11-25-17: Can I get it all done by mid-December?
The IRS probably won't even start accepting tax returns until the end of January so it is amazing how early we are starting. We started early last year and had a good response to the "Refund advance" program, and this year the refund advance is bigger than ever so the response might be even better. There are already appointments on the schedule for both the Hammond St office and my WalMart location for mid-late Dec. OMG! This tax season could be a busy one. I hope it is busy because I want to make a lot of money. However, I do worry that I might burn out if I work too much. Plus Kat won't be 100% recovered from her knee replacement and I don't want her to be stranded at the house all the time with no one to check up on her.
I have a cat climbing my ladder again. Hehehehe. I usually think the cats in this house serve but one purpose: to keep my awesome wife happy. The kids don't seem to give a shit about their cats, but maybe they do care and I just never notice? However, the cats can sometimes even amuse even me and this is one of those times.
So I essentially have three weeks and four weekends to get my shit done here at the house. I still have to finish the living room ceiling, I have to finish our new entertainment center, I have to redo the bar, and I have to install a new floor in both the living room and kitchen. I think I can have the ceiling and entertainment center/shelves done this coming week with at least the floor started. I hope! Here is the entertainment center now:
I still need to install oak trim, more shelves, and paint. The big opening on the top is for the new TV that we just bought. We ended up getting a 70" Ultra 4K for $999 (on sale from $1499, but that was probably just a gimmicked full price that they haven't charged in half a year. What a bunch of crap!)
If all I did was focus on this house then I'd be done easily enough and with time to spare, but I still have some rental property stuff to take care of including getting this siding back on:
I also have other things to do like send Tommy some of his stuff (much more work than you'd think), Christmas shop, exercise, deer hunt, play racquetball, go to Dr. appts with Kat, set up and break down at Jester's each Friday until Kat recovers, etc. I could skip the deer hunting, but F that it is fun and I want to go a few more times before the season ends. Jason and his friend, Steve, came up last night and we bowhunted. I saw two deer and Steve saw one, but nothing got close enough to shoot. The two I saw at last light were only about 40 yards away from me, though. Today I'm going down to the midcoast to rifle hunt with Dad and Jason. Even though they both already got deer and are tagged out as far as rifle hunting goes they can come along and coyote hunt at the prison farm. (I can still rifle hunt because I got my deer using an expanded archery tag last month.) Today is the last day of the rifle season, but there are two more weeks left of expanded archery or even muzzle-loader hunting if I choose that option. I did get a deer with a muzzle-loader back in I believe 2006. Guy looks now...
In conclusion I got busy again. What a bunch of crap! It has happened to me a lot over the past few years, but eventually I'll make time to screw off more. Hopefully. At least this year I have made more time for exercise and deer hunting, two things I enjoy doing very much. I've played a ton of racquetball this year, too. I'm actually on pace to have my best year of exercise, ever. Not bad for someone who turns 42 in three days.
Tuesday, 11-21-17: Stranger Things and a new
Stranger Things season one takes place in the fall of 1983 so just being set in the 80s is a huge plus. (Season two takes place a year later, fall 1984.) The pop-culture references are fun to see and they all work well. Rotary phones, old video games, movie posters, The Terminator playing at their local theater, etc. The soundtrack for the show is fantastic, too.
Stranger Things brings a nearly perfect mix of scifi, horror, comedy, and drama. The show is well-acted, and it makes you care about every character. The special effects are good, too. I was blown away by the entire presentation, and both seasons really worked for me. However, if I did have to choose I would take season one over season two. I'd give season one a 10 and season two a 9.9 so really the difference is minute. During most of the season one finale I was on the edge of my seat so-to-speak, just rivited to the TV. I think about a show I have seen in my life that is better, and there isn't one that comes to mind at all.
I'd be working on the house right now, but F it I wanted to update this bootleg site that almost no one will ever read. I do plan to work on this for a good part of the day:
Not much to look at now, but it will be out new entertainment center including a 70-inch LCD Ultra 4K TV that we are going to purhase today. Unfortunately, we have to go to Best Buy because that is the only place to get it. I used to hate Best Buy because I worked at Circuit City, but now I do not hate Best Buy. I don't even care... whether or not I care. This was Circuit City earlier in the year:
Here are some 70" TVs for sale on Best Buy's webpage:
We watched Stranger Things on the smaller bedroom TV. I bet it would look great on a brand new 70" TV in the living room! Next time we will watch it on the bigger TV. Season three doesn't come out until next fall, 11 months from now. What a bunch of crap! As Tom Petty once sang the waiting is the hardest part...
