Right now the hot water feed to the upstairs bathroom at my Bangor duplex is frozen, but I'll just deal with that in the morning. I was going to go over tonight, but the tenant said tomorrow AM would be better since I guess she is drinking with friends or some shit. I'm actually amazed pipes have not frozen at that bootleg duplex until now; I guess my use of the heat tape this fall as a preventative measure made a difference. I definitely need to haul on that place this coming year because I have one too many buildings. At times it does not bother me when things are easy, but when they get hard I struggle and the first thing I think of is "I need one less property."
Hang on, the dogs have been outside for 5 minutes and that is way too long when it is -4 with a -23 wind chill so I need to check on them. Okay nevermind they are playing and they are Golden Retrievers with tons of fur so I will let them enjoy it for a couple more minutes. They love that snow, and the cold does not seem to bother them at all. I like our dogs more than I like almost every human on this planet.
Kat is at Jester's tonight hosting karaoke to ring in the new year. This will be her first full gig there since her knee replacment nearly two months ago. My original plan was to not even leave the house today and to enjoy my day off from JH, but then I had to go open up the office for one of my co-workers who did not have a key, I needed to blow $166 on a new truck battery, and I got a pizza while I was out. Replacing my truck battery sucked because it was so cold. The old one would not come out so I swore at it. A lot. Then when I did get it out I was so pissed off that I threw it, it broke open, and now there is battery acid in the driveway. What a bunch of crap! Gods fucking damn it I can barely keep it together at times lately. This is the most unhappy that I have been in maybe ever. I need to take a more positive outlook moving into 2018. I think warmer weather would help.
The Patriots finished their season with a win so they claimed the #1 playoff seed with a 13-3 record. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Tom "God" Brady is a favorite to win the league MVP at age 40. That is younger than me, but for a football QB is it ancient. Brady is awesome. I respect his work ethic and desire to win.
I wish I could just stay home tonight and not face the frozen tundra of our state again. Oh well, I will just get drunk at the bar and let things sort themselves out. Then tomorrow I can look forward to thawing frozen pipes (if they haven't burst), checking a failing water heater, and doing a lot more work than I want to do thanks to this weather. What a bunch of crap! I do have tomorrow off from JH at least, but the apartments will keep me busy. This weather is really unbelieveable and there is no precedent for it in my lifetime. The cons of living in Maine are starting to outweigh the pros so that is disappointing. It is a bunch of crap!
Okay I was about to sign off but have to pre-emptively post my potential Jan or Feb, 2018 quote of the month. I was gonna talk to Mom on the phone earlier, but instead we just texted. I wrote this "Not sure living in Maine makes sense anymore..." and she wrote back "What?!!!!!! Crazy talk... Don't be a woosie..."
OMG MY 61-YEAR OLD MOTHER JUST TEXTED MY LOSER ASS AND TOLD ME NOT TO BE A WOOSIE (WUSSIE?) THAT IS HILARIOUS FUCK THAT WHEN IT IS -24 I WILL BITCH AND COMPLAIN ENDLESSLY THEY SHOULD NOT LIVE IN MAINE EITHER, AT LEAST NOT FOR THE WINTERS. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
Oh great here is some more winning advice from my parents. "Dad says sell all your properties move to Vinalhaven and invite he and dad there to hunt (because there are a lot of deer on that island...)" Oh Yeah that's just what I fuckin' want to do, live on a bootleg island where instead of -24 it would "only" be -12. What a bunch of crap!
Her next text: "Or move to Tucson to be Douglas' neighbor. Life with cactus... ouch!!" OMG MOM DO YOU KNOW HOW THE DESERT WORKS?! YOU CAN FUCKING SEE THE CACTI THEY ARE HUGE YOU DON'T GET RANDOMLY ATTACKED BY THEM FOR FUCK'S SAKE. IT IS NOT LIKE A LOONEY TUNES CARTOON OUT THERE. ALL I WANNA KNOW IS WHY? WHY DO PEOPLE HER AGE GET A TEXT-COMPATABLE CELLPHONE?! WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
Friday, 12-29-17: Time for tax clients? Also,
living room photos.
^Wednesday AM before I finished setup. That side (my usual side) looks okay, but the other side was still a cluttered mess:
I often facetiously call this office a broom closet because it is small, but it is not bad and it does a lot of business over the course of a tax season. Right now it is slow because it is not even really tax-filing time yet (only some refund advance loans) but that will change in a hurry.
This year, for the first time ever, I was actively involved in the setup process. I met John and his wife-helper at the storefront, and we loaded up the Uhaul truck they had rented with all the stuff needed for not only this WalMart but also for the Brewer and Ellsworth locations. I lobbied for and got two better desks than the bootleg ones I had previously used so Oh Jesus hell ya to that! I also cherry-picked some good signs and posters to give us decent visibility. John didn't arrive in the area until 1630 Tuesday so that was a late-ish night for me. By the time we had systems running in here it was almost 2100. Poor John ande his wife still had Brewer and Ellsworth to set up before they got home to Warren so they really had a mega-long day.
