5-29-20: One job done, another one in the works.
^I'm really happy with how things turned out, and the new lighting is awesome. Well, it's mostly awesome. This light was a bitch to install:
^It hangs a little lower than the old light did above the sink, but it does look really nice. If we were taller it would be in the way so hopefully my 7-foot-tall friend, Kevin, never needs to wash dishes in that sink hehehe. I actually installed that light Wednesday before I quit for the day. I worked many hours on the house both yesterday and Wednesday, and the progress was worth the investment of my precious... precious time.
So now we have recessed lights that are dimmable in the dining area, above the kitchen, and above the bar. Three different switches for three different zones like a boss. The 4th zone is the one above the kitchen sink and nearby counters. The big fancy light in the photo plus one recessed light on each side. Those lights don't have a dimmer switch, but who cares we'll want that maximum brightness most of the time anyway for prepping food and for washing dishes.
I don't even want to do that math on the cost, but roughly $600 seems about right. $300-ish for the ceiling tiles, $200-ish for the recessed lights and light cans, $80 for that fancy over-sink light, screws, trim, misc. Some 12-2 wire, caulk... Okay closer to $650 would be the real cost plus quite a few hours of work.
I was just about to mow this morning over at my Chamberlain duplex when my phone rang. Jill from a house nearby wanting to have a new deck installed. I knew I was going to get a call about it because yesterday I saw Jeff when I was mowing the tax office lawn. (I just did his roof, nice guy.) Jeff told me he had a friend in need of a deck so I figured I could take a look and get it done, no prob. I really enjoy deck building, at least I thought I did until I stopped by for a look at their spread...
^My awesome wife also looked at it with me so I could get her feedback as to whether or not to take the job at all. When I first saw it I thought "NO FUCKING WAY WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!" However, a second trip back after lunch with my Sweet Pea helped change my mind.
Why would I not want that work? Take a closer look:
The main 6x6 post holding up a tremendous amount of weight from the upper deck is supported by that shit-show. OMG What a bunch of crap! That is shoddy, bigtime shoddy. It's the kind of stupid shit that can get someone killed. Even worse that 6x6 load-bearling post doesn't even rest on that smaller, spliced 4x4. I can't believe it hasn't fallen apart yet. Epic failer whomever did that.
^All I wanna know is why? Why did that happen? It is a fuckin' disaster! All that crap needs to go to the landfill and it all needs to be rebuilt. The top deck itself is probably okay for now, but the posts for it also need to be replaced and footed properly...
^THAT'S BAD! The vew from their property is incredible, though. Nice lawn overlooking the Penobscot River and very private for being so close to town. Working there for the view alone would be a win.
I really, truly did NOT want to take this job because it will be a big one with many challenges. I told the guy I didn't have time for that shit (I was nice about it), and he was just about begging for me to take at least some of the work. He said he could have someone do the removal of the old deck and have me do what I can and then hire someone else to finish it. I see why he would offer that, but the reality is that plan sucks. A lot. No contractor is going to want to take over someone's half-done work. I don't want someone else doing the removal of the old deck either because it has to tie in to the existing decking further down. Removing too much = creates tons of extra work there.
Jill and her husband Mike don't just want a basic, square lower deck installed. It will have weird angles and fancy curves and shit. It will take a LOT of time to do; if they lived more than a mile away I would not even want to touch it. Kat and I talked it over, and she is okay with my taking it on so with her blessing I think this thing is going to happen. I can start it next Tuesday; I better text Kevin and see if he wants to make some cash as my helper for this job because I definitely cannot do it all myself!
All the mowing is done for the next several days, and who knows the lawns might not grow too fast since we haven't had rain in well over a week. Mowing this week was all bad, and last night my allergies were about as bad as ever in my life. Everything is so friggin' dry that there is dust mixed in with dandelion spores and stupid shit. Add that to ceiling-tile dust and it's game over for me. What a bunch of crap! The warm summer weather has been great, though. Another 80-degree day today, but with fairly high humidity. Hopefully I can have a few drinks tonight and sleep like a baby. Then tomorrow I can get most of my awesome wife's recording booth done. I worked on that yesterday and got a lot more done. On Sunday I'm heading down to Phil's to help him figure out a leaking skylight.
Other than allergies that have hit me hard twice in the past week I have felt pretty good and have gotten back into my bootleg gym three times this week (took a couple weeks off from lifting to do that friggin' roof.) I've also been regular with the yoga and jogging so I'm accidentally down to about 143 pounds. OMG! I don't think I've ever been so light in the spring before, not since I was a kid anyway. Normally this time of year I have some "tax preparer" pounds from the winter desk job. Tax job ended early this year thanks to Covid-19, and I've been doing more manual labor these past 2+ months. Once several years ago I know I was about 143 in the fall after raking and lots of outdoor work. I'm not trying to lose weight so hopefully I don't lose too much more! We are about to order Chinese food for supper so those calories will help fatten my ass up...
Monday, 5-25-20: Leaving soon for a 66-mile drive
down to Warren.
I set my alarm clock for 0525 (today's date hehehe just a coincidence) but was up an hour before that as expected. My alarm clock rarely wakes my ass up these days, and the thing is borderline obsolete. I hardly ever need to get up at a scheduled time since I am self-employed. However, we usually bivouac early and are up relatively early anyway. Obviously when the world gets back to "normal" and my awesome DJ-wife gets back to work at the bars that will change when she does her gigs, especially Friday nights where we used to sack out closer to 0200. Sometimes even later it we went to Denny's with drunk friends hehe.
