April 1, 2014

April fundraiser alert: it’s here, it’s near, get used to it! [sticky; new posts below]

Times are tight for all of us, but the truth is, house building and moving doesn’t happen magically.  And even if it did, those are skills I possess, having never once communed with the Devil to learn the dark arts.

Well, except for that one time when I was trying to get a date with Jamie Gertz.  But hey, I was just a kid — and besides, all I was able to raise was something claiming to be a “demi-demon” who called himself Eddie and was dressed like one of the dudes from Modern English.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Also, been meaning to mention this, but lack of time and focus has let it escape me:  both Bill Quick and Doug Ross have new books out.  I encourage you to check them out and hopefully support conservative / libertarian authors engaging their creative sides.  Bill is already a very accomplished novelist.  Doug is an excellent writer, and he’s written a crime novella.

I just hope whoever did it is a sniveling leftist prick.  For the justice.

update:   just got word that one of my cars has a “major” oil leak.  Joy!  I’m beginning to think that I’m never going to make it to the new house.  The stress is going to get me first.

update 2:  Last day of the fundraiser.  Unfortunately, I’ll be spending it trying to figure out how I’m to be taxed on baseball card purchases, because now the federal government is all up in PayPal’s ass, too, looking at people’s money movement, which is going to mean I have to separate out and show the provenance of every single PayPal transaction for last year, then give an accounting on the “worth” of my baseball card “inventory” once I’ve separated out all my other, non-card-related purchases.

It’s a fucking nightmare, is what it is.   But then, that’s our state of the union, in this, the progressive golden age:  GE pays nothing, I get taxed on a profit I made selling a Mike Trout card for $10 more than I bought it for.



Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:15am

Comments (62)

  1. Thanks Bill Q!

  2. Thanks, di!

  3. Thanks, Roger H!

  4. Long overdue with hitting the tip jar. Overwhelmed with guilt, I could procrastinate no longer. So, meager is it may be…. I hope it helps for now.

    Carry on, you BadAssFutherMucker!

  5. I was going to donate a few thousand but, it turns out that lottery win was a very cruel April Fools joke.

    I should have known better since I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life.

  6. Thanks, Jrez!

  7. Thanks, McGehee!

  8. Thanks, palaeomerus!

  9. Thanks, Geoff B!

  10. Thanks, Charles W!

  11. Thanks, Patrick C!

  12. Thanks, RI Red!

  13. Thanks, cranky-d!

  14. Thanks, serr8d!

  15. Funny you should mention Jamie Gertz because I met her back in ’82.. (in passing, but still..). I used to date a girl that was a regular extra on the show.. They filmed in So Calif not New York.. Never did meet that horse faced girl, though.. and I dont know from Eddie..

  16. .. Oops.. ‘The Show’ being Square Pegs.. that shot at that old HS in Norwalk..

  17. .. and no I cant tell you what she was like in person.. so dont ask.. Christ, it was 35 years ago.. I said ‘Hi’.. She said ‘Hi’.. You need more? OK, as I recall she was more like Blair than to Muffy.. and she was way hotter than that DiNuncio chick.

  18. Thanks to William P for the house swag!

  19. Paid off 2010 Grand Cherokee last month – rear end failed a week later. But no oil leaks.

  20. An aside: It’s amazing how much you can spend going through a builder’s “design center”, but my wife and I were able to catch ourselves in time and made it out of there at about 13K under budget.

    Rather than purchase a number of things through the builder as upgrades, we went with whatever their standard material was (the ugliest carpet you’ve ever seen on the thinnest padding they offered; low-grade vinyl flooring; laminate counter tops — some of which are actually quite nice), so before we move in, we’re going to have people come in and do most of the upgrade work, from installing radiant heating on the floors in the master bath, mud room, and in-law suite (right atop the vinyl and some cement board, then tiling over it); to replacing most of the carpeting with FANTASTIC engineered hardwood flooring with an oil finish and a very nice, very real looking wood-patterned laminate flooring in the basement, then upgraded carpeting and padding in the remaining areas; to pulling out the laminate counter tops and oval sinks and replacing them with stone (mostly quartz or honed marble) and some rectangular under mount sinks.

    The only place we kept the builder upgrades were in the kitchen, because they priced out well with the package we bought.

    Of course, it helps when one of your buddies owns the biggest flooring / counter-top / cabinetry stores in the state, and he’s one of the guys you coach wrestling with. It helps, too, when another of your coaching buddies is a master carpenter, and a third builds custom homes. I also have a buddy who is an electrician, so that’s a bonus too. Need to befriend a plumber, though.

    My carpenter friend is going to remove the sliding glass doors that go out to the patio and replace them with french doors. He’s also building me an entrance way into a secret room, where I’ll keep my gun safe, etc., doing custom cabinetry in twin nooks next to the great room fireplace; building a pair of facades for decorative electric fireplaces in the basement and in my mother-in-law’s room, and adding a reclaimed wood feature wall to house one of the fireplaces and a TV.