Lately I have been in a poor mental state and have found myself hating the world, but it is not all terrible. I did not ask for a raise, but my boss put me in for a $1 per hour pay increase so that is awesome! Maybe stepping up and doing a lot of "extra" stuff for the company has not gone unnoticed. Probably helped that I hosted a well-received training session two weeks ago as well. Office hours are also reduced from 1000-1900 that they were last season to start to 1100-1900 now. Not a huge difference, but that extra hour not having to be here has allowed me to take Kat to some important doc and PT appointments. Plus I have had the time to deal with apartment stuff and use the gym a bit. If we opened at 1000 like we did last year at this time then I would have been really hurting to make it all fit. We won't stay at 1100-1900 all season, but for now it is good.
Also good news: I had my best year ever of exercise. I did just okay during the winter, but spring, summer, and this fall I hit it hard. Playing a lot of racquetball was great, too. I'm all done exercising for the year, but on Monday I will be back at it so I can get a jump on my 2018 exercise goals. I like to have goals. Where would I be if I had no goals, nothing to work towards? Would I be a fat couch-potato? Maybe I would...
Also good news, despite the fact that December has been Hoth-like in terms of winter weather and very costly for the plowing bills, the apartment business had its best year yet. The profit numbers are still relatively meager, but the equity built combined with the positive cash flow was great. Unfortunately, we still pretty much live paycheck to paycheck without getting ahead too much so that is why I want to work a lot at JH this winter. We are all paid on the bills, but having over $10,000 owed on the Home Depot and Lowe's cards sucks. Thankfully all of that is special financing deferred interest that I can work on this coming year and into 2019. Not too long ago the balance on those cards was near $16 or $17k so comparatively the debt is heading in the right direction.
I still have not 100% finished the living room remodel, but all that remains is some white trim paint so I can effectively call it done. Here is what the new entertainment center looks like:
I'm very happy with how it turned out, but damn it was a lot of work.
Finally, the dogs love all this snow and cold. When we put them out they will epic play in the snow. Seeing their happiness is good, but I still wish there was no snow at all. This morning was -16 (had a frozen pipe again at a rental. What a bunch of crap!) but the dogs didn't seem to care. Last bootleg update that no one will ever read I posted a picture of Copper from Xmas day so here is one that I took of Tiger Lily the day after Christmas when the snow we got was still fresh:
Thursday, 12-28-17: Everything fucking sucks
Christmas, my least-favorite holiday of ever, came and went three days ago. It was a mixed day because at first I was doing just fine. However, mother nature decided to give us the gift of a blizzard that dumped a foot of snow in about an 8-hour span during the day. What a bunch of crap that was! Snow on Christmas does add a nice tough, but not a blizzard with that much. Copper and Tiger Lily loved it until this happened to them around the height of the storm midday:
Around mid-late afternoon on Christmas day the wheels fell off the proverbial bus and for me there was no turning back. There was epic snow in the driveway so I trudged my ass around to the side of the house to fire up the snowblower. My lean-to for the thing was half filled with snow so it sucked just getting the machine out. I did start it okay, but every time I tried to run the blades it would stall. Again and again. Finally after all the swears in the book I realized I was pwned. Most likely ice in the auger, and at 11 degrees nothing was going to melt. What a bunch of crap! Brand new snowblower that I could not use.* We had to shovel a lot. A lot. Then I had to shovel a lot more the following morning. I shovelled so much it was like using the gym gods damn it. I even was proactive and got up on a roof to shovel so there would be no ice dam and leak, but that was a failure since the roof is leaking now. Pwned.
I bet planet Hoth from Empire Strikes Back is warmer than here right now. Thankfully unlike Hoth we are not rebels hiding from a much more powerful Empire that is looking to send At-At walkers to our place of bivouac.
I realize that the winters around here make me pretty depressed. I suppose a "normal" temp of 29 or whatever would be much more tolerable, but this shit is ridiculous. I am working full-time now at JH, and I can barely deal with the problems that come with this weather (shovelling, frozen pipes, furnace issues, ice dams, HUGE BILLS) and do taxes at the same time. The brutal cold just does me in, mainly because of the apartment business. I love being a landlord most of the time, but in conditions like these it is almost too much for me. Hell, even on Christmas day itself I had tenants whining about the plowing (When is he coming, why is it not done yet, etc.) What a bunch of crap!
*I put the snowblower inside the new addition entry so hopefully it can do it's fucking job next time we get snow.
