6-28-20: Kitten, racquetball, rain.
If my awesome wife had said to me "We have enough pets we don't need any more pets." I would have been more than okay with it. Often I think we have too many pets (3 dogs, 5 cats, plus Katherine has 2 cats so 7 cats live here.), but the pets make her happy and before her and I met she had even more cats. The cats usually don't bother me too much, and we do have a sweet "catoi" for them to hang out in. The catio is closed off in the winter due to the cold, but this time of year the felines spend a lot of time out in it watching the world.
^I did a lot of work on our house in the spring of 2017 including that cat enclosure. Since I took that picture I shingled it and we found a great tree chunk to install for them.
Taking Elle home with us was a no-brainer, and Kat wanted to take two cats home so I shut that shit down. There was another cat there who seemed very cool, but when it comes to kittens and puppies they pretty much all seem awesome. Then they shit all over the place and puke on the floor and they are not so awesome hehe. Kittens and puppies are adorable yet human babies are fuckin' busted-looking. What a bunch of crap! All I wanna know is why? Why do humans produce such ugly offspring?
Sully has only been dead for a week and we already replaced him. Is that unfair to him? I dunno, it's a grey-area, but we know when we acquire a cat or a dog we won't have them around much more than 12-15 years. Poor Sully was an amazing cat, but he didn't even make it to age 5 due to heart failure. He was not a fatass either. What a bunch of crap!
^We were able to bring the kitten home yesterday since she was already neutered and given her usual shots. Elle is not a bad name, but Kat already knew she wanted a Game of Thrones name for her next pet(s) so the kitten's new name is now Arya. She was torn between Arya or Denerys, but in GOT Denerys turned heel and we don't want our pet to turn heel gods damn it! Evil pets are subjects of horror movies.
The dogs met Arya not too long after we got her home:
Arya did great last night and slept most of the night. We normally do not let the cats bivouac with us in the bedroom, but Arya will stay in with us for a while until she gets acclimated. She did crash out on my pillow for a while, and she knocked over a metal water bottle that made a loud CLANG around 0400, but other than that no issues at all. The nice thing about a kitten as opposed to a puppy is the fact that cats instantly know to use a litter box. How cool is that? It's like they come pre-programmed. Dogs on the other hand, you gotta teach them not to piss and shit all over the house. What a bunch of crap!
I still do like dogs more than cats, though. (On average. Sully > Groot. RIP, Sully.)
Gavin, Mike, and I are planning to play racquetball this morning. It will be my first trip to Gold's Gym and the rball courts over there in about 3.5 months. I probably have to restart my account since they stopped charging me the $29/month membership fee back in April when the state and most of the world went into lockdown. Gold's was not even open for nearly 3 months due to the pandemic. Gods damned Covid-19. Now there appears to be a second wave of the virus taking hold nationwide so who knows, more lockdowns might be coming. What a bunch of crap!
We have been ridiculously dry for most of this month, but that appears to be heading for a big change starting tomorrow when we expect a "cutoff low" to park overhead for 3 or 4 days. Predictive radar showed us at 2.9" of rain Mon-Thurs. OMG! We do need the rain, but that is a lot. My chances of working on that Treats Falls deck are slim for at least tomorrow and Tuesday. Too bad because if we had better weather I would have gotten it all done. Kevin, Neil, and I can all team up for 1/2 a day and get most of the rest finished. Then I can go back myself for another 1/2 day to put on some finishing touches and get a large final paycheck. I'll spend most of my profit from that job paying income and property taxes. What a bunch of crap!
I'm not upset that we are expecting a lot of rain. I have other things I can be doing including finishing our own income taxes and taking care of my tax clients. I have a new client coming tomorrow at 1300, and they have rental properties and self-employment so that will take a while. It will be decent income, too. Another client wants to come either Tues or Wed, and she also has rentals. I have a couple remote clients to also finish up and some indoor projects that I can tackle when I'm not doing taxes. Who knows maybe we will get a little dry weather tomorrow AM or Tuesday and we can go work on that massive deck a bit more...
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site of mine, I hear my awesome wife getting up (I got up early again because that's how I roll lately.) so I'm out like a fat kid in dodge ball. I can go say hi to Arya, too. Goonies never say die!
Friday, 6-26-20: Deck finally almost done.
Oh well we do need the rain because we are in a moderate drought now. Driest June on record or close to it. Today I wanted to finish the edge by the pool and deck the ramp, and we accomplished that just in time to quit for supper.
^Friggin' angled deck = extra work by a lot. A LOT. The deck is big, too. Colors look off, but that is just because of the sun angle.
^The ramp leading up to one of the entrances is not 100% done, but it is good enough to get them through the weekend. Maybe? Hopefully. Today their grandkids or other random riff-raff kids were all playing around there and I had to tell them to spread out of my friggin' work area before they got hurt. Just designing that ramp was not easy, and it is definitely no 12-1 pitch as required by ADA for use as a wheelchair ramp. More like 6-1 hehe. Oh well I did what they asked and made a functional ramp. Maybe I can finish it Monday, but probably not with a 90% chance of rain and with a tax client coming at 1300. I really need to get that job done because it is taking a long time gods damn it.
That ramp might not be the best idea considering they have grandkids who will play there. When it gets wet I guess it will be a hazard, but hopefully not. At least at its apex the thing is only 22 inches off the ground. Next week I'll get some steps in there and put new siding back onto the house so it actually looks complete. Some of what is shown in that photo is just sitting there so holes are filled and no dumbass kids break a leg before I can get it all done properly. Neil put up some CAUTION tape not shown so those mentally-challenged kids better respect the boundaries. Maybe the kids are not 'tards, but any kid who tries to play in a work area while THE WORKERS ARE FUCKING WORKING is probably a couple nuts short of a fruit basket.
