Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Barn Is Now My Enemy.

So today we attempted to demolish the barn. After of course fixing the brakes on our other car so we don't go careening off the side of a mountain because WV doesn't believe in guardrails.

First off we emptied out the barn, which was a god damned adventure. First off, my Dad believed that if it was free it was the right price. Even if he didn't need the object in question. Like his compulsive need to collect broken shelving. Not that he put anything on the shelves, mind you. They were laying on their backs and sides, presumably waiting for the slow release of death. There was also a large pile of doors, some of which were great, and others that were so flimsy I could move them by myself. Also there was piles of chains, horse tack, farm implements, roofing materials, trailer skirting, and enough rotting lumber to make a good sized pile of sadness.

However what you have to understand is that the barn was not really together anymore when we went to empty it. It was leaning at a very odd angle, and the only thing keeping it upright was a bunch of boards propped up on the outside and inside. Some of them were sitting on cinder blocks, others were just sunk into the earth. Tarps were strung up inside, which were the only things keeping the stuff inside dry.

Also, there is no floor.

When I say that I mean it literally. There was a sort of shelf on each side formed by the rotting remains of the floor, with boards slung over the chasm to create a place to walk. None of the boards were the same size, or evenly spaced, or secured to anything. Also, when I said there was no floor, I mean it. There was a good three feet or more between the boards and the dirt.

I boldly went in, passing things out to Scott. I waved him away many times when I was struggling with something, as he was the only one who could drive me to the hospital if I fell.

Then there were the rats. Plural.

The whole placed reeked of rat urine. Rat poo encrusted EVERYTHING. I moved a random cardboard box out of the barn, passed it Scott, only for him to look in it and say “there's something alive in here.” Right before a rat leaped out of the box, dodged my boots, and ran under the floor. So that was exciting.

We got it done, however, despite the many setbacks. We put things in trash bags, stored away the good lumber, tarped things, and made trash piles.

This was the moment we had been waiting for: taking it down.

We cut and removed the electrical lines running to the barn, and very carefully removed the outer supports. We then used a heavy rope to pull out the interior supports, holding our breaths the whole time hoping for the satisfying crash.

Nothing happened. We got impatient and smashed out the cinder blocks holding the back up. Nada. So it still stands. It's probably going to fall down while we are sleeping, or during the middle of a blizzard, or when we least suspect it.

If you don't here back from me, it means the barn got me.

Avenge me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My PS3, 250 Feet Of Ethernet Cable and Waiting

So I just told Scott that I was going to grab a shower. And then strangle the shower. And then I shouted IN YOUR FACE SHOWER!

This is pretty much what life is like with me around.

I could be playing portal 2 RIGHT NOW, if it wasn't for the fact that my PS3, games, and TV are all over at the newer mobile home. I love video games, but I am not willing to walk through 20 degree temps just so I can spend an hour or so playing Portal 2. Which leads me to my next point.

I just bought 250 feet of ethernet cable today. The only thing separating me from living in the newer mobile home, you know the one with a working sink, and a washer and dryer, is that it does not have Internet. It says a lot about me that I am willing to hand dig a trench in November just so I can have video games and Internet.

Also, in order to build the house we are going to have to move out of this shitty older mobile home, because we are going to be tearing the fuck out of it's septic and water lines for the new foundation. In the meantime, I would like to live somewhere where water does not leak out of the light fixtures when there is snow on the roof, and that does not have a hole in the floor that is only covered by carpet.

It's the little things in life.

So I am waiting for the day when my ethernet cable arrives, so I can move into the newer mobile home on my property and play video games again.

Godspeed ethernet cable. Godspeed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Painting Part 2

Surprisingly the living room wall painting went well. The stripes don't look hideous and I feel comfortable painting the other wall with stripes. I love the look, even though it kinda makes my living room look like a hotel. I get a little surge of pleasure every time I look at that wall.

Which means that I am winning, in your face shitty mobile home walls. WHOO! YEAH!

Ahem. It looks nice, is what I'm saying.

Unfortunately, they worked so well I decided to paint horizontal stripes in my office. This was in retrospect, a bad decision. It wasn't that the stripes look bad, or even that they are crooked or uneven, but that trying to fix the original color with white stripes was never going to work. I had painted the room a really unfortunate bright greenish blue. It matches nothing in that room. I really do not like the color, but it was the only light color I felt I had enough of. So I used it.

Don't get me wrong, I like the stripes, I just wish I could have had a better color scheme.

Also, while vertical stripes are easy to do, horizontal stripes became a nightmare of taping and cursing. Since I was measuring my stripes off the ceiling, I came to the conclusion that the ceiling is not level. Plus, the walls were bowed and warped in odd ways, making the tape look off, even when it was not. I had another nasty surprise, in that when I peeled the painters tape off, some of the original paint would peel off as well. I attributed this to the smooth, almost too smooth walls, since I had damn well sanded the walls before painting. This was easy to fix though, I just used a small paintbrush to repaint the damaged bits, but it was still sort of defeating.

