9-04 10-04 11-04 12-04 1-05 2-05 3-05 4-05 5-05 6-05 7-05 8-05 9-05 10-05 11-05 12-05 1-06 2-06 3-06
4-06 5-06 6-06 7-06 8-06 9-06 10-06 11-06 12-06 1-07 2/07 3-07 4-07 5-07 6-07 7-07 8-07 9-07 10-07 11-07 12-07 1-08 2-08 3-08 4-08 5-08 6-08 7-08 8-08 9-08 10-08 11-08 12-08 1-09 2-09 3-09 4-09 5-09 6-09 7-09 8-09 9-09 10-09 11-09 12-09 1-10 2-10
3-10 4-10 5-10 6-10 7-10 8-10 9-10 10-10 11-10 12-10 1-11 2-11 3-11 4-11 5-11 6-11 7-11 8-11 9-11 10-11 11-11 12-11 1-12 2-12 3-12 4-12 5-12 6-12 7-12 8-12 9-12 10-12 11-12 12-12 1-13 2-13 3-13 4-13 5-13 6-13 7-13 8-13 9-13 10-13 11-13 12-13 1-14 2-14 3-14 4-14 5-14 6-14 7-14 8-14 9-14 10-14 11-14 12-14 1-15 2-15 3-15 4-15 5-15

"Why are you in the closet?" -Katherine
"I'm getting a hammer." -Kat
"Why?" -Katherine
"So I can beat you with it." -Kat


Tuesday, 6-30-15: My next project.
As June turns to July it looks like real summer is here to stay. Finally! I can't complain about June too much because we had plenty of great days, but the warmest we ever got was 83 according to weather.com. We had some nasty rainouts (including Sunday's 55 degrees 1"+ rainstorm), but we did have many days in the low-mid 70s with sunshine. That allowed me to tackle some outdoor projects for the bootleg rental properties including one that I began yesterday. This bootleg piece of crap porch has to go:

^Love how the tenants use it for their trash storage. Literally what a bunch of crap!

I removed it all within an hour yesterday morning, and I even got the two 4-foot holes dug for the new footings. The old porch didn't even have footings; the two posts just sat on a 4" thick concrete slab that had sank into the ground at least several inches. What a bunch of crap! I had to sledge out some of that concrete so I could dig down for the pillars. Thankfully the ground was great, no big rocks or roots, and I got the holes dug fast. Today I will pour the concrete and maybe start rebuilding the porch itself this afternoon if the concrete cures enough.

The tenants are moving out of that same house within the next couple days so I have lots of other work to do over there. The front entry steps need replacing, the kitchen floor needs replacing, the place could use a new fridge, I might replace a couple older windows, and every room will need fresh paint. I'm not really worried about damages because I saw the inside a couple weeks ago (plus the tenants are not destructive), but an entire family has lived there the whole time, over 4.5 years, so there is normal wear and tear.

My deadline for getting everything done is July 14th because I already have a new tenant waiting to move in. That means I will be pretty busy for the beginning of next month. I had been only working on the bootleg apartments for about 4 hours a day 5 or so days a week, but I will definitely have to work more than that if I want to get it all done. Plus I have to finish the shed out back at this house still. Hopefully I can get that done by the end of this week.

I slept in until 0600 this morning. Score! The puppies seem to sleep a little more at night these days, and they have fewer accidents inside the house than they did a month ago when we first got them. I weighed them a few days ago; Crowley was about 20 pounds and Castiel was around 22. I'm sure since then we can add at least a pound because they are growing FAST. We've had them for exactly 30 days now. I'll have to post more photos of them on my next bootleg update.

I need to get going because it's 0700 and I want to go pour that concrete so it has time to set for the rest of the morning. It really won't be ready until tomorrow, but I don't need to put that much weight on it as the porch roof is fairly light. I'm just using two 4x4 posts to support that roof and the little porch itself. I'd like to have it all done tomorrow, but it probably won't be 100% done until next month. I suck at getting things done fast lately. What a bunch of crap!

Friday, 6-26-15: Photos of some finished landscaping and of course puppies!
Gods damn it I hate it when the forecast is for partly cloudy and we get a rogue thunderstorm. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully I had just enough time to at least get the shed out back half-shingled on both sides and tarpapered to the peak so the interior should still be dry. I started that friggin' shed 1.5 months ago and it still remains unfinished, but at least now it's mostly done. I used 3/4" OSB for the floor and 7/16" OSB for the roof sheathing so having it exposed to the elements for this long is not good. So far the OSB hasn't sponged up water, but all too many times I have seen a puddle inside the thing after heavy rains and that is not cool. Sunday another 1"+ of rain is coming so I needed to get on it and thankfully I did just that.