My tax business is going great, and I was there not long ago working on some stuff for clients before I got half drunk and quit. Soon it's time for Jester's where I will drink some more. I won't drink too much (hopefully) so I can hang out with my awesome wife this weekend. No work this weekend, F that, and in a perfect scenario no work all of summer. That is not realistic, though. Not with tax season ending July 15th and more and more people calling, e-mailing, texting, and needing an appoitment. I need to do more research on passive rental losses for a client, but first I need some more information from them about the rental so I'll worry about that more next week. I'll have at least two appointments next week and two the week after. It is more than I expected, but that is A-ok because doing taxes is easier than building a deck while missing-link kids try to play on it. What a bunch of crap!
Alright turds, all two of youz, I am going to Jester's now with my Covid-19 deflector shield in hand (my cheapo mask.)
Wednesday, 6-24-20: Another work day down in
Neil went down to Oakland with me yesterday, and I'm very glad he came because he is a skilled handyman. I told him in advance the day would be hard and hot, no shade, so I half-expected him to not want to go. Thankfully he didn't bail on me because I would have had a really long day yesterday without his help. Instead it was "only" about a 9.5-hour day for my ass including the one-hour drive each way to and from.
We started off removing some rotting framing and ended up with a nice, square hole:
It really didn't take us too long to measure and cut a few 2x8 joists and secure them into place:
^By the time we got to that point it was nearly midday, and we were both soaked in sweat. I tried to work with my shirt off as much as possible to air my sweaty self out, but in direct sun 100% of the time (even indoors under that giant hole what a bunch of crap!) I didn't want to get a burn. I have a great tan, but being shirtless in the sun for hours on end is not a great idea. That sun is so strong this time of year. It was HOT and hard to stay hydrated.
In the afternoon we got the hold covered with plywood, and the hardest part of the afternoon was getting the ice/water shield installed. The air temp was probably in the 80s in the shade, but in the direct sun and elevated on that roof it felt like 100+ and that ice/water was NOT easy to work with. It's incredibly sticky and easy to screw up.
We finished around 1500, and I'm glad I had a spare shirt to wear for the ride home. Yesterday was humid, too. Today would have been a better day to do that with forecast temps only in the mid 70s and cloudy most of the day. However, a line of thunderstorms is expected so I didn't want to me doing that and have a downpour soak the inside of Phil and Danielle's house while it was open. Phil had a giant tarp nailed in place over it to shed rain, but thankfully for him there has been no rain since they pulled the window.
I'm glad to have that hole sealed properly and water-tight so the next time I go (hopefully with Neil!) I can start new shingle install and/or sheetrock the inside. I'm hoping Phil can reinstall the exterior trim, but he gets so busy that he might not have a chance. I won't go back down there for at least a week because I have to finish this:
^I'm about to leave for an early trip to Lowe's to grab supplies and then it's off to that job site to install, install, and install some more. I'd love to finish that job by Friday, but I don't think I can. There's still just too much left to do. What a bunch of crap! We might lose part of today to showers (50% chance) and I have some things to do in the tax office either this afternoon or tomorrow. We framed that area by the pool 12-inches on center for the composite decking on Monday; I decided to go 12 on center because it will be a high-traffic area and I want it to last a very long time.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site, I should go do things now. Get it done early, quit early, burn 10000 calories, get lots of exercise building things, and earn decent money being a carpenter for the time being. My only complaint, and a minor one at that, is the fact that most days lately have been hot and humid. Only in the 70s today will be great, but sadly the humidity is still high so we will sweat a lot.
Still beats -20 in the winter. By a lot. A LOT.
Sunday, 6-21-20: RIP, Sully.
If I were a better son I would have gone down to Warren to visit Dad today, but I was just down there a couple weeks ago for Dad's birthday so I don't feel that badly about not going. Jason hung out with Dad for at least part of the day today; they were at the range shooting skeet when I called earlier and now it is close to bedtime. I was within a few miles of Warren yesterday when we went down to the Rockland Breakwater, but we had three friends with us so we weren't about to crash Mom and Dad's place just to say hello.
Today would have been a pretty good Father's Day, but sadly an unexpected trajedy unfolded this afternoon. We let the dogs out and were going to sit out back and enjoy some beautiful summer weather when Kat noticed Sully, her 4-year old orange cat, was laying on the floor and looking pretty beat. Labored breathing and not much energy. Kat used to be a vet technician many years ago so she is no idiot when it comes to our pets. She knew immediately something was seriously wrong, and we ended up heading over to the emergency vet clinic asap.
Due to Covid-19 the vet has you drop off your pet and wait in the car so we left Sully there and waited in the parking lot. Thankfully it was not 95 degrees today like it was yesterday and Friday, but it was still not a very comfortable wait. We ended up spending nearly three hours waiting both outside and in the clinic itself because once the terrible news came in as a phone call we were allowed to enter with our masks. Sully had congestive heart failure and failing kidneys and was not going to survive.