On the three occasions this month where I have set my alarm clock, the three differrent times I have planned to go to the midcoast to turkey hunt, I have been up well before the alarm could sound off each and every time. Nevertheless I still got close to 7 hours of sleep last night so that's not bad at all. I feel wide awake, and drinking a little caffeine from my Mio-water helps put some "awakes" in the bank for my 1.5-hour drive, too. As an added bonus gas is still super-cheap; the price has gone up some from its low of around $1.60 a gallon last month, but it's still around $1.85, give or take. Not bad! One positive effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is less travel and cheap gas and oil.
Jason has shot one tom turkey, and Dad shot a tom and a jake so Dad met his 2-turkey limit. In the spring you have to shoot a male, but in the fall any sex goes. Last fall there was a 5-bird limit OMG! I rarely turkey hunt in the fall, though. Hunting them in the spring is more fun because they respond better to calls. Even though Dad is all done hunting he will still go out with Jason and I this morning to help call and because he loves it. The plan is to meet up at Mom and Dad's around 0730 then head out to the prison farm. I'm really looking forward to it, and the weather should be decent for the morning.
This weekend I did an official proposal for Jason's showroom roof in Rockport. Today when I see him we'll chat about it and figure out the logistics of it all. He already has seen the proposal since I sent him a beefy e-mail about it all, and I know he wants it done. The roof is a large 28-square in total, but nothing about it seems overly difficult other than the large-ish size:
I don't know when I'll do that roof; either mid-month next month or September seem most likely. I'd love to do it next month, but that all depends on what Phil needs me to do down at his place and whether or not Gavin finally gets ready for me to start his sheetrock. Phil has a skylight that has been leaking so we are going to strip the roof around that and try to figure it out. Maybe I'll go down to his place for a day next weekend to help get that started. Who knows it might be a quick job or it might get pretty involved and require many precious... precious days to solve. I'm hoping it's quick and easy...
Earlier this year Gavin thought I'd be installing sheetrock in his soon-to-be "penthouse" upstairs apartment by May, but his progress has all but stalled all this month due to his job. His company laid off some people so he has had extra work piled onto his desk. What a bunch of crap! I don't care when I start his sheetrock because I have plenty else to do, but I want him to get that apartment done so he can start living there. I did text him this weekend, and he has been up there framing at least some of the time. Once he gets the rest of the framing done hopefully he can get more wiring installed then have code to take a look and then I can start some sheetrock.
I also have plenty of work on the apartments lined up for these warmer months ahead. If time allows this coming week then I'll start a deck over at my Chamberlain St duplex. That property also needs other work like trim paint, replacement lattice in some areas, new front steps, etc. I could spent all summer at that one property alone and find enough to keep me busy. The detached garage needs work as well, but I think most of that can wait until next year. Maybe? Hopefully!
Alright turds, all two of you who actually read this bootleg site of mine, I'm gonna get my shit together and head south. I can't forget my model 870 shotgun or else I'll also be a spectator like Dad will be today! Most of my camo gear and shells are already in the truck. I'm signing off at 0525 on 5-25 haha. Hey my alarm clock would be going off right now if I was still bivouaced. I'm glad I got up early so I don't have to rush, though.
Saturday, 5-23-20: A great night for a party
Even thought it was a hot 88 degrees yesterday during the day it did cool off for a perfect night. We had some friends over, and everyone brought some food and drinks so we had an awesome cookout meal and plenty of booze.
^Plenty of room in the back yard for a dozen or so people to "social distance." I didn't start the fire too early, F that, but we have nice, dry wood stacked out back under the far deck so it didn't take too long to create this:
^First backyard fire of 2020; hopefully we'll have many more.
Meanwhile my awesome wife and her assistant/trainee, Heather, were running some karaoke inside:
Before Covid-19 hit the world so hard Kat had Heather doing some of the karaoke with her as an apprentice, and the plan was to have Heather do some solo gigs in the future. Obviously now those plans are on hold bigtime. What a bunch of crap!
Last night would have been a Jester's night, but it seems bars won't open until July due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I don't really miss Jester's, but I do miss a society that doesn't have to hide from a virus that has killed almost 100,000 people in the USA this year. Concerts, fairs, festivals, etc have all been cancelled for this summer. No Bangor Fair, no Union Fair, no Lobster Festival, etc. I don't give a shit about the fair, but it is sad for those who do enjoy it.
Some people got WRECKED last night. Puke on the front porch? Check. Falling down drunk, check. Thankfully no one fell into the fire, and thankfully I didn't overdo it so I have no hangover. I got drunk, but not too drunk. Sadly my awesome wife has a hangover. What a bunch of crap! We did have fun, and today is a lazy no-work day. Tomorrow I can keep working on our kitchen ceiling and Monday I will go turkey hunting one last time. Dad got his 2nd turkey Thursday PM, but Jason and I can hunt and Dad will tag along with us because he loves it. Maybe we will have some luck out at the prison farm. There are lots of fields out there, and turkeys often hang out in those fields. Getting close enough to shoot one can be a challenge, but a fun challenge.
Thursday, 5-21-20: Great weather all week.
Yesterday I got half of our backyard 100% seeded and covered with straw in most of the bare spots and patches. One bale of straw did this whole area:
Hopefully the fence will work great for keeping the dogs out of there, so far so good, but Copper isn't too impressed with it...
^STOP WIZZING ON THE FIRE PIT! WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! He actually does that on occasion even when half the yard is not fenced off. Typical male dog gotta mark his turf. He is 4.5 years old, Tiger Lily just turned 4 earlier this month (the Golden in the foreground), and Groot will be 3 in a couple weeks.
