"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." And also the years. Priority has been on fixing up the tin shed I'm renting out spaces in. At the moment I'm trying to stop the leaks. A couple days replacing rotten boards and failed sheet metal screws. And patching (suspected) leaks with Flex Seal Paste. Or Gorilla Leak Tape. Or that metal foil tape they use on furnace ducts--depending on the situation. And a couple days cleaning leaves and branches and years of crud off the roof (as much as was practical without climbing up on the roof). Time permitting, I'd have coated all the wood with linseed oil so it couldn't soak up water. Time did not permit but it is supposed to rain like a bastard tomorrow so we'll see what (if any) success a week or more of work has had.

I'll back up a bit to describe the shed. Corrugated metal, screwed to a wood "skeleton" (framework). About 55' long by 19' deep. Two 2 car 7' steel garage doors and one 1 car. Sloping roof. About 11' tall in the front, with a 4' overhang in front of the doors. About 8' at the back. Rubber matting laid over gravel for a floor. This is fine because the shed is at the bottom of a slope. If it had a concrete floor, the water would pool at the doors, run in, and flood the structure. As it is, it (mostly) runs under the matting, through the underlying gravel, and out the back. Overlaps of metal "skin" aligned with slope and sheet metal screws with integral rubber gaskets under the screw head theoretically prevent leaks. Practically, there are problems. Spots where a tree branch or something has landed on the roof and compromised it. Worn gaskets. Rusted screws. Spots where rotten wood or damage have changed the slope, allowing water to pool or backtrack. On top of all that, the prevailing wind goes against the roof slope, wedging leaves and other bits of dead organic matter up under the metal joints. And pushing water in that direction. Get a strong enough wind to overcome the roof slope and it will push water under the overlaps and cause a leak. It's also a kind of Heisenberg problem: If you climb around on the roof to fix a leak (and you don't fall through the roof) there's a good chance that your weight on the relatively delicate roof will create a leak somewhere else.

Anyway, the point of the initial sentence is that this all has left me beat. A lot more beat than I'd think this amount of work would leave me. Granted, I also put in around 4 miles every day, walking my dog. For various reasons I recently looked at a...shall we say boudoir... photo of myself at 42 and compared it to one from a few days ago. Now, I look good...for my age. But there IS a difference. I didn't realize it until I saw the 2 photos side-by-side. There is a loss of muscle mass and definition. And I'm feeling it. My brain thinks I have a 42, 35 year old body. And then it is confused when it needs an hour nap at the end of the work day. It's kind of like "Star Trek: Voyager": It starts out new and interesting and cool. And it ends in a stale, sad, tired, and embarrassing way. And you're confused by how this happened, because The Suck snuck up gradually. Was it when they landed the ship on a planet? When they discovered Species 8674309? When they did The Year of Hell and then just magically undid it with a reset button? Janeway and Paris' lizard babies? Tuvix? (Ye gods, there was so much bad VOY. The mind boggles. Sarah Silverman calling Tuvok a "freakasaur." The Rock.)

So yeah. There should probably be a neat little "and that was the end of another day on Walton's Mountain." Conclusion. But I got nothing. :)
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Killing a little time. I really should just do nothing once in awhile. I'm tired right now and I've got a window of about 30 minutes anyway--not enough to really do anything, but I don't really know how to do nothing. Hence this post. I guess I could so some minor pruning/yardwork. Or take some more crap up from the basement now that the trash can is empty again. I could set up a meeting with a Neighbor.com rep on optimizing my ads to get more traffic so I can get the other 2 spots rented.

Spent a few weeks working on the shed. A big part of that was roof waterproofing efforts. Rained last night. I've made some progress, but there is still much to do. Tin roofs are a fucker. This morning I popped out while it was still raining and watched water drip from a brand new roofing screw that was screwed through brand new timber. Water is a fucker. I must assume that the gasket on the screw isn't seated well enough so the water is getting under it and then going down the screw (which is longer than the wood it is screwed into) and dripping inside. Back to the store for the Flex Seal spray to hit the screw heads with that.