Friday, 11-17-17: To go back to the bar or to
just stay home?
I was at Jester's earlier tonight to set up all Kat's gear for the karaoke show. DJ PJ is running the show, and thankfully she is a quick study or else I would be pwned. I know the term DJ-PJ seems ridiculous by the way, but her name really is PJ so it is an unintended pun for sure. Hehehe. I did stick around for the first half-hour of PJ's show just in case I was needed, and there was a display issue right at the start so I am glad that I did stay. Last week I stayed for the entire show, but PJ caught on quick so I didn't have to do much but socialize with all the regulars and have a couple beers for the final three hours of the four-hour show.
I could just bivouac and get Kat's gear in the morning, but I am all amped up and I want to make sure I do a good job for my awesome wife. Unfortunately, Kat's knee is still in tremendous pain 8 days after her total left knee replacement. There is a huge bruise on her hamstring above the back of the knee still, but docs checked it out both yesterday and today and told us there are no red flags. That does offer a modicum of comfort, but I still worry that she is hurting, immobile, and confined to the house for weeks to come. I have it in my mind that if I bivouac right now PJ might just call me for a technical issue and then I am going to the bar so that is why I am still up.
Man, running this house solo is hard. When Kat is fully functional I don't really pay too much mind to some of the household chores, but now that she is on the bench I have to do things like laundry and ensuring the cats have food. I don't really give a fuck about any of the nine cats in this house, but they make my family happy so I can take it like a man. Lately the cats have been pissing me off because they get in the way and they think the bed is their throne. However, it is not that big of a deal and we do throw them all out when we do bivouac. Four of the nine cats in this house do belong to the kids, but that is fine we make it work. I wish it wasn't so cold outside so I could let the cats use this thing right now:
It feels like this house is always under construction. When will it end?! I dunno, but it is a blessing a a curse. I love working on the house and making improvements, but the materials alone are costly so I can only do so much each year. Plus I get busy doing other things and I don't always want to be working. Work to live, not live to work. Right? Something like that. Soon enough I will be working plenty of hours when the JH job gets rolling, but F it I might as well work more in the winter since there is nothing enjoyable to do outdoors for those cold few months.
Tommy just wrote back to me; he and I have texted back and forth a few times today. He has some friends who want to play old-school NES with him, and I wish I could do the same. He also said he loves Stranger Things. Awesome! I knew he'd love it, the only question was whether or not he actually had seen it. What a great show that is, and hopefully I can write more about it next time. For now I am out of here. Goonies never say die!
Thursday, 11-16-17: A little snow and a little
I actually hired a new plow guy for the rental properties last month. Hopefully he does a good job; my last guy did okay, but he was a bit too pricey and a few times he arrived too late. Oh, one time he also did this after the massive blizzard in February:
Then he wanted to charge my ass $200 to bring in a tractor to move it all away from the dumpster. What a bunch of crap! Thankfully he never brought the tractor so I just picked away at it with my shovel and some of it melted away before Evergreen needed to come empty that dumpster. Gods damn winter...
I thought about going deer hunting this morning, but F it I slept in until 0630 instead. I would have had to get up around 0500 to pull it off, no problem, but it would have woken up my wife and she needs to sleep whenever she can. Poor Kat, she is still in a lot of pain after her knee replacement surgery from exactly one week ago. She can only sleep on her back, and that makes it tough for her. Just getting out of bed is difficult, and there is constant pain that medications can barely keep in check. It will be a long road to full recovery, and reading other people's knee replacement stories on the Interweb is not encouraging at all. It seems many people who have a knee replacement have chronic pain that lingers a very long time. What a bunch of crap!
While Kat convalesces I have started some renovations at the house. Again. I'm almost always working on something, and I guess I'd get bored if I didn't have some project to tackle. Right? Maybe?
