Teeth Extraction, primus

Right now I have cotton gauze pads crammed in my mouth, helping to control bleeding as an aftereffect of having nine teeth pulled; the first of four Adventures in Tooth Extraction. They pulled mu upper molars and bicuspids [I think they're bicuspids, I might be wrong, they're the not quite molars just forward of the molars].

Was a bit of a trick doing it, with the level of decay and the fact that I've got good and solid roots, that really didn't want to let go. There wasn't much to grab onto, what there was to grab onto wasn't the solidest, and they really didn't want to come out. In other words, a good set of teeth for a dental school, they got to learn something dealing with my mouth.

In other news, it's over a hundred, my a/c is busted, and the painters have started work so my windows are shut; only way it could be worse would be if I had a south exposure. I don't, I'm on the north side of the building.

Oh, and my bathroom sink drain is clogged back in the wall, and a major nut on the pipe that I need to remove to get at it doesn't want to move. The next major project we need to save money towards is replacing a lot of the iron pipe in this building, the plumbing is anywhere between 70 and a 100 years old and is demonstrating that rust causes iron pipes to shrink internally.

So I'm not in the best of moods just now, and mom wants to talk, not catching on that right after oral surgery might not be a good time. Parents!

And I just demonstrated that the local anesthetic is still doing a good job, can't use my lips properly for drinking, nice spill all down my front.


It's a good thing I'm innately cheerful, otherwise I might really be down in the dumps!

Think I'll go read something silly.


The Roof, Heights, and Me

I don't deal well with heights, at least not when I have any sense that I could fall. When I helped some friends when they were shingling their roof, I was the ground crew; was on the roof a little bit, but just couldn't handle it.

So the fact that I actually did get up on the roof of our building to look at the job being done says something. Mind, I never stood up, stayed firmly knees to the roof, but I still got up onto the roof, which is how I know it has slope and all. And the roof covering, this reinforced 60mil PVC sheet stuff, is smooth and slick; Wade [the boss] made it clear that if anything went wonky, call them [hey, 15 year guarantee], and don't even consider going onto the roof in the rain, and really don't consider it with ice, you'd be on the ground way too fast in an uncontrolled fashion.

But I actually got onto the roof. I'm not sure if it was courage, or insanity, or if there is a difference.


Roofing done!

Yay! Friday they finished up the work on the roof, installing the new cap flashing on the facade; see, the roof actually has a decent slope to it, but on the front and sides it has fake walls running up to form a square profile, just like the false fronts on the buildings in frontier town in the American west. These fake walls have to be capped with flashing to prevent water from getting in and creeping all over the place inside the building, and to finish up the roofing, as the roofing material actually goes up the back side of these wall thingies and needs to be capped to prevent water entry.

So the roof is done. Yay! And there was much rejoicing.

Next up will be painting. Actually, siding repair and then painting.


Roof work now going on

OK, to understand all this a bit of background on the building is needed.

It's a big square flat topped box. There is interior roof access, if one calls a hatchway accessed by leaning a ladder precariously from the stairs access. Earlier this year we had Bill install a slightly lowered ceiling area at the top of the stairs, with a pulldown attic ladder, making access to the roof quite easy, unless you just have a thing about heights, like myself. The pulldown ladder made it real easy for contractors to get to the roof to make bids, and the workers are finding it super handy, they still have some exterior ladders for hauling up materials but other than that they use the interior ladder 'cause it makes it so much easier. The reason I'd pushed for the ladder install was that otherwise we'd not be able to see what the roof was like, and it had been decades since anything had been done up there.

So yesterday they started on the job, first scraping off the old roofing material so they could see what the roof proper was like, which turned out to be not absolutely awful, but there is some rot, and the surface is rather uneven, more so than works with the roofing material we're having installed. So they're fixing the rotten sections, and then installing 1/2" CDX Plywood over the lot, and then back to the regularly scheduled roofing project. Adds $2295.00 to the cost, which is reasonable, at least to me. And these chaps are good steady workers; it's right above my head, I can tell they are working steadily, trust me on this!


