It’s 3 a.m., it MUST be raining….

16 08 2016

It is actually 4 a.m., good morning Brian. (A close friend that have known more than 1/2 if my life who works ungodly hours). The title of this post inspired by the song by Matchbox Twenty, and yes, I know that the title of the song is “It’s 3AM I must be lonely” but I am NOT lonely, and yes, it is not raining… PONDER THAT!

In any event, my Monday SUCKED! Mower had a flat tire, mower had a dead battery, power at “Ocho estates” was turned off because my tenants did not pay the bill. Blade on the mower flew out from under the mower deck, and stuck into the ground (that could have turned out WAY worse! Cut down a bitter orange that was choking out a cool looking maple tree and when the orange went down, it took the maple with it (that I wanted to save… ON TOP OF THAT, the cooler that I had the cold water & ice in was totally water by 11am, iced by 7am. THAT COOLER SUCKS!!! Time for an upgrade. Had to “jury-rig” the mower so that it would continue to run while I got off of it and attached a strap to the limbs so I could haul them to the burn pile. OH YEAH, the Fire department showed up AGAIN because my neighbor called and reported a “brush fire”. Now, I admit that I had a fire on Friday mid-morning to get rid of a giant pile of brush & trash that had been accumulating over the last 3 or 4 weeks. Today is Monday, and the fire was “dead out” Saturday morning. Certainly out Sunday after the amount of rain that we got out there.

I guess it just “tweaks” me the wrong way when your neighbors are more concerned with what you are doing on your property than what is going happening on their property. Interestingly, that burn pile is out in the field with 30 yards of open space, AND I mowed the grass short around the pile so as to not set off a grass fire. 10 years of working for the FD, you could say, been there, done that.

I ordered a bunch of parts over the last week or two for the new mower, the old mower, and the boat. Parts have been arriving, but apparently I am not great at finding and ordering the RIGHT parts, since several of the parts today did not fit… So I just ordered the correct parts, so we shall see when they arrive later this week.

Oh yes, the boat has gotten her new name, “Holy SHIP, it floats!” and it too will get the traditional mustache sticker… Special thanks to Michelle Woodin, for coming up with the name, Holy Sh*t it floats (which we have not tested that theory quite yet) and Caden Marks for changing the Sh*t to Ship so it does not offend… Lettering should arrive any day now.

That is all the rambling that I have for now, go back to sleep, I am…

Have a GREAT day!

Steve

 





Sit back y’all, this one is deep and its going to take a moment…

14 08 2016
I was looking at a house yesterday, and in it were some zip lock bags with a roll of toilet paper, and a toothbrush. It was apparent that some “homeless person” had stayed there a time or two (from the sheer amount of the beer cans, (s)he had been there a couple of times).
 
It got me thinking that if they had enough money to buy beer, and someone was supplying him/her with ass paper does that not seem to be “enabling” the person to remain in a bad situation? or to continue with bad habits?
 
I am NOT judging anyone here, there, or anywhere else, I was just thinking about how giving a “little help” allows that person to have enough money to buy beer and get a buzz… are they trying to escape reality of the situation they are in? Maybe they have an addiction, or maybe they choose to live that way..
 
I have been on my own, taking care of myself since I was almost 17. I have fallen down a number of times, but I have ALWAYS pulled myself up and come back (sometimes better and stronger) a smarter person from that unfortunate “education”. Some of those falls have been the hardest you can fall in life, some at the same time: eviction, foreclosure, judgment, repossession (x 2) divorce… All have been very expensive, painful lessons that have made me stronger, and more determined to take care of myself & my family to the point where we do not have to worry about “our government taking care of us” later in life… 
 
Now, I am not above needing some help, in my lifetime, I have needed and received “benefits” of SNAP or food assistance, but I have prided myself on only using this help for a VERY short period of time, then I stopped. Maybe it was my pride, maybe it was that I worked harder to make my situation better and not needed it, but it was something in ME that said, “you are better than that, go out and earn your own way in life!”
 
Same thing with welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing. I get that some people “need a little help” but for how long? Don’t get me wrong, I am all about helping people out when they need a helping hand, but at what point does a “helping hand” become a permanent subsidized living situation? How long should someone get “benefits”? 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20  years?? I have done mediations where people are being evicted from section 8 housing for 9 months of past due rent at $18 per month… $18 per month is all they have to pay and they are 9 months behind!!!
 
They always have the newest phone, with all the tatoos and jewlery, certainly much more than I could afford.. I only imagine they have a “newish” car and a GIANT tv at home.
 
Isn’t there something wrong here? Am I missing something? Can someone explain?
 
