Next stop: Thanksgiving 2010

Curb Appeal? Not so much.
Curb Appeal? Not so much.

Thanksgiving 2009 involved family, a road trip, and lots of yard work. Although Yeni and I made yet another trip to Florida, we sadly did not get the opportunity to visit all our friends and family “on the list.”

While traveling to sunny Fort Lauderdale, we took a pit-stop in Gainesville and checked out the house. The condition shocked us. It looked absolutely horrible and had what could only be described as negative curb appeal. We headed down to SoFla and knew we had to return and get down to business on some serious yardwork.

Borrowing a chainsaw from the old man, we quickly got to work on the thickest of foliage decorating the house.


Still in Florida

I’m still in Florida, but headed back to Michigan on Wednesday. I’ve been enjoying the warm weather, although it was 98 degrees yesterday in North Florida… much, much higher than Ann Arbor.

Anyway, this last weekend I:

  • Celebrated mom’s birthday with my family (including my sister and our spouses)
  • Had an AMAZING meal at Joe’s Stone Crabs (but, when do you not?)
  • Celebrated Mother’s day with the family
  • Worked a little in Boca Raton, FL
  • Enjoyed a nice afternoon on the beach with my wife.
  • Read some hilarious comments on the Gandy Dancer review

I’m looking forward to the drive up on Wednesday… love those Mountains.


Movies of 2008

Fred saw Iron Man in 2008
Fred saw Iron Man in 2008

I’ve said it before — I love movies. I simply love movies. Sure, not all movies receive my love; horror films and I never got along (except I did like Scream). And sadly, my sister and I have our movie senses switched as I like a good chick flick and she likes the scary ones. But as usual, I digress…

Back in 2002, when I was first posting rants online, I posted a little mini-rant about seeing movies in the theater (the site’s been through so many changes since then that I reposted back in 2007). When I was a kid, and even through high school, seeing movies in the theater brought great joy — even the bad ones. The bad ones? Yes Virginia, even seeing a bad movie in the theater was once a fun thing to do (I remember very well a loud, applauding standing ovation given to the movie Warlock when it ended; wow that was a bad movie). Anyway, I don’t know if it’s getting older, or adding commercials, or even changes in culture, but at this point, I’d much rather wait a few months, pop the film into the DVD, and watch it at home.

Maybe it’s because since 2002 I’ve had big wide-screen TV’s… or maybe it’s because in 2003 I bought that Bose system I always wanted… but nonetheless, if I could choose between watching a film at the house on my couch or going to see one in the theaters, 9 times out of 10 I’ll choose the house. Now I have made exceptions… I absolutely wanted to see the Star Wars films on the big, big screen… and Spider-man… and well most comic book films.

Which brings us back (thank God) to the point of this post… the movies I’ve seen in 2008.

Out of all the films that came out in 2008 (here’s the highest grossing 400 of them), I only saw a whopping four (4) of them. How sad is that? I’ve only seen 4 of the movies that came out in 2008. And out of those four, I saw only one of them in the theater (Iron Man). 

There were many more I’d like to have seen (and still would) such as Hancock, Indiana Jones, Dark Knight, WALL-E, Quantum of Solace, etc. But as of this post, these are the four I’ve seen, along with my patent pending 10 word or less review:

  • 27 Dresses
    Chick Flick complete with typical bar song singalong. Ok.
    Yeni says: “It was good. I liked it. Girly movie.” 
  • 21
    A little slow and long, but good nonetheless.
    Yeni says: “I slept through that movie.” 
  • Iron Man
    Excellent film. Must stay until after the credits.
    Yeni says: “Good. Fred loves it. I just like it.” 
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
    What? Really? How? Well, I saw it in Spanish.
    Yeni says: “Overacted. Like they don’t know how to act.” 

I have a yellow crowbar now

Yellow Crowbar, Utility Knife…

Punk bands from the 80’s?

Spackle, Measuring Fee…

Things you bought at Home Depot

And we have a winner. 🙂

Home Depot has carpet marked significantly lower than my previous estimate. They are running a 199 whole home installation (plus 15 bucks to move furniture)… and promised to have it done before next Friday. I’m as optimistic as life allows.