I canceled a useless window in the living room, and that was a bit more of a pain that I had hoped. There was a little rot around the window on the exterior side. What a bunch of crap! Plus no housewrap or flashing. All I wanna know is why? Why would they not use at least tarpaper to cover that 1/2" plywood sheathing? Moisture got in behind the vinyl siding over the course of many years, and I had to rebuild some of it. For sure I will at minimum be using zip tape if not housewrap so I can keep that plywood covered and protected from future rot.
I did get sheetrock installed on the entire inside living room wall yesterday as pictured above along with a first coat of mud, and I even had time to go for a cold 38-degree jog and go to Jackson Hewitt to talk to the boss about this coming season (I'm going BEAST MODE and making it happen in a big way this coming winter!) After that it was time for supper and episodes 3-6 of Stranger Things Season 2. That show is AWESOME. I'll write more about Stranger Things once we finish season two; we watched all 8 season one episodes earlier this week.
Katherine wants to go shopping for Thanksgiving supplies
today since it is her day off from work. I do not want to go Thanksgiving
shopping at all because I don't even know what to do with the stuff. Green
bean casserole = way above my pay-grade. Real mashed potatos = not possible
given my current kitchen acumen. Stuffing = can not make. Cooking an entire
turkey = I do not know how, but I think with Google, Kat, and Katherine's
guidance we can pull that one off. Throw it in the oven, right? Oh, I
do know what I can make all by myself!
If I were in charge of the Thanksgiving meal all by myself I would have canned cranberry sauce pictured above, deer steak, and frozen veggies. I guess I could also do those instant mashed potatoes. Maybe..
I dreamed I was in the Navy on a ship that sank. Again. Every once in a while I have a dream regarding a sinking ship. All I wanna know is why? Why does that happen? I've been a civilian for damn near 20 years so I guess I would need a psychologist to sort it all out. However, I am fine with being weird so I already don't even care... whether or not I care. The end.
Monday, 11-13-17: Why am I still awake?
Wednesday, 11-08-17: Last day before Kat's left
I have taken care of most of the things I wanted to take care of in advance of this surgery. I got the side yard looking much better, and I finished splitting all the wood on Sunday. I took a couple photos of the work I had been doing, but now I need to find them. Guy looks...
The side yard looks like this now:
Still not 100% cleaned and organized, but good enough. I have a spot for some of our wood to stay dry and a spot for the snowblower. I should lock that snowblower down so it does not get stolen by some pinko mooching thief. God I hate people who steal. EARN YOUR OWN STUFF THIEVES.
My outdoor projects for this year are about done. I do have a siding repair to make from last week's storm and a few potholes to fill, but nothing huge. Good thing because it will be a "record challenging cold snap" of 32 for a HIGH TEMP Friday, and it will be very much like winter around here over the weekend. No snow forecast (squall with a front Thurs night?) but plenty of cold. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, we had it coming after a record warm October. Law of averages and all that.
I'll be focused for the next few days at least on helping Kat recover from her knee replacement. It could take three months for her to heal, but hopefully she starts recovering quickly. While she convalesces here at the house I will be ripping out a closet, removing a window, and building shelves along this entire wall in our living room:
^This will be our new entertainment center wall with the TV, speakers, Blu-Ray thing, all the DVDs, etc. Our TV is currently on the other side of the living room, the fireplace side (behind me in that photo.) I still have not 100% decided how I want to build everything, but as usual I will draw up some terrible-looking plans on a scrap piece of paper and just figure it out along the way. I've never been one for elaborate blueprints for remodels.
Doing all the shelves in that corner will take a while because first I need to do sheetrock work, mud, tape, etc. The wall is nearly 12 feet so there will be a lot of shelves. However, Kat owns a load of DVDs and Blue-Rays so all of the shelves that I do build will be put to good use. I don't want it to be bootleg, I want it to all look nice, so I'll take my time and hopefully get it right.
After I do that entertainment wall I can replace the living room & kitchen floor. After that is remodeling the bar, and hopefully I can pull it all off before the JH job starts. I have about 1.5 months before I will be out of time for big projects because I will be working full-time hours doing taxes all winter.
