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 6-15 7-15 8-15 9-15 10-15 11-15 12-15 1-16 2-16 3-16 4-16

“You could go to this gig with me” –Kat
“Why would I want to go to a party with you?!” –Katherine (her 17-year old daughter)


Sunday, 5-29-16: A hugh weight off my chest.
I did it again. I have told myself on many occasions over the past years that I need to get better at it, and then I go and do it all over again. Often times when I have a vacant apartment I want to put work into the place so I can make improvements and make it more desirable for the next tenants. That's all fine as long as I don't have a tight deadline to meet, but I get into the habit of finding new tenants before I finish all the work, I want the new tenants to move in as quickly as possible so I can get more rent money, and then I have to bust my ass to get it all done before my deadline. What a bunch of crap! When I have many hours of work to do in one unit in a limited amount of time plus my obligation to other apartments and to my family then it suck to be me. It is an epic failer.

The apartment I've written about for most of this month is finally done, but in hindsight I wish I had allowed myself until the 31st of this month to put on all the finishing touches instead of last Friday the 27th. I found new tenants for the place who seem like good people, and they are finally moved in and hopefully happy with their new home. Having the place done and having them all moved in and paid up is a huge weight off my chest, but last week was quite stressful for me as I had to put in very full work days in order to get it all done on time for them.

I am quite pleased with how the place turned out. It's far from the Ritz, but for a 3-bedroom with access to a nice gym at a price point of about $900 a month it's a good value for a tenant. The apartment was in need of some work, and that actually surprised me a bit because the years have a way of slipping by quickly. I've owned that building for almost 11.5 years. Wow! I put quite a bit of work into the place many years ago, but in the last several years I hadn't done too much besides a few smaller repairs. Now, about $1900 later, the place is back up to par thanks to a lot of work since the 1st of this month (minus a week for our awesome family vacation of course.)

I replaced all the flooring in the living room and kitchen with a nice wood-like laminate cherry. The stuff sells for $1.49 a square foot with a 25-year residential warranty at Home Depot:


Not a paid endorsement, but they should pay me because this site gets a shitload of traffic and it might lead to one sale. [sarcasm] I love that flooring, and I plan to use it again as early as next week when I start doing some work in my old apartment. The flooring looks nice, it is pliable which is a huge plus for older buildings with uneven floors, and most importantly it installs very quickly. Whether it stands the test of time or not remains to be seen, though. It definitely won't last 25 years like their warranty says, especially in a rental property, but if I can get a decade I'll be happy.

^In the kicthen facing the living room area.

I had originally intended to "only" replace the living room floor and do a transition seam to the off-white kitchen floor, but that kitchen floor was over a decade old and nearing the end of its useful life so for the extra $200 I felt the right decision was to continue on and do the whole space with brand new flooring. Doing the entire floor makes a huge difference, and it make the place look so much nicer now. I probably could have priced the place at $950 and had no trouble finding renters, but I'm happy with my $900. The old tenants paid $870 and I had no intention of raising their rent so I'm still ahead of the game now. There were three adults, two dogs, and a baby there for $870 so now it's only two adults (a younger couple in their 20s) and their small little dog for $910. Not bad! Their rent is "only" $890 if it's paid on or before the 1st each month so that's a great value for them. (My rents are due no later than the 7th each month.)

For the first time in weeks I feel no compulsion to rush. I might actually even finish this bootleg update today! Lately I have been starting an update, but then I can't finish it all until a day or two later because I have so much to do. It's Memorial Day weekend, and yesterday I went with Kat to a party down in Carmel for a hippie-themed gig. It was a beautiful day with a good crowd who loved Kat and who paid her an extra $100 to stay a bonus hour. Thankfully the weather was great because it was an outdoor party and it didn't look like they had any emergency plans/tents for if there was rain. We brought our own tent because Kat is prepared like a boss, but thankfully it was beautiful, dry, and it felt like the middle of summer. Score!

Today I plan to maybe run over to Lowe's to buy some supplies for the house remodel. I haven't even touched this house all month because I was working in that apartment in the photos above. Plus we took a vacation, I had lawns to mow, I had family obligations, I had to shoot a turkey, etc. I'll mow the back yard if it doesn't rain and maybe do a little work on the house, but maybe I'll just sit around and be a vegetable for most of the day. I might use the gym or go for a jog I suppose. I haven't exercised enough this month, but I've done ok. Working on that apartment was its own form of exercise as is mowing all the lawns. Those pesky lawns grow so fast this time of year, too. What a bunch of crap! Including our lawn here at the house I have 7 lawns to mow in total. Most are small, but each one takes up my precious... precious time. I would guess it takes me 4 total hours to do all the mowing and weedwacking for everything, but I normally break it up some so I don't have to do it all at once. Hopefully I'll sell my Bangor duplex later this year and that will reduce me to "only" 6 lawns.



Thursday, 5-26-16: The apartment is almost ready.
I have new tenants moving into the first-floor apartment tomorrow (where Doug and Tommy lived over a decade ago), and I roughly figure I have 9 more hours worth of work to do in the place between today and tomorrow morning before it's ready for some photos and a short little video clip for the Bootleg Properties archive. Every time I have a vacant apartment I try to put at least a little work in and take fresh photos and a video. Those photos and videos are invaluable when it comes time to advetise. A solid marketing campaign along with more current photos and video really help bring in higher quality prospective tenants.

