Two guys holding hands

Yesterday as I left work, I turned out of the parking lot onto the highway access road.  I saw right away, two guys walking down the sidewalk holding hands.

My first thought was, “Wait.. What?”

I had to do a double take.

My second thought was, “Wow!  That’s weird and gross.”

My third thought was, “Hmm.  They are lucky to have each other.”

In a world where love is impossible to find.  It’s good to take what you can get.


Dear Dad – Mom in the hospital again

Hi Dad.

Jody took mom to the hospital again on Wednesday morning.  She had been feeling really bad quite often after she left the last time.  Monday and Tuesday were really bad.  She was weak, tired and shaking.  We were thinking it was side effects of all the medication she is on.

It seems even with the pacemaker and medication her Atrial Fibrillation was still happening.  The indications are weaknesss, shaking loss of appetite etc.  She had all that.  I visited her last night.  The AFib was still happening.  She felt better but it was still out of control.

This morning they did a stress test to see if maybe she had some artery blockage somewhere causing her blood pressure to vary wildly sometimes over 200.   We are waiting the results.  Hopefully they find something.

I’m feeling that her end is near.  She’s 88 and lived a long and loving life even after you were gone.  She did a lot of traveling and lived her life her own way.  She’s ready to go and accepting the end gracefully.  I’m sure if I make it to 88 I will be gladly ready to meet death.

It’s not for sure yet but it may not be more than a year or so max unless things change somehow.  Other than Afib and high blood pressure, she is in amazingly good shape.  Things could turn around and give her a few more years.  I was hoping she could be around long enough to see my new house I’m about to start construction on.  Maybe.

She has signed a non-resuscitation agreement and does not want to linger around if things go bad.  I can’t blame her.  Hopefully, like my own wishes, she will go in her sleep one night.   I hope you’ll be there when she arrives when the time comes.

I don’t want to linger on these thoughts right now but I sure hope I will be able to accept it.  When she’s gone then I will truly be alone in this world.  But that’s the ship I built and I will have to sail on it.

Think happy thoughts for either a good recovery or a quick ending.  She should be coming home tomorrow and I’ll visit her after work.  At least she is in good spirits.  She’s a strong woman having had to raise two boys all by herself.  There’s nobody better.


Early Retirement Calculation Error In My Favor!

Yes Yes Yes!!!

I just realized that I had an error in my retirement simulator program.  It turns out that I had included the cost of health insurance twice.  Once in my monthly spending and once in the annual subtraction.  This subtracted an unnecessary $9600 per year.

I adjusted my monthly spending budget and ran the simulator again.  My early retirement just got a lot more comfortable.   Now there’s absolutely no need for me to have even a part time job.  Actually there wan’t before but now for sure.  If I feel like working, I can.  If not, I don’t have to.  Shit yeah!   This is amazing.  I still can’t wrap my head around this.  It still seems impossible but the numbers add up.

As the time approaches I was feeling a little more apprehensive about the big change but now four more months of working like a common man and I’m off on a new journey of free time and awesomeness.  I feel like I won the lottery but it is just thanks to 33 years of lost life, sadness, loneliness, depression, frugality and good investing.  Maybe it was worth it.  One must suffer to achieve greatness.