Technically the stripes are great, they are level, even around the room, and the lines are clean. I am really good at painting stripes, and not so good at being rich enough to afford real colors.*

Someday, we will build that goddamn house and I will pay someone to mix paint for me and it will be beautiful.

Now, I just have to paint the other wall in the living room, and Scott doesn't know this yet, but I am going to repaint that god damned kitchen. Possibly while he is on a business trip.

Love you honey.

*Real colors: colors I actually picked out and had mixed. Or alternatively, colors I actually like.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

PaintingThe Walls

In preparation for moving into the newer mobile home, and in addition to adding the wood stove, I have also been painting the interior. It sort of occurred to me a few days ago that the half ripped up wallpaper that had been left by the previous tenants was not what I wanted to look at for the five or so years until the house is done.

Now, what I did not realize was that the previous owners had done a lot of remodeling, but had not really fixed up the holes in the walls very well, unless you count covering said hole with wallpaper a fix.

Mostly I just painted around the goofs, and when it was dry, hung up some of my dad's crocheted blankets on the wall stepped back and said “perfect!”

Unfortunately I discovered another surprise in the living room, which was that they had removed the original door. They had filled the space with something resembling cheap drywall, but there was still huge gap all around the repair. It took me three days of slapping joint compound on the wall, to even began to hide it. The wall is still kinda hideous, it's definitely not that super smooth look that I'm beginning to suspect has something to do with not having your walls made out of particle board and shattered aspirations.

My plan is to paint vertical stripes the wall. Hopefully that will hide all of the horrible mutant deformities. I'm going to be using an antique white, and a color I call -the-color-my-dad-had-bought-at-Lowes-in-their-oops-paint-section. I am not willing to buy new paint to paint a crappy mobile home so I just have to hope that weird ass colors I'm painting this thing won't drive me insane before we can build that house.

I enjoy painting, I really do, but I have a sinking feeling that none of the colors I have access to are going to work with the preexisting colors that are already in this place. Most of this paint I'm using was stuff that my dad had bought before he died, and from his selection I can tell three things:

1. He never paid full price for paint in his life.

2. If it was an exterior paint he had to buy it because you never know when you will need to paint something outside. (How else do you explain the gallon of dark, dark purple I found?)

3. Blue was the best color in the whole god damned universe. Hell, blue was almost the only color in his universe.

I wish I could say something witty here, but I am really hoping that when I paint the stripes on it makes the room work, instead of looking like a wall sized printer error.


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Walking Dead TV Show: A Review.

I know what you're thinking. In answer, no I still don't have TV, Scott purchased the the first season.

Now, I have a friend who talked very highly of the comic so when I saw Scott pop the DVD into the computer I sat down to watch it with him, because zombies. Eating people. What's not to love?

In a nutshell: It sucked.

Really. Read on to learn how badly.


Okay, I didn't bother to learn any of the characters names, so I will call the main character, Bad Decision Bob.

Bad Decision Bob, is a cop, who gets shot while responding to a your typical criminal shenanigans. He ends up in the hospital, where his partner, who I shall be referring to as Sensible Steve, comes to visit him.

Bad Decision Bob wakes up in the hospital, disoriented. He quickly realizes something is wrong, since there were more mangled corpses in the hallways then is normal for a hospital. Also, subtly, there is a massive double metal door that is chained closed with the words 'DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT OPENING THIS DOOR' written on it in what looks like blood. Also zombies are on the other side moaning, and reaching their hands though the crack.

What does Bad Decision Bob do?

If you answered 'he staggers out of the hospital in his underwear with out even so much as a god damned jacket' you'd be right.

Fast forward a bit and we learn that Sensible Steve has already organized a camp of survivors, saved Bad Decision Bob's wife (and by saved, I meant with his penis), and son, and is already making elaborate raids into the city for supplies.

At this point in the story Bad Decision Bob has obtained a horse, proceeded to ride it smack into the middle of Atlanta, and get it devoured by zombies. He flees the hoard and has to crawl under a tank for safety. Before blowing his own head off so as not to become undead, he has an epiphany and crawls up though the bottom hatch of the tank. Loosing all his guns, food, ammo, and clothing in the process.

If you had just escaped zombies, and had crawled into a tank, what would you do?

If you answered: 'try to start the tank” congratulations you are smarter then Bad Decision Bob.

At no point in this series did I want Bad Decision Bob to survive. His escapes became so improbable that I began to feel like the producers were just fucking with me. If you could have a training manual for how to survive the zombie apocalypse in the walking dead universe, it would just feature a picture of Bad Decision Bob with a red line though it and the words 'avoid at all costs.'

Bad Decision Bob makes decisions like acting sensibly murdered his parents.

I didn't not watch anymore beyond that episode, based on the fact the precious moments of my life were slipping away, and I was never going to get them back. Had I watched more, there is doubt in my mind that Sensible Steve was quietly rebuilding society, possibly using solar panels and lots of chain link fencing, while Bad Decision Bob was probably trying to figure out which way his pants went on.

Here's a hint buddy, the zipper goes in the front.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Duct Work Was Trying To Murder Me.

So yesterday I had valiant battle against some duct work.