    All of the cosmetic upgrades are going to cost us about 43K out of pocket, whereas through the builder, they were going to cost us about 66K — not including the carpentry work — and the material we’re getting is far nicer.

    We also had the builder do a couple of custom jobs for us, which we have to pay for out of pocket up front. One is relatively minor — we switched out a swing-out door for a pocket door in the jack and jill bathroom so that the two doors won’t hit each other if opened at the same time (a $500 job); and one is pretty major — I decided to use closed cell spray foam and upgraded insulation throughout the house, creating an extra layer of fire and moisture protection, increasing the structural integrity of the space, keeping out vermin, blocking allergens, and lowering our utility bills on the order of 50% monthly. This is going to cost me $14K.

    And we’re installing a second after market water heater ourselves to run serially with the 50 gallon tank the builder is installing, along with a whole home humidifier, which in Colorado is a good idea to protect your hard wood.

    We also decided to do without garage door installs, so we’re going to have to put a pair in ourselves. The disadvantage of that is that it sucks not having them in when you’re ready to take possession of the house, and that I’m sure I’ll be stuck doing the work. The advantage, though, is that you get to try cool gadgets like this one, which from what I understand is mind-bogglingly quiet.

    Assuming the stress doesn’t kill me first, by late summer / early fall, I should actually be able to show off the actual protein wisdom pub, complete with armadillo theme, which is going into the basement. And you are each invited to come visit. Guinness is on me.

    I figure we’re looking at about two weeks of work after we close before the ugrades are completed.

    The foundation has been poured and the house should be framed within a couple weeks. Shit is getting real. And the stress is growing. Because I ain’t Mr Blandings, and this is real life, not a Hollywood movie wherein you can shoehorn in an improbable happy ending just because.

  21. That sucks, RI Red.

  22. But if that’s all I have to worry about, life is good. Red, jr. graduates from college in May (We’re sad to leave Utah. But not forever). Spring is here in New England. Mrs. Red has taken up competitive shooting (wants to buy her own gun next time). And I’m resigned to the fall of western civilization and my transition from legal skills to reloading. Life is good!

  23. Don’t panic! Which car and where is the oil coming from?

    And , uh, the tax man has first dibs on all my loose cash this month.

  24. It’s the Wrangler Sahara, and all the fluid levels were fine. Not sure what it is they think may be leaking. We’re bringing it in to them tomorrow.

    Puts a hold on the second garage door opener until we find out what the problem is.

    And I hear you — tax season has me freaked, as well.

    RI Red —

    Your wife is prepared for the end of western civ? That’s a keeper! But get out of Mass. That’s where the first zombies are almost assuredly set to gather.

  25. Thanks, Roy J!

  26. Old Jeeps and oil leaks seem to go together like Pluto and not being a real planet. I hope it’s not what they think it is.

  27. Could be the transfer case. If you don’t use the 4WD all the time it can seize up and break something. Come to think of it. Even if you use it all the time things can go bad. It’s a jeep. Mt BILs had a hole in the transfer case the size of a silver dollar. He drove it for months and didn’t find the hole until he went to change the oil. However my money is on the clutch slave cylinder if its a manual.

  28. As the resident lowly mechanic, may I pipe in on this? Jeff specifically said oil, therefore, if that diagnosis is corect, the leak has to be in/around the engine/head.

    Rear and front mains are a bitch as are internal oil pumps. oil pans, head gaskets ( is there oil in the antifreeze Jeff?) are easy. Let me know, I can give a guesstimate. Also, I’ll need to know whether it’s standard or automatic.

  29. Thanks, Terry H!

  30. Thanks, SW!

  31. Guys at the dealership quoted me $3200 to fix everything. We’re going to pick it up and take it to another mechanic.

    Hope they just tried to gouge us: leaking head gasket, leaking radiator, and a host of other things that magically appeared since we had the car surfaced with them the one an only time a few months back.

    Anyway, that’s where I’ll be for a while. If we have to eat $3K on the car, we’re pretty much fucked, so I’m hoping for better news.

  32. I was about to complain that the dealership where I got Sluefoot sold it to me with a dirty air filter that cost almost $20 to replace — but I’ve decided to keep it to myself.

  33. Hell, I’d do a head gasket for a good bottle of scotch and parts. Now if it caused bent valves, which if you can drive it, it didn’t , then yeah…leaking radiator? Recored with a turn in, or if you’re feeling brave? junkyard. I just don’t get the 3200 cost. More info please?

  34. Why did you bring it in in the first place? Sorry, professional curiosity.

  35. For an oil change.

    Our fluid levels were fine.