Sunday, 12-24-17: I think we are ready for Christmas.
Thankfully last night was not too bad. The place probably would have been a lot busier, but we had freezing rain all afternoon so the roads were bad. By the time we left it was 34 degrees and light rain/drizzle so the roads were ok, though. I did NOT want to go to WalMart, but Kat had stuff to get and I wasn't sending her out solo. Sometimes I am a turd husband, but not last night. In her eyes I was a bit of a turd husband Friday night when we went to Jester's and when I got drunk and hung out with a pirate. A pirate! I am not even joking. The dude was a retired Air Force who now is a pirate actor, and of course he came to Jester's in full costume. It was hilarious! Only at Jester's...
I started this bootleg update that no one will ever read
earlier this morning, and now it is halftime of the Greatriots vs. Bills
game. The game is tied, 13-13 right now. Patriots are 11-3 and have already
clinched the division, but they still have playoff seeding to fight for.
They are currently the AFC top seed after a close win last week in Pittsburgh
against the Steelers. That game had a crazy ending when it looked like
the Steelers scored a lead-taking touchdown with almost no time left,
but then the touchdown was overturned so that was great for the Pats.
I do think it should have been a touchdown for the Steelers, though.
^Worked out great for my team. A lucky win. The Patriots have had a good season, but they are not totally dominant. The Steelers guy dropped the ball once it hit the ground, but the ball was over the goal line in that photo.
We have a fire going, and we are doing our big Xmas meal tonight instead of tomorrow. Kat is doing a lot of cooking even though she is only roughly halfway through her knee replacement recovery. We will have a HUGE meal later. There are already a lot of delicious cookies and muffins on hand thanks to my awesome wife. Oh, there are also three pies in the fridge. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I'll gain a pound or two, but that is okay because I lifted weights and played Rball earlier (lost all 6 games to Mike. What a bunch of crap!)
We are getting a snowstorm tomorrow, 8-12" forcast. It is nice to have snow on Xmas. I guess? Nah, F that I would take no snow and warm. I guess I would not mind so much if I didn't have to pay for plowing and then on top of that shovel and snowblow our own driveway. It will suck removing the snow from our driveway because there is a glaze of frozen slush and ice all over the place. What a bunch of crap! Everything that melted some last night (briefly) is totally frozen again. Gods damn it.
I work at JH Tues-Sat next week so maybe my next bootleg update that no one will ever read will be from my little tax office in the WalMart. I set up that office Tuesday and then will be ready for customers Wednesday. Last week at the JH office we were very busy doing loan advances, but this coming week I don't think we will be as busy. Nevertheless the season is off to a big start so that is great.
Thurssday, 12-21-17: Well this forecast is a
The predicted temps coming next week are scary cold. 3 degrees for a high temp next Thursday = will likely have problems with pipes freezing or some other stupid crap. Hopefully my bootleg Bangor duplex does not have any issues. I did wrap some pipes over there with heat tape this fall so maybe I won't have to go over there with my heat gun. That friggin' property. I can't wait to one day haul on that place. (Although it has had a good year this year.)
Tax reform is on the president's desk, and it is almost a certainty that he will sign it before Christmas. The controversial bill passed both the house and senate. Big changes coming starting for 2018 taxes that we all will file in early 2019. The standard deduction is nearly doubled, tax rates are a bit lower, the child tax credit doubles from $1000 up to $2000, and best of all the individual mandate to have health insurance or pay a penalty is hauled on. Oh Jesus hell ya to that! Personal exemptions are also hauled on so the new taxes won't help Kat and I too much since the kids all do their own things and are not on our taxes anymore as dependents. We'll save a little money under the new plan and that is nice, but families with kids will really do well. Hopefully that helps with the JH job next year. Bigger refunds = happier customers.
Speaking of the JH job, today I work 1200-1900 for my 4th consecutive day. Monday and Tuesday were extremely busy, and yesterday was steady with not much down time. Last year we had one desk going for the refund advances and this year we have three desks going. There have also been some new hires to train, but not enough of the new hires for all the locations we have to staff. My duties and responsibilities have increased, and my boss did put me in for a nice pay raise so oh Jesus hell ya to that! I am not a manager and I don't want to be a manager, but my co-workers often come to me for solutions. I think ever since I hosted some training in Augusta last week some of the people think I know what I am doing. Guess I fooled them! Hehehe.
Today will be busy at work, too. Yesterday we had all three desks going and two trainees to help with phones and greeting people in the queue. However, today there are only two desks going and no trainees so we will probably get buried. My coworker today is a really nice guy, but he is slow so that is all bad. We are not actually filing tax returns yet, but we do use paystubs to create mockups of the returns so the bank can decide what, if any, of a refund advance to give. Most of our customers do get approved for an advance and leave happy.