The weather this month has been cooler and wetter than average with some days of total washout. However, we have had many awesome days in the 70s with decent humidity levels so I'll take it. The rain is already over after a brief period of hail, and the sun is poking through again. Hopefully this is the perfect weather for a good blueberry crop; only about a month left until raking starts and the campsite is already booked for the first 9 days of August.

I would be sleeping right now, but the puppies had other ideas. I guess going to sleep at 1630 was a bad idea since we feed these guys around 1700-1730. Definitely have not gotten enough sleep lately, but I am not totally sleep deprived and I think I've gotten more than Kat has. She's still trying to snooze for a bit in advance of her usual Friday night gig at Jester's. The puppies will hopefully sleep well tonight since they've been up for a good part of the day. They spent hours out back this morning doing puppy things like eating grass, rolling in dirt, and chewing everything they see. Then this afternoon they rode down to Sullivan with Kat and I so we could set up some gear in advance of a wedding she has to DJ tomorrow down there. It will be a long day tomorrow since the reception lasts from 1400 until potentially 0100 Sunday. Do we think they will actually drink and party for 11 straight hours there? Probably not but who knows and that's the contracted timeframe so anything ending earlier than that is a pure bonus.

I finished over at Chamberlain St. Finally! That fucking property has been a thorn in my side since last July when my fuckup foundation contractor, Bob Dunn III, started a $4000 repair over there. He actually did ok on the repair, but he left a massive pile of dirt, rocks, and bricks on the lawn. What a bunch of crap! He was supposed to have it all hauled off, but after months of excuses it was still not done so Kat and I started shovelling it away manually and dumping it behind the garage. We worked on that some last October, and I think I have a photo from way back then...

Okay I don't have a photo, and I stopped caring to look because I want to go to Jester's soon to see my awesome wife. (It's now 2150. I started this bootleg update hours ago and am just now working on it again. What a bunch of crap!)

Anyway, here is what the place looks like now after some landscaping:

^I seeded that bare spot so hopefully grass forms soon. However, I don't want it to form too soon because then I have to mow more. Hehehehe. The front (mostly in the shadows) was all weeds and crap to the mailboxes, but I hauled on all that junk and put in plants and mulch. I had the puppies with me for some of that work, and they were great. The neighbors and tenants came over to say hi because the only people who don't love puppies are people whom I 100% hate. Everyone loves our puppies as they should because our puppies are more adorable than human babies. Seriously.

^More weeds were in that corner so I hauled on all of those yesterday, too. Castliel and Crowley were once again my "helpers" for about 1.5 hours before I brought them home.

It sure feels nice having that duplex all done, at least for now. I could easily spend a few more hours over there cleaning out behing the garage, but no one sees that and it's already better than it was 1.5 months ago back there so it's pretty low on the list. Now I can focus on finishing the shed at the house before I start my next project on Monday, replacing a shitty bootleg porch at the house across the street from this bootleg office. Tonight the puppies are at the office with me, and they are bivouaced on the floor right now. I used the gym for 35 minutes, and at first the puppies had plenty of energy:

^Castiel is checking out the drain plug that contains nothing he can eat or drink. Crowley wants to learn how to do pullups.

^20 minutes into my workout and these guys still have plenty of energy. Sometimes they do things that are kinda gay. Castiel was mock-humping Crowley just before I took this photo. It's funny, but wrong and I should not condone such activity. Here Castiel is checking out Crowley's weiner, and Crowley is busy checking himself out in the mirror. They still have a lot to learn about the world, but holy crap that have learned a lot already and they are great.

^Finally after 25-30 minutes they were all done. Time to bivouac! I think they like the cool cellar floor. They are still sound asleep, but in a few minutes it will be revielle so I can bring them back home, put them in their crate for a couple hours, and go to Jester's until the show ends around 0100.

At this time last year I was single and had no idea that Kat would become the most important part of my life. It's almost our one-year anniversary of when she came over to the house for the fire and when we first exchanged phone numbers. What the hell was I doing a year ago just before her and I started seeing each other as more than just acquaintances at the local watering hole? I know I was still working the part-time early morning UPS shift, and I surely do NOT miss that job at all. My life is much better ever since I walked out of that place for the last time. My life is also much better ever since I started seeing Kat. Now I can't even imaging what a shitty mess I would be if I didn't have her as my best friend and wife. Plus, as an added bonus, she's really good looking. Epic win!

Thursday, 6-25-15: The longest daylight of the year = thank you I want more.
Well the days are getting shorter now, but this is still a fantastic time of year. Sunset at 2025 = oh Jesus, hell ya! According to the almanac before the WLBZ2 weather our sunrise was 0450, one minute less than when it rose at 0449 on our longest day of the year. I won't whine about a one-minute daylight loss, but I will whine when we're down to only 9 or so hours of daylight next December. Sunset at 1554 = what a bunch of crap!

