7-31-20: No raking, no Jester's.
^First raking photos I have are from 2008. Camden Hills Campground with Gavin having a fire after working for the day.
I had raked blueberries before we started raking for Cliff in 2004; I learned how to do it when I was a kid working for Art two houses away and even back then in the early 1990s I was pretty good at it. Something about the physical and mental challenge, the work outdoors, the opportunity to make good money, it just drew me in and has kept me at it for all these years. I missed some time raking when I was in the Navy in the mid to late 1990s, but once I was a civilian again I went right back to raking and only missed one year since, 2002, when I was working full-time at Circuit City selling a lot of computers to the back-to-school college crowd.
I have a spreadsheet of all my raking years since 1999, and it all adds up to a take-home pay of $25,528.40. WOW. Some years were really good, others were quite poor. The crops vary greatly based on weather, field management, etc. I would guess it costs $200-$300 a year to actually go raking, but most of that has been tax-free and we have gotten the enjoyment that comes from camping out so I don't mind the expense at all. The campground fees, the ice for coolers, and the gas money spent driving to and from are the biggest costs.
I am a little sad there is no raking this year. I could go to Craigslist and find a raking job somewhere, but I have no desire to do that considering I'd get a w2 or 1099. Back in the early 2000s I got w2s, but back then I was borderline poor and lived on like $15k-$20k a year (lived super-cheap, though) so it didn't matter. Plus I might end up in some turd field so no thanks to that.
^From 2011 raking in Payson's field in Hope with Tommy. Hard to believe that was almost 10 years ago. Wow! We taught friends like Tommy and Phil how to rake, and last year I taught Dakota how to rake and then a few months later he hauled on Katherine and moved to Tennessee. What a bunch of crap that was!
If Cliff was not winding down his career as a blueberry boss I'm sure Gavin and I would be heading down to Union today to set up camp at Mic Mac and to start our 8 or 9-day stretch of raking. Cliff is around 70 years old so I don't blame him for not wanting to do it. These past few years we have known it's coming since Cliff's raking crew has gotten smaller and smaller. Plus the crops have not always been so good. Machines now harvest the best fields, and competition from Canada has driven the prices of non-organic berries down to a terrible number. What a bunch of crap!
I'm not officially retired as a blueberry raker. Next season Cliff might need help with his own field at his house (harvested every other year), and Gushee's field might also be an option on the Union/Appleton line. I'd give that a 50/50 chance of happening, and who knows by then Gavin might not want to go back and maybe neither will I. However, just kidding I will go back because I love it. We were at an antique shop yesterday, and I saw a tiny old metal rake for $38 and almost bought it just to have. Then I saw a blueberry field that was about ripe and ready for harvest and I wanted to go rake it!
^From last year. 69-year old Cliff raking like a boss.
It's a Friday, but for the first time since my awesome wife and I met in 2014 and for the first time in something like 14 years Jester's is not an option for anyone because it no longer exists. What a bunch of crap! Tonight will be hard and probably a shit-show. The story of how that place closed made it on all 3 of the local news channels, CBS, ABC, and NBC. Owner texting employees at 0339 saying she was going out of business = FUCK YOU BITCH.
We are going to have a Jester's farewell party here tonight that will probably see people drink way too much. We'll have some of the former Jester's regulars here, some whom I dislike and some whom have become our close friends. We spent a good part of the day with two of those close friends yesterday, Neil and Ang, and we drove down to beautiful Schoodic Point and stopped at that aforementioned large antique store on the way home. It was around 85 degrees here in Brewer, but at Schoodic right on the ocean it was only 70 and Kat needed a sweatshirt. I was very much okay with "only" 70 since lately we have been mired in heat wave after heat wave.
Dad had his surgery yesterday, quadruple bypass, and Mom called me later in the day with an update that was a bit unsettling to say the least. I could tell she was not doing so well, and it was hard for her to break the news. The surgery took way longer than it should have because the doc had a hard time making it all work. The pieces have to fit a certain way, and Dad's pieces are a little bit fucked due probably to bad diet choices and bad shit in the Vietnam war (Agent Orange?) Maybe it's more-so the 'nam crap because Dad is not overweight and doesn't eat that bad. He is in the ICU recovering, but he is at a VERY high risk of having more strokes. We think he has been having "mini-strokes" for quite some time, even from before his heart attack, and with constricted veins that makes it hard for his circulation.
I did fall asleep pretty fast last night despite feeling troubled, but I was up at 0320 and have been out of bed since 0400. No sense laying there when sleep is not happening. Maybe I can take a nap after lunch; I don't feel tired now but it will hit me at some point today. First night in a long time where it was not 85 degrees in the bedroom, it was actually not too hot, and I can't sleep anyway. What a bunch of crap!
Alright turds, all two of you, I'm gonna go do yoga then screw off until I go to work installing siding for most of the morning. Maybe next time I can post photos of that place. The new siding looks nice!
Thursday, 7-30-20: Surgery today better not fail.
Property tax bills arrive.
I digress. Dad is FINALLY scheduled to have open-heart surgery today. All his arteries are clogged pretty badly from what I can only presume has been poor diet choices ove the years and decades. Who knows, maybe some genetics play a role? If so I might be pwned, especially since I have not had my cholestorol checked in as long as I can remember. It's probably not a bad idea for me to go to the doc and get a checkup, but I have no plans to do so anytime soon. Other than tennis elbow and sometimes a general sense of fatigue I guess I am ok. Maybe? Hopefully!
After Dad's surgery he will have to spend a few more days in the hospital down in Portland before he can come home. He still is adamant that no one go visit. What a bunch of crap! I offered to drive Mom down this weekend so she could visit, but both her and Dad shit on that idea as expected. I did talk to Dad last night on the phone, and he seemed to be doign ok. He had a good attitude towards it and said he has been in much worse in his life. Being in trenches in Vietman for weeks, getting shot at, getting "Blown to shit into banana trees." How do you even reply to a comment like that? He never talks about 'Nam so I just asked him if he still ate bananas hahahaha epic fail me!
I will go down to the midcoast to visit Mom this weekend, most likely Saturday. I'll stack some wood and see if I can fix a toilet that won't stop running. Solution for now, Dad walked Mom through turning off the water supply to the toilet for now via a phone call. Mom can't do any hand-type stuff around their house, and that is fine, but if Dad doesn't get better soon I'll have a growing list of things to do for them. Jason can help and he has helped a lot already, but he is very busy with his work and his own family.
Today is not really a work day yet I have been working. I got a stack of property tax bills in the mail yesterday so I opened them this morning. As expected it is a lot of money. A lot. What surprised me the most is the bill for my Gilmore house, though. Taxes are $2823, up from last year's $2500-ish. I did put $6000 into the place last summer, but I didn't pull and permits or get code involved since it was all interior work. They don't know the inside is nicer now. Oh well, it is a good lot on a dead-end.
^I should have left that on the lawn longer gods damn it! (From last summer.) I don't want the city to overvalue my properties!
I was updating my projections, and I realized I make jack shit from that house in terms of profit. I do build equity, but at this point I don't think it's worth the hassle. Dillon and Debbie have been looking for a house so maybe that would be a good fit for them? What also helps me decide is the fact that the tenants who live there now brought bedbugs with them when they moved in a year ago, I paid Modern Pest $1158 to remediate those bedbugs, and the tenants have only paid me $480 of that sum. What a bunch of crap! They were not very apologetic about the whole thing in the first place, and they are kind-of gross tenants who suck. They've never stiffed me on rent, though. I've had them as tenants for over 8 years (7 of them in the Holyoke St house that I sold last year.)