Kat got a chance to say goodbye before Sully was sedated and put to sleep with us by his side. It is shocking and incredibly sad because he was only 4 years old and seemed healthy and all-good not long ago. Apparently cats of any age can have this happen; he was never mistreated or infected with some kind of disease. For some reason his heart just started to give out, and that led to other issues with his body leading to his passing away today. We could have kept him going for a little while longer, but it would not have been fair to him at all. No known cure. I feel so badly because Sully was Kat's favorite of her 5 cats. He was also my favorite of the bunch, and I am really shocked he passed away at such a young age.
Sully was a mild-mannered cat who never did any stupid shit to piss me off. I am NOT a cat person at all, but I got along just fine with Sully and loved to see him climb into cardboard boxes and other funny little nooks and crannies. He was neither agressive nor destructive, and he loved to sleep in the recliner with other cats right by his side. Katherine's cat, Winston, seemed to be Sully's best friend so I feel badly he lost his feline pal.
^He was the most photogenic cat, ever. My poor wife's heart is broken right now.
Friday, 6-19-20: HEAT WAVE
^Photo taken 11 years ago wow. We had some epic fun times at those wrestling shows, but ever since Jivin' Jimmy Capone sold IWE to a new owner it hasn't quite been the same. Plus there is no IWE now anymore thanks to Covid-19. What a bunch of crap!
Def Leppard sings Armageddon It from the best album of all-time, the album I hope I can listen to one final time before I die either of old age or, more likely and hopefully, before I freeze myself to death. If I freeze to death I maybe won't really die and I can come back one day in the future and have a Wesley Snipes nemesis like Stallone did in the underrated funny movie called Demolition Man. hehehe.
Come on Steve, Get it. Guitar solo FUCK YEAH DEF LEPPARD 1980s-early 1990s = 100% AWESOME AND IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME THEN I HATE YOU. I probably hate you anyway, but I will hate you a little more.
It almost feels like a "normal" pre-pandemic Friday night. My awesome wife is at Jester's (Back 40 of course) and I am at home writing on my bootleg site that almost no one will ever read. I did a very light workout in my bootleg gym, I talked to Mom on the phone, and now here I am feeling better after eating those 380 peach-flavored calories. It is almost taps (2200), and it is probably still 80 degrees. Where is the air conditioner gods damn it?! We do not own one, but maybe we should. 95 degrees today, 95 tomorrow, down to "only" 89 Sunday. Nothing below 80 in the long-range, and low temps 60+ each night will suck.
I will haul my half-drunk ass down to the bar soon. I have photos of that deck that is only 3/4 of a mile up the road from this very house on Parkway North. Having carpentry work so close to home = awesome. Unfortuantely it is almost more than I care to handle. I got Neil involved in the job this week, and he is fucking awesome. He is comfortable running power tools, and he is not afraid to work. Kevin, Neil, and I have made great progress since Wednesday when Neil joined the team.
^Photo from yesterday PM. Neil does some framing (left), Kevin installs decking (right), and I float between the two as needed. That pool looked quite inviting yesterday when it was 90 friggin' degrees in the afternoon. Not sure, but I don't think we have had even one cloud block the sun since Sunday. OMG!
I still have to "picture frame" the edge closest to the pool; I'll do that Monday. Today we only worked until 1030 because I had an 1100 tax appointment. I made some good money this week, but it was hard friggin' work. That deck job keeps my brain in over drive because there are so many complexities involved including weird angles, that upper deck, and a ramp needing a final design and install.
Both Kevin and Neil are at Jester's right now so I will head on down soon. I want to see my awesome wife because she is great. I got a couple drinks in me, and I did take that afternoon off and had a nap so in theory I have enough energy to last until 0200. Tomorrow we'll go hang out along the coast since Bangor will be 95 again. "Only" low 80s at the coast so gimme moar of that. Sea breeze is a bunch of crap early spring, but in summer it is very nice. Expose sings Point of No Return, and this song is also great. If you don't like 80s music then you need to gggggggggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt ooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!
I want crackers. Guy needs more fuel because guy burns thousands, no joke it is thousands, of calories each day. Guy must replenish so guy does not waste away to nothingness. 210 ore calories from this 6-pack of crackers = HELLZ YEAH!
Wednesday, 6-17-20: "I wish I hadn't taken
this FUCKING JOB."
I started getting frustrated yesterday afternoon at that job site, and I said to Kevin "I wish I hadn't taken this fucking job!" Apparently the homeowner was on the top deck when I said that because Kevin said I was overheard. What a bunch of crap! I meant it, though. The amount of earth-work there has been ridiculous. We have had to dig out around one entire side of his pool and parts of the other side, and there is still a pile of dirt to haul away and dump via wheelbarrow-load. The new deck has a larger footprint and sits lower than his bootleg old deck did so we have excess dirt, rocks, and roots. It fuckin' SUCKS. Plus I was exhausted yesterday as we tried to do our final footing-hole and kept hitting rocks.
I had to take two fuckin' asprin today because I'm sore all over. Tennis-elbow, check. I wore my arm-brace for half the day yesterday, but it was just too much work. I really did underestimate the amount of ground work needed for this job, and that is my bad. I should have told the homeowner to get his frigging pool fixed by professionals and then I'd come back and build a deck once that bullshit was done. The pool "professional" was not available until July 1 so the guy decided to run new lines and tie them in himself. We still can't back-fill it all until he does a pressure-test today. What a bunch of crap! This job gives me a pressure-test.
The amount of physical exertion required for this job has on at least 3 or 4 of the days compared to the work I do when blueberry raking. The bonus is I am in awesome physical shape. I only weigh around 142, and I had my best jog time since October 2016 on Monday. I'm not all jacked up like a bodybuilder, F that, but I am feeling pretty fit overall. Today I am NOT feeling so fit after all the work yesterday, but that will pass and my arm won't be going numb by the end of the week. (I hope!) The earth work is mostly done and now we can build, build, and build some more.
