July 30, 2015

Calling a Time Out

I need to press pause for a while. Lots of stuff going on and its jamming up my ability to write freely. Please click away and read the rest of the internet for now.

July 25, 2015

I've got some splainin to do

This should not in any way be taken as an excuse (said every excuse maker ever) but part of my post decline of late is due to technical difficulties. I have already mentioned how my phone has been betraying me for a while. If it had a face that would only hurt it and not cost me money I would punch it. I could write for three weeks straight about my issues with the phone but I am boring myself with the thought. So I took to writing on my Microsoft Surface. That was going well for a while then that piece of crap began to throw random weirdness my way.

Again, I will try to not bore you with technical specifics but they (Microsoft people at the Microsoft store) wanted to send the thing in for diagnosis. That might take up to 2 weeks and this is my work machine so I declined their ridiculous offer of "help" and decided to tough it out until my newly ordered work laptop shows up. (yet another long story. summing up: liked it so much that I bought the thing myself to use for work and home. not so long after all...) I was all in with this thing too. Ignoring their blatant shoe-horning (pretty sure that's not a word) the products into my beloved NFL. If something works I am generally a fan and once it begins to fail I fall out of love quickly. The failure in this case is a random inability to type.

Like a spoon with a trick bottom that opens up randomly during use. The only reason I have the damn thing and it does it at a 70% success rate. unacceptable. Something about the connectors and possible solder points blah blah MAKE IT WORK. (my writing spider sense is tingling and I feel like I've typed the word thing a couple hundred times) So I type to you now on an expensive piece of glass from the evil empire known as Apple. For all of the problems I have with the company and their business practices their shit works when you need it.

The pisser here is that I have yet to make the complete move over to the Appleverse so I can't show you and of the other office pictures I took. I will work next week on figuring that out as I am taking a weeks vacation at the lake. I am fully moved in and will be shooting my Grand Opening video tomorrow. I am a dork but in a constant state of self entertainment. I will work on future post consistency.

July 20, 2015

big head

I got in to an interesting little verbal dust-up last week and it got my wheels turning. The gist of the argument was someone else commenting on my own desire to boil down my life in a way that made it seem like an attack. The back and forth was brief and uninteresting but it did make me wonder why it even happened and I have come up with a working theory. I believe that my passion about having fewer things felt to that person as if I were attacking their lifestyle and that could not be further from the truth. I don't really care how much stuff you or anyone else for that matter has. In fact, if it makes you happy, collect and gather away.

I was and am just talking about me personally. And for the record I LOVE stuff. Electronic gadgets in particular. What I am trying to do is have less of it. But I am incredibly unsuccessful at fulfilling this dream. I acquire shit at an alarming rate and now that I have my own space again where things can remain relatively undisturbed it seems to be getting worse. That is a slight exaggeration but it feels that way because yesterday was spent digging all of my old office stuff out of the crawl space for potential use.

I got rid of a ton of things. Only keeping trinkets that hold special meaning or were gifts from people who make me smile. That is one of my rules; if I'm going to hold on to something it had better make me happy. Also new stuff has to have a specific purpose. Like my new disposable TV. Last week Wednesday Amazon fired up a huge sale to drum up numbers in a traditionally slow time and a bunch of other retailers followed suit. For a guy in need of a television it meant that my paltry $300 all in with tax budget got me forty inches of high definition when I was hoping for 32 and whatever resolution it came with.
That picture isn't the best but I'm enjoying the cool dark right now. There is the TV and around it are some surviving nick-knacks (that does not seem like the right way to spell that. crap it's going to bother me now.) But even with a bad picture you are most likely not looking at the new tele. What is that giant Bison head you might wonder...

I work with a bunch of hunters and they went on a bird killing trip last fall. At some point they all took a picture with a dead buffalo as if they had stalked it across the plains and run it down. I have been ruthless with my shit-blowing on this subject asking if it was stuffed and just sitting in a field for group pictures, if it was chained to a telephone pole when they shot it, etc.

