1-30-19: I need to buy a plow truck for next year and beyond.
Many years ago I didn't have the confidence to do my own plowing, and I also had various jobs that tied me down. First was the swing shift at FedEx Ground. Then came Liberty Tax, UPS, and Jackson Hewitt. Now I am finally free, and I have the confidence to do most of my own work in so many different ways than I did a decade ago. No more fixed employment for my ass, and after this year hopefully no more paying for plowing. Each plow costs me $150, and the bill is much higher than that because Gavin and the property that I manage also add on. If I had my own plow truck not only would I save that $150 for myself, but I could do those two driveways and essentially pay for wear and tear on whatever plow truck I would use.
It is snowing now with about 3-4" expected so bye bye another $150 for plowing. Last storm was $300 because it was a very big storm, two plows. What a bunch of crap! I do budget for plowing, but these past few winters have been killers. It has been many years since we had an easy winter with regards to snow totals. This season we have had many 3-5" snows that look very easy to plow and that are easy money for my local plow team. I like the people who plow for us, they do a good job, but damn it gets expensive.
^Here in the Bangor area we have about 1.5", but it looks like all that heavier junk to the south has to move in still and now they are saying we might not change to rain before it ends. Seems likely that the plows will be out once again. Schools in the area closed. Arctic air moves in later and through the end of the week with wind chills below zero until Saturday PM. What a bunch of crap! Oh well at least we're not -50 like they are in the midwest right now. Plus next week we warm back up and Feb usually signals the slow end of the winter because the days get longer and the average temp creeps up slowly.
My new tax office is coming along nicely. I finished the sheetrock sanding in my tax office yesterday, and I primed and painted in there for a while. Today I'll do more sanding and mudding in the adjacent waiting room area and bathroom for the first couple hours of the day, and then this afternoon I'll do more painting. I might be able to paint my tax office ceiling and walls 100% today, but it will be close. If I don't get it today then definitely tomorrow. I'm hoping to start trim and flooring Friday, and then this weekend I can start putting my office together. Desk, computer, chairs, other furniture, etc. We'll see how that goes. I do think that by this time next week I will have my tax office and most if not all of Kat's DJ area all set up and ready for clients. My new computer for the office over there is mostly set up, but I still have to install my tax software and antivirus programs.
Alright turds, all two of you who actually read this pathetic excuse for a website, I need to go feed the dogs and clean the house a bit. After that it's time to sand, mud, and paint. Goonies never say die!
Sunday, 1-27-19: The things I have and the things
I need for my new business.
^They have barrels full of peanuts, and they encourage slobbery. Their food is really good, especially their rolls and that spiced butter that comes with those rolls.
We bought a bunch of useful things yesterday. I got my printer-scanner-copier for my new tax office, and we found some awesome used CDs for $2 each at a flea-market-thing where KMart used to be. I was going to buy some waiting-room chairs, but Staples didn't have 4 of them in stock so the guy said we could order them from their in-store kiosk free shipping to the house. Awesome! Unfortunately there were other people at the kiosk who seemed to be in no rush so we left. I thought I could just order stuff from their website, but for some dumbass reason prices are higher on their website than they are in-store. What a bunch of crap!
I also decided on this computer for my office:
^8GB RAMs and 1TB hard-drive i3 processor. It compares to a Dell for $429 at Best Buy. I almost bought a $450 HP at Best Buy last week, but they didn't have it in stock. Looks like waiting paid off for my loser ass, and the same can be said for my new printer. I almost bought that printer last week for $250, and yesterday it was on sale for $200. Oh Jesus Hell ya!
Okay I'm back and it's now the afternoon. We scooted over to Staples where the employee there hooked us up. I got the computer pictured above for $370, and we ordered our 4 waiting area / client chairs for $200. Plus tax of course. The computer was actually in stock there so as soon as I finish this bootleg update that no one will ever read I'll see if I can get it working. Hopefully it works okay and I can install my tax and antivirus software today and into this coming week. I doubt I will get it all set up 100% today, but I hope to get it started.
I also stopped by Lowe's and bye bye another $358 for sheetrock, mud, and a shitload of trim. Baseboard, casing, pine, etc. This coming week I should be able to do the window casings for the office areas, and maybe by the end of the week I'll do some flooring. I guess my tax business won't be able to open this week because there is still too much to do, but hopefully by next week I am good-to-go. Another couple weeks of good carpentry and finish-work over there should have the place looking very nice. I definitely won't be all done in a couple weeks, but I should have the important parts ready so we can use the spaces to accommodate paying customers.
Friday, 1-25-19: PRIMER.
^I primed the ceiling on that part as well as all the walls. I epic sanded that entire space today, and it made me tired and I sucked at racquetball this evening. What a bunch of crap! Having it ready for paint is a huge win, though. That rough-hewn 8x8 main beam in the photo just above and behind the piano will hopefully look really nice if I can sand it some and then stain it. Hopefully I can do that as well as all the window/door trim next week. I wanted to have that space and my tax office 100% done by this time next week, but that seems unlikely. Maybe the week after? By then it will be into February because in 6 days it is good riddance to January, the second-worst month of the year. (December is the worst because winter is just beginning and I have to Christmas shop.)
That stupid fucking piano, what a bunch of crap that thing is. Kat likes it and wanted to keep it, but if I were the boss then I would have given it away. It weighs about 1000 pounds and takes up precious... precious space. It was even worse when it was on the second floor, and I hated it with a ferver when it was here for a day or two:
I worked 27 hours at North Main this week for the renovation, including two little supply runs for more paint and joint compound (mud.) I can't ever work 40 hours a week there because other things use up my precious... precious time. One week at the end of Nov I worked 38 hours there, but since then it has been 33.25, 27.5, 27.5, 19, 16, 29.5, 22.75, and this week's 27. I do work more hours a week than that, but as far as the remodel itself and related supply-runs that is all I can muster. When I look at those numbers I think to myself WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! However, I get over it fast because I know I really do work more hours than that on other properties, on paperwork, and on all kinds of other things. Plus I have had Jeremy there for 2-3 days each week for the past few weeks so even when I'm not there things are getting done.