Now it’s off to Larry’s Subs to join Mr. Armstrong in a late night meal.

Did I mention how into Twitter I am lately? Crazy.

esposa Rant

Carpet Estimate — Ouchie!

First… let me tell you how big the Spiders are in Gainesville. They are what I like to call HFS big… (Holy Fucking Shit Big). Except for Peter Parker, I’ve never liked spiders… but at least growing up they were managable annoyances. Spiders in the South are large and in-charge. They are huge… beyond big… they have zip codes and in some counties can even vote. Anyway, the point here is (1) not liking spiders + (2) HFS big = scared Fred.

So last night, Mr. Big Spider trespasses into the home and decides that contrary to Darwin, survival is not important. Only importance is to run quickly to Fred. Well, knowing what you know about Fred and spiders, the reaction was that Fred quickly left his chair and went for a book. But, alas, the move has left Fred bookless. With no immediate weapons available, I did start to panic. (Digression: Why switch from 3rd to 1st person? Why not, it’s a rant y’all) Anyways… oh yes… weapons. So, I thought the shotgun was overkill… but I actually had to think about it. In the meantime, Mr. Aggressive Spider (yes his first name was Aggressive) decided he’d run to my new location.

Well that was that. The fight or flight response kicks in — and let’s face it… fatty isn’t flighty. So needless to say, Crocs are not the best weapon against spiders. Their grooved sole allows the spider to do whatever ninja moves they know to avoid death. So, I switched to jump and smear. And thus, Mr. Aggressive Spider is no more. Yeni wasn’t happy the spider was killed (apparently they are good luck?) but I explained my beliefs… if a spider is outside, no problem. Inside? Penalty for trespass is death. But, I’m sure he left many children to revenge his death, so… there’s always that. But today, at least one small victory is mine.

Speaking of not winning, the carpet estimate yesterday was around $1700. And… at $1700 I’d have to remove the rest of the living room wood floor myself. Ugh. So, today I’m headed to the Home Depot to see what kind of specials they have.


I'm not a great painter…

Well, there are three main rooms that need to be painted. The Kitchen, the Master Bedroom, and the Living Room.

The Kitchen was mostly a second coat. The lovely former real estate agent had her “handy man” paint the room, however they did at best what I’d call “half assed” work. Half-assed at best. So, I started painted and the realization of my painting skills became immediately apparent. I do not paint well. I do not paint well… at all.

Orlando and Linda came over and — BAM! It was like watching my parents paint. That there Orlando can sure paint him a room I tell you. Anyway, in no time the kitchen was done. My current plan is a room a day, and the kitchen was yesterday.

Tonight, Richard, Orlando, and Linda headed over and we tackled the bedroom. Well, Linda yelled at the TV during the debate and we tackled the painting. Prime, Paint, and actually looks good. After everyone left I finished up the trim and put all the face plates back on the walls.

Tomorrow… I paint Linda’s successfully spackled living room wall. Ooooh… and the carpet man should be by as well. 🙂

Gators Rant

Back in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, FL — So I’m back in Gainesville trying to get the house ready for selling. I had chosen a realtor who made some amazing decisions that would be sure to get me that “quick” sale. Here’s the short story:

Apparently my built-in entertainment center was something that made the house un-sellable, and according to the realtor impossible for anyone to imagine their furniture in my house. So, Ms. Realtor and her hired handyman remove the entertainment center, leaving some big ol’ holes in the wall and about 40 sq. ft. of hole in the wood floor. They start painting over the kitchen, because apparently the house should be a uniform color.

So, after about 2 weeks of seeing concrete in my wood floor, I start to stress. And stress hard. I call her and explain that I don’t know how the house will be ready for the deadline of 3 days. She goes nuts and literally starts yelling at me. Long story short — she says she cannot work with a client that won’t give her unconditional trust. And then she’s goes buh bye. Never gives me back the key… nada.

So after changing the locks (nice unexpected cost), I go to look for wood floor. No one makes the matching parque… NO ONE. I called Armstrong / Hartco (the manufacturer) who informs me they have discontinued the product and have not had inventory for at least 5 years. YAY!!!!

So, I’m now looking for carpet pricing and finishing painting. Trying to smile… thinking basically of Little Nemo and trying to “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”