Spa beds, procedure tables, water damage, low voltage lights, & a “Just Do It. Nike swoosh”

30 03 2012

In the last couple of weeks I have had a variety of jobs. That I like! The variety keeps me going. I’ll start with the water damage. One home, 2 areas on opposite ends of the house there was extensive cosmetic damage. Extensive cosmetic, sounds like an oxymoron, but that is the way I see it. What makes them both worthy of writing about is the way the water got where it was not suppose to be. End “A” when the roof was put on the roofers put step flashing just as they were suppose to. When the siding people did their work the first flashing the lowest on the roof was in their way. They did the obvious thing and cut the flashing and bent it. When that was done all the water that was suppose to drip off the roof went behind the siding. That was half that story, the other half is I don’t know how that siding lasted as long as it did, over 20 years. End “B” the culprit was a ridge cap that looked like Swiss cheese. There were multiple holes in the top of the shingle that serves as a ridge cap. Those holes were located in just the right spot for the water to get in behind the molding and fascia on the gable end of the home. I hope I have stopped both those water entrance areas.

I have a client in Huntington Beach, CA that calls me to repair their spa chairs and procedure tables. In the last couple of weeks I have worked at Jolie Day Spa in Cameron Village,  the spa at the Umstead in Cary, and a doctor’s office in Apex. All of these chairs and procedure tables were different. I had worked on a spa chair before but this one is different, similar but different. I had never seen a procedure table like the one in the spa at the Umstead or the one in the doctor’s office.

My next different job was to install the Nike logo sign behind the cash registers in a Nike store. I feel very fortunate that the general contractor was there. He has worked on so many of these stores that he knew all the measurements off the top of his head. I got the sign up with few problems and came back to work on the water damage.

Today I worked on low voltage lights. I repaired a few and added 5 to the already slightly illuminated driveway. I hope the additional lights will help the drivers backing down that long, dark driveway. Now if I can just stop these lights from being targets for pellet rifle practice.

It has been a long time but I am writing again.

21 02 2012

Summer came and I got busy so I let this go for a while. I had a good summer with again a variety of different types of work. I finished the work in the older home in Raleigh. While working there I enjoyed it a lot. I think I was able to help the owner begin getting this wonderful old home ready for it’s next owners. I hope that a large busy family buys it and it hears lots of happy sounds over the next 20 years of it’s life.

I have a client in Durham that has 24 hour care and I do a lot there to keep him and his staff comfortable. I killed a yard full of ivy that was very thick and growing up the trees and who knows, there might be an old car grown over that I have not discovered yet. I even had a neighbor stop while I was mulching the ground where the ivy was and praised the work I was doing. He thought the place looked much better and I continue to work on it.

I have a good friend that has his Piper Comanche airplane in a hanger at RDU. He was/is having problems with water getting on the floor of the hanger after even a small rain shower. We tried a fix he designed and it helped but didn’t completely fix it. We then tried a fix I suggested. It helped but didn’t completely fix it. We tried another of my ideas and that helped also. But, you probably guessed it, not completely. We now have gotten it down to about 3 cups of water on the floor under the airplane. You might ask what does that hurt. He is concerned the water might cause mold to form inside the airplane. If he or a passenger is allergic to the mold that forms it could be disastrous. We will keep working on it.

I like it when I add a new client and this time it was my dentist. I think she thought she had some problems that would be expensive to remedy but it was pretty easy to fix them and she was happy.

Several of my clients have me clean the leaves and pine needles out of their gutters. Most of them have some type of gutter “guard” on their gutters but leaves and especially pine needles seem to be able to find their way in or at the very least clog the entry of the water into the gutter. I don’t think there is any type of gutter guard that keeps everything out.

I have a client that backed into a friends mailbox post. I was able to take it out of the ground. It is a small metal post and since it was not a great post, straighten it, reinforce it, and reinstall it with a small amount of time and money. The owner of the mailbox was happy. My client was happy. So was I.

A friend with a rental home has a problem with the shingles blowing off in one spot. I have replaced many of them and the shingles next to the replacements blow off with the next high wind. If you have any ideas I will try it. I don’t want him to have to replace all the shingles, that will be expensive.