Change of plans. Now I've got close to an hour. So I think I'll see if I can get something done.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
The pecking order and relationship between The Cat and The Dog is good for a laugh. (This would be a Facebook post, but I can tell it is too long and maybe too WTF.) America is great. The amount of food we just *throw away*... With my first dog, when she'd find perfectly good uneaten food just *laying* on the sidewalk...at first I was suspicious. You think about razor blades in Snicker's bars and poisoned Tylenol and such. But eventually I was like "she's a dog. She's got, at most, another 10-12 years. And it makes her happy. So I'm gonna let her eat the McDonald's Happy Meal someone threw out their car window. And she had a good, full life.

Well the other day, New Dog hit the mother lode: like, a 1 gallon ziploc filled with about $20 worth of ham, some sliced deli cheese, and assorted luncheon meats. I didn't even realize what she'd got because she alerted to it but we were almost home and running late, so I just grabbed the bag to look at it when we got home. So I unwrapped the...I dunno. Bologna? Liverwurst? It was older so it was turning a bit grey...and she promptly carried that off to eat while I was getting the rest of the stuff out and dumping it in the ground.

So the cat sees this and comes over and gets to work on one of the ham butts. But he's got little tiny needlelike teeth, so he's nomming it the best he can and alternating in licking it with his rough cat tongue. The Dog finished up the first batch of luncheon meat and, given the choice between sliced cheese, sliced pepperoni, and the second ham butt, she of course took the one The Cat was eating. She's just like "Yeah, this is mine now," grabs it and carries it off to eat it. I really meant to watch the rest of the interaction but I got sidetracked by something and by the time I got back, everything was gone.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
WRT TOP: I am...retired(?).* Rented out 3/4 of my storage space. It's a lot less than my SWAG of what I could get was. I dunno why that is. Maybe because parking your car in some eccentric old dude's leaky old tin shed, guarded by his insanely territorial dog, does not command the same price as a 24/7 coded access storage facility. And every intermediary wants to hold onto my money. I have a business degree, so I get this concept, but it is annoying and makes bookkeeping more difficult. We're halfway through November. It won't be until well into December when I find out if my tenants paid their rent this month. And I won't get that money until...January? Maybe I get the money faster than that. I dunno. It is confusing. Took me about 3-4 months just to get a handle on that. And Neighbor.com is just as bad with the storage rents. They sit on the money a month before getting it to you. That said, as long as I didn't suck at picking my tenant and the rental company didn't suck at picking theirs and the storage company didn't suck at picking the people who want to rent from me--and the latest renter hasn't moved his stuff in yet, so I may be counting that weasel before it's popped--and I don't develop a habit of cocaine and hookers--I *think* I'm currently making more money than I spend.

Looked at a house today. Has potential. Living room is awful small for a rental. Requires more work than anything I've done to date. Not hard work. But just a lot of work. And they want $150K and I'm going to be offering less than $125K--if I make an offer. So they may just spit in my realtor's eye. But we'll see. I kind of don't want to get it because I know it has potential, but I also know how much work it will be to bring out that potential.

*I suspect retired is like winning at life: You can't "win" at life. At least not until you die. You could get cancer or get hit by a meteor or sued or whatever. The best you can hope for is to be "winning." You can only "win" when the game ends. The number of people who thought they were retired and were wrong is legion.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I hate humans so goddamned much. On CraigsList. Looking at ads for "mopeds." You know what "moped" means? It has a motor, but you can also pedal it like a bicycle. If it doesn't have pedals, it is a scooter, not a moped. Pigtails are braided. Ponytails are not. Location is irrelevant. If you have a braid at the back of the head, it is still a pigtail. If you have bunched up, non-braided hair on the sides, it is still a ponytail. It isn't like ponies have 1 tail at their butt and pigs have 2 tails at their hips. This is just the tip of the iceberg of fucktardation that I deal with every day.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
OK. I mentioned the house I looked at yesterday. Dragging my heels on making a decision. Putting my thoughts here will help procrastinate. And the act of typing everything out may help me decide. [I stopped typing because I got some texts that spurred some other work but I'll circle back to that]

Officially, a 1,200sf 2br 1.5bath with a 2 car garage. Full basement with a walk-out door from the basement in the back and high enough ceilings that the basement could be finished. 1935-ish. So the living room is tiny. It has a fireplace, but it is tiny. There was a loveseat in it and that basically took up the entire living room. Front door opens to the living room. Other side of the front of the house is a dining room. and there's a hallway down the middle. Bedroom is on the right, behind the living room. Kitchen on the left, behind the dining room. Bathroom straight back. Between the bedroom and the living room is a door and the stairs to the basement. Above those stairs is a set of stairs leading to the 2nd floor. The 2nd floor stairs are accessed either from a door in the 1st floor bedroom or from a "secret door" in the living room. The secret door, unfortunately, has the hot and cold water pipes for the upstairs 1/2 bath smack dab in the middle of it, so you need to turn sideways and slip between the pipes if you use that door. Oh, there's a pass-thru/breakfast nook between the dining room and the kitchen. It's right next to the doorway so it is a bit pointless but...

