Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 Was a Long Year

It is hard to believe this year is coming to an end. Many things have changed. Some for the better, others not so much.

The house saw a combination of frenzied activity starting with the pump freezing at the start of this year, to neglect in the summer months, and finally, the landscaping being mostly done.

To that end I want to share these final images from 2007 that show the beauty that was so often not evident in the building of this house.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ask 7 about the landscaping

If you were to ask 7 about the landscaping, what do you think she would say?

I think the following picture answers that questions. ;-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Can you believe it...

Landscaping has not only started but there is measurable progress.

I am adding a few pictures for but the great part is that it is drought tolerant, deer resistant, and blends in very nice with the house and the surrounding area.

Mari Landscaping is doing the work.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Denver airport security line

Yet another line in life

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Laid back 7

7 after a hard day in Paso

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Landscaping is sooooo close

Landscaping is so close I can smell it. A mix of lavender, rosemary and sage. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I just don't get it...

Are all contractors incompetent asshats? Most likely not. Are most contractors manipulative bastards? Unlikely. But what is true is that a significant percentage of contractors are incompetent, manipulative asshats.
I mention this not because of my own experiences but with a friend of mine who lives on the east coast. The contractor they are working with has lied and manipulated them to such an extent that it should be criminal. While their situation is markedly different than mine, the excuses are the same, the shifting of blame is the same, and evasive, dismissive, communication is the same.

What I don't get is why some contractors manipulate the dreams that people have. How they play off your emotions. Continue to mislead you to cover their incompetence, ignore your request for truthful information and take advantage of the your desire to work to get your dream. Some contractors take your money, take your time and offer nothing but excuses in return.

If you are a honest contractor who lives up to their word, communicates effectively, and works with their customer to help them achieve their dream, thank you. If you are the contractor who makes excuses, manipulates your customers to cover up your incompetence, and refuses to take responsibility for ruining peoples dreams I hope the next client you take advantage of uses this medium we call the internet to let people know that you have liens against the homes you build, that you do not pay your subcontractors, that you consistently lied about your progress, and that overall you are a miserable human being that should not be allowed to ever put hammer to nail again.

I hear my friends pain and frustration. I understand much more than I would ever want to admit the hurt, the disgust, and the loathing they are now experiencing. I wish I could do more for them except listen and offer limited advice. I so wish I could pimp slap every contractor that treats people this way.

Stay strong, you will get through this.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Only in Paso

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mom's 60th birthday n virginia

Mom having fun on birthday

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Paso is not red

Guess where i am

Friday, June 15, 2007


This is cool But warm this time of year

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lincoln Center Jazz

Just a Ballad

Monday, June 11, 2007

View From Offices

Great morning here in NYC. The sky is blue, the city smells... well like it should, and here is the view from the deck adjoining the cafe.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Fight is over

Zab Judah ko'd in 11th rnd

Let's Get Ready To Rumble

Zab n da house

Almost time

Fight Night at Madison Square Garden

Big Big hot dog at The Garden

Am I dreaming

Mecca of boxing

Still not in Paso

Madison Square Garden

Not in Paso this weekend

My room n NYC

Sunday, May 27, 2007

7s' memorial day christmas tree

7 wants landscaping 4 her xmas tree. These posts r taken and posted with my phone

Saturday, May 26, 2007

7 needs landscaping

As you can tell, 7 would appreciate someplace to lie down. Any landscape people want to help?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This Rocks

Landscaping has begun with a small experiment. Since there are no rain gutters and having standing water next to your house could be bad, follow these instructions:

  • Order 1.5 cubic yards of cobblestone and 3 cubic yards of pea gravel
  • Rent BobCat
  • Buy 125 feet of bender board
  • Dig trench 6 inches deep, 53 feet long and 4 feet wide
  • Place rock as pictured

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Got Work Ethic

Remember elementary school where you got kudos for perfect attendance? There were some kids who went 3-5 years without missing a day. I remember my 2nd grade teacher never missed a day of school for 4 years. Amazing consistency and dedication to her job.

My parents have an amazing work ethic. My mother worked her way up from the fabrication line at a semiconductor company to upper management within 10 years. Before my mother returned to work, my father worked two jobs to make ends meet and was still working 2 jobs in his 50s'. They instilled a similar work ethic in me. Sometimes it is to my detriment, but it has been more good than not.

That said, I have decided to do the landscaping on my own. This after 8 months of dealing with the local landscaping companies that do not call back, do not show, and do not follow thru. They all talk a good game, tell you how much they know, kick down some knowledge but then they do not follow thru.
Here is the list of landscaping companies who failed to either call back, show up, or follow up after the initial meeting:

  • R&S Landscaping
  • Elements Landscaping
  • C&C Landscaping
  • AAA Landscaping
  • John Flanigan Landscaping
  • Cumbria Construction

In the event that I would get a bid, it would be so generic that I could not tell the scope of work, would be rife with misspellings and if you can believe it, there would be simple mathematical errors in square footage/material costs. My two favorite interactions have been:
  • The initial $18k bid that morphed into a $36k bid when I asked the person to come back with a lower cost proposal.
  • The father of one 'contractor' who tells me his son went to the snow and will get back to me and the other 'contractor' who calls to tell me he is going to the snow and does not have access to the bid to discuss the inaccuracies.
Remember, Paso is Darn Near Paradise!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Straw Bale Tour

I had the opportunity to tour another Straw Bale structure yesterday. They did some cool things like color coding the exterior walls to denote framing and using water tanks built into the walls to moderate temps in the structure.

What I really like is the exterior truth window:And something that said a lot to me which is a poster of Malcolm X next to a truth window. Appropriate if you ask me:Reminds me to do my truth window...

Monday, January 15, 2007

99 Degree Difference

6 months ago the temperature was 113 degrees this weekend it was 99 degrees colder.

The booster pump on the water tank froze and failed. They tell me this happens when it is 14 degrees. It was replaced and the resulting damage repaired for about $900 by the pump division of Farm Supply. As I have come to expect, they were professional and courteous. Most of the neighbors had bursting pipes, or some plumbing related issues due to the extreme(for California) cold. I will break out the costs and materials of this in my next post.