I took pictures of Kat's recording studio that her and I mostly finished on Sunday. I was going to post them yesterday, but I had to go do other things. I really like how it looks:
^Two panes of 1/4" glass in the door for a window. Looks like a closet so when we sell the house in the future then any buyer who does not plan to record music can use it for storage. Very quiet storage hehe.
^Lots of acoustical foam on the inside. I screwed up the door so it is a little warped and does not close perfectly. The sound-booth is not totally sound-proof. What a bunch of crap! Maybe an under-door sweep will help with that. Putting window-type insulation all around the door for a seal was not easy. A lot of work went into that booth so I want it to be something she can use and be happy with. She helped a lot with painting and installing the foam panels. The inside of the booth was totally her vision and looks really great.
Alright turds, all two of you who actually read this bootleg site of mine, I need to go do other things now. Goonies never say die!
Tuesday, 6-16-20: Another early morning.
Kat is still sleeping so she can see the trivia question and probably get it right because she is smarter than me. I really had no idea what the answer was so the nice thing about a multiple-choice question is that 25% chance of accidentally getting it right hehehe. Pretty soon I will do yoga then maybe lift a few weights in my bootleg gym before I meet either Pat or Stewart from code over at my Chamberlain St duplex. I plan to put a deck here:
I was tempted to do the deck without pulling the $50 permit, but I don't want to get shit on later for it so I'll do it right. I already dug two 4-foot holes for the footings, and I plan to pour concrete into 10" sono tubes with a center rebar piece. Posts will be 6x6, framing will be 2x8, and hopefully code doesn't give me any grief about any of that or about my property-line setbacks. I know I'm good on the sides, but the 30-feet I need to the rear line will be close...
If the code guys don't crap on my plan too much then I can pour those footings before I head over to Treats Falls to keep working on that deck. Pouring the footings will take a good hour since I have 8 bags of concrete to use. I bought the concrete 2 or 3 weeks ago and covered them with a tarp so hopefully they all didn't harden up. Barely any rain has fallen so I don't think I'll have moisture issues. If I lose $40 worth of concrete and lugged 640 pounds for nothing then I'd have to say "What a bunch of crap!"
Speaking of my dumbass website catchphrase, that is often how I feel about that Treats Falls job. The homeowners go back and forth on decisions often, but yesterday they finally decided to get composite for decking since pressure treated boards have been out of stock all month. Even finding pressure treated framing lumber might be a challenge now so today I should calculate what else I need for framing both for my Chamberlain duplex 10x10 deck and for that Treats Falls deck. I still have plenty of 2x6 lumber at Treats Falls, but it will go fast. Yesterday I worked there only about 4 scattered total hours doing framing. This is how it looked when I quit around 1500:
I wasn't sure I would even be able to work on that deck today, but last night the homeowner finally texted me back that he finished connecting the PVC lines to his pool so we can back-fill. He didn't text me until 2230 so I didn't see it until revielle since I don't look at my phone when I am bivouaced. Most nights I don't even keep my phone in the bedroom! Out of sight, out of mind.
I'm very happy with the amount of framing I got done yesterday while flying solo at the job site. I didn't have Kevin help because I knew I would be going back and forth between that job and my tax office. I worked for a little bit there before a tax appointment. After time spent at the tax office it was lunch time then back to Treats Falls then that same tax client had to come back to finish then it was back to Treats Falls before home for a 3-mile jog. Good thing the tax office, that deck job, and our own house are all only a quick mile or so apart.
So my plan today will be to arrive at Treats Falls around 0900-0930. Kevin can start back-filling by the pool, I can tidy up some of my framing, and we can dig and pour what will hopefully be the last 5 footings closer to the pool side of the new deck. Then tomorrow we can finish the framing and *maybe* even start installing the decking itself. Neil offered to help so I can have him and Kevin start decking install while I figure out the wheelchair ramp and maybe finish some of the pool-side framing. I'd love to get that deck done by Friday, but both Thursday and Friday will be 90+ degrees (what a bunch of crap!) so that will slow us down. A lot.
I need to figure out where I'm getting the decking from. I was going to use Hammond Lumber, but the sales guy I have been working with totally sucks at getting back to me so I might just use Lowe's. Lowe's is cheaper anyway plus I get a discount there with my Lowe's card. I'll pay more at Hammond for better service and faster, free delivery. If I don't get the better service then Lowe's is the way to go, 100%.
Sunday, 6-14-20: Out first "Goonie adventure"
of the year.
Coronavirus, aka Covid-19, has been affecting our nation and most of the world for over three months. For a while almost everything was shut down, but now we are slowly reopening. Governor Mills still has an order in effect regarding out-of-state visitors that will keep hurting our short summer economy. Anyone coming in from afar is supposed to self-quarantine for 14 days, and they can't stay in our hotels until closer to the end of this month. OMG! I think that is pretty harsh, but it is not my decision to make.
So the tourist hot-spots were very accessible yesterday because of the pandemic. There was plenty of parking in town Bar Harbor, and we were able to get right into a great restaurant with outdoor seating for a seafood lunch right on the waterfront. My only complaint about Bar Harbor is their gods damned parking meters. The things have a big logo saying to download the "Smart Park" app to pay so I complained to no one in particular about the ills of the technological world while Kat did that on her phone (I do NOT have a smartphone.) She wasted about 10 minutes getting that set up so we could pay $2.50, and then I noticed on the back side of the meter was a spot to just jam in quarters or a credit card. HAHAHAHAHAHA. What a bunch of crap!
