House Wars: Episode 1

This morning finds me still at home, waiting for a plumbing company (All City Plumbing) to call me at 8am. Hopefully they will be able to come over, assess the damage, and provide me with a reasonable estimate and timeline for a repair. I’ll probably try to get a second estimate before having the work done, but I’m really anxious to get this house back to being a “fully functional” house so that I can use it as I pay for it, and someday dream of selling it.

[Update at 8:20am] Damn, the plumbers won’t be able to make it here until sometime after lunch today. Now what to do? If my office were nearer I’d hop in the car and head into the office until 1pm and then head home. But is it really worth driving all the way to Perimeter Mall just for about four hours of work?

Mow, Mow, Mow, The Lawn, Gently In The Breeze
I had two options last night

  1. Rush home, repair the chainsaw, tackle some of the bushes in the front of the house
  2. Rush home, mow the front and back lawn

I went with option #2, and miraculously managed to also get the chainsaw chain back in place last night so that I can either tackle the bushes either tonight or tomorrow depending on what time I head to the office today.

In addition to all of that nonsense I managed to spray some weed killer, kill an ant infestation in my garbage, and clear out some of the junk in the utility room so that the plumbers can look at the pipe.

And yet I still ended the night depressed, mostly because of all of the unfinished business in my life. Dangen.

Money Comes In, Money Goes Out
After mowing the lawn I strolled to the mailbox and found that it contained a check from the Federal Gubment. Yep, two months after sending in my tax forms my Federal Income Tax refund has arrived, and just in time to put it in the bank so that I can write a check to the plumber, the guy I’m hiring to fix and paint my soffit as well as repair my gutters, and the credit card companies that allow me to buy the additional raw materials needed to keep this house from caving in on itself.

Calgon, take me away!

ITP Flickr Pic
When in Denver I met Antonia Lofaso (from Top Chef: Chicago) after she did a cooking demo.
Much Love
Little did I know that I would also be able to walk away with an autographed apron.

Household Tip: Air Circulation Is Good
Last night after cooking dinner (nothing fancy, I just heated up a couple of sausages) I decided to clean out my cast iron cookware. I fired up the burners to cook off the little bit of food stuck to my surface so I could re-oil the surface.

If you plan to do something like this, you may want to be smart than I was… You should open windows and/or doors, and turn on fans so that the smoke generated doesn’t activate your smoke detectors. At least I know that (some of) my smoke detectors work, right?

Watching The World Get Older
I’m back from a five minute break during which I got some (strong) coffee that I’ve brewed and watched, with marvel, some young mockingbirds. From their appearance and awkward maneuvering I gathered that the two birds who chose my deck on which to land were fairly young. Balance, preen, squawk, fly a few feet, and repeat. And then an adult mockingbird arrived with a mulberry plucked from one of my backyard trees and fed it to the young.

The light was beautiful and the interactions were things that I’ve never witnessed at such close range. Now, if only my camera had been handy…

Stats & Goals
Current Moodpensive really nervous and hating my house because if it’s not one thing it’s something else; wishing I had breakfast.
Current Music – listening to Leo Laporte’s “The Tech Guy” podcast
Website Of The Day – Some days I think I should give up, knock down my house, and put up a Dwelling Shed.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car (planned)
Exercise (b)Log – yard work

Foot Mileage – 0 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 9 (9)
Vegetarian Days – 1, Carnivorous Days – 18
Marta Rides – 0

May Goals
Whoops, I didn’t even consider this. Perhaps something will be here on Monday.

2009 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
РEarn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Jalape̱o Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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18 Responses to House Wars: Episode 1

  1. Martha says:

    I spent 3 hours yesterday mowing the back yard with my shinny new mower. What a mess but well worth it. You will get there.

  2. Barb says:

    YEAH – Paulie’s working on getting the plumbing fixed!!!

    Here’s the way you have to look at the house repairs so it isn’t so depressing……. you took a couple years “off” from doing stuff, so it seems like everything has to be done at the same time, which really isn’t true. You just decided not to notice what could have been done earlier.