It's not easy telling tenants to get the fuck out, but in this case I think they are not worth the hassle. They used to bother me with stupid shit like a blown light bulb when they lived at Holyoke, but since the bedbug thing I think they saw how pissed off I was about it so they don't bother me much. I think all the bedbugs are gone from that house. Maybe? Hopefully! I dunno, there is a lot to weigh here. I'd like to know how much I could list it for first so I have Jody working on that for me. I might just sell it anyway because the city has it up to a value of $124,100 and those city valuations tend to be light. It is a hot market right now, too.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site of mine, I'm gonna do other things now. We plan to go down to the Stonington/Deer Isle area today with Neil and Ang to explore and see a few sights. None of us have been there before and from what I have heard and read it is a beautiful spot.
Tuesday, 7-28-20: Bye bye Jester's/City Side
WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
Kat is not an employee, she is an independent contractor, so she didn't even get included in the text message. She had to find out at 0600 when she woke up to her silent-mode phone showing messages from friends and family. How fucked is that? She has worked there for almost 7 friggin' years so I think she deserved to be notified as well, but the whole situation was handled so poorly by Carl and Tracy that I can't even dwell on that.
All I wanna know is why? Why would any business owner text message employees in the wee hours of the night that their place of business is canceled? Some of the people who worked there were not only friends but were also family. Kat's sister had worked as a cook there for 9 years, and she was in tears over it when we saw her yesterday morning. Kat cried, too. It's so sad to see a place close, but it's even worse when a shitbag owner handles it so bady. There is no excuse, not even in a pandemic, for closing in the middle of the night and for just texting employees.
^FUCK YOU, CARL AND TRACY. YOU SUCK.
I don't hold any ill will towards the owners for closing the business. The pandemic is going to destroy many more bars and restaurants in the coming weeks and months. If a business is losing money then it should close unless it can change to overcome the odds. In the case of Jester's, no change could overcome the odds with the rent and overhead the place has each month. It is a large space that costs a lot to operate. I don't blame them at all for going out of business, but I do hold them accountable for the fucking shit way they handled it all. Closing in the middle of the night and texting employees is a gods damned sin.
The story actually made the news channels, and my awesome wife was on TV last night. How cool is that? It's uncool given the circumstances, but it is cool seeing her on TV and doing a damn fine little interview segment. Guy Googles it now...
^Note put on door in middle of the night. Kat and I went down there with her sister around 0700 yesterday to get a speaker that we left inside the "Back 40" karaoke room, but we could not use her sister's key to get in since THE DOOR HANDLES WERE CHAINED AND PADLOCKED WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP.
Thankfully, even though Tracy is terrible, she still has a few redeeming qualities and did allow Kat to get the speaker later in the morning. Neil and I were doing siding across the street at my old apartment building so she picked me up and I helped her get the speaker, a stand, and a cable that we had run across the ceiling to it. We got there maybe 0930, and there was already a maintenance guy changing the locks. OMG FAST. Rumor is rent was very much past-due, which makes sense with how fast locks were getting changed...
It was really sad going into that place to get the speaker and seeing the metaphorical ghosts of the past. So many fun times had there, and of course Kat and I met at Jester's back in 2014. Before her and I met I have many other great memories of going to IWE in that back room with Tommy, Doug, Gavin, and other friends. My best memories of the place are of course since I met my amazing wife there. Friends like Neil and Ang would be unknown to us if not for that bar.
^FUCKING FAILER OWNER RIGHT THERE. That is NOT how you treat people gods damn it. What a bunch of crap!
"Before we reopened some of us came in and literally took turns on our hands and knees scrubbing just to get this place open. We picked this bar back up and... I just think that we deserved a lot more than we got." -Crista on the news interview.
^Best part of the news story! Her facial expression might look funny, but she was talking the whole time so there is no way to get a great screen-shot that doesn't look odd.
"I know it sounds like Cheers, but everybody really knew everybody's name. I've known most of these people for seven years, even a little longer. And (voice cracks from sadness) now it's gone." -Kat
Everyone is shocked the place closed so fast. It seemed the bar was going great, at least on Friday nights. However, many of the restaurant patrons were older people who stopped coming due to Covid-19. I do think the place was going to fail eventually even without a pandemic, but for sure the 'ronavirus caused it to fail now. Janet fucking Mills is also partly responsible for all the restrictions she still has in place on bars and restaurants. Her handling of the pandemic has been too harsh and is killing a lot of Maine businesses. What a bunch of crap!
So Neil and I had sweat just pouring off us yesterday, again,
because of the stifling heat and more-so the humidity. We were doing that
siding while Kat and some of the ladies all went to Las Palapas after
lunch and got boozed up. My awesome wife was really drunk by later in
the day, and we hung out with Neil and Ang and all got boozed up last
night. I passed out pretty early and was up at 0400. I wanted to sleep
a little more, but it is too fucking hot. When the low temp for the night
is 73 and you do not have air conditioning you are pwned. Thankfully I
don't feel too tired right now and I am not hungover. I actually have
to leave in a few minutes to go work on that siding with Neil. Another
90-degree day is expected with the dew point over 70 all day. What a bunch
Saturday, 7-25-20: Window shopping online before
we leave later this morning.
I spent some time shopping online for windows, mostly on the Home Depot website since they mailed me a sweet coupon that expires Aug 5th. Sometimes they mail me 10% off (minimum $299 purchase) / special no-interest financing coupons if I use my Home Depot credit card, which I always do use when I shop there. Not quite two years ago I had a $10k balance on that card and it was almost maxed out due to the North Main remodel, but now I have it down to only $1938 and that is all no-interest stuff still. Not bad! That number will jump up a lot this coming week when I go buy a bunch of windows and flooring, though. I plan to do the special financing so I can pay a lot of that off next year.
Neil and I finished this porch yesterday aroound midday, and we even got around the door fixed up (rot issues, runoff from the old little porch roof what a bunch of crap!) and flashed so it is ready for J-channel and siding next week:
^Those two little octagon-windows are available for purchase at Home Depot as a special order, but not the exact same size as the ones there right now. Close but no cigar as they say. I don't need an exact match because we will have it all opened up, and I might just throw some little square window in there instead. Not only do I need new windows above that new porch roof, but I also need a lot of them for the other sides of the building. By my rough count I will need a dozen more windows if I want to do them all, which I do. I have already replaced 5 or 6 windows there in years past including a couple on the right in the photo above.
We are going down to the ol' homestead in a bit to visit and to do Hawke's one-year birthday party. We'll go to Mom and Dad's first to probably start stacking some wood. Dad will be in the hospital for at least a few more days, possibly longer, and that wood is not going to stack itself. When Dad does get home he will have a long recovery and be in no shape to stack any wood. Dad called me yesterday and we talked for 10 minutes or so. He seems okay, but he was really worried about some slapnut stacking the wood and fucking up his system. He is very anal about that wood and about how it gets stacked, and it seems he doesn't want one of the neighborhood kids to do it because it will not get done right. (Jason was going to send a guy to do it.)
HEY DAD IT IS FRIGGIN WOOD IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECTLY STACKED GODS DAMN IT.