After a great lunch we worked our way down to Jordan Pond in Acadia, and we walked the 3.2-mile pond loop trail. Neither of us had done that trail before, and I highly recommend it. If you do it start on the left and return on the right (facing Bubble Rock) Then we met up with Neil and Ang and were going to play mini-golf, but the place was pretty crowded so we skipped the mini-golf and just headed back towards home with a stop at Pat's Pizza in Ellsworth for a good supper. Kat and I finished the day by watching The Invisible Man, the new remake version, and then it was bedtime. The movie was not too bad, and at times it was friggin' scary because I am a pussy when it comes to scary movies hehehe.
The weather forecast is awesome for this coming week:
^My only complaint is the heat and humidity that is expected for the last part of the week. Kat will beat me if she hears me say that too much since she loves the heat hehe. I should be able to work outside every day as long as my schedule doesn't fill up too much. I already do have a 1000 tax appointment with a new client tomorrow; the tax office has seen a steady trickle of clients and will see quite a few more from now until the Covid-19 extended filing deadline of Junly 15.
I don't know if we will have a full day or work tomorrow at Treats Falls or not. The homeowner needs to fix his pool and finish running new water lines to the pool before we can back-fill all the dirt. I do need to figure out if he can have a wheelchair-ramp in this corner:
^A standard, code-compliant ramp will have a 1-inch drop for every foot of length. There needs to be a nearly 2-foot drop so that requires a 22-24 foot long ramp. He wants an L-shaped ramp to go along that edge, and that is what I would want also if it was my house. Unfortunately an L-shaped ramp requires a 5x5 platform for a turn so that only leaves 6 and 3 linear feet for the drops. (11x8 corner overall) so that only allows a 9-inch drop. Not even half needed to comply with code what a bunch of crap! I can make the drop more steep, he actually asked I do that if needed, but code needs to come see it so I don't think that would be okay.
We didn't want code to get involved at all with the project, but last week he had two heat pumps installed and the heat-pump company needed to pull a permit to run a new 220-wire so code had to show up. They saw all the deck construction and now Mr. Homeowner needs his permit. I told him he would need a permit back when we first started, but I also told him I didn't give a crap if he got one or not since it is out back and private. I would not have gotten one if it was my house. (I didn't get one for our own back deck 3 years ago but shhhh don't tell the city. Doesn't matter the assessor already saw it and raised our property taxes what a bunch of crap!)
Well Atlanta is burning because cops shot another black man. What a friggin' mess! More calls to de-fund police, more dumb tweets from President Trump, more Covid-19 cases and talks of a second wave of the virus since things have started to reopen and since all the protests and rioting across the entire country. The news is sad so we will turn it off and clean the house. Then maybe I can finally finish Kat's recording booth in her studio today.
Friday, 6-12-20: Another step closer to "normal"
We have not had much rain at all in the past few weeks, and no rain is forecast for several more days to come. We only got a couple hours of steady and somewhat heavy rain yesterday midday so I think soon we will officially reach drought status. Great weather for working outdoors most days, though. Plus the lawns are not growing too fast so that is less mowing and more time for carpentry and other activities. The morning today started off humid, but things dried out nicely and it has been a fantastic afternoon. We did work over at Treats Falls for several hours today, and I got some great exercise digging there. More on that shortly.
It is early evening, and my awesome DJ-wife is getting ready for her first night of work in close to three months. Jester's is opening for karaoke tonight, but it will be an unusual setup in the space they use for wrestling shows now informally dubbed the Jester's Back 40. With Covid-19 restrictions easing yet still in place tonight might be a weird night. How busy will it be? You are supposed to wear a mask into the place and while walking around in there, but how can you wear a mask when singing karaoke and drinking your beer? When you are at your table you don't need your mask. I don't know how people will be about all of that and/or how closely people will follow the CDC guidelines.
Stupid fucking pandemic has taken a back-seat to other goings-on in this great nation of ours that maybe really is not so great. A cop killed a black man in Minnesota eariler in the year by kneeling on his neck for over 8 minutes WHILE THE GUY WAS HANDCUFFED OMG. The poor guy said he could not breathe and was asking for his Mom and shit. It was a fucking mess of a scene, and thanks to the miracle of modern technology it was all recorded by someone with what I presume was a cellphone. Now there have been marches, riots, and uprisings all over the country including a movement to disband the police. People seriously want to just end police. What will take the place of the cops? I guess we just promise to behave more? Working great in cities where looters have smashed out shop windows and stolen merchandise. Those FUCKIN' DINKS. What a bunch of crap that is! I don't care if you want to protest, but looting and stealing makes you a piece of shit.
I am done with national news crap. I turned it to channel 1928 to listen to a few minutes of 80s music before we head out to load up gear and set up in the Jester's back-40 or whatever they want to call it. Hopefully the kitchen is open or else I should eat more food here at the house. I do plan to stay down at the bar for the entire night not because I think it will be epic fun but because I need to support my awesome wife and be a part of her show. I won't sing, F that, but I will have a few beers and watch things unfold.