I had the opportunity to restore the engine operation on a generator recently. The engine of the generator has an oil pressure sensor and it failed, not allowing the engine to continue running after a default time to run without oil pressure. It now runs again.

I created a patio in front of a home. It is floored with stone that the owner and I picked out and purchased from a dealer in Durham.  I had to reroute water from a downspout under the floor of the patio where it could dump onto the sidewalk and harmlessly into the grass. That was the best project in a while. I would like another like that soon.

A client had a problem with her dog escaping from the pen. I installed screen wire inside the pen from the 4′ line up to the top. Now the dog can’t climb the fence.

This week I am moving office furniture from a storage unit to a facility where it can be used. Again I am using my friend’s moving van. The friend is Keith Burch. He is the owner of Exit Raleigh Realty.

Vacation and other updates.

6 07 2011

This spring has been variable as for work. I either didn’t have enough to do or way too much. I have spent a lot of time in a a local cancer treatment facility I am fortunate enough to do a significant volume of work for them. I enjoy knowing their facilities and working to keep the areas in which I am qualified working smoothly. They treat me like I am one of the staff and I always feel like I am part of the staff.

We went on vacation in May for 10 days. We went to London and had a great time. We tried to go to Westminster Abbey but there was a security sweep going on at the time. President Obama was going to visit the next day. Next we went to Parliament. It was closed. Security sweep there also. President Obama was going there the next day also. The next day we went to Oxford to see Christ Church. It was closed because Michelle Obama was visiting there that day. While in Oxford we met some people that live on a Narrow Boat. These boats are 7 feet wide and some of them are about 70 feet long. They asked  if we wanted to ride with them for about a mile and we did. I have gotten an email from them since we got back.

I have been working on an older home in downtown Raleigh. It is fun to work there. I am able to listen to NPR all day and work indoors. With the heat we have had lately working indoors is nice.  I may add to this post later because I have done my different kinds of jobs. More later.

Time to clean up!

5 03 2011

It is March so it is time to clean up your yard and garden. I hope you didn’t forget to fertilize your cool season grass in February. Don’t make me have to call you to see that you did. Now UNC-TV is having Festival and like I said it is March so the viewing on TV is limited to either getting lost in basketball or donating to a worthy cause. Time to cut your decorative grasses such as liriope or zebra or fountain and prune any hardwoods that have not leafed out. I say this every year but you would be surprised how many people want to prune after the leaves are out. More later.

Another service offered.

17 01 2011

I have been asked to pick up a bench and take it to a person to recane it. The back was very much in need of new caning. It looks great. I have since picked it up from the recaner and delivered it to the restorer to stain it like the rest of structure.  I should be able to get it in 2 weeks and take it to the owner. I will let you know how that turns out.

New experience for me.

24 12 2010

Yesterday my daughter yelled from the living room, “did you feel that?” My wife and I both said “what?” My daughter said “it felt and sounded like an earthquake.” It happened multiple times. I went under the house to find a squirrel under the house. I coached it out the open door. I suspected an old flue pipe from the chimney might have accomplices of the original squirrel. It did indeed have more in it. I think maybe up to 3. I couldn’t coach them out. I put my tall ladder up to the chimney and looked down in the flue. I could hear them in there. I couldn’t see them though. I went out to Wyle Coyote’s garage to look for the latest Acme Squirrel catcher. I got some rope and put one end down the chimney thinking the squirrels could climb the rope and get out. I then went under the house to try to scare them back into the chimney so they could find the rope. That didn’t work. This afternoon I went under the house to find they were under house, somewhere. I could not find them. I suspect they will make themselves known at the most inopportune time for me and I will be forced to go under again to look for them. I hope it is just 1 and I also hope it is a male. Do you have any ideas of how to get it/them out?

It is sooo cold!

14 12 2010

Winter may not be here by the calender but it is cold. I used to have a close working associate that would say “it is colder than a mother-n-law’s love.” Well I have a good mother-n-law so I can’t say that but it is cold.

