Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It looks like the only fix for our garage roof is to tear it off and replace it. The roofer today said that it's too bad too, because the shingles themselves are in great shape. The problem is that the previous handy man home owner installed them himself and did it incorrectly. He placed the nail holes right in the seams of the shingles, so any rain or snow now can leak into the garage. We really noticed the problem about a month ago when we had 18 inches of snow and it backed up into the inside of the garage.

What's that thing that I say? It's always something...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We got our new over the range microwave hood vent installed tonight. It fought us every step of the way. I'm glad that it's in and all done though. It's one less thing that we need to do. Hooray for that!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Tampa we go.

Since none of you are interested, here's an update on the house projects:

Backyard re-grading \ landscaping : not done
Leaking garage roof : not fixed
Update on status of enclosing front drainage ditch : non-existant
New microwave \ hood vent installed : false
Installation of lattice work on Lakewood deck : negatory
Attachment of Lakewood deck to house : no thank you
Creation of hand rails going down Lakewood steps : you need what now?

It would generally be great if contractors could be bothered to call back people that desire to give them money.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The weekend is coming up, so once again that means that we're traveling. We're going to Florida for the weekend. We may be able to go to the Rays game tomorrow night, but we're not certain yet.

Yesterday I had the joy of trying to install a new over the range microwave \ hood vent. Talk about a pain in the butt! Our old microwaves installation bracket doesn't fit the new microwave, so now we need to drill new holes in the wall in order to put up the new bracket, alter a support brace with new holes, and hope that the new bracket is able to actually hold the microwave (which is in doubt at this point.) They conveniently spaced the holes that are supposed to be put into studs at 29 inches. Well who the heck has studs spaced 29 inches apart? What the crap were they thinking? That means that instead of 4 holes in the studs, we'll have 2 and the other 2 will be in drywall. Great.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What do energy analysts actually get paid to analyze? Just mere weeks ago many "analysts" predicted that the price of gas would spike at $3.60 in the peak summer driving season. Well, it's already freaking $3.60 here and last I checked, it's not
close to summer. At the current pace, it could very well be $4.50 per gallon by July.

Like it or not, irrationally high oil prices are here to stay.

On that note, I want to direct you to some of my sentiments from way back in 2005...

I don't care how irrational the freaking market is, gas just cannot go up 20 cents every week from now until eternity.

Someone robbed a grocery store in Omaha. We'd better raise oil prices by $19. You never know if he stole the local oil refinery from that grocery store.

A meteor hit Mars. Oh no! I must raise oil another $12. The Martians may start immigrating to Earth and drive up our demand for oil.

It was 77 degrees in Cleveland today. No! Say it ain't so! Oil is too cheap. I demand you raise it by $52 / barrel. Think of the children! Won't somebody please think of the children?!?!

There was weather somewhere on Earth. Oh sweet Lord almighty! Weather!?!?! The demand will go crazy with this so called weather. Breaking news: Oil prices surge $4000 per barrel on news of impending weather!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Taken from a article...

Among the nightmares lurking around the corner for the already battered housing and credit markets would be a meltdown at mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Although few are predicting an imminent need for a bailout just yet, credit rating agency Standard & Poor's recently placed an estimated price tag on this worst case scenario -- $420 billion to $1.1 trillion of taxpayer's money.

This dwarfs how much it cost to help banks during the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980's and early 1990's. That cost taxpayers about $250 billion in today's dollars.

We don't NEED to cover the banks. If they made lousy gambles, let them fail. If the banks were forced between bankruptcy and renegotiating mortgages to ensure ongoing payments they'd start to negotiate with homeowners in good faith and the market would work everything out. Insulating banks from the downside risk of their own bad judgments just makes the pain deeper and more prolonged.

That's not to say that homeowners aren't to blame also, because they clearly are. They got into houses that were way outside of their price range. What's one of my favorite sayings? If you don't have it, don't spend it. It's pretty simple really. See the following overheard conversation:

Poor: I want to buy a house but I have no money. What can I do?

Idiot Bank: You can still buy the house of your dreams. No money down. We have this new cool loan called Interest Only. That means you pay as little as possible. Isn't that awesome?

Poor: Wow? Really? That sounds to good to be true, but then again, you know what they say... If it sounds to good to be true... then it must be awesome!

Idiot Bank: It is awesome! We'll get you into this $800,000 house with no money down and you'll only pay $9/month. Even a broke ass like you can afford that!

Poor: Wow! My mom said that I'd never get anywhere working at McDonald's. Boy was she wrong. I've got a new car and a new house. I'm rich bitch!

Idiot Bank: We're rich too, bitch!

--- 6 months later ---

Poor: I'm so poor! You're taking away my dream, man! It's my right to be in this house! You lied to me and stole my dream! Think of the children! Won't someone bail me out?

Idiot Bank: We're so broke! I don't want to be responsible for all my stupid loans. Won't someone bail me out?

It'd be nice if people and institutions were actually held responsible for their actions. We supposedly have a free market. That means we should let the market work! Let people get foreclosed. House prices will drop back to sane levels. Banks won't lend tons of money to people who have no ability to re-pay. It'd be great. Sure, I'd get screwed because I just bought my house right before the crash, but that's just too bad. I signed the paper and I'm responsible for paying it back. No one is going to come and bail me out.