(stepping down from my soap box now)
You now may resume your “normal” lives!
Have a GREAT week!
Steve




My “craziest project” yet??

12 08 2016

This is not a 100% done deal yet, but all the blocks are starting to fall into place.

Close to downtown Bunnell is a house that has been abandoned for more than 5 years. I have been looking for the owner to make an offer, but have never been able to find her for almost 5 years. This owner has become my “pegasus”. Monday this week, a friend of mine sent me a text and told me that the owner had passed and her daughter was going to be handling the affairs. She gave the daughter my number and within 5 minutes she called me to discuss a proposal.

The house was built in the 1940’s her mother was in high school when her grand-dad and uncle built this house by hand. It is a classic cracker style house with tonge & groove wood walls, hardwood floors, and beadboard ceilings. This house is SPECTACULAR, I am going to post some pics once I get access to the property in a few days from now.

So here is the crazy part, she has given me the house to move (whole) or take apart, move and re-assemble on a property that I own out on CR 80 in Bunnell. I am SO excited that I am going too get the opportunity to take on this challenge. The daughter has said that her grandmother would have wanted someone to move the house or take it apart and rebuild it in another location so all the history of the house would not be lost to the land fill, by tearing it down and disposing of it, which was the original plan.

I have been in touch with an architect that will look at the house, take pics, and draw up a set of plans (with the necessary upgrades to the code) that I can use to gain all the appropriate permits and approvals from the county building dept. This will be my most awesome “rehab” project EVER and I am SO looking forward to it. I will be taking the pieces that we remove from the house out to the property and putting them into a shed that I am going to purchase to keep them dry and ready to go when I get ready to build the new house with the new foundation. Having not inspected it fully yet, I expect that it has rafters and will need fully engineered trusses with a new metal roof.

In preparation, all of the boards are going to have to be labeled, and kept together so when we start putting it back together, we will know what wall and what room the pieces came from. It will have a new foundation, new electrical, and new plumbing, but we are going to try to save as much of the old fixtures, cabinets, and doors as possible to be reinstalled and ready to serve for another 50-70 additional years.

My feeling is that if I am going to do all of this work, I would like to live in the house for a little while between RV trips with the wife and the dogs. The property that I have named “Ocho Estates” has A LOT going for it, and still needs plenty of clean up to do, but it has not been my first priority over the last several months. I anticipate that this project to take it apart, remove all nails, stack and inventory all pieces, move them to storage, then rebuild the house as close as we can to the original will take about 18 months. +/- depending upon weather, rain/cold/wind/mud…etc.

If anyone who knows me would like to volunteer to help make this historical “save”, please let me know. I will need a few people to remove nails from boards, and someone to document what comes from each room and when putting it back together what goes where.

Feel free to mock, and laugh, but after 5 years I have finally caught my elusive “pegasus” house that I could not find the owner. Fate has set me in this direction and I cannot say no!

This should also go to notify everyone that I know, I will be busy, and I will be fishing on Mondays, come hell or high water. Those days are going to set. Stress relief is going to be a required activity, and so will personal massages on Tuesday AM.

Wish me luck…

Be happy for me, with luck and happiness, we will get to the end of the project and will hopefully LOVE how it turns out.

8/12/16





When you “just know”…

31 05 2016

Today ending work, like the many other days have this year, we were on our way home from the office (just a block or two from the house). As always, I bring “the bean” with me to the office, because she just gets so excited to go “bye-byes” with me.

Beanie3-18-15She was sitting in the back seat of my Durango passenger side with the window down. When we got to the stop sign, she flipped out angry barking at a guy who was walking toward the truck on the passenger side. Quite honestly, I have not seen her be like this with anyone. Turns out, he was not really approaching us, just our general direction.

I have relied on my “second amendment” right for protection the last few years, but it made me feel very good that she was alert and was protective of me and my wife. Sweety-bean has been one of the best rescue dogs we have ever had and she continues to surprise me with her smarts and the connection that I have with her. Without any hesitation, if she takes off after a stray cat, or squirrel, all I have to do is call out “hep hep” and she stops in her tracks, and returns to me. I have not really taught her that, she just does it. I am totally amazed.

I have also been trying to teach her the trick of setting something on her nose (tootsie rolls are her favorite) or sometimes flattened jellie beans. We both have a bit of a sugar addiction. We have gone from a second or two on her first few attempts, to almost 10 seconds, but my hands have to stay somewhat close to her head. It has been several months that we have been learning this, and she will get it eventually, I am sure. We practice at the office all the time. We are very lucky that she chose to rescue us!