My parents are officially old and they worry about everything. What a bunch of crap! Hopefully Dad can have his heart bypass surgery Monday so he can start his path to recovery. The doc better do a damn good job fixing his ticker because I want him to live for many more years. Poor Mom would be lost without him. Dad is "only" 71 so he better friggin' well keep on living.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site of mine, I am going to do other things now. Goonies never say die!
Friday, 7-24-20: Baseball, booze, heat, Dad,
Channel 1928 on now, Glass Tiger, Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone) Great song and if you disagree with me then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I will hate you a little more. Glass Tige has won five Juno awards and this song hit #2 on the Billboard charts in 1986. Thanks, channel 1928, for the scrolling stats. Jeopardy needs more 1980s categories gods damn it!
I put on channel 1928 because the Red Sox took a 10-0 lead in the 5th inning so that is game over when they play the Orioles. Where is my Bill Paxton image when I need it? Guy looks...
^RIP indeed. It was weird watching the game with no one in the stands and with some players and managers wearing masks. Masks seem to be some informal and unproven stop-gap for the virus. Wear a mask, reduce the spread. I don't mind wearing my mask because I believe it must help. How can it not? You wear a mask and you don't breathe all over everyone else so much.
It was a hot week. HOT. Like, ridiculous. Thursday was not supposed to be as hot, but the sun came out as Neil and I were on a roof and bye bye precious... precious body elements as they rolled off as sweat. I am sick of sweating so much, but I will not complain a lot because it still beats -20 in winter. Fuck you, winter. Even today it was 87 degrees so I was all sweaty when I came home for lunch. Thankfully I didn't work much after lunch and I even had time for a nap like a boss. Naps on a Friday = wins. However, I rarely nap on a Friday anymore because I end up doing other things.
^The section of roof above the unpainted trim is all done, but it was a challenge finishing that fucking thing because man it was hot. It was only 1.75 square but it still took 5 total hours because of the dink-edge cuts and the cap shingles needed on the left and the right. When will we be back at Phil and Danielle's to work more? Hard to say but possbily as early as nex week!
I am eating cinnaomn Teddy Grahams and they are almost better than sex. Sex is awesome, but when you get old you appreciate other things more most of the time. A good night's sleep > sex 9/10 of the time. A good meal > sex about the same. I need to pup precious... precious calories into my body because I burned 10-fuckin-thousand calories in the past 5 days. Maybe 20k, who knows? I feel like I worked almost as hard this week as I do when we blueberry rake. No joke. Sadly there is no raking this year so that sucks. A lot. It is a bunch of crap but I won't get sad over it yet.
Dad is still stuck in Portland at Maine Medical. He was going to have bypass surgery yesterday or today, but not so fast that got put on hold because he has a stroke. HE HAD A FUCKIN STROKE NOOOOOOOOOOOO! His left eye got lazy, but my dad does not fuck around so he fixed it himself. I am not even joking that is what happened because he told me himself today when we talked on the phone. He is a humble guy so he was not being a braggard about it. He used a straw and pretended it was the barrel of a gun and he aimed it all over his room at "targets" which I can only presume were lame designs on the wallpaper or some shit. He definitely had a stroke it was medically verified. What a bunch of crap!
^My Dad in an alternate universe. Fuck you, clogged arteries. Fuck you, stroke. Jason joked with me yesterday that Dad will end up like the father in the movie Legend of the Fall. I have not seen that movie in forever, but the Dad had a stroke yet was somehow still a badass.
Thursday, 7-23-20: I cannot go visit my ailing
Neil and I worked in the hot sun for a lot of the day; the first couple hours of our day weren't too bad because we had some clouds, but then the sun came out and we were drenched in sweat by lunchtime. Neil started getting chills just before we stopped for a midday break. I had to change every single piece of clothing that I was wearing because they were all drenched in sweat. We worked a couple more hours in the afternoon and were both drenched in sweat once more. By the last 15-20 minutes of our day I was feeling beat up from the feet up. Borderline heat exhaustion? Probably yes.
^We also worked on it yesterday for half a day before lunch, and it was hot again (less humid, though.)
Thankfully I'm in pretty good shape so the heat didn't put me out. Should we have worked that much in the heat? Nope! However, we did get a lot done and it was important to me to finish the porch and steps so the tenants could have their egress and get their mail. Down in the midcoast it was just as hot, and Dad decided to do his usual Monday night skeet shoot. A few guys usually do that with Dad, but only one other guy wanted to do it Monday. In hindsight that was unwise, but sometimes dumb actions lead to the stars aligning just so and some good comes from the bad...
Mom said when Dad got home from shooting he was not looking so good. He didn't want to eat, and he had to sit outside on the front porch for a bit. Mom checked in on him and things seemed amiss. Dad said he didn't feel well, his left arm was numb, and his chest felt heavy. He even said he thought he needed to go to the hospital. OMG DAD NEVER WANTS TO GO TO A DOC! Mom was going to call 911, but he convinced her not to do that so she drove him to PenBay. They had Nadia for a sleepover so she also went with them. By then it was getting well into evening, and I'm sure at that point Kat and I were getting ready to attempt to sleep in our 88 or 90-degree hot bedroom.
Overnight a front came through that pushed the humidity out to sea, but it stayed gods damned hot in the house. I was exhausted so I did sleep okay-ish, and Mom never let me know that Dad had to go to the ER where, as it turned out, he had to spend the night because it seemed he had a mild heart attack. We thought it was heat stroke or something else heat-related because all Monday night I wasn't even feeling like my normal self. A heart attack?! No fuckin' way Dad is in decent enough shape and heart attacks are for gross fat people. Right? WRONG.
I planned to take Tuesday off to go on a fun little Goonie adventure with my awesome wife/best friend, but the day was not off to a great start when Mom sent me a text message around 0645 asking me to call her when I had a chance. I figured she had a tax question or wanted to talk about Hawke's upcoming 1-year birthday, but I was shocked when I called and she filled me in about Dad. He had to stay in the ER overnight and everyone was awaiting more testing to see when he could go home. At that point I figured they would send him home that day.
Kat and I did have a nice day down in the Southwest/Bass Harbor area. We hiked Beech Mountain, we saw the Bass Head lighthouse, and we stopped in Bucksport to walk some of the waterfront before we got home around suppertime. During the day Mom texted me updates, but it wasn't until later in the day when we realized the severity of the situation. PenBay medical in Rockland/Rockport had to send Dad down to Maine Medical in Portland. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! He needed more testing to see how clogged his arteries are, and that test was done yesterday.
The result of the test was all-bad. All arteries very clogged, and bypass heart surgery is now needed. It is NOT what anyone wanted to hear, and even worse is the fact that Dad is down in Portland in a hospital and will be down there for at least several days to come. His arteries are so clogged that he could have died anytime so having a mild heart attack in the heat Monday night was a good thing because it got him in to the doc. The surgery is not scheduled yet so he is stuck waiting, though. Kat and I are not happy that he is in Portland when he could have come up to Bangor. Portland and southern Maine has many more cases of Covid-19 than we do up in our Bangor area. What a bunch of crap! Visiting Dad is an extremely arduous process that involves not only a 4-hour drive round-trip for me but also limitations placed by the hospital. He can only have one visitor per day, one single person, for no more than 1.5 hours. GODS DAMNED COVID-19!