I am officially and for-real this time over budget there. What a bunch of crap that is! The budget was $50,000, and as of today I am at $50,057.51. I was closer to $51k, but then I got my $1000 EFFICIENCY MAINE rebate for the natural gas furnace install. Oh Jesus Hell ya to that! Last year I also got two big credits. First was a credit for the prepaid dumpster of over $200, and second was a $750 EFFICIENCY MAINE rebate for a heat-pump water heater installed at the property. REBATES RULE. Unfortunately, there are no more rebates left. Thankfully the remodel part is almost over. A couple more weeks and I should have everything done except for the garage and the other office area that we may or may not lease out.
Before I leave tonight to go to the bar I want to mention that I heard Analog Man by Joe Walsh the other day on 100.3 WKIT and then I had it stuck in my head for the rest of the day. It is an awesome song, and I am not even a Joe Walsh fan. I am playing it again now because it is awesome. Listen to it now and if you don't like it then you can ggggggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttttttttttttttttoooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!
The whoe world's living in a digital dream, it's not really there it's just on the screen. I'm an analog man in a digital world.... okay this is going too fast bye bye I am out like a fat kid in dodge ball. This would be a great song to sing at karaoke, but F that my awesome wife has 20 singers and I ain't gonna take up a precious... precious spot from people who are better singers than I am.
Thursday, 1-24-19: I need to get my tax business
I need to get my tax business website open ASAP, too. Hopefully by this time next week I am all good and mostly operational over there. Jeremy can work for me today so bonus there; he and I should get a lot done and I should be able to have Kat's area mostly ready for paint by the end of today. Having her area done is incredibly important since people will pass through that space in order to get to my tax office. Having my tax office done but nothing else done would be useless.
^Awesome I already have a placeholder COMING SOON of sorts for my tax website. Guess that is the default thing GoDaddy puts there because I sure as hell didn't do it. I am glad it's there, though!
Man, the 80s channel is ripping great tunes out one after another so far this morning. Heaven is a Place on Earth (Belinda Carlisle), Say You Will (Foreigner), I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston), I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight (Cutting Crew). Channel 1928 is the best!
I feel great this morning, no lingering effects from that cold I had 1.5 weeks ago anymore. Sinuses finally cleared up, and I am gonna go crush it in my bootleg gym later this morning. I also need to go to Lowe's for more mud and a few other supplies. According to my rough (VERY ROUGH) budget here I need to spend about $1300 more at North Main before the construction part is done. Of course that does not include the garage; bye bye thousands more for that part of the project that I hopefully can do later this year. I'm over budget at that place, and that is a bunch of crap. Oh well it happens there are two things I can do about it at this point: nothing and like it.
According to my rough budget we also need to drop a few more thousand on furniture, office supplies, a desk for my awesome wife, my computer/printer, our security system, etc. I have our expected expenses all mapped out to get through March of this year. It is sizeably in the red, but that is okay because I planned for that last fall, and it looks like we will be able to make a nice chunk of money in the warmer months of this year doing carpentry. Lots of shingling left to do down at Phil and Danielle's, Deno needs a deck this spring, and by summer Gavin will probably need me for his extensive remodeling. Maybe my tax office will bring us in a few extra bucks, too.
I only worked half a day yesterday so my awesome wife and I could go on a much-needed date. We had a late lunch/early supper at Las Palapas (AWESOME MEXICAN FOOD) before we saw Glass in the theater. Glass is a sequel to Unbreakable and Split, both fantastic movies. I really love Split, and Glass was a worthy follow-up. Unfortunately the ending left a little bit of a bad taste for us both, but it was not a bad ending. Overally a very good movie that I would rank as a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Billy Ocean rocks. Caribbean Queen = awesome. The end. Fin. Goonies never say die!
Wednesday, 1-23-19: 68%?! That kinda sucks.
^Google image. In my own game I didn't have that many energy tanks or that many missles and bombs. Nevertheless I still won the final battle. Unfortunately, once you win the final battle a time-bomb activates and you only have three minutes to navigate a few rooms, go up a few shafts, get to your spaceship, and GTFO before the entire planet explodes. Since I'm old now and since I kinda suck at video games these days you can imagine how that went. I did make it up to my spaceship with 3 seconds left, but my dumb loser ass jumped too high and went right over my spaceship so the planet exploded with me on it still and it was game over. GAME OVER, MAN. What a bunch of crap!
So back to the final battle I went where I once again beat up on the Mother Brain and escaped the planet with still one full minute to spare. I rocked it on my second attempt, and it's a good thing I did because had I failed again I would have just turned the entire thing off. The final credits rolled, and then this popped up at the very end:
^SEE YOU NEXT MISSION. YOUR RATE FOR COLLECTING ITEMS IS 68%. OMG that is terrible! I only got 2/3 of all the items in the labyrinth of the game. What a bunch of crap! In school that would be an F, right? (or a D?) Oh well I still beat the game and I only needed to Google search three different times. [sigh] Okay I guess I didn't really beat the game on my own because I didn't know where the grappling hook was located because of all the secret bullshit passageways all over the place. There were some hidden items that I didn't get just because they were too hard to acquire. F doing complicated jumps for a 5-pack of Super Bombs. All I wanna know is why? Why would you need 50 Super Bombs when you only need to use one every now and then and you can replenish your supply when you kill enemies? I had something like 30 of them anyway so good enough.
Overall I did enjoy the hell out of Super Metriod. It is a great game, and my complaints and times I got stuck are just a symptom of my loser ass not wanting to waste hours upon hours of my precious... precious time roaming and exploring the levels like we did as kids. I got stuck, I tried some, and then gave up and looked answers up online. What a bunch of crap!