Yesterday I installed a new living room floor, and it looks damn good. Having a nice new plywood subfloor makes a huge difference as far as ease of install. It only took me 3 hours to install about 250 square feet of the flooring. Awesome! The stuff I bought goes together super-fast; I really like it and I plan to buy a bunch more of it this morning.

I decided to continue the flooring all the way across into the kitchen in the apartment so I need another 135 square feet. That will really make the place look nice. I also plan to buy extra because I will need to replace the flooring in all three bedrooms in my old apartment. That apartment will be available early next month, and replacing the bedroom floors has been on my to-do list for quite some time now. Each room is about 100 square feet so bye bye $450-$500 for all that flooring. However, it will be money well-spent in the end because I can't have ghetto-looking worn out carpets in there forever. In my old bedroom the carpet is really old; when I moved into the place in 1998 the carpet was far from new and that same carpet is still in there.

Okay, I'm back and it's evening now. Kat is getting ready to go up to The Roost for her Thursday night karaoke show. I'll go with her, help her set up, and then drive back down to that apartment so I can finish up installing the rest of the kitchen floor. I worked on the place for about 5 hours this morning (including 30 minutes for a stop at Home Depot after dropping Katherine off at school) and got the bathroom pretty much done. A little more caulk and a quick piece of 1/4 round along the base of the shower/tub will check that off the list. I wasted a half hour of my precious... precious time earlier when I put the toilet back on. I used a regular wax ring and it didn't seat right so water leaked out of the base of the toilet when I did a test flush. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully I had an extra large wax ring handy so I used that and got it right the second time around. I only swore at it a few times, too. Not bad! I've installed at least a dozen if not two dozen toilets in my life so I should know better. My bad.

^New bathroom floor and trim looks very nice.

I still have about 4 hours worth of work, maybe 5, in that apartment. The kitchen floor and all the transition seams should take less than a couple hours and then tomorrow I can do all the little things including a final cleanup and my photos/video. If all goes as planned I'll be 100% done with the place by midday and then I can start doing showings of my old apartment in the afternoon. I have four showings lined up for that apartment tomorrow, and I only had the ad for the place posted for well under one day. Not bad! I actually met people yesterday who have potential. They filled out an application already, but I wasn't able to show them the apartment so they'll look at the place in person tomorrow and then we'll see if they still want it. I haven't even processed their application yet so I will have to do that ASAP.

We had a nice little cookout here on a beautiful summer-like evening and celebrated Daniel's 22nd birthday. It was a great night to eat outside, but it looks kinds like it's snowing at times thanks to all the pollens in the air so I sneezed a lot. Allergies are affecting me this week on occasion. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, it seemed worse last spring. Hopefully by next week there won't be as many pollens in the air. Copperpot is back to normal after getting neutered on Monday. That afternoon he was really lethargic, but by Tuesday he seemed a lot better. Now he's running and playing hard, and he still gets up at 0545 each morning. What a bunch of crap! I didn't get enough sleep this week, but I did bivouac for an hour or two this afternoon before the cookout so I do feel well-rested right now.

I gotta hop my arse in the shower and get ready for a trip up to Orono with Kat and then a couple more hours of work on that apartment. I could blow off working on that apartment entirely and just hang out up at The Roost until 0100, but getting some of that work done tonight would be a huge bonus for me. If I don't do anything tonight then I will have to get up at 0500 tomorrow so I don't feel too pressured to get it all done before they roll in with their U-Haul truck. I an super-excited to check this project off my list because it has used up a lot of my precious... precious time this month.



Tuesday, 5-24-16: I shot a turkey and skipped a recital-thingie.
I have a shitload of work to finish this week, but I decided to make time to go visit the family on Saturday down in the midcoast. About two months ago Holly invited us to Nadia's recital-thingie, but I told her we couldn't go because we would be away on vacation. However, I had my dates wrong in my head. Nadia's recital was scheduled for May 21, and I thought our vacation was May 14-21. Oops. Our vacation was actually May 7-14.

I didn't want to go to Nadia's recital-thingie, but I planned to go because I never visit my 5-year old niece and it's good to see her function in society. Right? Kat and I went to a recital-thingie of hers last year, and it seemed to last forever. The thing is a big event at the Camden high school auditorium that has a whole gaggle of little oxygen-suckers doing different things so it takes a few hours to get through. Nadia was in the thing last year for only a small fraction of the entire event. What a bunch of crap! I hate going to plays and stupid crap like that. Normally when I get roped into going to one of those bootleg events I just daydream and look at the program 1000 times so I know how close to the end we are.

I honestly can't even remember what Nadia did during her recital-thingie last year. Did she dance? Did she sing? Did she stand there and giggle? No clue. I don't think she did anything solo; I think it was in a big group of little kiddies. Probably this year's was the same, but I wouldn't know because I didn't go. Uncle of the year! Another thing that irks me about these recital thingies is the fact that no matter how much they totally suck the audience loves every little stupid things the oxygen-moochers do. Most of the kids are way too young to have developed any real talent so they just fuck around in a semi-coordinated shit-show yet the audience eats it right up and claps 10000 times. What a bunch of crap!

When I was in second grade we all had to go watch some student play-recital thingie. Everyone clapped yet I booed loudly. Hehehehehe. The teacher(s) got PISSED OFF when I did that so I had to go to the principal's office. What a communist bunch of crap! Even worse

I did plan to go to Nadia's recital thingie even though I think those things are fucking stupid. However, I found out a couple days before the event that it didn't start until 1800 on Saturday. OMG F-THAT. If I went it woudn't end until probably 2130 and that would put me back home way past bedime.