It's 0512 now, and I can see some sunlight kissing the tops of a few trees out back. The puppies are also out there, and some of the things they do cannot be explained. Castiel just took a dump and Crowley came over and started sniffing the fresh pile. All I wanna know is why? Why does he do that? They also like to sniff each other's asses, sometimes while turds are coming out of said asses. That's just weird yet hilarious at the same time.

These dogs have the fastest digestive systems, ever. They eat and then literally within 5 minutes we can let them out and boom, here comes a puppy power-dump. Same thing with the water. We let them drink a bunch of it and then they gotta wiz. Unfortunately, sometimes they wiz on the floor in the house. What a bunch of crap! I caught both of them in the act yesterday morning and they each had their turn suffering from my punishment wrath. I made Castiel doggy-cry. They need to learn that peeing inside the house is an epic fail.

^Castiel yesterday morning. He's getting big!

^Crowley is getting big, too. They are almost 11 weeks old now.


If all goes as planned I should finish over at one of my local duplexes (Chamberlain St) this morning. I've been doing landscape work after I finally cleaned up this disgusting eyesore of a dirt pile that my douchebag foundation contractor left behind. I only have about 3 hours left over there before the public areas are presentable. There is some dirt and brush behind the garage, but that's not a priority since no one really sees it. Plus it already looks pretty good behind that garage compared to how it looked earlier last month. Photos of that will hopefully come on my next bootleg update that about two people will ever read.

^The shed as of Saturday PM. Still needs trim and roofing on the back side.

The shed has half a roof now. Score! I worked on it for a few hours last Saturday, and hopefully later today or tomorrow I can work on it at least long enough to tarpaper and partly shingle the back side. Right now the OSB is still sticking out like a sore thumb and another big rainstorm is forecast for Sunday. I'm sick of watching that half-finished shed get all wet from heavy rains, of which there have already been many so far this month. What a bunch of crap!

Friday, 6-19-15: In the office while my hot wife hosts karaoke across the street.
This is an awesome time of year. It's light at 0445, and it's still light at 2030. Fuck winter. FUCK WINTER. It's almost the longest day of the year, and the extra daylight helps me not want to die. Temps have been seasonable, in the 70s, and the nights have been cool enough to get a comfy sleep. Unfortunately, the one turd in the punch bowl is Kat's health. She hasn't been feeling good lately and her Giblet-Head doctors are more useless than tits on a nun.

Her gig down in Ellsworth last night was epic busy. Five busses filled with some kind of foreign exchange camp students showed up so there were over 100 people in the bar for a few hours. Most of the people were obviously in their low 20s, they loved to drink, and they loved to sing. We had people in that bar from Ireland, the UK, Australia, and Columbia. Wow! Since Kat wasn't feeling well I offered to do the show for her including sing, but thankfully I did not have to sing. I have NFT (No Fuckin' Talent) when it comes to singing and no one wants to hear a talent-lacking assclown on the mic. I had my first two songs all picked out, too. Tom Petty's I won't Back Down and Def Leppard's Rock of Ages. Since I was wearing a Def Leppard Pyromania tee shirt not singing a Def Leppard song from that album would have been a bunch of crap. Maybe I will sing Rock of Ages tonight at Jester's!

^My current tee shirt. Yeah, I wore it last night and now I wear it again. No prob since I didn't sweat and it's only a few hours each night you drooling apes. It will go into the laundrty tonight. It puts its tee shirt in the laundry or else it gets the hose again. PUT THE FUCKING LAUNDRAY IN THE BASKET. (Silence of the Lambs reference. Again.) My awesome Def Leppard tee shirt has a little hole just about where my pants button is, but it's not really noticeable. How did the hole get there? Cannot be explained.

I was juggling three projects at once, but thankfully one is all done and soon the second will also be done. The RR tie wall over at my duplex came togethre fast. It only took me a few hours to get it all done. Score! Helps I've done several walls and now I mostly know what I'm doing. Plus it wasn't that big, only 9 ties used plus a scrap partial or two. Tomorrow I need to back-fill with some gravel, throw down grass seed, and do some other landscaping work at the property. I probably won't even do it tomorrow, but maybe I will if Kat goes to work on DJ stuff with one of her friends. I try to get as much work done as possible when my wife is busy so I have more free time to hang out with her.

I need to finish the walls of my shed at the house tomorrow since the remnants of some turd-burglaring tropical storm are going to give us rain on Sunday. Once I finish the last couple wall panels I can install trim, drip edge, and then tarpaper. I've just had the OSB roof and floor soaking up all the rain for the past 3 weeks. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully the rain mostly runs off so there is no damage yet, but OSB is not meant to be exposed to the elements for any length of time because it will eventually become a sponge. I could have used plywood, but screw that once the shingles are on it won't matter. It's just a shed, not the modern-day ark!

