Thursday, October 19, 2017

I don't think this guy grew up poor - he grew up commie.

A California city is launching the first US experiment in basic income — and residents will get $6,000 a year.

And so did I, but I grew out of it.

There is already a universal basic income. It's called welfare. Of which I know a lot about. My grandmother was on welfare her whole life. My mom and aunt spent a limited amount of time on it. But my Aunt lives in Government housing right now.

I always sort of hate talking about my Aunt and Uncle because they are the sweetest people in the world. They are not purposely trying to take advantage of the system. It's just when you are in the welfare "ecosystem", and the government takes care of you..... sometimes you don't get a proper education. Everyone in my family were drop outs. I just went back and got a Good enough Diploma as Chris Rock used to say.

My Aunt however is basically at a 7th grade level education. And since the government takes care of you, there is no reason to get a better education. And the longer you stay in the system - the more entrenched that becomes until you basically can't escape even if you wanted to. The safety net keeps you stuck in time. Her retirement plan is the lotto. Of which she has already won twice. Not big lotto, but enough to put a down payment on a house or something. They basically blew it on stuff they couldn't even use, including more lotto scratchers.

This week I learned from my Aunt that they are claiming bankruptcy for at least the 4th time. I was a little shocked because I didn't realize that was a life choice. I thought those were accidental occurrences. All I've ever known from my Aunt and Uncle is they buy stuff and then they claim bankruptcy. But, this is not really the most interesting information I got from her this week and I'm not sure how to really feel about it.

My Aunt and Uncle are getting older now, and we don't live in the same State - so they are going to need some assistance. No big deal. But when she told me the kind of benefits she was getting from the government - my mouth almost dropped. The government is sending someone out to help her take care of herself. No big problem. They are also sending someone out to cook and clean for them. Which is kinda where I have the problem. They are perfectly capable of doing this themselves. They are not bed bound. I don't even have someone clean MY house! To sound like the evil witch of the West, they are sort of pampered for being poor. But let me be clear, they will never not be poor.

They are moving up a couple of floors in their government housing building, and the building is helping them move everything. No cost to them. I don't think people really understand how well taken care of poor people are by the government. They don't live the rich life, but they have cell phones and tablets and all the stuff that most people have.

It's always been sort of a hard situation because I could have rescued them from bankruptcy 4 times, and they would be up there for a 5th time. They just don't really understand how money works because they have never needed to. I mean, they spent the middle years working real jobs, but they always knew welfare was there so they never really strived that hard.

So, I think if this guy rally grew up poor he would see how welfare doesn't really help people. It only traps them into always being in the welfare system. The longer you are out of the workforce, the less employable you are. It's just the bottom line. I might not have been born if it weren't for the welfare system because my mom was a teen mom. Like 14.

I don't really see how just calling it a "universal basic income" changes the fact, that it's welfare. But look at Stockton for having the welfare mindset. (said in the most sarcastic way) Remember, they claimed bankruptcy and now they are doing this shit.

Deck deck go - update.

Because I had so much concrete up there, they had to make some space with a new sub-sub floor. My slider used to have a two inch step down. But after the concrete removal, it became an almost 11 inch step down. And that's not a normal step. The new sub-sub floor also has the correct slant for proper drainage. Now my step down is about seven inches. And that's a normal step.

Because there are two subfloors they put in brackets to make sure the top one never bounces. There were a lot more of them, but this must have been an early picture. Every place where one subfloor met the other - there was a bracket.

Then they stuck in the tongue and grove plywood. Well technically they put in insulation first, but you don't really care about seeing that do you?

They took my slider out and put in a new flashing base at the floor line.

These are my industrial sized scuppers. I thought I would have two floor drains and a few scuppers, but they chose only the larger sized scuppers. Scuppers are sort of like the emergency release valve of decks. If your drains stop up and water keep rising, they are sort of like the overflow part at damns.

Then wire.

They stripped the stucco from my wall because the paper had been torched due to water infiltration. Luckily the damage hadn't really crawled the walls.

This is what it looked like yesterday. Pretty much ready for the next step. And that is your deck update.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fire drill Wednesday.

This morning my Nest smoke alarms woke Mr S. and I up with the sound of - there is smoke in the entry way.

Which has happened a couple of time actually. Since my family has been through a fire the first couple of times it freaked me the hell out. But now, I don't love it obviously. But with the fires up North I feel like the practice drills aren't maybe that bad.

I mean, you get woken up by a fire alarm. What do you do? You literally have ONE MINUTE to figure out if your house is on fire and get out. People just don't understand how fast real fire happens. Your house can literally be fully engulfed in three minutes.

I was kinda proud of Mr S., because he flew out of bed and started trying to assess if there was any smoke in the house. There wasn't. But it's nice to see how he would react if there were.
Three inspections in three days. I will catch you up soon.

They might have broken me.

Not the contractors, but the old people who used to live in my house. When I think about the tons (and I means tons) of stuff I have torn out of my house - it's just mind boggling.