What else. .46 acre lot with a nice little shed with electricity, a patio with a junked hot tup and a wrecked above ground pool next to the patio. ...and it is time for The Dog's walk and she's making plaintive whining noises from the bed behind me so I guess I have to go for a walk for an hour or so.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Bah. Life. "Don't count your weasels before they've popped." My second storage space renter canceled on me. Sunday he wanted a place to store his motorcycle for the winter. I approved him, he thanked me...and that was the last I heard from him. Got home from walking The Dog to a note that said he'd backed out. So that's money I thought I had coming in that didn't materialize. But more importantly, it's got me second guessing myself as I put together an offer on this place. John Schaub says "You should always be a little embarrassed by your initial offer--and genuinely surprised if it is accepted." Even so, I feel bad, knocking 28% off the asking price (which actually had a big markdown at the end of October).
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Obviously, I shouldn't count my weasels before they've popped, but if I wind up getting this house, I'm thinking about how to handle the secret door for the stairway. Obviously, I need to reroute the pipes so they don't run right in the doorway, but then I need to decide if I want to keep the secret door or do something more conventional. If I were living there, I would absolutely have a secret door. But as a rental, I'm on the fence. There's interesting and there's eccentric. You don't want to do things that confuse people and people are pretty stupid so they're easy to confuse. If I keep it, I will be making it more elegant.

Right now the house has a rustic motif going on of log...shakes? at various points. Say shave a 2" wide cut out of a log and nail it to the wall (at least I hope that's what it is. God forbid that there are actual logs integrated into the structure. There are also lots of rough-hewn boards used as paneling or wainscoting. That's the back wall of the living room: a couple big logs that run to the ceiling, a board wainscot, and then above the wainscot is a giant periodic table of the elements and a collection of license plates. The license plates help hide the edge of the secret door. What I'd wind up doing is putting up oak veneer plywood and then tacking oak 1x2s to it to form a paneling effect and hide where the door is in the wall. I actually plan to do it in my bedroom, where there's a long narrow hall closet that buts up against the back wall of my bedroom. Panel the wall behind the bed, and stick a secret door there. BAM! Massive added closet space and a secret way from the bedroom to the back door.

Depending on how clever and eccentric I wanted to get...(and we're talking about my house now, not the place I'm looking at buying)...I could even add a 1/2 bath. The long narrow closet is because there were steps to the basement at some point and when they extended the house they didn't move the steps. So you've got what must've been a dining room, then the bathroom, then the steps to the basement. And since there were 4-5' left that couldn't be used for anything else, they stuck a long narrow closet there. (Like, 8-10' long.) When you open the door to the basement steps, one of the first things you see is the old back window for my bedroom. They drywalled over it on the inside, but they just left the old window frame up above the steps. So the other thing I could do, since my "wet wall" for the bathroom is right there in the stairwell, is put in a little platform over the last bit of stairs and put a sink and toilet there. Bah. No. wouldn't work. Because the drain pipe for the toilet would be too low into the stairwell (I think.) But how cool would that be, to be able to take a shit in the hall closet?
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I just sent my Realtor an e-mail, directing her to put in an offer. Again, if I haven't said it here, I wish life was like a video game or a game show, where you get immediate feedback. Do the right thing and your points go up or you hear a "DING!" Do the wrong thing and you die or you hear a "BZZZ!" Instead it's like "did I make the right decision?" "Who knows? Maybe you'll find out 1 or 5 or 10 years from now. Or maybe never. :shrug: "
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I used to vent to my college friend about my brother's crazy hoarding tendencies. I visited him for a week this fall while he was recovering from hip surgery. And I learned that he has crazy hoarding tendencies on par with my brother. Budweiser beer steins by the dozen. Big glass jars of seashells. The room I was staying in had no less than 5 mechanical adding machines. Craziness. Awhile back he wanted me to design his game room. Seeing his house, I'm happy he forgot this request. Because it is so cluttered, confusing, and distracting that there is no practical way to make a coherent design idea. He had some obscure game he wanted to play. It was jammed into the bookshelf so I had to take another game out to get at it. There was a 3D printer taking up a good chunk of the gaming table. And we won't even go into the neglect to maintenance on the exterior of the game room--something else my friend shares with my brother.

Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah. I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I increasingly realize the value of doing a kind of late 20th century Mom & Pop video rental store museum in my basement. Not as sexy as a TARDIS control room or a sex dungeon, but infinitely more practical. I miss video stores. And I don't have anywhere near enough shelf space in my living room for all the movies I want to watch. Putting some shelves in the basement is a cheap and easy way to fill both these needs. Add a display case and a checkout and some signage and it should be a lot of fun. I've been talking about it on Facebook.

So my friend asks "will you have Betamax and Laserdisc rentals?" Like my brother, this is a teachable moment, where I can try to nudge him into a more sane direction. So I say "I only do things that make me money, make my life simpler, or solve my problems. I do not have Betamax, Laserdisc (or BluRay) players. ..." I comes back with "I have a Laserdisc player and a bunch of movies." And, like my brother, he utterly misses the point. Great. Super. Are you going to drive 9 hours each way to rent movies from me? No? Then why should I have fucking Laserdiscs taking up valuable shelf space? Why fucking Betamaxes, since you haven't said you have a Betamax player.

He fucks around and wastes so much time and money with stupid hipster shit that it is maddening.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
In the light of day, I'm starting to think maybe a part time job would be nice; not having to make any of the big decisions or risk my own money...
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I went ahead and put together an offer. Something I've realized about myself: I'm more confident and decisive if I'm *doing* things. If I sit too long, waiting for the right opportunity, I get more and more timid and unsure of myself. Because I have all this time to overthink and worry about things but I'm not getting any feedback that lets me adjust my plan so I just worry more and more. But yeah, it is probably time to get a job again regardless. Winter hit like a ton of bricks*--one day it was sunny and 70. Next day it was rainy and in the mid 60s. Next morning there's an inch of snow on the ground. It has been wet and grey and in the 40s or lower since then, with no end in sight. I've got some waterproofing to continue on the tin shed but I'm sure I need dry weather for that and probably temps above 50. I could probably go inside and start treating the unpainted timber with linseed oil to help repel water and rot, but that really doesn't sound like a lot of fun. I could burn a batch of brush and do some deferred landscape work. But eventually I need some dry weather to mulch the leaves and get the grass cut one last time.

*Well, as hard as winter can hit in Kentucky. It isn't like a Wisconsin winter.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
New Dog is a bit territorial. Does NOT want anyone inside the backyard fence. Old Dog, I just had to tell her someone was a friend and she was good. This one is not having it. And she's unpredictable. She'll act like she's OK and then she'll get spooked. Or she'll be stiff with her hackles up but be OK. I'm renting out 4 parking spots. One guy wanted to rent 2 spots so he could work on a car. Since I wanted the money, I agreed to that. Having some regrets about it. One of which is that The Dog is now going nuts the entire time he's in the yard. I could take her out and see if I can eventually get her to accept him, but he probably doesn't want a dog barking and lunging on the leash while he's trying to get stuff done. Maybe if it were daylight I might attempt it, but right now I think I just have to tolerate her in here with me, barking her head off. (I had another spot reserved, but then the guy backed out, so I guess I'm glad for this guy. I should be charging more for what he needs, but such is life.)
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Bleah. Can't tell if I'm just jumpy because I have been sitting on the sidelines or its because enough things have not gone as planned lately that my common sense is trying to warn me. They (understandably) passed on my low-ball offer but did counter-offer. The counter is still too high, but then I got to crunching the numbers again on the "best and final" offer I'd settled on and I've got a lot less money just sitting around right now than when I got started on this. Having a vacant property and needing a new HVAC and quitting my part time job have chipped away at the war chest. I'm thinking I make the best and final and specify a home inspection. The inspection will either confirm my thoughts or it will catch a deal breaker that I missed and save me from a catastrophic mistake. At the most cynical level, you can use the home inspection as an excuse to back out of the deal and get your earnest money back. Well, I should get going. Got to get an answer to my Realtor within the hour.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Made the mistake(?) of calling my friend about my house angst. Here's the thing: you can tell a girl your problems just for validation. You tell a guy your problems and they'll try to solve them. And believe me, I've been working on this problem most of the time over the past week, with considerably more information and experience than you have. You're not going to solve it in 5 minutes asking a few questions and looking at a Zillow listing.