So next week I should finish most of the shed, have the duplex around the corner done enough, and then I can start to focus on the house across the street from this bootleg office. The tenants there are hitting the road after over 4.5 years. They are the only tenants I've ever had there. Moved in November 6, 2010. Nice! The house needs some work, not because the tenants trashed it or anything, but because it's been 4.5 friggin' years! A side porch is rotting and sinking so that needs to go, and the front steps are shitty and need upgrading. Pretty much every wall will need paint, too. That will take half of July, and I will be busy for sure.

I make about zero profit from this house, but my mortgage was only for 10 years so it's paid off in just over 5 years. Not bad! In hindsight I should have gotten a longer-term mortgage, but it will be nice when the $530.33 a month payment disappears. An extra $6363.96 a year = oh Jesus, hell ya! I gotta wait until September 2020 for that, though. That will be my first paid-off mortgage, and it will be glorious. I hope I don't die or get robbed before that happens.

Blueberry raking is only about 5.5 or 6 weeks away. I am going to rake like it's my job. Oh wait, it is my job when I go do it. Great exercise, too.

Bruce Hornsby and the range wins. They are awesome and if you disagree then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I will hate you just a little more.

I got a letter from the IRS last week. It was dated June 8th, and it pretty much said "Pay us or else get the hose." So funny it took them almost two months to send me a bill! I paid them $500, but I owed over $3000 so you can see why they have their hand out. The due date is June 29th, but I don't see that happening. I will send them another $500 and then pay again next month. The late fee and interest has only been around $40. Yeah, $40 is a lot of money, but not really much considering how much I owe and the due date. I will get it paid off later this summer or early fall, and I will do better next year. I still owe some property taxes, too. What a bunch of crap!

Thursday, 6-18-15: In the office with the puppies!
Revielle was 0425 today. However, we bivoaced around 2130 last night so I got close to 7 hours of sleep. The puppies slept all night, a first for us so far. Oh Jesus, hell ya! They got plenty of exercise yesterday so that helped a lot. Wear them out, hope they sleep soundly at night. I brought them with me to Lowe's first thing yesterday morning so I could buy a few RR ties, and then they went with me over to my duplex and over to here to grab some more RR ties from a small stack of 9 leftover from a previous job. I only need about 8 ties total, but my spares are half junk so I spent the $15 each for four more "good" ones. I put the term good in quotations because you never really buy a good used RR tie, you just look for ones that aren't half rotten or spliting down the middle. If you get a solid one you will get decades out of it. At least I hope!

^Hopefully will be a piece of cake to install, especially compared to this epic wall that I built two years ago:

I needed so many RR ties for that wall here by my bootleg office that it looked like I was building a railroad with them all piled up on pallets. Hehehehe. I forget how many I used total on that wall. 60? Two years later that wall is still straight like a boss. Plus I don't have that stupid hill to mow anymore so I win. I got EPIC exercise building that wall. (Hopefully did not jinx myself by doing that bragging. It will suck if I drive by tomorrow and the wall has collapsed. What a bunch of crap!)

We brought the puppies to the park yesterday, and they spent all kinds of time running around in the back yard. The weather was perfect, around 75, lots of sun, and low humidity. I jogged 4 miles for the first time this year, but I didn't really jog for all of it because I had to walk a little. Time of 33:42 could use improvement, but hey at least I did it. I think my days of jogging 4 miles in close to 30:00 are over anyway. I'm older and it's harder now. What a bunch of crap!

I have the puppies in the office with me now, and they are sleeping. I don't want them to sleep too much so we are leaving in a few to head back home. It's 0710 now and we've been here for about 45 minutes. I had some paperwork to catch up on and some spreadsheets to update so it feels good to get that taken care of. Soon I will head over to one of my duplexes around the corner and start building that little wall by the driveway. I will work this morning on apartment stuff and then spend the afternoon taking a nap and working around the house. Yesterday I worked in the morning mowing a couple lawns and finishing this project:

^Those far steps probably need a railing so I will do that eventually. Maybe. The tenants there now said they haven't used that door but once in about forever so it's not a top priority. Plus it's not that high, only three steps. However, I think code requires a railing if it's more than two steps. I can't remember and should look it up, but I already stopped caring. I don't even care... whether or not I care.

^The interior wall and trim took a few hours, too. Everything eats up my precious... precious time gods damn it!

I spent a few more hours than anticipated working on this building. The front does look nice so I'm glad I did the work, but I probably should have changed the owners $100 or so more than I did charge. I manage the property and make some money off the management fees, but that was a lot of work and the owners definitely got a good deal by having me do the work. I could have contracted it out for probably well over $1000, and I did it all for $850 including the landscaping. I don't know what my materials cost is yet because I have to add it all up, but my guess is around $500. $350 for my labor isn't that much considering I probably have 30 hours into it all total.*

*EDIT: I spent $556 in materials so I didn't quite make $300 for my labor. Oops, shoulda charged more. Oh well, about $10 per hour ain't horrible and considering my average hourly rate for the management of the property itself I don't think I got screwed over. Who knows, I might own that building one day and then I will be really glad that I did all the work.