^FUCK YOU CHINA FOR NOT TELLING THE WORLD ABOUT CORONAVIRUS SOONER THAN YOU DID NOW I CANNOT GO VISIT MY FATHER IN THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE YOU PINKO PRICKS LET THIS SHIT SPREAD ALL OVER THE GLOBE BEFORE YOU STARTED WARNING ANYONE. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
The story actually gets even worse. I talked to Jason and we agreed to set up some kind of informal visitation schedule so we can take turns going to visit Dad. I was going to go down yesterday, but I waited because I didn't want to get there and have him be in surgery so I planned to go today. Today was supposed to be my turn to go down for my 1.5-hour visit, but last night Mom and Dad shut that shit down. They don't want anyone going to visit because of Covid-19. Dad doesn't want anyone potentially bringing that crap to him, and I can't really argue that point since a lot of people can carry the virus yet can show no symptoms. What a bunch of crap!
The story actually gets even worse. Mom went and got her fucking hair done yesterday, and when Jason and I pushed to have her go down to Portland she started coming up with dumbass excuses. The worst excuse: she can't go because she has to take care of the dog and keep the house cool since it has been so hot. OMG MOM WHAT THE FUCK, OVER?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I told her Jason and Holly could watch the dog, but she said they can't because they have a baby and now he can crawl around. Nevermind the fact that their dog is a black lab male, and JUST EARLIER THIS MONTH JASON AND HOLLY ALSO HAD A BLACK LAB MALE DOG, TANK, WHO HAD TO BE PUT DOWN DUE TO OLD AGE AND TUMORS. So they know how to handle a fucking dog, and even if they could not do it there are these places called KENNELS where you take your dog and pay 50 bucks or whatever and then you don't have to worry about your dog. Jesus fucking Christ is pisses me off just thinking about it.
Mom and Dad are good people, truly good people, but they are fucked-up. Mom's husband of 46, nearly 47 years, is in a world of shit down in a hostpital all by himself. Thankfully he has his cellphone and can call and text people, but he is not feeling well, he is heavily medicated, and he probably could use some real company. I hate that he is all by himself down there in some bootleg hospital room that is not even private since he has a roommate. Mom needs go get her fucking ass down there to visit him, but instead she spent more time talking about how she was supposed to go back to work next week and how is she going to do that if Dad is still in the hospital or if he needs her at home?
MOM YOUR JOB CAN FUCK OFF YOU WORK AT SOME SHITTY TOY STORE WHERE YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE A PARKING LOT AND YOU HAVE TO WALK 1/4 MILE FROM SOME AFAR PARKING LOT ON A HILL THAT MAKES YOU FALL DOWN IN WINTER ON ICE AND NOW YOU HAVE A BAD KNEE.
WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
Alright, I am done. I am not going to visit my father today because both Mom and him don't want me to go. It's like they are teaming up to keep people from visiting. Yet earliner this year they were drinking the Trump Kool-Aid about Covid-19 bigtime. It's overblown, it's not that bad, it's the Democrats hyping it all up so they can get Trump elected out of office in November, etc. Dad has a heart attack and now Covid is a really serious thing after all? GTFO with that shit. The end.
I'm getting Neil in 30 minutes and we are going to work down at Phil's today. Since I can't visit Dad I might as well go make money. Dad better not fucking die down in that Portland hospital. The end.
Sunday, 7-19-20: Work on a Sunday.
I couldn't imagine a life where I went to church every Sunday morning. What a bunch of crap church is! Instead I usually do things like clean the house and exercise. Using my gym is a much better value of my precious... precious time than going to church ever would be. I dated a chick from Georgia a decade ago (2010 wow exactly 10 years ago) and she never told me she was religious until a few months into our relationship. She never went to church on Sundays that I knew of, and then one day she found out I didn't even believe in God and she flipped the fuck out on me. I remember trying not to laugh at her she was so pissed off! Then a few days later I hauled on her and have never looked back.
I would not have worked today, but for the second consecutive week my awesome DJ-wife is doing an afternoon outdoor karaoke gig at the Pour House in their parking lot. The setup she has is kinda bootleg and located only 15 feet from the dumpster. What a bunch of crap! Imagine if this happened during her gig:
It's not the owners' fault she doesn't have a sweet pimpin' setup; they are doing the best they can with what they have and I give credit to them for making sure she has a good power source and even a little tent. The forecast high temp today was 89, but I think we barely hit 80 and it stayed cloudy so bonus for her not roasting out over there. Bonus for me as well because after I helped her set up I worked over at my old apartment building on the front of the place for 2.5 hours. Got some rot issues exposed and *mostly* squared away. I installed a new board and got some lags to sink into the existing sill, and before I quit I got the ledger board installed for what will be the new front porch. Lowe's is coming tomorrow AM between 0700-1000 to drop off a pile of supplies, and if they don't come until later in the morning that is okay because Neil and I have other things we can work on out front there.
I spent about 15 minutes of my time over there attempting to cut back one of these bushes:
The thing on the left in the photo is like a giant rats nest, and it is incredibly difficult to cut. Branches everywhere and probably some ticks hiding out, too. What a bunch of crap! My bad with the plants out from there. In my defense it's not all my fault because I had a landscape-guy helping me. He picked out the plants when we did that and some other work way back in 2006. I wonder if I have a photo of the front from 14 years ago? Guy looks...
^Okay my bad it was 2007 not 2006. Still a long time ago. Those two trees and shrubs were dinky! Too bad they are now too big and too close to the house. It will not be fun removing those two end-trees and trimming the bushes back enough to do the new porch. Gavin jokingly said it looks like the trees are tumors coming from the house hahaha. Even worse tomorrow will be 92 friggin degrees with a mega-humid dew point on top of that so moving them will really suck. What a bunch of crap!
I hope we can get the porch on and the steps in place tomorrow so the tenants can get their mail Tuesday. The mail-room is there so obviously no steps no mail. Since I worked today (also paid some bills and got supplies at Lowe's) I'm planning to take Tuesday off to go on a hike with my awesome wife. We were going to have a little Goonie adventure Saturday, but two things happened to prevent that one.
First obstacle, 88 degrees and humid. F that! I would have gone, but it probably would not have been fun. We did consider going down to Bar Harbor with Neil and Ang, but we are glad we skipped it because they said the place was jammed up with a lot of tourists. Apparently a pandemic is not stopping many out-of-staters from coming up here.
Second obstacle, both Kat and I got pretty drunk at Jester's "Back 40" Friday night. It was a lot of fun, but my poor awesome wife was quite hungover Saturday. I was not hungover, but I felt pretty tired since we didn't bivouac until after 0300 and we didn't sleep in nearly enough. I ate an entire pot-cookie off the floor around 0100 and then I guess I was drunk and high? I dunno it was a small cookie. We have a friend who makes them, and he gave two to Kat to help her manage her lyme-disease chronic pain. Both her and I have almost no experience with medical marijuana. She went to give me a little piece when it fell onto the floor and I was not gonna let that go to waste. After I ate it I felt pretty tired. What a bunch of crap!
I have almost zero experience with pot so I don't have anything to compare it to. Thankfully I was not totally wrecked, jsut tired, and there was a fat chick with her gut hanging out since she was down to her bra at like 0200 when we were breaking down gear and I told her to get dressed. Guess I was a little rude about it? I was drunk and probably a little stoned but I clearly remember it was GROSS! Only at Jester's...
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site, I'm heading over to the Pour House to help Kat break down her gear and get it all stowed over at North Main before we chill out at the house here just long enough for it to be bedtime. Goonies never say die!
Friday, 7-17-20: When wallpaper faces the outside
of a building...
I plan to redo that entire front and, eventually, the entire siding of the building. New porch, new overhang, new windows, the works. We did pour footings, and we did get that bootleg overhang removed before lunch and the rain.