I think the next game I will play should be The Legend of Zelda (Super Zelda!) for the SNES Classic; maybe I'll start that tomorrow or this weekend. I won't have time to play today because after I update this bootleg site that no one ever reads I have to email a few photos to Jason and then do my Yoga before I go start sanding and mudding over at North Main. Jason is going to set me up with a 4-camera security system and the DVR-box that goes with the cameras. Security is very important for that place since my awesome wife will have a lot of gear over there and I will have sensitive tax records locked up in the building.
^Lots of snow out there now. Thankfully some will melt tomorrow when we get rain; hopefully we don't get too much rain because having flooding would be a bunch of crap. We'll have two cameras on the front, one on the side off to the left, and one inside facing the entry door.
I still have A LOT left to do over there before we can have our first customers, but things are looking better by the day. I think by the end of tomorrow I'll have most of Kat's area all sanded down and almost ready for paint. Then Friday I can do touchups and start painting. Maybe? Hopefully! Or if I don't paint Friday I can mud the waiting area and bathroom. I would like to do some painting Friday, though. We have her meeting table and chairs scheduled for delivery Friday so if I can have that area ready then bonus for us. If not we'll have to move the table around to keep it out of the way so it will be just a little more of a pain to deal with.
Alright losers, all two of youz, I gotta go work on my new tax business website. Right now there is nothing, but I need some kind of COMING SOON page in case the few people who have my business card try to look it up online. I still hope to be set up by the end of this month, but that is only a week away so 50/50 on that.
Monday, 1-21-19: Epic football game last night.
The final stretch of the game was epic to watch. All kinds of near-misses, crazy penalties, and great catches. It was one of the most watchable games, ever. I didn't stay up to watch overtime because I was just too cooked at that point so we bivouaced, and first thing this morning I turned on the NFL Network where they replayed the game. I only saw the last 5 minutes of the game, but that's all I needed to see because in overtime the Greatriots scored a touchdown to win. Oh Jesus hell ya! This year's Superbowl will be the Patroits vs the LA Rams in 13 days; it will be Brady and Bellicheck's 9th trip to the Superbowl. Totally amazing how good they've been for so long.
We got a pretty big winter storm yesterday that actually seemed to underperform as compared to what had been forcasted. For days they said 1.5-2 feet of snow possible, but then right at the onset they dropped us down to 11-15" with a lot more icing. Ice = what a bunch of crap! We did get a lot of ice, but thankfully it was sleet so it didn't stick to power lines and cost us our precious... precious energy that we needed to watch football. Our stupid fucking snowblower will not start so I need to take it to the repair shop so I had to shovel the driveway. The sleet on top of powdery snow made it heavy to shovel and it took an hour, but I saved the $30 I would have had to pay for plowing. Was it worth it? I think so, but when I try to use my gym today I'll know for sure depending on how sore I feel. Right now I feel okay.
I still have a little bit of congestion from last week's head-cold, but these past few days I've felt pretty good despite the fact that I have to blow my nose a few times a day. Hopefully this week I can get a lot done over at North Main and by week's end maybe start some painting. I still am holding out hope I can have my tax office ready by the end of the month, but I'd say that is only 50/50 at this point. Last week I only worked there about 20 total hours. How sad is that? It's a bunch of crap! I'll probably only put in 30 hours there this week because I know other things will pull me away a bit. We have to meet for our signs, I have to buy my office computer, printer/scanner, etc, and to start today I have to go over to my office/gym property and shovel heavy sleet-laden snow for a while.
Thankfully last week Jeremy was able to work over at North Main for 3 days so a lot got done even though I wasn't there too much. On Saturday we finished all the ceilings, and putting away my sheetrock lift that afternoon was a great feeling. I'm losing Jeremy soon for two reasons. First, I am over budget and only can afford a limited amount. Second, Jeremy got a new job that is supposed to start today. I'm glad he got the new job because I can't afford him much more so the timing for him is perfect. If he doesn't start his new job today due to the weather or other reasons (It is Martin Luther King Jr. Day) then I'll use his help over there one last time today.
Friday, 1-18-19: Second update of the day. Damn
I am half in the bag already.
^From the Interwebs, thank you Google. I dunno what a Macaw is, but probably something like Tucan Sam on Froot Loops. Froot Loops are awesome cereals and if you disagree with me then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more. Pretty funny that a talking pirate-bird outlives a lot of humans. I don't even know what half the birds on that list are. I thought a Quaker was an oat or a conservative person from Pennsylvania? I don't even know anymore. What a bunch of crap!
Canaries should live longer because they are useful for poison gas. At least that is what I thought? I dunno because I'll probably never be a coal miner or do the Kessell run in under 4 parsecs. Where's my psychologist gods damn it?
Jeremy and I got a lot done over at North Main in the 5 hours I was actually there. We hung a bunch of 5/8" sheetrock, and tomorrow I'll work with him at least some over there and hopefully finish all the ceilings. Then next week I can mud, mud, and mud some more and get some spaces ready for paint. Hopefully the following week (very end of Jan / early Feb) my office will be ready for its first client. Maybe? Hopefully!
I played Super Metroid this morning for about a half-hour, and I didn't know where to go. I don't have the patience to roam around the same areas of the game for hours on end trying to find the secret passage into the next zone so I just looked up where to go in the Interweb. It's my third time "cheating" at that game and having to look stuff up online so far since I started playing Christmas day. What a bunch of crap! Once I saw the way to go I fought the enemy boss for Mariaia, he made me his little bitch, but then when I was about to give up my grappling hook electrocuted his dumb ass to death so I was a winner. Oh Jesus hell ya!
That overpixelated flying roach-looking mudda fucka regulated on my arse and I died hard the first time that I fought him, but then I accidentally did good things and won like a boss. Oh Jesus hell ya! I also found some more missles and energy tanks and other cool loot that will hopefully help me beat the MOTHER BRAIN. Three bosses dead, one to go!
