One More Reason

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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

I forgot to add one thing in yesterdays post, where I used the term Predication Worker.
In the process of selling a home, the inspector comes up with a list of things that need to be brought up to code before the house can be sold. Or in the process of obtaining an Occupancy Permit, same thing, a list of things that need to be done for the house to pass code.
This List of things from the Inspector is called a Predication List.
And anyone who is Qualified to make ALL the repairs on that list is known as a Predication Worker.
We are a rare bird, and we are far and few between!
So needless to say, we are in great demand by Real Estate Agents.
In many cases, the building inspectors are who set the price for having those jobs completed, and my normal price was usually around half of what the going rate was, however, I charged a bit more for predication work than I did to my regular customers, but only because I know the Real Estate Agents use the inspectors set prices for closing on houses.
So basically, I'm not costing the seller any more, but cutting out how much extra the Real Estate Agent steals from the seller.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

You have enlightened me on two subjects; plat surveys and Predication Workers. I've seen more than a few plat surveys in my days but until today I didn't realize I was looking a boxes and not actual structures. LOL Well, it was so much mumbo jumbo that I never had to pay attention to it all. That's why I had a real estate lawyer handle all that stuff. All I had to do was sign the papers at the closing. OIh, and of course I also had to have the Predication Work done.

We agree entirely that you are one rare bird, especially in the world of rehab. Gaining expertise in several trades is not an easy task, which is why your breed of contractor is so hard to find. It was a good position to be in because demand for your services was so high and you could set the terms. Your tendency to be fair and keep the rates low was your hallmark, but certainly not typical. You spent many years and tons of cash to achieve the status you eventually did, and I can see no reason why you should not have been rewarded for your efforts. You were in fact better than the best of them. Instead of charging at a discount for your service, you could have charged a premium without much resistance from your clients.

I'm not sure how much good it would do you now, but clever phones, even the cheap ones, are very good at navigation. That's because they typically have Google Maps as an app installed. The equivalent from Apple stinks from what I hear. You could argue that navigation via a stand alone GPS would be just as good as that in those clever phone apps and you would be right. It doesn't take much to connect two points on a map; the algorithm is a standard function. The clever phone advantage is in finding all those interesting places that have more to do with entertainment than with navigation. The satellite views are spectacular when it comes to detail, and there is nothing like the street views to prime your expectations of what your destination looks like at ground level. Exploring the environment is a much better experience on the clever phone than it ever was on the GPS. The only shortcoming would be those areas on the surface of this planet which are not covered by cell phone frequencies. They are rare and never gave me a problem when I was on the road.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

I hear ya! I always used a title agent to close on properties I handled. Safest way!

I had a lot of my customers who after I finished the job and gave them my bill, they sometimes added 10 to 20% gratuity to it.
So that was nice, and I appreciated those who did. Needless to say, if they needed something else, I jumped when they called.

Debi has Schmartz-Fonz with GPS in them, and if you use Google Maps, you can get the ground view.
This really helped me when I was looking for the box company to pick up boxes I ordered.
Had it not been for Debi's Schmartz-Fone and Google Maps at ground level, I wouldn't have found the place.
I had their address right, but there was a gravel road with many buildings down there, and it didn't look to welcoming to go down that road. Even had a BIG SIGN that said NO TRESPASSING at the front gate.
And you couldn't tell from the gate if there was a box company down that drive or not.
No trucks parked there to indicate there was either. Turns out the location was just their office, and I had to go further down the gravel road to where the activity was going on, which you couldn't see from the front gate or from their office.

I've used Google Maps a few times before I went somewhere, and if you get down on ground view, you can find just what the building looks like, and those you pass on the way to get there. This helps and old geezer like me immensely.

I had a cousin call me the other day wanting phone numbers for relatives.
I wasn't sure who it was at first, because it just showed law offices of on the caller ID.
Turns out one of last remaining aunts has passed away, and although she had a Will, she had not updated it in decades.
In any case, she wanted her estate handled in Probate, which is a dumb thing to do, since the government takes a lot when you do go that route.
And of course, the lawyers want to divvy up the estate in a manner slightly different than my aunt intended.
Base on how her will reads, she wanted her estate to be divided up equally among her brothers and sisters, and if they are deceased, then that share would be divided among the surviving children.
The way I take that to mean, assuming she had 10 brothers and sisters, that 10% of the proceeds would go to each persons family. And if that person and their spouse were both deceased, then the families 10% would be divided among their children.
The attorney is acting like he is going to divide it equally among all the surviving children. Which as usual means that Uncle Clarence with 14 kids, would get the Lion's Share as usual.
But the way it reads, his 14 kids would only get the 10% earmarked for Clarence and his spouse. And if they are gone, which they are, that 10% to Clarence's family would then be split among his surviving kids, of which I think there are 11 still alive.
If the attorney does divide it the way he wants to, then those of us with only four siblings will lose out what we should have received. Not that she had much money to start with. But the sale of her house should fetch at least 175 grand or more, of which the government and lawyers would probably take 75 grand of that.
If he divvies up the remaining money the way it should, I should get around 2,300 dollars.
If not, and he takes all the kids from all the families and gives each an equal portion, we'll be lucky to see even 500 bucks.
My aunt never married, but lived with a friend in her house. When that friend died, my aunt split her assets with her family members, which was basically most of her cash, and she kept the house and what was left in her savings account after the split, which included the value of the house at that time.
FWIW: Nothing in our family divisions was ever done fairly. Grandpa tried to make it so before he died, but even so, all of his daughters got the Lion's' Share of the cash, more than the Lion's Share of his property, and that was after he built a subdivision of new homes and gave each girl a new house. The boys got no property per say, other than what the business sat on, and they collectively got the business itself. Here too, Clarence got the Lion's Share of the business. He was CEO and President, my Dad was Vice-President and Treasurer, uncle Louis who sold us out by suing us for his share of everything at 10 year estimated evaluation, and uncle Leonard was Secretary, and Inventory control. Uncle Louis actually had the cushy job as doing PR for the company and getting the larger clients, of which he got a bonus from that too as a percentage of sales. But he had bigger goals in mind and started a huge box company by buying out three existing box companies. And ironically, other than being the big shot, he never actually worked in any of them, hired business work out, and had a company who took care of the hiring, training, and firing of employees. He got rich off his share of the money he sued us for. And the business, thanks to Clarence always running it into the ground, never made as much over the decade as it should have. Plus all the brothers fought all the time, and to keep the peace Dad and Leonard always let Clarence win. Sad, my friend, Sad.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

