Thursday, January 31, 2019

Taxes are done.

I have been dreading taxes. New tax laws and the not knowing part. I love it. Went in to tax prep agent to set appointment. He wasn't busy. He did them on the spot, no wait. Awesome..... And did I luck out, because when I got done, there was a line in the lobby. I got in ahead of the after work crowd. This is the last year I have them done. The new tax system is so simple, you don't have to do much anymore. Thanks Trump. I have been worried whether enough was coming out during the year. It wasn't a problem. The personal exemption went up so much, I can't write off mortgage interest and taxes anymore, because I don't pay enough of them to exceed the personal exemptions. I took home more all year and am getting a decent refund on top of that. It's a relief to know that everything is fine. I am curious to see how the democrats are going to handle it after everyone files their taxes and finds out that the common worker IS taking home more and actually gaining from the tax change. I am relieved and glad to have it out of the way for another year.

The cold weather is here, but it has been a good winter overall. Only a couple inches total of snow so far this winter. You don't have to shovel cold. Suppose to get up to the sixties early next week according to forecast, but is single digits now. Crazy weather patterns. I am ready for spring.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Back to work tomorrow

Two weeks off is nice, but it still goes by too quick. I got a ton of stuff done though. Finally broke through to the attic. First time I have been able to see it since buying house. I was relieved to find it dry, well insulated and no obvious pest problems. This area is notorious for termites and the yard has carpenter bee damage, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I finally was able to run wiring up from basement to attic so I could install a ceiling fan in living room. That is a huge project off my work list. And best part, the floor lamps can go now. I am so happy with the way it turned out. Have to swing by Lowes and get replacement bulbs. Ceiling fan came with LED lights, but they are the soft white. Soft white to me looks yellow. I like the daylight LEDs, so it will be an easy swap. Only modification I have left on that is to add a 4way switch to the two existing 3 way switches, so I can have a switch by the hallway so I can hit it coming out of the bedroom. The existing two switches are by the front and rear door. They weren't hooked to anything. Being an old house, they were probably, at one time, hooked to the upper plug of the wall outlets to control lamps. They were abandoned long ago. I am so happy they didn't completely cut the wire flush and I was able to tie in on the two switches in the wall. Houses down here don't use conduit, so if you want to fix or run wiring, you just about have to open a wall. Where I want to put the four way switch is where the hall closet is, so I can run the wiring up the closet and cut a box into the wall. Easy fix, but not today. Maybe next weekend.

My car radio and adapters came in, but I am still waiting for the license plate bracket back up camera to come in so I can install it all at once. It is suppose to be here by Friday, so I will hopefully put it in Saturday.

Not ready to go back to work tomorrow. I could get use to retirement really easy. Like my job, but I sure do love my leisure time better. Have three months before my next vacation. Still in the fifties down here so it doesn't even feel like winter. I am enjoying it. Think I will take it easy tomorrow after work. Been so busy while on vacation, I actually feel like a little down time now that it's time to go back. May just light a little fire in the fire pit tomorrow when I get home tomorrow and relax in the back yard if it isn't raining.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Truck is back

Picked up truck today, so I am back up to full mobility. The mustang is nice, but I use the truck SO much, I miss it when it isn't there. It's nice to go to Lowes and pick up anything you need. Mustangs, you have to really think about what your getting. First stop today after pickup was lowes, to pick up lumber and supplies. Making some serious headway on most of the projects I wanted to get done. It was a torrential downpour all day today, so no outside work. Weekend is suppose to be awesome. Fifties or sixties. Go global warming. Might make a gun run down to Owensboro to the biggest gun store I know. Haven't been there in a couple years. They built a new building. Might go check it out. My new radio for the mustang is suppose to arrive today (ahead of schedule), so hopefully I can get that in tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Nearing the end of vacation

