Monday, December 16, 2013

Hay Holiday Letter of Truth (2013)
This is the holiday letter where it’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of the past year.

Panera Not Just Bread
So Blade left last year for Germany for a year to study, uh, German beer, I guess. I went to visit him in Croatia while he was there with his host family on vacation.  We referred to the host family as the replacement family.  Christ on a cracker can those people put down the beer. “Those people” being Germans in general, and that family specifically.  He’s now back home, going to school at Cascadia Community College, and working at Panera Bread. Panera Bread needs to drop the “Bread” from their name. Seriously. It’s not an Oroweat store! The serve soup, make smoothies and can sell you a spinach salad.
That’s about it for him. He’s been the most boring kid by far this last year. Well, other than his girlfriend dumping him two or three times. Yawn.  

DCS
Devon graduated from UW this year. Ironically she is working for Department of Child Support in Olympia. Recall a few years back the head of DCS personally told me to NOT pay child support for her due to a procedural/court error. 
Wait, first ex is the gift that keeps on giving, it just keeps getting better:  
I paid a portion of the kids’ education in 2012 and 2013 and was planning to do more in 2014. So when the accountant went to do my 2012 taxes, I had to confirm for him that the X had taken the correct education tax credit (we had been trading exemptions back and forth for fifteen years per the divorce paperwork). Seems she took it all.  I called and said what’s up; you need to file an amended return. Not gonna do it she said. OK, fine, I said, what if you take all of 2012, I’ll take 2013, and you take 2014? Not gonna do it (she files in April, I file in October), she retorted. So I had to write an unexpected $3000 check to the IRS, plus penalties etc. So just a few weeks ago, Blade asks me for money for winter quarter coming up. I tell him fine, I have it, but first maybe he can convince his mother that she should negotiate with me about the tax credit. He gets back a day later and says nope, she’s not gonna do it, but she will pay for school.
OK then, easy come, easy go…I definitely know when to just shut the hell up.

Painter’s Tape
My middle daughter, the one we mostly forget about, Kelsey, turned 21 this year. Her sister and friends were headed to Missoula to throw her a party, starting with bar runs at midnight. Ironically, one of her nicknames is “Puke”----this is the Letter of Truth, I don’t have to make this up!
Naturally this party called for a stripper. Since I wasn’t invited to my own daughter’s surprise party(!!) I lined up a stripper to go to the house about 10pm. He was to be dressed as a cop, tell everyone there was a report of underage drinking, administer a Breathalyzer, then strip. But the damn fool quit on me at the last moment! I worked the phones like crazy and could not find a replacement stripper. I guess there just aren’t many male strippers in Missoula, Montana….
So I jumped on a plane and headed there that night, arriving at 7pm. I got a hotel room, loaded the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” on my phone, and went to The Home Depot to buy blue painter’s tape. While this sounds like a murder plan, and I was planning to kill, technically I don’t think anything illegal took place.
Upon arrival at the house, there were probably 15 friends, plus her sister, her boyfriend, and her evil mother. Kelsey gave me a big hug. She had a drink scoreboard tied around her neck. She wanted to talk, and blah blah blah.
But I didn’t want to talk. I went over to the stereo, plugged in my phone, then got right in her face about an important life lesson she needed to learn. She was wondering why I was so intent, because this was a party, not an inquisition. While trying to grab the attention of the room I loudly proclaimed, “you know Dess (another nickname), sometimes life hands you lemons, and you need to know how to make lemonade”. She looked at me quizzically. “And when you really want something done, sometimes you just have to do it YOURSELF”. At that exact moment I snapped on “Stayin Alive” and reached for my belt. The girls started shrieking, her mother left the room in disgust, and Kelsey cracked up and started dancing and singing with me. “Dad, this is sooo wrong and I’m losing sooo many friends right now!”
aah, aah, aah, aah, stayin alive, stayin alive!!
Despite practicing my routine in the hotel, I forgot to grab and shake my booty, did a fairly reasonable two-foot-distant bump and grind, and of course did the scissors with my shirt around her torso. Next was the zipper tease and that’s when oldest daughter Devon starting half screaming, half laughing “that’s enough, that’s enough”!! Good thing too, cause that’s all I had.  I yelled, “THAT’S how you party naked”, as I got dressed, gave her a big hug, handed her a Breathalyzer as a present, walked out the back door and flew home. Yes, a hit and run birthday strip.
The blue tape was to cover my junk, but during practice I discovered a lot of tape is needed, and it hurt, made me feel like the Michelin Man, and most importantly inhibited my bustin’ dance moves.