I'm watching some of the morning news as I write this bootleg update to no one in particular. They've been talking about a plane crash, Trump vs. Hillary, Cosby in more legal trouble for being a womanizer.

Even though I didn't go to Nadia's recital thingie I still decided to go down for a visit. I planned to turkey hunt for a bit in the moring with Jason and Pop before visiting my adorable little niece. That meant revielle was 0500 Saturday; we went to bed at 0230 after Kat's Jester's gig so I got about 2.5 hours of sleep. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, it happens. On the drive down to the ol' homestead I kept my eyes peeled for any turkeys in fields along the road, and in Prospect off 1A my alertness (thank you, Monster Energy drink!) paid off when I saw a nice Tom fanned out amog some hens. Sweet!

I immediately hit the skids and pulled off the road at the lower end of the field. There weren't any pesky NO TRESPASSING signs, and the nearest house was on the far end of the field a good 150-200 yds away. Looked good! I jumped into my camo right there on the side of the road, I grabbed the 870 and decoys, and I headed into the woods with the edge of the field in view. I planned to set up my decoys in the back edge of the field and try to call them over to me, but the turkeys were in view as they had all moved closer to my side of the field so I just left the decoys on the ground with me in the woods, I positioned myself to have a shooting lane into the field, and I hit some gobbles and yelps on my cheap call. The Tom responded immediately with gobbles of his own, and he worked his way over towards me. After a few minutes he was close to the edge about 25 yards away when he poked his head up and I gave him the buisness. One shot, one kill.

^Dad took that picture at their house later that morning.

I definitely called that Tom turkey over to me with my cheap call; I didn't even need the decoys. Awesome! I was only about 60 yards in the woods off the road so I could hear and see vehicles passing by. Thankfully it was only 0545 so traffic was light. I was hoping people at the house 150-200 yards away and in view on the opposite side of the field didn't come out to see what was going on so I put a frigging wiggle on it and got my ass the hell out of there ASAP. Dad has a scale so we weighed him, and he came in at 19 pounds with 3/4" spurs and a 10" beard. Not too shabby!

We saw a few different turkeys at the prison farm, but our attempts at calling didn't bear out for us. Jason tried to sneak up on a couple toms in a field, but he got thwarted when he just about stepped on a hen near the woodsline "beehive blind" area. She must have had a nest there in a juniper patch because she was making a ruckus there and pretending to have a hurt wing. That scared off the other turkeys. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, he got two turkeys out at the farm last night so good for him. He's actually coming up for a while today to get his second van lettered over at DaVinci Signs in Hermon so I'll go pick him up and we'll hang out and have lunch.

I spent a while visiting Nadia on Saturday early afternoon before I started heading home. It was warm, near 80 degrees, so I had to put my turkey on ice all day. I did stop off at Harbor Audio Video in Camden for a final farewell. The store is officially closed after 33 years in business, but they had a little party for the community there from 1200-1600 so I thought it would be nice to stop in and pay my final respects. Mom worked there as the manager for almost 20 years. OMG. I know it's hard for her to see her place of work close up forever, but she did see it coming long in advance. Not many people go out and rent movies anymore, not when movies are so readily available on demand and via Netflix, etc. It was a good run, but the video-rental storefront market is all but dead these days.

I don't think Mom will retire just yet, but for now I hope she takes some time off and enjoys the summer. She does have a few opportunities already thanks to knowing half the people in Camden from all her years at the video store. If I were in her shoes I'd probably want to do something part-time for a few years and then fully retire. She'll be 60 on September 1 so she's not quite old enough to collect Social Security just yet.



Friday, 5-20-16: 27 hours worth of work left?
Yesterday afternoon I roughly calculated how many more hours I need to put into the first-floor apartment above my gym (Doug and Tommy's old apt) before it's ready for the new tenants. I have just over one week so there's plenty of time, right? Well, not so fast on that. I can make time, but an estimated 27 hours of work is quite a bit considering I will need to mow all the lawns again in a few days tops, I'm going to the midcoast for a good chunk of tomorrow, Copperpot gets neutered Monday, and Jason comes up Tuesday. Oh, I also didn't bivouac last night/this morning until after 0200 so I'm running on about 4 hours of sleep. What a bunch of crap! I am so sleep-deprived it's beyond ridiculous so today I need a nap in a major way.

Who knows, I might be able to get everything done at that apartment in less than 27 hours. Or it could take 40. (I hope not!) Thankfully most of the suspended ceiling grids have been painted now so I can check that off the list hopefully today. White looks so much better than the black that was in the bedrooms:

Installing the new ceiling tiles in that room will take 2-3 hours; I also have to replace the light fixture and clean up in there so I allocated 3 hours for that task. I replaced the ceiling in the living room about a decade ago, but since then some grubby fuck-face tenants had smoked in that apartment so the grid was starting to turn a gross-looking yellow. Thankfully white spraypaint makes it look new again. Unfortunately, a lot of the paint went all over me yesterday thanks to gravity. What a bunch of crap! I came hope for lunch and looked ridiculous yesterday with paint on my face and arms. Hehehe.

I finished the new plywood subfloor in the living room. It looks and feels so much better to walk on; it is nice and sturdy now and should support a nice floating laminate-style floor:

^I just need to fiish some floor leveler at the transition from the LR to the kitchen. Installing that 15/32" ply took a few hours, but it was a good investment of my time because that subfloor was truly a bootleg bunch of crap.