Two weeks off is nice, but it is still hard to go back to work. Three days left. Got some stuff knocked out, but no where near what I hoped. I fought most of the day today running surround wiring for the entertainment system. Works much better than the wireless system did. Dropped ceiling in the basement helped somewhat, but still had to snake the wires through the ductwork and plumbing. I also finally made progress on finding the wiring for the light switches in the living room. When they rewired the house years ago, the switches were abandoned in the living room. Fortunately, I was able to find a junction box that came from the switches when I removed the drop ceiling. I temporarily hooked into it and installed an outlet in the living room so I can operate the torch lighting through the switches for now. Next step is cutting an access to easily access the attic. Somehow, over the course of the eighty years the house has existed, the only access I have found is in a closet and is so small, you would have to send a small child up there as an adult wouldn't fit. Hopefully, I can cut the new access and get a ceiling fan installed in the living room.

As far as the vehicles, I had the tinted windows stripped and retinted on the mustang, and it looks perfect. Went with a lighter shade of tint and had the strip removed from the windshield. It is like a new car now. Have the radio ordered. It will be here next week. Touchscreen with Bluetooth. Be able to hook up my I-pod again. Hook up a back up camera as well as they are only about twelve dollars.

No garage and constant rain and drizzle most of the week, I finally caved and took the truck in to have the wheel hub checked. I was right, it was shot. The other side wasn't making noise, but was also badly worn, so I had them do them both. It kills me to have someone do something I am capable of doing, but it had to get done. Cost wasn't as bad as I thought, but still cost me more than I care for in labor. Still, it is out of the way now and I will have two operable vehicles now. Picked up the mustang today. The truck got done at their quitting time and there was nobody to come pick me up to get it, so I will pick it up in the morning. They are next to the barbershop, so I can get a hair cut on the trip.

Ordered some gutter guards and they came in, so for more fun and excitement, I will be installing gutter guards if the rain subsides long enough. I am thankful it is not snow. I love the mature trees, but in the fall, I pay dearly for it. The oak tree held leaves until we got a freezing rain and snow that knocked them down, and into the cleaned out gutters. Clean them one more time and try the new gutter guards and see how they do. Back yard sucks as it is two stories in the back and the ground isn't level on the drain end. With my knees, I am not climbing over the roof and trying to kneel to lean over and clean them out and install. Suppose to be in the 50s for the weekend, so should be fairly pleasant weather for it, if the rain stays away long enough.

Hope to drop by a garage builder tomorrow as well and see if I can get some decent estimates on the new garage I want to build. I have some pictures and sizes I want them to quote. I would still like to build a steel garage. They make openers for the roll up doors and it would be easier for a lift not having the rafters to contend with. Want to see if the front or back yard would be better. Both have their pros and cons. The modern steel garages look great. Nothing like the steel sheds they use to look like.

Really wish I had gotten more done over the time off. Under the weather part of the time. At least I made it back home for the holidays before getting sick. Not too bad, just really tired and sick to my stomach for a few days. Slept way more than what I wanted to, but I feel a lot better now and am getting things squared away. Not sure what that was all about, but it sure took a bite out of my vacation.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Survived another Christmas.