I sure hope Kat has a speedy recovery from her knee surgery. I hope the doctors and staff take great care of her at the hospital, and I hope she does not have a tremendous amount of pain. I'll need to stay close to her for the next few days not only at the hospital but also here at our house so I probably won't update this piece of shit site that no one ever reads for a while. Right now I need to go work with my Sweet Pea in her studio, our former detached garage, so I can help run her Friday night karaoke while she heals. I do NOT want to do her karaoke, but I love her and if I don't help her then no one else will. Hopefully her fill-in friend will do a great job so I don't get stuck down at Jester's essentially running the entire show myself. I don't even really like karaoke. What a bunch of crap!
Sunday, 11-05-17: Our Interweb and TV work again!
After I sat cramped and awkwardly in the truck for 15 minutes to do the bare essentials online I came home, ate some lunch, and then our own TV and Interweb started working again. FINALLY. We went over five days with no TV or Interweb and nearly three with no power after Monday's epic wind-storm. Bangor had a peak wind gust of 66MPH Monday morning; bouys off the coast hit the 80s and 90s for peak winds. Mt. Washington, 135MPH. OMG!
I went hunting with Bill, my brother in law, last night. Lots of trees are down in the woods as well, but there are no trees down anywhere that mess up my Supertree and tree stand setup just up the road. I put Bill in my treestand, and I sat in my ground blind nearby at Supertree. It was great weather for a hunt so I thought one of us would see a deer, but an hour before quitting time Bill got down from the stand and came to get me. Other guys were walking through the area so they compromised our hunt. What a bunch of crap! Hate it when that happens...
Fortunately we had enough time to fall back to the field between the parking area and where we wanted to be. I don't hunt that field too often because other hunters can mess it up, but I figured why not better than just leaving and sometimes there are deer there before dark. I dropped Bill off on one side, and I went to hunt the apple tree on the other side. I hunted the same tree where I shot my very first deer ever in those woods many years ago.
"That deer was the first deer that I've ever shot outside the town of Warren. It's pretty much the first deer in my life that I did all on my own." Yup, November 26, 2010 update. I shot that small deer on the 24th at this tree, the same tree I watched last night for the final hour:
I didn't see any deer there last night, but Bill had two deer come out only five minutes after I dropped him off. Oh Jesus, hell ya! He took a shot at the first one, a spike, but he said he shot under him for a clean miss. Oh well, I know the feeling I have done it before. There are lots of fresh scrapes in there and great deer sign so hopefully Bill has a chance to get back in there and get his deer this year. If things fall into place maybe I'll even get another deer in there this season.
Friday, 11-03-17: Last Jester's karaoke with
Sweet Pea for a while.
If my cellphone cost $60 a month or some shit then I would have "data" and Interweb, but F that I am fine with $34 a month no Interweb on the phone. Half the damn time my phone is an inconvenience, but I need to have it for my precious... precious business. I can do plenty on my computer with no Interweb, too. At least for now. I have been working on organizing my old photos in preparation to transfer everything from this laptop PC to a newer one that I got from Katherine several months ago.
I am heading down to Jester's shortly for what should be our last show until Kat's new bionic knee is installed and heals. This coming Thursday at 0530 we have to report to the hospital so she can have a full left knee replacement. Gods damn lupus degenerated her joints in her legs a lot. The doctors recommended she get a knee replacement years ago, but she waited as long as possible because she is still relatively young. A lot of people in their 60s and 70s get knee replacements, not so many at age 42. Later this month I will be 42 myself. Yeah, my wife is older than my loser ass by about a half a year. She's a cougar! hehehehe.
I guess I will miss Jester's some, but not that much. Hell, at the rate things are going my dumb ass will be stuck running the karaoke show and that would be all bad. Her replacement does not seem so motivated to learn the shit so worst case it falls back to me. I DO NOT want to be a karaoke DJ, ever. I am fine with the slumlording and tax prep. Blueberry raking, no prob. being Kat's DJ assistant is fine, too. However, being the actual DJ = thanks but no thanks and not really even thanks. The beauty of our society is something called the division of labor. Different people do different things that they are good at (ok in theory because half the people suck at their jobs) and that is what is supposed to make America great, not some red ballcap from some half-baked president who would rather post stupid shit on is fire-breathing twitter machine than actually do a good job as America's leader... I digress, but the point is I am no good at karaoke and I am not the right person to run Kat's show while she convalesces. <(Another word I don't know how to spell. What a bunch of crap!)
