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 5-16 6-16 7-16 8-16 9-16 10-16 11-16 12-16 1-17 2-17 3-17 4-17 5-17 6-17 7-17 8-17 9-17 10-17 11-17 12-17 1-18 2-18 3-18 4-18

"Inconceivable!" -Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) in The Princess Bride
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) in The Princess Bride


Thursday, 5-31-18: Come on bank, approve my loser ass.
Major real estate happenings since a spark formed in my somewhat simple mind just a few short days ago. First was a viewing Tuesday AM, second was a lowball $60k offer, third was a $75k counteroffer yesterday, and fourth were our final signatures just a couple hours ago. We now have a contract in place to purchase a very run-down and interesting property located only about 2/10 of a mile from the house. Oh Jesus, hell ya!


The asking price was $89,900, and there was supposedly another offer on the table for $85k yesterday. However, the other offer had more inspections clauses whereas mine did not so the owner liked mine more. Was there really another offer on the table? Realtors love to play games because they get commission to close deals, but I think in this case there was one other offer because in the chain of emails that was forwarded to me last night the other potential buyer was mentioned by name. Plus I know all too well that real estate can move fast once a certain price point and time of year fall into place. I've lost out before by taking too long and/or by not offering enough. I actually expected a counteroffer right in the middle between my offer and the asking price so that works good enough. At first I thought my max should be $70k for the place, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that going a bit higher still makes sense. The location is awesome.

I met with the bank yesterday, and I got the ball rolling for potential money. I plan to refinance two properties for the cash needed, but I still need to hear back from the bank hopefully today as to whether or not they think I am a turd in their proverbial punch bowl of potential loan applicants. I've heard NO from banks a few times in the past, but I have not tried in over four years to do a real estate purchase so hopefully this time is different. I have a lot more equity now, and I own one less property since I sold my bootleg Bangor duplex. Yesterday the banker dude, whose name I'll leave off this turd for privacy respect, said everything I brought makes me look good. However, they still had to get a few more things, pawn me off to someone else, and then run my credit so that credit score will determine what I can and can't do. A score less than 680 = I am turd. I think I'm 700+, but I don't know for sure.

^Hopefully I am not a turd in the bank punch bowl!

Today was fantastic weather. Maybe a tad on the warm side this PM when we hit 85, but I'll take it any day. The last 3 days have been good, and we've gotten plenty done outside. Revialle was 0515 today (no alarm set that is when my body stopped sleeping. Didn't help the dogs were roughing around. What a bunch of crap that was!) so I was working on the yard at 0620. I even had a chance to take the dogs to the park before 0700 because the morning was so nice. I got a lot done before lunch today so this afternoon I didn't have to work so much. A little here and there, but still time to read some of my book and spend some time with my awesome wife.

It's about suppertime now so I'm out like a fat kid in dodge ball. Next update hopefully I'll know whether or not I can get $75,000, and I'll also have photos of the landscaping work/driveway expansion that has taken up much of my precious... precious time this week. Goonies never say die!



Wednesday, 5-30-18: Just signed an offer for a property.
Revielle was about 0600 this morning, 45 minutes ago, and I just finished signing some e-documents online. It seems gone are the days of doing real estate deals in person, and that is okay. Yesterday Kat and I took a look at this vacant property that is located right around the corner from our own house:


I had emailed Jody on Monday afternoon letting him know that I was interested in taking a look, and he wrote right back to me. Even though Monday was Memorial Day and a national holiday that didn't stop him from a quick response. He sent me the access code to the lock-box and told me I could go look whenever I wanted to that was awesome. We went to go see Deadpool 2 at the theater on Monday PM (funny movie well done) so we waited until yesterday morning to go take the tour and wow, what a place. The property at some point in the distant past was used as an auto repair shop and/or possibly even a gas station as well. There is a huge garage with an old furnace that looks like something from a horror movie. Bad guy eats your soul and your essensce and body parts end up here:

Unfortunately, the garage is a shit-show that appears to be a structural epic fail. Nothing is level, everything is sagging, and father time has not been kind. I think the garage will have to be totally demolished so bye bye several thousand dollars for that portion of what would be a major overhaul.

Even though the garage itself is pwned the main building seems good. Looks to have solid bones and a great foundation. The main building is two floors with the first floor being a mostly open retail space and the upstairs being a 2 bedroom apartment that is one time-warp step back to the 1940s. Actually according to the seller's disclosure that I just read the garage was built in 1940 and the building itself went up in 1948. The foundation is poured concrete and not either block or fieldstone and brick. Oh Jesus hell ya to that!

TIME WARP. Not the drunken kind of time warp either. Comes with a beat-up but working piano upstairs. The seller has not lived in the property since 2007 so it has been vacant for over 10 years. The current list price is $89,900, but the entire place needs what Kat and I roughly estimate to be $50k worth of work. Almost everything needs to be done for this property including new windows, siding, landscaping (including two huge trees that will need to go), a gutted interior, electrical, plumbing, new kitchen, new heating system, new bath for the upstairs, etc.