I pulled the fridge out from its little cubby yesterday, and it was a shit-show of dust and dirt:

^WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! I bet that hasn't been cleaned in over a decade. The fridge is 15 years old. OMG. It doesn't look that old and it still works just fine; I have a spare like-new fridge in the shed that I wanted to install there, but the spare fridge is 65" tall and my maximum height clearance there is 61". Close but no luck gods damn it. Oh well, I'll just hope the current 60" tall fridge lasts a few more years before it craps out and I can find a new one that fits just right in that space.

Kat started hosting karaoke up at The Roost last night, her first Thursday up there. During the UMO school year she hosted karaoke on Wednesday nights, but now that it's college summer break the owners wanted to try a different night because they thought Wednesday would be dead. They preferred to try karaoke on either a Friday or a Saturday night over the summer, but Kat works at Jester's on Fridays and has a bunch of gigs to do on Saturdays this summer so neither of those days would work for her. Last night wasn't nearly as busy as Wednesdays were during the school year, but that was expected from the start. The crowd wasn't actually that bad at the end, but in the beginning no one wanted to sing. We did stay until last call so it was a late night. It remains to be seen if the owner wants to keep karaoke going for the whole summer or not. It wasn't crazy buy up there last night, but karaoke needs time to build a following when it's new. Even though karaoke is not new to The Roost it is new for a Thursday night.

Part of me hopes they decide to not have any karaoke up there until college starts back up after Labor Day in early September. Kat and I could use the extra time to relax and enjoy the summer. However, the extra money is nice to have coming in. We would be ok without that money, especially since summer is less expensive than winter, but it is always nice having more $$$$$$$$ coming in. We don't have to pay much for heat this time of year, but there is still the Mountaineer payment, utilities, the mortgage, etc. If only I had a spare $120k lying around we could pay off this house and make the mortgage payment disappear... I remember a couple years back having some plan to work part-time for 5 more years and using all that money to pay off the house, but that ended up being an epic fail. That plan involved my ass working at UPS, and fuck that job up its anus because I'm better off still owing $120k on the house and having my precious... precious freedom. I do want to get this house paid off ASAP, though.



Tuesday, 5-17-16: Back to work and back to the usual routine.
The epic family vacation is in the rear-view, and now it's time for my ass to WORK. I worked a lot yesterday and a fair amount today. The rest of the week will be busy before I hopefully can catch a little free time Saturday. Then all next week I expect to be busy again. Me being busy = a recurring and underlying theme of my life these days. What a bunch of crap! I long for the days when I can putter around and "only" work a roughly part-time schedule at least for the summer and fall. Those days will come as long as I am patient, and if they don't I'll throw a temper tantrum! Hehehehe.

There is so much that I didn't have time to even write about from our family vacation in Cancun last week. Thankfully my Sweet Pea took a shitload of great photos so we can look fondly upon them all when we're waxing nostalgic in future months, years, and decades. If I had more time I could easily post a dozen more photos from the trip; I didn't even get a chance to post photos of the pools, the beach, Akumul, the Turtle Farm, the villa where we stayed, etc.

Nope, there ain't time for any more vacation photos. Time to post photos of the apartment where I plan to spend many hours over the next 10 days. Last evening at 1730 I officially rented the place. Score! Before we took our vacation I did 5 showings, I got 4 applications, and I approved one that looks very promising. A nice couple who seem to like the place; I get a good vibe from them and their application is solid. We came to a verbal agreement before we left for vacation, but because I wasn't even in the country I couldn't have them put down a deposit and sign my standard agreement. I hoped they still wanted the place when we got back and thankfully they did. They paid their $300 deposit last evening so it's a sealed deal now. I hope! (People signed and paid a $300 deposit at the end of April but then they had to cancel. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully I kept most of that deposit.)

These new people want to move in beginning next Friday May 27th. That gives me 10 more days to get the place put back together and, as always, my little lipstick job has turned into much more. I decided to replace this ceiling:

^White dots are long gone thanks to Katherine. Not much of the ceiling is visible, but the tiles all looked old, crusty, and bootleg. Plus I think the black-colored beams look like a bunch of crap so I painted them white. I'll try to do the same in the other bedrooms if time permits.

I ripped out the living room and one of the bedroom carpets:

^The living room subfloor is a shit-show. Uneven in many spots with crusty-ass ancient yellow tiles in the middle there. What a bunch of crap!

Taking out that carpet SUCKED. A lot. The little 12x9 bedroom floor probably took me no joke 1.5 to 2 hours just removing the carpet. It was industrial-grade carpet that was glued down, and that glue is TOUGH. I had to rip it up piece by agonizine piece. I had hoped when I had that carpet installed nearly 8 years ago it would last 20 years, but nope. DENIED. It was worn out and frayed in spots so I just thought it was too ghetto-looking and I had to haul on it.

I also hauled on the living room carpet as shown above. That was 250 square feet, 2.5-times the size of that bedroom carpet, so I thought it would take me all frigging morning to remove. Thankfully I got real serious and found that my roof rake worked pretty well for prying it up. I got it all up in a couple hours when I thought it might take 3-4 hours. The subfloor is a MESS. It's a bunch of crap! I probably could just throw down more carpet because carpet is more forgiving on a shitty subfloor, but I am sick of carpet in that living room. I've already had 3 different carpet in there so F that. The layout of that apartment is not condusive to carpet in the living room because that is the entry. Instead I bought 8 sheets of 15/32" ply so I will install a good subfloor and then install this vinyl fake-cherry wood flooring over the plywood. The small bedroom won't need a new subfloor (I hope!) so that saved me a few bucks, but the subfloor and flooring itself set me back $727 today. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, it needed to be done to make the apartment look badass instead of mediocre. The new people better take good care of it or else I will stab them in the face.