After I finished the straw in the yard I still had plenty of time to work on the kitchen ceiling, mow our yard, and go for a jog. 23:36, not a bad time for 3 miles, but I did have to walk some. No jog today, scheduled off-day from exercise. However, I still got some exercise when I did some mowing at two of the rental property yards and when I worked on the ceiling. I had 640 pounds of concrete to drop off at one of the rentals as well as more stone for our own back yard. The concrete is for deck footings; I should get that done next week. Maybe? Hopefully!
Since the forecast for tomorrow is so great we plan to have some friends over for a cookout and then a fire later. My awesome DJ-wife will also have some karaoke set up for those enjoy singing. I have done some karaoke at the house lately, but only when there is a small crowd of about two people. Those two people include my wife and I hehehe. If there is a crowd I'd rather hang out and not sing. Unless I get really drunk then I might sing, but hopefully that doesn't happen tomorrow. For sure I'll get boozed up, but I don't want to be all hungover Saturday.
I got 4 recessed lights installed in the kitchen ceiling yesterday, and I did 3 more today. I took this picture yesterday afternoon:
I won't finish the ceiling until probably June, but maybe I can get it all done next week if things fall into place. That ceiling is a great "Rainy day" project, but it has not rained in days and it needs to get done so I don't feel guilty working on it when it is so nice outside. I've been outside a lot this week so a couple hours inside the house here and there is just fine.
The tax office has taken in about $500 this week. Oh Jesus, hell ya! I finished a large 3-year package Monday for a new client and then today I took a break from doing that ceiling to take care of one of my tenants and prior-year tax clients today. I also got paid yesterday from that big roof job so we have enough precious... precious money to do cool things like improve our back yard and get a new kitchen ceiling with better lighting.
There was a roof job I thought for sure I'd get hired for just two streets away, 1/4 mile drive. However, the homeowners called me Monday PM to tell me they hired someone else. They wanted me to have contractor insurance, which I have never had. I'm not a real contractor hehehe! I'm really surprised they didn't hire me since they are really good friends with the owners of the roof I just finished. That roof came out great, and I know I got a good reference. Oh well I'm actually relieved I didn't get that next job because I don't want it. That last roof took too long and was too much work gods damn it. My nincompoop insurance guy finally called me with a quote yesterday, a week later than he said he would. $927 for a year's worth. OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! F that shit! I guessed it would be closer to $500 for a year...
I went turkey hunting down at the ol' homestead Tuesday; revielle was 0130 and I was at Jason and Holly's house at 0400 and watching my decoy in their large field a few minutes before legal hunting time even began. It was a beautiful morning to watch the woods come alive, and at 0445 I did hear some gobbles off in the distance. Unfortunately no turkeys came my way. What a bunch of crap! Dad and I did some more hunting that morning, but nothing was happening. We had a nice lunch visit then I stopped by Jason's showroom in Rockport on the way home to measure that roof. It's big, 28 square, but it looks like my next job. The roof I just finished was 14 square plus another 2 on that pesky front part.
I don't know when I'll do Jason's showroom roof or if I will do it at all, but I'm pretty sure I will. I won't touch that thing in July or August so maybe next month or September. I'll have to talk to him some more to see who if anyone, he has available to help. I can bring a friend and camp out down there and get it done. 28 square is damn big, but no staging will be needed and it's not a complex roof at all. No dormers, no angles, not even a chimney to flash around!
It is nice being between big projects right now. I can tackle some smaller things and enjoy this great weather some more. Next week I might make my way down to Phil's to see his next project, fixing a leaking skylight. That shouldn't take anywhere near the time that his siding took to do last year and the year before, though. Gavin also needs sheetrock work done, but he hasn't finished framing and prep yet so that one is on hold for now, too.
Monday, 5-18-20: It was a pretty good weekend.
I do not feel tired, but maybe after I write on my bootleg blog here I will feel tired and go back to sleep for a bit. If not I can do some paperwork and then go out back and finish seeding this area of our yard:
Our back yard has many bare spots that need a lawn so we are trying to bring it back to life. Having three dogs and a giant maple tree back there makes it hard for grass to grow in certain areas. We actually spent a full work day yesterday here at our own house. My awesome wife did that fence as well as several other outdoor, backyard projects. Groot looks a little sad to have a fence there so the yard it cut in half for the dogs for a while:
Kat also worked on this while I finished taking down the double-sheetrock layer in the kitchen in preparation for more recessed lights:
Looks awesome! We need more green in our lawn gods damn it...
Oh, finally this was also her idea:
Fun little feeder for the birds and squirrels. Her friend gave her that miniature picnic table that he made himself. We also have a second one not in the photo.
The yard is not done yet, but it's already looking 10 times better than it did at this time yesterday. We still need to plant the two raised-bed gardens and today I'll give the part of the back yard that does have nice grass its first mow of the season. I already did mowing at two of the rentals twice now, but other areas are just now springing to life. Late spring? Me thinks yes. Trees are not even in full leaf-out yet. What a bunch of crap!
The forecast for all this week is fantastic. Lots of sun, nice days, and a slow warm-up to possibly over 80 by Friday. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Yesterday was around 70, perfect for outdoor yard work and a jog around the block. Saturday wasn't too bad either, a little wet to start but not so bad that I couldn't do a couple hours of work at that big roof job. I finished a small overhang and did some cleanup there. Today I just need to reinstall some siding and stow tarps. Hopefully I can bill the owners and get PAID.