I spent some time yesterday in between other projects (tub leak repair, stump removal, yard work, etc) to sit down with Kat and to review some projections, numbers, and plans. Jody was out of town so I never saw him, and I never even talked to him on the phone. I tried to call him around midday, but he was not available so we just texted back and forth. It's the digital age and I seriously have done everything just through text and emails to this point. I decided to offer $60k for the property, and as of 10 minutes ago the documents for my official offer are e-signed and in the works. Will the seller accept a lowbll offer of "only" $60k? Hard to even guess. I expect a counter-offer, but maybe I'll get lucky and score a deal. However, at $60k it's no steal because the place needs TONS of work.

Yesterday Roseanne got cancelled. The TV show made a very successful 9-episode comeback this winter/spring, and we watched and enjoyed the revival of the show. However, the show just got hauled on because Roseanne Barr herself hopped onto her fire-breathing Twitter machine and wrote racist stuff so she got the hose. What a bunch of crap! It's too bad that Roseanne is such a scumbag person because her show is pretty good. She cost a lot of people jobs over that dumbass shit. Epic fail. It is the top 0700 story on the NBC national news.

I'm gonna get off this bootleg site that no one ever reads so I can go use my gym and do work. Today and tomorrow are forecast to be great weather days so I'll tackle exterior projects. Yesterday was a perfect weather day as well so we got a lot done. I worked out front while Kat planted our two raised-bed flower gardens out back. While I was working out front I almost got pwned when skunks started roaming the property. Kat almost got pwned out back, too. Thankfully the fence saved her ass. I had a skunk get within two feet of my loser ass, and I don't know how I did not get sprayed. All I wanna know is why? Why were nocturnal skunks running around in our yard yesterday? Strange happenings. Maybe that is why Copper wizzed on the floor when we were at Lowe's buying our plants and seeds for the garden... what a bunch of crap that was! Take the dogs to the kennel for a week, get them home, and undo bad habits they learned when we were gone. Epic fail.



Monday, 5-28-18: Finally got a full night of sleep.
I slept about 8.5 hours last night. Oh Jesus, hell ya! We bivouaced early last night after watching last week's Westworld on HBO, and it didn't take long to fall asleep. For the past three nights we have not gotten enough sleep so it was great to catch up. Thursday night in Mexico, our last night of vacation, we did some drinking and went to karaoke so that was a late night. Friday morning we were up pretty early, and we didn't get home from vacation until midnight Friday. Then on Saturday night Kat had a party to DJ so we didn't bivouac again until after midnight. We didn't sleep in any of the three following mornings either. What a bunch of crap! Kat actually got less sleep than me over the three-day stretch, too.

We still have a lot of shows on the DVR to watch. We haven't watched too much TV since we got back because of other obligations. Plus the weather has been decent so I'd rather be outside. We did speed-watch wrestling already (5 hours worth of wrestling scaled down to about an hour with all kinds of FF), and we got our favorite current show, Westworld, all done. As an added bonus a new Westworld is already on the DVR so we can watch that later today and truly be caught up for that one. Oh Jesus, hell ya!

Kat is a great wife. She does a lot of things well, including many things that I fail at. When we were on vacation she cleaned out my backpack, the same backpack that I have owned for many years. That backpack has been with me on many different adventures and has accumulated a lot of junk in various rarely-used pockets. I use the backpack regularly for racquetball, and it goes with me on every vacation and on many smaller road-trips. While in Mexico she found all kinds of spare change in the thing, and some of the change was so gross that it needed to be cleaned.

^My wife is so awesome that she laundered my money. Hehehehehe. I had an ancient cough drop or two that half-melted all over the money so she rinsed it off in the sink. Mostly US currency, but I did see a Euro in there that must have been from 2011 when Gavin and I went to Europe. I forget exactly when I bought that backpack, but it has been quite a while. My guess is at least a decade.

Now that vacation is over and we're settled back in at home (Kat did all the laundry because she rocks) it's time to get back to work. The lawns grew like crazy when we were gone so I did most of my mowing already, but I have a little more to do today or tomorrow. I have a lot of smaller exterior projects to tackle this week and perhaps next week, and then I *might* start doing some work for Phil down in Oakland, just on the outskirt of Waterville. Unfortunately his house has some bad rot in spots that needs repair. We're hoping to get down there within the next week or so in order to see exactly what needs to be done and how extensive the rot actually is. Judging from some of the photos Phil emailed to me it does not look so good. What a bunch of crap for them!

I just finalized plans to play racquetball today at 1100. It is Memorial Day so both Gavin and Deno have the day off. Of course I have the day off because this time of year I work for myself. However, I don't really have the day 100% off, I rarely do, because I already updated some business records and did some budgeting for next month. I also have a leak to try and repair today, and I might do a little yard repair before we play. Most of my properties need some raking and exterior cleaning still. I did some of it already, but not nearly enough. I really need to grade some spots better from where the snowplow rearranged the earth near driveway entrances. Mowing over gravel and rocks = what a bunch of crap!

The Celtics lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in game 7 of the NBA playoffs. They had a 2-0 series lead but then they failed. I'm not a huge basketball fan, but I would have liked to see the Celtics advance to the finals. Gods damn Lebron James. The Red Sox have still been playing well and are in first place barely ahead of the Yankees with a 36-17 record. Not bad at all!