  36. Yup…Never did trust dealerships. Ask around, find someone who people trust ( and deal in cash, it helps ) As far as I read this, you’re being scammed. Not sure, but likelyhood is there.

  37. ” all I was able to raise was something claiming to be a “demi-demon” who called himself Eddie and was dressed like one of the dudes from Modern English.”

    I may or may not have killed Arnold Friend and Captain Howdy while drunk driving in a dream with Mojo Nixon in the passenger seat mixing Bo-HEE-toes in an old Super Friends thermos.

    Please don’t tell Joyce Carol Oates.

  38. Jeff. Unless there is a big oil stain on the driveway you should be alright.

  39. Mojito—> white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime juice, sparkling water, and mint.

    Bo-HEE-Toes—> pulche or moonshine, kayro syrup, 7-Up(TM), Squirt(TM), Sprite(TM), Slice(TM), or maybe Mountain Dew(TM), Sierra Mist(TM) , or hell you could try the Lemon Lime Shasta(TM)…, some mint tic-tacs(TM) or a wintergreen lifesaver(TM).

  40. Pulche should be spelled pulque. Maybe.

  41. “I may or may not have killed Arnold Friend and Captain Howdy while drunk driving in a dream with Mojo Nixon in the passenger seat mixing Bo-HEE-toes in an old Super Friends thermos.”

    Were you all moving in peace and harmony towards Elvis-ness?

  42. It was more of an early 90’s era Mojo. He was wearing the Sexy 0range screen-printed Mojo-Face mu-mu and ranting about Michael Bolton (the bald man with long hair) and “You can’t kill me” (basically Amazing Grace in lizard boots) was playing on the radio.


    Anyway The Reverend Horton Heat hit me up on the CB and told me that there ain’t no traffic laws in dreams so not to sweat it, and sometimes demons get what the hell they deserve.


  43. Thanks, Squid!

  44. Thanks DarthLevin!

  45. Arnold Friend can’t be killed — the way his feet fit in his boots, as if like hooves, makes him a special kind of evil — and Captain Howdy is still roaming around inside some lapsed priest, is my guess.

    Fortunately for me, I got the inverse of Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life. And I was able to throw him off my sent by shoplifing a few grapes, which he deemed sufficiently evil.

  46. Yeah, Blitz, we took the car into our regular mechanic who is looking at it today. My guess is they come back much much cheaper.

  47. If you don’t have a demon, be the demon.

  48. Regular mechanic came back at $800, but told us to try a Jeep specialist. We did. Came back at $365 — radiator replacement and serpentine belt. The “leaks” were all negligible. It’s to expected with a Jeep that is about to turn 20.

    So, that’s quite a difference. Original quote was actually 3308. So this is almost 3K less.

    And to think, we purchased our Trailhawk from the dealership who looked to rip us off so baldly.

  49. Ship it to ma. with a good bottle of scotch. Hell, get me a flight out there and a good scotch, a hotel room and the ‘dillos connections. 12 hours and that’s without knowing the areas parts stores.

  50. In all honesty Jeff, you can do that work yourself. Radiator replacement? so simple…just drain and remove the parts attatched, then the radiator itself. Derpentine belt? loosen the adjustors, remove belt( REMEMBER how it goes!! ) replace.

    Be less than 365, and you gave the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

  51. Oh, regular pittance coming up in 3…2…4…ummm…now?

  52. Thanks, Blitz! Don’t have time to do the stuff myself. Besides, the labor was pretty cheap directly through the Jeep specialist.

  53. Thanks, EQV!

  54. Thanks, SDN!

  55. I wish I could this month, but have burst pipes at the lake and a wood stove that’s smoking. It’s not going to be a great spring.

  56. Thanks, Evan C!

    No worries, Diana. Get those pipes taken care of!

  57. I’d just like to point out that since nobody appears to be using the stupid Facebook/twitter/etc button array, and it’s a slow loading bitch, it might be nice to dump the unneeded crap off the template.

    Just a thought.

  58. I’ve got a stuck lifter and a timing belt needs replacing on one car. The other has a recall, but the nearest dealership is 65 miles away. The other car needs an $800 computer to fix a stability control issue, and car 4 is 44 years old and only has two seats, leaks like a sieve, needs all new bushes, and the diff mount is cracked and needs welding.

    I’ll do the lifter and the belt, the recall will wait, I’ll drive the broken computer into the ground, and the old car is my baby and I’ll hug it and squeeze it and call it a goddamn money pit.

  59. Thanks, LMC!

  60. Damn, LMC. I just realized my first car would be 43 now, and my second would be turning 50 this fall.

    And both would still be younger than me. <breaks down and weeps>

  61. LMC, shouldn’t Obamacare cover all of that?

  62. I will be pitching in a few bucks soon! I have nae forgot ye, Jeff!