Saturday, July 19, 2008

A long strange week it's been

Feeling much better this weekend after the water heater problem. On monday the 'restoration guys' came back and took away the gigantic fans and humidifiers that were running non-stop since Friday. Our downstairs was deemed 'dry'; carpet, walls, toilet seat.

Thursday the claims adjuster arrived and after surveying the damage he went to his truck and went over everything (for an hour). When he came back in he handed Sue a big ole' check. This covered most of the money we had spent to have a new hot water heater (and pressure regulator) installed.

This check did not include the carpet. The carpet guy came out on Friday to measure. Allstate also provided the installer and they are footing the bill for the new carpet. We may even take a section of carpet that was not effected by the water and have it installed in the office upstairs. The carpet around the pool table is enough area for the office floor. All we would have to pay for is the padding and the installation.

Other news is that Carter is finally sleeping in his own room; and BY HIMSELF! The first 4 or 5 nights (last week) Sue slept on the floor. But now he's fast asleep after a story each night. He's also sleeping better since he's been in his own room. Early this morning (6am) I did have to untangle him from the covers but he went back to sleep after that.

We have two beds in our room and hopefully soon (after the carpet is installed) we can move the one bed (a full-size) to the downstairs 'guest room'. Kind of sucks we had the flood in that room since we probably would have done that this weekend. The guest room kind of became a room for 'stuff' once we removed the bed.

Today is very hot! The temperature on the grill says 120 degrees. It's really about 95/96. My neighbor is out mowing his lawn in slacks (and t-shirt). I'm beginning to think he has a skin problem or doesn't like grass on his legs OR nobody ever told him about 'SHORTS'! I like to call him Mr.Longpants. Shhhh.. don't tell him...

He's only one of two people in the neighborhood who still own push-mowers. All of us in the neighborhood have at least a 1/2 acre or more. I guess a push mower is a good thing for the environment; as I cruise my lawn on my k-gro 6000 spewing fumes (just kidding). I can tell you that my riding mower uses just a little more gas than my push mower. What can I say... "Once you ride you'll never push again" (and that is not a quote from Sheryl Crow).

I do help out with the environment in that I'm very active each day in turning out the lights my wife and son leave on, I recycle, I have a compost, I ride in my van without the air on (of course I am naked), I brush my teeth with rain water, I recycle my old toe nails into food containers, and I never use toilet paper... ISN'T THAT ENOUGH! GET OFF MY BACK!!

Oh, sorry..

One last thing: The garden is in full growing mode. The photo at the top is a cucumber I pulled today - this is what we grow in Pennsylvania. The tomatoes will most likely be ripe in a week. I've been planting my own tomato plants since 1994 (when Sue and I lived in 'the bungalow' in Harmony) and like every year a massive number of tomatoes get ripe at the same time. So, in a week or so figure I'll have 40 tomatoes. I will bring some to the woodside. I do know Matt (Splatt) does not like tomatoes. Not sure if Timmay does. Even when you've known people a long time it's hard to keep track of these things. Plus, it doesn't help I have a bad memory.

Also it's hard to believe I've known Matt for 30 years and Timmay for 27 years (give or take a year). As I often say (whispering to myself or sometimes screaming into the night from the backyard), 'Time is a Bastard!'

So today I will actually be outside reading a book and enjoying the sun.. until I can't take anymore. It sometimes doesn't feel right to sit in an air-conditioned house during the summer weekends. Seems like a waste of summer.

I watched the VH1 Honors THE WHO the other night and I have to say that the WHO can still kick rock n' roll's *ss - hard to believe Roger Daltry is 64 years old! I got an email from pat dinizio today and he told me to remind him next time we saw each other to ask about the time he met with John Entwistle...

The Foo Fighters are becoming one of my new/old favorite bands. I always liked them (having liked Nirvana) but now I've seen them twice perform live (on tv) and each time they've blown me away with their performances. Just an intense and talented band of rockers! They certainly honored the WHO the other night... Incubus's performance (right after) sounded like 'the backstreet boys' compared to the Foo Fighters intense energy-infused music. Makes you want to slam your head into something... ok, I'm 42.. I can dream..

Until next time I will leave you with a quote from the great Colonel Sanders

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Inconvenient Appliance

What I thought was going to be a normal Friday night turned into more than we bargained for. I followed my normal routine after leaving work; go to the bank, go to the liqour store, pick up food.. and come home and relax after a long week.

The normal routine did happen but the relaxing didn't. I walked in the door and Sue is there to meet me. She looks at me and says, "We have a big problem". I say, "What". She tells me that the 'dreaded' water heater has busted.

We live in a bi-level home so my only thought was that I would find things floating around when I walked down to the first level. At first things didn't appear as bad as I thought until I started walking around. It appears that soon after Sue left for work the water heater started leaking or just let loose of all it's fluids. The water continued it's journey into the laundry room/bathroom (which has a tiled floor), a closet next to the water heater, a bedroom, and into the living area. The hardest hit was the bedroom in which the carpet was completly soaked.

