So many things…so few typing skills

On occasion, I get complaints. Mostly of the “you don’t write often enough” variety.

Blow me…hard.

I know I’ve been a bad boy lately, but sometimes, life gets in the way of my meager typing skills.

I’ll recap the last several weeks and then attempt, at a later date, to get into more detail about them.

Basement:
The work is 99% done. The plumber’s coming back any minute now to repair the toilet tank. The seals or something aren’t sitting properly and we need a new tank on the toilet. The drip drip drip of water on the floor was not in the estimate. We need to get one closet door painted. It hadn’t come in

***2 minutes later*** Said plumber just arrived carrying the new tank. It’s the wrong model. Back to the drawing board…

So, the door hadn’t come in when we had everything painted. We also need a cat door cut into that same door. We held off doing it until after the inspections because someone may have raised an eyebrow at it. 2 doors need to be planed down a bit and then we’re done.

I’m in the office as of this week. It’s smaller than I was used to, but as I tell everyone, I used to have way too much space. It’s cozy in here and I’m figuring out where to store all of my stuff. It’s been quite liberating; throwing away old files and things I don’t need but, for one reason or another, had held on to.

We need to do more moving this weekend. The storage unit still has things that need to come in to the basement…the guest room bed included. That will leave 2 piles; attic and “Where the fuck is that going?” Unfortunately, we have an excess of tables and chairs in the unit. I don’t know what to do with them. I hate to get rid of that stuff because, we’ll need it should we ever move to a proper house, but, for now, there’s no room down here and I’m not lugging a table into the attic. We’re almost resigned to needing a small storage unit for the foreseeable future. That saddens us.

Vacation:
The trip to EI went really well. Maybe I’ll post some pictures. That will count as an entry, right? We had good weather all week and had a lot of fun. Shmuppie behaved and Chicken practiced her sitting up and rolling. It really was a nice trip and we all got a chance to relax.

Cleveland:
I followed up the vacation with a marvelous trip to Cleveland. 60 of us gathered for a 3-day training session for work. It was good to meet all the people I’ve been working with since December. No midget attacks though. I did get to see both of their buildings and was lucky enough to see the poor people wait for the bus.

The last morning…the night after the last night…one person came up to me and said “I saw a totally different side of you last night”. Really? You mean the lunatic side? I had spent a good part of the evening discussing the nuances of southern living in my Ricky Bobby/Forrest Gump hybrid voice. People were crying. Good times.

Work:
There’s the main reason I’ve been a bad boy. Months ahead of schedule, they’ve turned me loose on an account. I’m back working on Medco. It’s easier to shake herpes than it is for me to shake them. So, I’m back working with them; currently with the people in Memphis I met twice last year. I was told when I was hired that it would be 6-9 months before I was given an account because, until then, I’d be more or less useless as I learned the job. 4 months into it, they’ve given me an account. It’s cool and scary at the same time. I’m good at managing a client and getting good at using our tools. I’m admittedly very weak on some of our specific procedures, so it’s crash course time for me! But, in the end, when I look back at career moves, this may be the 2nd best one I ever made. Leaving Medco was the best one…things didn’t turn out all that well from 2006-2009, but it was the gateway to this job. I’m happy and more or less stress-free!

Life and such:
Chicken is 8 months old. Not sure how that happened. As of this morning, Shmuppie will be attending year-round school next year. She got accepted and can get out of the educational cesspool she’s been in for 3 years. She starts the 3rd grade on July 9. We need to talk to the school to see what track she lands in. We’re hoping for 3 or 2 (not that any of this means anything to anyone). After the somewhat staggered start to the year, the kids fall into a “9 weeks in, 3 weeks out” routine. She’ll have vacations at non-traditional times of the year. Me being me…I’ve already identified the breaks by their unofficial names: Florida, Disney, Emerald Isle, and Caribbean. We both think it will be a good move for multiple reasons. We have lost all confidence in her current school and think the continual schooling will help too. Face it folks, they’re doing it in Asia…we should be doing it here too.

That’s it for now. I hope you’re satisfied.

Nope…half-assed is fine with me.

As I may have mentioned before, in 1998, I started a company. The Half-Assed Carpentry Company got its start in Hackettstown, NJ when I first became a homeowner. The HAC specialized in home repairs that included the wrong hardware and tools. Need to screw something in? Lack a proper screwdriver? Use a hammer! Need something level? Well…mostly level is good enough.

Over time, the HAC was incorporated into HAI (Half-Assed Industries). Wholly-owned subsidiaries include the HAPC (painting), HAEC (Electrical…where flipping a switch down does not always mean “off”) the other HAPC (Plumbing), HAFC (Flooring), HACIC (Cabinet Installation (If it rolls out…too bad!), HAKC (Kitchens), HADC (Decking…”Use America’s Screwdriver when your screw gun’s batteries die!”), and so on.

In a nutshell, I am a corporate empire.

And, while all this work has gone on in the basement, I’ve warned the subs time and time again that they were in danger of copyright infringement each time they did something silly.

Well, folks…today we make an exception.