Buh bye
After three years of separation Lisa and I finally pulled the trigger on the divorce in 2013.  I got some things, she got some things, but most importantly she got my favorite green step-ladder which she refuses to return!

Flying Turd
My three year ordeal with the FAA over getting my airplane rebuild project certified ended when I sold it for parts. I lost north of $20,000 on that disaster. So in May I found a flying amphibious boat down in Florida I wanted. It was disassembled, so I had it shipped up here. After putting it back together and test flying we found all kinds of little peculiarities, making it the first airplane I have truly been intimidated by. It didn’t help that two of the first five landings were partial power emergencies. I wanted something different from the sexy, fast, responsive, fun RV-6, and I sure got it. Reading pilot reviews from this Brazilian import I see I am not the only person underwhelmed by its characteristics.  I am consoled by Charles Lindbergh because The Spirit of St Louis was apparently a flying turkey. It handled poorly, was fundamentally unstable, and the forward visibility was via a periscope. And he learned to love it. Alright, he tolerated it for 33 hours anyway. I guess I will learn to love it. Hopefully.

No means NO
My “friend” Jessie has chickens. Many chickens. City of Seattle doesn’t allow urban chicken farmers to have roosters. So the roosters must be kept, uh, quietly. Her rooster is named Roo, and he is a fine rooster and a very loud rooster. He has a much quieter son named, fittingly, Mini-Roo. She has pretty well turned the garage into a chicken coop, and been slowly making it soundproof so poor Roo doesn’t have to sleep in the car. Again, I gently remind you this is the letter of TRUTH. That’s not a misprint; the car.
When Roo is taken out of the car he is ready for the morning rape. Standing tall, feathers fully back, he chases each of the ladies around, until, uh, completion. Mini-Roo is not so interested in rape. He believes each hen is worthy of respect as an individual, and believes that no means no. Or he is gay. I personally believe the latter because he makes less noise and provides emotional support instead of torment. Plus he doesn’t rape his sisters, mother, and kids like Roo does.
So despite best efforts to quiet poor Roo, the neighbors complained, the code enforcement officer came, and gave her 48 hours to either make rooster soup or move them out of the city. That’s right, both roosters were then moved to my house. Well, as you know, having two roosters and no hens in one coop is not great, so we had to get a rescue chicken. Rescue chicken was full of fleas, but she was fat and full of personality and lays eggs like crazy. So my one hen was laying eggs all over the place and her EIGHT hens were not doing squat because they didn’t have a rooster. So Mini-Roo was moved back to Seattle in direct violation of municipal code, and the hens started laying because he really communicates and does not objectify the ladies.

Speaking of Animals
Almost-20 year old cat Raffi died in June. But not before quietly shredding six or eight blankets and comforters, pissing all over much of the carpet and pooping on the remaining, in her last days. So I removed the carpet where it was trashed, have crappy 35 year old carpet where it wasn’t, half of a room with new laminate, and particleboard and plywood floors elsewhere. At least the dirty paint matches up well. All this doesn’t matter because I can’t see the floors in a few rooms due to airplane parts and receipts and files and computers. Receipts and files you say? Since I took over the apartments in the divorce, turns out the computer files couldn’t be transferred. Quicken and I have had endless discussions about their older and newer versions of property manager software being completely incompatible. So meanwhile I can’t print, can’t get to the data, and basically look at the bank statements to see who has paid rent. Lisa essentially handed twenty boxes of files over and said see ya! I stand proud, however, in my deep belief that using this obsolete software and allowing it to bottleneck my business is the righteous thing to do. Paying a bookkeeper $250 to get it over with is insanity to me. Then what would I complain about? Ugh, however, starting in 2014 I will be trying to convert to a Mac and fresh software, which will even further complicate things I am sure. Nah, I’ll probably let it ride for another year.