In other news, the Red Sox totally suck. They've lost 8 of 9 and are in last place. What a bunch of crap! A record of 28-39 sure ain't getting them to the playoffs anytime soon. They need to rattle off about 10 wins in a row or else they can kiss this season goodbye. Gods damn it!

Wednesday, 6-17-15: Camping and stuff.
I've already had a fairly productive start to the day, a day for me that began nearly 3 hours ago at 0445 when the puppies woke up for good. After I ate some Honey Nut Cheerios and coffee flavored yogurt (fucking disgusting taste; never will buy again!) I watched some news including highlights of the Golden State Warriors - Cleveland Cavaliers NBA finals game 6. Golden State won last night, and I don't care that much. However, it's the finals so I do care some. Plus, as an added bonus, LeBron James lost again. Works for me!

I played with the puppies some, I weighed them again, and then we took a trip over to Lowe's to buy a few RR ties for a little wall that I need to rebuild over here:

^What a bunch of crap! Since that photo was taken I have removed all of the old wall and hauled off most of the debris.

Crowley weighs about 15 pounds, and Castiel weights around 16-17. Weighing these guys is far from an exact science since I just stand with each of them on a dial-scale, but it gives a ballpark idea at least. When I weighed them a couple weeks ago they were each about 12 pounds. I can already see and feel the size difference as they rapidly grow, and they continue to do great overall. They're at the point now where they come over and get all excited whenever one of us comes home, and that bond is great. We also took them camping and had them in the water for a bit on Sunday.

The weather last weekend was great so we dediced sorta last-minute to go camping down by Schoodic Mountain. We've hiked in that area before, but never have camped there. There are some awesome campsites down by the water at Donnell Pond near the mountain, but the only way to access the campsites is either by foot along a 1/2 mile trail or by boat. We hiked in with seemingly everything but the kitchen sink, and it took three trips to get everything set up so that's 3 miles of walking right there. We brought Kat's dolly that she uses for her speakers and DJ gear and that was a tremendous help. However, I did dump the loads a couple times when I hit rocks and roots. What a bunch of crap! The first trip in was a beotch and a half because I didn't have a good system in place, but I did better on the second trip in. Thankfully the trip out was easier (only two trips) because we didn't have firewood, the water jug was empy, and the cooler was lighter.

We camped right near the beach at the pond, and we spent a good part of the afternoon hanging out by the water and getting a tan/slight burn. I found out that Kat is a better football player than me, and the puppies weren't quite ready to swim on their own just yet. Castiel went into the water long enough for a very brief swim, but Crowley would not go in past his chest.

After we cooked a hearty supper we went back to the beach to see a picture-perfect sunset and to hang out for a bit more. Kat and Katherine took all kinds of great pictures including this one of the sky just after the sun passed the horizon for the day:

We only camped for one night since Katherine had to work Monday. Plus I had some work to do as well so we got back around midmorning. The puppies did great on the trip, and they even slept well in the tent with Kat and I. They only needed to get up once for a pee in the night. Not bad! However, neither one of us slept great because it's hard to get a great night's sleep when you're camping. The only way I can get good sleep is to get a little drunk and pass out, but even that is not great sleep really. I guess that is more like "time warp."

I only had a couple beers with supper so I didn't even have a buzz when we went to bed. I do think that camping and beer go together as well as peas and carrots, but I didn't need to drink to have a good time. When Gav and I camp out and blueberry rake we usually have 3 or so beers/mixed drinks at night before bed because we get stiff from the hard work, but there was no hard work and no need to take the edge off on this trip. Actually, getting the gear to the site was a bit of hard work, but compared to the rigors of blueberry raking it was a stroll in the park.

Overall it was a great trip and we plan to go back next month for a longer stay. Between Kat's wedding gigs this summer and blueberry raking our free weekends will be scarce so we will go during the week. There are some campsites accessable only by boat so maybe next time we can bring the canoe/raft and try one of those sites. I will have to figure out how far of a paddle it is to the sites before we finalize that decision. We might just stay where we were the last time because that was a great site, too.

Friday, 6-12-15: Work/family balance.
So far this month I have achieved a good work/family balance. I've generally worked on the bootleg apartment for 3-4 hours in the mornings and then taken the afternoons "off" to hang out with my awesome family. Of course there are some afternoon things to take care of for the business, but generally I keep myself free and it's worked out well. It's nice to have afternoons available to do housework, to relax, to get some exercise, and to train the puppies. We've taken them to the park a few times now, and today we actually walked them to the park for the first time from the house (drove the first tow times.) They did great on the walk, too. Nice!