An unrelated problem is, my relationship with my realtor is very new. And she's relatively inexperienced. And the market is very tough and I don't have a lot of leverage to do deals right now. So it's easy for the "relationship bank account" to wind up overdrawn. She keeps sending me these terrible deals and I keep passing on them. Then we'll go to a place and I'll either not want to make an offer or go low and bargain hard. She hasn't made any money from spending time with me yet. And I don't know that she will. And unless I can put together a good deal or show her that I know what I'm doing... :/
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I hate humans so goddamned much. On CraigsList. Looking at ads for "mopeds." You know what "moped" means? It has a motor, but you can also pedal it like a bicycle. If it doesn't have pedals, it is a scooter, not a moped. Pigtails are braided. Ponytails are not. Location is irrelevant. If you have a braid at the back of the head, it is still a pigtail. If you have bunched up, non-braided hair on the sides, it is still a ponytail. It isn't like ponies have 1 tail at their butt and pigs have 2 tails at their hips. This is just the tip of the iceberg of fucktardation that I deal with every day.
"Black Friday." Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. You can't cheat Black Friday up a week. Or a month. Or whatever. It is the day after Thanksgiving.
 

Oerdin

Member
Thought I was off the guilt-hook with The Dog. When I got home from errands for the afternoon patrol, she was so excited to walk that she'd forgotten all about her (missing) trophy. ...until we got home. Then she was like "OH! YEAH! GROUNDHOG! WHERE MY GROUNDHOG? IT WAS HERE JUST A MINUTE AGO. WHERE GO?" But what are you going to do? In a perfect world I'd have it taxidermied so she could keep it forever. Or at least let it rest in state until her battle scars are healed (it was a big mean bastard and a majestic fight), but we've had temps around the '80s, so even if a bloody, dead, dirt-covered 20# rodent, laying next to my back door wasn't off-putting, it soon would be as Nature got to work on it.

The cool thing about dogs is they will soon forget about it.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Unseasonably cold for a week or so now--and continuing on for the near future. Trying to get the lawn mowed one last time--as much to mulch up leaves as anything. Since that's the intent, the past few days, I've been trimming back bushes and vines and weeding. My space renter is here tonight to work on his car so although I've got a little more daylight, I'm kind of stuck inside. The Dog is making *some* progress, but I can't have her out in the yard off-leash and if I leave her in she'll likely go nuts so, although I've still got a little daylight, here I am.

Oh, I've got "inside" stuff to do. I've got to plug in the monthly statement from the property managers. And I should look at optimizing my storage ads to try to get the other 2 spaces booked. I could look for houses that are for sale. I could look for a side gig. None of that sounds like fun though, so here I sit, trying to run out the clock until dinnertime. Meh. I guess I should get to it.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
And what the heck, a quick disgusting nature post. If you don't want to hear about long-dead groundhogs, skip this one.

Awhile back, The Dog killed a groundhog in the field across from the house. Uncharacteristically, she started to eat it. She learned from experience that guts make her sick, so she had me pull the guts out before getting to work on the liver, one of the hind legs, and whatever else she could get at before it was time to go inside. Next day something had eaten the intestines, leaving the poop, and pretty much picked the rest of the meat off the hind legs. The head was also missing. That was pretty much the state of the carcass for some time. All the winter fat that was built up on the torso was left untouched.

Well after the first snow, The Dog revisited the body to eat leg bones and hide. At this point I noticed a few live maggots and made her leave. Stupid, in retrospect, I'm pretty sure maggots are high in protein and can't survive in an active digestive tract. But it was kind of nasty anyway. Next day, the remains of the body were gone. A few days after that The Dog was nosing around, trying to find the body back so I was standing there killing time. Looked down and what do you know, there was the skull.

Back in the '90s, there was a roleplaying game called "Call of Cthulu," set in the Lovecraft universe and really, the point of the game was just to stay alive and sane for as long as you could. Having a dog kind of rekindles that thrill for me these days. "Why are we stopping here? What's tha--AAAAGHHH."
 
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