    I went out & looked at my garden, and wow, with all the rain, my veggies are growing like weeds. And, the weeds are growing like weeds too, so I gotta get out there and do something soon, before it becomes a jungle.

  3. Nice. My lawn was reasonable yesterday (since I mulched instead of bagged) and it hadn’t been months since I last mowed it.

    It should surprise no one that I am not an optimist (justifiably not), so I have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and not thinking that it is a train. Much like a game of Whack-A-Mole every time I stick my head up and smile, Life whacks me on top of my head.

  4. Barb, while I see your logic here’s how my life seems to work.

    On the day on which the plumbers are to come over to look at the plumbing I walk into the kitchen and flick on the switch. Instead of normal experience I hear something like a crack/snap/pop and the light comes on with a flicker. I took the faceplate off and saw nothing out of the ordinary, but now have a sinking feeling that once the plumbing gets closer to being fixed (this pipe is not the only issue), the electricity will go next.


  5. Barb says:

    Oh, and these repairs are normal & come with buying a house that was built 50 years ago. We had to re-wire our whole house when we moved in. Allan (with some help from Sgt. Shrinkage, a real electrician, and Check My Bag, who wanted to learn) learned all about it. Electrical is a strange thing, it could be a little something, or could be a big something.

    p.s. – I love whack-a-mole.

  6. Yeah, I just hate feeling that as soon as I’m ready to sell my house it will be as good as new (and probably worth less than what I paid for it).

    ps – I love whack-a-mole too.

  7. Steve says:

    Don’t feel too bad Paulie, JEFDSDR has some of the wierdest wiring I’ve ever seen, and it’s reasonably new. I searched a whole week for a popped GFCI outlet… finally found it, in the bathroom CLOSET!!!

    Drunk electricians wired this house on a Friday afternoon before a NASCAR weekend.


  8. Sal says:

    We have a switch in the house that doesn’t seem to go to anything and there’s a switch in the kitchen for the ceiling fan…but when you turn it off…it turns the outside light on! It’a all part of the fun.

  9. Mindy says:

    Let me know if you want the name of an electricain for that 2nd opinion. My husband has a Bubba (a licensed Bubba) that he uses all the time and he is vey reasonable (and shows up one time).

  10. Will do Mindy. Electrical (hopefully) would come after plumbing and soffit work are done. In a perfect world electrical would come in some time from 2010 to never.

  11. Mindy says:

    Oops I meant plumber, if you need a 2nd opinion for plumber. But I know a good electrician too. He was better before he cut off his mullet, but he is still pretty good.

  12. Why do I hate having to deal with house repairs? I’ve been home from work all day because the plumber was to call at 8am and I didn’t know when they would be coming over. The plumber’s guess that they would be here sometime around 2pm. It’s now almost 3pm and I’ve not heard from them.

    Other than lunch I’ve not been able to do anything which separates me from my house or phone because I’m waiting for their call. I feel a bit like a prisoner.

  13. Okay, they are on their way. Christ, I am more nervous about this than I was the last time I had a first date.

  14. Barb says:

    I’m confused….. you can’t go outside and do yard work while waiting? (with your phone in your pocket on vibrate?) It is a gorgeous day out, the wind would be helpful to keep you from sweating to death while chainsawing those bushes.

  15. The yard work I need to do requires power tools so I’d never have heard the phone ring. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed calls because I never felt the phone vibrate in my pockets.

    They are on their way now. I guess that I’ll give up on being outdoor-productive today and concentrate on programming tonight.

  16. Anyone want to buy a house? 🙁

  17. Barb says:

    SORRY – I love my OTP house.
    Jackass’s parents are looking to buy a house, offer it to him!

  18. Hmm, that’s an idea….

    Things didn’t go well, in fact they went worse than even I could have imagined. Why didn’t I sell this place when I was carjacked five years ago?

    Fuck. Me.

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