^Photo taken Wednesday on their second trip to the park, ever. So far Crowley (black puppy) seems a bit faster than Castiel when they run. Chessa isn't too fast either (She's 9 and a little overweight after an inactive winter) but she loves going.

We first tried to leash-train Castiel and Crowley at the park, but that was a challenge. On Wednesday evening Kat and Katherine walked them on the sidewalk by the house and they did much better. Crowley seems to be catching on a little faster tham Castiel at this point, but both dogs are super. Crowley seems to know when he's in trouble, and he is a little better at somewhat recognizing when we are calling his name. Kat has already taught both puppies the "sit" command. "No" is still a work in progress as is everything else, but these guys are literally only 9 weeks old as of today so of course they will need more work.

Katherine finished driver's education and got her learner's permit yesterday. Her and I spent some time early last month driving on Sunday evenings in the Paradis parking lot, but we didn't drive on the road for obvious reasons. Today I picked her up from her last day of school over in Bangor, and she drove us home right before lunch (last day of the school year, half day.) She did a good job, and I think she will be a great driver once she gains some more experience. She's lucky she can learn things like how to drive on the highway and what a "Shared left lane" is. I actually had no idea what a shared left lane was until yesterday afternoon when Kat and I did a 30-minute ride along with Katherine and the driving instructor.

^Shared left lane. I've seen them too many times to count, but I never knew they had a name. You learn something new every day. Then you get old and forget most of it as you shuffle along in a nursing home. What a bunch of crap!

I grew up in a rural area; the nearest highway on-ramp was about 45 miles away, and we didn't have those lanes anywhere that I know of. Since my driver's education (1992?) I learned how to drive on a highway and how to use the shared lanes by just doing it. I remember buying a used Ford Tempo in 1994 in the California Bay area and having to drive on a 5-lane highway for the first time. Fun times! The Bay area (Oakland/SanFransisco) is a huge metropolitan zone, too. Highways and people everywhere. Man, it seems like a lifetime ago when I was stationed there aboard the USS Carl Vinson. I was only 18 years old. I knew just about nothing about the world back then.

I worked every morning for the past three mornings replacing a rotten and bootleg section of a porch at the property I manage right by my office. I took this photos yesterday after I quit, and today I finished all the exterior trim and much of the interior side.

Hopefully tomorrow I can paint the trim and install the waterproof membrane and then vinyl siding over the OSB. When I ripped all the old wood out on Wednesdaty morning I found this epic ant colony:

^What a bunch of crap! A can of RAID made most of those little assholes disappear pretty fast. I felt bad killing them, but they were literally eating the building and that is not okay. That section I am replacing is only about 55x90", but it has taken quite a while because nothing is level. The porch has sagged a lot over the years so it's a parallelogram and that makes things take longer. Plus going to Home Depot to buy supplies takes up my precious... precious time. Thankfully I have a lot of the supplies already on hand like nails, screws, and some wood for the trim. I need to go to either Home Depot or Lowe's tomorrow to buy a few more trim boards then I should have everything I need to finish it up. It's probably 75% done now, and the hardest part is behind me. All that remains is trim, some caulking, and some painting. I do want to finish it all tomorrow, but I probably won't because screw working a full day on a Saturday.

In other news, we might go camping on Sunday night and into Monday. I can't wait to go camping! I already reserved a campsite for early August so Gav and I can rake for Cliff. Hopefully Kat wants to come, too. Summer is pretty much here now because it's been around 80 degrees and the long-range forecast shows most days 70+ and nights 50+. Today I turned off a couple furnaces for the summer, and that is always a great feeling because heat is fucking expensive and winter sucks royal ass.

The IRS sent me a bill a couple days ago. I owe $2572 or something like that. HAHAHAHAA! I did owe a bit over $3000 when I filed, but I sent them $500 on April 14th. Funny it took them until June 8th to issue me a bill. I don't plan to send them the entire $2500+, but I will probably pony up $1000 or so. Owing income taxes and property taxes = what a bunch of crap! I did pay $2000 in property taxes a couple days ago, but I still owe the city $1700 in property taxes for this bootleg building. Those taxes were due March 12th. Epic fail by me! I drew up a budget for the rest of the year so I can do a better job of keeping up with all these tax bills moving forward. I have been selfish and have blown off the tax bills so I could have fun, and that can't happen every year or else I will eventually fail. Interest rates on past-due tax bills isn't much, but it still sucks and I need to be a better citizen.

The Red Sox suck this year. They are currently in last place at 27-34, 7 games behind the gods damned Yankees. Plus they are losing 13-8 to the Blue Jays in the 8th inning tonight. What a bunch of crap! I haven't watch too many of their games this year because hainging out with my sexy wife > watching baseball. However, sometimes I can see the game on Thursday nights when they actually have a game scheduled for that night. Kat and I go to a place in Ellsworth called Tags every Thursday night so she can host karaoke from 2000-midnight there. It's a good bar with plenty of room and several pool tables. The owner is a decent guy, too.

