Monday, February 26, 2007

Hey man! Nice shot!!! Sorry about that but Sirius has a new station called "90's Alternative" and they were playing that song!!!! AHHHHHH All this music reminds me of working at 106.5..... Being young and footloose!!! The good old days!!!! When I wasn't laid off all the time!!! ANYWAYS!!!! My friend Robert and I started working on the ditch bright and early on Saturday.... Let me tell ya! It's a huge difference when you have someone helping you..... If it was just me then there would probably just be one or two RR ties in place.... I tell ya!!!! I have some great friends. Not only did Robert help but I also received emails from my other friend Thompson. No that's not his first name. He is an arborist/environmental engineer/Dr. in something I think or he plays one on TV and an expert in fine beers....

The guy just knows everything!!!! He sent me a college thesis paper, I mean, a very detailed email explaining what I need to do to help the drainage and the way to build the wall.... The guy even drew up a diagram!!! Now granted, I didn't understand half of it but I think I gist of it....

So this is what Robert and I did on Saturday.


Sunday it rained all day so we didn't get down in the trenches because we both really didn't feel like getting all muddy....

Monday wasn't very productive either.... Everything was all muddy and I was sick of getting stuck in it.... SOOOOOOO This is what was done on this three day weekend..... I know it doesn't look like much but it's a start....

I also starting tearing up the section on the other side of the driveway... It isn't level and it just doesn't look right.... So I decided to tear it up and start over......

Thursday, February 22, 2007

No hot water??? NO PROBLEM!!!! Friday night I went to bed without shutting the garage door... WHOOPS!!!! Well it got pretty cold down here... Like 20 degrees!!!! I KNOW!!!! People who are from up north are saying "KRIPES!!!! That ain't cold!!! Try waking up to -24 degrees you whimp!!!". LOOK!!! It's pretty cold down here alright! Let's get back on track!!! When I went to wash some dishes there was nothing coming out of the facet when I turned it to hot.... DANG!!!! The cold water was coming out just fine.... So I headed out to the workshop were the "Hot water on demand" system is and sure enough the water going into the unit was frozen but luckily no pipes had burst!!! It took a few hours but it thawed out and all is well.... That's the last time I leave my garage door open on a freezing night!!

Oh yeah. They informed us that we are laid off!! DANG!!! Do I smell or something????? This is the 2nd layoff in the last 6 months!!!! KRIPES!!!!

No new pictures yet..... I'm kinda thinking about getting a JOB before I am the retaining wall!!! Talk to you later....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The 'hot water on demand' system ROCKS!!!! Robert Howle , (803) 287-2659, installed it and did an awesome job!!! He even let me help!!! VERY COOL!!! I'm soooooo about learning new stuff!!!!! From this:



To this....



The hot water NEVER runs out and It only heats the water when you need it!!!! Pretty sweet huh??? I'm a full fledge believer now!!!! This is where I purchased it online. They had great knowledge of the product and were very helpful. AND I have the man to install it for you too!!! This guy knows his stuff and in general is a friendly guy who won't try to screw you over. Robert Howle , (803) 287-2659. HEY any guy that will have a beer with me after finishing the job is a cool guy in my book...

I did more work on the retaining wall and it's all 'trial and error'..... This is how I see it. The wall isn't exactly up to my standards but all is not lost!!! The section I did is small enough so I can go back and make adjustment or just tear it down and start over. I've never built a retaining wall before and I am making it up as I go. I want to know what works and what doesn't before I start on the main section on the other side of the driveway...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Operation: 'Drainage ditch' has officially begun!!!!!! As most of you know, I have never been happy with the drainage ditch in the front yard.... Erosion is a huge problem and I have been trying to combat that since I moved in. I tried planting daylilies to spruce it up and I have had many ideas what I wanted to do with it so it didn't look so Sanford & Son-ish....


