All Chores Complete

Living Room Decor

Today, Joanie got her couch moved into her place. Two young men wrapped it up and moved it out. Joanie later texted that the couch is already cat approved. Put back together again, the living room looks pretty good now. The couch was one of three chores that I needed to get done in town. Yesterday, after way too long, I got the RAV4 back from Toyota and the day before that the window measuring guy came around the house and did his job. With these three chores complete, I am now free to move around the country.

Happy Earth Day!

Face of the Earth #3, Vito Acconci, 1988

Yesterday, we celebrated Earth Day a day early. I put money down for four new Energy Star windows. They should help conserve gas usage for heating in the winter and electricity use for cooling in the summer. These four windows represent the beginning of a ten-year plan to eventually redo the entire house. In conjunction with the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, we will leverage the purchase of these new windows and the future new windows yet to come using the act’s tax credit. Other nice aspects of these new windows are their tilt out design for easier cleaning and their vinyl cladding that eliminates the need for future painting. This action is more substantial than attending the annual Earth Day festival in Forest Park, where we usually go, to shop new windows at some of the various vendor booths. Instead of going to the festival, I plan to spend the day working in the yard. That sounds greener.

Window Sale

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Not much movement on either the car or the couch, but we have been otherwise consumed with shopping for new windows. We have nailed down the particulars of what we want. Four new windows, two in the master bedroom and two upstairs. We want them made of vinyl (white), with a tilt out feature for easier cleaning and they must be Energy Star certified, so that we can get the tax credit.

We booked appointments with four salesmen and could have had more, but why would you want that? The first guy showed up a day early or an hour late, depending on who was correct about the appointment’s time. His outfit was Mad City, a Wisconsin based firm. I assume out of Madison. They have recently opened an office in the area. He all too soon dropped a price that blew him out of the water. $7,000 per window was an order of magnitude higher than what I had expected. He was a talker and it seemed like forever before we could get him out of the house. As we had edged him to the front door, he launched into yet another story. This one set in northern Wisconsin. He and a partner were talking up a dairy farmer. They were still at it at midnight and this poor farmer had to get up at three to milk the cows. I felt for that farmer.

The next morning, we first met with “Glinda” the good witch. She represented Home Depot. Her spiel was much lower key as were her prices. She had PowerPoint slides and 3D models. From her I learned about virgin vinyl, not that I would have sex with a window, but apparently it is a selling point over recycled vinyl. Next up was Mike. Mike was Amish. Lapsed I think now. We got off topic and discussed our interactions with Amish communities both in Missouri and Michigan. Mike was easy to get off topic. He told us about a group of Amish who live in Sarasota. Among the Amish, it acts like their Las Vegas, “What happens in Sarasota, stays in Sarasota.” He had called earlier, while we were still meeting with Glinda, asking if he could move up his appointment. She overheard the conversation and told me later that he would not be able to meet her price. This was true, but only because she dropped her price once again in her proposal. Mike had an exact copy of the model that Glinda demoed, but naturally his was better.

Window on the World

Registry Hall Windows Ellis Island

The new blue couch has arrived. Anne was able to lie on it last night and watch her favorite Sunday night PBS programs, but not before way too much IT support was provided. After repeated rebooting of the TV, Direct TV controller, ATT modem and the computer, I was able to get everything to play nicely together again. Another aftermath of Saturday night’s wild weather. I have an appointment scheduled with local movers to move Joanie’s couch to her new place on Friday. This will complete our couch project.

The saga of the squirrel damaged RAV4 continues. I spoke with the Toyota service tech on Friday, and he wanted to get my insurance company’s contact info, because he had found some additional wiring damage caused by the squirrel. He said that the wires to the right headlight had been chewed, which is distressing, because when we went to the theater last week at night, that headlight was definitely working. That could mean that the squirrel is still going after the car and is unfazed by any of my peppermint oil repellants. 

Starting tomorrow, I jump feet first into the deep end of the pool and begin interacting with sharks, also-known-as new window salesmen. Windows are a lucrative product to sell, high priced and easy to install. Currently, as part of the Inflation Reduction Act the US Government is offering a 30% tax credit to homeowners, if they replace older, less energy efficient windows with newer Energy Star certified windows. The government will cover up to $3200 every year until 2033. Every window in this house was installed in 1937, so they are all ripe for replacement. Perusing Andersen windows pricing, four windows could be affordable within a $3200 annual budget. I have four salesmen lined up.

Finally on my list of projects is our home’s main lateral waterline. If it is galvanized, then it is eligible for free replacement by the water company, but if it is copper than no luck. I already know that it is not lead, so no worries there. I am a big fan of free or discounted home improvement. 

Ding-Dong Ditch

Photo by Elti Meshau on Unsplash

Last night, while I was fixing dinner in the kitchen someone banged loudly on our front door. Anne was watching TV on the couch and saw the responsible individual running away, first down our walk and then up the street. It looked like a kid to her, who was wearing a hoodie. I stopped cooking and opened the front door. There was no flaming sack of stuff on our front porch or really anything out of the normal. I also checked the RAV4 and the backyard, but nothing seemed out of the normal. It is a mystery, or is it? Twenty years ago, our boys were in high school. It was early in the morning, and we were preparing for a family car trip. I went out to load the car and noticed that our next-door neighbor’s yard had been TP-ed. At that time, our neighbor was a single middle-aged woman. It seemed strange, but we hit the road anyway. As it turned out, the culprits were a pair of girls who Dan liked. Nowadays, our other side next-door neighbor’s place again houses two high schoolers. Mmmm… What are the chances that a pair of seniors would be singled out for some childish prank versus the chance that some dumb kid hit the wrong house? Maybe, I should put a sign up on the front door that says, “Wrong Door,” add an arrow and the message, “Go Next Door.” It beats complaining about it on Neat-Door Neighbor.

Conch Shell Helmet

Helmet in the Form of a Conch Shell, Nagasone Tojiro Mitsumasa, 1618

We ordered our new washer yesterday. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Today, I had another pair of men disconnect the old washer’s water supply lines and install new faucets. The old lines were too corroded for me to remove. One more day to go and I will be able to start washing all of the clothes of the unclean masses that have washed up upon our shore. It looks like the actual washer will be only about half of the total cost of this little project.