Kat said earlier in a text that she has 30 singers at the bar tonight. OMG! Jester's max capacity is 54, or so I thought. That place is nuts tonight, and the 80s-themed party event probably helped bring people in. We wanted to try hosting karaoke in the larger attached restaurant area like she does for Halloween, but that was DENIED by the boss. Too bad because the past couple weeks that bar has been so full that some people leave. I'd honestly be there right now if the place wasn't jammed so full. It kinda sucks being there when there is no room to move, even if I do know most of the people there and I fit right in.
My Sweet Pea has been singing 80s songs all night. I stayed for her first song, Madonna's Material Girl. Then I came home to keep an eye on the dogs. She's going to sing Quarterflash Harden My Heart later, and I can't wait to see her nail that one. It is a fantastic and often-underlooked 80s gem from 1981. I love that song and I will thoroughly enjoy hearing my awesome wife sing it. I won't sing tonight, F that, I usually skip out on the karaoke. I suffer from a medical condition known as NFT so it's for the best that I avoid singing. Hehehehe. (NFT = NO FRIGGIN' TALENT!)
Friday, 1-18-19: Another seizure and another
huge storm looming.
It is 0945, and normally I'd be at North Main working right now. However, Kat had some things to do so I volunteered to stay home and watch Tiger Lily until my awesome wife returns. I'll eat a very early lunch shortly and then spend a few hours over at North Main installing most of the final sections of ceilings that remain to be done there. Tiger Lily seems okay now, and I hope it stays that way. We have a call into the vet, and hopefully we can get Tiger Lily some seizure medications ASAP.
Jeremy is at North Main today mudding and taping as I write this bootleg blog that almost no one will ever read. I'll have him there tomorrow as well, and then he starts a new job so he might not be available to work with me for any other days on this current project. The timing actually works out well because if he and I can finish all the ceilings today and tomorrow then I can finish the rest of it up solo. It will be a lof of mudding and sanding, but not an overwhelming amount if I'm snart about how I do it. Plus for financial reasons it will be good for me to finish the rest of it by myself. Hiring out help costs precious... precious money that I'd rather save for other important things like heat and plowing.
We're expecting to get a massive snowstorm Sunday so that puts added pressure on to get the last of the 5/8" sheetrock out of the garage over there and up onto the walls and ceilings. I started with 52 pieces of 5/8" thick 12-foot sheetrock for the celings there, and I am down to 18 left on the pile. The ceilings remaining should only need another 10 pieces so score there I'll have 8 extra sheets to use on the remaining walls. Awesome!
^WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! Two feet of snow is fairly crippling, especially when I'm not even sure if the snowblower works. I did replace the fuel last week, but I didn't try to start it because I was afraid it would turn into a shit-show epic failer. I'll try to get it going later today, and if it doesn't start then I'll just pay to have the driveway plowed. That will suck, but it will suck less than shovelling huge snows. I don't mind shovelling some for the exercise, but 18-24" is just too much to do manually.
So far this winter has fucking SUCKED. I guess if this whole tax business plan of mine doesn't work out as I hope it does then it will be time to leave this state, maybe forever. If I can do taxes and work a fair amount (but not too much!) each winter on my own terms then I think I can handle being here in the winter. Maybe? [Hopefully.] Kat's health is another serious thing to consider for us in the winter up here. Lupus and cold weather = all bad for her joints and for everything else.
Alright turds, all two of youz, I'm gonna get off this bootleg piece of dump site and make my lunch. I'll probably come back on later tonight to write some more when I'm home watching the dogs and losing at Super Metroid. Hopefully Tiger Lily is fine for the rest of the day and beyond.
Wednesday, 1-16-19: A trip to Portland for a
It is a used desk that I found on Craigslist, and if the photos are an accurate representation of the desk then it's coming home with us. I'll stick in in the garage over at North Main for a week or two, and then it will go into my new tax office and be my tax desk.
Driving 266 round-trip miles for a desk is a bunch of crap, but there is nothing around here even close to that desk in the photo above. I could order a desk, but I'd pay $500+ and the one above is $250. Plus while we are in Portland we can shop at some of the other furniture stores and get my Sweet Pea her Panda Express that she loves so much. I'm not a huge Chinese-food fan, but I gotta admit Panda is pretty good. Hopefully it will be a nice day-trip to Portland for us both, and thankfully the weather isn't looking too bad today so that is a huge plus. Bigtime snow and cold is coming to end the week and to start next week gods damn it.
A trip to Portland today means another lost day of carpentry at North Main; I will definitely be working there Saturday this week and I'll also likely have Jeremy come Saturday if he has no other obligations. In a perfect world both Jerremy and I will work there for each of the next three days and get a lot done. Maybe? Hopefully! My tax office will be ready for paint by the end of the week, but I might not paint it until next week depending on how the surrounding rooms come together. Or I'll start painting it Friday and Saturday nights when Kat is doing the Jester's karaoke. She works Saturday there this week filling in for the pro-wrestler who usually hosts that karaoke night there.
I feel much better now than I did two days ago. Yesterday wasn't too bad for me either, and I was able to work all day mudding, taping, and sanding over at North Main with only one little side-trip needed to replace a torn dryer-vent hose at one of my bootleg rental properties. I also paused for a productive phone call with the owner of a local sign company, and as soon as I finish this useless update that no one will ever read then I'll email him Kat's design and a photo of the front of that property.
The dogs really annoyed me this morning. All they wanted to do is play and jump on me, and when they are really loud in the early morning they can wake up Katherine downstairs. I like to let them play and rumble around, but their timing is not the best. Plus no matter how cold it is outside I have to go out with them half the time so Groot doesn't eat dog shit. What a bunch of crap that is! I actually regret getting a third dog, and lately she has made me question our decision because she has regressed. She's eaten cat-food, and she has pissed on the floor three times in the past two days. Epic fail. The cat food-theft is really amazing because she has to sneak through two tiny little cat-doors just to get to that food. She is 7 months old now and should be behaving better. Right? The pissing on the floor failer is really perplexing because she had gone a very long time without doing that. What a bunch of crap!
Monday, 1-14-19: A mostly-lost work day.