Apparently, it’s JUST ABOUT HIM…

24 05 2016

I will start off by saying that I have had a run in with this guy before, so I am biased, I will admit that up front.

AssholeAnthonysHow much of a self-centered A$$hole do you have to be to park your truck in the handicap parking place at the auto parts store? This guy is an ex-NY Cop, so I am pretty sure that he knows better. I looked and did not see the handicap placard that should be displayed if you are parking in that spot, maybe my eyes need to be checked… Some people think that the world revolves around them and those who may NEED that parking place should not have it.

Here is his facebook, Here are his ratings on Palm Coast.biz website, so please send him a little note and inform him that this world is NOT about him.





My travel “bucket list”

24 05 2016

I have seen this one a few times, when the little mrs. & I get a chance to hit the road, I think that we shall try this trip. It may take months or a year or two to complete, but it would be “one hell of a ride”. If we also took side roads instead of the interstate, that would add another dimension to the trip.

From Florida, north, then west…

us-road-trip-map

  1. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL
  2. Okefenokee Swamp Park, GA
  3. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC
  4. Lost World Caverns, WV
  5. Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, NC
  6. Mount Vernon, VA
  7. White House, Washington, DC
  8. Colonial Annapolis Historic District, MD
  9. New Castle Historic District, Delaware
  10. Cape May Historic District, NJ
  11. Liberty Bell, PA
  12. Statue of Liberty, NY
  13. The Mark Twain House & Museum, CT
  14. The Breakers, RI
  15. USS Constitution, MA
  16. Acadia National Park, ME
  17. Mount Washington Hotel, NH
  18. Shelburne Farms, VT
  19. Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
  20. Spring Grove Cemetery, OH
  21. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
  22. Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
  23. Spring Grove Cemetery, OH
  24. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
  25. West Baden Springs Hotel, IN
  26. Abraham Lincoln’s Home, IL
  27. Gateway Arch, MO
  28. C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, KS
  29. Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, IA
  30. Taliesin, WI
  31. Fort Snelling, MN
  32. Ashfall Fossil Bed, NE
  33. Mount Rushmore, SD
  34. Fort Union Trading Post, ND
  35. Glacier National Park, MT
  36. Hanford Site, WA
  37. Columbia River Highway, OR
  38. San Francisco Cable Cars, CA
  39. San Andreas Fault, CA
  40. Hoover Dam, NV
  41. Grand Canyon, AZ
  42. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
  43. Craters of the Moon, ID
  44. Yellowstone National Park, WY
  45. Pikes Peak, CO
  46. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
  47. The Alamo, TX
  48. The Platt Historic District, OK
  49. Toltec Mounds, AR
  50. Elvis Presley’s Graceland, TN
  51. Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
  52. French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
  53. USS Alabama, AL




Here is a beef, err, sausage…

23 05 2016

Hold on, I am going to stand up on my soapbox for a moment or two…

Not too many things catch me “off guard”.. This morning, it happened. As many of you know, I am expanding my mediation abilities with family mediation. Michelle & I completed the training a few weeks back and one of the “hoops” we have to jump through is monitoring other mediators to see how they do what they do. I had such monitoring this morning in St. Johns County.

Krystals

Doesn’t that just look YUMMY!!?!

On my way, I was running just a bit late and was hungry. Instead of the typical McDonald’s, I like to mix it up a bit. At the exit of I-95 was a Krystal’s, which is not my first choice, but their sunrisers (egg, sausage, on the Krystal buns). They are small like White Castle, so I ordered 4 with a small drink. When I got to the window, the total was $9.22! I questioned the lady at the window and asked if that was correct. “Shaquita” (as the name on the receipt was printed) said yes, that is correct, and I stated “this by far is the most EXPENSIVE Krystal’s that I have ever been to. She laughed and went about her business. When she gave me the bag, I asked if they had cheese, to which she informed me “was extra”. I also did not get any napkins.

Totally dismayed, and in jest, I asked her if this was the result of paying $15.00 per hour minimum wage and she replied with “not here”! If this is the direction that we are going, hold on because WE ARE IN BIG, BIG TROUBLE AMERICA!!!

I have to admit that this was just one of those things that just pushed my button today. I mean when did breakfast at fast food become $9? I know, you could say that I could have just said nevermind and cancel my order, but I am not that person. $6 would have been reasonable, maybe even $7, but $9??

Maybe it was because it was right at I-95, where most places will gouge you simply because they think that you are going to complain, then get back on the highway and go to wherever you were headed. I ask, what about the locals? I don’t want any special treatment, I just expect fair.

OK, down from my soapbox now…








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