^That little roof, what a bunch of crap that thing was and good riddance to it. Water rolled down the supports and right into the sheathing behind that siding. That 2x4 in the photo was so rotted that it was essentially useless. More useless than tits on a nun? Well I am a married man and don't care about any nuntits. Neil and I hauled on that fucking overhang, good riddance!
^We also peeled off some siding, and look what we friggin' found. OMG! Wall-fuckin-paper on the outside?! That is weird to say the least. As expected there is rot around the edges of that overhang so on Monday it will be 92 degrees and we will have no shade and we will work on it until we roast out and have to quit.
^As one final insult from the gods who do not exist Neil put his foot right through that second step. What a bunch of crap! We knew it was rotting away, and by this time next week hopefully we have a beautiful brand new porch with new steps in its place. However, 3-step stringers or 2x12s to build our own stringers are scarce because acquiring lumber has been very hit or miss lately. Lots of decking sold out thank you very much, Covid-fuckin'-19.
We won't work on that shit-show this weekend, but come Monday we will get back at it and see how far we can get at 92 degrees and at a dew point of 70 or so (HUMID.) It will suck. A lot. Today was only 63 or so, perfect for digging four holes and for pouring concrete. Not too hot, not bad, and as an added bonus I was able to win a game of rball this afternoon against both Gavin and Deno. I woke up feeling beat and struggling to get through my yoga, but by the PM I was feeling more energetic and I decided to play. Caffiene helped. A lot. I should be exhausted right now, but I'll power through like a boss and go to the bar shortly.
Today is Katherine's 22nd birthday and she is also at Jester's so I should get my ass motivated and head on down. Imaging having a DJ-mom? How cool is that? She is so lucky to have that in her life.
Wednesday, 7-15-20: Easiest tax filing deadline
ever. Most expensive ever, too!
I had two tax clients yesterday morning and none today at all so my total so far this year is 95 paid tax returns filed and $9150 collected. Not bad! Last year at this time I was at $3423 with only 46 done, but it was my first year ever in business so I can't complain about that at all. I did have to spend some time in the tax office today filing our own taxes as well as a couple others that were in the queue and awaiting signatures from my secure portal and confirmation of some numbers, etc. Little things. I did three extensions for people within the past two days so that will be another few hundred dollars coming in before Oct 15. Also, I have one more filed but not yet paid for so my real number right now is 96 done and $9249. The unpaid customer is a great friend so that money is coming soon.
I'm glad I didn't have a full day at the tax office today because I had a chance to lift weights, go to Lowe's to sign up for a "Pro" contractor account ($4000 limit not huge but a nice supplement to my existing consumer card with a much higher limit.) and make a large $2396.16 order for delivery Monday. I also checked a few other things off the list and had time to write a couple checks, one to the IRS and one to Maine.
^I plan to start at my old apartment building Monday. I'm going to redo the porch, the little roof, the siding, the landscaping, etc. It will be a big job that I likely won't finish in its entirety until next year since I plan to do the entire building then the building off to the left and barely showing in the photo.
I had our own taxes essentially ready to go yesterday, but I wanted to go over them with my awesome wife since she has her own piece of the pie with her DJ business on there. Speaker depreciation, etc. Our own taxes are the most complex ones I had to do all year hahahaha! Rental properties, rental building sold, many depreciable expenses for the office, my carpentry, etc. Multiple schedule Es, a schedule D, three schedule Cs, and a lot more. Thankfully the Holyoke Street house that I sold last fall falls under capital gains tax rates at the federal level or we really would have been pwned. We had to pay the IRS $1462 and Maine $1958. Bye bye precious... precious money.
I'm not even slightly upset about paying the IRS and the state. I should have paid quarterly last year so I have no one to blame but myself for having to pay so much today. I've never paid quarterly so I always get a small underpayment penalty, too. What a bunch of crap! That penalty kinda sucks, a small kick in the balls, so for the first time in my life I actually made a quarterly payment today towards next year's taxes. Bye bye $2000 for that to the IRS. Both 1st and 2nd quarterlies were due today instead of the usual April 15 and June 15 deadlines thanks again to gods damned Covid-19. What a bunch of crap that virus is!
I paid $5420 income taxes today, $3420 for 2019 and $2000 towards next year (IRS quarterly, not state.) What a bunch of crap! Oh well we did get a $2400 "econimic stimulus" back in May so we really only paid $3000 for 2019 taxes. Not bad at all. I could have gotten that number a lot lower by not claiming some of the carpentry that I did last year, but F that I don't want to lose my tax business because I cheated on some income. This year the carpentry profit is going to be higher than last year, but I don't have any gains from a rental property sale either. I have no plans to sell a rental at this point, but who knows I can be swayed if the right buyer comes along!
Neil and I finished Chamberlain Steet Monday since I didn't book any tax clients for that day. It was friggin' hot and way humid, but we worked like rented mules and got all the siding reinstalled. Just kidding about the rented mules part hehe. I shouldn't say Chamberlain Street is done since it could use trim paint and many other improvements, but the deck and siding is done so that is good enough for now. I like how it all turned out:
^Nice new 10x10 deck 12 feet in the air, new door to the deck, new outside light, and new siding corner. I didn't price it all up, but I'd guess around $1000 in materials and a few hundred more (well worth it!) for Neil's help doing all the work.
^A tree fell into the back of that building not quite three years ago, and it took me that long to get the damaged siding replaced. What a bunch of crap! The siding was not 100% boogered, though. Just enough to be noticeable and I'm sure the neighbors appreciate my finally taking care of it. Maybe the neighbors don't want the deck there, but I pulled my permit and did it all by the books so if they don't like it they can ggggggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttttttttt oooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttttt! (Apartments on that back side not someone's house.)
Okay, I was curious so I added it up. Looks like Neil put in 23 hours helping me there so the two of us got it done in about 3 full work days. I spent some time getting materials, digging and pouring two footings, and installing the ledger board, planning, etc so I probably have 30 hours in myself. Not bad at all! $1206.22 spent on materials alone so more than I guessed, but I do have some leftover materials like an extra piece of lattice.
Sunday, 7-12-20: Another deck built, tax deadline
I actually plan to make at least a couple quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS this year, and both the first and second quarterly payments of 2020 are also due July 15 so in a few days we are going to say goodbye to a lot of precious... precious money. Normally I just wait and pay it all near the deadline, but I'd like to get it right for once. When you wait and don't pay quarterly installments there is a small underpayment penalty, essentially a slap on the wrist, but seeing it on the 1040 each year = what a bunch of crap! Our taxes are very close to done; I just have to decide how much of the bigger items to depreciate ($13,000 parking lot, some of Kat's speakers, office renovations from early 2019, etc) and how much to claim as a write-off. We had a lot of expenses in 2019. A LOT. However, I don't want to claim them all because if we depreciate some of them then we get some of the benefits in future years.
The tax business operated at a substantial loss last year, and that was not unexpected. This year the business is on track to make a small profit so that is awesome. My revenue goal (before expenses) is still $10k. When Covid-19 first caused half the world to shutter back in March I didn't think I had a chance in hell of meeting that goal, but now I see it as quite likely. The tax business has had a great month of July so I'm around $8700 with a few hundred more dollars in the queu and at least one more appointment on the books. I'm sure I'll get a little more business this fall, too. Anyone who wants to do an extension has until Oct 15 to file.
