Thursday, June 10, 2021

Hoist By Me Own Petard, ARRR

 Well, it happened, kats and kittens!  I got my insulation wish!

Unfortunately it comes with a couple of stumbling blocks I had not foreseen.

1. We may or may not still be running old 'knob and tube' cloth wrapped wiring.  And we may or may not be running it in scattered locations all over the fucking house.  This means that an electrician will have to come out and assess the situation, which means mucho dineros, which means I'm getting That Look from the Biker.

2. There is a sizeable pile of general shit up in the attic that I've been working toward the access hatch for years.  See, long ago when refrigerators roamed the earth in herds, this house caught on fire AND had a tree fall on it.  Rather than huck out all the debris, a lot of what got torn off just got left lying up there between the fuckin' rafters. And after years of additions of dubious code quality, that crap got pushed out toward the eaves, where you have to lie on your back in all the dust and dessicated starlings and old mud dauber nests and hook it out.  It's at one end of the house.  It has to be hauled through a maze of old rafters for old roofs that are no longer in place to the main access hatch, which is where? At the other end of the house!


There's old bricks from when this placed had a fireplace, and there's old plaster from when this place was fully plastered, and broken boards and just shit.  And the insulation dudes do not clean this shit out for you!  No they do not!  You  have to do this! 

I just went up in the attic.  Our house is the shape of a really stubby capital letter 'T'.  See that T?  The debris is at the bottom of the T.  I have to hook it out and drag it through a place where there are old rafters that are no longer being used, which is right around the intersection of the crossbar and the base, and then around that right angled corner, out the hatch and straight down INTO MY RODGERSEIA AND GIANT HOSTA 'SUM AND SUBSTANCE.'

3. Our plumbing is probably scary.  And our plumbing needs to be heat-taped.  This means that we will need to have a plumber inspect our plumbing.  This caused the Biker to give me That Look as well.

I figured shit, the insulation dudes will go up there, they'll scope out the situation, clear up all the debris, shoot in some insulation, check the walls to see which ones are balloon framed and which ones have fire stops, get it in all the nooks and crannies, down in those inside walls, make it nice and snug but NO. They drill some holes, they shoot in the crud, they stop up the holes, they leave. WITH A LARGE CHECK.

I am pretty peeved by this for a number of reasons.  It's too late to bitch now, but this is looking more and more like 'polishing a turd' than it is 'being snug next winter.'

If we sell out, yeah, we get a nice chunk of change.  And then we spend the rest of our lives in a shitty little apartment, with no yard, paying rent and utilities, because while land is in demand, rent is sky fucking high out here in Washington State, and The Fourth Corner, where we live, is one of the most expensive places to buy or rent in the United States right now.  That leaves moving to a cheaper state. And moving to a cheaper state, which, "Hello stress my old friend, I've come to talk to you again, because a vision softly creeping, shit on my head and pissed on my car while I was sleeping...."

The only way I'm going to make it through another uninsulated winter in this house is if I get myself an opioid habit.  Or if I can be put into an induced coma and hibernate it out, because last winter almost did for me.  I am not joking.  Last winter was almost as frightening and stressful as getting a divorce was, and that shit sucked.


Meanwhile, the Biker is getting nothing but job interviews and job offers.  People here are crying for employees and nobody wants to work because they're laxin' back on their unemployment benefits, and these small businesses hit by Covid need workers and can't get them.  The Biker is holding out for a job with good benefits, and in this current job market he can actually do that, given his resume', which is astounding.  So there's a whole 'nother bunch of what ifs.

I guess we wait for the estimates and then go from there.  



Jon said...

Oh dear. I'm glad we rent. It's somewhat insecure, admittedly - we've had to move five times in the 23 years we've been in London - but at least if anything goes wrong with the fabric of the building, it's someone else's problem.

I hope the Hostas (and you) survive the experience! Jx

Ms Scarlet said...

I know this is grim, but I sometimes calculate how much life I have left and ponder whether the roof will outlive me, thus saving me money. Unfortunately, if all goes well, the roof will not outlive me. It needs fixing. It leaks even now. I feel your pain as I loathe the upheaval needed to accommodate workmen.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Jon: I remember how carefree renting was. And I miss that. Renting in Portland, when I was a young woman, was choice, because the whole town was half park and almost completely forested, to the point that there was an official City Forester for all the mature trees. Every place had some kind of landscaping, and you could even go ahead and take care of it if you felt lead by the Lord, and even grow things; the landlords loved you for it. But at this end of 61, and in this part of the Pacific Northwest, I'd rather eat a deep-fried brick of cat shit than rent. I've been in the rentals here. I used to own a rental cleaning business here and I've seen what's on offer. Even back in the 1990's it was grim. Now? Our state is devoted to the idea of 'High Infill' to 'preserve the remaining natural landscape and wild habitat' and while that's a lovely sentiment, it the real world it translates into something very like the old Soviet Union apartment blocks, miles and miles of tiny little boxes made of cement, and I'll move next door to my daughter before I live like that. And if you know how my daughter and I get along, sweetheart, well, that should give you some indication. -gosh, I had no idea there that was such a loaded subject. Dang.'re welcome.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Ms. Scarlet: Excellent! I have you in my comments lounge once again and all is as it should be! I completely understand what you mean. that's the game we were playing too, until we came into an unexpected windfall and had the wherewithal to make choices again. It's still very tempting to just say 'we'll deal with it as it comes', though, particularly after having taken a couple of trips through the attic recently.