For this to make sense you should also know that I am doing a grand opening video of my office for my coworkers and this cardboard head will be just another jab at some of them. Anything for a joke... Also, when I ordered it I thought it would be much smaller. This stupid thing is life size. I am an idiot.

Anyway, back to what I started to write about. I am not looking down my nose at anyone. When I talk about paring down and having less it is all in an attempt at peace. Things sometimes press in on me and if you live in my neighborhood you might have noticed the three bags of stuff that didn't make the cut waiting by the curb. I have another load of donations waiting in the back of the minivan and cant wait to drop it off. So in summation, less things are for me and me alone. You can gather as much as you want and I don't really care. In fact, if you get carried away you have a shot at entertaining me on one of my hoarder shows. 

July 16, 2015

tube travels

I’m back in St. Paul this week which means I am back traveling through the human habitrail system. During the warm weather traffic is definitely down but the people watching is still top notch. Last night as I was heading home after a long day I noticed a staggering fella. Not really staggering in the traditional sense but a weird jerking stomping no rhythm all over the place kind of thing. The closer I got the more I understood that this gentleman was somehow chemically altered. He couldn’t focus and the lack of movement pattern was due to the fact that everything that crossed into his field of vision scared the living shit out of him. By the way I have no idea what living shit is supposed to be but the dude was terrified every couple seconds.

This made me wonder about whatever drug cocktail he was on. It didn’t look like an experience that anyone would ever want to repeat. Ever. It looked exhausting. He was in full sweat and randomly yelling in terror. What in the hell could be going on in his life where this was a better option than reality? Zoinks. I had previously romanticized drugs as a way to float through a rough patch. I understand that is an oversimplification and addiction is a life ruining muthaeffer but that dude scared me. For the first time in my 50 on the planet I was freaked out by the effects of drugs.

I would have loved to know what he was on so I could permanently scratch it from all possible lists but he took a different tube when we got to the hub. Okay, He didn’t really do anything but stand there and freak out but I had to get back to my room. I’m sure whatever giant Zamboni type thing that sweeps the homeless out of that network will gather him up and lock him up somewhere soft for a while.

July 12, 2015

fair warning

This thing is in danger. Yesterday I was in the middle of getting a bunch of stuff done and thoughts of not writing here got me cranky. That is the exact opposite of what this site is supposed to be. So, I am putting you, my semi regular readers, on notice. (and NO it is not a notification that I will be completely and incorrectly overusing the comma from now on) I am going to dial the writing back to every other or every three days. That way if I do knock out a couple in a row it will be a bonus.

If you checked in every day I am truly sorry but the alternative is this thing really starts to bug me and I once again wipe it out. I don't want to do that so I am doing this. Enough writing about writing. I owe you some pictures of my new office. I held the soft open and am in fact coming to you now from it. (crap, I think I might have mentioned that earlier. It's too bad I don't really read this thing) The big project was moving a couch that we built in to the basement. The thing is old and big and it moved back here with us from Arizona. When we put it downstairs I took the railings down to get that done. In the years since we have replaced the rail with walls. oops.

I thought I was going to just leave it and take a sawzall to it when the time came but once I took the legs off we figured it out. I say that like the two hours it took weren't filled with sweating and swearing but now I have a couch in here where none would be until I could afford one before. Bird in the hand deal. Next up I will be scouting the lake house for the TV I will bring back. I owe you some pictures but my phone and I are currently fighting. back to work.

July 10, 2015

flyd

I might have mentioned a couple times before that current air travel blows a hobo but I need to beat a dead horse for a bit. It seems that there was a computer glitch that screwed United up for the past three days. I know this because I arrived at the Sacramento airport an hour before my flight to LAX only to find that it was delayed two hours. Not the end of the world but it did make things a bit tight for my connecting flight home. They oversold the little airplane by ten people and at the end when they became desperate it was a four hundred dollar voucher, booked on a flight that could get you to LA at roughly the same time and cab fare to San Francisco. If I trusted these idiots at all I might have taken them up on it but remember I had a schedule to keep.