In a weird way the Covid-19 pandemic might have actually helped my tax business. Since the new deadline is impending that has given people three extra months to drive by my sign, and to sit across the street at Jimmy's Ince Cream and to see the sign. I have gotten several new clients recently due to the great roadside location within eyesight of North Main and Jimmy's. Obviously I would have rather NOT had a global pandemic and had the tax season end back in April, though. It sucks doing taxes for part of the day and doing landscaping/mowing/carpentry for other parts of the day. Things get disjointed and it's hard to establish a rythm when you get pulled in too many different directions during a work day.
Last week Neil and I finished this deck really fast:
^Neil removing a siding corner that was bashed up by a fallen tree 2 or 3 years ago. My ass taking so long to fix it all = what a bunch of crap! We will finish the siding tomorrow. Maybe? Hopefully!
^Decking boards are not in stock anywhere so I bought what I thought were deck boards but are actually only 3/4" thick as opposed to the 1" thick (advertised as 5/4.) The boards are pressure treated, and at `16 on center for the joists I believe I have plenty of strength. Gods damned Lowe's putting shit onto their website that does not match what I actually got. I should have refunded them all, but they were priced right and they got the job done. My only other option would have been much more costly composite decking.
I cut a hole and installed a new door to and from the deck. Inside that door is a shed-like area that is not heated and not a living area so we weren't disturbing the finished area of a rental unit as we worked. Tenants are more than happy since now they have a sweet deck. Rent = going up! They agreed to the rent hike before I built the deck; that was a condition of my even doing that deck in the first place. It cost $1000 or more so I want that to pay back over time in the form of added value as well as extra monthly rent. The payoff is 3 or 4 years with the additonal rent, and the deck *should* last much longer than that. Maybe those cheapo deck boards will rot away, but the framing is pure beef and will last an incredibly long time. 6x6 posts on top of 4-feet deep concrete footings = STURDY BASE.
I put that window in last year after I did the deck and slider for Deno. We removed that window and put a nice sliding door in its place so he didn't need the window anymore and I paid him $75 for it. I didn't actually pay cash, I just credited him on his invoice. It is a nice window, not that old, and a perfect window to have for that back side of the building. I should have told him to give it to me for free, but that just didn't feel right. I bet brand new that window would sell for over $200.
The more I do work around the properties the more I find that needs doing. I could easily spend the rest of the summer at that Chamberlain duplex painting, replacing trim, landscaping, etc. However, I have other things that need attention so I'll work on each property at least some before the snow flies. I already did landscaping at my Gilmore house, Chamberlain will be done soon, and then it's off to my old apartment building to start what will be a large job replacing the front entry, siding, windows, etc. If I spread out repairs and upgrades over many years the tenants see me there often enough to think I give a shit. I do take care of critical issues ASAP and only spread out the non-pressing repairs.
My awesome DJ wife is going to work this afternoon (unless we see rain 40% chance of showers) doing an outside karaoke show from 1500-1900 at the Pour House. It will be her first time back there since the beginning of Covid-19 and I hope she has a good crowd. I plan to be there for the last part of her show, but I'll leave after I help her set up so I can go to Lowe's to get materials, mow our back yard, and maybe go for a jog. The air is super-humid so maybe I skip the jog or just go a mile or two. I suck at running unless it's not humid, not too hot, and not too cold. Even in perfect weather conditions I am not a strong runner. What a bunch of crap!
Friday, 7-10-20: News channel-surfing and cool
things from my past. Dad on a jet-ski?
Fox News took a shit on Biden and offered proof of his scum-baggery from his past life as a senator. The guy is ancient so he has been in politics for a very long time. Since before I was born? Possibly. Apparently he is old, borderline senile, and likes to plagarize. Go Trump, go Republicans, go Fox News.
CNN sings a different tune and took a shit on Trump for exhonorating a criminal and for letting Covid-19 become a national problem once again. Record number of positive cases today in the USA, 63,900 and 11,000 of those in Florida. According to CNN the Republican governator of Florida is a scumbag because he let people do fun things and now a shitload of people there have the 'rona. Gods damned Coronavirus!
Oh, Fox News was sure to show a video clip of some doctor-chick from China saying how China sucks for letting it happen to the world. Whether someone ate a bat or just made it up in a lab is up for debate, but most people think China fucking sucks for trying to cover it up and now a half a million people, maybe more, have died from Covid-19. What a bunch of crap!
Fox News leans hard right, CNN leans hard left, so watching them both helps even the playing field, so-to-speak. Trump fucking sucks, but Biden fucking sucks worse than Trump so that makes it hard to pick a new president for the next 4 years when we do the election in 16 weeks. I don't know who I will vote for, but right now I am leaning towards NEITHER ONE OF THOSE GODS DAMNED FUCKIN' DINKS. I'd rather have Trump than Biden, but I'd rather have neither and someone good. Trump will protect my IRA and Biden will fuck it away.
I went down to the midcoast yesterday to visit family and friends. Jason rented a camp/house on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson and the weather was great. Overall it was a great day and a nice visit. Jason has a couple jet skis and invited me to ride one with him, but I hesitated because he would fuck with me and try to throw me off. He did convince me to ride one of the two and that was actually a lot of fun. I had it up to 67MPH for a tad, but then I slowed down because my health insurance plan is pretty bootleg. (AKA DOES NOT EXIST WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!)
Mom and Dad also came to the place for a visit, and shockingly Dad seemed cool with riding a jet ski and went on a fairly long trip down the lake with Jason. I have photographic proof:
^My 71-year old father not being a pussy. Vietnam, lead-poisoning, probably every kind of lyme disease you can imagine, gives no fucks will not die lying on his ass doing nothing. He will probably check out in the woods tracking a deer he shot or doing some other badass thing. At least I hope for his sake that is what happens because doing nothing will kill him faster than anything else. Oh, he also writes articles and his tax preparer might have found a home office deduction like a boss hehehe.
^Writes articles about killing shit and how to use firearms. How cool is that? When I am retired I will probably have this bootleg site that fucking sucks and that is like a turd that will not flush. What a bunch of crap!
Oh, Mom sent me this photo from the 1980s that needs to be posted immediately:
^Jason's first deer, ever! Now Jason still is a great hunter (might have been luck at age 10 or 12?) and he also loves his toys like the jet skiis...
^SEMPER-FI. I should have joined the Marines then I would be tough, but instead I went into the Navy and I am just mediocre and can't buy a win at racquetball lately. What a bunch of crap!
I hunted when I was a kid, but not as much as Jason and Dad. Mom recently found my first-ever hunting license:
Using multiple exclaimation points = something for teenage wommens. However, it is warranted in this case because, wow. Blonde hair?! Really? Weight = 65 pounds. Why didn't every one of my classmates beat the piss out of me I must have been a string-bean. Or is that the average weight of a 10-year old? That license is fucking awesome and if you disagree with me then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I will hate you a little more.
I got that hunting license when the Goonies movie was in the movie theaters. FUCKING-A. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE GOONIES THEN I WILL BAN YOUR USELESS SHITBAG ASS FROM MY SITE I WILL FIND YOUR IP AND SIGN YOU UP FOR DONKEY PORN. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO THAT (ESPECIALLY ANIMAL PORN) SO NEVERMIND.