I also have a tax client scheduled for today at 1000, three years worth of taxes to file. I have her stuff mostly ready to go, but it will take an hour or more to get it all wrapped up and it *should* be my highest-paying client so far for my new business. Between those taxes and that roof invoice I could be looking at taking in a nice chunk of money later today. Maybe? Hopefully!
I don't have any big projects for this coming week, and that is a great feeling. I might have another local roof to start in a couple weeks, but right now that is 50/50. The homeowners called me last night and want to hire me, but they also want me to have contractor insurance so I have an insurance guy looking into that for me. He was supposed to give me a quote days ago, but he failed. What a bunch of crap! These homeowners have another bidder on standby for their roof so they want an answer from me one way or the other ASAP. I'll call the insurance guy this AM, and if he doesn't have some info for me by later today then I'll just pass on that roof. Either way works for me, but it would be nice to do that roof since it is so close and since I already have my helpers lined up and have put in the time to do a solid quote.
At this time tomorrow I'll be driving down to the ol' homestead. I want to get into Jason and Holly's expansive back woods at first light to turkey hunt at the back end of their big field. Neither Jason nor Dad have any interest in being in the woods at 0430 so I'll fly solo for a while and then meet up with Dad to turkey hunt with him. I plan to have lunch with Mom and Dad and then check out Jason's showroom roof on my way back home in the afternoon. Jason wants me to shingle his showroom roof in Rockport, something we discussed last year. Suddenly roofing has become my temporary niche! I'll just get some measurements tomorrow; I might not actually do that roof until the fall...
So revielle for me tomorrow will be 0215. I guess I should sleep more between now and then so I can actually stay awake in the woods. It would be great if my damn body would feel tired ASAP so I can go back to bed and sleep a couple more hours. I could take a nap later, but I'd rather stay awake and get things done during the good-weather daylight hours. I could just stay up all day and bivouac tonight super early, too. I dunno and I'm not too concerned about it. I can drink Mio energy water (caffiene like a boss) to power through for a while.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this useless blog of mine, I'm gonna do other things now and then either go back to bed or go out back and seed some of the dead areas of our lawn. Goonies never say die!
Saturday, 5-16-20: A long, hard work day yesterday.
Oh, up in the middle of the night again epic fail!
I was not drunk when we went to sleep, but I somehow knew I would not sleep well. Sure enough here I am in the middle of the night writing my useless thoughts to almost no one. [sigh] I would love to be sleeping right now. I should have drank more so I just passed out. What a bunch of crap!
My hands hurt and my entire body is sore from doing so much roofing this week. I worked 9.5 hours on that friggin' roof yesterday, but with Kevin's help in the afternoon we did get the main roof 100% done and stowed all the staging and a lot of the gear. By the end of the day I felt beat. Thankfully the weather was great for roofing all day yesterday. Cloudy, around 60, not too windy (finally light wind!)
^Photo taken of Kevin shingling on Wednesday. He put two shingles on upside-down hehehe. Easy fixes just something I can rib him about forever. He's never done roofing before, but he is a smart guy and if you are not afraid of heights it's not rocket science. Line up shingle, nail it to roof. Okay it is a lot more than that with math at edges and around obstacles like a chimney and skylights, but in general it doesn't require a genius IQ to perfect...
^I did that part while Kevin shingled off to the right today. I used some roof calk there also as an extra precaution.
^Looks great and is now 100% done! All I have left is reinstalling a bit of siding on the front porch area. I had to reflash that:
I also have a tiny overhang above their door to shingle and some cleanup left, maybe 2 hrs total. Then I can invoice them and get PAID! I might finish it today, but Monday works just as well.
This coming week I plan to finish some things around the house. Kat's studio recording "booth" is half-done and so is our kitchen ceiling. Last Sunday John did come wire some things for us at the house including the recessed lights above the bar, which are on right now and are awesome to have. All I wanna know is why? Why didn't I think of them 6 years ago when I had this house under remodel? I guess because I was not as good at this type of stuff as I am now...
May, 2014! This house looks so much different now, and in a very good way.
The forecast for this weekend is good so we plan to do some yard work. The back yard could use its first mowing of the season, and we can start the garden and seed bare spots in the lawn. I don't want to work too much because I do need a break after all that roofing. I've done roofing before, but this time it seems like it really wore my precious... precious body down. More-so than I can recall in the past. It's not a bad type of wear, it was great exercise, and it reminded me of how I feel during and just after blueberry raking season. Something I could not do year-round, but every now and again is good to help stay in shape. Maybe? Hopefully!
I might be starting another roof in 2-3 weeks. A slightly larger roof, but one with an easier pitch and one not two stories off the ground. Jason also needs his showroom roof done this year so it seems I am the guy for that, too. No blueberry raking this year because Cliff "retired" last year. He might need us next year (his field on a 2-year cycle) we'll see...
Alright turds, all two of you who read this pathetic excuse for a website, I'm gonna go see if I can sleep. Being up in the middle of the night because you can't sleep = what a bunch of crap!
Wednesday, 5-13-20: Life in the middle of a pandemic
and why can't I sleep?
Once the virus took hold in America two months ago there was a surge of "shut it down!" sentiment from the populace and our government reacted quickly. In March schools closed, bars/restaurants closed, and many businesses also closed. Need a haircut? If you don't know how to use shears or scissors to manage your mop-top then fuck off because no barber for you. Racquetball at Gold's gym? Forget it all public gyms closed. Grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores = all open but with more limited hours and customers allowed into the store at one time.