Buying old people houses used to be a tactic of mine. Old people neglect things, and I don't mind fixing them. When I buy a house I want to rip everything out anyway - so why not buy an old person house at a discount because they have neglected repairs.

My deck and one other project are actually the only improvements (other than fences) I've made since the recession. Which was good because you aren't going to put money into a place you are underwater on. I basically spent the whole recession making my place look better by ripping things out. Seriously, you just can't believe how much stuff old people accumulate. And I bought a hoarder house! That's my rental. Seriously. They were pulling dump trucks of stuff out of there.

But this house has that house beat.

10 tons of concrete on my deck. (no exaggeration at all) - check
Shake roof - check
Beat up hot tub with gazebo - check
I once had something like 52 rose bushes. Now I have a calming three - check
The front yard had pea gravel which I had taken out with a large caterpillar and dump trucks - check
Mr S. and I rented a small caterpillar and re-graded the yards. I think I rented two debris bins from the city. - check
I took out a few concrete pads in the back - check.

And these are just the major things I've ripped out. So..... I think the old people that used to live here have whooped my ass.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lacy has been going to work with Mr S. since my project started, and today the company gave her an actual badge. But I can't post it because obvi - I don't want everyone to know where he works. Companies do that now. I'm not sure if she signed the NDA.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Rain will light a fire under your ass.

Inspections days are like your pubes are on fire. Tomorrow - I have another inspection. Rain is suppose to come on Thursday. And I had them do some power modification as you probably saw as the blog was down for a lot of the day. Sorry.

This is also why you don't have any pictures right now. I will upload some tomorrow. They made crazy progress today.

The contractors take up a lot of space in my head. It's not only the job, but I'm constantly trying to learn from them. I'm a weekend warrior, so watching the professionals who do this day in and day out                                
is helpful to make sure when I do stuff myself, that I'm not a hack. At least I hope and try.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


It's crazy where they are building stuff these days. But these legs might be my Halloween pumpkin inspiration this year.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

For all those "robots are taking our jobs" people.

Every time a robot gets introduced to food service the net goes wild. And then I usually have to come out with a post telling everyone to calm down. Those jobs will still exist, they will just be different jobs.

So.......... there is a robot pizza company in Mountain View called Zume Pizza. It's been all over the media the past few months. Look at the jobs these monsters are hiring for.

Senior software engineer X3.
Android developer.
UI/UX visual designer.

Now, it's the first time I've ever seen a pizza restaurant need almost a full software development team. You can see the listings here.
I guess the market only goes up. Said in the most sarcastic way.

I'm a bit confused....

Is this an actual kink?

I can't believe they aren't driving me crazy yet.

This is the first time I've ever worked with a commercial contractor, and I think I'm sort of loving it.

Mr S. thought I'd be losing my mind by day seven. His timeline was - day one, they would drive me nuts. By day three I'd find them interesting because of all of their stories, and by day seven - I'd be over that.

But we are two weeks in now and if I could only use commercial contractors - I might do that. Obviously that is not a reality because they aren't going to fix stuff other than structural.

Residential contractors are always complaining and telling me I can't do things. Like once, I wanted to hang a really heavy set of sliding interior doors at my rental. That contractor and I went round and round until I scrubbed the net to find some extra heavy duty hardware to support a super heavy door. And to some degree I like the challenge of convincing a contractor that you can do what I want without a hack. I mean, you can always hire residential guys who will do anything you want, but you don't want those guys. You want the curmudgeons.

Commercial contractors I'm a little afraid of. They will do anything I want, so there is no one to rein me in. If I say I want this gone, I'd turn around and it'd just be gone. Commercial contractors are monsters. In a good way.

I guess on Monday I have my first inspection. A framing inspection. And I'm dancing with Mother Nature now. We get a chance of rain on Wednesday. Usually we can make it to Halloween before we get any rain.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Good luck finding a contractor.

Before all of these disasters, contractors were booked months out.

Hell - I had termite guys in yesterday and the termite guy was booked three weeks out! I was lucky to get in them in same day. But, you don't need that much skill to be a termite guy. So that means the skilled labor is locked up tight.

And then, one of the termite guys said he knows people turning down work left and right. They just can't get to it.

I'm actually surprised this hasn't shown up in inflation yet. They have a severe shortage of labor, and people must be spending or else there wouldn't be a shortage.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I'm not blaming the victims.

People in California are a little mental about their trees. For a while if the city or a developer tried to cut down a large tree on a property - all the old people would pop up and have a die in.

A lot of those houses would have been saved if they just had a defensible space. And I'm not Sunday morning quarterbacking this thing. My family's house burnt down. Although I'd spent the night at my boyfriends that night. I came back the next morning to get ready for work and the fire trucks were ay my house. We lost my cousin.

People don't understand how little time you have in a fire. Your house can be fully engulfed in three minutes. Seriously. THREE MINUTES.