Mom and Dad still live at that same house, but don't try to Google it because a 911 change at some point in the distant past made it a new address, same house. I have been thinking more and more lately about my parents impending mortality and what that will mean. They have lived in the same house since I was 6 or 7 friggin' years old, but they are getting old and can't do it forever so then what? I had a great childhood there. Often times we were poor, but Dad taught us how to hunt so we could go get our protein from the woods. We didn't poach, we weren't that desperate, but we ate a lot of deer, hare, fowl, etc. I still like to eat deer meat because it is great.
I guess I should go to the bar now. I have had 3 drinks and am about drunk. Ok to drive? I think so, maybe a .07 on the scale-thing. Revielle was 0538 because I cancelled sleeping in. Being tired = cheap drunk! I wish I could have taken a nap today, but I had tax clients. Another side-effect of Covid-19. Tax deadline July 15 so I am doing taxes when it is nearly 90 degrees outside. What a bunch of crap! I'd rather be doing carpentry this time of year, but the tax business is more important because one day I will be too old to go build things and I will have to sit at my desk more. If my mind goes before my body then nevermind the tax thing I can just go build things Three Stooges Style. Hehehe.
Tuesday, 7-07-20: My recent experience with a
^Can't say it any better than Morla the Ancient one hehe.
So we were not in the market for fleas, we did not find any fleas, and the dogs have flea meds on anyway so any flea in this house would not want to stay. However, we did find some $1 albums at one of the little bootleg booths. Most of the stuff for sale there was a bunch of crap, but I dug out four 80s/early 90s albums that I have not 100% listened to yet. I got three CDs (INXS, Psychadelic Furs, Go Gos) and one cassette. Yeah, I actually bought a cassette tape. In the year 2020. OMG!
I have always been a technology laggard. If my perfect world there would be no Failbook and no Smartphones. XBox360? GTFO with that advanced shit give me a Nintendo, a Super Nintendo, and all the games. ALL OF THEM. I had a casstte tape in my car and a very diverse cassette collection well into the early 2000s when everyone else was using CDs. However, I got my Ford Ranger truck with a CD player and that pretty much phased my loser-ass out of cassettes. Then of course at some point many years ago I did find Napster and downloaded a bunch of MP3 music so I don't even use CDs too much these days. I do use CDs still in my truck (now the F150), and in my gym sometimes. I own a lot of CDs still.
My gym has had the same music player-thing set up in it for a very long time. Over a decade? I can't remember. It has a radio, a 5-disc CD player, and a dual cassette deck. IT PLAYS CASSETTE TAPES COOL. I did not buy this radio-thing; as I recall it was left behind most likely by Doug when he moved to Arizona. So I took that lone cassette that I bought, and the one time I did use my gym this month (don't have the energy for the gym most days because of all the carpentry and other exercise.) I had to shake off the mental rust and remember how to play the thing.
^I paid a buck for this cassette, and it is nice to know I got a deal haha. One ebay seller has it listed for 16 bucks what a bunch of crap! I dunno how many pounds equals a US dollar. I'd guess that is 5 or 6 bucks in the photo above? See my Morla meme above for my real math on that conversion...
I stuck the cassette in the player, and I could not remember if I had it in the right way or not. No clue. It felt right so I went with it, and the deck actually closed. Then I couldn't remember what buttons on the stereo-thing to push to make it play. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! Also, I had no clue whether side 1 or side 2 would play. I also did not know if anything would play at all since I paid a buck for a used 30-year old album at a giant roadside yard sale.
Mike and the Mechanics is a great band and if you disagree with me then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more. Mike Rutherford was actually in Genesis way back in the day. How cool is that? I remember the song Word of Mouth from that album, a fantastic song, so that inspired me to buy the cassette. Even though I joke about being a laggard (or luddite in Kevin's words) I would rather own Word of Mouth on CD. I do own the song as an MP3, but nothing else from that album.
I don't know if the album is good or not. I only listened to a few songs because I am a pussy in my gym lately and can barely lift many weights before I wear out. I guess being a carpenter burns way more calories and energy per day than I realize. One of the songs I heard kinda sucked, but before I tried to push the SKIP button on the CD-player side of things I remembered I could not do that. What a bunch of crap! It had been so long since I played a cassette tape that I forgot you can't just SKIP a crap song. You can fast forward, but that is far from a precise science.
I don't miss cassettes because CDs and MP3s are simply better. I still like seeing cassettes for nostalgia, and for a buck that purchase was a no-brainer. Some of the booths at the flea markets also had 8-tracks for sale. OMG. 8-tracks preceded cassettes, but I don't remember them. Kat remembers them! I was born in 1975 and so was she, but I guess when I was a kid Mom and Dad just listened to the radio. Maybe? I know Mom likes music, but in some weird twist of fate Dad never rips out tunes. Ever. Did he once like music? When we drive in his truck to go hunting he has the radio off and we just talk (nothing wrong with that.) I think he always prefers to listen to talk radio, but I could be wrong. I haven't lived with Mom and Dad since 1993 so not like I really know what their daily routine is.
I finally finished that Treats Falls job yesterday. I spent some time in the tax office, some time finishing that job, and some time getting crushed by Deno on the racquetball court. (First 1v1 games we have had in 4 months and I was rusty.) Those Treats Falls customers are hard to figure out. Seem super-nice, but almost off the scale weird. He texted me at 0017, just after midnight, on the 4th to tell me they had the rest of my money. I was still awake and drunk by the fire out back, but I was not looking at my friggin phone. We had a fun but much smaller July 4th party here under great weather conditions. Had my first drink early PM, but paced myself so I didn't get obliterated and was not hungover Sunday. Tired, but not hungover. Oh Jesus hell ya!
So I got my check yesterday morning before I put a few final scrap pieces of siding back on where we installed the new ramp. The guy warned me the check might have insufficient funds but it was his business check and the account had bigtime overdraft protection. WTF?! I took it to his bank, which was not inconvenient since I also have business banking there, and sure enough the check was going to bounce if I deposited it so I had to bring it back to his ass. His wife was all apologetic and wrote me a check from their personal account with a promise the money was all there so off to the bank I went again where I was finally able to make the deposit and GET PAID IN FULL. FINALLY.
Going to the bank is a pain in the arse these days because of Covid-19. You have to use the drive-thru tube-thing, and often times there is a line. Thankfully there was no line at all yesterday. Oh Jesus hell ya! Nevertheless it is a waste of precious... precious time going to and from the bank. All I wanna know is why? Why did they hire me and then struggle so much to pay me?
Sadly I will go work for them again maybe even later this month. What a bunch of crap!
Friday, 7-03-20: I'm probably exhausted but will
just power through.
The homeowners are nice people, but they confuse me. They knew they needed a $10k job done, but they waited until the very end of May to reach out when they should have been looking for a contractor in friggin' March. Maybe they just didn't know anyone who could do it? They did say their former carpenter got hurt and can't work anymore. (Did he say FUCK THIS and quit?) We were still in the middle of building the deck and helping him dig out pool lines on many 80+ degree days when it would have been awesome for them to already have a working pool and a usable deck. Oh well, not my problem.
So I knew they wanted to pay my ass on the 3rd of July, today because that is what we discussed last week. I gave them the invoice and they started singing the financial blues. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! They have money coming in for taking care of disabled people, and I believe that 100%. Apparently due to the holiday not all the money is in so they did not pay me the full amount. They wanted to wait and pay me in full next week, but I politely shut that shit down and told them to pay me at least part of that invoice so I got roughly half my money and I left to go get it into the bank. Once the check clears I'll go back next week and finish up some things, and if the check does not clear I might be going back with a chainsaw hehe.