I feel conflicted about the whole reaction to Covid-19 as a whole. I do think shutting things down early was the right call, but now it is time to start getting back to normal. The virus is incredibly contageous, but it "only" kills about 2% of everyone infected. 2% is no small number, but keeping everyone cooped up and shut down for too long causes severe damage in other ways. People who live in nursing homes really took it hard. No one can visit them anymore, and in many nursing communities there have been horrible outbreaks with heartbreaking results. The elderly are especially vulnerable so says Captain Obvious. If I lived in a nursing home I personally would root for death every single day because F that, but imagine being old and living to see kids and grandkids and not being able to do that. No bingo in the community room. Trapped in a room. I'd just want to die.
Our president has handled the situation poorly, but no one could handle it the right way since this is all unprecedented in our lifetimes. President Trump has me torn because on one hand I like how he drops the hammer and promotes our American economy. However, personally the man is a toilet who has taken to verbally attacking reporters during some of his press briefings. It's all a big mess!
^COVID-19 YOU SUCK.
I weep for the society that will exist after I am dead and long gone. This Covid-19 mess will cost future taxpayers for decades upon decades. My nephew, my niece, pwned. There have been a few fderal bailouts designed to help keep people afloat, but at times parts of the bailouts seem too generous. $1200 per person whose income is below $75,000? Great gimme mine! Married filing jointly? Then you get $2400 and if you have kiddos under age 17 throw on an extra $500 per kid. For a family with 4 younger kids that would be $4400. OMG! To me the married cutoff of $150k is funny because our highest income, ever, for one year is maybe $60 or $65k. Kat and I just got our $2400 "economic stimulus" payment today. I'll take it, no complaints there, but nothing comes for free and it has to get paid back somehow if the USA wants to stay viable long-term. We can't just print money, that is not how things work.
Speaking of work I have more than I can handle, or nearly-so. Sadly my awesome DJ-wife won't be working for a while more to come since all bars are still closed. Getting married anytime soon and want a crowd at your ceremony and reception? Forget it. No need for a wedding DJ if there ain't gonna be a wedding. Kat has lost a few weddings already for this year. What a bunch of crap! Things are falling like dominos even well into the summer. She lost a July wedding already and one of her fall weddings pushed back a year. What a bunch of crap! Summer fairs and concerts are also gone. The Nothing took them away like it once took away the beautiful lake from the Rock Biters from the North in The Neverending Story. Covid-19 will be like our neverending story gods damn it! There is no cure and it will be with us for a long time, maybe forever like the flu and AIDS...
All I wanna know is why? Why am I awake at nearly midnight and writing my useless thoughts to almost no one when I should be sleeping? I have not slept enough this week, but oh well. That fucking roof job has really taken its toll on me, but I'm a glutton for punishment so I keep going. Today I had a long day, up at 0457 and in the tax office before 0700 to work on 3 years worth of taxes before I met up with Kevin to start roofing next door. I taught Kevin the basics of shingling today and he only put two on upside down. Hehehe. I gave him grief for that and then I cut a couple end shingles wrong myself. Not long after that it was quittin' time because when you hit that mental and/or physical wall you gotta call it off. Gavin can relate from our years as blueberry rakers. You might be in the best row of the season and making big money, but when you are done you are done doesn't matter if you need one more box to get to $200 for the day it is just time to quit for the day.
I did forget how hard roofing is to do so my bad there. The next roof we do will be easier, but this one is a challenge. It's not like Ninja Gaiden level 6-2 hard, but it is arduous and a 2nd story roof with a 12/12 pitch is no joke. Lots of up, down, up, down, tired body, worn hands, etc. The roof I am doing is incredibly visible to the world so sometimes we get visited by random slapnuts. Today some guy wanted to hire Kevin and I (no upside-down shingles when he stopped in hehehe) so I had to politely do this:
DEAR WORLD I AM NOT TAKING ANY MORE BIG JOBS, AND MAYBE I AM NOT TAKING SMALLER ONES EITHER. I ALREADY HAVE TOO MUCH ON MY SCHEDULE FOR THE YEAR 2020 THANKS BUT NO THANKS.
Some other guy stopped in basically asking for work, but he was probably a little retarded because he asked if we had shingled the other side and no shit you douche even a blind person would know we did the other side just look at the fucking thing it looks brand new! I don't fault the guy for asking for work, but if you look and see the job is 75% done yet ask if it is only 33% done then that is some serious Stenier math. What a bunch of crap! (Youtube Scott Steiner math it is hilarious if you are a wrestling fan.)
You know they say that all men are created equal,
but you look at me and you look at Samoa Joe and you can see that statement
is not true. See, normally if you go one on one with another wrestler,
you got a 50/50 chance of winning. But I'm a genetic freak and I'm not
normal! So you got a 25%, AT BEST, at beat me. Then you add Kurt Angle
to the mix, your chances of winning drastic go down. See the 3 way at
Sacrifice, you got a 33 1/3 chance of winning, but I, I got a 66 and 2/3
chance of winning, because Kurt Angle KNOWS he can't beat me and he's
not even gonna try!
A 141 2/3 chance of winning. AHAHHAHAHA! God (who does not really exist) love pro wrestling.
Tuesday, 5-12-20: More roofing in stupid weather.
The rain lasted until about 0830, but we made the best of it by taking a little jaunt up the road to the next roof job that I'm most likely getting hired for. We had a nice chat with the homeowners, and Hawk got to tour the roof for the first time. Thankfully the rain did end, but things were cold, damp and uncomfortable for a while as we set up staging, ladders, etc. Things did dry out since it was incredibly windy, but we worked on the north side so I think the winds wanted to come more from the west today and we didn't get the full force of it. A few times we got blasted pretty hard, gusts around 30MPH maybe, but we were cautious.