Owing to Scott having to work yesterday, I had put in all the duct work under the trailer by myself. There was a lot of cursing, and unnecessary anger. I manged to stab myself in every finger in my right hand at at least once.

My day started off at 7am, and at exactly 7:45 I realized that Scott had purchased round duct work yesterday, but somehow it never occurred to me that he didn't assemble any of it. Now round duct comes loose, in that you have to snap it together into a tube. This is ridiculously hard to do. Fortunately luck was kinda in my corner. Most of the ducts went together nicely. However every fourth or fifth duct, the sides would slip out of the groove and a tear a lovely gouge out of my finger. If you are wondering why I was not wearing gloves, the answer is I was wearing gloves. Duct work is like a circular razor blade, in that it thirsts at all times for human blood.

I congratulated myself on the assembly, had a cup of tea, and prepared for round two, actually installing the damn stuff. Now what you have to understand here is that mobile* homes are not made to have an wood stove sitting in a shed out back. Meaning that none of the vents are anywhere near conveniently located.

It pretty much took me all day. The space under the trailer was enough that I could crouch over and kneel, but that was about it. Also, I had to install the ducts in a very specific order, because when the last duct went in I would not longer be able to get in there any longer.

I'm not sure if you have ever used self tapping metal screws before, but let me put it this way, it takes for ever for one to sink and then most likely it has only gone though the outer layer meaning you have to do the whole thing all over again. At one point I was sitting on my ass, holding a section on ductwork up with my foot, one arm around it, trying to screw on a piece of pipe, and thought that I might end up punching the next person in the face who talks about being able to sit around in their underwear on their days off.

I have cold air returns crossing over hot pipes, and three elbow joints hooked together like the tin man had just broken his leg and it was terrible compound fracture, but it got installed god damn it. I had to custom cut some pieces, but it all worked out and I had enough parts, and for that I am very thankful.

I choose to celebrate my badassery (and also the pain in my hands) by getting drunk. This seemed like a great idea until I realized that I hadn't really eaten anything since breakfast. Also I came to the conclusion that, if you are already a crappy cook, getting drunk will not help with that.

Which is how I ended up stabbing myself with a fork.

* If you are from West Virgina you are legally obligated to pronounce it mo-bile.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Mousetrap, My Dog and Why TV sucks.

Sooo, my dog got her tongue caught in a mousetrap today.

It was not her proudest moment. 

We were visiting Scott's parents, who I might add are wonderful friendly people who don't mind watching our dog when the need arises. Somehow, my clueless doggy found a mousetrap they didn't even know they had out in the basement, and wham! 

Now she's not eating. 

Yeah, I don't really know what to say now. I'm tired, as I spent, oh let me think, 6 hours in the car today. I sort of drifted from activity to activity this evening, unsure what to do with myself. 

I kinda wanted to put in a movie, but I suck at watching movies. I can never decide on one, so I just end up watching the first ten minutes of a few films before giving up entirely and just mindlessly surfing the Internet. This is where TV would come in handy, except, I don't have TV, and I'm developing the same problem with the TV, in that all the shows suck and can't hold my attention.  

Let me explain it this way, every time I get put in a hotel for work on a business trip I flip on the 'ol TV and am confronted by, basically the same 7 shows: 

Daniel Tosh- where he talks about the internet on TV which I think is creating some sort of wormhole of stupidity. 

A stand up comic special I remember from 4 years ago when I had cable. 

The same 15 stations that do nothing but show either news or sports. 

A reality show. (These are like getting a root canal if your tooth was somehow located in your eyeball) 

Ice road truckers: or as I know it, Watching people drive: the anthology. This is gripping entertainment here people. 

Animal Cops: This show makes me both sad and bored. 

Modern Marvels: you will never eat or use any of these products again if you knew how they were made. 

That's it. Now obviously I'm not watching the tube in the middle of day, but that's my point. I am watching cable during the hours that most people in this time zone are watching cable and there is nothing new on. Isn't this bad? 

I swear to god, every time I get back to my room late at night and want to watch something funny the only thing on is Daniel Tosh's show. Why? Why does this show even exist? I can watch funny internet videos, on- oh I don't know - the internet. Anytime I want. I can even- get this- go to sites where I can have the videos mocked and made fun of for free, whenever. Amazing. 

I think I hate him now.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Fixed The Furnace.

You read that right. Uh huh. I fixed the fuel oil furnace. 

Only after Scott spent 164 Motherfucking dollars on a new magic gray box. It turns out that the upper limit switch had been tripped and all I had to do was push it back down. However since neither one of us knew how to operate this god damned furnace, we had no idea upper limit switches even existed

The upper limit switch, as I learned though frantic googling of the problem, is a temperature gage that prevents the furnace from overheating and burning down your house mobile home

I also learned that the type of furnace I have is a piece of crap that is very likely to over heat and burn down my mobile home. Oh joy. Yet another thing to keep me up at night. 

So anyway I fixed it. 

I think I'm going to have to stop this entry here, though, because I can't think of anything to write that isn't a bitter diatribe against the universe for the seemingly endless amount of bad luck I have been having this year. 

I'm going to go eat cookies until the situation improves itself.