I already ate three meals today, but I burned what feels like 5,000 calories earlier and who knows I might just have done that if not more. We did yoga at 0630, and I was at Treats Falls digging an hour later. By 0800 I had sweat rolling off me because I am a glutton for punishment and agreed to dig this side of the pool out:
The photo doesn't really show how arduous that shit was. It was a bunch of crap! There was no easy way to dig it, but it had to be done. I could have told the homeowner to fuck off and find someone else to do it, but that didn't feel right. I do want to help them get their new deck and get that pool straightened out. I'm not messing with the pool itself, F that, I just got it dug out. He said he can have his son come over with a winch or rope or something, they can hook it to his truck, and they can pull it so it straightens out. I hope for his sake they can get that done so on Monday we can get that area back-filled and keep making progress. Until he figures out that pool we are just about shut down because there is too much dirt in our way now.
That is a good photo because you can see Kevin loading up some debris and the awesome view of the river and old waterworks on the Bangor side. We also took 1120 more pounds of old deck to the new Brewer Transfer Station; that is a slick place and I would recommend them. They charge something like $120/ton so it costs more than the landfill (Would have been $40-50 at the city landfill vs. the $64 paid today), but they are open Mon-Sat so that is a huge plus. Military discount, too. The city landfill has been closed since March and won't even reopen until the 20th. Under normal world conditions, Covid-19-free, the landfill is only open the first and third Saturday each month so access is quite limited there. What a bunch of crap!
I took 520 lbs of deck debris to the transfer station Monday so that is 1640 pounds already removed with hundreds of pounds more left to haul on. The truck is full with another load that I didn't take yet because I wanted to jog and eat before we got ready for Jester's. Over a ton in lumber from that old deck. Wow! Trash removal can be a big part of any remodel job and it is an easy thing to overlook when planning and budgeting. I figured 6 man-hours, 3 hours each, and $150 for the debris from this job so I'll come fairly close to that estimate. Homeowners are paying actual costs; I am billing Kevin and I hourly for this big job.
I took a little power-nap not long ago, slept maybe 20-30 min, so hopefully I don't get too wiped out and drunk later. Sometimes when I am too tired I don't have as much fun late-night and I just want to bivouac. My awesome wife can't drink at all tonight because she is on a new medication called disulfiram that supposedly has shown good results in fighting lyme disease in other patients. The drug seriously restricts her diet as well to exclude most condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc. There is a huge list of foods she should not eat. What a bunch of crap!
I'm not working this weekend unless something serious comes up. Phil could use my help and I feel badly not going down to his place, but I promised Kat I would not overdo it with the work and summer is so fleeting here that we need to be spending time together. We might go down to Bar Harbor tomorrow PM, and Sunday we can take care of some things around the house and not work too hard. I could use a rest after working so hard today on that digging. I do need to eat more food to fuel my precious... precious body. Not heavy fuel, though! Hehehe.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site, I gotta go get ready to go down to the bar to set up for karaoke. Another step forward towards returning to a normal, pre-pandemic world. Will tonight be fun? Sadly and honestly I only give it a 50% chance.
Wednesday, 6-10-20: Stupid job that I probably
should not have taken.
The tenant called me just before supper, and thankfully we live close so we could drive over and take a look at this:
Kat knew it was a cockroach, but I didn't know since I have never lived with them before or seen them at any of the rentals, ever. First bedbugs now cockroaches. Gods damn it you know you are spending a lot of money when Mark from Modern Pest knows it is me calling when his phone rings. What a bunch of crap! (Unpaid endorsement, Modern Pest always treats me well. Enjoy your two clicks, ever, Modern Pest marketing team!)
I had Mark take a look yesterday afternoon, and I finished my mowing at the tax office lawn before I did a drop-off tax return and called around for pressure-treated decking boards. So yesterday was another morning-only day at that Treats Falls deck job. Today I might be able to work there into the afternoon. Maybe? Hopefully! However, we have to take Kat's 2015 GMC Acadia to the shop for a routine oil change, tire rotation, and state inspection. The sticker ran out in March, but due to Covid-19 I don't think the cops give a shit if your vehicle is not up-to-date on inspection. I care more about the oil change than I do about the sticker.
Last week I dumped $837 into my own truck for new tires, oil change, sticker, and some front brake cleaning. My truck's old tires were not too tread-worn, but there was dry-rot. I had planned to get a newer truck this year, something with a 7-foot plow, but maybe that can wait until next year...
After we drop the car off at 0800 I have my client coming to the tax office at 0830 to sign, pay, and to give me free beer. (I have some really awesome clients!) then I can go work on that deck for a couple hours before lunch. Hopefully midday the car is ready so we can get that, I can shovel in food and do a bank deposit, and then Kevin and I can work a few more hours over at Treats Falls on that deck. Rain is expected tomorrow, 70% chance of showers, so we might not be working on that deck tomorrow at all. Of course I have other things I can be doing so I won't be bored if we do get a washout of a day.
Rain has actually been scarce lately. We had a few showers Saturday, but other than that not much at all has fallen from the sky in the past three weeks. The lawns are not growing very fast so I probably won't have to mow the rental lawns again for at least a week. Our own back yard will need it sooner because we water it and it grows fast. Normally I would say screw that to watering a lawn, but we seeded bare patches and want it to fill in with new grass. There is some new "peach fuzz" grass appearing in many of the bare areas now. Awesome!
We would make more progress at that Treats Falls deck if we didn't have to waste our precious... precious time moving plants. The wife seems nice, but she wants to save plants so I had Kevin dig a few out yesterday. It might seem easy, but some of them are pretty big and this one, forget it:
I'm gonna tell her today that we are NOT fucking gardners, and we cannot transplant that one. We can haul it the fuck out of the ground and it *might* live or she can find someone to take the time required to dig way down to get all the roots. We already dug some, but it will need more effort and that is not on my schedule gods damn it. I actually won't tell her that, I'll tell her husband.