Oh, I forgot to mention that around mid-morning we had a few more showers and snow flurries. Yeah snow OMG! Temps never got out of the mid-40s today. What a bunch of crap! Funny because yesterday when Kevin and I were working the sun hit us hard midday and I was getting a tan. Then of course yesterday also got windy so when I went for a jog before supper it was getting cooler, gusty S winds, and threatening rain. All I wanna know is why? Why is it so windy lately?
^Hawk on a short break midafternoon. Not pictured is a sweet dump trailer hooked to Jeff's truck (homeowner) that we were able to throw the old shingles into. We had to be very careful with the tarps and collecting rogue old nails. Gavin loaned me his magnet-tool so that helps cleaning up nails. The scaffholding also saves precious... precious time, but I suck and am still behind schedule. Gods damn it!
This roof job is taking more of a toll on my ass than I hoped it would. I've put in 34.75 of my own precious... precious hours, and I still have a couple days to go. All I wanna know is why? Why does everything take longer than I think it will? I had to take some siding off yesterday so that was a setback. Bye bye extra time for that bullshit. I'll hopefully squeeze a few more bucks out of the homeowners for that. Not looking to take advantage, especially since they are very nice people, but it is only fair. Extra bullshit = extra pay. I quoted this job and am not working for an hourly pay rate so maybe that was my bad. I dunno yet and won't know until the end. I will still make money.
^Stupid shingles nailed onto the flashing way up under the siding to the point there was no other solution. What a bunch of crap!
Next two days look to be decent. Breezy/windy tomorrow but more sun and 55. Thursday looks great, mid-60s, so hopefully I can finish it by then. Having Hawk (real name Jim) work with me is fantastic because he has a good work ethic and knows carpentry, but he is only available one day a week because he has a full-time job. Today I was very pleased with what we got done. Kevin is also a good helper and a smart guy, but he has never done roofing before so there is a learning curve there.
Saturday, 5-09-20: May snow pwned.
^OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! May 9, snowing, accumulating. Thankfully we are not going to get too much, 1-3" and nothing really sticking to the roads. It is quite rare to have snow and 33 degrees this time of year, though. This has been a relatively cool and windy spring so far, and that sucks ass. Warmer weather is expected by later in the week when we finally hit the 60s for an extended period of time. Seasonal norm temps = ME WANT. It sucks going for a jog when it's almost always windy and on the verge of being cold. No jog today!
We had Neil and Ang over last night as well as Dillon and Debbie and had some fun hanging out in the karaoke room (aka my awesome wife's studio.) Unfortunately "Mom" (aka Katherine) decided to shut us down at around 2230. What a bunch of crap! Her bedroom is above the studio so when she wants to bivouac we can't have the music on in there. She was hanging out with us and having fun, but I guess she just got tired. Too bad because she doesn't work today. She did allow us to play music until 2300, how kind of her. Oh well in hindsight it was the best decision for us all because now I have no hangover and neither does my awesome fun-wife. Score! Even better, we have some leftover pizza to eat today.
In an alternate universe deviod of Covid-19 we would have just gotten back from a week-long vacation at the Royal Haciendas in Mexico. Sadly all the resorts down there are still closed due to the pandemic and the flights to and from can't happen anyway. What a bunch of crap! Some states are slowly reopening including our own state, but the reopening plan sucks. A lot. For May no gatherings of 10 or more allowed, bars closed, restaurants are takeout only, no movie theaters, etc. Masks in stores required. I personally don't mind wearing my little sheetrock-dust mask in stores, but some people get pissy about having to wear a mask and some people are too dumb to "social distance." Those fuckin' DINKS.
^To all the morons who can't go to a store and stay 6 feet away. I don't give a shit if I get Covid-19, I might have already had it anyway, but I don't want my awesome wife to get it (she also probably already had it, but we don't know for sure.) To me personally wearing a little mask for a bit in a store is no big deal.
It seems like July might be when Kat starts doing karaoke at bars again, but that is just an educated guess based on Governor Mills phased reopening plan. In June gatherings of up to 50 are allowed and a few more things open, and then by July most restrictions ease even more. Sadly about 1/2 of the weddings Kat had booked are not happening anymore. What a bunch of crap! Whether or not she can get unemployment remains to be seen, but we have the ball rolling on that. She has lost out on a tremendous amount of money since the pandemic took hold of the world close to two months ago.
Last night I was half drunk in the studio talking to Neil and I told him I didn't miss Jester's. Having a fun place at the house to hang out is great, and my awesome wife did a fantastic job arranging her studio to be an inviting space. Since we didn't get to go to Mexico this week I did other things like turkey hunt last Saturday, finish half a roof midweek, and work on this some:
^That will be Kat's recording "booth" in her studio, and one day when we sell this house and move whomever buys the place can use it as a closet if recording music doesn't appeal to the next owner(s). I won't finish it today or even this coming week, but I can pick away at it and spend a little more time in there tomorrow. Today we plan to just be lazy and watch movies and TV for a good chunk of the day. I might also check to see what is available at the Royal Haciendas for late summer and into the fall so we can start to figure out when we can reschedule our vacation. We do have the airline credit for flights so that helps.