So for at least a while my Friday night routine will be all different. Is that good? Only time will tell. Sounds like an Asia song but is the reality of the situation. I like getting half in the bag for a couple hours before I head back to the bar. Tonight I used the gym and organized my office computer. No interweb at the office either. Oh well, there hasn't been Interweb in my bootleg office for over a year and I am fine without it. See Neverending Story Morla photo above. I guess I won't drink as much until Kat gets better, and that it probably a good thing. I shudder to think how much money I spend at that bar over the course of a year. I think it is a lot. A lot. Last Friday there was the annual halloween party, and that was kinda fun but honestly not as fun as some others have been. We were all Ninja Turtles, but I hauled on my costume after a couple hours because there was no front zipper so you basically had to take the whole thing off just to take a piss. What a bunch of crap! I ended the night in jeans and a tee shirt and in a huge argument with the beotch bartender who works there on occasion.
This time of year I'd rather just have a quiet night, wake up early, and go deer hunting. That is what I did last night and this morning, but unfortunately I did not see any deer. What a bunch of crap Oh well, maybe tomorrow...
Friday, 11-03-17: NO TV NO INTERWEB TIME TO HUNT.
I am out of the loop on a lot of things because there is no TV or Interweb. Maybe today I'll buy a newspaper. I did call Spectrum, and we are one of the remaining 231 outages they have. They definitely know we are shit on toast, but there are two things we can do about it: nothing and like it. There is no ETA for return service at this point. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, at least we get our bill prorated; they won't charge us for the days we have no service. At this point that will be several days at least of a bill credit.
My Bangor duplex got power back yesterday evening. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Now all the bootleg rentals have power. Deno texted me that Gold's Gym also has power back as of yesterday evening so score one there. We wanted to play Monday, but there was no power. We also wanted to play yesterday but again, no power. Oh well instead of Rball I went for a jog. I did have a pulled right calf muscle that prevented me from doing much jogging last month, but each of the last two days I have gone my normal 3-mile loop and had no ill effects. I am thankful to the gods who do not exist for that because it took a long time to heal up. Once last month I thought it was healed but then I aggrivated it again during a jog. What a bunch of crap! I feel good right now. Wide awake and ready to drag a 200-pound buck a half-mile out of the woods.
I am going bowhunting this morning. I've been up since 0410, and right now it is 0551. Sunrise is late so I can't even start hunting until 0645; I'll leave here in about 30 minutes and poke my way into the woods towards Supertree. I need to allow extra time because I have not been in the woods here since we had mega-tropical-bomb-storm Monday. I'm sure trees will be down along the way. Hopefully my tree stand is okay and hopefully Supertree survived the onslaught. Maybe after my hunt I can find the arrow that passed through the deer I shot last Saturday. I'm still thankful we got to use Jason's generator to save all that venison and other meat we have frozen.
I am not sure why I woke the hell up at 0410. I was actually awake off and on before then. I wanted to go deer hunting this morning, but I did not set the alarm for it. I figured I'd wake up in time to go, but I did not expect to wake up so early. Ah well I'll just take a nap later.
I suppose I have time to go through a few more photos before I gear up to go hunting. I spent about an hour this morning going through all my digital photos, organizing, deleting duplicates, etc. Even though there is no Interweb there is plenty I can be doing offline on this bootleg computer that randomly shuts itself off if I am on too long (fan issue overheating?) Once I get all my stuff organized on this laptop PC I plan to transfer it to another one that I have, same model as this one, thank you Katherine.
Hopefully I see some deer this morning. I don't care if I get another one or not, but if I do get one then bonus. Tonight is Kat's last night at Jester's before her knee replacement in six days so if time permits I'll come back and write a little more after I help her set up tonight. Goonies never say die!
Thursday, 11-02-17: The aftermath of a brutal
storm still affecting us all.
We lost power at the house at 0752 Monday morning, and the power stayed out until last night at around 2115. Three full days with no power and two full nights. What a bunch of crap! We lost some food and a lot of condiments, but thankfully Jason let me use his small 1000-watt generator so I was able to hook up the chest freezer and save all the deer meat and some other frozen foods. It was a close call with the meats and I wasn't sure I could make the save because all that stuff went 1.5 days before I could get the freezer going. Monday night when we realized we might not have power for a while to come I made an emergency plan of action. First I took all the frozen food from the fridge upstairs (which had condensation on it and, even though it was still frozen, seemed ready to start thawing) and packed it tightly into one giant mass with the frozen meat in the chest freezer downstairs. Second, I planned to go to the midcoast early Tuesday morning to get that generator.