Crap like having to move plants and epic piles of dirt everywhere from when the pool repair people had to last work on the lines really slow us down, and I don't have time for that shit. I already told the guy I didn't even want the job, but after he pretty much begged me to take it here I am. At times it does feel like a dumbass job that I should not have taken. What a bunch of crap! I've put in just over 30 hours and we still have not even begun to frame what will be a new 800 square-foot lower deck. Doing the earth work, prep, and supporting the upper deck including rebuilding a brand new upper-deck frame took a long time (as expected.) I very roughly figured 140 man-hours for the entire job, and so far Kevin and I combined are at 50. Earth work and more footings will easily take several more hours, framing will take a couple days, and decking even longer.
^It did take many hours to secure and re-foot that top deck, but I am pleased with how the three main posts look now. Normally I would build a deck with the support beam facing away from the building, but I had to work with existing shit so I made it work, it looks decent enough, and most importantly it is now safe. 4-foot concrete piers for each post. I will add a couple cross-bracing with scrap 4x4, but no rush on that.
Speaking of decking, pressure treated decking is out of stock everywhere. What a bunch of crap! No clue when it will come back in either. Cedar is available at Lowe's (it was Monday anyway), but that is double the cost and harder to maintain over its useful life. It is also more prone to dings and nicks, and they said they have grandkids who will ride bikes all over the thing so cedar does not seem like a good fit. Finally, cedar rots faster when on a ground-level deck so they should not use that there. I dunno what their budget is and I'll do whatever decking they want, though.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg blog of mine, I gotta go we have to get the vehicle into the shop then it's time for my loser-ass to get to work. Goonies never say die!
Friday, 6-05-20: Birthday party soon for my awesome
I contemplated taking a nap, but it is already 1515 and I have a couple more things to do before party-time. We need ice for coolers, I have rent in the drop-box to go collect, and I have an invoice I can draw up for my deck customers. This morning Kevin and I worked over at that place, and sweat was flowing since it's mid-summer weather conditions. Not a heat wave, and not stifling. 80-ish degrees and sunny. Hammond Lumber brought a truckload of supplies right at 0730, and it was nice having the materials there that we needed to get through the morning. Today we got two new posts up for this deck:
We also poured another concrete footing for the post on the far side, and we added another brace since that post is now gone. Well, it's not exactly gone but when it sits on the ground it's not holding up anything hehe:
Physically I am beat. I don't even want to go for a jog today. I had a very arduous week doing carpentry, digging, and/or demolition every day, and yesterday I had to take a break from working on those decks pictured above to go down and help Phil. He has epic fail rot all around one corner of a massive skylight, and I don't really know the right way to fix it so he and I have to work together to figure it out somehow. He did a lot over two days when I couldn't go help him, but it is not close to done. Here is a photo of things as of later in the day yesterday:
^The rot runs up along the bottom of that skylight and on the right side, but we don't know how far it goes just yet. We do know it is a bunch of crap! Skylight looks like it would be a great feature for their house, but it makes that room 100+ degrees on sunny summer days.
I have to get some of these projects cleared off my list, and I really need to firmly tell people NO if anyone else tries to hire me for anything. Maybe in the fall I can squeeze in some smaller project, we'll see. Gavin still will need me for a lot of sheetrock and finish work later this year, and I have a lot of my own work to do around the rental properties. I feel a little overbooked at the moment. What a bunch of crap! Mom texted me yesterday morning to invite me down for Dad's birthday this Sunday, and I don't even want to think about that right now. Maybe I will go, I dunno. I don't plan to work much this weekend because I really need a break. My body was really feeling it today when Kevin and I were trying to get 4 feet down for that last footing hole. That last foot of depth came hard, and I'm glad I only worked a half day over there today. It felt like a whole day, though.
I think two drinks will get me pretty drunk tonight and 4 or 5 will put me into oblivion. Hopefully tonight won't turn into a shit-show, but it probably will since we have 25 people coming. Someone will get too drunk, someone will puke, someone might fall into the fire, someone might piss on the floor in the house... all of those things have happened here in the last couple years. What a bunch of crap!
Monday, 6-01-20: Flying in a tiny airplane =
^Kat quickly became a better shingle installer than me because of her "OCD" that she says she has. I believe she has some OCD, but I also believe almost everyone has it to some degree. She made damn sure the spacing and height was just right for each shingle.
We couldn't finish all the shingling in 2018 because it is a BIG house and we both had other obligations. Last year Dakota (now Katherine's ex sadly that relationship did not work out) helped me shingle the rest of the place, and we ran into more rot issues just as Kat and I had encountered the year before.
^From last year in the spring. Early May maybe? No leaf-out yet. We started around the back in April so at least a couple of weeks had passed by the time we got to that front side. Both Phil and I knew there were serious water issues around that massive triple skylight, but I told Phil I'm not qualified to deal with that shit. Plus I really didn't have time. Shingling that house took way longer than I expected. What a bunch of crap!
Phil and I have talked about the potential rot around that skylight a few times this year, and he agreed the best route was to get a real contractor. I've become pretty good at a lot of things carpentry-wise, but I don't have the right knowledge or confidence to be dicking around with rotting walls around a bigass skylight. I knew opening up that can of worms would lead to major work. Phil found a contractor who did look at the skylight earlier in the spring, but the guy disappeared and never returned Phil's calls. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully he didn't take any up-front money before he ghosted Phil.