Right now it's 2200, Kat is at Jester's, and I am in my booleg office. I probably won't update this crappy update tonight because I just uploaded Tuesday's bootleg blog not long ago. I don't update this site enough, but that's ok because I have other things going on that are more important. I have a family now so I have less free time to do the things that I used to do, and I wouldn't change that for all the tea in China. That expression makes no sense, but at least I didn't fall off the turnip truck. All I wanna know is why? Why do some of these supid expression exist?

Ba ba da burrrrrrrrrrr.

The Goonies celebrated their 30th movie anniversary recently. The best movie of all time is 30 years old. OMG. GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!

Tuesday, 6-09-15: Another early morning with the puppies.
I have a lot of work to do this week still. Having lots of work to do = what a bunch of crap! I have two projects happening at the same time (three if you count the shed out back that remains unfinished still.) First, I still need to finish the landscaping at this duplex:

^This has been a thorn in my frigging side since last July when Bob started the foundation repair and left all the debris right in the yard. I blame him for a lot of the mess, but the wood retaining wall was rotting and no longer level so it had to go. That's not his fault. The wall was only about 7 years old, too. My bad using regular hemlock timbers and not treating them before installation. Lesson learned. Some of it came out easy, but other parts of it were a pain in the arse to remove. Thankfully I brought my chainsaw and cut up a lot of it. Not good for the blade when I hit nails, dirt, and rocks, but the blade is old anyway so I went full Rambo mode on that shit. Wet sawdust blew out all over me and the car parked there so my bad doing that. Thankfully I wiped most of it off with a rag before the tenants saw. Hehehehe.

If all goes as planned I should have a new wall up by the end of the week. The new wall won't need to be as high because over the years dirt piled up against the old wall quite a bit. I'm still not sure if I will use some RR ties or landscape stones, but probably some of the stones because it's only around 16" at its peak. Piece of cake! (I hope.)

My second project is this:

It looks like crap, it's crooked as shit thanks to the porch sagging over the years, and worst of all it's way rotten:

^What a bunch of crap!

I worked on it last week, I finished the steps and landscaping, but there is so much rotten wood that I got way behind schedule and had to get approval from the owners to redo all of that junk. (I manage this property; the only one I take care of that I don't own.) I finished the landscape work in the front and the steps last Friday, but I had to halt the project finish work until I could get approval from the owners to spend extra money to replace the entire porch wall there in the photo. It looks like 10 pounds of shit stuffed into a 5 pound bag right now, and it faces the street so everyone who passes by can see how ghetto it is. What a bunch of crap!

We celebrated Kat's 40th birthday last Friday night at Jester's. She had to work as usual, but we still had a good time. The bartender (Steph) brought finger-foods and Kat's best friend brought a cake. The food was great! I loved the cake so much that I pretended to eat it like a barbarian, but then Kate mashed it into my face. What a bunch of crap! Frosting even went up my nostrils. We all had a good laugh at that. Kat looks damn good for 40. She's awesome and sexy!

The puppies are doing good so far; this is their 10th day as a part of the family. Crowley still pisses on the floor from time to time, but he is learning that the best place to wizz is outside. They wake us up at least a couple times a night and then for good between 0430-0500 so sleep is becoming ever more precious. Thankfully this is the best time of year as far as daylight goes so it's light outside then. A couple mornings ago I was building a little rock wall in front of the fence at 0445, and it was only 37 degrees. What a bunch of crap! The first week of June has been below average chilly. Thankfully summer weather is coming starting tomorrow.

We found a tick on Castiel last night. What a bunch of crap! He must have gotten it when we went down to Mom and Pop's on Sunday for Dad's 66th birthday. They have a shitload of ticks down in the midcoast, and a high percentage of those little assholes carry Lymes Disease so we hope Castiel doesn't get sick. We started bringing the puppies to Indian Trail Park, and I have some nice photos from their first trip ever to the park. These guys are so frigging cute!

Puppies > human babies. The end.

Wednesday, 6-03-15: More puppy photos.
I just crated each of our two new family members, and so far it's exactly what I expected. They're not in their adjacent crates because they misbehaved, far from it. They're in the crates because they need to learn to hang out there from time to time. We can't leave them alone in the house yet because they will annihilate the place so crate-training is necessary. So far Castiel is as cool as the other side of the pillow in his crate, but Crowley thinks I'm a dink for cooping him up. He's crying and whining, and I feel bad. I want to let him out so he can be a free little man, but that's not gonna be a good idea long-term.

I took several photos of the puppies earlier. They have their 8-week birthday on the same day that Kat turns 40. Big day Friday June 5th! I hope the gifts that I ordered get here in time, but so far I have not received a shipment confirmation. I only have 2 days to spare so this stuff better get sent ASAP.