My goal is to have my tax office ready in two weeks (two weeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssssssssss!) However, after losing today that might not work out so well. I could have the tax office itself ready by Wednesday, but that's just dumb because you have to walk through Kat's area and a waiting area before you get to the tax office. Neither of those spaces are ready, and I haven't even put a first coat of mud onto most of the waiting area. Also it would be nice to have a working bathroom for people to use. Right now a crapper in a sheetrock-dust-covered space is a bootleg bunch of crap. There's not even a door on the bathroom yet ahahahahaha!
The IRS opens for tax-processing on the 28th so that is why I think opening on that day makes the most sense. Unfortuantely, the stuff I have to do between now and then is almost overwhelming. I need all kinds of important things like a desk, computer, printer, phone, etc. Yeah, I have a phone number right now that I haven't even called or hooked a phone up to. What a bunch of crap!
Thankfully in the short amount of time that we went out and about this morning we made a few decisions about what products to pick up. Staples doesn't even have desks on display anymore (what a bootleg bunch of crap!) but they had some nice-looking waiting-room chairs and a Brother all-in-one printer/scanner/copier that I plan to pick up later this week:
We also spent some time this afternoon looking at reviews and specs on computers so now I have a pretty good idea which computer I'll buy. We already have two office chairs that we picked up at Marden's last week, but I'm still not sure what I'll do for a desk. I did reach out to someone selling a nice-looking desk in Portland so hopefully that can come together. Driving to Portland for a desk is a bunch of crap, but I need a good desk and finding one locally might not work out so well.
I slept half the afternoon, and hopefully that doesn't screw me over for sleeping tonight. I slept very badly last night because my nose was all plugged up and Groot needed to go take a shit a few times. She had the runs, and we think she got through our two levels of "security" and ate a shitload of cat food. What a bunch of crap! She pissed on the floor twice yesterday, too. Revielle for my loser ass was 0522 when one of the cats decided to bring a loud jingle-ball-toy over by the bedroom door. I felt like 10 pounds of shit stuffed into a 5-pound bag, and it was all bad. I played a little more Super Metroid, but I couldn't figure out what to do next because that fucking game is a lot harder than I remembered it being when I was younger. Killing the enemies isn't too hard to do, but finding the right way to go sure as hell sucks. A lot. I finally had to get back online to look up what to do so that's twice now I've needed the Interweb to bail me out. What a bunch of crap!
So overall the weekend sucked because I was sick, and today hasn't been so great either. First weekend I take off in seemingly a long time and I waste most of it away. What a bunch of crap! Oh well at least the Patriots beat the shit out of the Chargers in their divisional playoff game. The Greatriots DOMINATED that game, and it was awesome. Next week they travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs, and I think the Chiefs will be favored to win that game because they have a great team. The Pats have been great at times this season, but all too often they have not been great. They need to be great if they want to go to the Superbowl this year.
Sunday, 1-13-19: A rough start to 2019 and a
look back at 2018.
2018 wasn't a bad year; I had many different adventures and did many different odd jobs in order to cobble together a semblance of a living. Last year at this time of year I was working close to full-time hours and just starting to get busy at the Jackson Hewitt tax office in the Bangor WalMart. That was a good job, but no part of me misses it because I know owning my own little tax office is the right move for us long-term. The one HUGE drawback of JH was having to work many days until 1900 or even 2000 even when there were no customers at all. Sometimes it was boring, especially in March when things slowed down.
After the JH seasonal job ended in mid-April it was time to start focusing more of my efforts on the rental properties. From April through the end of July I didn't have any major rental-property projects, but I did a few smaller things in between helping Jason on a huge mansion in Stockton Springs and installing new shingles on Phil and Danielle's house.
^A little retaining wall that I took care of just before blueberry raking. Phil's house is still only half-done so Kat and I will head back down to Oakland this spring to finish the other half for them.
^Both my awesome wife and I got pretty good at installing cedar shakes!
It was a good blueberry raking season from a financial standpoint because we raked Cliff's own fields behind his house, and Cliff didn't make us mess around in the areas where the berries were sparse. The extra $1300 in 46 hours worth of raking plus the money we made working on Phil and Danielle's house allowed us to pay off the Lowe's and Home Depot cards for the first time in years (I usually rotate special financing deals so carry some kind of balance.)
The day before blueberry raking began, literally the DAY BEFORE, Kat and I closed on this property:
At this time one year ago I was NOT a buyer. Not even close, and in fact I had a contract in place to fast-track my bootleg Bangor duplex the hell out of the inventory. Jody had a buyer, and for $90k I agreed to say farewell to that place forever. Still no regrets about that even though I did sell if for $13k less than what I paid for the place back in 2004. What a bunch of crap! Oh well I had a lot of equity from the years of owning it so it all worked out.
The decision to buy North Main, the bootleg and run-down property in the photo above, came about after time and time again of driving by the building and seeing the huge FOR SALE sign. The place is perfectly located right on busy North Main Street, and it is only 2/10 of a mile from our own house here on Parkway North. How cool is that?! However, the best feature of the building was the fact that it could be a split-level with an upstairs apartment and downstairs office space. PERFECT! I imagined Kat and I using the downstairs for her DJ business and for me to open my own tax business, and now 9 months after I had that vision I am only a couple weeks away from seeing that become a reality.
North Main has been a massive project. I started the remodel in early August right after blueberry raking, and I am behind schedule because I sorta bit off too much. In hindsight I should have taken out a little more money for a loan so I could have hired more help. I've done 90% of everything carpentry-related myself, and when you have a property that needs everything then it is daunting. There have been a few times, especially lately, where I regretted buying the place. Thankfully I cleared that mental hurdle last week when we had a good, productive few days there, and now I feel like it will all work out. I did spend too much for the place at $75,000. What a bunch of crap! I don't think we got hosed, but I do think $65-70k would have been more feasable. I'm up to $50k spent on the renovations already plus nearly 600 hours of my own time, and I keep pretty damn good records so those numbers are not just guesses. The only silver lining in it all is the fact that when it is all done the property will be amazing. Maybe? Hopefully!
