Sunday, October 25, 2009

On the road again...

“Wow you get to travel for your job, that is awesome, what a life...” You know, it makes me wonder what that person is actually thinking when they say that statement. Are they implying that I’m traveling to an exotic place? Are they thinking that I’m traveling to a place like the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and/or Cancun? I would certainly wish it was… But my job sends me to places like Arvonia, Virginia… or to a small cold shed in Providence, Rhode Island… Or even the shipyard located in Groton, Connecticut.

When I first started traveling, I would get so excited to the point where I couldn’t sleep for weeks. I would plan for weeks of what to take with me. How I would rehearse my speech front of the mirror for hours… But the last couple of trips have been pretty depressing. I think it actually started from the last trip… The excitement is no longer there...

Most of my time was spent in a small town named Arvonia… The town is so small that I had not notice a traffic light or any street signs… The nearest hotel to Arvonia is about an hour away. Thus, I’ve been splitting my hotel stays between Richmond and Charlottesville Virginia. So every morning, I would need to leave an extra hour early to get to the site on time…

Traveling has seriously driving me nuts. The angry people at the airport, the stale food, the smell of the jet fuel flowing through the airport, the late nights in a hotel reading reports. The realization that I’ve spent my entire summer of 2009 away from home, chasing the company man's dream (not sure what that means), was truly the cause of my brief depression.

The traveling had put a delay in updating my house to a suitable living space. The traveling had also put a delay in getting the plumber access to the apartment upstairs thus delaying the installation of the new radiator for three weeks. Finally on Monday, the plumber was able to install the new radiator. The pipe fitting did fit, but the threads kept jumping. So he had to install new pipe fittings and cut off valves.

While on site, I also had the plumber remove the old cut off valves in two separate rooms so that I could install new flooring. My plan is to finally install the hardwood floor in the front hallway and finish the workout room. But, yes before I begin another project, I want to first complete the "in progress" projects, the living and workout room.

To be honest, things around the house over the past week had been placed on hold. I wanted to refresh the mind and body before ramping back up again. In the living room I need to finish putting the insulation, new light fixture, electrical outlets, electrical switches and window trim.

In the workout room, I installed about 75% of the new floating floor. The other 25% of the flooring had to wait until the plumber was able to remove the radiator. As mentioned before the radiator needs a new cut-off valve. So once the new floor is completely installed, the plumber will return to install the new cut-off valve and radiator.

Well I know there isn’t much to talk about, but I wanted to let everyone know that I have not forgotten about updating the journal. I just wanted to tell everyone that I’m still here… Anyway, until next time, happy building.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What to do???

I sit here pondering what to write. So many things are running through my mind that I can’t focus on one thing. Normally I can express things freely and easily. But I’m struggling over here, partly because it’s been sometime since I’ve actually done any work around the house. I kind of forgot what I’ve accomplished around here. This double life that I lead can truly be mentally and physically challenging. I’m referring to having to work a real job and having to be a landlord, which is also known in the politically correct world as a Property Owner/ Manager. Well, technically we don’t actually own anything until we pay the last mortgage bill… The true owners of our beloved homes are the banks. But that is another story…Ok… let me move on from this depressing approach of.... Whatever it is… an introduction?

Sooooo… How are things on your end? Good I hope. And how’s the family?

Ok this is pathetic. As you can probably notice I’m a little scattered brain today. I have to admit the mind and house have me a little disheveled lately. My mother had recently paid me a visit and asked a valid question, “how do you do work in this mess?” Ok I get it… I have to clean... Everything!!!

Part of the problem, of course, is my own fault. I started another project without finishing one. What I’m referring too is that I have two projects going on at the same time… Actually like five projects. And to top it all off, I have to travel to that little place in Virginia again next week.

The projects that I’m referring too are the workout room, living room, bedroom and the radiator upstairs…Yes I said it… radiator!!! You know the radiator I had surgery because of it. Ok that was my fault also… It’s the radiator where I conducted the improper lifting technique. I was out of the “game” for like 4 weeks…

So the other day, after a cold night, I got a call from the tenants about water coming out of the radiator in the living room. As I was investigating the problem, I realized that the repaired weld had weakened and the crack had returned. So I decided instead of repairing it again, I would rather just get a new one. I went to a place called ReStore Home Improvement Center in Springfield, Mass. Here is the link:

Basically, they accept donations of quality but unwanted home improvement materials and sell them, especially hard to find items like an old fashion cast iron radiator.

I’ll tell you what… That #$%@ radiator is HEAVY!!! Thanks to Wilson, we carried it up stairs and took a 2 hour break. Actually I think I got light headed and passed out… Just kidding… Ok this wouldn’t be a “classic Angel story” without me telling you that I did fall down a couple of times onto the steps. I think I have a pretty bad bruise on the back of my leg. After the lifting techniques were followed, I did discover some good news, NO stomach pain. Anyway, the next thing I need to do is change the inlet valve for the new radiator. The install shall be accomplished sometime this week.

Hmmm... It's a little bigger than that old one... I have faith it will work... (Fingers crossed of course)
Another issue that the tenants informed me about was about some outlet not properly working. They are old and are causing issues where they are sparking. I had informed the tenants that these types of issues should be reported immediately. I don’t want safety issues like this left unreported. Everyone knows about my luck with this house is pretty thin. I was able to change those problem outlets.
So because of the on going projects around the house, the master bedroom has been at a standstill. Trust me, it’s on the list. The pink boots are starting to get to me…

I also had to take two trees down. They were leaning on my neighbor’s fence. Here is the before picture… I forgot to take the after pictures…

The good news is that the tree company has been getting more business in my neighborhood… Their trucks have been around more and more lately, although I still haven’t seen any commission… I guess I need to renegotiate that contract…

Sadly, the living room has been on hold also. I’ve decided to really focus my effort to the weight room. Not like I’m actually going to use the weight room, that is another story. But I removed the cork board flooring and the smell was instantly gone. Underneath the cork flooring was laminate flooring that was in bad shape. When I removed the cork board flooring, I realized that the floor thickness was actually about a ½ inches.

I decided to reinforce the floor with an additional ¾ inch thick floor. This would make the flooring stable and sturdier. I’m planning on putting in wood flooring. I was able to purchase some laminate locking wood flooring. It’s a floating floor that is cheaper then real wood.

I had to work around the radiator. I was unable to remove the radiator. I don’t have a large enough breaker bar to remove the nut. I figure when the plumber is on site fixing the radiator upstairs, he could possibly get this one free…

Ok plan of attack… Dishes first… Yes I’m a winner!!!! HAHAHAH!!!!

Anyway, until next time, happy building…


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