Nope. When I finally got to LA i was informed just after taking the phone out of airplane mode that my flight to Chicago was delayed almost three hours and that one was oversold as well. Luckily I get to go hide out in the United Club rather that GEN POP with all of the other cranky travelers. Yes it is an overpriced luxury but free food, free wifi, cheap drinks, and the odd brush with celebrity is well worth the price of admission if you travel a bunch. I say brush with celebrity as Bill Hader was trapped in the airport with me and more importantly in the club.

He is a genus though as his position would not allow a stealth proof picture of any kind. This is one of those situations where I needed my wife. She had no hesitation in situations like that and would have just walked up and asked for the pic. If he would have refused she would have pressed until a begrudged image would be in my possession. But sadly he got away.

I finally got back here to the house at 7:45 this morning. I had a couple of must attend calls so I drank a five hour energy procured for a very unreasonable price at the airport and have felt like complete shit ever since. At one point I might have been hallucinating but that has passed. I just need this last person to call me and I can call it a day.

July 8, 2015

You can't make this up

No matter what you thought that picture was at first glance it is in fact my giant pair of suite pants with the crotch blown completely out.

Yup, happened about half way through my class. Didn't throw me off a bit... Okay I lied. I was completely rattled. Tried a packing tape fix that only served to cause me real pain aside from the emotional turmoil. Great day to wear my striped underpants also. Holy crap I need a do-over. But wait, I get to go back again tomorrow. Great.

Note to self: don't get to cocky when having your pants taken in. Also, check the stitching after the job is done. Third, loose some more weight up top so the pants that come with your jacket aren't enormous to begin with.

Paging Mr. Miliated, Mr. Hugh Miliated. Please use the white courtesy phone.


July 7, 2015

On the road again

In an ongoing theme of travel suckage I got to ride next to a better than me know it all and her husband. I had the noise canceling headphones on in an effort to enhance my leave me alone flying mode. She keep on talking to me even when I yelled that the headphones made it impossible for me to hear her. Then she turned back to her husband.

I know his trick because the hearing aids in both of his ears told the tale of ear drum abuse. Married to that mouth for what looked like forty years has taken away his desire to listen to anything and I don't blame him. The landing got a little exciting so I took the cans off to hear the pilot. Just after the announcement ended there was a super old guy in front of us who answered his phone. We must have been low enough to get a cell signal, it was a flip phone, and he was yelling into it like it was a can on a string. The lady next to me was losing her shit. 

She was telling her husband that the guy was on the phone in a passive aggressive attempt to get him to hang up. Then she went right at him. I had a whole ride full of annoyed under my belt so I told her to calm down. The old guy has no idea what airplane mode is and if he does make us crash I would bet you husband would enjoy the peace and quiet afterwords. She stopped speaking to me after that.

In other news the old guy freaked me out in the bathroom after we landed. I ended up at the urinal next to him and after his work began he did this whole body lean against the wall. Both hands, forearms, and forehead. I thought he was having an attack of some kind some broke a personal rule and spoke in the bathroom. He told me that he was going to be there a while and he needed to lean on something. I'd I thought that was bad he has a buddy who sits down to pee because it takes so long. Getting old is not for pussies.

July 6, 2015

from the mail bag

I got a question about whatever happened with Comcast and I'm afraid the answer isn't very exciting. I got the service canceled with very little drama. They made a couple attempts at a save but the new service is already in and running like a top (that is a really sh*tty analogy as tops do not run for sustained amounts of time on a reliable basis. tops also require almost constant babysitting. I will now scratch that one from my repertoire) A great deal was thrown out at the end and I suggested that they make that available to their regular customer service reps as I called two weeks ago in an attempt to NOT switch services. Oh well, giant company, what do they really care...

In other news I type to you now from the new office. I am waiting for some IT consultants to help me reconfigure my email and it is like watching paint dry. I don't want to start a project today because I'm heading out of town and I just finished plowing through my busy work. So here I write. We had a blind guy come to the house a couple years ago, window coverings not lack of eye sight, and I had to call him last week for a warranty repair. Just for giggles I asked him about the office windows and when I bristled at the prices he made a huge tactical error. "My stuff is much better that the things on blinds.com" Huh? blinds.com you say? I didn't even know that existed. My new blinds from them should arrive this week.