^The huge garage at North Main still needs several thousand dollars worth of work. I'll have to deal with that this year. The garage is a great place to stage debris and sheetrock, though. I also traded use of part of the garage for our plow/landscape people in exchange for some work.
I didn't meet my exercise goals for 2018, but I came damn close and I don't feel like I failed. Epecially with all the carpentry that I did during the year. I didn't do enough cardio, though. What a bunch of crap! However, I did add yoga to my routine and that has been fantastic. 3 or so times a week of a 30-minute DDP Yoga stretch really compliments everything else that I do. Unfortunately for most of the fall I have had on and off tennis elbow issues because of all the hammering and other work. Hopefully when North Main is done (next month?!) I will get a break in March and the first part of April from carpentry before we get on it again in the spring to shingle at Phil's and to do that North Main garage. I have a lot of work scheduled for 2019 so I won't be bored this year.
We took two vacations last year. Awesome! My favorite of the two was a trip back to the Royal Haciendas in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in May. Thanks for paying for that vacation, Jackson Hewitt! We actually already booked a room again at the RH for this coming May because we got a great deal on a "Getaway" through Interval International. $500 for an entire 2-bedroom suite with a full kitchen and living room for an entire week = Oh Jesus hell ya!
This year I would like to sell my Holyoke Street property because I have one too many right now. I got lucky last year with very little tenant turnover; the only turd in the proverbial punch-bowl was the vacancy that I had for most of December at the apartment above my gym. That was a bunch of crap and a thorn in my side in a major way, and it is the reason why I got all stressed out about North Main at the end of the year and at the very beginning of this year. I had to do a lot of showings and put a bunch of work and money into the place in order to get it rented last week. Hopefully I don't have any more vacancies this winter because having people move out this time of year sucks. A lot.
I'm not sure if I will sell Holyoke this year because I have had the same tenants there for 6.5 years, and kicking out rent-paying long-term tenants is just bad business. I definitely can't put it on the market with them still living there so we'll see how the year goes. For now I need to focus more on the impending next few weeks, and that means getting my tax office 100% done and open.
This year I definitely need to free up more of my precious... precious time for the things that I enjoy doing. I barely went deer hunting at all in the fall, and that bums me out. I was just too busy with North Main. It is actually amazing that I even got a deer this past season since I only went 6 or so total times. Finding that life-work balance is never easy because you can easily work too much or you can work not enough, and when you work not enough then you start to run out of money!
Friday, 1-11-19: Is it bedtime yet?
Thankfully I plan to take the weekend off from working, barring any urgent needs of course. I will work on our own house some if I don't get 100% sick; the upstairs needs some paint and trim work and then Katherine can move up to there. We've had that upstairs space empty for just over a month since Debbie, Dillon, and Travis all moved over to North Main. Katherine has been living in the basement, and yes I know it does fit a stereotype (living in parents basement!), but at least it is a lot nicer down there since I did a remodel 1.5 years ago. Katherine did live in the upstairs new addition, but she kindly gave it up so Dillon and Debbie could have it. Then Travis sorta entered the picture at some point last year...
I feel a lot better about North Main than I did at this time one week ago. I got a LOT done there this week, and these past two days were fantastic work days. Jeremy helped me both yesterday and today, and he was well worth the money because we got walls and ceilings up just about everywhere except for the office space that we plan to lease out. My tax office is almost ready for paint, too. Awesome! However, yesterday PM I did have to waste about an hour of my precious... precious time dealing with all these wires:
I took that picture AFTER I got all the cables up into the stringers and through that hole in the ceiling sheetrock. 8 cables, 4 for Interweb (yellow) and 4 for security cameras (black.) I don't even possess the security cameras yet, but hopefully I can get those through Jason later this month. I think having the cameras up there is important to deter would-be thieves, especially since I will have tax records there and since Kat will have speakers and other expensive DJ-stuff there on display. Fortunately so far there have been no break-ins, and having family living there in the upstairs apartment definitely helps to deter crooks. The building is right on North Main so that also helps deter theft since it is a high-visibility area.
^We got all the ceilings installed in Kat's area yesterday morning, and I took this picture this morning right before lunch. Jeremy is fastening the last of the 5/8" sheetrock ceilings in that waiting-area room through the doorway. Double 5/8 is a pain in the arse, but oh well gotta meet code. It complies with code or else it gets the hose again. It does this whenever it is told...
Monday through Wednesday next week I will do a LOT of mudding, taping, and sanding. If all goes as planned then Jeremy can help me next Thursday and Friday, and we can finish the ceilings everywhere and use the leftover 5/8 sheetrock to install on some of the walls. I expect it will be a couple weeks before all the sheetrock is installed 100% everywhere so I guess that really means 3 weeks since staying on schedule is damn near impossible. What a bunch of crap!
The last area to sheetrock will be the space through those two interior wall-windows in the photo above. Mom thought my idea of having windows on the INSIDE is retarded, but she can eat the peanuts out of my sssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttt because I know it is a great plan long-term. Maybe in the future we will want to use the entire space ourselves and keep it semi-open and inviting. Windows do just that. However, maybe we won't and in that case there are these awesome things called BLINDS that give plenty of privacy. I also think it makes the property more desirable for a potential buyer in the future in case we decide to just haul on the place. One professional business could use that entire downstairs and have a few separate yet still interconnected offices.
In other news, the government shutdown is entering record territory as I write this pathetic excuse for a blog that maybe two people will ever read. 21 days is the record, and we are there right now. Trump wants a $5 billion southern-border wall and he won't compromise yet most everyone else including some members of his own Republican political party think "FUCK THAT." I think the entire thing is a bunch of crap, but no need to harp on that since I have already written about it in a past update not that long ago. $5 billion is way too much to spend on a frigging wall. What a bunch of crap! I lost a lot of faith in the Republican party over the last few years. They all suck, and we need a new system.