Hope everyone had a good time. Weather was actually perfect for traveling during holiday. Not much for a white Christmas anyway. About a week before heading up to northwest Indiana, I heard an intermittent grind sound somewhere toward front of truck. Figured it was either a wheel bearing or the four wheel drive actuator. It was only once in a while. Out of caution, I reserved a rental car for going up north. On my way to pick up the rental, the noise comes in fairly steady, but still not loud. I get rental and go up north. Upon getting back from trip, noise is steady now. I limp it back home. Now, this is my primary vehicle. The corvette is my backup which works in mild weather, not winter. I am going to fix the bearing or actuator, but, I decided to get another toy/back up vehicle. I researched and narrowed it down to two vehicles. A 2006 mustang GT with 49000 miles on the clock, or a 2013 v6 mustang with about 68000 miles. Newer mustang is loaded. Both have the leather interior. I love the 2006 retro look and wanted one when they came out, but didn't want for my primary vehicle. I did try and do the adultish thing, and buy the newer one, as it gets slightly better mileage and would retain value longer.
So, my day at the dealer. I head out check book in pocket ready to basically make sure it fit and drove to my satisfaction. I get there and tell salesperson exactly what car I want. He goes to retrieve it. Now, it's used and at the dodge dealer part of dealership, so, I go oogle the new Challengers. They are NICE, to say the least. After half an hour, another sales critter asks where my guy went. I told him he was suppose to be getting a car for me. He calls my sales guy. Fifteen minutes later, he arrives in a different car. There is a problem. The guy who cleaned and prepped the car doesn't know where he put the keys. They are still looking for them. We go look at car. It is extremely clean and sweet. Still can't get in. I am getting ready to leave and go to other dealer to look at other mustang. Sales manager says to stick around, it shouldn't be long, they got hold of the last guy who had keys. So, me and my sales critter kill some time. I take out a brand new Challenger. They are freaking roomy and awesome. This thing had every gadget you could imagine. Never drove a vehicle with heated steering wheel before. Had a power sunroof, leather interior. It was extremely hard not to drive it home. We get back, still no keys. At this point, I tell the sales guy I am going to see other car at dealer down the road. I tell him call if they ever find the keys. Still don't understand why they didn't just cut a new key using the VIN. They have a ford dealer in their complex.

On to next dealer. I drive in and parking lot is like most dealerships, hard to find customer parking. I accidentally drive down the row of used cars and find the mustang I wanted. It is mint. It is gorgeous. Being older, it doesn't have the Bluetooth and fancy accessories, but I will simply add an aftermarket touchscreen radio as I did in the truck. No problem. The only flaw on the car was the cheap home done window tint job. That will hopefully be remedied tomorrow. Buddy at work told me where to go for a good job. I will have them strip it and see if it needs tint. If it does, I am not going with the dark tint. Anyhow, sales team was great at this one, and they actually had keys to the cars. I took it out for a long drive. It is awesome. 4.6liter v8 has a good amount of power for a car that size. Went back and did the paper work. Had a sales guy follow me back home driving my new car as I had the Vette to get back home as well. Didn't expect it to be an all day affair. No sooner do I get in the kitchen, the phone rings. Sales manager from first place. Sir, we still don't have the keys, but if we don't have them Monday morning, we will cut a new key if you are still interested... No, that won't be necessary, I bought the other car I told you about that was at the dealer down the road.
I can't believe a dealer of that size is that incompetent. You can't tell me it would have cost the dealer much of anything to cut a new key, since one of their dealerships is a ford dealer. But, it all worked out. I actually bought the body style I like best out of the new mustangs. Spent all day driving all over burning gas and having fun. Did hit a gun show while I was out. Here are some pictures of my new toy.

Couldn't get over the low mileage. Car history verified no rollback. The car is extra clean. I feel bad that it will have to live outside this winter until garage is up. It has to be a garaged toy to have that kind of mileage. It is so immaculate.

Hope to get the tint removed tomorrow, if they have an opening. I plan on being at their door when they open. Nothing else I can get it scheduled.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. I enjoyed seeing family, but missed seeing Mark and his family while up there. The timing lined up where the gun stores we usually hit were closed because of Sunday. Still a good time. Hopefully line up with everyone when I go up in the summer for the grandsons birthday. Take the Mustang up on that trip. see how she does on the highway. Should have the new radio with the navigation in it by then. Still have this coming week off, so hopefully I will get the truck back roadworthy again. I also bought gutter guards and will try and get some of them in during the milder weather.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Now that is a hard way to make a living.