I love unintentional assistance especially the kind that saves my cash. Another note on this new vantage point. I eed to get some blinds up as I could easily turn in to Gladys Kravitz. I've already watched more day runners than I knew existed and the garbage men are fascinating. The blinds will be as much for me as to keep the outside from looking in. I will post some pictures once my phone begins to cooperate again. Long story, later time.

July 5, 2015

Got away from me

This has been the last thing on my mind for the past week but if you have been stopping by regularly for something new and or good I apologize. I took the week off to get some things done and it worked. So much got done that I am pushing up the soft open of the stupidtom worldwide headquarters. Everything is set up and ready for tomorrow save the new technology that my company implemented over the holiday weekend. We are finally headed to the cloud but since I wasn't around last week I need to set up first thing in the morning.

Then it's off on the first of two straight travel weeks. I promise to write more from the road if I can get this stupid Microsoft surface to cooperate. I say that because I'm angrily staring at it next to me while I type away on the glass of my iPad. I am not sure exactly what's wrong and neither is Microsoft which is a feel good. I even took it in to the local branded store and they wanted to ship it away. Nope, I need it this week but thanks.

My head is spinning with all that's on my plate and I am counting the days until I have to guys up at the lake. This is shaping up to be a spectacular month and I'm only a couple days in.

July 2, 2015

I warned you

"Talk down to me again Comcast Customer Servant and delight in the wonders that will unfold." Saying things to these robots that they don't fully grasp really screws with their predictive scripting. They aren't trained to deal with the person who kind of seems nice but his words feel kind of mean. Their job is based either on the rational or the flipping the eff out. Anything else does not compute.

This all started because I had to move the internet from my old office (or as it is more commonly known my son's room) to the new facility on the front of the house. I got a flyer in the mail from a competing company that also offered business class internet service at a much lower price. I called them to see what the catch was and it all checked out. So I called the not so good people at Comcast and asked them to move my service and match the price. The person on the other end of the phone treated me like I was an idiot.

Okay, so what you are saying is that you are going to charge me to move the connection AND that you cant match the price unless I call back and want to cancel my service? If I do that you are "pretty sure" they will match the price? You and your company deserve every bit of bad press that you get. I am going to hang up with you now and order service from your competition. If you make me call back it will be too late as I need a seamless transition. Are you sure you or anyone else on the other end of this phone can't help me? Thank you for your complete lack of assistance and before you ask if there is anything else you could help with I have some suggestions that involve your rectum if you really want to make me happy.

Internet is in, carpet is in, I will be canceling with them as soon as the computer and phone successfully move later today. When I call back I really want to see how far up the chain I can escalate. I might even claim to be one of those recorded every call in the hopes of going viral blogger types to see what that gets me. None of it will work however as I just signed a year contract that saves my company five hundred and sixteen dollars a year. But Tom with time off loves a good tussle.

July 1, 2015

posted

I am off this week and personal productivity is at an all time high. Except that is where this thing is concerned. Getting things done around the house means no idle screen time of any kind. I was at the doctor with a child yesterday and probably could have posted but one of the other parents was on a phone call and it was captivating.

Something about her sisters boyfriend, abuse, and jail. They were hatching a plot to get him busted when he bought his weekly supply. At one point I must have been staring, mouth agape, frozen in time, because she realized that I was completely tuned in and started whispering. Dammit, I need to invent a remote microphone and corresponding phone app that can be casually flicked at a target and it sticks. I don't need forever battery life or unlimited range, just the ability to completely violate the privacy of another person... OK, unreasonable. But someone turned the channel on me just when things were getting good.

If I keep going at the current production pace I could be in the new office as early as next week. There will be a couple of brief intermissions like tonight (our anniversary) and that pesky firecracker holiday where we will be at the lake, but other than that I am ahead of schedule. I hit the road again next week in an effort to fund the final push and get ready for the fall. I will try and get better about posting but every time I sit down there is something else to do.