Oh, I played Metroid a little this morning and a little more tonight. This morning I was about to beat the "Wrecked Ship" enemy boss when the game turned off. At first I thought the SNES Classic malfunctioned, but then I realized Groot knocked a pillow off the couch and right into the power cord. That unplugged it just enough so I lost my game. What a bunch of crap! I since beat that boss and got a few power-ups along the way. There are 4 main bosses whom you have to beat before you can go to the MOTHER BRAIN stage, and I have two beaten with two to go. I got my grappling hook and my gravity suit now. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I haven't played that much because I have to work and stuff, but 30-45 minutes of retro-gaming a few times a week is a lot of fun.
My thumb kinda hurts because I hammered it today. What a bunch of crap! I just forgot to move it when I was knocking a little 2x4 piece into place before I hung my sheetrock. Oh well at least I didn't really stave it up too badly. I don't even think the nail will fall off. At least I hope not. Every day that I am over at North Main I make about 1000 decisions so every once in a while I make the wrong decision. Most decisions are pretty minute like where a screw will go. A decision like when to move my left hand before my right hand throws the hammer down (literally!) is a bigger decision that I should take more seriously.
I have to REALLY watch how much alcohol I imbume tonight. That last word "imbume" is totally fictional, but I don't even care... whether or not I care to rewind and use a real word. Since I am half-sick I know it won't take much alcohol to put me in a world of shit. I already started off this 2019 by getting way too drunk and by wasting the first day of the year away with a hangover so I do NOT want the same thing to happen tomorrow. Sadly the first 11 days of 2019 have been rough because I haven't been 100% for most of the time. What a bunch of crap! Between fighting off this cold, stressing over North Main, and it being the middle of winter and most depressing time of the year for me, the past 1.5 weeks have had many challenges. Thankfully I know better times are ahead. Maybe? Hopefully!
Oh wow it is 4 degrees and feels like -8 tonight. What a bunch of crap! FU winter. We've actually been lucky because most of the past few Fridays have been above-average temps. On "ugly sweater" Friday a few weeks ago it was 50 degrees. Tonight is a great night for my Ninja Turtles knit-hat that Angela made for me. She made hats for all of us, but mine is the best.
Tuesday, 1-08-19: Stupid Metroid failer.
I finally and begrudgingly went back to the spot where you have to do difficult wall-jumps, but that turned up to yield nothing but frustration so I just said to myself "F this" and went online to find out where the next thing that I need to obtain is located. Turns out the grappling hook is in Norfair so back to there I shall go to seek out the enemy boss. I didn't watch any videos or get the exact location for the boss, though. Hell maybe I already beat that boss? I think there are four main level bosses before the Mother Brain level, and I have beaten one of those four so far.
^I need that friggin' grappling hook/beam! All I wanna know is why? Why can I not advance in this game without help from the Interweb whereas 20 years ago we figured it out without the 'web or cheat books? I thought I played this game when I was a teenager back in the early 90s, but the game didn't come out until 1994 and I was in the Navy then so I must have played it when I came home on leave. Or I played it when I got out of the Navy in the late 90s? I dunno for sure because getting old has its drawbacks.
It is just starting to snow at this predawn hour. We're expecting 1-3" and then some rain with possibly a bit more snow tomorrow. We haven't gotten a huge snowstorm yet this winter, and I thank the gods who do not exist for that. However, we have gotten many small storms with just enough needing to be plowed. If only I bought my own plow truck for this winter I would have saved a ton. The plows have it easy so far; pushing 3-4" of snow is easy. However, I know what would have happened if I did buy a plow truck, we would have been buried with some 18" storm that I wouldn't have been able to handle since I have ZERO experience plowing snow. Hell this year I haven't even been able to snowblow since I can't get the snowblower working. What a bunch of crap!
Last week I was about ready to sell everything and leave and start a new life somewhere else. I felt extremely defeated and ready to give up. Thankfully the past couple days have been better, not including Metroid frustration that doesn't really bother me too much. I got new tenants moved into that vacant apartment, and I got a second coat of mud on all the walls at my future tax office.
I think I can have all the walls in that office 100% ready for paint by the end of the week. Oh Jesus hell ya! Also by the end of the week I'd like to have the sheetrock up in Kat's office area. Before I quite yesterday I headed up to Lowe's for another $300 in supplies so I can finish this wall and start my tax office ceiling painting later this week or early next week:
Right now I have her ~400 square foot area about 50% sheetrocked (no mud yet.) Ben, my very handy electrician, actually suggested that false-wall in the photo. My plan was to box in three of those ducts that you can see off to the left in the photo, but a straight wall will make the sheetrock work a ton easier. Same for trim and flooring installs. No edges and nooks. I lost a few inches of wall-space, but as an added bonus I can stuff extra insulation in there and save money on heating costs as well. I think I'll have the rest of that wall framed and sheetrocked by the end of tomorrow. Maybe? Hopefully! The beam barely visible at the ceiling top left in the photo is roughly the midpoint of that area. My tax office will be in the back, and you can see part of that through the opening off to the right in the photo.
I guess I should go do things now. No more Metroid this morning, F that, but hopefully tomorrow morning I can go to Norfair and find that grappling thingie. If I can't find it then I won't screw around and waste too much precious... precious time wandering about; I'll just get back online and see the path that I need to take.
Friday, 1-04-19: Not time for Jester's yet.
^Doug's old apartment from about 12 years ago! Damn maybe 13-14 years ago now. The fake-brick was his idea, and I was the installer. It didn't cost too much to do, and it has held up fairly well. Some people really like it and others things it is bootleg. What a bunch of crap! I don't care either way as long as I can keep the place occupied with rent-paying tenants.
I should have put more work into that apartment in the four weeks that it was vacant, but North Main has been kicking my loser ass. I did install a new bedroom ceiling in that vacant apt as well as new faucets, upgraded plumbing, and fresh paint. However, in a perfect world I would have also installed new bedroom and closet doors and done several other improvements. I think a white kitchen there would look great and really make the place pop, something like what I just finished about a month ago:
^Now that kitchen came out looking GREAT. It's my best kitchen remodel, ever. It probably won't be the best one that I ever do, but it is a huge improvement over some of my past projects. All these years of experience are starting to pay off, at least a little. That white wainscoating looks really awesome, and the photo doesn't even really show how nice it looks overall.