One final thought about the new tax laws to take effect next year, I am not sure how we as a nation are going to pay for it all. I think my generation and the generations prior to ours will not have to bear too much of the burden, but the younger generations of Americans are probably going to be pwned. Some estimates increase our deficit by nearly 1.5 TRILLION dollars as a result of these approved tax cuts. OMG. What a bunch of crap that is! I'm all for lower taxes, but not at the expense of the entire nation. It's like we are throwing it all onto some imaginary pie-in-the-sky credit card and worrying about it later. That's fine if you are 80 and about to croak, but when your 10-year old great grandchild has to assume that debt maybe it's not such a good idea.
I don't have any kids of my own (and I thank the gods who do not really exist for that) but Kat's kids are like my own and I worry they will be screwed later in life when the national debt is insurmountable. I hope these pinheads in congress and the White House thought this one through. It seems they really didn't, though. I really have lost a lot of faith in the Republican party in the last year. What a bunch of crap! (I do consider myself independent, but I normally vote Republican...)
Sunday, 12-17-17: The toilet brush.
It is 0730, and I have been up for almost an hour. I watched some local news, the local weather, and then put it on the 80s channel. I also baked some of these:
Phil Collins sings about how he has fallen, fallen for her because she has an invisible touch. She reaches in and grabs right hold of your heart. Great tune! This was during his best years as the frontman for Genesis. His solo work is decent, but overall I think a bit too sappy. Speaking of sappy, Somewhere Out There now plays. It was in a movie called An American Tail. Was that the movie with the mouse? Hell I can't remember, but this song definitely does not rock. It is a bunch of crap! I stopped caring. I don't even care... whether or not I care.
My first day of work at JH is tomorrow, 12-7. However, it really will be 10-8 because I am going in two hours early to do a practice scenario or two before live customers descend upon the place. We are 100% booked with appointments tomorrow so it will be a long day, and I doubt we can finish them all by closing time. I am looking forward to a busy day because that will be a great start towards my goal of 301 returns done for the season. During these next two weeks we won't be filing any real tax returns, but we start them with the paystub "refund advance."
Last year's first day of refund advance was very frustrating for me, and I remember saying I'd never do it again. However, that all changed when I got my bonus pay and realized how much extra $$$$$$ I made thanks to those early advance filers. I believe last year the maximum advance was $1500, but this year the maximum is $3200. Wow! There are at least twice as many, and probably closer to three times as many appointments this year at this time as compared to last.
Christmas is in 8 days. I can't wait for it to be over because it sucks. When we were driving to physical therapy on Friday Kat asked what I was going to do for my family for Christmas, and I said I didn't give a shit so I would skip it. I was only half-serious, but maybe I was mostly serious. I can handle getting gifts for my awesome wife, but shopping for everyone else sucks. A lot. The tenants are easy; I just do those butter cookies in the round metal tins for them. My own family, now that is hard.
Kat decided my answer was totally unacceptable so she had Katherine drive her to the mall Friday after PT so she could wheelchair around the place and buy gifts for my family. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I thanked her a lot already for doing that, but another public THANK YOU on this bootleg site seems like the right thing to do. Mom ande Aunt Susie came up yesterday to gamble at the casino (they both lost money, a rarity for them.) and I gave them the gifts to take home after we had a lunch at the restaurant there. That has become an informal tradition for us these past few years in December. Aunt Susie comes up to visit Mom, they drive up here to gamble some, we meet for lunch, and then we exchange bags of gifts in the parking lot before we say goodbye. (We don't actually open the gifts in the parking lot. That would be ridiculous!)
It has been brutally cold lately. What a bunch of crap! The forecast on Tuesday night got totally fucked away. We were supposed to hit 40 degrees with daytime snow changing to all rain, but that did not happen. Instead we stayed at or below 32, we got freezing rain, and then first thing Wednesday morning everything flash-froze. Katherine almost got into an accident going to work, and I had to drive to Augusta for JH training on a terrible interstate. It was epic fail. These are the worst of the winter days because everything is frozen solid, and the snow on the ground and in the driveway is pure ice. Poor Kat has to go out on crutches in this shit so that is horrible for her. We put a lot of sand and salt out and then it gets tracked into the house on our new precious... precious floor. Gods damn it!
Saturday night's snow and Tuesday night's snow and ice already added up to a $420 plowing and sanding bill. Not only did I need plowing first thing Wednesday morning but I also needed sanding after the flash-freeze. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, $60 of that gets billed out for the property that I manage so my share of the shit-sandwich is "only" $360. The new plow guy did a great job with the last storm, though. I am very pleased with how he and his wife handled that one.
Friday, 12-15-17: Cherry pie and Star Wars.