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Perhaps the greatest disappointments of my childhood was the fact that I had no siblings. I recall bugging mom for quite some time about us getting a sister. Eventually she explained it to me. Apparently I broke the mold when I came into this world. That's all I ever found out and mom never went into details about exactly what was broken. I was very young and disappointed, but took it all in stride. There were times, especially in grammar school, when other kids talked about their brothers and sisters. I felt sad for the longest time, but eventually got over it. I was a loner after all and only in retrospect did I come to the conclusion having siblings would not have worked well for me. As much as I wanted some companionship, I feel fortunate in some ways whenever I hear stories like yours. I always thought there was a lot of special love between siblings, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty it's every sibling for themselves.



I must tell you that I'm not in a very good mood at the moment. We had to put down our doggie tonight. It's not the first pooch we had to do this with but the sadness and loss of a companionship is just as strong as it was the very first time. I know you can empathize with me given the stories you have told here recently. Our old gal was about ten but had many problems. She was in pain and was only getting worse. We could have tried medications but the vet could not give us an optimistic prognosis even so. Thus, Molly has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. My wife of many years claims this is the last one. But, then again, that is what she said shortly before Molly came to live with us. So, who knows? I suggested we start an aquarium. That idea didn't go over very well at all. She hates fish, turtles, and reptiles of any kind. I told her about your chimp, but she wasn't receptive to that idea either. I guess I'll just sit here and be somber for a while. :sad: :realsad:
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

Brothers and sisters are the ENEMY, put their for us to beat up on, or get beaten up by, hi hi.

I'm sorry to hear your Molly has crossed over the rainbow bridge.
Get another pooch. We've always had at least two around the house at any given time, but normally three or more.
One basically trains the other, so they are all well behaved.
We just lost another one on 5/12/2022, so I know how you feel.

We have a Parrot also, they live to be around 85 years old, so will be around long after we are gone.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

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Based on past experience I'd say there is a 60% chance Molly will be replaced. I don't know the time frame, but it can happen if history repeats itself. The current problem is that my wife of many years has arthritis problems that prevent her from doing simple things, such as attach a leash to the dog's collar. Since she is the primary keeper of pets, that problem with her hands could be decisive. Plus it's a heartache. The doggie was sick for a while and we took care of her as well as we could. It was not pleasant toward the end. And, the actual process of the dog crossing the bridge while holding onto her is a tear jerker. Well, that last part was an option that my wife has chosen to follow every time.

My two daughters got along only because they had to. We only had one bedroom for them to share and they were forced to confront each other daily. It never was a bitter contest but the rivalry was evident quite often. As adults with children of their own they get along fabulously. Then, too, they live several states apart from one another. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

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In our case, it is the cost of ownership that has made us reconsider, but if we did get another pooch, it would already be a senior pooch with issues. The reason for this is so when we die, they won't be sent to a shelter.
We have two relatives who want my little Moky dog, and four who want my Parrot, actually six, but I'm only counting the ones I'm considering. I gave my large Cockatoo to Debi's cousin who has always had large birds, and her health was so bad, I shouldn't have. The Cockatoo was an older bird, around 65 or so, but it died under mysterious circumstances, of which I think was her cousin forgot to fill her water dish. She loved to hop in it which tossed all the water out, so it had to be checked quite often.

I was thinking of getting a couple of Pullets, and even found a chicken coop with a clean-out drawer to make it easier to take care of. They had 164 of them in stock so I wasn't in a rush. But after that egg farm burned down, the largest in the U.S. of A. who did 3 million eggs per day. Almost overnight, all styles of chicken coops made by this company sold out. They only had two of the super expensive ones left, much more than I could afford. But it doesn't matter, the local CoOp who always has Pullets for sale have sold completely out also. And those other places who have not sold out, instead of being 3 bucks and 5 bucks each, are now 35 to 75 dollars each. Crazy!

I had my two kids, and Ruth's two kids. The boys shared one bedroom and the girls the other bedroom, and Ruth and I made our room down in the basement. This was actually good because we could hear what was going on upstairs, hi hi.
After I did some more renovations, each kid had their own room, and we had a new kitchen where the dining room used to be. We still stayed in the basement. Once my daughter went to live with her mother, then we moved upstairs to what was originally the master bedroom, but I had temporarily divided for a short time when the kids were younger.
When my three older step-children had to stay with us, it was usually only one at a time, but once it was two of them at once. They had to share with the girls in their two rooms, which worked out OK. The oldest girl got married while in college, so never returned home, the youngest got married while living with us after her graduation, so she moved out after the wedding, naturally. And I told you about my buying the boy a house, that turned out to be his grandmothers house.
After college, Ruth's son moved to Detroit to work for the Big Three, so that left only my son, and Ruth's daughter to live with us. Right before Ruth passed away, my son moved out to my parents home to be closer to where he was working, and Ruth's daughter stayed with me after Ruth's death and for about a month after I married Debi. She wanted to stay, but her relatives were giving her a lot of grief for not getting her own apartment, and she was making plenty of money to do so. She ended up taking an upscale apartment in the heart of Clayton, MO, where she worked as a graphics designer and artist.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

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I only thought of raising chickens as a novelty. We never lived anywhere that would allow farm animals as pets. I was more serious about acquiring a few ducks when I heard they like to eat things such as dandelions. But, alas, they too are considered farm animals. For some reason or another I was unaware of the egg farm fire. We don't consume a lot of eggs and half a dozen could last us a few weeks. Thus if the prices went up it would not be a major shock to our grocery bill. But, I suppose eggs are not like oil refineries or baby formula factories where losing one would upset the country's entire supply chain.