All I wanna know is why? Why would you hire someone for a massive job and not have the money set aside to pay for it all? I'm pretty easy going about it and don't care if I don't get the money right away, but I have to be careful and not let myself get fucked either. I spent a lot of my own precious... precious money paying Neil and Kevin to help and paying for materials. I don't think they intend to shaft me, but if they do that would suck. A lot. They said they are very happy with my work and they are already planning to hire me for more later this summer.
^SIDING GOES ON WHEN I FUCKING GET PAID IN FULL MOFOS. That ramp did come out looking good, and just designing and building it took a long time due to weird angles, etc.
^Orignally the owner said we could just run the deck boards to the edge of the pool from the left to the right, but I knew in my heart that a "picture frame" was the right thing to do, and I am glad I went with that gut decision. The lighter-colored piece "racing stripe" as he calls it was his idea and it does add a visual separation of the pool area from the new deck area.
We built a really big deck, something like 820 square feet, and it was a lot of work. I'm still not sure I should have taken that job; when I looked at it 5 weeks ago I told him it was too much work and I couldn't take it on. He begged me to do it ahahahaha! I brought Kat over, and she helped me decide whether or not to take on the project.
Doing that deck took me away from other obligations, and I feel backed up a bit for the apartments. Thankfully I have Kevin and Neil who can help me as needed. Neil helped me yesterday over at my Chamberlain duplex, and in 7 hours together we built this:
^Fast framing! We wasted an hour of precious... precious time at Lowe's getting supplies so we really "only" had 6 hours on the job site. I already had the ledger board installed along the house with joist hangers tacked into place, and the footings for the 6x6 posts (10" sono tubes dug 4 feet deep with rebar in the center) were all ready to go so that helped. I wanted to work on that deck some more today, but the tax office is my first obligation and I had to spend half the day over there.
Fireworks are sounding off in the neighborhood so that is all bad. They don't bother me, but Copper is a pussy and hides when he hears fireworks and/or thunder. We had a strong thunderstorm roll through yesterday evening and a couple hours later I could not get that dog to go into the yard to take a piss before bed. What a bunch of crap! I finally put him on his leash so he thought something fun was going to happen, he got excited, and after a minute he did take a leak.
Our 4.5-year old Golden Retriever is a pussy. Everything scares him including ice cream on a spoon. On a friggin' spoon OMG! Swimming in the water? Forget it no chance all he will do is wade in a little.
I ate my damn supper at around 2045 tonight because I was busy most of the day. I skipped racquetball earlier, but I did go for a jog. I had a snack so I wasn't starving myself, but by the time I shovelled in "Beanies and Weenies" (Hot dogs and baked beans) I was feeling very hungry. I think I need to eat more? I have this WalMart lemon pie that is about to go into my pie-hole. 420 calories = ME WANT. I need energy gods damn it. I weighed myself in my bootleg gym a couple days ago and the scale said 138. I didn't believe it so I got on again to the same number. OMG REALLY?! I actually do believe it because I feel incredible lean. Maybe not unhealthy weight, but I should not drop any more. I feel really fit, but who knows I'm not going to see a doc to get real data. If not for all the carpentry I'd say I have a tape worm hehehe.
I should not get too boozed up tonight because we are having some friends and family over tomorrow for the Independence Day party that has become a tradition for us. This year it will be a small crowd, but it starts earlier so maybe I will drink all afternoon. NO GIBLET-HEADS ALLOWED. However, I am a Giblet-head so nevermind. I don't want to get wrecked tonight so this third drink might be my cutoff for a little bit. I'll have one or two more at the bar and get drunk because I'm tired, but if I'm not too dumb I'll be ok to have some fun tomorrow. Maybe? Hopefully!
Wednesday, 7-01-20: Last day at Treats Falls
for a bit?
I need to add two 4x4 cross-braces for that top deck, I need to reinstall some of the old decking not in the photo, there is a load of trash to haul off (not huge), and some siding needs to go back onto the house. Job-site cleanup, tool round-up, final photos, and then I can go focus on other things like my tax business and the next deck that I already started over at my Chamberlain Street duplex.
I should have both Neil and Kevin helping me this morning at Treats Falls so I'm thinking we can get it all done in about three hours. However, for the fourth consecutive work day rain is an issue. Last Friday we got shut down for a bit in the afternoon due to a strong thunderstorm. Monday I got 1.25 hours of work in before it started to rain, and yesterday we lost some time to rain showers and heavy drizzle. What a bunch of crap! Today is a very damp start with more drizzle and showers on the radar so I'll do yoga, help clean the house, and then decide if it's too wet or not. I don't mind some rain, but too much water falling = can not use power tools. No power tools = can not build a deck!
The wet weather really hasn't messed me up too much because I have tax clients and drop-off/e-mail/portal uploads. The only part that really is a bunch of crap, and that has happened each of the past three work days, is my ass getting to Treats Falls and working for barely 30 minutes to an hour before it got wet and we either had to stop for a while or just leave. Thankfully that job is only a very easy 3/4 mile of a drive from the house, two minutes, so going back and forth an extra time or two is a simple commute.
I lost a day in my head, and I thought yesterday was only June 29th and today was going to be the final day of June. My bad there. I logged onto my computer yesterday just before supper to enter my day's work hours and to log expenses in my business spreadsheets (both for Treats Falls and for that Chamberlain Street deck) and was surprised to see it was already the last day of June. The month of June was above-average warm, below-average dry, and it flew by. I worked a lot, but not an overwhelming amount in June. My awesome wife and I had a couple little local adventures first to Bar Harbor area then to Rockland area, and I was able to mostly take weekends off.
Also in June covid-19 fears first started to ease nationwide as cases and deaths from the virus dropped. However, by the end of June things took a turn for the worse and now many states across the country have seen bigtime increases in Covid-19 cases so many areas have rolled back reopening plans. Bars, restaurants, beaches, etc all CLOSED. Bars were supposed to reopen here in Maine today, but a couple weeks ago our rather terrible governor Mills changed her mind on that.
^Bar owners in Maine wanting to reopen for indoor services. What a bunch of crap!
Jester's reopened mid-June because that is a part of City Side restaurant, and food services have been allowed to open for indoor seating. It is probably a stretch and borderline against what Mills intended, but she can eat the peanuts out of my sssssssshhhheeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttt because if the world was hers to control she would have us all locked down until the friggin' year 2022, or so it seems.
Friday the 3rd, two days from now, is the holiday before Independence Day on the 4th. For the past few years we have had a really fun and large party at our house for the 4th, but this year we are only having a smaller gathering because it is too much work having 30-40 people here. There is always some dumbass doing stupid shit like falling into the fire or pissing on the floor. Plus Covid-19 weighs on our minds. If Kat gets Covid (again?) it could kill her since her white blood count is so low. She's on a medication called disulfiram that was originally designed to prevent alcoholocs from boozing. However, the med is now used to treat other things such as lyme disease, which she has and probably has had for a decade since she was a vet technician. She's been on disulfiram for around 3 weeks so it is too early to know how well it is working, and her dosage is very low so far. Hopefully it helps her a lot because nothing else seems to have helped.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site of mine, I need to log into our bank account to make sure we have enough in the personal checking to auto-pay the mortgage that will come out either today or tomorrow. We probably don't, but I have some extra in the business account so I can do a transfer. I probably have some rents in the drop-box now so that is a nice bonus that July is here. Time for rents again. Oh Jesus hell ya!