Saturday, 5-26-18: Our week-long vacation.
We got home last night around midnight from a week-long vacation to the beautiful Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. This was the third trip Kat and I have taken down to that area, and the second one for the kids. Unfortunately, Daniel has yet to go because he thinks it will be too hot. First was our honeymoon in April, 2015. Second was two years ago in May of 2016 with the kids. Thank you Jackson Hewitt for the extra vacation money.

On our honeymoon in 2015 we stayed and bought a timeshare at The Royal Haciendas in Playa Del Carmen, about 40 minutes south of the Cancun airport. Two years ago we vacationed at a different resort, but this time it was back to the RH. However, this stay at the RH we were able to score an entire villa for a great price as a getaway on our Interval International timeshare website. Having two bedrooms, space for all five of us to not feel crapmed, and a full kitchen was bonus. Even better, we were on the 4th floor with this outstanding view of the pools, the resort, and the Atlantic Ocean:

We were actually on "Phase II" of the resort; there is a whole other section not in the photo and off to the right side. Overall I'd guess the place was only at 50% capacity so we never felt like other people were hogging up all the precious... precious space and chairs by the pools. This is one of their slower times down there with peak times generally being when little dinko kids are out of school. Also peak for them is most of the winter when the northerners want to escape the tundra. We always want to escape the tundra of our shit winters here, but work and financial considerations do not make it feasable. Plus F being there when it's 100% full. Too many people = what a bunch of crap!

Even though the resort was not full the Riviera Maya is still a very busy place and the airport is always super-crowded. I hate the Cancun airport because there are no water fountains and a bottle of water costs $5. What a bunch of crap! Plus it seems there is never enough room to spread out comfortably. Most friggin' airports have that space and crowd problem, though. We flew out of Boston because there were no good and reasonably-priced flights out of Portland or Bangor for this trip. The same was true for two years ago, too. Driving 240 miles to Boston sucks, but it marginally beats the alternative of paying hundreds more, long layovers, etc.

Our flight home was slightly delayed by maybe a half hour, but our flight to Cancun was right on time and Pepe had his doppelganger-driver (Pepe 2.0!) take us to the resort after lunch and a little shopping. There are a lot of extra costs for a vacation such as ours, things like shuttles, taxis, parking, boarding the dogs, baggage fees, etc. The $300 villa for the week was a steal, but everything else added up to a sizeable sum (as expected.) Thankfully we all got there and back safely, and we all had a great time on our vacation.

Before we got to the RH last Saturday we had Pepe 2.0 stop at a grocery store for us where we loaded up on some supplies. I decided to buy some "tuna fish" because the can kinda says "tuna." Right? Wrong! I opened the thing, and it looked like cat food with sprinkles of chunder throughout. It looked like a bunch of crap in the most useable sense of that term. Everyone in the family thought it looked horrible, but F it we were down to the last day and needing to use up some remaining food so I made a sandwich out of it.

^TUNY is NOT good tuna. It has some bootleg veggies mixed in (which I actually think is a great idea for health), but the "tuna" itself is very low-grade and maybe not even tuna fish at all. What a bunch of crap! I ate one can, but the other two got left behind for the maid to keep throw away. If they sold that stuff here I would buy it again, but only to use in a casserole and not in a sandwich.

We had plenty of time to relax by the pool and have some drinks during our stay, and at first the weather was good to us. However, by midweek a storm started to form and this was the satellite as of Thursday morning:

^What a bunch of crap! We were right under a major piece of the slow-moving storm, and it poured. However, we still went into Playa to do some shopping because at least tropical rain is mind. As an added bonus that storm moved slightly more offshore that afternoon so we could swim in the pools at the resort and so Sweet Pea could do a few Fireball shots (final blowout on the last day!) and call me BITCH in the pool. We all had some drinks later that day including the $19 bottle of vanilla tequila from the overpriced shop along the way of our one excursion. (ATV to cenote and the kids ziplined.) We even went to karaoke two different times and wow what a difference karaoke is down there. Kat and Debbie both sang a lot and seemed to get great praise from not only the karaoke host but also from the people in attendance there.

The $19 vanilla tequila was pretty damn good, especially when mixed about 50/50 with Coke. However, the bottle was only 375ml (maybe 7 shots worth?) so I would not buy it again. It was about 18% alcohol so only half as strong as most spirits, too. Thanks again for the bonus money, JH. I mean that in the most literal sense of the term, too. My final bonus pay came in earlier this month so all of that was nice to have towards our very fun vacation. While there we did another timeshare presentation and almost bought in more, but F that they wanted $12,000 and we already own a small enough piece of the pie to be content. We did get some free breakfast and the excursion out of it, though. However, the excursion was not that great because it was supposed to end at 1230 but did not end until 1500. What a bunch of crap that was!

We got the dogs back this morning from the kennel (bye bye $400 but hey came with a free bath for them) and they were so excited tht Copper started barking loudly until we got him into the truck. It was a huge relief seeing them because they are like our children, but much more fun that actual human children. Seriously. Dogs > kiddos and I gotta say it's not really even a close race in my world. They are napping now, as is Kat, and I tried to nap but could not sleep. I wish I did sleep some since the last two nights = not enough rest. Kat has a gig this evening and tonight, an outdoor 80s-themed party in Carmel, so hopefully that is fun. She's done two other parties for these people so it is nice having that rapport and repeat business. It is good knowing exactly where we will set up and what to expect from the crowd of people who are sure to be there later.