Diesel, I am so sorry

I have a new love. You schlebs all proud with your no-torque, inferior mileage, low longevity, environmentally noxious gas-powered cars simply wouldn’t understand, but I have only had diesel vehicles for many years. They can burn diesel, or bio-diesel, or cooking oil, or motor oil, or whatever you have. And hybrids?  Phh. Shameful compromiser of the worst kind, the entire lot of you. At least have the nerve to pick a method and go with it. And a hybrid SUV is like a compromise upon a compromise. A little bit of everything and good at nothing. Well, Jessie got a Nissan Leaf this year.  And it was love at first drive. Talk about torque. 100% at zero RPM. Just plug it in. It’s almost free to drive. Completely quiet. 100 miles of range. Oh, and did I mention no maintenance? Not LOW maintenance, NO maintenance. How much maintenance do you do to your cordless power drill?  I let my Diesel Power magazine subscription lapse. That’s all you need to know right there. I now see the world in a completely different way.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Do Electronic Pest Repellers Work

You be the judge: It was on and working. The birds were perching and pooping on it....

elektrishins cant spel




Range is spelled correctly! Drier? Drier than what exactly? Heet? Like the name brand muscle cream? Kithen. Quite often I will see electricians spell it Kichen. Badroom! Hahaha. Maykrowave, and mikrowave directly above that?











Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 Hay Holiday Letter of Truth

2010 Hay Holiday Letter of Truth (R-Rated):
That’s right, the annual Christmas letter where you get nothing but the unvarnished truth about how life totally blows. No boastful seasonal BS, colors, lights, and feel good crap here. In hindsight, 2010 was a year of karmic retribution. Come with me for a tour of the past year…

I seem to be piling them up like cordwood lately, so I will just number the exes for clarity. This first story involves #1. Sorry for the length of this, and the detail, but I intend to send this to my lawyer, disguised as Christmas wishes, because he is less likely to charge me to $275 an hour to read an update that way. Merry Christmas Eric, ya big schmuck! Merry F-ing Christmas to the rest of you too!
2010 began with the ongoing saga of the Child Support Issue From Hell. From June 2009, continuing into 2010, I was paying child support for my oldest, who is 20, due to court and lawyer errors from 2006. The way things were going I expected to be paying child support until my daughter died of old age, since the normal stop-paying-when-kid-turns-18-and-graduates-from-high-school rules did not apply. In case you were wondering, we had what is called an undifferentiated order…..basically an open order to pay child support with no end date specified, and the normal legislative rules thrown out the window. In other words, child support until death.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Department of Child Support (DCS) didn’t have the authority to change the court order, or interpret the intent of the law, or apply their administrative rules, only enforce the order. The court refused to correct its mistake when alerted to the problem, so I appealed to #1 at the suggestion of DCS. DCS has never been married to #1. Had they been, they would have known not to give me that bullshit advice!

I corresponded with the head of DCS and everybody down the line trying to get this mess straightened out. Meanwhile I was getting letters telling me I was a deadbeat dad, threatening to trash my credit, seize bank accounts, tax refunds, take away business, professional, driver, boating, and even the coveted fishing license! The DCS brass pretty much told me that they were feeling me, that they got it, that this was total BS, and if I didn’t pay a dime more they would not pursue me for payment unless and until #1 filed a formal enforcement complaint, which I thought was a somewhat damning illustration of their view of what was happening. I guess this was their “don’t ask don’t tell” policy toward enforcement.

While the governmental agencies involved cannot comment due to confidentiality reasons, I can. Heck, I name names and case numbers. It was King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu. She is an elected official, which I thought worth mentioning. Case #98-3-00933-4 SEA. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Of course #1 wouldn’t negotiate in good faith, she stalled, and wouldn’t sign an agreed order. She thought she was going to collect child support for our adult offspring forever, so I guess she figured why cooperate when she can do exactly nothing and collect the money? I made her several offers for an agreed order and she refused all of them. So I had to hire a lawyer, serve her, and to go to court to get out of paying child support I should not have been paying in the first place. Guilty until proven innocent. Great system. Thanks for nothing once again Judge Yu. Well guess what? The court (different judge) agreed that I should not be paying child support on a 20 year old!! This new judge retroactively refunded all support back to high school graduation more than a year prior! The new support levels on the younger children were then set at a rate lower than I had offered #1 in negotiations when she had outright refused it. Ha! How’d that taste!!! Oh, and here’s the best part---she had to pay my attorney’s fees for forcing me to bring the court action in the first place. Bahaha!!