Early on I messed with the idea of building a retaining wall. But of what????? Then it hit me while I was dozing off to sleep one night... Railroad ties!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!! Little background for ya. When I was a kid I loved trains and everything about them, Heck!!!! I still do!!!! Anyways, A family friend, Steve Kockler, loved trains a ton too!!!! I'm still not sure how he worked it out but he convinced my mom to let me skip a day of school so he and I could go up to the big city, Buffalo, and watch trains and check out all the RR yards up there.... This was back in 1987 and I remember it like it was yesterday!!!!! We were at an old RR yard that was being dismantled and I saw piles upon piles of RR ties. They had to go somewhere didn't they?? Steve told me that they
  • A. Threw them into a shedder and they turn into mulch.
  • B. They sell them to landscaping centers and are sold for landscaping.
  • C. They just leave them there until the EPA or the city complains enough.
SOOOOOO I went to the local Home Depot, no the women who has teeth of a 19th century chimney sweeper no longer works there, and checked out the RR ties they had. Not only were they too expensive, $10.50 a piece, but they looked like they were shipped to Iraq and used by the troops to shield them against an artillery attack and then sent back to the states to be sold. They were in really bad shape. Forget it!!! I'm not going to buy that crap... I had to go to plan B. I "Googled" 'railroad ties' and BOOM!!!! I had about 100 hits. I guess it's a pretty big business to get them from the RR company who wants to get rid of them and sell them to people at a landscaping center. It's just being a middle man. I was too cheap to do that, SHOCKER!!! I figured there must be a RR company in the area!!! WOO HOO!!!! The Lancaster & Chester RR Co. at your service!!!! I emailed the head of track maintenance Reece! He told me to give him a call and he would be able to help me out. Poor Reece!!! He is a southern bred guy who has a very distinctive southern draw and then you have me, a fast talking yankee. We had a few communication breakdowns and he had to say "Can you repeat that?" at least 20 times because I was talking so fast!!!! He told me where he had bunch just sitting around that I could have. I asked him how much I owed him and this is classic, he said "Hell! You don't owe me anything I just want to get rid of 'em."



With the help from my neighbor, Greg, we went out and hauled back about 10 with our trucks.... Yeah I know there are some macho guys out there saying, "WHAT?? They had two trucks and only got 10???". Sorry but I have my limitations!! They weigh a ton and I was exhausted.... I figured that I can come back and get more when I need. This is pretty funny!!! Want to see how much work I managed to get done for the rest of the day???? OK!!! The picture above this paragraph was taken right before I started working..... AND here is what I accomplished!!!

In my defense it was really muddy and the RR ties were just not leveling out at all.... I had enough and I was all muddy and wet AND cold!!! I took a shower and a nap. I decided that I would tackle it tomorrow... PEOPLE!!! This is not going to be a weekend project!!!! I'll be happy if I get it done by the freakin' summer!!!! But BY GOD! It will get done!!!!!

AND!!!! I purchased my 'hot water on demand' unit on Friday!!! This is the one I got... It comes in this week and I have to line up a HVAC certified person to come out and install it!!! So hopefully I'll have it all set up by the next update I write.... I'll be sure to tell you all about it!

Alrighty... I worked on it a little more on Sunday and.....


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to a Super Bowl party and then going to sleep for at least two days to recoup from all this manual labor...


Want to hear a funny story??? Ask me about the time I ran out of gas and the police came out and everything!!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

SNOW STORM 2007!!! NEWS AT 11!!!!!

I stole that from Erv Weinstein up in Buffalo.... He always said that on commercial breaks while I was watching "That's Incredible"... Crazy guy!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOO I woke up and this is what I saw!!! About 2 inches of snow!!! WOO HOO!!! All you Yankees want another reason to move down to the Palmetto State, South Carolina, besides the great weather, average temperature is 55 degrees year round and you still get the change of seasons, amazingly low cost of living, nice people, JOBS, very low taxes, that everything shuts down when it snows!!! PEOPLE!!!! Let me repeat that in case you didn't read that right, everything shuts down when it snows!!! It snows down here about every 3-4 years and when it does it's an event! It's not like up north where there is a chance of snow from October through April and it's depressing.... Down here it snows for a day and it melts the next!!! So you get your fill of snow for the year and it's gone the next day... Gotta love that! I went for my walk and snapped a few pictures.....



OH I have so big news!!! Details soon!!!! All I can say is that it has to do with a landscaping job that will take me at least a month to complete, The Lancaster & Chester Railroad Co., and some great memories of a great family friend, Steve Kockler!!!!!!

MERRY EFFIN' CHRISTMAS!!!!

 Or whatever you celebrate...  Because I like MOST of you, I'm here to give you some knowledge about finance, computers, cars and...