Friday, 5-18-18: VACATION IN A FEW HOURS.
It's Friday around 1800, and Kat is slowly getting ready for her karaoke gig at Jester's. The karaoke doesn't start until 2100, but we get there around 2000 to set up. Bringing in all the gear, moving tables, running wires, socializing, etc all eats up a bit of time before the show. We accomplished a lot today so we both feel ready for our vacation to the Riviera Maya of Mexico. Most of the packing is done, the little errands and prep work is done, and we actually finished it all a bit ahead of when I thought we would today.

I got every lawn mowed earlier, and we took the dogs to the kennel just after we finished seeding and covering the lawn out back. Today is one of many days where I am grateful to have hauled on my bootleg Bangor duplex on Kenduskeag Ave because I would have had to drive my ass over there to spend another 45 minutes of my precious... precious time mowing and weedwacking that place. 45 minutes isn't much on some days, but on a day like today it helped a lot.

Last week I ordered 6 yards of loam, and we've already used 3/4 of it mostly out back. Over the past few days I've moved some out there and staged it in places so the work today would be less daunting. Dillon and Katherine helped us finish it all up to we really did it fast. It was very cool of them to pitch in or who knows, I might be out there now still getting it ready. Here is what things looked like early this morning:

^That gods damned fence is leaning hard on the back (left) side. What a bunch of crap! It better not fall over before I can rebuilt that section.

We'll greatly miss the dogs while we are gone. It's just not the same without them here. In that photo they were hoping I'd throw them a ball or do something else to entertain them. Hopefully they have a good stay at the kennel next week. Yesterday I scraped down that area by the patio blocks leading off the deck, but before I scraped it there was not much for lawn there. No problem when it's dry, but when wet it leads to mud getting tracked into the house. Mud in the house = what a bunch of crap!

With the dogs it's hard to fix the lawn because they track all through it so we wanted to have it all seeded and ready to grow while we are all away. I even bought straw to put down over everything, and we used a lot of dirt for low and bumpy areas, of which there were many. I bought some good quality grass seed, the stuff that also has fertilizer, so it better gods damn well grow or I will get emotional. After some work in the sun things now look like this:

GROW, GROW, GROW. I'd give that friggin' grass PEDs if I could find some. Roid that stuff up and make it luscious so we have 100% lawn when we return home from what will hopefully be a very fun vacation. Not pictured are a bunch more bare spots on the other part of the lawn between the deck and the shed.

Kat's gig ends at 0100, the typical Friday night last call, and I will help her pack up as usual. We hope to get home quickly so we can stow her gear, load our bags, and leave here around 0145. We're all driving 3.5 hours to Boston to fly out of Logan on an American Airlines flight direct to Cancun with a 0745 departure. If all goes as planned we'll be parked by 0530, give or take (allowing for a gas/piss stop along the way) and at the airport by 0600. Long-term parking is close but not actually on the airport property so we take a shuttle over to terminal B. Hopefully the weather and everything else cooperates for us. Dillon, Debbie, and Katherine are all also going to stay with us in our 2BR villa that sleeps 6 and that also has a kitchen.

We just tried to take a nap, but we only slept about 5 minutes. What a bunch of crap! Maybe I will lay down again tonight before 0100, but if not no worries I can get us to Boston late-night without feeling too tired. I'll drink half a can of Monster Energy if I start to fade, and once we are on the plane I can doze a bit. Worst case if I don't sleep oh well I'll just make up for it when we get to our Royal Haciendas resort. I'm sure when we do get to our "villa" we will all be pretty wiped out. Oh well, small price to pay for a week in the tropics!

Kat and I took our honeymoon at the RH just over three years ago, and we liked it so much that we got hooked into buying a timeshare there. Absolutely zero regrets about that decision. Funny we haven't even stayed at our "home" resort since then. Our last vacation to Mexico was at a different place booked through our timeshare exchange called Interval International. So far I feel we have gotten our money's worth from Interval International because we also booked a trip out west through them 1.5 years ago. Who knows, we might do another trip out there this fall. Right now that is the tentative plan...



Wednesday, 5-16-18: 4 days of working for Jason = fin.
I worked for Jason down in Stockton Springs for four days, and now I have three full days here to finish a bunch of smaller things before we leave for a week-long vacation to our "home resort" Royal Haciendas in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I could have worked for Jason today as well, but I decided four days was plenty down there. I put in about 30 hours at that job site including a couple 8+ hours both yesterday and Monday. Travel was 1.5 hours round-trip so overall the last two days were fairly long days away from home.

Wow what a house we worked on. Look at the "great room" in this camp/mansion:

The ceiling fan is about the size of an aircraft prop. The speakers on the wall are covered in painter's tape and plastic so they don't harbor dust from floor sanding and cleanup. The place is not done yet, but it is getting damn close.

Just an incredible home overall. Also as amazing is Jason's main control for all the security cameras, audio, video, and related technology. I spent most of the time down there helping Pat install security cameras, and there were a few challenges along the way such as wires not working correctly. What a bunch of crap! The prevailing theory is spray foam insulation was improperly applied, that created heat, and it melted some of the wires. Epic fail there. Running new wires isn't such a big deal when everything is still open and just framed, but once the sheetrock is up and the finish work is mostly done then running new wires = all bad.