June 28, 2015

pride

I woke up earlier than expected this morning and once I plowed through email I decided to check in on Facebook. Not surprisingly there was a ton of pro and con same sex marriage stuff. This subject is a little touchy for me personally and it caused me to unfriend more than a dozen people showing who they really are. This got me thinking about my eldest child's journey through this world and I remembered something I wrote a couple years ago just after she let us know. I thought I would paste that in here now. Oh, and I'm editing out the names just because they didn't ask for this and have no idea I'm writing it:

My daughter is gay and if you don't like it you might want to keep that to yourself.
Yup, my daughter is gay. I believe Lesbian is the technical term but now I’m just being cute trying to delay the writing of this piece. Before you even think of responding without reading this entire thing be warned: I could give a flying shit what you think. I do not need your condolences or understanding I would just like you to read what I have to say or don't. I’m writing this so my child has a record of what was going on in my head during this time in her life. If you have some sort of deep belief or opinion that makes you opposed to other sexuality save yourself some time and fuck-off right now. Don't bother reading the rest, it's not for you.
It was just after New Year's Eve where we allowed my eldest child and her friends to head over to the lake house to celebrate without supervision for the first time. Eldest was pressing to leave for the trip even though the weather services were predicting snow. We didn't want her to go if it got bad but she insisted and marched all of her close friends into the van and off they went. They got there without incident and by all accounts had a great time. They had some trouble leaving because they were snowed in but got home in time to see me off on a business trip.
Wife and Eldest were going to drive me to the airport and I know it seems like I’m giving a lot of boring details to delay the actual content but bare with me then my bride decided that the whole family should make the trip. My flight was canceled and I took a car home because the next one out wouldn't leave until late morning. When I got home I changed my clothes after five hours in O’Hare and Eldest walked into the bedroom and asked me if we could talk. This was strange because we had already hashed out her terrible first semester at college so I wasn't sure what was going on.
She sat on the bed and started to cry immediately asking me to promise not to be mad at her. My mind was racing. maybe they broke something at the lake and she was confessing but that wouldn't usually mean tears... I told her that I couldn't promise not to be mad but she could tell me anything. Then she asked me to promise to still love her and my heart broke. My mind immediately went to pregnancy and how it was going to be with a baby around the house and what about her future and who in the hell was the father “Daddy I’m gay.”
Completely locked me up for a second. Holy crap! Who cares?
I hugged her as tightly as I could and told her that I didn't care at all. I was overcome by the fact that she just told me that. I can't imagine the pressure of telling your parents when you have no idea how they will react. Especially your Dad who makes fun of everyone and everything out loud at every chance he gets. Once we both stopped crying I asked her how long she had known and she said 4 or 5 YEARS! That upset me more than anything. The fact that she carried this around all by herself for all that time absolutely killed me.
It turned out that the lake trip with her close friends was where she chose to come out to them. They were all supportive and helped her screw up the courage to come home and tell us. It was supposed to happen in the car on the way to the airport but her siblings riding along ruined that. And I have to say I’m a little bit thankful for that. I Can’t imagine a tougher flight not to mention my wife home alone with no one to help her cope. As it was I had to leave the next morning and sitting alone in a hotel room with plenty of time to think wasn't so fun. And speaking of my bride I think for some reason this is tougher on a mother regarding a daughter. Everything was great and I think we are all closer but theirs is not my story to tell. I even felt uncomfortable about this because I am like an extra who gets splashed by a puddle during a high speed chase scene so I sent it to my daughter for her approval before posting.
My biggest problem with this whole situation is she will be walking a path I know little about and there is nothing I can do to protect her. Dad’s just want to fix things and not that anything's broken but I have a strong urge to follow her throughout the rest of her life with a baseball bat in case anyone has something negative to say.I know that is not realistic but I am coiled and ready for my first confrontation. I love this child, so brave, and a much better person than I will ever be but this is not going to be easy. She’s strong and she’s smart and I know she will be OK but it's my job to worry.