^1989 Warrant rocks! A great album. Not only is Cherry Pie a great song, but there are also other awesome tunes on that album. Ah, the golden age of music back in the 80s hair/arena rock era. Funny how that Cherry Pie song is Warrant's most-known song yet I recall their lead singer once saying how he hates the song and they only made it at the insistence of the studio.
Cherry pie tastes pretty good, but it is far from the best kind of pie. Cherries are just okay. I don't actually care for them too much because they have stupid pits. What a bunch of crap those are! I prefer apple, banana, blueberry, chocolate-cream, and a bunch of other pies over cherry pie. Pie overall is usually good, though. However, mince meat pie is fucking garbage. Whomever intevented that trash can kiss my arse.
It is 2300 now, and I am committed to staying up until 0130 or 0200 to break down Kat's DJ gear. I set it all up at Jester's for the substitute DJ and then I hit the road so I could hang out at the house for a while. I thought maybe I would go use my gym, but F that I already played racquetball earlier and I have gotten plenty of exercise this year. In fact, this is my best year EVER for exercise. Awesome! My best before this year was 2012. I keep track of it all because I have issues (volumes) so I know my best and my worst, at least since maybe 10-12 years ago. Before that also I kept track, but in a different way so everything from way back then is nearly useless now.
I guess I will hang out here for another hour or 1.5 hours before I go back to the bar to finish up the night. Hopefully the bar has a good night, good enough to exist for another week at least. It seems the bar does not do as much business when Kat is not there so it will be nice when her knee heals and she can return. Hopefully by February if not next month, but there is no timetable. It is what it is.
All I wanna know is why? Why does my computer give me this
Oh, the new Star Wars movie is out now. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (part 8) in theaters. I will most assuredly not go see it in the theater, but I most assuredly will see it when it is out on DVD or Blue Ray or whatever. Maybe we will just order it ON DEMAND because I don't care if I own it. Online reviews are mixed, but so far projections are for the flick to make A SHITLOAD OF MONEY.
The best Star Wars movie, and one of the best movies of all-time, is Return of the Jedi from 1983. That was my #1 movie of all-time for many years when I was younger before I decided The Goonies is overall better. Online many people crap on ROTJ. I am reading some comments now, and this is a taste of what is out there:
"its strong start , stong finish and boring middle with lots of elements copied from the original movie. lucas realized by then that more money could be made by selling toys than making good movies, so we have the teddybears and tons of weird-looking aliens which dont have speaking parts and are on-screen only for a blink of an eye but still are made into bandai figures" -The Real Godzilla
OMG GUY NO WAY JEDI IS FUCKING AWESOME! IF YOU HATE THE EWOKS THEN I PROBABLY HATE YOU BECAUSE THE EWOKS WERE GREAT AND SO WAS EVERYTHING ABOUT THE MOVIE. GODS DAMN YOUZ FOR BEING HATERS.
Now the Star Wars "prequals", those three movies can kiss my hairy ass because they were a bunch of crap.
Tuesday, 12-12-17: I have to teach stuff.
Tomorrow I'll be at the training, and I will also be teaching a section on "The sales aspect" of our business. We are not officially salespeople, but I look at the job as half-sales, half-tax preparation. A big part of the job is convincing and influencing customers to use our service instead of going to the competition or just going online and using software to do their own taxes. We also offer additional products and services that create value to the client and that pay us commission, and I have been pretty good at selling those to my customers. I "sold" more products and did more taxes than anyone in the state last season, and I plan to do the same this season.
We have more snow coming today. White weather this morning changing to wet weather this afternoon. Hopefully we get a couple inches of less of snow so I don't have to pay for plowing. The dogs have loved going outside ever since we got our first snow of the season Saturday night. Here they are yesterday morning, just taking a little break near the fire pit:
I have a new plow guy this year so I'm not sure how he will handle today. He did okay for the Saturday night snow; I got zero complaints from the tenants. A couple of the driveways that I inspected did not look great, but tenants were too lazy to move vehicles so it was not really his fault. We did get 5" of snow, but it was heavy and wet and packed down to maybe 3 or 4 so it was not hard to just drive over. Eventually we will get a bigger snow and that will be telling for how good of a job my new guy can do.
I'm almost certain I will have to pay for some sanding tomorrow since everything will freeze up and stay frozen for a while. (lots of cold in the long-range outlook. What a bunch of crap!) Thankfully my new guy charges half of what my old guy charged for sanding. Last winter cost me a lot for both plowing and sanding. What a bunch of crap!