When we get back from our vacation we plan to help Katherine get a car, and at some point nearer the end of the month we will hopefully make that happen. We did look at a Chevy Traverse that was for sale locally (sign on the car alongside the road), but that car was 10 pounds of shit stuffed into a 5 pound bag. The sign said 58,000 miles but the thing actually had 85,994 miles on it. OMG WHAT A DECEPTIVE BUNCH OF CRAP. We got out of there faster than fat kids get eliminated in dodge ball.

^Not only was that car a turd in the punch bowl of life (dirty interior, smelled like smoke), but the seller of the car was the same for putting that wrong odometer reading on the sign. Epic fail.

The Celtics beat the Cavs last night so they're up 2-0 in the best of 7 Eastern Confrence Finals. Awesome! FU Lebron James. Unfortunately, the Red Sox have lost their last 2 games at Fenway to the A's so they're down to second place. Still a 28-14 record at this point of the season is fantastic so overall I gots no big complaints there.

I suppose I should head on over to my bootleg gym, pay a bill or two, and then do my rent receipts/feedback surveys. Every year I give my tenants surveys to fill out so I know what areas need improvements. In the past I've gotten some stupid shit and half the tenants don't even bother, but sometimes I get quality, useful feedback that I actually use to do some minor repairs and upgrades.



Saturday, 5-12-18: We have dirt.
I worked down in Stockton Springs yesterday and Thursday, and I'll be back at it helping Jason Monday, Tuesday, and maybe Wednesday of this coming week. The commute is 31 miles one-way, 45 minutes, so that part sucks a little. However, it is worth going for the extra money and for the overall experience. The house where we are working is totally amazing. Millions of dollars, all new construction, and right on the ocean. The place is abuzz with various trade contractors, and I am on a team of just a few audio/video guys with Jason. Here is the front of the expensive, top-end house from yesterday:

^I've been told the owner lives in Texas and will use this only as a second summer home. OMG.

I've spent my time so far helping the guys with speakers and security cameras, and it looks like Monday I'll team back up with Pat ro run a new cat-5 wire for one of the dozen or so total cameras. The wires are already all roughed-in, but one at the top of the garage is damaged so that is a bunch of crap. Since the finish work is all done redoing wires is not fun times. Speaking of not fun times, installing the cameras is difficult. We need to be elevated for all of them, and some require us to go way high. I'm not afraid of heights, but in some spots the ladder positioning and/or staging is awkward due to the terrain.

While I was working down in Stockton Springs on Friday we had 6 yards of loam delivered. The back yard needs some love so we will use most or all of the dirt to fill in bare spots, and we will use some of the loam for our two garden beds. We had one garden bed last year, and this year we plan to have two. We'll likely plant them once we get back from our Riviera Maya vacation at the end of the month, but we want to have everything ready to roll this coming week. We leave very early next Saturday so at this time next week we should be enjoying some warm weather on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. I'm getting more excited for the trip with each passing day.

^The loam took up more of the driveway than I would have liked. What a bunch of crap! Then Debbie and Dillon could not seem to get their parking straight. It was epic fail for them until we got it all in order. Today I moved most of the dirt from the driveway and got it started in the back yard along the rear fence. The dogs will play in it some, but oh well. That side yard still needs cleaning; I'll probably take that old mattress to the dump this Wednesday or Thursday. This year for the city spring cleanup the dump ain't free, and that is a ridiculous bunch of crap!

We're likely gonna stop into Jester's before we bivouac tonight. I actually stayed at Jester's for the entire time last night, and it was a good crowd. I was having fun until near the very end when I just wanted to go home and sleep. I didn't overdo it on the booze so I had the energy to lose to Deno at rball today just before lunch. When the night ended last night, and when I woke up this morning, I told myself there is no way in hell that I want to go out tonight, but now I think it will be fun. I don't want to spend too much money since we blew 40 bucks last night (after the tip), but the way I see it Jason is paying since I'm earning extra cash working for him over these few days. Normally the bar tab for us is about 20, give or take (with a healthy tip for Joel) but every now and again we splurge a tad. Kat also had some food last night so that ain't horrible for us both since I stayed the whole time.



Wednesday, 5-09-18: Turkey hunting success.
I went down to the ol' homestead early Monday morning to visit with Dad and to do some turkey hunting, and I got home yesterday afternoon with two bags of fresh wild turkey meat. The mission was a definite success, the weather was great, and it was a fun trip. Dad didn't hunt because he had hip replacement surgery only about 6 weeks ago, but he still got to watch me put the sneak on both turkeys that I did shoot. Jason hunted with me both Monday and yesterday mornings, and he could have shot turkeys during both hunts.

Time out for sneezing here. I had to take my first allergy pill of the season last night. What a bunch of crap! I might actually have to take one this early morning as well because something has me sneezing and stuffy in a major way. Vegitation on this property screws me all up this time of year, but I don't know what it is. There are a couple big maple trees on our little 1/4 acre lot, but I can't blame those because we have a lot of other plants, flowers, and bushes so it could be any number of things. I know whatever the problem is this place is mostly to blame because I was fine down at Mom and Dad's, and as soon as I got home I noticed I was pwned. Epic fail. I never had allergy issues before like I've had since I got this house 4+ years ago. Epic fail.