With all those children to raise and provide housing for you must be an expert at parenting. It also helped that you were talented enough to rearrange the floor plan of your house to accommodate the frequently changing number of residents. It was insane when both our girls were teenagers, and I can't imagine a household with more than that. Then, too, I hear the kids tend to take care of each other when their numbers increase. Perhaps that is true, but I am very happy I did not have to find out.

Apparently Cockatoos are not the same as Cockatiels. My youngest daughter loved the latter variety of bird and had a few for many years. They didn't seem to live very long, which I suppose is normal for that variety of bird. I didn't think any bird would be capable of living beyond a dozen years or so, and a 65 year old parrot is very impressive. I'm guessing such birds would probably be as expensive as a small automobile, if they are still legal to own these days.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

Since we were annexed, I didn't think we could have chickens either, but learned something new.
We can have Hens, NO Roosters inside the city limits.
They prefer them to be in cages 24/7, and they do make cages that roll around so you can place them in different areas of your yard each day or week.
I found a cage that has a Drawer under the Roosting Poles at waist high, which makes keeping them clean much easier.
And the one I looked at had two large nesting boxes, with a lid you open from the outside, like a small roof.
The design does leave a lot to be desired though, so some minor modifications should be added, such as a weatherstrip at the hinged edge of the nesting box roof so water won't leak inside.
All of the lower cost coops have sold out lock, stock, and barrel. Plus you can't find any Pullets right now either.
Heck, that 3 million eggs per day farm that burned served 2/3 of our country. Not only with eggs.
I did hear they only lost around 200,000 chickens in the fire, but hardly any of the chickens are laying now either.
As a side note: Having only one chicken is bad, because they get lonely, two is the minimum one should own, and three is considered the best route to keep them happy.
Now I don't intend on killing any of them for food, and also let them free range in the backyard as much as possible.
But also, due to my health, I don't want to leave the frau the burden of taking care of a chicken coop. One Parrot and it's cage is plenty enough work, and I have it partially semi-automated, hi hi.

Moving partition walls around in a house isn't all that hard. The bugger bear is if the hardwood floors were put in after the walls were up, which is usually the case. So along with moving walls, I would tear up the floor, remove the walls, the put the floor back in first, and then the walls, so I could move them again later. And to keep things up to code, you have to have X number of electrical outlets in each wall, and each bedroom has to have a window to outside as the second mode of egress in case of a fire.
You would have loved some of the fancy things I did over the early years in that house, before turning it back into a normal house, hi hi.
I know you saw some pictures of what it looked like on the outside before I redid the outside and added the huge den with the soapstone stove. That room almost got a sunken living room, but we decided against it.

Cockatoo's are about 4 to 6 times larger than a Cockatiel. Plus there are some very large Cockatoo's like the one I had. It was a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo. They are not the best birds to have because of the amount of dry white dander they put out. In other words, they are a dry dusty bird, compared to a Parrot. Parrots most varieties are oil skinned, and they take their own baths often. They have no dander to speak of.
At today's prices, my Blue-fronted Amazon would be worth around 6,000 bucks. He was worth around 4 grand when I got him, but I didn't have to pay that for him, he was a rescue, but still cost close to a grand, not counting the large cage.
Blue-fronted Amazons are the ones who talk clearly and imitate the voice that trained them fairly close. But they also whiste, and if not happy with something will scream at you. Mine will holler QUIET when he's the one making the noise. And at lunchtime, if I sit down at the counter instead of feeding him first, he WILL let me know it is HIS LUNCHTIME.
Debi said she did not like birds at all. The irony behind that is, she has made a good friend of Moocher and he loves her to pieces. Always says Hello when she comes into the room and begs to have his head scratched to her. If you need to leave the room, just tell him Bye Bye, and he will say Bye or See You Later, and be quiet after that. But if you don't say Bye, he will start whistling for you to acknowledge the whistle with the reply whistle he likes to hear.
Most large Parrots live to around 85 years old in captivity, but only about 35 to 40 in the wild.

My son came home with a BB Parrot one year at the end of the school year to keep over summer.
After it died on him, I checked to see how long they normally lived, and it was only like 5 to 6 years, and this guy was already going on 7 years old. I called his teacher and told her, and she said she was glad the rest of the kids didn't find it dead in the cage during the school year. She said she knew it was around time, which is why she sent him home with my son, she knew we had and cared for many birds, so my son should be used to seeing them not last so many years.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

During my tenure at Motorola I met two people who owned African Gray Parrots. They claimed this parrot was the absolute best at reproducing human voice sounds. They also spoke highly of the bird's intelligence and how quickly they can learn things. Humans and animals can communicate under certain circumstances, but I would not go so far as to call an animal intelligent. If they were so intelligent they would not be animals. LOL I may have also met a pirate or two who owned blue (turquoise) fronted parrots. Seems like I did but I don't have any vivid memories of such. And, of course many people own cockatiels. You are the only person I can recall who owns a Cockatoo. Likewise you are the only person I know who owed a chimpanzee. My personal experience with birds have been confined to parakeets, canaries, and finches. The finches were the best looking birds, but they needed special care that I wasn't able to provide. None of them lasted very long in my care. All the birds were messy and a chore to keep their cages clean. That's the main reason I"m not thinking of a bird pet at the moment.