I have never taught a class before so hopefully tomorrow I don't F it all up. I did make a Powerpoint slideshow so that will help me stay on track. I hadn't used Powerpoint in years, maybe since college, so my slides are quite rudimentary. I don't know how long my session will take, but I would guess between 30-60 minutes. Tomorrow will be a long day away from home; hopefully today's storm is far-gone by then so the drive south is not a shit-show. Next week I will be working 1200-1900 from Monday through Thursday for the refund advance at the Bangor office, and the week after Christmas I will be setting up the office at the WalMart and manning that station for around 30 hours that week. Damn tax season starts earlier and earlier these days.
Speaking of taxes, congress did pass a tax reform bill 1.5 weeks ago. However, they have to go back and pass a final bill so it is still very unclear what the tax laws exactly will be for this coming season. What a bunch of crap that is! This season could be ugly if the government does not get its shit together and make a plan ASAP.
Monday, 12-11-17: Floor is installed, snow fell,
and Nadia turned 7.
So the floor is done now. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I still have some baseboard trim and some touch-up painting to do but the hard part is over. The new floor looks great, but we do worry it will scratch and mar with all the animals running around on it all the time. I took these pictures:
^Standing at living room door facing kitchen.
^Kat's studio is a staging area for all my crap... what a bunch of crap! I need to get that cardboard onto the street so the city can haul on it today. Every other Monday they do recycling, and every Monday is trash collection. However, we use my bootleg rental property dumpster for our trash because years ago Brewer started doing a pay-as-you-throw program so that sucks. A lot. I'm surprised Bangor doesn't do that yet. Brewer is an expensive gods damned city to live in. Mil rate around 22, water/sewer a lot higher than Bangor, and pay trash. Oh, landfill only open twice a month. What a bunch of crap! Fuck this city we should move to a cheaper town. However, being close to everything is a nice perk of living here.
Saturday was the last day of the 2017 deer hunting season, but I didn't go because I decided to play racquetball instead. I lost to Gavin, 4 games to 1, but I don't regret the decision. We got our first snow of the season Saturday later afternoon and night, 5 inches. I was putting gas and oil into the new snowblower Saturday afternoon as snow was falling on my head. Waiting until the last minute = what a bunch of crap! Thankfully it ran just fine and was easy to use first thing Sunday morning for clearing the driveway so Katherine could go to work. She probably could have just driven over the snow, but I got up early just in case we got more than what was forecasted. Using the snowblower was actually kinda fun, too. Sure beat shovelling!
I went down to the midcoast yesterday for Nadia's 7th birthday party. I didn't even buy her a gift because I am Uncle Turd, but thankfully Mom did a gift, wrapped it, and put my name on it. Awesome! All I had to do was give her a $20 for her trouble and for the cost of the thing. I don't even know what it was, some yellow horse-toy-thing. Nadia got a lot of loot yesterday, and most of it was girly and pink. It was a bunch of crap, but in her eyes it was probably more valuable than One-Eyed Willie's treasure from The Goonies.
^One-Eyed Willie double meaning hehehe. BEST MOVIE, EVER. GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!
I don't even think Nadia gave a shit that I came, but she was pretty busy with her 8-10 other friends. Being surrounded by a small gaggle of first-graders is not my idea of fun so I just talked to Dad about deer hunting when Nadia opened all her gifts.
Friday, 12-08-17: Can I finish it today?
I wanted to remodel the bar before tax season begins, but F that there is no time. After I finish the floor I need to finish my baseboard trim, and I'd like to have all that cut by tomorrow midday before snow moves in. For days forecasters said a storm would linger offshore and most likely be a miss for us, but now we are going to get 3-5" tomorrow PM and night. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, it happens. I have been cutting all my flooring and trim outside so dust doesn't get everywhere in here, but if I have to I can use the chop-saw indoors. However, it would be nice to be able to finish it all outside. We'll see...
If I do good work on the floor this morning and early afternoon I might go deer hunting one more time. I'd like to go either this afternoon or tomorrow afternoon. Maybe tomorrow would be better if there is snow. I dunno yet, but I'll make my final decision early this afternoon. For now it's time to clean up some and then get my arse to work. I woke up at 0530 so I could get an early start and make some good progress.
Thursday, 12-07-17: I need to finish this friggin'
Today I'll hopefully get the floor wrapped around the bar and into the kitchen. I definitely won't finish it today, but if I can get it past the bar then the hardest part will be over. Except under the fridge because doing that part will suck a bit. Moving the fridge would be no big deal, but I'll have to disconnect the water-line. Oh well, by then I'll be so close to the end that it will all be worth it.