The first thing I did when I moved into my house was tear the shake roof off and start cutting down anything that had pine in the name. Those trees are matchsticks.

Mr S. and I have had a million conversations about fire. ( and that is not an exaggeration) I told him we'd have a big fight because I'm not leaving. I'd start dropping (cutting down) all the sources of fuel.  Fire loves to climb, and if you have a 20 foot tree in your front yard, the fire could potentially be 40 feet. A house will never survive being next to that.

People always like to say that things can be replaced... and they can. But when your house burns down, it's like your past doesn't exist anymore. Your pictures are gone. That is the part that is long lasting.

Additionally, these fires would be a lot better if California was allowed to manage the forests again. Now you can't touch them because "nature". It's mental. Trees grow back. And what kind of stupid die in do you have for a burnt tree?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fucking Awesome.

The worst is behind me.

Yesterday they got the plywood off to reveal the gooey insides. Considering what was on top, the framing actually looked way better than I expected. The two corners nearest the house had some joist damage. In all I think I'm only going to have to replace 4 joists. The one corner that had a knarly stucco crack had the most damage.

Tomorrow I'm having the termite guys come out and do a surface treatment and probably an inspection. Which seems like an odd expense. But I'm the type of person who will pay for an inspection because I don't want any surprises when I sell. And no, I'm not selling right now, but I always look at how hard it will be to jetison a house. Inspections are every cent worth the money.

Mr S. wanted skylights in the garage, and I have to say - it's not a bad idea. But that was just an exploration hole.

Monday, October 09, 2017


I have to take power down to part of the house and since I self host that means images will be offline. Hopefully it will only be for an hour or two.

Hey, there are no ads here - but when the power goes out it gets really 1980's up in here. i.e. intermittent.

Since you asked...

You didn't get any posts this weekend because I'm feeling pretty rough and I had to do some super boring stuff for the deck to keep things moving. Like shop drains. And I think I'm pre-sick. I don't have all the symptoms yet to start complaining, but I just don't have any energy.

Anyway... back to the deck which is pretty much all you are going to hear about for a little while.

So - my options for fixing this deck are - waterproof membrane. That was suppose to be the A+ way to fix these things, but after seeing what they had on my deck including a membrane I was glad a chose another option. Allegedly, with a waterproof membrane I could have made a pool up there if the deck could have withheld the weight. That is how waterproof those membranes are suppose to be. They heat the seams to make an (allegedly) impenetrable product. Keeps water out, or in - if that's your thing.

The second best way to fix it is a product called Pli-deck. Which is concrete resin infused with fiberglass. Here and here. There are tons of youtube videos if you want to get your geek on. The pli-deck is the less expensive option, but I didn't chose it for that reason.

With the membrane you will see seams every three feet, and then there will be an overlap seam where they melt it together. After having those tiles up there I'm really looking for a very minimal look and those seams would have made me crazy. Now, you can put tile right over the membrane, but I'm obviously trying for a look with less lines.

I also thought the ply-deck system seemed more appropriate because (assumably) the fiberglass will help against cracking.

I will upload some pics for you, but I just don't feel like it right now.

Friday, October 06, 2017

The snarkolepsy job site is dark today.

And I'm okay with that. They only get paid on progress, so I'm pretty sure they are coming back. Plus a little contractor goes a long way with me. And these guys are great so far. But the contractor crazy is starting to come out now.  I will explain later.

They finally got all of the concrete off, and under every layer - there was water. There are a couple of spots here that are really dangerous to walk on now. After it's fully dried out from the heat I bet it just disintegrates. The ply is starting to curl up today.

Mr S. got home last night and I said to him - I think I've finally figured out why contractors are so crazy. They are just gossips. And when people gossip the information tends not to always be accurate. A little like twitter.

Twitter is also a gossip machine. So, you have to check the source several times before you believe anything.

I've worked with enough contractors that I know that they all are conspiracy freaks. So I wasn't sure when the crazy dam would break, but I knew it would. Turned out to be the youngest guy that's been on the site so far. He's in the full FEMA camps. Rich people are going to start killing people. The government is killing bums because they all keep disappearing. He tried to convince me that Trump was trying to take everyones guns. Complained about the DACA kids. To which I said - those aren't kids. They are old! How can you be here for 20 years and not be a citizen?

I asked him where they were putting the FEMA camps. He said at Walmart in Texas. Which I did track down the youtube videos, that are two years old at this point.  When you try to explain that there hasn't been anything new on that story they just tell you the government keeps it a secret.

Anyway. Mr S. got home and I told him the whole story and he says to me - Don't take away peoples' conspiracy theorys. They don't like that. I look at him and said, what? It's one of those things that make people feel special. That only they are smart enough to see the conspiracy.

So what your telling me is that I'm too sane for this world. And in the most sarcastic way he says - yes, that's what makes you special. I just look at him and we both bust up laughing.