Thursday, January 30, 2014

Impulse Purchase

Tallulah has at five full-sized dog beds in the house.  All of them are big enough for her to stretch out on her own, or curl up with the wee beastie.  The two dogs often share beds, so it never occurred to me that Lewis might need or want his own bed.

I'm not sure what I was thinking last night  - this was a complete impulse purchase - but something tells me it's a hit.

These (quick - low quality) shots were taken at various times throughout the day today.

Apparently, Lewis wanted a bed of his own.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Half way there... and other random stuff

Last week, I was in Calgary to work though the third of six courses (exams) I have to take to earn my expert certification in ITIL.    The classes are dry as dirt, but I always come away with ideas for how to improve things at work.  I'm guessing that's the point.   That, and passing the exams to get the certificates.

I won't be going back for any more classes until spring arrives.  The drive to Calgary was awful - again -  with a heat wave rolling in after a big dump of snow.  I had to use my windshield wipers non-stop because of the dirty water spraying off the roads the entire drive, and ran out of wiper fluid about 3/4 of the way there.

Last summer, I had some skin cancer removed.  It's the less-scary variety of skin cancer that should be gone once it is cut out; except that mine keeps growing back.  What was a small mole is now a big scar across my collar bone.  I went to my doctor in December about new spots in the area, and he prescribed a cream to put on them.  Except, the cream costs $300/month.  Yesterday I went back to the doctor to ask for a less expensive option and he scheduled another appointment to do some more cutting Monday morning.   Dang, I have a lot of scars... I guess a few more won't matter.

My dad and I have been scrubbing the heck out of the tile floor in the basement.  We've been pouring vinegar on it, scrubbing the grout with a brush, then using a floor polisher before sucking it up with a wet vac and then rinsing off with water.  We've done this to the area twice... it took three hours both times.  Improvements have been good, but it's not there yet.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Burned Again

I haven't slept since Christmas Eve.  I can't.  I go to bed and stew, wake up multiple times throughout the night and stew, and am up stewing every morning at least an hour before the alarm goes off.

The reason why I am stewing is because of the basement.  On Christmas Eve, I finally received what I'd been asking for since October - a tally of the expenses to date.  I didn't really need that tally, because I had a quote for the entire job.  However, in October one of the subs told me something that made me feel suspicious.

The bill I received for the framing, drywall and electrical (which is still hasn't been fixed) exceeds the entire quote already.  It doesn't include tile, trim or the extensive millwork I was planning.  It also doesn't take into account that the tile is still covered in grout haze, which is curing (getting harder to fix) every day.

And let's remember that the job was supposed to have taken a month to six weeks - five and a half months ago.

Shortly after New Years, I went to see a lawyer to discuss my options.  He confirmed that the quote I was given is legally binding.  His recommendation is to have a trusted contractor come to give me a quote for how much the work that has been done is worth, less the cost of the corrections to the electrical and tile and pay that out.  It may be higher than the original quote, but it is unlikely to be nearly as high as what is being asked now.

I emailed the contractor yesterday to tell him his work at my house is at an end, and that I'd mail him a cheque once I had calculated what I owed.  I honestly don't know if he set out to take advantage of me, or if things just got out of control.  As he is the spouse of a coworker, I am hoping it is the latter.  Either way, he has caused huge problems for me.  Having somebody come in to take over - fix his mistakes - is going to cost a lot more than it would if he'd just done the job right the first time.

A friend's husband is a contractor.  He is one of the three that I interviewed before the job started.   I was leaning towards going with him, in fact; but his quote came in quite a bit higher than this one's.  I realize now it was a more accurate, honest reflection of what the job should cost.   He's on vacation right now, but has agreed to call me when he is back.  At this point, I suspect I'll just hire him to finish the room and get it up to code.  The millwork (the highlight of the room) will probably have to wait until I've recovered from this financial hit.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

May 2014 be a year of good friends, good times and good fortune for you.