I'll probably only have a couple hours to work on the floor today because I have to fill potholes, do a little paperwork, run some errands, and maybe play racquetball this afternoon. I can rarely ever work on the house all day from start to finish because different things pull me away. Some of it is my own doing, things like deer hunting the gym and racquetball, but other things just need doing no matter what. on Tuesday I finally fixed this shit-show at the building where I once lived:
Today will be 41 degrees, tomorrow and Sat upper 30s, and then next week we stay at or well below freezing for a long time. That means all the reclaim asphault that I just had delivered Tuesday will be one giant frozen mass if I don't use what I can by the end of the week. I actually fear a lot of it will freeze just during the overnights when it drops down into the lower-mid 20s so that is why I want to fill my potholes today. I'm actually lucky that things aren't frozen solid aready since in many years December is a very cold month.
I can't wait to finish all these projects. I only have 1.5 weeks before I start the JH job, and I actually start for one day next week when I drive down to Augusta for team training. This year I am hosting some of the training. I am not a teacher and will probably F it up, but hopefully I do okay. I was at JH yesterday for 1.5 hours helping to set up the shop, and the boss said they are still in bigtime need of help. Right now they have one person for my location: ME. What a bunch of crap! All I wanna know is why? Why don't more people want to work? It is a good job that can pay well for the right kind of motivated individual. They need to find me some help because I definitely can't keep it all running just by myself.
Alright turds, all two of youz, I need to clean this shit-show and start doing some real work. Goonies never say die!
*I use roofing nails for siding because F it. I read or was told once that aluminum siding nails are better because roofing nails can rust and bleed through. However, siding nails are more expensive than roofing nails and I've never had a problem in all these years when using roofing nails. Plus the motto, as always, It's just a rental!
Tuesday, 12-05-17: More photos of the living
Today I have another load of reclaim asphault scheduled for delivery, and hopefully I can fill in some potholes before the stuff freezes. The next few days will be seasonable with rain tonight, but by the weekend there will be winter cold and chances for snow. So far we have had no snow at all so I know we are overdue for something. Hopefully we don't get any snow again, ever, but nevermind a couple inches later this week would be nice so I can track deer.
Speaking of deer, I went bowhunting yesterday PM but didn't see jack shit. My "Supertree" is not so super anymore because there are no more crabapples left. What a bunch of crap! I did have 636 photos on the trail camera, about two weeks' worth. I saw the deer I shot back in October so that was nice knowing he is still alive. Hi deer who should be in my freezer right now...
^I have multiple pictures of him, and in each photo you can see what looks like a scar from where I hit him. When I shot him back in mid-October I knew my shot was too high so I am glad he lived and seems to be okay.
This poor doe was on my camera for multiple photos over the course of a day:
^I do not know what the hell happened to her, but it is all-bad. I don't think it is from a hunter because there is no exit wound. An arrow would not do that to her. Jason thought maybe hit by a vehicle? In other photos you can see where her shoulder is all messed up, too. I feel badly for her. Hope she makes it. Deer are TOUGH. It really does take a good and/or a lucky shot to kill one with a bow.
It is already 0806, I have been up for 1.75 hours, and I have not yet started working on the house. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, I will do some work on it today. Hopefully. I just took a couple more pictures:
The entertainment center still needs some organization, the ceiling recessed lights need fixtures, and obviously the floor is only half-done in the living room area. Yesterday I worked to finish the ceiling beyond the fireplace and by the bedroom and bathroom.
I came damn close to finishing, but then it was time to go deer hunting so I'll just finish it today. I skipped hunting both Thursday and Saturday last week to work on the house so there was no way I was skipping the hunt again. I'm hoping to go bowhunting at least once more before the season ends this Saturday. I'd like to get one more deer. I'm not too worried about it, though. I already got one deer which is more than I can say some other years.
Alright droolbuckets, all two of you who read this bootleg site, I need to go do some work now. I "only" have a couple weeks left to get my shit done before the JH job starts consuming lots of my precious... precious time.
Friday, 12-01-17: I CANNOT SLEEP GODS DAMN IT.
It is now 2300 and here I am. I tried unsuccessfully to fall asleep for 50 minutes before frustration starting winning the battle so I am up now. I have so many thoughts racing through my head, and I can't calm down enough to sleep yet. I keep thinking about Jester's (hoping PJ is doing ok down there in place of Kat), I keep thinking about things I have to do for the apartments tomorrow, I keep thinking about things still left to do on the house, and I keep thinking about Kat and hoping she is okay.
I have what I hope will be a good solution for this awake problem. First is a little bit of booze. Not enough to get drunk, F that, but enough to settle me down so to speak. I am out of coffee brandy (What a bunch of crap I love that stuff!) so I am drinking two of these nips that have been buried in he fridge since our stop at the NH liquor store way back in September enroute to the Poccinos in Pennsylvania:
In other news, the senate is up late voting on a major tax reform bill that seems likely to pass. It is a horrible case of republicans vs. democrats, and they all fucking suck for sticking so hard to their party lines. All the dems will not vote for the bill, and almost all the reps will vote for it. I hope like hell the bill passes for the major reason that it supposedly will eliminate the penalty for not having health insurance. What a bunch of crap that provision to the tax code is! I hate Obama for doing that bullshit. He has already gotten my bootleg fake toilet fail trophy before, but just for fun here it is again.