In other news, the Red Sox did a lot of winning while we were gone so they're 24-14 so far on the season. After a mediocre April this month has been great for them. Gas is arond $2.25 a gallon, and it's been about that price for a few weeks. Earlier this year it dropped to below $2 a gallon for a while. Oh jesus, hell ya! Hopefully the price stays reasonable for the rest of my life, but I'm sure it won't. Maybe before I am too crusty to drive cars will run on electricity so it won't matter. Hehehehe. In politics it looks like the two main presidential candidates will be Hillary Clinton for the democrats and Donald Trump for the republicans. Both canditades suck, but Trump is a way better choice than Hillary. Hopefully a good independent candidate decides to run so I have a reasonable alternative. If not I suppose Trump will get my vote. [sigh]

Alright droolbuckets, all two of youz, I am out of here for now. Drop and gimme 25!


Monday, 5-16-16: A fun vacation.
We got home yesterday from our week-long vacation in Mexico at 0515. OMG. It was a long day of travel back home, but we actually made it on schedule as planned. We flew out of Cancun at 1230 to land in Houston at 1445. We had a long 4.5-hour layover in Houston before leaving for Boston at 1930 (CST.) The weather in Houston was terrible with thunderstorms all around, but by some miracle we launched on time. Sweet! However, lightning flashed across the sky all around us as we ascended through the clouds. Departing in a thunderstorm = what a bunch of crap! Thankfully the plane didn't get zapped and there wasn't even much turbulence. We landed in Boston just after midnight, we grabbed our bags, and we headed out for the 4-hour drive north to get home. Overall it was a long day of travel and we were all beat when we finally did get home. We pulled into the driveway just as a thunderstorm with a heavy rain shower hit. Bad karma, eh? I took a few hour nap then get my ass up so I could start doing some work. The lawns needed mowing in a major way and I had a huge pile of crap (literally!) to take to the dump.

Flying out of Bangor or even Portland would have been great, but the prices were much higher per ticket and with 6 tickets to buy we just couldn't justify that expense. (Daniel didn't go so "only" five of us went, but we already bought Daniel's ticket before he bailed on us. What a bunch of crap!) It sucked having to drive all the way down to Boston, but at least doing that did get us a nonstop flight down to Cancun whereas a flight from either BGR or PWM would have meant more layovers not only on the flight down but also on the flight home.

The vacation was great! We all got to spend some quality time in the hot sun, we saw Mayan ruins in Tulum, the kids got to snorkel with sea turtles and swim with dolphins, and we brought back some cool souvenirs. Our resort was beautiful. Check this place out:

^View from the balcony of our 3rd-floor 2-bedroom villa at the Villa Del Palmar Resort in north Cancun.

^Same view, left side of the grounds and out into the Caribbean Sea. We could also see in the distance the Cancun hotel zone off to the right in the above photo (party area for spring breakers I suppose) and Isla De Mujeres off to the left in the above photo.

On Monday last week we went to Tulum to see Mayan ruins. We hired Pepe, a taxi and private tour driver, for only $220 for the entire day. Pepe was very nice and accommodating; hiring him was definitely the right call. A tour bus to Tulum and Akumul for the day would have cost us $75-100 per person through a company tour, and we would not have been able to do everything at our pace and on our schedule. I got Pepe's contact info and positive feedback from our Royal Resort owner's chat forum so owning a timeshare paid off for us bigtime on this vacation. Some people might say timeshares are a ripoff and perhaps many times they are overpriced, but for our purposes we couldn't be happier to own our week down at the RH in Playa Del Carmen. We traded for an Arizona trip this fall, and we booked this past vacation as a getaway on Interval International. All thanks to our timeshare that we bought last year. Oh Jesus, hell ya!

^Hi beautiful wife. Taken in Tulum at the Mayan ruins. Hat on backwards because the sea breeze was greedy and wanted to claim my MADKAT DJ SERVICES ballcap. Hehehe.

The ruins in Tulum are right on the ocean as you can see above (all two of youz) so the views were breathtaking. We also went to Akumul for a really great lunch and the kids swam with sea turtles. After that a good part of the day was used up so we headed back to Cancun for a stop at the Wal Mart. The super Wal Mart down in Cancun is fucking awesome. We were able to go to get supplies and food (kitchen in the villa = score!) The bakery at that WalMart was superb; we got a cake and all kinds of donuts and pastries for just a few dollars. The alcohol selection was also eye-popping. I got a fifth of Captain Morgan's for only about 6 bucks. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I did have some drinks while there, but I never had more than 2 or 3 in any one night. Some nights I didn't have any booze, especially on the nights were we had long days after our excursions.

We had a 2-bedroom villa with a kitchen and plenty of room. The balcony was also fantastic and had a hannock. I'd give the room a 5-star rating, no doubt. Overall I'd rate the entire resort around 4.5 out of 5; the place was gorgeous and the staff was wonderful. However, their Internet was a joke and the beach was somewhat lacking. They charge $10 per day per device for wifi at the resort. What a bunch of crap! They do "only" charge $60 for a whole week for one device so we paid that to have Kat's computer connected. Since Daniel didn't go and our cellphones don't work down there we wanted to be able to check in on him via Kat's email and Failbook page. We were able to check in on Daniel several times while there, but sadly the Internet didn't always work and it was often slow. When you pay $10 a day you expect the shit to work gods damn it. Other resorts down there have better Internet so that is why we were not impressed.