It just keeps getting better though. She failed to pay the attorney’s fees directly as ordered, so the judgment went on her credit report. My new buddies at DCS gave me credit for it anyway. Fast forward six months----she was refinancing her house, the mortgage company pulled her credit report, saw the judgment, told her to show proof it was paid. Turns out there were some problems doing that and it took her a long time to get it straightened out. Her refinancing fell through, and I got the last laugh. She paid her lawyer, paid my lawyer, got all the money taken away, then got less in future support than I offered her. Karma is my friend!

After this ongoing legal cluster fuck was finally resolved, hold on to your hats now, #1 and I are taking the kids to Hawaii in January. Hawaii. The five of us. You simply cannot make this stuff up people! And why did that occur? Well read on…..

A Horse Is a Horse Divorce Of Course
It was a fine horse trailer. Nothing was wrong with this particular trailer. But all of #2’s friends had gooseneck trailers. A gooseneck trailer has a fifth wheel that connects in the center of the bed of the truck like a semi, rather than connecting at the rear like a conventional trailer. She had to have a gooseneck trailer because she heard it was easier to back up. She had been talking about getting a gooseneck trailer for about a year, and I kept saying huh? A smaller trailer? Are you high? I would follow that up swiftly and clearly with “no, no, and hell no”. I may have even thrown in a “FUCK NO” or two for good measure.

A little background: The horse ranch was snuck in under the radar, the direct result of emotional blackmail (“I am going to buy it, with you or without you”), at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, and involved the literal pissing away of $300,000 (translated: THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS). Said flushing of money was done in her mental vacuum, with the economy in the dumpster, while simultaneously remodeling 11 apartment units that we had just acquired. After getting in a series of fights with the prime tenant in the barn and having all of the 20 boarding customers bail, while boarding rates were crashing, while still spending money on fancy fencing and paddock panels, and more mini-horses, and who knows what else, and, while struggling to pay the bills, she still wanted a gooseneck trailer. I just kept up my mantra of no, no, and hell no. No, no, and hell no doesn’t work with #2, who gets what she wants, regardless of who is standing in the way, or the actual financial facts.

She bought a gooseneck trailer. I told her simply and clearly, “take it back”. We cannot afford it I explained. She kept it. Of course this meant she now had to buy a truck to pull the gooseneck trailer. So she bought another diesel truck, this one four wheel drive (our fourth vehicle). I ignored the entire situation and kept completely quiet, hoping this would be the last hurrah of the spending and we would get beyond this, dig out, and move on. She brought the truck home. I said OK, I will support this, but for the love of God and all things sacred will you please stop spending money? Please. Just. Stop.

I then personally changed all the fluids and filters in the new truck so she would be good to go, and tried to make peace.

My truck needed to go to the shop for some work a few days later, so I asked if I could use the new truck to get to work. She said, “that’s my truck, you can’t drive it.” We got in a bit of fight over that. And I moved downstairs.

Living in the basement, paying the two mortgages on our house, paying for her gasoline, her car repairs, her land and cell phones, her mother’s cell phone, her satellite television, her internet access, her power, her propane, much of her food, her line of credit that paid for the horse ranch improvements, the mortgage shortfall on a rental house that she had to have four years prior (co-owns with her daughters--yet I paid for), I continued to watch her take the profit from the apartments and spend it on horses. All of her paycheck and the thousands of dollars in apartment profit went either into the horse ranch or “her” retirement. All of it. I became slightly bitter, as you might imagine.

She moved out two months ago. She said she moved out because I yelled at her. That’s what she tells people why we broke up; I yelled at her. Yes, I did. I think she actually needs quite a bit more yelling at, but what is the point?

The irony in all this is that after getting the truck and gooseneck trailer connected she couldn’t back it up any better than the old conventional trailer, and that is because of one thing that simply cannot be bought: She lacks the spatially superior male brain!!

