I’m Gonna Jack you Up

We interrupt this radio silence for a little blegging.

It woud appear that Nine Mile Hill is swallowing my house.  Or at least half of it. 

After the fire in 2002, our house was gutted and rebuilt from the inside out.  The right half of the house (what we now call the “new half”) was completely destroyed, so even the exterior facing (stone) was built from scratch.  The left half (or “old half”) was simply gutted – the exterior remained (Crab Orchard stone is darned near indestructable).

For years now, I’ve noticed cracks in the exterior wall on the old half.  For the most part, we assumed this was due to the intense heat of the fire (we had appliances in the opposite end of the house from where the actual fire was – literally melt).  Yet, most of that was wishful thinking.  We have a section of sidewalk – otherwise known as “The lawsuit waiting to happen” that sunk a good three or four inches.

Yet, even that was explainable: the sidewalk sunk in the exact spot where the sewer was installed in the 90’s.  I’ve gotta fix that, but first thing’s first.

Just in the last month, the cracks in the old part of the house have gotten much bigger.  In one spot, it’s about a half inch wide!  For those of you who are curious, no, I haven’t yet called the company that did the blasting at the new Harding Academy fields.  I’ll get around to it, but right now, I’m like a politician: I’ve waited till the problem got too big to ignore, and now I’m throwing money at it.

So, I need foundation repair.  And my experience tells me I could very easily get ripped off here.  Repair people (both home and automotive) can see me coming a mile away.  many times, I find out years later that I was given more repair than I actually needed, or shoddy work, or was grossly overcharged, or even the recieved wrong repair.  Ignorance is very dangerous in a case like this.

So help me here: have any of you had any experience with the big gus, folks like Olshan?  Do they do good work, and are they generally honest?  Or should I go with a smaller company?  (I also have bad experiences when referred to such-and-such’s brother in law – almost as bad as being ripped off by the big guys).  The only local guy I trust is Susie’s husband.

How much money are we talking about here, on average?  Thousands? Tens of Thousands?  If any of you have had this done before, I’d like to know what it cost so I’ll know if I’m getting a fair estimate later.

I REALLY don’t have the money for this right now, but the alternative would truly be a disaster.  This is my bedroom that’s falling into the mountain, after all.

When I think of more action in my bedroom, this is NOT what I have in mind 🙂

Humility

For the second time in as many years, it has happened.  Last week, we met with our kids’ teachers.  The one concern, out of all the meetings for both kids, was Zaphod’s algebra homework.  The teacher said that he tests well, but he turns in incomplete answers on his homework because he doesn’t properly follow directions.

(I should add here that the kids are doing just fine.  This was a singular nitpick)

Now, Zaphod does his homework in the car on the way home (in order to free up time for important things like video games), so my solution was simple: no homework till he gets, well, home.  Also, I would start checking his algebra homework daily. 

(Lintilla has already given up, because algebra wasn’t her strong suit 30 years ago – she doesn’t remember any of it now.  But, the stuff Zaphod is working on is about at the level I use every day in my line of work – that’s kind of sad when you think about it.)

Anyway, Monday was the first day of this new policy.  And just like last year, when he got his grade, he got more answers wrong on the homework I had checked than any homework he had done previously.

It’s not that I don’t know the material.  My work programs use much of the same algebraic logic, and they work just fine, thank you.  No, I think what’s going on is that Zaphod gets his habit of not understanding instructions from me.  Many of you probably already know this from episodes of my responding on your blogs to things you didn’t say.  For a man with a flair for spouting flowery prose, my comprehension skills are crap.

Now, I have to write the humiliating email to the teacher, explaining why my son is now on his own when it comes to math homework.  If I want him to get good grades, I need to stay as far away as possible.

It is a good thing to get knocked down a notch or two every now and then.  We often become so full of ourselves, we refuse to see that maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do.

I pray you get the same epiphany, no matter how painful it might be in the moment.

2000: Susan Sarandon. 2004: Alec Baldwin. 2008: Slartibartfast

Conservative Party Wins Canadian Election

I hear they have some very nice restaurants in Vancouver.