We did save some money by going to their timeshare presentation. That only took us about 1.75 hours to do and by wasting our life at that thing we saved a lot of money. They gave Kat and I a free breakfast, we got a 15% off card for all our meals and other purchases at the resort, we got a $50 room credit, and we got a great price for the kids to swim with dolphins. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Overall we must have saved a couple hundred bucks because we did the timeshare pitch. I still don't even know what the hell they were trying to sell us at the timeshare thing because I shut my pie-hole and let them give their pitch pretty much uninterrupted. They wanted us to buy 1000 points for $28,500 to which we obvious said F that! Then they offered us a better deal. 2000 points for "only" $166 a month for probably forever. We still said thanks but no thanks and we were back to the vacation.

On wednesday Kat got onto a boat for the first time in her life, a ferry over to Isla Mujeres. The 45-minute trip landed us on the lovely little island where the kids got to swim with dolphins and we rented gold carts to tour the entire 5-mile-long island from north to south and east to west. On the southeastern tip of the island was beautiful Punta Sur where a whole flock of birds hovered in the sky above waiting to launch missles onto unsuspecting tourists.

^They poop a lot!

We looked up and commented to each other how it would suck to get dumped on and then just a couple minutes later a bird shit on Kat's lovely straw hat. What a bunch of crap! I laughed hysterically and then I got shit on not long after. Hehehehe. Right on my arm, too. Oh well, such is life.

^Punta Sur. Visit it because it is great.

It does feel good to be home, but it sucks knowing how much gods damned work I have to do this week and into next week. I have an apartment somewhat torn apart that needs to be put back together, and I should work on getting the thing actually rented. While we were gone the lawns really sprouted so yesterday I had to do some mowing. My lawns are really long so it sucked pushing the mower through them. Plus, to add insult to injury, the weather took a major dump. Most of last week when we were gone there was fantastic weather here, but now it's a toilet. Yesterday I had to mow in cool, rainy conditions and today will be even cooler with a high of only 50. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, at least I did get 2/3 of the mowing done yesterday. Plus I took a load of trash to the dump. Score! Free dump week was May 8-15th this year. Figures they'd have it the week we went on vacation. Gods damn it!

Copperpot spent 10 days in the kennel so we were very excited to finally be able to pick him up yesterday afternoon. Since he stayed over a week they gave him a free bath and now he's nice and fluffy and clean. Nice! We missed our Golden puppy a lot so it's great having him back home with us where he belongs. Unfortunately, he got up very early this morning so once again I didn't get enough sleep. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, small price to pay, right? Plus we did bivouac a little earlier than the norm last night so I got enough sleep to get me through the day. I'll drink half a Moster Energy drink in a bit before I take Katherine to school and then I'll be good to go. (I hope!)


Friday, 5-06-16: Cancun-bound tomorrow!
We leave in less than 24 hours for what should be an epic family vacation down to Mexico. We had originally planned for 6 of us to go, but sadly Daniel decided he would rather stay home so now only five of us are heading south of the border. We'll be leaving the house tomorrow around 0530 and driving down to Boston to fly out of Logan International Airport for a 1200 departure time southbound to Cancun. We did consider flying out of either Bangor or Portland, but the price difference from Boston was huge and with 6 tickets to buy that resulted in many hundreds of dollars, actually I believe over $1000 saved by going to Boston. Plus flight times and options are better from Boston; we have a nonstop flight down to Cancun from Boston whereas a flight from either Portland or Bangor would have had two layovers and taken longer. Layovers = often unaviodable but do not want. Long layovers = what a bunch of crap!

Driving 235 miles one-way to the airport in Boston vs. 4 miles one-way to our local Bangor airport = what a bunch of crap; however, it was the right thing to do financially. Yes we will pay $140 to park and another $60 in gas, but that's nothing compared to our flight price savings. Unfortunately, we do have a 4.5-hour layover in Houston, Texas on the flight home from Cancun back to Boston next Saturday the 14th. We actually don't even arrive back into Boston until Sunday the 15th at 0019 so just after midnight Saturday night. By the time we get off the plane, collect our bags, and get to the car we won't even leave Boston until 0100 or so that night. That should put us home around 0430-0500 on Sunday morning the 15th, and I'm sure we will all be BEAT at that point and crash out for half the day once we do get home.

We're staying at a resort called the Villa Del Palmar in north Cancun, a place we booked as a GETAWAY through our Interval International timeshare exchange membership. A stay at our home resort of the Royal Haciendas would have been great, but we weren't able to book a full villa (2BR suite with a kitchen that sleeps 6) there when we wanted to go so we found the well-reviewed Villa Del Palmar instead. Photos make the place look very nice:

^It's a newer resort built only a few years ago, and supposedly our villa has 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, and even a washer/dryer. Nice! it better not end up being the ROACH MOTEL or else heads will roll. Thankfully through the magic of the World Wide Interweb I was able to do extensive reading beforehand; tripadvisor = awesome site. (Not a paid endorsement and if it was I'd get credit for two views so would make about 5 cents click-bonus. Hehehehe.)