Whateley Academy, or, What I've Been Reading Recently

Nestled in the Presidential Mountains of New Hampshire lies the Town of Dunwich, near which is located Whateley Academy, founded in the late 1800s by Noah Whateley as a school for Young Gentlemen. Fallen on hard times in the late 1950s, foreclosed upon by the bank, it was brought forth anew in the mid-1960s as a High School for those who possessed 'odd talents'.

Dunwich, New Hampshire? Where, pray tell, is that? Nowhere in our reality, although mentioned by H.P. Lovecraft. Welcome to the world next door to ours, where the Superheroes, Supervillains, and Mutants of the comic books are reality, and where the writings of H.P. Lovecraft are fact disguised as fiction; this is the setting for the stories of Whateley Academy, a High School founded [and protected] by a consortium of Supers, both Hero and Villain, for the express purpose of educating young Mutants in the usage of their powers, and the development of skills needed to survive in a somewhat hostile world, for there are many who do not love the Mutant as their brother.

Welcome to Whateley Academy, student body circa 600. Scrupulously neutral as to the path their students take upon graduation, directed by one of the foremost Superheros of any generation, staffed by some of the finest educators and researchers in the land, part prep school, part mutant academy, their graduates are accepted into the most prestigious colleges, courted by the CIA, NSA, NASA, and other governmental agencies, as well as the established Superhero & Supervillain teams, The Syndicate, and other shadow organizations both malign and benign.

Written, singly and cooperatively, by a group of approximately 17 writers referred to by their fans as 'The Canon Cabal' to difference them from those writing fan fiction set in their universe, the main sequence of stories follows six members of the Class of 2010 starting with their arrival at the beginning of their freshman year, in September of 2006. Brought together initially by the common thread of a change in gender accompanying their mutation, these six individuals rapidly form bonds which will last their lifetimes, however long those may be...

Five years of writing, with significant weekly updates for the most part, has brought the storyline partway through their second term, Winter 2007, although some Fall 2006 storylines are still in progress. Utilizing 'The Canon Bible' [a Secret Compendium of Established Lore regarding the Whateley Universe], a private forum, and individual emails, the Canon Cabal have maintained an astounding level of character consistency and universe coherency. Originally posting their stories at Sapphire's Place, a GLBT Internet fiction site, Whateley Academy has for several years now maintained their own server, The Crystal Hall, hosting the official Canon of stories, a fan maintained wiki, and an active fan forum, including fan fiction. [Some fan fiction has also been posted to The Big Closet.] Several significant members of The Canon Cabal began as writers of Whateley fan fiction, and were invited into The Cabal, and their work revised and reissued as Canon.

Experience the pathos and bathos of life at a coed mutant boarding school, the comedy, tragedy, seriousity and farce of life in the mutant fast lane with fifteen-year-olds adjusting to new powers and abilities, some eagerly, others reluctantly, all while taking English, Maths, Powers Theory & Lab, Home Ec, Basic Martial Arts, Introduction to Flight, Gadgeteer/Deviser Lab, Costume Theory, Introduction to Mystic Arts, Advanced Topics in Mutant Genetics, and others both academic and vocational.

Cliques and clubs abound! Jockey for social position with The Alphas [Whateley's self-proclaimed elite]. Considering a career as a cape, why not rush the Future Superheros of America? Your parents are Supervillains, that's a sure in with The Bad Seeds, admittance only to those of proper pedigree; desire to emulate your parents not required. Fancy a career as a model, Venus, Inc., is for you! Family from the upper crust, hang with the Golden Kids. Think yourself the next James Bond, the Intelligence Cadets [Spy Kidz] might be for you. Spectre more your style, the Masterminds for those with guile.

Acknowledged influences include the various major [and minor] comic book universes, H.P. Lovecraft, Japanese anime [especialy Ranma ½ & Urusai Yatsura], various role playing games with a superheroes/supervillains or Cthulhu theme, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Adam West's Batman, Vincent Price' laugh, and a familiarity with Prep Boarding Schools [US & Foreign].

And that's what I've been reading lately.


Renovations & Maintenance

We're looking at a considerable outlay this summer, but it looks like we'll do it without going into debt.

The roof needs repairs and replacing, the siding needs repairs and painting, and we need a storage building for lumber, yard equipment, and construction related materials.