So Phil and Danielle don't have a real contractor at their disposal and they are "stuck" with me. I feel obligated to help with that skylight since they have given me so much work these past two years and since they are good people and good friends. Too bad it's an hour drive one-way to their house. There is a somewhat faster way via air, but that will never, eeeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr happen again. More about that in a moment...
Yesterday was finally the day when I made it down there to spend the day helping Phil open everything up around and beneath that skylight. I didn't want to do it because I knew it would be a difficult challenge, and sure enough there is mega-rot between the bottom of that big skylight and top of that big window. The header for the window was built 5.5" thick using three 2x8s and 1/2" plywood sandwiched between each 2x8. (2x6 walls.) and in one 2 or 3-foot span the entire header was rotted all the way through. OMG! Structurally there are issues there, and it is all-bad. The sill above that header is also rotten as are at least a few of the rafters.
Phil owns a tiny little airplane, and he has invited me to fly a few times. I always have a reason why I can't fly with him, but finally I told myself no more excuses let's do it. Phil loves to fly so he came up to Brewer in his little "puddle-jumper" plane; Brewer does not have a commercial airport, but there is a grass strip over at the "Airport Road" that works for his style of plane. I got to the air-strip/grass field a few minutes early and had time to watch two deer and to question my sanity. The winds were increasing, and then I saw Phil coming in and swaying in the breeze. He landed great, and it was actually fun to watch. He gave me a crash-course in the basics of being in the plane (how to run a couple controls in case he died I guess?) and we were off.
The takeoff FUCKING SUCKED. A gust of wind hit as we just got airborn, and the plane bounced and lurched. I never felt like we were in actual danger because Phil knows how to handle his plane (I hope!), but the motion was uncomfortable. My biggest fear was not dying, I don't give a shit if I die, but I didn't want to chunder and get puke all inside the cockpit of his plane. Thankfully I didn't blow chunks, but the 45-ish minute flight to Waterville did make me very queasy. I had a puke-bag in my hand the entire time, just in case. Wind gusts did bounce the plane and there was turbulence, but I wouldn't say it was awful. The views were spectacular from an elevation of around 2000 feet. A front had come through the day before to sweep away what had been mid-summer heat and humidity so the air was clear. Also, the landing in Waterville was easy and fun to experience.
Phil was going to fly me home later in the day yesterday, but F that I asked him to drive me instead. I felt a little bad that he had to drive, but it's 2-hours round-trip for him to drive and a flight is about 2 hours also when you factor in the preflight checks, securing the plane after the trip, etc. FUCK FLYING IN THAT PLANE AGAIN! It made me feel nausious and weird to the point that it probably took a good hour to feel like myself again after we landed. Even if I had wanted to fly home I think we would have had to drive because it was really windy up here right up until dark last night. much more windy than our morning flight had been. He can't fly in really strong winds because his plane is just too small. No lights, VFR only, and built for easier weather.
We almost had a fucking frost last night. 35 degrees are you kidding me?! Tonight there is a frost advisory in effect. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! It was still very windy today and it felt like early-mid October. I went for a jog and made it the whole way without walking, time 23:09. That is my best 3-mile loop time in maybe 2 or 3 years. Oh Jesus hell ya!
Today was a misc goals sort of day, and my awesome wife and I both got an early start. Up at 0515, at Lowe's by 0615, working on the recording booth by 0700, dropping truck off at the shop at 0800, back to work on the booth while Kat took Groot to the vet for an ear infection. Bye bye $837 for the truck, bye bye $250 for Groot. An expensive day! The truck needed new tires, some brake repair, a sticker, and an oil change. My old tires weren't worn down tread-wise, but they were starting to crack in spots and would not pass inspection. I had a feeling I needed new tires so no shock there. Eventually I want a newer truck, but I say that a lot and never make a change. What a bunch of crap! My "badass" F150 is almost 10 years old and cosmetically I beat on it. No doubt it is a work truck, 100%.
Tomorrow I will start earning precious... precious extra money for us to resupply the bank account when I start this job:
I firmed up a definite start with the owners today, and I'll have Kevin help me tomorrow with a goal of removing most if not all of that old deck. There is much more to remove than what is pictured, and the new lower deck will be a big 800-ish square feet. Part will wrap around the house, and the outer edge will be angled, so it is not simple. The failing top deck needs bracing, too. I guess it will take me and a helper 70 hours each, but there is no way to know for sure. I'd like to have it done within 3 weeks time, but finishing even sooner = YES PLEASE.
Yesterday I helped Phil with the intent of not going back down to his place for a couple weeks, but he needs help and is actually taking time off work to keep plugging away at that rotten skylight-area. Today he built bracing on the inside and hopefully tomorrow and Wednesday he can make good progress. I'll go help him again Thursday, and this time I WILL DRIVE IN MY REPAIRED TRUCK ON MY BRAND NEW TIRES THAT WILL GIVE ME 18MPG! Oh wait, my old tires probably also gave me that mileage hehehe. I DEFINITELY WILL NOT FLY IN HIS PLANE AGAIN IT MAKES ME MOTION-SICK.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this pathetic excuse of a site, I'm done. Fin. I did not finish the recording booth today because the gods damned door is warped. I have a bootleg vice-solution in the works so let's pray to the gods who do not exist that I can get it straightened out. If I can't fix it then I officially SUCK!