Jason and I hunted both Monday and Tuesday mornings off Rt90/Keating Rd, and there were plenty of turkeys in those woods. We got into the oak down in a ways for a few different setups. Unfortunately the only turkey that got within shotgun range for me was a hen, and this time of year it's only legal to shoot a male. By the time we finished hunting Monday it was about lunchtime, Jason took off to go work, and I helped Dad with a few chores and little things around the house. Dad is quite mobil considering his recent hip replacement, but it will be a long time before he is 100%. He is okay to drive, and he can walk around with a limp and without his cane now so that is awesome. However, he is not ready to get back into the woods yet.

We had an early supper and drove out to the prison farm where normally plenty of turkeys are roaming about. Sure enough this season was no differrent and we saw all kinds of "thunder chickens." We saw a lone hen in a field near Halfway Brook (not an official name) so I suggested where there was one there may be more. Dad thought maybe she was solo with a nest nearby, but we drove a bit closer down and towards the brook when we saw four red heads. Oh Jesus hell ya! We kept on driving and stopped almost at the brook where the terrain hid the truck, Dad waited in the truck, and he got a perfect view of me as I snuck around the back side of a dike and up the short back side. I peeked over, and there not far away at all were the same four turkeys. Unfortunately, they were all in a tight group together and laying down so I couldn't shoot. I needed them to stand up so I could get a good head shot, and I needed them to separate because one 12-gauge shotgun blast on a group that tightly-knit could have killed them all. F that. Limit is two, and I only wanted to shoot one right there.

Thankfully I had my little bootleg call in my pocket so I did a couple yelps and that got them standing and looking around. At first they were all still in a tight little group, but then three walked a couple feet, one stayed back, and that one is now in my fridge. Those birds had no clue I was there, and it was almost too easy. The one jake that I did shoot went down hard, and the others stuck around so I put a bead on another just because I could. Shooting a second bird would have been very easy, but I passed, I played around with my call a bit more just to see how they responded, and then I snuck back to the truck. After I told Dad my story (he saw me but not the turkeys) I walked back up to get my jake, but the other three were still just standing there. I still could have shot one still, but that was not my plan so I just spooked them off and grabbed my bird.

We saw many other turkeys in the last field at the farm, and I did another sneak-up mission while dodging some compost piles. However, there was too much open field and I could not call any of them closer (did not use any decoys) so after a bit I just gave up for the day. I bivouaced hard Monday night, and eary yesterday we were back at it in the woods. Jason hunted with me for the first couple hours until he had to work, and then I hunted in the woods off the Mt. Rd where the turkey and deer sign looked awesome. I didnt see any turkeys at the Mt. Rd, but no worries being in the woods was still fun. Except for the black files. Those little assholes are a bunch of crap!

I got back to the house just before 1100 yesterday, and I peeled off my camo and planned to be all done. Time for lunch and then time to put a second coat of mud on a little piece of sheetrock I installed the day prior (cancelled window in my old bedroom from where the new addition was constructed several years ago) and head back home. I was putting my shorts on when Dad told me there was a lone tom turkey down at his feeder out back. OMG. I didn't want to hunt out back because I wanted to save it for Dad in case he wants to hunt later this month, but finally I was too tempted to pass it up. I waited for the turkey to wander off into the back woods, I put my camo back on, and I headed down the path and put out one lone tom turkey decoy and used the dirt backstop down there as my hideout. I called a bit with some yelps and purrs as I peeked over the top of that mound while I laid prone on the grassy little rise. I was only 75 yards away from the house so Dad watched with binoculars from the house.

I didn't plan to linger long down there. After a few minutes I thought I heard something off to my left, but there was a breeze and also birds and squirrels. I did a gobble and was shocked to hear a gobble back off to my right, and close. OMG. I peeked over and saw a few different turkeys just at the stone wall and only maybe 20 yards away. I called in a group from the woods nearby. I was trying to position myself to get a shot at one of them when I heard more noise off to my left and some clucking. Another turkey was there and incredibly close to me! So I tried to wrench back around to my left to find that bird. Unfortunately, I could not see that turkey because it was thick in there and the dirt burm was blocking my view. What a bunch of crap! Meanwhile the tukeys off to my right seemed to be getting antsy and a bit agitated. I don't think they knew I was there, but a decoy only fools for so long. Those birds started moving back down towards the woods and away, but I had a little opening and as soon as one stuck its head up I was ready and BOOM. I jumped up, worked the action to reload, hit the safety so I didn't accidentally shoot wildly, and I scooted over as fast as I could. At first I thought I missed because I saw other turkeys running away, but then I saw the one I shot flopping around in its final death-throes. Sounds morbid, but it seems like a guarantee that when I shoot a turkey it dies and then flops around for a bit. You do NOT want to grab a turkey until you are sure it is dead because you can get carved up.

^The tom turkey that I shot yesterday at about 1130.