 Starting Cash: $208,000
 Estimating monthly spending at $1200
 Retirement at age 50
 Estimating new house $75,000
 Estimating Health Insurance at $800 /month.
 Estimating $800 /mo investment income
 Estimating monthly Retired income at $100
 Retirement portfolios: $300,000
 Retirement portfolio available at age 60.
 Receive Social Security at age 67.
 Estimating Social Security income of $1500 /month at age 67.
 Age    Year    Cash
 50     2018    $208000
** Retire!! Build house.
 51     2019    $122800
** Sell old house
 52     2020    $253000
 53     2021    $237800
 54     2022    $222600
 55     2023    $207400
 56     2024    $192200
 57     2025    $177000
 58     2026    $161800
** Inheritance $30,000
 59     2027    $176600
 60     2028    $161400
** Include Retirement in Cash  $300000
** End retirement income
 61     2029    $446200
 62     2030    $429800
 63     2031    $413400
 64     2032    $397000
 65     2033    $380600
 66     2034    $373800
 67     2035    $367000
** Include Social security at $1500 /mo
 68     2036    $378200
 69     2037    $389400
 70     2038    $400600
 71     2039    $411800
 72     2040    $423000
 73     2041    $434200
 74     2042    $445400
 75     2043    $456600
 76     2044    $467800
 77     2045    $479000
 78     2046    $490200
 79     2047    $501400
 80     2048    $512600
 81     2049    $523800
 82     2050    $535000
 83     2051    $546200
 84     2052    $557400
 85     2053    $568600
 86     2054    $579800
 87     2055    $591000
 88     2056    $602200
 89     2057    $613400
 90     2058    $624600
 91     2059    $635800
 92     2060    $647000
 93     2061    $658200
 94     2062    $669400
 95     2063    $680600
 96     2064    $691800
 97     2065    $703000
 98     2066    $714200
 99     2067    $725400
10 cls
20 age = 50
30 retirement = 300000 ‘ anticipated minimum amount at 60.
40 endyear = 2068
50 cash = 208000 ‘ Estimate liquid cash at retirement
60 year = 2018 ‘ Starting Year
70 retiredincome = 100*12 ‘ monthly*12
80 ss = 1500*12 ‘ social security monthly income
90 workincome = 0*12 ‘ Still working income after tax
100 spend = 1200*12 ‘ monthly * 12
110 newhouse = 75000 ‘ land already purchased
120 oldhouse = 150000 ‘ value of old house
130 retirementage = 50
140 healthinsurance = 800*12 ‘ monthly * 12
150 propertytax = 2000
160 investinc = 800*12 ‘ $800 monthly investment income
170 rem
180 rem
200 print
210 print ” Starting Cash: $” cash
220 rem print ” Work before retirement annual net income $” workincome
230 print ” Estimating monthly spending at $” spend/12
240 print ” Retirement at age ” retirementage
250 print ” Estimating new house $” newhouse
260 print ” Estimating Health Insurance at $” healthinsurance/12 “/month.”
270 print ” Estimating $” investinc/12 “/mo investment income”
280 print ” Estimating monthly Retired income at $” retiredincome/12
290 print ” Retirement portolios: $” retirement
300 print ” Retirement portfolio available at age 60.”
310 print ” Receive Social Security at age 67.”
320 print ” Estimating Social Security income of $” ss/12 “/month at age 67.”
330 print
340 print ” Age”,”Year”,”Cash”
350 rem — Start calculation loop —
360 print ” ” age,year,”$” int(cash)
370 if age = 60 then cash = cash+retirement : print “** Include Retirement in Cash  $” retirement
380 if age = 60 then print “** End retirement income”
390 if age > retirementage and age < 65 then cash = cash-healthinsurance ‘ Health Insurance until medicare
400 rem if age < retirementage then cash = cash+workincome
410 if age >= retirementage+2 and age <= 60 then cash = cash+retiredincome ‘ 2 years to build house and rest
420 if age <= retirementage+1 then cash = cash-3400 ‘ “old house taxes”
430 if age = retirementage+1 then cash = cash+oldhouse : print “** Sell old house”
440 if age = retirementage then cash = cash-newhouse  : print “** Retire!! Build house.”
450 if age < 67 then cash = cash-spend
460 if age = 67 then print “** Include Social security at $” ss/12 “/mo”
470 if age >= 67 then cash = cash+ss-spend ‘ Social security
480 if age = 58 then cash = cash+30000 : print “** Inheritance $30,000”
490 cash = cash+investinc ‘ Investment income
500 cash = cash-propertytax ‘ tax on new house
510 year = year+1
520 age = age+1
530 if year < endyear then goto 350
540 end

What happens if you have a plumbing leak in a slab foundation

IMG_0458So I woke one morning and noticed while I was in the restroom that I heard water running. I checked all my faucets but none were running.  There were no leaks to be found anywhere inside or outside the house yet the flow indicator on the meter was spinning wildly.

Nooooooo!   My worst plumbing fears have come to reality.

It was Saturday so I called three plumbers.  One called me back.  (The others called Monday but they were too late.)

After a little looking around it was obvious that my diagnosis was correct.

A little more testing indicated that the leak was the supply to the main distribution manifold behind the washing machine.   I expected the work to include jack hammering the foundation and causing major damage at major expense.  I was glad to hear that the fix, which I had not considered, was not all that bad.  A little more testing indicated that the leak was the supply to the main distribution manifold behind the washing machine.