Crowley is so pissed right now. He has a very shrill whine so good thing I'm not trying to bivouac. We didn't get much sleep last night so a nap would be great. Reveille for good was just before 0500 when they got hungry and whined. I assume it was "feed me" whines because they didn't have to pee, and when I went over to the Puppy Chow bag they were all over it like maggots on a gut-pile. They learned fast where the food in the hacienda is. The slightest rumple of the bag gets them moving in a hurry right over to it. They don't just eat their food; they inhale it!

^FEED ME MORE. (Guy thinks of Ryback in the WWE.)

These guys have really fast digestive systems. It seems only a few minutes after they eat they're ready to go poop, and not long after they have water it's wizz-time. Crowley has peed on the kitchen floor a few times, but I think he will catch on quickly to knock that off. Especially once we start banishing him to the crate when he does it.

We've only had these guys for 3 whole days so they still have a lot to learn. Today is actually the first day it hasn't been rainy and soaked outside, but the weather is still a turd. Our high temp for the day yesterday was 47 degrees. What a bunch of crap! They said on the news the last time we only had a high temp of 47 was April 12th. Epic fail! Fortunately better weather is in the forecast (just not today gods damn it.)

^Kat braving heavy rain with the puppies chasing her back to the house yesterday. Greatriots sweatshirt = reason #786,542 why she's perfect. Hehehe. (Taking puppies out in a deluge is another reason much higher up the list.)

I should free these guys now and let them outside because I'm sure they will have to pee. Again. Hopefully they run around and burn some energy then get tired and don't resist the crates as much. They do good in the same crate together at night in the bedroom, but so far trying to crate them apart has not worked at all. Hopefully in time it will.

^These guys really enjoy playing together. They are really close siblings at this point, and I bet they always will be close. Last night Katherine took Crowley down to her room for the first time while Castiel stayed upstairs with Kat and I, and it didn't take long for both dogs to get antsy and to start searching for the other.

^Castiel studies a leaf. Or a blade of grass. Or something interesting. He's so cute!

So far today neither Castiel nor Crowley have wizzed or crapped on the floor in the house while I have been on duty. Go me! (I probably just jinxed myself for later. What a bunch of crap!)

Monday, 6-01-15: Puppies!
We added two adorable members to our family not even 24 hours ago, Castiel and Crowley. They are 8-week old lab/golden retriever mixed puppies, and they stole our hearts already. We drove down to Greene (south of Augusta) yesterday in the pouring rain to pick them up, and ever since then they have been our main focus and the source of most of our smiles. We have photos, lots of photos, but I only have a couple on this bootleg PC that Katherine emailed to me:

^Castiel, born April 10, a golden male. Will he have shaggy golden retriever fur or shorter lab hair? Only time will tell. Castiel technically "belongs" to Kat and I.

^Crowley, also born April 10 and brother of Castiel. Looks more like a black lab, but who knows he might mature to have shaggy golden retriever fur. Katherine chipped in a lot of her hard-earned McDonald's after-school money to get Crowley so technically he "belongs" to her.

Castiel chundered on the center console in the Mountaineer during the drive home, and Crowley wizzed on the kitchen floor yesterday late afternoon, but other than those relatively minor setbacks they both have been totally fantastic. The breeder kept the litter of 7 puppies outside in a fenced-area so we don't think they have any experience with things like indoor living, play toys, etc. I wouldn't go as far as to say the pups were mistreated or abused, but they probably roughed it a bit. We met their mom (pure black lab) and dad (pure Golden Retriever) when we first met the puppies a couple weeks ago, and the parents seemed full of energy, healthy, and robust.

The puppies probably have never spent time in a crate so we thought they might cry and whine when we crated them in the bedroom last night with us, but after a couple minutes of whining they fell asleep and stayed asleep for a while. We did have to get up a couple times in the night to take them outside, but overall our first night with them went very well. Better than I expected. I thought they would be anxious/homesick, but they seem fine. Probably having two of them from the same litter helped them in the transition.

Unfortunately, the weather today is a total turd. Just like yesterday was and tomorrow will be. What a bunch of crap! Sucks going outside in the rain with them when it's 48 degrees all day, but it's better than 3 feet of snow and -10. Plus by Wed. the weather will improve and the end of the weeks looks great. I can't want to spend even more time outside with them!

Alright you turds, all two of youz, I gotta head over to the store to buy some lunch fixins and then head home to see my beautiful wife and our two adorable new puppies (Crowley is Katherine's puppy, but we will all share the duties, the fun times, and the love.) Mom and Pop are stopping by to see the pups and to have a bite to eat at lunch before they go back home. Mom is at the casino and Pop is at Van Raymond's right now. They almost didn't even make time to come to the house, which would have been a total epic fail, but thankfully they decided to make the right decision.

Puppies are awesome and Goonies never say die!

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