I know what you mean about moving walls around hardwood flooring. We had some oak floors installed in the last house and it was truly amazing watching the carpenters install it. Most of it was straight lumber that had to be nailed down in a specific way. The nails went in at a specific angle. These guys had an air gun to do it, but I've also seen floors installed with old fashioned hammers and drifts. The nailing is a lot of work but the true skill of the carpenter shows in the trim work. Cutting notches of wood to fit odd shaped crevasses is a skill that must need a lot of practice. The last guys I watched had it and did some marvelous cuts. I can't see uninstalling something like that because it seems the nails at an angle would splinter the wood if you tried to remove the slats. Then, too, if you had to patch some spots I must be impossible to find lumber stock that matches exactly.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

Cockatoos namely the really large ones, are usually only owned by zoo's, and few very wealthy people, hi hi.
The reason most normal folks don't want them is because of the high amount of white dust.
I kept Jessie in my office for only 6 months, and everything up here looked like a talcum powder bomb exploded in here.
Keeping him in the house wasn't much of a problem, because he would go and take a shower in our shower every day.
He just loved that too. And the room he was in was fairly bare, no furniture to speak of. And our Rhoomba kept the floor clean. So all we had to do was dust off the freezer, cedar chest, and mantle.
But with my breathing problems, it was best that we gave him to Debi's cousin who already had African Grays and Cockatoos herself.

I had a tool for installing real hardwood flooring, we used a big rubber mallet to hit the driver head. It worked great too!
You normally nail a hardwood floor from the tongue side of the lumber, and when you tear it up, if you do it the right way, it only leaves a hole in the tongue, sometimes it breaks a little bit of tongue, but that's no big deal, you can't see the tongue once the floor is down. The killer is when they use a staple gun to put down a hardwood floor, those staples don't pull out and will usually break a section of tongue off. So when I did hit areas that were put down using staples, I would take the time to cut the staple top off, which is two cuts per staple.
I was working in a house once where they used a tacky tar underlayment, so the lumber was stuck like glue.
I normally use tarpaper myself, but I usually buy the thicker mica coated tarpaper. Makes the floor sound better too.
The hardest place to put down a hardwood floor is next to a brick wall or especially a hearth where you cannot place a trim piece. But there is a trick to everything one needs to do in such situations. I had a locking compass that floated in and out on a long straightedge. You line up the piece that needs cut before installation exactly on top of the last piece of flooring next to the wall. Then you scribe the entire length of the piece of lumber, and use a scroll saw or side cutting sabre saw to make all the cuts. I always left 1/16th inch play, because I placed a tan foam strip against the bricks. Then the next trick is to get that last pieces groove side slipped onto the tongue and drop it in place without knocking your foam out of place. Here too, another trick, save all the old slats from mini-blinds so you have a slick surface for the board to push down against so the foam gets compressed a tad more until you pull the slats out. Then you just trim the top of the foam with a razor knife. This keeps dirt from getting down under the floor where it meets the brickwork. The board itself fits into the mortar joints also, so there are no gaps wider than 1/16th inch along that wall or hearth.

As an aside, in much older homes, you will not find a single knot in any of the hardwood floors, where in today's homes, if they use real hardwood, you will find a few knots here and there. Sometimes people want the most knotty of the flooring too. Which is bad really, because as the wood dries over the years, those knots can come loose.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

I recall a bird bath in the yard of the house I grew up in. I'm not sure if my grandpa made it or not, but it was poured concrete. There was a center pillar upon which a bowl was fitted to accommodate at least a dozen birds all bathing at once. It was a plain structure without any stone work for decorations which is why I think it could have been home made. In any case watching the birds bathe in that bath was fun only to be exceeded by my filling the bowl every morning with the garden hose. I seem to recall a few birds which preferred the garden hose spray to the bowl. Some would fly right through it as I was filling the bowl. These birds were mostly sparrows and robins. No way could I imagine a full grown cockatoo taking a similar shower. LOL You certainly have a way with animals.

That last house of ours had one brick wall inside in back of the wood burning stove. The first thing the new owner did was take out that brick wall and stove so that two rooms separated by the wall would have an open look and feel. The oak flooring we had installed butted against that brick wall, but the challenge of making the floor meet the bricks was not as elaborate as what you describe. It seems as if the bricks were places on a run of angle iron. It might have been an I-beam but all I saw was the top part upon which the bricks were laid. Originally a ceramic tile floor was installed. The tiles went under the bricks, and under the angle iron. I don't recall it ever being a cleaning problem. When the tiles were removed and the oak floor installed, the wood went under the bricks just as did the tile. I believe the wood was thicker so that it actually butted against the angle iron instead of going under it like the tiles. It looked great and there too I don't recall any problems with dirt accumulating or cleaning.

The wood burning stove was left in place on top of 24" square section of ceramic tile that was retained for fire code reasons. Actually, maybe it was more than 24" square because 18" had to separate the stove from the wood floor. In any case, the floor installer made a frame around the tiles to meet the wood floor. It looked great to me until one of the tiles cracked. That's when we discovered those tiles still exist 25 years later, but are now 1/4th inch smaller than the originals. LOL Why in all hell did they do that? I suppose the answer has to do with costs. I patched in the new tile as best I could and the new owner didn't complain because he intended all along to rip it out anyway. I never saw what he did, but I know there is a huge square of missing oak flooring where the wood burning stove used to be. The flooring would be easy to find, but I don't know about the stain we put on it. Then matching all the slats to look good must have been a major challenge.