Monday night was a rough night for sleeping. No fan, dead quiet, but thankfully not cold. We both slept horribly; I got maybe two total hours of sleep and Kat got even less. What a bunch of crap! I left here at 0400 to go to the midcoast, and I met up with Jason at Mom and Dad's so we could go deer hunting at first light in the oak off the Mt. Road. My original plan was to go deer hunting Monday evening, all day Tuesday, and Wednesday AM before heading back home. Unfortunately, the storm screwed me so all I could muster was a Tuesday morning hunt before I had to get the generator and head back home for a freezer rescue mission. Plus I didn't want to stay away long knowing we had no power. The man of the house needs to be around in an emergency gods damn it.
During our hunt Tuesday morning Jason watched over the swamp from his climbing tree stand, and I stayed higher up in the oak. Around 0900 he texted me that a 6-pointer was heading my way. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Before then I hadn't been too into the hunt. I had been texting some with friends and family up here, and Walt was kind enough to offer us the use of his generator as well since he got his power back on. Amazingly enough Jason and Holly in Rockland didn't lose power at all. Wow! However, Mom and Dad are still pwned with no juice. Hopefully they get theirs back on today. They have a badass generator so they're ok without power.
No sooner had I read the text when I saw him. He was moving right along through the lower end of the oak, and I was able to come to the ready with the safety off. Just prior to that I did grunt and bleat quickly in the hopes of luring him right to me, but I saw he did not respond to the calls at all. there was quite a bit of underbrush so I picked a spot where I might get a shot, but unfortunately he passed by so fast that there was no chance. Gods damn it! I waited a few minutes before trying more grunts and bleats, and then after 10 minutes I even tried rattling, but he was long gone. What a bunch of crap! We think he was on a mission to go find some does because I know he didn't see, hear, or wind me. He just slipped by. Oh well, it happens.
Phil shot a 7-pointer yesterday morning in Oakland on his own property, and he said that buck was chasing does around so this is about prime-time just before the rut really gets going. I do want to rifle hunt some more and maybe even bowhunt again up here once or twice before Kat has her knee replaced in one week, but it is not as important to me since I got that 4-pointer up here Saturday night. Now my focus is still on getting us all back to normal not only here at our own house but also at all the rentals. Once that is done then I can go try to get another deer!
We still do not have Interweb or TV, and we think that is because Bangor west side near Spectrum/formerly Time Warner has no power yet. Gold's Gym right by Spectrum is still without power at last check so no racquetball either. What a bunch of crap! All the Brewer rentals got their power back on when we did last night, but my bootleg Bangor duplex still has no power at all. Epic fail. That property is only 1/4 mile away from downtown so that is really shocking. Downtown Bangor has had power the whole time, and so has the mall area.
Many places will still be days before power is restored. Mom and Dad are hoping they get back onto the grid today. Beechwood St down there was closed Tuesday still because a huge pine tree fell across the road and also wrapped up into powerlines. The Keating Rd was barely passable with some trees and lines down. Huge trees toppled, and here on North Main St the next street up at least one power pole snapped right off and closed the entire road for a while. When Rt. 9 is entirely closed due to downed lines that is all bad.
Overall we fared comparatively well. I had some limbs down, but those are already cleaned up. The siding that blew off the building at my gym/office will suck to repair, but I can handle that. Just gotta get the power company to put up a "boot" because the powerline is a threat to my ladder right there. I don't even plan to call to ask for that boot until power is restored everywhere so perhaps next week I'll tackle that one.
We are lucky to have our fireplace so we had some heat. I also accidentally did it right regarding the new addition to the house. I had a 40-gallon gas water heater installed that does not require electricity to run so we had hot water. Oh Jesus, hell ya! We had plenty of firewood, and we still do have plenty of firewood that I need to finish splitting. I actually have been working on that wood in between deer hunting.
I haven't really missed not having TV or internet yet, but having the Interweb today would be nice so I can get a good weather forecast, see who won the World Series (game 7 last night Dodgers vs. Astros), and check email. Plus reading a few news headlines would be nice. Oh well.