It's hard for me to get real angry since sometimes things like this happen and there really isn't anything you can do but get them fixed. So, we figured all we could do was try to soak up some of the water standing on the laundry floor and remove things which were sitting in water.

So I got on the phone with my insurance company. I got a claim number and was told someone would call in an hour to instruct me what would be done next. I got a call from a gentlemen who said he was in the area and would come over in 30 minutes. This was a company that removes water (from carpet, walls, etc.). So, we continued to remove things that were wet and mop up the water in the laundry room and bathroom.

45 minutes later two men showed up with equipment. After evaluating the situation they told us that the carpet was seperating (where the water had sat) and it would need to be replaced. Yes, the entire 1st level of carpet needs to be replaced. If you recall we had new carpet installed in December (upstairs and down). But again, what could we do? All is (supposedly) covered by my insurance company and the claims inspector will be out on Thursday to evaluate the situation.

The 'water removal' guys got most of the water out of the carpet but the downstairs is a mess and very upsetting to me at this point. I can't understand why they can't make a better water heater or a different type of system.. maybe they do.. I don't know but I've heard of this happening alot to homeowners. A woman who worked with me years ago had just moved into a house in Virginia when the same thing happened. They were probably in the house less than a week and weren't even fully unpacked.

I have to say that nothing of value really got damaged. I have many autographed items and luckily I didn't have anything up against a wall (like I did a couple of weeks ago). Most of my signed items are either on the wall or in a plastic storage container. This container was actually in the closet that got soaked but the container protected them. A couple boxes of china got soaked.. and of course a couple of record albums (it always finds the albums). The only autograph it got was a signed Antonio Banderas photo, which was under a dresser in the bedroom (where it should rightfully be).

They had to spray downstairs (so we don't get mildew or mold) and the animals had to stay upstairs all night. The cat was moved into Carter's bedroom. Between listening to the cat scratch at the bedroom door (don't worry, he's declawed) all night and my mind whirling with the events of the night (the water guys didn't leave til' midnight) I must have gotten 3 hours of sleep. Plus, at some point in the night (I think 3am) one of Carter's toys (a fishing game) turned on. I kept hearing this clicking noise and music. I went into the room and found where it was coming from and turned it off. The strange thing is that the game was up on a top shelf of the closet and somewhere where Miles (the cat) could not get to. Just the irony of the night I guess.

Today I got up at 7:45am and I'm now waiting for the water heater guy to get here to install a new water heater.

I guess I'll feel much better when all the humidifiers are gone and the new water heater is in and working... at least we can move some stuff back to where it was until the new carpet is installed. I'll also feel better when it's confirmed that the insurance will cover all of it (maybe not the water heater itself).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Carter's Summer Fun

So it's summertime and what better way to kick things off than throwing a birthday bash! Here are some photos from this glorious event that took place on June 15; not only were we celebrating Carter's birthday, but Dad Nowak's birthday, and Father's Day. We also took in a baseball game that day.

... and here are some other summertime events:

Hanging out with the Smithereens (June 7th)
93 degrees in the shade that day.

An IRONPIGS baseball game.. although Carter preferred the 'bouncy house' over the game; not much going on in a 1-1 game (June 28th).

He also likes the occasional ride down the (middle) of our road.

And when he's not on the swing or monkey bars he's climbing trees (with full parental supervision; of course).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

SUMMER MIX revealed

So here is the losing summer mix for 2008! I didn't think it was so bad; but that's just me. There are a couple of songs I found (for the first time) before I put them into the mix. No theme, just songs that make me think of summer. I did throw in about 3 sound bites - it was probably the Paul Lynde soundbite that did me in.

Do You Remember Rock N’ Roll Radio – THE RAMONES
Under My Wheels – ALICE COOPER
Rebel Rouser – THE VENTURES
I’ve Been Everywhere – JOHNNY CASH
Feel So Good – DICK DALE
Better Together – JACK JOHNSON
Ice Cream Man – TOM WAITS
Summer Lady – SANTANA
Summer Girls – BLUE RODEO

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My vacation with the house

That's right folks.. another Fourth of July week.. a week I've been taking off since, well.. every year for the last 10 years. I only took off 3 days this time since I had to space out my last remaining vacation days.

Today I began what I'm sure will be a bi-yearly ritual.. and no, it's not mowing the lawn in the nude. I do that all the time (just kidding)...

Have you guessed? Well, we since we had the deck built in October and the we get full tilt sun beaming down most of the day.... HEY FOLKS.. it's time to Stain the Deck! Ohhh sure, we could have hired someone to do this for us (at $1,000) but I felt I needed a tan... and who doesn't love the smell of stain in the summer? Or the feeling you get after painting a few hundred rail posts? Anyone? Anyone?

But in the end it will all be worth it.. and it's looking better already.. I'll be back out there tomorrow (weather permitting; it's supposed to rain in the evening) enjoying a nice cold ice-tea, the sun on my backside, and the tight grip from a clear vinyl glove on the wood handle of a paint brush as I dip it in the glorious stain.. that beautiful glorious stain!

Go with the clear stain.
The left is BEFORE and the RIGHT is after.