Now, before Wikileaks post some of the documents of my work I want to be proactive and get in front of them. I don’t want to take your time to talk about the weather so I will proceed. It has been a while since I contributed to your reading material and I have done lots of different procedures. We can go back aways and I can tell you about assembling and  erecting a basketball goal. I got to the clients home to do just that and started “reading” the directions. There were not many printed words on the directions, just pictures. There was a disclaimer about not using the proper amount of concrete and the minimum amount was 6 bags, the client had bought 2 bags. Since I had 2 other little jobs to do for this client I waited to go buy the bags of concrete when I was going to get the other materials needed. After digging the hole for the guide sleeve to go in I finally took a road trip to several local stores to purchase the needed supplies for the various jobs I was to complete that day. When I returned I started the process of locating the guide sleeve and filling the hole with the proper amount of concrete, making sure the sleeve was plum. That it important to the overall survival of the goal and to the rest of the story. While the sleeve concrete was setting up I started assembling the rest of the goal using the glyphs printed on the directions. It was difficult to interpret those glyphs into words to make my brain work. I got it done and erected it and put it in place in the sleeve. In about 2 weeks the homeowner called and want me to come look at it, “it’s leaning”, she said. I went there prepared to see the leaning tower of Pisa, thinking that the oldest teenage son had been hanging on the rim. Instead I saw what looked like a slightly leaning basketball goal. When the owner and I put my level on the post it was plumb in every direction. I then understood that we were seeing an optical illusion. The driveway was not level but because the parking pad and driveway was fairly large my mind wanted to make it level instead of the goal being plumb. It reminded me of the time I put up curtains for a client. When I was almost done she wanted me to lower one side. I removed the curtains and put the rods back up to find them level. The ceiling was not level by over 1/4″ in 4 feet. With the curtains level it was not pleasing to the eye. So I put the curtains up not level so they would look good. She was happy.

I “winterized” an irrigation system several weeks ago. I was troubled because I didn’t have any way to drain all the water out of the pipes and most importantly the heads that are so exposed to the cold. I will let you know next spring if I was successful at that little maneuver. I did what my client said the other companies had been doing but I still don’t feel great about it. For that same client I was called over to help erect a Christmas tree. They have 10 foot ceilings and bought a rather large tree to fill the area. It was a heavy tree but we got it in the tree holder.

I filled in a hole in a house where a squirrel had been making plans to live. The house has vertical, tongue and groove cedar siding. The hole was in 2 boards. I had to make a patch to look as good as it could. I hope they are satisfied with my hole filler. I have changed the batteries in the smoke alarms of several homes in the last 6 weeks. That is something you should do at least once a year. I think the fire department suggest every time you change the clock for daylight savings time you should change the batteries in your smoke alarm. I hope you aerated your lawn and reseeded this fall. It’s a little late to do it now especially since it is sooo cold. I filled in a hole in one of the BJ’s in Raleigh. There used to be refrigeration lines and drain lines in that hole but the hole is no more. I had to do that job after closing time. Many bags of gravel and many bags of concrete and many hours. I could go on but these are just some of the things I have been working on the fall. I hope you fall is going well, thanksgiving was good and I hope you holiday season goes well for you also.

So, now Wikileaks, if you feel compelled to expose me to the scrutiny of the world, go ahead. I think I have been truthful with everyone.

Being aware and taking precautions!

3 10 2010

Recently I have installed several deadbolt locks in my clients doors.  Three of these clients had their homes broken into and the other clients were taking precautions. I don’t believe that deadbolts alone will stop a would be thief that in intent on coming into your home and make your stuff his. I do think that deadbolts will slow that intruder or stop all but the most intent. I also believe that the most intent usually have some reason to think that you have something they want. I am saying it is an inside job or they have some reason to think that your home is worth the chance of getting caught on the time spent to come in. It could be that they delivered something to your home in the last month or so, or it could even be they know you and have been in your home before. It could also be they think they are somewhere else and they are not coherent enough to know they are at the wrong house. Any way you look at it there is only so much you and I can do to protect you home and property. Deadbolts are a good start. Being mindful of strange cars in your neighborhood, especially if you see it more than once. Strange cars driving slowly, especially at night. Hidden entrances where would be thieves can work on getting in your home without having to worry about being seen doing it. This leads me to another deterrence method to help keep your home safe. Motion sensitive lights. I think they should be installed and aimed so that they come on and light the area but not benefit the intruder in getting into your home. They should annoy them not help them. A light that comes on and shines in their eyes instead of on the lock or door they are trying to open. A light that doesn’t stay on long enough to help but comes on again if there is much movement detected. Then you have a light coming on and going off over and over again. This activity could alert your neighbors that something is going on at your house and maybe they might even call the authorities.  One thing to remember when it comes to home protection  a nosy neighbor is your best protection. My wife called me the Lone Ranger once because I went to a neighbor’s home when I heard the burglar alarm go off. I was block captain of the neighborhood watch so I felt like it was my job. I often read and hear about keeping you foundation plant away from the house so that would be intruders could not get behind the plants and gain entry through an unused door or a window that can not be seen easily because of the plants. I have another theory. I think that if you have your plants close to the house but not touching  the house it will make it difficult for the intruder to get behind the plants, especially if they are thorny or very woody.