There was no way to find the pipe even in the yard because digging through rocks is just plain impossible.  The plan was to rent a trencher, cut the pipe at the meter and run a new PEX pipe up to the house, into the garage wall, up into the garage attic, across to the main house and down into the laundry room to tie into the manifold effectively bypassing the under-slab pipe.

As I suspected, even using a trenching machine we couldn’t dig any deeper than 6 inches so that would have to do.  A whole day of trenching later and we had a shallow cut for the supply.

I wasn’t satisfied with the blue plastic pipe going from the ground up and into the garage wall so they did a short transition to copper for better durability on an exposed pipe.  It seldom freezes in San Antonio so that shouldn’t be an issue anyway.  I went up into the garage attic and drilled a hole in the top of the wall and help run the pipe.

We had to cut the drywall in multiple places to get the not so flexible pipe to make the 90 degree bends.  I’ll fix those later myself.

They capped off the old pipe and installed an adapter to join the PEX to the existing copper pipe.

We turned on the water.  Everything worked and the leak was gone.  The cost of this project was $3,600.  I’m hoping he gave me a discount for the hours of labor I provided.  He also said if I had hired a big plumbing company it could easily have cost $6,000 or more.  Always go with the little guy first.  They work harder and care more.

My house insurance will pay for everything over $1500 so my out of pocket expense is only $1500.

Later… Insurance doesn’t seem to cover catastrophic plumbing repair.  I had to pay the whole $3600 myself.  Bastards.  What’s the point in having house insurance?  I’m not sure I’ll have anything more than Fire and Hurricane/tornado coverage on my new house.  I fix things myself and my crap isn’t worth anything so I’m wasting money on insurance.


Funny or Judgemental?

frynsifEvery once in a while I visit the People of Walmart website.  It’s a bunch of pictures of wacky people wearing strange and inappropriate clothing while shopping there.  Mental illness is highly evident.

I’m not sure if I should be laughing and perplexed at the subjects of the pictures or saddened by the judgement of people posting the photos and captioning them.

This has to be the strangest planet in the universe.


The Biggest Leak


I woke up last Saturday and sat on the toilet for my morning constitutional when I heard water running.  Why is water running?

I went out to look at the meter and the little flow indicator was turning rather quickly.  I first checked my sprinkler system since it had sprung a spontaneous leak in the past.  It was fine.  I checked all faucets inside and outside the house.  Dry.  That’s really bad!  It is likely under the slab foundation which is beyond my DIY abilities.  I hate to not be able to fix something.

I posted a, “Is there a plumber in the house?” question on Facebook and got a few recommendations.   I called one guy and he came to take a look.  He got in touch with another guy who came out today which was four days later.  I had already tracked down a likely location.  We took a hatch cover off the wall behind the washing machine where the noise was loudest.   We found the main manifold for the house.  That’s good.

He’s going to come back in a few days and will have to cut the manifold and see if we can isolate the branch with the leak.  If I’m lucky, it will be AFTER the manifold and not the main supply line in the slab.  If I am extra lucky, it will be the branch that goes to the outside faucet on just the other side of the opposite wall of the washroom.

If that turns out to be the case, we can just run a PEX line from the manifold through the ceiling and down the other wall without having to tear up the slab or much of the drywall.  That would be excellent.  Relatively.

In the meantime I welded together a special wrench-tool so I can easily turn the main water supply on and off.  I only need it to be on for a few minutes each day for showering, washing dishes, watering plants etc.  Other than that I keep it turned off to avoid any unnecessary damage to the foundation or whatever.  Luckily I don’t have a wife to complain.  I’ll manage through the situation.  As long as it’s not the electricity.  You simply cannot live without air conditioning August in Texas.

Wish me luck!  Think lucky plumbing thoughts.


Short Timer Syndrome

stsIt may be that Short Timer Syndrome is kicking in.  I’m 5 months away from leaving my job for a two year house-building sabbatical.  If all goes well and it looks like it will, my time here is shortening.  Wooooo!   My stress level has already reduced significantly and I feel so much better about life in general.  My job motivation level is low but I don’t really care much.

My plan is to hang through at work until December and give my notice after I get my annual bonus.  By that time I should have the foundation completed and framing started.  This will encourage me to want to get the hell out of work and build full time.  Saying goodbye will not be difficult at all.

My life-plan is finally in progress.  Yee Haw!