Epilogue:
I have learned many things owning a horse ranch. Here are a few of those things, along with some questions:
a) Country music sucks worse than I ever could have imagined. Now I know why they used it as torture at Gitmo.
b) Women cannot back up trailers to save their lives. They simply do not get it.
c) Why do horse people get pissed when you mention that horse meat is leaner, more flavorful, and more tender than bovine? Hypocrites. It’s legal in Canada. One is your best friend in the world and the other is dinner?
d) Horses are actually exceptionally stupid neurotic animals. I really had no idea just how neurotic.
e) An animal that requires a tractor to move its shit simply produces too much shit.
f) Horse show definition: Horses showing their asses to horse's asses showing their horses.
g) There are about a thousand different words for the way horses walk/run, like Eskimos have a thousand words for snow.
h) Why is it that horses literally piss gallons into the paddocks every day (and on the walls of the stall and on the floor, roll in it, and rub it all over themselves), but if I were to whip out my tiny little pecker suddenly “that’s gross, use the bathroom”? WTF!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Garage door security

Several videos are widely circulating on the net about garage door security. One perp shows how he can break into a garage (with clear windows in the front) within six seconds. He simply slides a coat hangar over the top of the door and pulls the carriage release, thus allowing the door to release. Not having windows, or having obscure windows eliminates this issue, as does wire-tying or zip-tying the release to the carriage as shown in other videos. Interesting stuff:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMz1tXBVT1s

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Anal Sex, Country Music, and Snowboarding


Why do all male country music stars wear cowboy hats? It's true. I dare you. Show me one that doesn't. So if a guy is a good singer, a very talented singer, and he decides suddenly to be "country" for whatever reason, I guess he needs to get a cowboy hat. He could not make it without the hat. Hell, he could be born and raised in Brooklyn or the mean streets of Detroit and suddenly his voice gets a twang, he gets an NRA sticker, and he loves horses. The male country singer's hat is quite likely the most contrived accessory I have witnessed in my entire life. It's like country is the WWE of music. All hat, no cattle. The guy could be a really talented singer, but then they tack on that false Oklahoma twang, don the hat, grab a twelve string, and it ceases being music and becomes simply a parody of itself.

Snowboarding. All the cold, half the speed. I feel sorry for those schlebs scooting along on their butts, or walking one boot on the board one in the snow, carumph carumph carumph. Those of us that have learned to stand erect generations ago simply pole on past in the flat areas. Then those boneheads need to unbuckle from the board to get on the chair! Getting off the chair is possibly the most ungraceful thing I have ever seen---a half run/half fall down the ramp. What's up with that anyway? It's like some kind of second class citizenship that these people actually choose.
Anal sex and snowboarding are actually very similar. Let's say you want to get laid. You go to great expense and effort to wine and dine the object of your affection. You also go to great expense and effort to pack up all the gear for a day in the mountains, drive up the hill, buy your tickets, etc etc. In either case, when you have the choice, when you have spent a lot of time, money and effort striving toward a particular endeavor, why would you settle for second best? I rest my case.

Paint Paint Paint The Roof


The roof had a ton of dew on it. From the street it looked like a new black roof. It even looked like a new roof when I climbed up and walked on it. It was actually about seven years old I figured after looking a bit closer. It had a bit of moss and was kind of an ugly reddish color, so the owner pressure washed it. The pressure washing took the protective granulation off wherever the wand made a swipe back and forth. Small pieces of moss were still visible in places. He took elastomeric deck covering and painted it over the roofing, then took black paint and covered the grey colored elastomeric. Both were hardened and laying in the gutter where it had run off. This technique put protection over the missing areas of granulation and the color was changed to a uniform black color. Sounds like a good plan, huh? Maybe. Probably not. We'll never get to find out though, since he decided to sell the house.

He claims he was sold this material by a well known roofing supply house on recommendation of a roofer. We called. The owner of the supply company knew nothing about any kind of product approved for painting on composition roofs. The other well known supply house in the area was called. Nothing again. The real estate agent called three roofing companies to come out and give their opinions. At least two companies rushed out there and wanted to see it out of curiosity if nothing else. None would give it a five year roof certification, despite outward good appearance, and none had ever heard of painting a composition roof. I washed my hands of it completely, as there is no protocol for a painted roof. It could fail in a week, it could last twenty five years, we have no way of knowing.

So there we have it, an otherwise good roof, ruined by good intentions.