Hopefully this coming week I can finish the roof at the house next to my tax office; if the weather cooperates I can have it done Wednesday or early Thursday. I'm glad the weather is poor today (NOT GLAD FOR SNOW AND COLD F THAT) so I can rest because working on that roof did wear me out quite a bit. If today was a nice day I would have felt obligated to go work on the roof. I've had tennis elbow again these past couple days from stripping off the old shingles with the roof rake. What a bunch of crap! Doing that work is like using the gym, actually it's even more arduous. Up, down, up, down, (left right left right B A B A start hehehe) on the ladder and staging 100 times in a day plus moving heavy shingles and tools, it all adds up. I do enjoy doing roofing, but I should probably charge more than I do in the future. I'll likely average out at $25/hr, but I wanted to be closer to $30. We'll see how the second half of the job goes.
So far I am up to 21.25 hours there, and I planned 40 hours for the whole job. One half of the roof is 100% done as shown above and the other half will go faster. Two hours was spent with Kevin just figuring out the best way to set up the scaffholding. I've never set that up before so learning how to use it was a good experience. Unfortunately there is a front part, roughly 2 square with 2 skylights to work around, that also needs doing besides just the other half of the main roof. The front part is a gentle slope not far above the ground (you can barely see it off to the right in the photo) so it will be easier to do than the main roof. No staging and planks needed for that.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this pathetic excuse for a website, I'm out like a fat kid in dodge ball. Goonies never say die!
Wednesday, 5-06-20: Got more done yesterday than
I thought we would. Fun with staging.
I started taking the ceiling down in that corner just after 0600; I've been waking up around 0530 for each of the past three days. No alarm clock needed. We have bivouaced earlier this week so I feel pretty good and ready to roll. After I took the ceiling down I did the 2x4 framing, and I had time to run a few errands and stop by Lowe's to buy supplies both for that soon-to-be recording booth and for the roof job that we started yesterday afternoon. I bought three new 2x10 planks because the ones I own now are half-rotten and standing on a rottiing plank on a 12/12 roof = what a bunch of crap!
I have a helper lined up for tomorrow, but I wasn't 100% sure what I would do about the other days so on Sunday I texted my friend, Kevin, and he agreed to help. I like Kevin, he is a good guy, Air Force veteran a tad older than Kat and I and not an idiot. I wanted someone who seems to be reliable for setting up staging, and since I have never set up staging before that was even more important than usual.
The owners of the house I am shingling are really nice retired people, my tax office neighbors. Jeff has a lot of supplies on-hand already including a bunch of staging (or scaffholding if you prefer) that he offered to let me use to do his roof so I factored that into my price. Staging = much better than ladders. However, I have never in my life set up staging before so I knew that would take a bit. I've been on staging before more than once, but only after it was all set up. Turns out setting the stuff up isn't that hard, and after a couple hours of setup we were able to start stripping the old shingles. Here is what things looked like when we quit yesterday after a good 4-hours of working:
Today, tomorrow, and Friday all look to be decent weather days so hopefully we can get the entire roof 75% or more done. Today we should have that side totally stripped down and ready for new ice/water and shingles and possibly we'll be able to start stripping the other side later today or tomorrow. A big, cold, windy rainstorm (mountain snow?) hits Friday night so we need to have it 100% covered by then. Jeff wants ice/water the entire way up so even if we don't shingle it all we should have it covered and waterproof. Maybe? Hopefully! If all goes well I'd like to have it all 100% done by this time next week. Doesn't look like I'll work there at all this weekend based on the weather forecast...
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site of mine, I'm gonna go yoga then get my ass to work. Today looks perfect for doing roofing. Sun and clouds, near 60, low humidity = GIMME MOAR. It's only 35 degrees outside at this still-early hour so I'll do DDY Yoga then get ready to roll out. Hopefully we stay safe and have a great, productive day today. Goonies never say die!
Monday, 5-04-20: Starting a roof this week.
Thursday and Friday will be full work days there as long as the weather cooperates. Right now the forecast is decent enough. A tad cooler than average in the 50s, but no major precip. Mid 50s will feel a lot warmer than that up on the roof, especially if there is some sun.
One of my list items today is finalizing a quote for another nearby roof. I got the quote mostly done yesterday so today I can print it and bring it to the potential customers. I hope they do decide to hire me since it's another nearby roof. Even better this other roof has a lower pitch so no staging is needed. Single-story ranch similar to our own house roof = ME WANT. These other people are friends with the owners of the house pitcured above so hopefully if I do good work there then that will seal a deal for this potential second roof.
Also on the list for today is putting some more trash out by the street at a couple of the rental properties. I put trash out from our own cellar yesterday before supper. My awesome wife spent hours cleaning and organizing in the basement yesterday morning while I did some more work on our kitchen ceiling. I got four more recessed lights installed including the two that will be above our bar area. Those two are not wired yet; I'll get Ben and/or John to take care of that as well as a few other things after I finish that roof. All six recessed lights in the dining room area of the kitchen are done now and work great. I won't finish the ceiling for a while because the supplies I need are still on order. Gods damned covid-19 pandemic = no fast shipping on many items anymore. Order recessed lights and cans, wait a month to receive them. What a bunch of crap! Probably I could pay for sumer expensive express shipping, but F that.
One project I did finish last week was the mulch and steps at my Gilmore rental house. That project took many of my precious... precious hours, but I did a little here, a little there, and I had plenty of time last month due to the pandemic anyway.
They didn't come out great in terms of height and spacing (got a tad steep at the end what a bunch of crap!) but they look good enough, tons better than the shit-show that was there before.