And, by the way, the oak flooring was without knots. We did pay extra for that luxury. We weren't too worried about the knots breaking loose, but my wife just didn't want to see any knots in our floor. She grew up in a house with knotty pine walls in her basement and she hated them. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

All birds love to take a shower. Or I should say, I never saw one who didn't.
I had a little fountain in my front yard in Creve Coeur, with an electric pump.
Besides filtering and recycling the water like it was pouring out of a Grecian Urn.
I added a couple of small holes in the feed line to the buck so it sprayed a small mist across the left side of the fountain bowl.
The birds would land, drink, play in the water, and then move over under the shower for a bit.
The only bad thing was birds are messy, so I had to clean and fill it every day, including cleaning the pumps filter.
I finally figured out a way so so much gunk didn't get to the pump filter, by adding a Dobie pad over the intake of the fountain itself, where the water moves from the bowl to under the framework that holds the pump with statue above it.
I had a resin fountain here, but it cracked in the winter. I've glued it back together a few times, and now it just sits empty.

There were a lot of jobs where I lucked out and could just butt the flooring against the brickwork, mainly because of like you said, the bricks sat in a channel, and/or the mortar was flush with the front of the bricks. I still used my little foam strip because wood expands and contracts slightly with the humidity in the house, and the temperature too.
I had to put a ceramic tile floor in a houses foyer that had a glass block wall as a divider. I thought this was going to be a nightmare of a job. When I got to work on the day to lay the subfloor and tile, the owner had lifted up that glass block wall giving a good foot of space under it in which to work, and he made the chalk like of where to end the subfloor and where to end the floor tiles. I sorta dreaded that job at first, because the original subfloor had to be removed down to the floor joists, and the floor joists trimmed down 1/2 inch, which I had the tool to do that. Turns out, I didn't need to do that, because the house originally had a tile floor that was removed and a double piece of subfloor was there. Talk about lucking out on a hard job made super easy for me, hi hi. I couldn't help but ask the owner how in heck he lifted that glass block wall up, because I knew it had to weigh over 500 pounds. I learned something I never knew before that day. He bought the wall pre-made, so it had straps you couldn't see around it holding it together as a single unit. It had an brown anodized aluminum frame around it, of which he removed the open side of that so he could slide it up inside the other end of the frame. How he did it was interesting too. He just used a pair of floor jacks in his basement with a foot long piece of rebar on top of each floor jack. Cranked it up, by himself, turning each jack a turn at a time until it was up as high as he wanted it. Then he put a piece of 1x4x10 in the channel on the right to set it back down on, and a 4x4x10 on the open end just outside of where the tile ended.
So, I'm not the only Schmartz one out there, hi hi. Needless to say, I only charged him for my time by the hour, so he saved a bundle over what I thought it would cost him.

It's a shame those tiles cracked on you. Meant they were not installed properly in the beginning.
As far as matching paint or stain, it really isn't that hard if you have the stuff to do it with.
I didn't have the fancy electronic gizmo's back then like they have to day, that lets a computer tell you what to blend.
We just had cards similar to the paint chip cards, but for stains. Even if you had the original can of stain, it wouldn't match what was there, because the topcoat of lacquer or urethane would have yellowed after a few years. Sometimes you can luck out and be able to chip some of the original finish off a piece of scrap and tint the urethane with a touch of yellow ochre. Or if you only have a piece to match with the stain chart, then you just blend the stain to match what it looks like now, then add the urethane coating as a clear coating over it. Most of the time you can't tell a difference between old and new.
In fact, for painting, we used to have these little vials where you only use a drop or two after you have a close to perfect match of the paint, we called these vials by the names of what they emulated. For example, candle soot, oil furnace soot, fireplace smoke, cigarette smoke, and old grime, plus a tungsten white, for if our blend was a shade too dark, hi hi.
The hardest colors in the world to match is the Blues. We even had a bottle of liquid silver colorant to get some blues to match up right. But you don't want to spend too much time getting a perfect match if it is easier and faster just to repaint the entire wall where a repair was made on.
I had one guy who got mad at me, said the touch-up bottle of stain I gave him didn't match the sample he gave me.
Fortunately, I still had the sample and showed him, it matched perfectly with the sample. He even agreed it did.
Told him I would stop by his house so he could show me the mismatch. Good thing I brought the sample piece along with me too. The sample he gave me was from the window side of the room, and the piece he replaced was on the opposite wall from the windows, so had faded considerably over the years. I held up the sample he gave me to what was up there. I said see, the sample you gave me is dark, like the other side of the room. He admitted to the fault, and had me match what was on that side of the room, which I could do easily by adding a little tungsten white to the batch I mixed up for him. At least he was then happy.