I wasn't kidding when I said that this child is a better person than I could ever hope to be. She is truly gentle and kind, caring and empathetic to a fault. This might explain her calling toward social work. Anyway, I just wanted to put this down because I am so pissed at some of the tiny minds exposing themselves all around me. My greatest line during that whole coming out thing was a knee jerk reaction to try and diffuse the tension. Just after she told me I automatically said "that's great honey because I don't like to think about any of my kids interacting with a penis."

June 27, 2015

that escalated quickly

I know it might not seem like it but there is a lot of my life that I write nothing about. This originally started out as a way for my then little kids to get a peek into a different side of their Dad. I have an archive of the old site saved to a PDF file that they can have at any time so mission accomplished. But now that I'm writing just to keep doing it there is no need to write about them or anything they might be going through. They didn't sign up to have their lives chronicled here and I can appreciate that.

This same thinking also goes for my wife. I've written before that she never reads this and a couple of people have tried to call bullshit on this fact. I swear, she has absolutely no interest. I also think that there might be a small part of her that thinks I complain about our life together on these pages even though I've told her time after time that I don't. So if I do happen to slip something in about her it is not negative if I can help it. Besides I know I bitch a lot but its mostly about idiots who cross my path not the people I choose to have around me. Again, she didn't ask for this, and if she wants a story told the internet is a big open space. That being said I am going to write a bit about her right now. Forked tongue much?

I told you that she is heading back to grad school. When you are gone for a certain number of years there are things you need to do again for some schools. The one she wants to get in required her to retake the ACT. That would be enough to dissuade this guy. There is no part of me that would ever want to take a test like that again. But my wife took the challenge head on. Studied like crazy, got a tutor for the math section, and ended up beating her high school score by recording a 27. I am officially impressed.

This was the hardest I've seen her work at something in a while. In the middle of the test prep journey I thought she was going to give up. I lost count of how many practice tests she took and those early timed efforts ended with a lot of tears. But she powered through. And now here we sit on the precipice of yet another college tuition. Unplanned. Not prepared for in any way. Holy crap I can take a good mood and turn it on a dime. It's like a really shitty super power. Worried about money guy would not sell a bunch of comics. I need a mental reset button. Time for a beer.

June 26, 2015

I put baby in the corner

I am officially off the clock. In an effort to stop the madness that has occurred every year approaching my work anniversary date I am taking a full week off next week. I've got some things to get done but more importantly I will not have to cram any days in where I partially work or any of that nonsense. I am going to be a projectdoer guy. 26th wedding anniversary lands next week as well so there will be some celebrating to do before we get to the nations birthday. My new heating and cooling plant was installed today in its new stupid spot.
I was going to draw you a picture of how it was supposed to look but mentally take where that gutter looking thing ends on the wall and drop straight down. That is where she was supposed to sit. Now she has to live right next to my janky ass gas meter. At least she will be better protected in the corner and I can look out the kitchen window to check up on her whenever I want.

The installer asked about the dogs pissing in it and I laughed. The white one, Francine, squats so low that it looks like a deep curtsy and poor Nemo (had to be an "N" nautical name. Long story that involves gift show dog blah blah blah) just kind of stops and stand hoping that something is trickling out. So no, the only urine that will find that thing will be incidental contact due to extremely high winds.


June 25, 2015

karate chopped inspector

If my friends didn't live in this town and my youngest were not entrenched in High School I would strongly consider moving on. The village (dammit I hate typing that word because I immediately think of thatched roofs and cobblestone streets just waiting to be overrun by a raiding party or mythological creature) as I have stated before is great at spending my money. They are also awesome at looking over your plan and changing things just because they can. This is what's happening with my heat pump.

The unit I'm having installed is a cassette mounted on the interior wall connected to a small condenser outside that looks kind of like a suitcase. A little bigger and holes to dissipate heat but you get the idea. The perfect spot for the outside unit is directly behind the other. Side of the house completely surrounded by fence so no one can see it from the street. BUT NOOOO. If I want to put it there I have to have a variance hearing for the SIX INCHES closer to the property line than is allowed. Who knows how long that would take so I am just going to bow to their stupidity and relocate it around the corner. Further away... costing more money... FACK.