This story takes a while, but it delivers in the end.

In the beginning, there was a floor drain in the store room of the basement. The A/C condensate and hot water heater bleed line drained into it. All was well.

October 2005. As we all know, that’s when we flooded for the first time. The main sewer line outside the house backed up. Water, being fond of gravity, found the easiest point of exit from the system; said floor drain. Basically, the main backed up and started going back towards our house through our house’s 6″ sewer line. Rather than start crawling up the main line to the 1s floor, it sought out freedom and flowed out the floor drain.

They cleaned the sewers and were supposed to maintain them. In due time, I suffered a mental breakdown and had to resign as HOA president. The new board subsequently fired the sewer cleaning company and hired a group of poorly trained rhesus monkeys.

May 2009: Flood again. After this flood, we got a plumber in and explained the situation. We no longer trusted the HOA to keep crap out of the house. We designed a device. The water from the 2 lines would drip into a little cup that was attached to a P-trap. This would sit on the “Input” side of a 1-way valve. It would tie into the main. Water would drip into the cup, through the 1-way and into the main. We would not have backups. The floor drain was cemented over (Pronounced CEE-mented).

January 2010: Construction starts. The plumbers come in to do the bathroom, get one look at my device and wonder, out loud, what kind of idiot designed that thing…seeing how it broke every code and ordinance ever written. I explained the problem and they applauded my creativity. They also said they could never pass inspection with it in place. The plan was to do everything properly and then come back in afterwards and hook the little cup back up. OK…

Last week: They’re finishing and a plumber comes and hooks the cup back up. Randy and I look at the setup and immediately know it’s going to fail inspection. We tell said plumber. He acts (in Randy’s words) “like a dick” and leaves.

Friday: We fail. The inspector gets one look at it and just flunks us on the spot. Randy calls me that afternoon from Chicago to check in.
“We failed”
“Goddamn son of a bitch…oh…I’m so sorry”
“Randy…I said worse”

Today: the good plumber is back. The plan is to take the condensate line and, where it comes into the basement form upstairs, have it slope downward until it can be tied intot he line for the new basement A/C.

BZZZZZZZZ!

Not enough fall in the line. It won’t work.

We huddle in the crawlspace to ponder this.
“Where’s that floor drain”
“You’re not uncovering it”
“No…I have an idea. Get me a hammer”
BAM BAM BAM!

The plan is to re-run the condensate line towards where the floor drain used to be.

“Grady (the inspector) is fat. He’s never going to crawl in here.”

The plan is to run the line and have it terminate just above a metal shower drain screen. You know…one of those metal thingies that catches your hair and whatnot. It will look like a proper drain but won’t be. Bus, Fat Grady will never be any wiser.

They’ve restored the previous situation and can pass inspection. Then, afterwards, the little P-trap goes back in and everyone leaves.

The bottom line is that the line “Grady’s fat” is the best plumbing-related line ever spoken…anywhere.

We’re faking a drain because we all know the guy’s too damned lazy to properly check it out.

The HAPC would officially like to induct this man into its Hall of Fame. Never has caulk, a hammer and cleverness been used for a nobler endeavor.

In as few words as possible

Shmuppie bitten
Bruised
School sent home medical records
of another student
I had a stroke
School claims Shmuppie was not vaccinated
School can’t read a calendar
JewelrySlut is in FLA
Chicken is in FLA
I don’t have to use fancy pillows or pillow shams
Drywall is going in the basement (update at left…or right….just look for it)
Work is busy

And now a note from me…who else?

More basement updates over there.

Also, poor JewelrySlut is going to FLA next week to go see her father and step-mother (I never know how to refer to her…) They haven’t met Chicken yet and it’s time for her to suck it up and leave one asylum for another.

I’ll be flying solo with Shmuppie for the week.

That’s OK. At least she won’t be able to damage her sister next week.

What you ask?

On Sunday, she was giving Chicken a bottle. Suddenly, Chicken started screaming…and not a normal cry. We both dashed into the room to find a screaming baby and a 7-year old.

WHAT HAPPENED?
She drank too fast.

We couldn’t really process that comment at the time because poor Chicken was losing her shit big time. Like absolutely screaming like a lunatic…or a baby in pain.

Well, we got to the bottom f things and it turns out big sis had bitten little sis. Why? We don’t know, but, judging from the demo I requested on my finger, I swear to Christ, we’re lucky she didn’t bite the baby’s finger off.

Things have been fun lately.

I know that the older sibling always tries to kill the younger sibling. I did it. JewelrySlut did it. The issue, as always, was that Shmuppie lied to us about it. And she was quick to develop the lie.

That said, she won’t do it again.

Also, on a related note, we’ve put in an application to transfer Shmuppie to a new school for next year. she’d be going year-round; an idea we like. It will also get her out of the school she’s in and the less than desirable population that seems to be in it. Recently, she was called a “Dumb white person” by a classmate.

It’s time to move to a different school. We think we’ll get in because few people want to go to year-round and even less want to leave a Magnet school. We’re asking to do both.