Don't feel bad, my dad had the front inside of our flower shop done with Pecky Cypress and it only had rolled on whitewash over it, so you saw all the tan striplike holes in the wood. And that bare wood kept getting darker and darker over the years, and painting over the face with a short nap roller didn't help much.
It was a job, but I spray painted that entire wall a bright but subdued blue color first, so all the holes were now blue, well the whole wall was blue after I sprayed, but then I rolled on a coat of white primer and a coat of white semi-gloss paint over the face of the wood. Then put everything I had to move back in it's place. Oh, the front of the service counter was the same wood, so I had to do that too. I lucked out and found some white Formica with about the same color blue odd shaped ovals, popular in that era, and put the new Formica over the old.
When the employees came in on Monday morning, they couldn't believe how clean and bright the sales area was now. I still didn't know what dad would say, hi hi. He came in the back door and went straight to his desk. It wasn't until everyone was complimenting him on how nice the sales room looked now. He got up and took a look for himself. He was pleased, thank goodness, hi hi. But didn't like the old dyed green concrete floor anymore, especially the areas by the doors where it wore enough to show the river sand in the concrete. We usually kept those areas covered with a black comfort mat.
I didn't want to chance putting down a new vinyl floor over the existing floor because dad had it made with dark green dye for a reason. But then the day came when he had the kitchen and first floor hallway done in a pour chip floor and loved it. I already knew about and installed several of those, but never thought dad would go for it. However, since he liked his so well, I got all set up to do the floor of the flower shop in the exact same chip pattern he had picked out, but with two major differences. I had Rogers Wire Works make our company logo in bright brass wire about 3 foot wide by 4 foot tall, and after the glue and chips were down on the floor, I laid one at each doorway where the mats used to be. Then we poured an extra thick layer of the clear topping over the whole floor. This made it look even better than what dad had in his house.
We couldn't put the all the free standing shelves or the front counter back in that room until Monday morning, so the floor had time to set properly. I got there an hour before we normally opened, and had a couple of the workmen meet me there that early so we could put everything back where it belonged and refill the shelves. Trouble is, dad decided to come in super early also, and saw all of our front inventory lined up on the workers work stations. We already had the free standing shelves back out on the floor, but the counter was still blocking the side door the employee's come in, and the main walkway between the back and the front of the shop. The counter was way back, because the shelves were in front of it in the walkway. They were already back in place when he got there. But he couldn't get through to see what was going on. Not just yet anyhow.
Although he was happy with seeing it all done, he showed me something and said he wished he had known I was going to do that, because he had already picked out a pattern of the same pour chip floor he planned on having put in by the installers who did his house, at about 5 to 10 times more than it cost him by my doing it. There really wasn't much difference in the patterns, the one he picked out was a little heavier on the green and the one I chose was like the one in his house, a little heavier on the whites and blues, and the blues matched the blue I used on the Pecky Cypress. All the customers loved our new front room look too! So all was well with dad!
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

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I read your replies in the reverse order that you post them. My instincts are to read from top down but your instincts are to write from bottom up. Regardless you warned me in the other thread that this was going to be long. I think you outdid yourself with details here. I love reading it all and I'm sure some of those old memories bring you a smile or two as well. It's just a lot to comprehend, and difficult to come up with an appropriate response. I guess you had that problem in the other thread we have going.

The bird bath with a side shower spray is a stroke of brilliance. It sounds like the kind of product that has a lot of buyers out there waiting for it to appear in the markets. It seems to be true that certain birds like to splash around in the water, but I have to wonder what good it does. It must be the evaporation of the water cooling them off that is the attraction. I can't see much moisture going down below the feathers, which seem to be waterproof to begin with. Part of my reasoning is the observation that some birds prefer to fly through a water spray as opposed to sitting in a tub of water. That's just enough to get the evaporation going. I doubt any water actually gets down to the bird's skin via a fly by.

Stains are almost impossible to match because a lot depends on how it is applied and the conditions under which it is absorbed and dried. When we had the windows replaced in the old house I happened to have a small can of the original stain used on the woodwork. It was made by Pratt and Lambert which the contractor recognized because they went out of business many years prior to this remodeling. He took the can and matched the new windows as close as he could. The new stain was different when held up close to the old stain, but that didn't matter. The windows were all on the outer walls while the rest of the woodwork was on the inner walls. Thus you could not tell the difference because the two very similar colors were separated by a good distance. And, as it happened, the new owner did a lot of remodeling and removed a lot of the inner woodwork in the process.



We are sitting at 95F as I write this and it looks like it's going to be that hot for the rest of this week. My daughter up near Chicago is on the northern edge of this heat wave and yesterday they were within walking distance of an apparent tornado. Fortunately it didn't touch down but the skies were green and the rain was horizontal for a while. Tree branches all over the place was the only damage, fortunately.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

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That is another difference between wild birds and tropical birds.
That white powder that Jessie put off was like a water repellent, as is the oily feathers of Moocher.
Tropical birds will often fluff up their feathers enough the water gets down to their skin, while I've never seen a wild bird do that. They may splash around and flap their wings, but I've noticed their body feathers are usually held down tight.
While the Tropical birds I've had, will raise their feathers to get wet. But the feathers themselves don't get wet, due to the powder or the oils.

Each type of wood absorbs stain differently. Oak is dense and hard to get stain to soak in, while fir gobbles it up like a magnet to iron powder, so the same color stain looks really dark on fir, or pine for that matter. And on the Oak, you may need to apply several coats before you get down to the color you want. Waste a lot too from putting it on and wiping it off before it becomes tacky.
I once had to stain the exposed rafters and bottom of the roofing on a house that did not have a soffit, and it was a Hip Roof so all sides of the house and els had to be done. And do this without dripping any on the brickwork or sidewalks below. I also had to get the back side of the facia boards also without getting any stain on the bottom edge of the board that was painted white.
I couldn't use a brush, although I had to because of the nails on the roofing poking through, so I used a nose-nipper and spent half a day just cutting off those protruding nails.
I used a small roller as much as I could, then hit the spots, like the inside corners with a long handle brush I stuck through a small size toilet plunger to make sure no drips ran out of the brush itself. Gravity you know, hi hi.
The hard part is, you have to stand upright on a ladder, and bend your head back as far as it will go, so you can see what you are doing up under there. All I can say is it was a good thing this was before I had to wear tri-focals, hi hi.