I knew I was shooting at a male turkey, but I didnt know if I was shooting at a tom or a jake. Turned out I shot a 19.2-pound tom, 10" beard, 7/8" spurs. A nice bird. I don't care about all those stats, it's just some supper, but Dad wanted to find out so we took the measurements. The tom that I shot was not the same one we saw at the feeder. I called in other turkeys with my bootleg little setup down there, and that is awesome. I don't even really feel badly about shooting on that I wanted to "save" for Dad because there are still more nice turkeys right out back, and if he feels up to it he can sneak out there in his blind and make it happen. I know he won't do it this week because Mom is on vacation with Aunt Susie out west in Oregon visiting uncle Kevin, but maybe when Mom gets back next week he will want to go. I know watching me hunt got him all fired up. He loves it!

Turkey hunting is fun because unlike deer turkeys are not nocturnal so all day long you can have a chance to get one. It seems the best time of day for calling them in is the morning, but that is no hard and fast rule. They are also very vocal so often times you can hear them coming when you do go into the woods and call. Plus if you see them in fields you can try to sneak up on them. Somtimes they seem really stupid and easy to kill, but other times they can be quite elusive because they have great vision and can see you.

Today is forecast to be a beautiful 70-75 degrees outside so I'll do some mowing and plenty of yard work. I won't work too hard today, but I want to get some things done outside because tomorrow and Friday I'll be working down in Stockton Springs with Jason. He still doesn't know how many days he will need my help, but I'm expecting to not only work two days this week for him but also to work a little early-midweek next week. He estimated 3-4 days total, but it all depends on how the job goes. I'll help him run wires and do odds and ends while I'm there. Should be a good experience, and should give us a little extra fun money to blow for our vacation in Mexico later this month. We actually leave for vacation in only 10 days. OMG.



Friday, 5-04-18: May the 4th be with you.
Today is some kind of informal, booteg Star Wars holiday. I wish I had a Chewbacca mask because I would wear the hell out of it down to Jester's in a bit. However, it would probably be hot in such a mask so maybe I would be better off wearing a Princess Leia wig instead...

^HAHAHAHA. Thank you, Interweb. RIP, Leia. Should not 'a done so many drugs and should not 'a pokerized Han Solo way back in the day. Personal hot mess of a life aside, Leia was an amazing Star Wars character and I wish she was not dead.

I would totally wear a Princess Leia wig as a halloween costume. However, I would not be caught dead wearing her Jabba the Hutt slave slutty whore ROTJ outfit:

She killed that fat greasy fucker because he made her dress like a stripper at the Star Wars Hutt Cantina. What a bunch of crap! She was way hot in that outfit way back in 1983.

The reason today has become a cult Star Wars holiday is because May the fourth kinda sounds like May the Force (be with you.) Hey, works for me because most of the Star Wars movies are great. Not so much the prequels or the newest episode 8, but I digress... the Han Solo one coming later this month looks like it has potential. Eventually there will be Star Wars fatigue since Disney now appears to think pumping two of them out per year is smart business. There are a lot of interesting side and back stories to be told from the Star Wars universe, but not an infinite amount.

I take longer going to Jester's these days because that place gets packed full. Kat is the best DJ around and it has become more well-known. I'd be at the bar right now, but F that there is no room in there at around 2230. It's also Cinco De Mayo weekend so that might bring out a few extra simps. I know half the people who go to Jester's so I can make room for myself, but sometimes a lot of the regulars aren't there and I have to squeeze my scrappy ass in somewhere.

I expected my final Jackson Hewitt paycheck today so I logged in to look at how much my final pay was, and I was astonished to see I also got paid my year-end bonus today. OH JESUS HELL YA! Last year the final bonus was not paid until early June so I thought it would be another month before I saw my final bonus pay. I had a great season financially. Worked about 30 fewer hours overall and made about $500 more than last season. Score! I think my apex has been reached, though. From here on out I think my JH pay will decrease because I don't want to work so much anymore. I am not lazy, but F working too much. Work to live, not live to work. Hell for all I know I might not even be invited back to JH for a 5th tax season. If my boss ever discovers this turd-heap of a site I'm sure I'm all done. Getting fired would be a bunch of crap, but I would survive and just do something else. I already got "fired" from Liberty Tax several years ago so I know it can happen. I've actually been shit-canned from two different jobs in my life, but both of those terminations were a result of overall business failure. First was Circuit City way back in 2003 as a desperate cost-cutting measure that ultimately failed. I think 2014 was the year Liberty Tax hauled on me because I was the junior preparer out of the two others there, and that place also ended up going out of business. What a bunch of crap!

Speaking of work, Jason needs my help for a bit later next week on a big job. I worked with him a few years ago in BoothBay Harbor on some million-dollar-plus house on the ocean, and it was impressive to see him work. He is damn good at what he does. I'll hopefully see him on Monday morning when we meet up to do some turkey hunting. Tomorrow I need to dig out all my turkey stuff and prepare for an early Monday morning departure to the midcoast.

I wonder if Cliff will run a raking crew again this year? My guess is yes he will, but it is only a matter of time when it will not happen. I hope he does because I want to go raking forever. I'll be out there blueberry raking when I am 95 years old in a walker. That last sentence is a lie because I am NOT living that long. F that. No 95 year old I ever met was sane enough to even deserve to still be alive. However, I might have only met one person ever who was that old. Papa was 92 or 93, Grammy the same, and RIP to both of them because they were the greatest generation. We all suck ass compared to them. Seriously. Myself included. If I can live half a live they lived then that is a win. My grandparents were fucking awesome, both on Mom's side of the family and on Dad's side of the family.