It's only 0700 now, and I would love to still be in bed sleeping. Unfortunately, my ass woke up at 0539 when Copperpot stirred, and I was already half-awake anyway so no big deal. I have a lot of little things to do today before we leave, loose ends to tie up. Hopefully I can check some of those things off the list this morning and then maybe take a nap this afternoon before we drop Copperpot off at the kennel and then I (might) play racquetball. It will suck leaving Copper at the kennel for 8 days! He's always been right here with us so hopefully he does just fine in his new temporary home. I wish we could bring him with us on our vacation gods damn it. We will miss him a lot.

I showed that vacant first-floor apartment 5 more times over the past 48 hours, and four of the five are DENIED. One lady actually did not fill out the application because she said she had to talk to he husband. She was hard to communicate with because of her accent, but it's too late for her ass now because I do have the place rented. Again. I think. Maybe? I met a nice couple yesterday morning, they applied, and I ran their application and got an approval all in the same day. I called them around 1900 last night, they said Oh Jesus Hell Ya, and I pulled the ad. They said they definitely want the apartment and asked about meeting up to pay a deposit. I could have squeezed them in today, but since I have a lot of other things to do and we will be gone all next week I told them we can take care of it when I return from vacation. It is a bit of a risk in case they back out while we're gone, but I've showed the apartment 10 total times and have gotten an amazing 8 completed applications for the apartment so I doubt I will have trouble getting it rented to others if needed when we return. Plus I already have $789 in total rent for the place for May so no huge worries. Thank the gods who do not exist for security deposits!

The previous tenants left the place in ok shape, but I've seen better. (I've also seen A LOT worse!) Check out their awesome paint job in the living room:

OMG WTF, OVER?! Nice of them to finish painting... NOT. What a bunch of crap! They lived there for almost four years so not a huge problem; I won't charge them security deposit money for it. Dillon and Katherine already painted over that baby blue back to my standard light tan Bootleg Properties color. After four years I would have had to paint anyway so it's not really a big deal about the blue color, but all I wanna know is why? Why would they live there for so long and not bother to finish painting those walls? They started that light blue last year so they had plenty of time. Giblets!

Check out their baby's bedroom:

Nice white wallpaper dots... NOT. Great for a baby, but not so great for most other people. I am ok with that grey paint color, but the dots had to go so it took Katherine about an hour to haul on all of them and touch up the paint. Thankfully they peeled off without causing any real damage to the sheetrock wall, but Katherine had to peel them slowly and that costs precious... precious time and money so bye bye $15 from their deposit for that. Giblets!

I decided to put some extra work into that apartment so I am replacing the suspended ceiling tiles in that bedroom, I'll be installing some new flooring, the bathroom needs some love, and I need to install a new entry door that connects to the interior hall and mailroom. The door there now is a flimsy hollow-core interior door that had a hole punched into it on the back side thanks to a former nincompoop tenant from many years ago (my brother if I recall correctly. Epic fail.) I'll put a nice steel door there; that has actually been on my list for years anyway.

I do plan to bring my notebook computer to Mexico, but I doubt I will update this steaming turd-heap of a site whilst we sit by the beach and pools. Internet access at our resort is $10 per day per device. OMG! What a bunch of crap! We'll probably pay for Interweb a few times so Kat and I can check email and see how Daniel is doing. I gave all the tenants my email address and told them they can send me an email if they need me for anything that is not an emergency in nature. For emergencies I will have them call Gavin and hope that no one actually calls him. This time of year no-heat calls are more rare, and it will be in the 60s most of next week so no one will freeze even if a furnace does die. Hopefully there are no fires or floods while we're gone.

When we get back from our vacation I will be busy because I have to finish up that apartment pictured above. The people who want the place need to be out of their current apartment by June 1 so we tentatively talked about May 24 as a date I'd have the apartment ready for them. That gives me about 8 days, plenty of time if I motivate my ass. I didn't get much work at all done on the place this week because I wanted to go turkey hunting and I had other things to do.

Looks like my old apartment will be available next month, too. That has not been finalized yet, but things are trending that way. I'll know by the time we get back from vacation since it's Debbie, Mandy, and Dillon's apartment right now. Mandy gave her 30-day notice on Tuesday by sliding a letter under my office door, but she didn't even bother to tell Dillon and Debbie. What a bunch of crap! Dillon has been living here with us since February, but Debbie now will have no choice but to move out, find roommates, or move in with us and share a room with Dillon.

Dillon is Kat's 20-year old son, and Debbie is his girlfriend. They have been together for years, since before Kat and I met. Dillon, Debbie, and their friend Mandy took a 3-BR apt at my Kenduskeag Ave duplex back in September of 2014, and they lived there until Oct 2015 when they decided to switch over to my old apartment here in Brewer. My old apartment is a bit more money per month, but I gave them a good deal and it is a nicer apartment overall. Earlier this year Dillon decided to break up with Debbie so he moved in here with us. He moved into this room:

^One day will be Kat's studio as originally intended.

That is eventually going to be Kat's studio, and it wasn't even done when he moved in with us. He broke up with Debbie in the middle of the might after what I believe was Kat's Thursday night gig down in Ellsworth. Thankfully the room was almost done; I busted my ass for a couple long days (peak season at JH so I had to do a lot of taxes then, too) and got the finish work and the floor done so he could move in quickly. He stayed downstairs with Daniel for a couple days while I finished that room.

After Dillon moved in with us Mandy gave her 30-day notice via a text message back in February. However, we worked out a deal where her and Debbie could stay in the apartment until Mandy finished school this spring. Dillon still paid his share of rent for the apartment and we let him stay with us for free. However, that was only a short-term deal that goes through this month so the girls had a deadline to either get a roommate or move out. Looks like at this point moving out will be their decision.