It is 93 here right now, and was up to 95 an hour ago, but the clouds have blocked much of the sun since then. And we had a good strong breeze flow through for the past two hours. I just looked out the window, it is now overcast.
My office window was steamed up this morning due to the high humidity, but only one window which I thought was odd.
It might have something to do with a window screen over that particular sliding window section.
It is 76 degrees in my office, but the AC unit although I have a cardboard over it to direct the cool down to the top of the computers, still manages to breeze through where I sit, so there is a wind chill factor there that makes 74 to 75 degrees in my corner comfortable. My AC adjusts its own fan speed, I guess a computer inside knows of the differential it is making in the room. But due to the cardboard, and the internal thermostat, it shuts off before it should quite often. I liked my 14 year old AC unit better than this one, it was quieter for one, and the vents were such that you could aim them much further than this one. Or to put it this way, on the old unit I could point one vent down to the computers, and one to the left. The air then circulated the room counterclockwise. I can't get the air in here to do that with this AC unit. It's not exactly clockwise either. What blows down at the computers curls back up and back to the AC unit, and the one I have that should get the breeze going counterclockwise, only creates a vortex in the middle of the room, then when it combines with the other vent I get a breeze coming over the top of my monitors and down around my back, under the desk, and then back up to the AC unit.
OK, I know, that's more info than you wanted to know about this device, hi hi.

Have a great day Yogi!
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

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HVAC always interested me because as is the case with many other trades I do not understand it fully. It's a law of physics that cold air is heavier than hot air (them atoms and molecules are closer together when it's cold) and the normal ventilation in a HVAC system should take advantage of that law. So, when you are pushing hot air into a room from your furnace duct work that vent rightly so is on the floor, and more than likely under a window. The return duct should be up near the ceiling to pull that hot air off the floor. The situation with central air is reversed in theory, but I seldom have seen it installed that way. The cold air comes in the same duct work that the hot air does, i.e., off the floor. Of it's own there is no reason for that air to rise up to where you sweaty belly button happens to be. Of course doing it the right way involves a lot more duct work and expense so that the standard solution I've seen is to install ceiling fans. But there too I've been told something that doesn't make sense. The ceiling fan rotation can be reversed, as you must know. So, in the summer they say to have the fan blow the hot air from the ceiling down to the floor. Reverse that for winter. I would think you would want to pull the cold air up since it won't do it on it's own. But the HVAC guys I've talked to seem to have different ideas.

I have a small 9" table fan sitting on the floor across the room from the tower computer. The fan blows the cold air sitting on the floor at the computer which is pumping out hot air most of the time. Just by luck the furnace return vent is above the fan so that there is a circulation of air (clockwise I must add) from the floor to the ceiling and back down again. This only works on the side of the room where the computer is sitting. The other side of the room has ho floor fan, but that's ok. I don't sit on that side of the room. LOL

I assume birds know what they are doing even if it doesn't always appear that way to me. If the water in their bath does something for them, then it should not matter what I think. At the old house we had a mallard duck family that took ownership of the drainage stream that ran through our property. They would sit in the stream when it was still and float. Their feathers were waterproof and never seemed to actually get wet even when they went about flapping their wings. Watching those ducks drove me to the conclusion that it would be impossible for one to drown. They simply do not sink of their own accord, but I have seen them dive for food off the bottom of the stream. Then too, the stream was only a few inches deep most of the time so diving was not really a challenge. I did wonder what they ate however. The stream looked clean with no growth in the water.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

The house my dad built, of which he designed, was done up right as far as HVAC goes, even though AC was not invented yet for homes, he had that covered also.
Unlike houses of today, that normally only have one cold air return in the hallway, and a heating vent in each room, ideally on an exterior wall at just above floor level or in the floor.
In the house dad built, he had a cold air return under every window in the house, including under the kitchen window right at the kitchen window built into the windowsill. He did it this way in the bathrooms that had windows also. Dad hated a cold bathroom, hi hi.
Now, all of the heating ducts were in an interior wall of each room, about 1 foot below the ceiling (his house had 9 foot ceilings), and they faced an exterior wall. If a room had two windows in each wall, like the living room, the heating duct was on the opposite wall as the windows, but centered between the two windows. Seems like there were three heating vents in the living room, but most rooms only had one, sometimes two heating vents. The heating vents in the bathrooms always faced toward the bathtub, regardless of where the window was located. Plus, the entire floor area under a bathroom floor, was tinned out in sheet metal, then a layer of sheet metal covered the joists, and heating from the main duct in the basement was always piped under the bathroom floors before going to their respective vents.
So, in the winter months, air went into the cold air returns under each window, through the furnace, and came out vents near the ceiling opposite each window, except as noted about bathrooms and the kitchen. He had an oil furnace for first 8 or 9 years. Then switched to a gas furnace around 1959. And installed an Arkla gas air conditioner around 1960, and that thing was huge. It tied into the furnace ductwork, but didn't pass through the furnace or under the bathroom floors. It did use the cold air return vents like the furnace did, but there was a separate ductwork that bypassed the furnace and went to the vents. Those additional cold air returns in each room is why he could adjust the temperature in each room easily, by changing the in ductwork lever controls.
He also had a huge attic fan, and he would open the cold air return right where it went into the furnace down in the basement, so the cooler air from the basement would come up and out the cold air return vents in each room.
His house in Ballwin, where we moved in 1966, had central air and the normal HVAC set-up used in most houses. With an A-coil inside the furnace plenum.
My house in Creve Coeur had a gas furnace which was separate from the independent AC system, but used all the same ductwork. There was a flapper inside the main ductwork from the furnace that prevent air from AC units blower from blowing back into the furnace itself. But none on the AC side of the system, since it was at the very end of the heating run, and had it's own air intake system. The cold air returns for both the furnace and the AC system were in the main hallway in the house, about 5 feet apart from each other.