Before I started updating this pathetic excuse of a blog I watched some of the Red Sox - Texas Rangers game (Sox win!) and played Super Mario Wii. I FINALLY BEAT BOWSER OH JESUS HELL YA! That friggin' Bowser level kicked the shit out of me; it took a couple weeks to beat it. However, I didn't play that level or the game every single day. I probably died a couple dozen times overall in his world 8 castle. What a bunch of crap!

^The final level is gods damned hard. Stupid lava waves that eat your soul when they hit you. Probably a good video gamer would think it is easy, but a good video gamer = not me. I am mediocre at best.

Hahahahaha! Winger comes on channel 1928. She's only 17. Great song! I'm pretty sure way back in 1973 Pop was putting the boots to a 17-year old Mom. They got married in 1974, 2.5 months after Mom had turned 18, so the math is obvious. I don't judge them for it at all, though. They've been married for 43.5 years so it obviously worked like a boss. Pop did 2 tours in Vietman and would have done a 3rd if they had let him (just found that out recently) so Pop can do whatever the hell he wants as long it is not raping, stealing, pillaging, and/or plundering. No need to worry about that, though. Pop's idea of fun times is watching the Hunting and History Channels and shooting lots of bullets at random targets. The guy is a legit war hero, something I didn't even know until very recently, and I have nothing but respect for him. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a Purple Heart kicking around in some random drawer in the house.



Thursday, 5-03-18: My old apartment = rented with relative ease.
New tenants moved into my old apartment yesterday on a warm 86-degree day. It felt like the middle of summer, but thankfully without epic humidity that often accompanies hot weather around here. Yesterday evening I was telling Kat that this tenant turnover was one of the easiest I've had in years, and for the first time in a long time I didn't feel like I had a million things to do before any new people moved into a vacant apartment.

Yesterday morning while I waited for the newbies to arrive (3 guys all college age) I put fresh gas and oil into the mower, and I was going to replace the blade. However, I could not loosen the nut that holds the blade on so that was a bunch of crap. The blade is about 3 years old (best guess) and worn pretty hard, but it still has some life left in it. Since I tend to Rambo-mow (run over everything in my way) the blade takes a beating and it was very scarred, rusty, and pitted. I dug out an old file and worked on the blade for a bit, and today when I actually did some spot-mowing the mower fired right up and the grass seemed to cut well so Oh Jesus Hell ya to that! In past years I half-assed getting my mower and weedwacker up and running so it felt good to not be rushed, to take the time, and to actually do it *mostly* right.

I also did a little final cleanup in the basement storage area for that apartment. Never, ever has that area in the cellar been so empty and clean:

Having the four old electric hot water heaters removed makes a big difference, and so far the new gas hot water heater is awesome. Still too soon to know how much extra $$$$$ I'll have to pay by including the hot water, though. It should be less than the extra $160 monthly I'm going to collect, $40 from each of the four apartments. I'm guessing my hot water cost in the warmer months will be $40-$50, and in the winter it will be closer to $100 extra. Bangor gas always charges more per therm in the winter because they are mudda fuckas.

Unfortunately, the remaining 75% of the cellar is a shit-show including the gym area. What a bunch of crap! Once I finish the new gym ceiling I can get that looking nice. Maybe? Hopefully! That ceiling won't be done for quite some time, though. I have yard work and other side-projects that need to get done first. Plus we have our vacation to Mexico coming up later this month. I think the soonest I'd finish the gym ceiling would be June, and I might not even get it all done until the fall.

The tenant who was living in my old apartment above my gym finished his move last Thursday, and he did a pretty damn good job cleaning so all I needed to do was some painting and a few routine little things like replace two old smoke alarms (installed when I lived there in 2005. Still worked, but it had been 13 years and the manufacturer recommends replacing every 10.) I took my time on it all, and I was set up nicely to do my little bootleg video tour and to take a bunch of photos yesterday morning before they arrived with their UHaul van.

^The bar I installed in 2007 is still in pretty good shape. Anazing really considering all the different people who have lived and visited there since. Overall the place has never looked better.

It didn't really feel weird working in my old apartment. Even though I lived in that place for over 14 years it feels like a very long time ago. Almost like looking at something through foggy lenses. I still have many great memories from living there. Lots of great time with Doug, Tommy, Walt, Phil, and Gavin. So funny Gavin actually lives right across the street from that apartment now. I hope the tenants who just moved in treat the apartment well. I gave them all the standard speech yesterday with my three most important considerations mentioned with emphasis: pay rent on time, don't trash the place, and don't piss off the neighbors.

I have no tenants moving out anytime soon. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Odds are someone will spread out and I'll have a vacancy before 2019, but as of right now things look easy. I hope I don't jinx myself by typing that because at any moment I could get a 30-day notice. I have a few apartments with very long-term tenants so if any of them hit the road I'll be busy doing bigger remodeling. I can think of three of my twelve units that would need to stay vacant for at minimum 2-3 weeks for painting, flooring, etc. None of the apartments and houses are in terrible shape, but wear and tear is unavoidable. I have two tenants who have been with me for over 13 years now. I actually inherited them with the building (located by my bootleg office/gym.) That is awesome.

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