I might be paying a penalty for constantly disregarding their "opinions" and asking what the law or building codes require me to do. I have been having these little battles throughout this process and all of the inspectors have a whole pile of notions as to spending my cash. When pushed, the way I got things done was perfectly up to code but to quote more than one of these folks "not the way I'd do it."

To hold my gaze steady and keep from talking I imagine elaborate fight scenes in my head. I got to the point where I could have a full on daydream while leaving an expressionless resting poker face. Oh the horrors I delivered in my mind. I just keep telling myself that its almost over, its almost over, its almost over. I need this to be over.

June 24, 2015

the office marches on

Things around the garage turned office hit the accelerator Monday as I called a professional painter to help me with the trim work. I have an admitted problem painting trim and crown molding because when it comes to this skill I am an anal retentive perfectionist. This means that nothing I do is ever good enough for me. I get all twisted up over which thing gets the overflow line. Is it the baseboard or the wall? I never know but I do know that the caulk makes it so you never get a perfectly delineated break. It drives me cray(er). So I was looking for someone to drop by if they had some spare time and just bust that out. Having done my time as a professional painter of sorts I know all about rain days and side work.
I did all the prep work including putty in all of the nail holes and caulking every gap. 4 gallons of drywall primer got sucked up by this tiny room so I was pretty confident that it was ready for paint. I did the ceiling because that relatively flat paint is super forgiving and the guy came by Monday morning to see what the job entailed. It was raining so he asked if I wanted him to just take care of it right away. Crap! I wanted to paint the walls first and I hadn't bought any of the paint yet. Then he threw out a cash price to do it all that was what I was willing to pay for the trim and closet doors. Sold. Hold on I'm running to Home Depot.
One less thing to worry about and luckily I have a little commission headed my way that made the unexpected cash outlay all better. Next up is the mini-split this Friday then some carpet.
I have to treat the windows as well but I called a guy about plantation shutters and failed to make a new friend when I told him where he could shove his thousand dollar estimate. Looks like I'll be heading to a home improvement store to buy some self installs off the rack. A grand to shutter the windows. Talked to the Home Depot custom guy and he said that was about the going rate. Zoinks I'm in the wrong business.

I need to run out tonight and buy a new lock for the fortress, err, I mean office. As it stands right now I can be locked out of the main house and would have to climb out a window. Another side note: carpet choices are dizzying. More on that process later.




June 22, 2015

the lake gets bumpy

Writing this thing can sometimes turn into a nut flick. Not annoying enough to drop me to my knees but a constant dull throb. Instead of following my normal reaction when something bugs me, burn it to the ground, I have decided to take breaks when this turns into that and it seems to have worked. All of a sudden I found myself waiting for a meeting to start and in a mood to write.

Yesterday was a working Father's Day as my bride had to haul ass to the lake house for cleaning duty. She had renters checking out at eleven and the next set arriving at three which left me to prepare the day for the family. Not a huge deal but definitely harder than sitting around like a lump while everyone waits on me. All went well and ultimately I just had to do some light straightening and grilling. Two things that really don't annoy. But while I talking annoyances I think the house on the lake might be in peril.

I know you might be thinking "why don't they just find someone to clean it for a fee?" (do you like how I made your quote all fancy? for a fee. like you've ever said that...) well that is easier said than done. I have no idea what people in that weird part of the country do for work but it isn't cleaning and can't have follow-up or deadline requirements. Someone who did their work when scheduled and within a reasonable amount of time could make a killing. The problem is that if you live there year round and not on the water it doesn't cost very much to maintain a pretty comfortable lifestyle. When your movie theater charges a flat five bucks and that includes your pop (popcorn is fifty cents more if you make the initial two dollar investment in their bucket) it is a good gauge to relative cost of living.

I think the work required to make it cost neutral plus the fact that we can barely enjoy it are wearing away at her. Yes it is one of the last physical memories of her family but in the end it is just a thing and not the people themselves. I think the kids might be bummed but the realities around life haven't really begun to hit home for any of them yet. Even the recent graduate is just dipping her toes into the waters of un-sheltered adulthood and finds them ink black and ice cold.