It's enough to make me want to start smacking people upside the head in hopes that they get some common sense.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Imagine if Boozer were still in a Cavs uniform...

We're headed to West Virginia tomorrow morning. We'll be visiting Lindsay's sister at Marshall this weekend.

I got my car back today after getting the brakes done. So far, so good. Now I just need to take it in to get the iPod connector fixed. About 2 weeks ago the left channel just cut completely out. It's rather annoying. Also, when I click the auto up button for the driver side window it goes up and then when it reaches the top it goes back down about 6 inches. That's annoying too. Stupid pain in the butt car.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In the ever ongoing saga of things happening to me comes this new revelation. The less than 10 year old roof on our garage is leaking and now needs to be repaired. Congratulations! You're the proud new owner of crap.

In other news, we're investigating the possibility of going to Toronto to catch a game on June 7th, so if you know where we live, please feel free to light our grass on fire. If we really do go that weekend that would put us out of the state for 5 out of 6 weekends.

We're heading down to Tampa next weekend and have tickets to see the Rays play the Tea Parties. Unfortunately, it's looking more and more as if we're not going to able to attend that game. Not that I'm really looking forward to seeing the Trop anyway, but hey, it's one more I could've crossed off my list.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This was supposed to be the Indians year, but so far it's reminding me of 2005. That was the year that they had a bunch of expectations, but started off horribly. They came on strong at the end, only to fall to the White Sox in the last series of the season.

The hole they're digging themselves now will be difficult to get out of. Sure it's early, but their pitching is very suspect and their hitting is not so hot either.

I hope that they can fix their problems, but I feel like I've seen this before.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Are you kidding me? The Patriots have the weakest schedule in the No Fun League this year. Yes, those Patriots that went undefeated in the regular season last year.

Um, can someone say collusion? Or something. Can someone say anything! Jeez! Give me a break.

I hate the NFL.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Little did I realize that talking about my brakes would be the most commented story of 2008 on this little part of the inter tubes.

It was my grandmothers birthday on Saturday and my step-moms birthday on Sunday. Therefore, there were lots of family functions happening this weekend.

I overheard some discussion about how my grandmother is doing, and apparently she's going to be needing to pain medication soon. Whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen. She had talked to hospice about 6 weeks ago now and at that time they said that she was doing fine and had no need of their services. I'd like to be selfish at this point and hope that she never needs them, but that's just not realistic.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Needless to say, I turned down the $900 brake job in hopes of finding it much cheaper elsewhere. Well, I found some place willing to do it for $700, and that may be as cheap as it gets unfortunately.

On top of that, we've got a contractor coming out to the house to look at our water problems. We have a problem that causes water to end up in our duct work. Not just a little water either. Last time it was about 700 gallons. This is the third time that it's happened since I've lived there. It only occurs when there the ground is super saturated. For example, when it snows 18 inches and then rains for 5 days in a row.

The solution looks like it will be to pour additional concrete at the edge of our slab, then run drain tile out and around to the front of the house. Hopefully that will fix the problem.

On top of that, this wasn't disclosed when I bought the house, so we may have some litigation in the future. The first contractor we had out said that there was a 95% chance that it had happened to the previous owners. If it did in fact happen to them, they're legally required to disclose it... so, we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I had my car in the dealer today for it's mid life check up. They did a bunch of crap which was over priced, but none of it compared to the $900 they wanted for a brake job.

Well, it turns out that ceramic Brembo brakes are expensive to replace. Who knew?

More to follow (not like the Niagara on the Lake non-existent more to follow either).

Monday, April 7, 2008

We went to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake this past weekend. We stayed at the Shaw Club in N-o-t-L, which was very nice. They have a 4 diamond restaurant there which we had breakfast and dinner at.

One of the highlights of dinner was when I received my appetizer of popcorn shrimp.

I of course expected small popcorn shrimp. Instead, I got something much more clever. There was nothing shrimpy about those shrimp either. They were more like mini-lobsters.

More details on the trip to follow.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Indians hopes for an undefeated season went down in flames today.

Oh well, there's always next year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This past weekend while we were in Maryland, I ventured to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. It was pretty cool. It's similar in a lot of ways to the Wright Patterson National Air Force Museum in Dayton.

They had a SR-71 Blackbird (the coolest plane in the world, btw) and a working prototype of the Space Shuttle. This particular one happens to be the third of the planes that I've seen (the others being in Dayton and on the USS Enterprise in New York). They never fail to impress. In the picture you can see it, as well as the nose of the shuttle in the background.

There was a large section devoted to space, which I thought was cool. I also got my first up close look at the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It looks similar to the Raptor, though unique because of it's VTOL capabilities. I'm still surprised that they opted to go with a single engine though.

Anyway, blah blah blah, planes planes planes, maybe I'll try to come up with more coherent thoughts later.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's almost time for the summer times to come out of hiding. The goal is to put them on on Thursday, before our trip to Niagra-on-the-Lake on Friday.

When I bought the car in 2004, I got it on February 17th. It came with summer tires on it, and it never snowed in Cleveland through the remainder of Winter and through Spring. This year and last, it's snowed well into Spring.

I feel like I'm getting snow fever from the crappy weather. Yesterday it hit 60 briefly and I opened up every window in the house because it finally felt nice.