In my office here, I have a window type AC mounted inside the wall, about 2 feet below the 9 foot ceilings in my office here.
As I mentioned, I have a stiff sheet of cardboard over the right vent that blows the air down over the computers. I'm at the opposite side of the room, so it does manage to get around along the walls and hits me, so my little corner stays cool. The other vent is open and set to blow to the left of the room, but unlike my other AC unit that ran for 14 years, it will not get their rotating counterclockwise. Probably because they are a different kind of vent than the old AC unit had. The levers just don't move far enough over. Now I did stick a semi-circular tube over it for about a year, but it didn't make a difference. So when it finally fell off, I left it off, hi hi.

We used to have Ducks in our pond behind the flower shop and greenhouses. Although they floated like a balloon on top of the water, they could flip and dive down a good foot or so to catch a fish, hi hi. And the wild ducks, like Mallards and the like, if they want to dive down, they will first fly up and circle the pond, then dive bomb to get their fish. A Hawk on the other hand will circle way out, and come in when they see fish feeding near the surface, and just grab them with their talons, never getting their body into the water. Then they would fly high and head toward the back barns and drop the fish down on the drive back there, so it is stunned when it hits the ground, then they would fly down and eat the fish right there in the drive. That is if they survived being spotted by Uncle Joe, who would pull out his shotgun and blow them to smithereens.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

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I've told you elsewhere what I don't like about the work ethic many companies use down here in Missouri. A lot of good workmen are employed by what amounts to being an agency. The agent does all the work of advertising and getting customers, and then assigns workers, who are actually independent contractors, to perform the requested task. It bugs the daylights out of me because they never advertise as being an employment agency. The lawn service I recently looked into was actually a company called Home Adviser. I found a lawn mowing service in St Charles called Pro Lawn (or something like that). When I asked for a quote they messaged me back saying they don't do that kind of work in O'Fallon, but some of their contractor partners do. That's when I got several e-mails from Home Advisor trying to sell me services for a jillion other things besides lawn care. As it turns out two people did e-mail me quotes. They went by their own company name, but they all were part of the Home Advisor network. That means the quote included a cut that the Home Advisor employment agency collected. That, of course, raised the overall price. I looked further and found a company right here in O'Fallon and apparently a mom and pop company. They were $20 per visit cheaper than any of the other guys, so I now have a new lawn mowing service. We will see come next Monday if I"m getting my money's worth with them.

Last summer I decided to have my concrete driveway sealed. Most places would do it for about $200, but the PermaSeal company was the only one who claimed a 25 year warranty. All the other guys gave it one year. Hmmm. So I inquired and they wanted me to call to arrange for a guy to come out and do a quote. I never did until this week. I learned that these guys apply a goo that soaks into the concrete about 3" deep. That's why it will last 25 years. My stoop at the front door is concrete and flaking. The walkway and driveway are not flaking, yet. I have a feeling they will deteriorate over the next couple years. Well, the long and the short of this story is that they want $3400 to cover all the concrete. They claimed they can't do anything with the stoop to repair it, but putting their seal down will stop it from getting worse. Actually it could be repaired by replacing the whole block of concrete, or by putting a layer of concrete on top of the existing slab. Patching the flakey parts can be done but would look worse than it already does and probably fall apart over the winter. Well, $3400 is probably worth it, but that's a bit more than I expected. I never heard of the technique these guys use, and it does sound like a good solution to preserve concrete. My guess is that replacing the front stoop would cost more than $3400, and that still leaves the rest of the concrete untreated and vulnerable. I'm not sure what we will end up doing, but several of my neighbors never did anything. And it shows.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

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I know, it is terrible the small companies that do that, working through larger companies.
To me, it means they were not good enough to land jobs on their own, based on their own merits.

If they made the concrete properly in the first place, it would last nearly forever.
The driveway around my grandfathers house was poured around 1908, before the house was built.
It was still there with no flaking, or cracks in 1984 when we sold the place.
From years of use, you could see all the river gravel and sand it it of course.

Over 3 grand sounds like a lot to seal a concrete driveway. Almost sounds like it is being gold plated, hi hi.
There are oils that dry and are wetter than water so they do soak into concrete really fast.
I wonder if they are using something like that?

Long day at the doctors today, which is why I'm so late getting here.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

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The PermaSeal guy gave me a demonstration of what they do. He had some kind of white powder that looked like baking soda. He put a spoonful into a plastic cup and added an equal amount of some mystery liquid that looked a lot like water, but it wasn't. It set in just a few seconds and it's kind of difficult to explain what it turned into. It was soft and rubbery as maybe an eraser on a cheap pencil. It was nearly white in color. The texture was smooth and somewhat pliable. It certainly was interesting stuff. He told me that they apply this mix to the concrete under pressure, somewhere around 5000 psi. This drives the goo down into the concrete about three inches. That fills in all the air gaps and makes the concrete waterproof down to that three inch level. He claimed this will stay effective for 25 years, which is the term of their warranty. Applying this to already flaky concrete won't improve it's appearance, but it will prevent future deterioration. The claim is that this treatment will not make the concrete any more slippery than it already is.

While I think the PermaSeal deal is probably good science, the cost is a bit higher than I was budgeting. Then there is my wife of many years who is dead set on replacing the flakey stoop. It's a fairly large chunk of rock and I can't imagine it being any less expensive than the sealing job. I don't know why, but they don't make concrete like they did in your grandfather's day. I think it has a lot to do with the cement not being from Portland anymore. Whatever the case my driveway is not unique. It's just one of many many other driveways made the same way using the industry standard formula. If I had my druthers it would be asphalt, but I don't have my druthers. I have an HOA instead. grrr
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