The tree guys showed up today. WOW. It is really something to watch someone who knows what they are doing take down trees. I have power lines where the maple was. The guy scaled the tree like a monkey. Dropped the branches by rope to waiting helpers who promptly fed them into the biggest chipper I have ever seen. It took about two hours to get the maple, chopped up and gone. Bad news of the day was the oak tree. Cost me $2500 to drop it. That one they earned every penny. The other two trees  with the stump removal were $2200 total, so the oak really smacked the pocket book hard. They got the maple down, stump ground, oak down, and all carted off. I thought they were done for the day. Nope. They headed to the back yard and got the third tree just about cut down before admitting defeat. They will be back in the AM. It was really something to watch them take down trees. Made it look so easy. The house looks totally different now. I like how it looks from the street now. I will wait and see about the other maple. I may take it down as well. It would make the front yard look cleaner, but I will wait until I have the garage in and see what it looks like. I would hate to lose the shade, and with the garage in, the tree may look like it belongs again. It grew kind of weird seeing as how it was in the shadow of the much larger maple, so branches favored the side of the tree that the sun hit. It would work with the garage though, as the garage will go where the big maple was, so the existing maple would be leaning slightly away from garage and the branches grow away from where the garage will be. They should finish up really early in the morning. They are down to a small trunk to take down and some clean up. If they show up at 7 like they did this morning, hopefully they will be done by ten or eleven. I plan on hitting Frog follies tomorrow. Hope to get there relatively early.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

For real this time, maybe

The climber that cuts the tree and ropes the limbs down was out earlier this month with kidney stones, so they cancelled last minute. I start my mini vacation tomorrow and they are suppose to be here early in the AM to finally get the trees out of here. I won't believe it until I see it. Not getting my hopes up until they are climbing the trees. I can't believe I had to wait almost five months. All the tree places have a waiting list. I definitely wouldn't have picked these guys had I known how long it was going to take. They told me mid June originally. I can't wait to see what it looks like when done. Should make leaf raking a lot easier. Still have two maples and an oak, so, not easy, just easier.

I got the ceiling fan installed in the dining room during the week. It actually went very smooth. Thought I would have to put up a reinforced electrical box, but the old one is solid. The house was built in the 40s, and I pulled a small chandelier to put the fan up, so I lucked out there. Going to try and figure out a way to get wiring up to the middle of the living room ceiling so I can put a fan in there as well. There is a pair of light switches for a light in the living room, but they don't do anything. Going to pull covers off the outlets in the room and see if there is an abandoned switch wire in one or more of them. The old houses usually had one or more receptacles wired where the top plug was switched and the bottom wasn't. It would give me a decent start anyway. The attic access is ridiculously small. Have to send a toddler up to check things out. There is a weird storage area in the dining room that has an access door in the wall. I believe I am going to try and cut a usable attic access hole in there that I can actually fit my fat ass through. Want to put a fan in the bedroom and office as well. Can't believe nobody ever converted them before. Or put a decent attic access anywhere for that matter. Second house I had to do this to. I hate lamps and love fans in all rooms. Makes a huge difference.

Friday is Frog Follies again. Best car show around. Plan on checking out the car lifts while I am there. Hope to put one in the new garage next year. They usually run specials at the show, and the garage and trees are going to be enough of a burden this year. Get their recommendation for floor thickness as well as ceiling height. Suppose to be beautiful out Friday. Usually it is pretty steamy at the show. Nowhere to cool off, so I usually go sit in the truck after a few hours of walking and cool off in the AC. Shouldn't have to do that this year.

Probably spend the weekend trying to get the area where the maple in the front was, converted to parking area for now. I can move the railroad ties to frame it in and then start getting quotes for the garage. With the trees out of the front and back, and the sheds moved to their new locations, I can finally see which area is best for the garage. If I go in the front, it will probably be a 24x 36 or 40, depending on what is allowed. Limited by space between house and side walk. If I do it in back yard, I will probably go with 24x40, but I would put the doors on the narrow end and run it deep. I have a septic and need to stay out of the field. If I go with the back yard, I will still put a couple parking spots in front next to garage. Truck will probably live out there.