I love the place and love hosting my friends up there but it is one maybe two weekends a year and that is a tough return on investment justification. Time will tell but I will probably begin the slow might-not-be-around-for-long justification process. You never know though. I could still be bitching about the place 20 years from now...

June 19, 2015

woweee

Back from Houston and boy are my arms tired. NOT A JOKE. The whole flight I had to hold the headrest in front of me because my seatmates didn't understand airplane etiquette. Plus effing United pulled a plane switcheroo that placed this guy firmly in the middle seat of a completely full flight. My arms wanted to go back to the hold on position as I rode home in the cab.

Cab ride was another treat as my driver ate something that didn't agree with him. To the extreme where I asked for all windows to be rolled down. When that didn't clear the funk I let him know that he might want to take himself out of the rotation while he cleans up whatever accidental collateral damage is going on in his pants. No apology or disagreement. Just a professional driver who shit himself during my particular ride home.

This was also by the way my first ever zero dollar tip. I let him know that I was not a big complainer so there would be nothing formal reported to his company but if he thought I was going to tip him after driving home in his colon he was terribly mistaken. Again, no real argument. Nice quick transaction. I really think there was an unexpected round in the chamber and he was off to freshen up.

I feel like it's still in my nostrils somehow and am contemplating putting some hydrogen peroxide on a Qtip and cleansing that way. I have got to do something or I will be dry-heaving in my sleep.

June 17, 2015

I got your depression

I could have sworn that I was in the 4th largest metropolis in the country but the news here is some horrible and entertaining stuff. It seems like this is a tiny market regarding news reporting talent. Holy shitsticks some of these folks can't get through 2 complete sentences in a row and no one seems to care. A guy just said "shoot" after a flub and I could tell it wasn't the first time.

The storm changed classification into a tropical depression. Full name Tropical Depression Bill. ridiculous. And if there were a drinking game attached to those words I would have been hammered by the time I left the hotel room this morning.

Now that it has stopped raining it's like breathing under water. Sweat when you step out of the shower hot. If we ever have an outbreak of some kind it will grow in a climate like this. The bugs look at you like they are the least of your worries.

Houston is a cool city but there are a bunch of reasons why it's cost of living is so reasonable and liquid air is one of them. I was down by some swollen stagnate waterway and it was like breathing in the earth's perspiration left on a toilet seat.. sorry, gagging on chewable air was new for me. Just trying to share the experience.


June 16, 2015

travlr

Who flies directly in to a tropical storm? This guy (thumbs pointing back at me) that's who. Tropical storm Bill is closing roads and generally causing a ruckus. Delayed me on the tarmac both ends of the trip turning a normal two and a half hour flight into almost double. Then after renting a car from someone clearly afraid to drive in the rain the forty minute commute to this hotel tool two hours. Bill owes me three hours so far plus he is denying me a chance to have dinner with cousins. Needless to say but I am in a pisser of a mood right now.

And that is a shame after the high of last nights Stanley Cup finale. I don't know what it is about hockey but it gets me almost too cranked up to watch. At least when I'm in a bar there are other people and alcohol to take the edge off. I could not feel at ease until the last seconds ticked off the clock. And even then I couldn't stop watching. Something about that awkward ceremony was anticlimactic but the celebrations afterward made it up. I should have punched out much earlier than I did but I felt like savoring the moment was apropos.

And now I sit in a hotel room staring out the window at biblical floods. I have ordered room service because venturing out would mean listening to the endless GPS girl recalculating as I am detoured around washed out roads. So I will eat overpriced average while I prep for tomorrow's work. The first night of any trip is the worst night. It's all down hill after this.

Now I get to have the same annoying "Is there a tip already on this room service bill?" conversation. The one where I ask that as a way to let them know I will be writing a zero in the additional gratuity line and then they tell me that yes in fact 18% has been included automatically by the hotel. Implying that they get none of it for gathering and wheeling my already-priced-more-than-the-same-thing-if-I-went-down-to-the-restaurant meal to me. This is after they flip the lock on the door to hold it open in case I want to trap them in the room. I am always tempted to go and un-flip the lock, close the door completely, lock all the locks, and grin.