^The darker-colored mulch will dry to the same color. It was freshly spread out in those areas and was a little wet from the pile. I bought 6 yards of mulch and used roughly 4 yards along that hillside and the house itself. I could use another 1/2 yard filling in some low spots so I'll have spare mulch for other properties. The entire project cost about $525. $208 for the plants (16 shrubs at $13 each), $210 for mulch, and slightly over $100 for landscape fabric and misc. A few bucks for wasp killer since the yard was filled with ground hornets. There were a million of those little fuckers, or so it seemed. What a bunch of crap! None of them stung me, though.
This year the city is doing a May cleanup to include most household debris like old furniture and wood. Normally the city only goes around each May to collect brush and white goods (dryers, washers, stoves, etc) so this is a huge bonus. I'm not sure if the landfill will be open for extended May hours, but I should check now. Normally the landfill is only open for the first and third Saturday of each month, 0700-1400, so those hours suck. A lot. Especially for a guy who does random carpentry and who will have old roof shingles to haul on pretty soon. HEY BREWER PLEASE MAKE THE DUMP AVAILABLE MORE THAN TWICE A MONTH.
In every past May that I can recall the landfill/dump has had extended hours for May cleanup, but Covid19 probably changed all that. This fucking virus. We're up to 67,000+ dead nationwide from the thing and more and more people grow frustrated as the economy struggles. Places like Jester's might never reopen, ever. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters, etc. All totally pwned. We all shut down late March and April to "Flatten the curve" to keep hospitals from overflowing, but this shutdown lasting through the entire spring = what a bunch of crap! Our economy is fucked forever if we don't start to open back up.
One other thing on my list for today = fire up the mower and spot-mow. Our lawn doesn't need a mowing yet, but a couple sun-exposed areas at the rentals need a mow. It won't take long, but it is officially mowing season now. We did have a colder than average April (what a bunch of crap!) but things are greening up and in a few days we'll have leaf-out. Yesterday got up to 66 degrees in the afteroon so that was great.
I didn't get a turkey on Saturday, but I only hunted in the AM at Jason's. After we hunted (Jason passed up a small tom turkey) I went to Mom and Dad's to cut up a little tree debris and to have a nice lunch visit. Also had a change a light bulb for them so that makes them officially old. When you have to change light bulbs for your parents then that is foreboding for what may come in the future. In their defense they are not helpless yet, far from it, and the light was in a bathroom light/exhaust fan that is hard to access. You have to stand on a stool to reach it and pull down a cover to even get to the bulb. Mom pulled out an old-style 60-watt bulb and my reaction to it was pretty much LOL WTF?! Who uses those things anymore? Get an LED bulb or GTFO hahaha! Mom Said she doesn't like the LED bulbs because they are not bright enough so I didn't even argue the logic. Most new LED bulbs are fantastic and plenty bright. Oh well how can I judge them when they each have cellphones that can actually send and receive good photos. Dad has a better phone than I do. By a lot. What a bunch of crap!
Saturday, 5-02-20: Time to go turkey hunting!
Today is a weird day because in an alternate universe devoid of a Covid-19 pandemic we all would be arriving in Boston shortly in anticipation of a week-long vacation to The Royal Haciendas in Mexico. The plan was to leave around 0200 after Kat's usual Friday night karaoke gig at Jester's and to fly out around 0800 to Cancun on Southwest Airlines. 8 of us were going to Mexico and now none of us can go. What a bunch of crap! We don't know when we can go; hopefully this fall. We do have flight credit for future use. Mom was also supposed to fly out of Portland today with Aunt Susie to go visit their family on the west coast, but her trip is also pwned. What a bunch of crap!
^TO FUCKING CHINA FOR KNOWING THEY HAD A PANDEMIC AND FOR NOT TELLING THE WORLD ABOUT IT SOONER. YOU COMMUNIST PINKO PRICKS!
I feel more badly for Mom losing her trip than I do about us losing our trip. We were just going to drink a lot of alcohol and lounge around by the pool, but Mom was going to pay her respects to Uncle Jimmy who sadly passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer. He was only 55 years old and he was a great guy. We will all miss him.
It's gonna be a while before we get back to anything resembling normal in this state. Govenor Janet Mills extended the "Stay safer at home" order and things are going to slowly reopen in phases. For all of May masks are required when shopping or when out in crowds in public and no gatherings of more than 10 people are allowed. What a bunch of crap! in June things ease up, but it won't be until July when my awesome DJ wife might be able to go back to work. No bars open, no karaoke, and she already had her May and July weddings cancel. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
Thankfully unemployment is now available for self-employed and "gig" workers, which she definitely is. Unfortunately she bought all kinds of gear last year so on our taxes her DJ business does not show profit. Thankfully we didn't file our 2019 taxes yet so we can hopefully depreciate a lot of that gear to show a small enough profit so she can qualify for some unemployment help. Not working for 3.5 months will be hard for her psyche, but so far she is taking it better than I would be. I have plenty of work to last me well into the fall. Looks like I might be picking up another roof job; I have to quote those people within the next couple days. I wanted to quote them yesterday, but I got busy with an unexpected (and welcome) new tax client and with trying to finish Gavin's plywood floor underlayment. I had a few other things keep me busy yesterday as well.
Alright turds, all two of you who read this pathetic excuse for a blog, I'm gonna get ready to drive south. The economy is crap so gas is all the way down to about $1.55 a gallon now. Oh Jesus hell ya! The 133-mile round-trip drive to Jason's and back will cost me about 10 bucks. It's really only a small consolation and I'd much rather have expensive gas and a good economy, though.