After Dillon broke up with Debbie he got back together with her about 2 days later. AAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! Young love! He just didn't want to live with her I suppose. Now they are dating and both going to Mexico with us, too! When we get back they will have to decide what they want to do for living arrangements. We did offer to let Debbie move in here and share Kat's studio and the soon-to-be completed other bedroom upstairs for a fair monthly cost. It was really nice of Kat to offer that to them because I know she'd love to finally get her studio. They haven't decided what they want to do yet, but hopefully when we are all on vacation together we can hammer out a solid plan.

I need to hop off this bootleg thing and go take care of stuff. Vacation tomorrow! Hopefully no major issues arise while we are gone and hopefully no Mexican drug cartels get into a gang war at our resort while we are relaxing in the tropical sun. Thankfully the Mexican Riviera region is a pretty safe place to hang out. Hopefully all the evil drug lords and their henchmen are on the other side of the country.



Wednesday, 5-04-16: Vacation, vacant apartment, black mold, and turkey hunting.
We leave in only three days to go on an epic family vacation down to Cancun, Mexico. Oh Jesus, hell ya! As usual I feel like I have 10,000 things to do before we leave for our trip. What a bunch of crap! What weighs on my ass most is getting an apartment ready to rent, the one I've written about a couple other times recently. I had the apartment spoken for and had approved applicants who actually met me on Sunday and paid a $300 nonrefundable deposit. They 100% wanted the place, they signed my contract saying they were taking the place and if they didn't take it bye bye $300 deposit, and then not even 24 hours later on Monday just before noon I got a text message:

"Good morning. I hate to have to tell you this but Lacey just texted me and said she is backing out of the apartment. This means there is no way I can afford the apartment by myself. I sent a bunch of texts to friends looking for another roommate but can't seem to find one. I understand I will lose the deposit I put down and want you to know I am completely and wholeheartedly sorry and would never do this if there was another way."

WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! I contacted my other approved applicants for the apartment, but they had already found a different place to live or something like that. They didn't want it anymore. PWNED. Thankfully I have rent covered until the 15th out of the security deposit from the Giblets who moved out and only gave me a week's notice. Plus I do have that $300 deposit from Sunday. However, it's more work for me now getting the apartment back on the market, and I really don't want to deal with it. Plus I feel bad about keeping all that deposit when she had to cancel so soon after signing it. (Less than 24 hours!) so if I can find someone ASAP and get some of her deposit refunded to her then it will be a win-win.

I just reposted the listing for the apartment as of 0630 this morning. I'll see what I get for responses today and maybe into part of tomorrow before I pull the ad again. I do have tenants who live in the 4BR upstairs apt. at that same complex who are interested in switching into that apartment since they say they don't really need a 4BR, but switching them would be a huge pain in the arse because then I'd have to try to re-rent their 4BR. Their current apt. is messy so showings would be hard, but it is a possibility and could happen. When I see them today I'll talk to them a little more about it and see how serious they are.

This vacant apartment is far from a worst-case scenario for me. I was charging the tenants who moved out $870/month, and their depsit pays $435 for May rent. That $300 deposit gets me up to $735 so even if I don't get it rented until June I'm not completeny screwed over. The people who moved out did a decent job cleaning, too. Not great, but much better than I expected. Nevertheless the place does still need work including paint, a new bedroom floor, and worst of all a new bathroom floor including some subfloor replacement. Look what I found on Monday afternoon when I took up a few cracked floor tiles near the shitter:


BLACK MOLD OMG. NOT GOOD. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! I guess the hopper was slowly leaking water from around the seal and that caused the mold in the wood. Hopefully dealing with that shit-show does not eat up too much of my precious... precious time.

So my plan is to pay Dillon and Katherine some cash to paint while I deal with that rotten floor, replace some ceiling tiles, do the bedroom floor, etc. They both could use the money for our upcoming Mexico vacation and it frees me up so I don't have to work too many hours over the next few days. They already did 2 hours worth of work on Monday, and that was a tremendous help to me. (It allowed me to discover that black-mold bathroom floor.) If I can get a few more hours from them between now and Friday then I'll be very happy.

I didn't do any work yesterday because I went down to the midcoast for a long day of turkey hunting. Dad shot this jake in the back yard at their house Monday morning, but he still has a tag for one more male "thunderchicken." I met him at 0800, and we headed over to the fields behind a winery off Rt 131. Our first setup didn't seem like it would lead to jack shit, but finally after about 30 minutes we started hearing incoming turkeys. Nice! Even better, one was a gobbler heading my way. I saw it through the trees and then it was in the field. However, it was out of sight due to the terrain. Fail! I waited and waited and finally he popped his head up, but when he did he was off to my left more than I expected so he saw me move and flew away. I suck!

We hunted that piece of woods and fields all morning and saw a few more turkeys, but nothing in range that was an option to shoot. In the afternoon I went into the woods off the Mtn. Rd and saw jack fuckin' shit. Later that afternoon we headed out to the Prison Farm where we saw all kinds of different birds in the fields. Unfortunately, the only bird I got remotely close to was a hen in the middle of the field. What a bunch of crap! It was a long day, but it was fun. I wish I had more time to turkey hunt with Dad, but I still have way too much going on and even that one day spent used up a lot of my precious... precious time that I could have spent working up here.

^I suck beause I don't go often enough, but at least Pop got one turkey so far this season!

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