It's a flat roof, and little has been done on it in the 33 years we've lived here. Presuming it is still sound, recovering it combined with replacing flashing and a variety of other items looks to run us $9,862.00, with a 15 year manufacturers warranty. More if they have to patch the roof, of course. DialOne Roofing of Oregon.

Big square building, cedar shakes, some of which need replacing and many need reattaching. Plus flashing, and the chaps we're tending towards suggest re-stapling the shingles with snazzy stainless steel staples; the bid we're tending towards is a firm which doesn't just paint, they also do siding and window installation, the sides of buildings are their thing. So we're looking at $2,497.00 for shingle repair, replacement and re-stapling, and flashing on the corners and one window. Then $15,889.00 for all the stuff involved with painting the building, including this snazzy paint from Sherwin-Williams which has a 25-year manufacturers warranty. Oh, and while we're at it, repainting the entry hallway which is this immense two story with stairs space, and which hasn't been done since we moved in, might be an idea, and enough of a pain that paying $1,395.00 to have it done sounds real good to me. Total bid: $19,871.00. But wait, 10% discount somehow comes into play, which knocks it down to $17,802.90. And anything not covered in the bid but added later at $35.00/hour, most reasonable, it's a good detailed bid. C&K Home Improvement.

Storage shed. Say about 18'x8'x8', sloped roof, gutters, windows [we've got one's we've replaced running around, still good double pane, whyever not use them?], 4x4s instead of 2x4s on the south side so lumber storage shelving on iron pipe racks is fully supported, built to last for decades, none of this chintzy backyard storage shed stuff that's falling apart as soon as you finish building it, like the shed we just took down. The idea is that all the lumber in the basement will have a good home, as will the yard tools & supplies, and hopefully the various construction supplies we keep on hand. Get this stuff out of the basement. Clear out the Furnace Room, and make the major plumbing pipes accessible without struggling. Let the shop be a shop. Make it possible for me to move back into my old room in the basement, so we can get my current apartment back on the market as a revenue source. Bill's working up a bill of goods for this, after which he can give us an estimate as to what it will cost. This will go against his mortgage payments. There's around $16,000.00 left on his mortgage, so this will be no out of pocket on our part. Bill will have the mortgage paid off before the end of next year, at which point we have to start actually handing him money when he does work for us.

Once all that stuff gets done we start looking at other things, like the floor work in the apt. 3 bathroom, which is partially rotted out, and the need to replace the buildings plumbing as the old iron pipe is getting clogged with rust.

But the stuff currently bid on, we've got the cash on hand to cover, between what I've had mom socking away for periodic expenses and my Social Security lump sum back payment, which can repay the support mom provided for me prior to it coming through. And my budgeting for periodic expenses will be improved based upon these expenditures, so with care we won't need to go into debt for future repairs, either.

It's nice owning the building free and clear. It's nice to have zero credit card debt. And I plan to keep it that way if I can.


"Slugs & Snails & Bugs," he wails!

We have snails the way some folks have cats, and boy did they do a number on the zucchini.

None of the zucchini survived, they all got et up before they got past the big fat initial leaves, the ones that pop out of the seed case. Nasty vicious snails!

The butternut squash, on the other hand, appear to be doing just fine, with one weird case. One clump of seedlings doesn't look at all like the others, Seems to me some other seeds got mixed in, some other variety of squash, the weird thing being that they ended up planted together in the one clump. Either that or some volunteers came up looking exactly as if deliberately planted, in a location that matches the pattern of planting I used; which I find unlikely, but I find both scenarios unlikely. It'll be interesting seeing what they produce, as that will be the only way to answer this puzzle.

Something is munching on the peas, and to a lesser extent the beans. Some bug which crawls out at night, with a voracious appetite. The peas have had all their tendrils, the stuff they use to glom onto things, munched away, and a job done on their leaves, and they're being slow to recover, if they ever really do. The beans have something eating holes in their leaves in 3 out of five cases, and the progression is from one end of the row to the other, but they still seem to be doing better than the peas, even if they don't seem to be growing all that fast.

Of course, not doing anything to the soil, other than attempting to remove the sod, might have something to do with rate of growth.