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.


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.


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!


Quick Book Review – Walden

waldenI’ve always known of this book chronicling Writer/Poet Henry David Throreau’s venture into living simply in the woods of the 1800s but never managed to read it.

Now that my life is reaching the point of launching into my retirement in the country, building my own house and living as simply as possible, I thought it might be an appropriate read.

Walden is pretty much as you might expect from an 1800s poet.  He’s quite the windbag.  It’s an interesting story however drawn out it may be.  There are a lot of great observation on mankind in general and the struggle of life.  It’s good stuff if you can decode it.

It’s often the worst problem with poets that they can’t just come out and say something.  It always has to be encoded in extra words as to almost make what they are saying imperceptible to the regular man.  I’m neither a fan of poetry nor over description.  I want it told like it is.

I made it about 3/4 of the way through this book before being overcome.  I think it is best read by skimming and ignoring the boring.  You get the point.   Sometimes you just have to fast forward.

Overall, the book is a great read.  Especially if you have a lot of spare time on your hands.  Something that might be possible if you actually moved out into the woods far from regular society.  Kind of ironic.

If you weren’t forced to read this in school, maybe you will like it now.

Get it from Amazon.

Providence strikes again – Paint Sprayer Discount

pntspryrI’m constantly amazed how often the things I need come to me free or cheap when the time is right.

All you have to do is have patience and wait.  They say good things come to those who wait.  I think it is totally true.


sdngI put off starting a big project of replacing the siding on the front of my house for so many years.  It was starting to rot where the water splashes on it from the porch roof.  It needed to be done before I go to sell the house and time is getting short so I decided to get it done.

I got the bright idea to buy a paint sprayer.  I could totally do this with a brush but next year when I’m building my new house, I’ll need a sprayer anyway.  The best thing I could find would be a good looking Graco sprayer from Home Depot for $260.  Fine.  Totally worth it.

Today I gen an email from Harbor Freight with a coupon to buy one almost exactly the same for only $169.  Dude!  Love it!  The reviews are good and I’ve never had any problems with HF stuff.  It even uses the Graco sprayer tip and parts.   I’m going to pick it up this week.  Noice!


Extra land sold in just a few days!

intmnyWooooooo!  My land sold for a lot more than I bought it for!

I originally bought 8 acres of land in the country at $11,000 an acre.  I didn’t need that much but it is hard to find small acreage.   I divided it in two parts, kept what I wanted and listed the other part just the other day.  The real estate agent just called me and said it sold for full asking price!!!  Should have asked more.

I knew it would sell quickly because of its scarcity plus it has a nice pond on it.   We listed it for $16,200.  A nice profit of $5200 an acre.  That means my total cost after the 6% fee to the realtor is only $5211 per acre or $18,000 total.  Shit yeah!  That will pay for the water, septic and electricity installation and still have some left over.  Free money!

I love it when a plan comes together… plus a bonus!