^This time awarded to not only Obama but also to Trump and everyone in the senate who has turned due process into a friggin' circus. Gods damn it!
I also like the proposed higher standard deduction under this new tax plan. Up from $12,600 to $24,000 for MFJ. Oh Jesus, hell ya! We don't itemize so that will save us some money. The child tax credit is also supposed to double, from $1000 up to $2000, so that means higher refunds for many of my JH tax clients if this bill passes. Oh, it will add a trillion dollars to the deficit, but F it I guess our kids and their kids can deal with that fallout [sarcasm.]
Good god how in the hell does this great nation even function? Dow just passed $24,000, a record high, and our debt is in the trillions. Cannot be explained. Oh, we also have an egomaniac for a president. I hope we get a good president one day who actually is a true patriot. When was the last time we had one of those?
All I wanna know is why? Why can I not sleep? It is only December 1st, but I think this month is going to fly by. I have a lot to do this month. A lot. I still have to Christmas shop. Kat is like a saint and has done a lot of it "for" me these past three years, but this year she has a new bionic knee so I am kinda on my own. Oh, Nadia also has a birthday in 9 days and I have no clue what to do about that. Hell, I don't even know how old she is. (Maybe going on 7?) I saw her like twice all year this year. What a bunch of crap! Once was at Jason and Holly's wedding and the other time was last Saturday when I stopped by their house to drop off Jason's generator. I am a horrible uncle. Wait I think I saw her three times because I slightly remember playing tag with her at Mom and Dad's during warmer weather months ago. Tag sucks when you are old, but it made her happy so no big deal.
I JUST WANT TO FALL ASLEEP GODS DAMN IT. I got pretty good nights' sleep most of the week so I had a feeling one of these nights was coming. As I get older I realize that I can only have 3-4 "good" nights of sleep in a row before I have a night where it takes me longer to fall asleep. I should STFU, though. Poor Kat has a rough night of sleep at least 50% of the time.
WTF is this frigging cat doing? Squidward (spelling?) is making this weird loud meow like he is lost in the woods or some shit. What the hell does he want? I can give him a pop tart but nevermind these things are mine. I actually will eat one now as a late-night snack. I think I am hungry? Squid better not wake up my awesome wife with these meows or else I will throw him out the slider like Uncle Phil used to throw DJ-Jazzy on The Fresh Prince of Belair*
*I would nevaaaahhhhhh toss a cat outside. Sometimes one of them escapes and that sucks. A lot. Especially when Mittens decides to pull chocks and fly his ass out that slider.
Friday, 12-01-17: Entertainment center = DONE.
Oh, I am 42 years old.
^Looks nice but was a tremendous amount of work. The 18 shelves took much longer than I expected to both build and to install, but they look nice so I think it was worth the extra time to do it right. Kat and Katherine put DVDs on the shelves and plugged all the stuff in while I ran cable and ethernet wires down in the cellar. Moving the wires was a pain in the arse, but at least I didn't have to go buy longer cords. I found extra cables to reach because downstairs there are a few random cables that seem to go to nowhere. What a bunch of crap! Hopefully I can post a photo of the 100% finished and decorated system soon. We still have some stuff to put along the top, but that ain't happening today.
It's only 1520 and I feel like I have already worked a full 8-hour day. It took all morning to move everything onto that new entertainment center. I did take a short lunch break and I did lift weights for a half-hour, but other than that I have been working. Kat worked way too hard helping to get everything all set up; her left knee is only three weeks post-replacement surgery so she is in a lot of pain and is very limited in her mobility. She is making good improvements so far, though. They say it takes up to 13 weeks to recover and lingering pain can last a year or more. OMG.
My birthday came and went on Tuesday. I don't really give a crap about my birthday, but Katherine was thoughtful and got me a small cake from her Hannaford bakery, Mom and Dad got me .22 ammo, and Kat got me the best gift of all, this book:
^Oh Jesus hell ya! The jacket for the book looks like a classic NES cartridge. How cool is that? I have only been able to briefly leaf through the book, but I plan to read all of it ASAP. Old video game stuff rules! Nintendo and Super Nintendo are like gifts to the world from gods who do not really exist.
One of these days (2018?) I plan to play old video games on our brand new badass 70" TV that we just hooked up a few hours ago. That TV is so nice. Merry Christmas to us 25 days early. We could have put a bow on it, but F that it is better on our new entertainment center fully operational than sitting in its box in Kat's studio for another 3+ weeks. I'll put a bow on the thing Christmas morning. Maybe? Okay, most likely not.