I finished a section of my bootleg gym ceiling today as well. Awesome! I should have been at North Main, but I had Jeremy there so at least some stuff got done in my mostly-absence. I need to spend some time at my office/gym property so the new tenants can rest assured that I am not a complete scum-lord. I'm lucky to have found renters so fast. I only met this woman yesterday AM, I approved the application that PM, and she was paying and moving in this morning. How cool is that? Hopefully she and her kids really like it there and stay for a while. The better I can make the place the better luck I can have with longer-term renters. Having that apartment vacant for almost a month was a sobering experience for me because normally the only longer vacancies I have are the ones that I plan for while doing renovations. Having a month-long unplanned vacancy right before Christmas when gas and plow bills are rolling in = WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
I've been all stressed out about not finishing North Main on time, but I guess in the grand scheme it doesn't matter that much. The upstiars apartment has been rented for almost a month (almost exactly when that other apt became vacant!) and so far they like it there. The upstairs looks great. The downstairs is not where I needed it to be, but I don't want to do a lot of taxes this year anyway, and the government has been shut down for a couple weeks so the IRS might not even process tax returns until next month. What a bunch of crap that shutdown is. I think by the end of this month I can get my tax office open, but it will be tight. My office has one good coat of mud, but I still need to do the waiting area, the bathroom, and Kat's larger DJ area before I can have tax clients. If I put a total rush on it I could have my tax office 100% done in one week, but that makes no sense because the other areas that I just mentioned need to be done as well.
Thursday, 1-03-19: This is NOT a good start to
Part of the reason that I can't sleep is stress. It weighs on me constantly, and as an added FU from the gods who do not really exist I have been wasting even more of my precious... precious time on a vacant apartment located above my bootleg gym. Before daybreak yesterday morning I posted new photos and a brand new ad for the place, and I had huge response. Several phone calls, a few emails, and even a text. That's great, but not when some of the prospects are epic failers. I had some older-sounding and likely insane lady call early in the afternoon telling me that she already had an application. I had no idea who she was so I asked if we had met before. That's when she told me that she and her friend saw the apartment, noticed the door was unlocked, and just went right on in and grabbed an application from my clipboard that was on the counter there.
OMG WHO DOES THAT?! WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
I'm not going to rent to someone who just fucking walks into one of my places without being invited. I left the door unlocked there because I had to scoot up to the bank and to Lowe's, and I was not gone very long. Plus to make matters worse this fucking lady just rambled on and on and on and kept me on the phone for 15 minutes while she wasted my precious... precious time talking about her useless life. It was ridiculous and I almost hung up on her.
^If she does drop off the application then she has no chance in hell of getting that apartment. I can't stand people who don't know how to STFU, and even worse is someone who had the audacity to ask if she can put $500 down for the deposit and pay the rest later. OMG IF YOU ARE SHOPPING FOR AN APARTMENT AND DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY FOR FIRST-MONTH'S RENT AND A SECURITY DEPOSIT THEN YOU CAN GGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTT OOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!
My life still fucking sucks right now. Even worse, I got completely wasted-drunk on New year's eve at Jester's and dropped one of Kat's speakers. I'm pretty sure I fell right on top of it late-night, but hell if I know for sure since I was in a world of shit. She says it still works but has a rattle so that is all-bad. $400 speaker. I already owe her a new Christmas present since she had to return the bootleg GoPro that I bought for her. I guess that thing doesn't work with the technology that she possesses, and I can relate because once upon a time not so long ago I got a FitBit that was a bootleg piece of dump. She did say she wanted a GoPro so I don't think I 100% blew it, but when your wife gets a refund and uses half the money to buy groceries and supplies for the house that is epic failer and what a bunch of crap all rolled up into one. If I were her I would have hauled on me a long time ago. I basically am an emotionally impotent shitty husband, but hey at least I know how to work and keep the bills paid. Maybe that counts for a little bit of something. I don't cheat on her or download porn either so I also gots that going for me.
I spent New Year's day hungover. Badly hungover. So much for exercise and racquetball as originally planned. I was incredibly dissapointed in myself, and I still am disappointed. I don't even know how I got so wasted, but a shitload of Fireball whiskey sure didn't help. I don't remember paying my tab, but I guess I paid. Maybe? Hopefully. I think it's the most drunk that I've ever been at Jester's, and that is saying a lot because I have a LONG drinking history at that bar. In fact if all my bar-tabs there were ever tallied then I would probably go commit suicide immediately when I saw how much precious... precious money I have drank away over all the years. Most weeks the tab is only $15-20, but at 50 weeks a year & many years that is a shitload. Oh well might as well spend it can't take it with me when I die and if I have extra when I do check out I want it to all go to charity anyway. Make a Wish will probably get it all because that in a great organization. I won't leave much if any to family because F that they are all capable and intelligent and have the means to EARN their way in this world. No free rides for the able-bodied on my watch; we as a society do enough of that already thanks to a flawed system that will surely collapse one day in the future.
Where's my psychologist gods damn it?
I think 2019 will get better, hell it's only been a couple days. If I can get North Main done then things will start looking up. I've only worked at North Main for 4.5 hours since last Friday. How sad is that? I just can't get things where I need them to be, and every day that passes I feel like I am falling more and more behind. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully I have Jeremy coming tomorrow so I can have him mud/tape while I do another showing at that vacant apartment. I have two showings lined up for tomorrow morning, but nevermind that is this morning in only a few hours. I gotta get tenants in there ASAP, but not ones who just decide to walk in and help themselves to my paperwork (that was in a folder, even worse.) Reason #657,802 why it's time for a giant asteroid to just blast us all back to the stone age.
The end. Fin.