So, to sum up, call me and I will install deadbolts, look at your foundation plants, and see if we can put some motion sensor lights that work for you and not work for the intruder. There are other steps you can take and I am sure you can look online and get more ideas. Maybe I will look online and get more ideas for myself.

It’s happened again and it is time to plan for your lawn.

20 08 2010

Two weeks ago I was called to 2 different client’s homes to work on commodes. Both clients had commodes that flushed without being asked to do so. Both clients had 2 such phantom commodes. Both had bathrooms on different floors. Neither client knew the other. One client had a couple of nail pops in some drywall. The other had a problem just outside a leaky shower that needed my attention requiring a piece of drywall, joint compound, sanding and paint. These were the only similarities in the two jobs. Just thought I would mention the fact that my jobs run in waves. I guess I will not rebuild another commode for a year or so.

I mentioned the leaky shower. If I had been called last year to recaulk the shower surround I probably would not have needed to repair the drywall and have paint mixed. Sherwin Williams is getting to be one of my stops these days. 2 days, 2 quarts of paint mixed. One of the fun things about the leaky shower job was the home owner has a cat. He is so sweet and gentle. He wanted to see everything I did, up close. I had to move him a couple of times. When I moved him he went over and got in my tool box and lay down.

The other house had several different jobs for me to correct. The house had settled some and the front deadbolt would not lock. Someone took out the strike plate so it would. I replaced the strike plate to find out I couldn’t lock the bolt. I soon had it fixed so it could be locked. I really like the variety of having several unrelated type of jobs at the same home.

I would be interested in knowing if other handypeople have their jobs run in waves and if many of you like to call on different parts of your mind to make needed repairs.

Working on unusual projects again.

23 07 2010

Recently I was asked to work on a project that I need to keep quiet about. I can tell you that it involves Joe Bunn of Joe Bunn DJ Company. For those of you in North Carolina especially the Triangle area that use a DJ or go to parties or bars that have a music venue then you know Joe.  As far as I know he is the most successful DJ company around. I was told by my good friend Andy that when he was a college student and there was an occasion to go out, mostly at night, and if Joe Bunn was going to be there he knew it would be fun, he would have a good time, and the music would be great. Now I guess some of you may be thinking that I am participating in nepotism by talking about Joe Bunn. I have a geneology that takes my family back to 1723 in the Franklin County area of N.C. Joe and I have talked and he doesn’t recognize any of the names in my past. Sorry, I have gone off topic. Anyway, Joe and an associate have come up with an idea that they and I think will be something lots of people will want to use and participate in using. Joe seems to be on the cutting edge of lots of things entertainment and I think this is one of them. In about 2 weeks I will feel free to talk more about this and give you detail but right now I want to remain a little vague. The project I was working on was very labor intensive and as Joe likes every detail to have lots of character this project took on a life of it’s own. I was a little out of my usual field but was able to keep up. The project is in it’s next faze for unique alteration but should be complete next week. At that time Joe is going to send me pictures that I will post right here in this space along with the text you are reading now and maybe more. I don’t think you will find anything like this being offered by any other DJ. Check out Joe’s website

to see what he has new to offer. I can tell you that I spent a lot of time working on this project and Joe wanted it right. He wanted it right for himself and for his clients that will be using the service. More later.