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Tuesday miscellany

I haven’t forgotten that I owe y’all the next (and hopefully last) installment of “Responsibilities of a Resident of the Police State.” Just been too busy to sit down to a long rant.

When not earning money today, I spent an hour and a half with my Friendly Local Contractor examining a) why one side of the bathroom is several inches lower than the other and b) why parts of the foundation of the house don’t appear to be attached to anything. (My astounding powers of deduction tell me that these two facts may be connected!)

Some parts of the foundation touch the ground but not the house. Others are stoutly attached to the house but fail to reach earth. Very interesting. I think this house may have been designed by Rene Magritte.

Good news, though. Friendly Contractor tells me a) that all the important bits of the house are, in fact, supported by something other than air, b) all the bits that went haywire went haywire decades ago and have long since stabilized, c) the worst-looking damage is cosmetic, and d) (oh, bless you, Friendly Contractor) the fix will be dirt cheap.

It’s nice (and rare) when an old house surprises you in a good way.


  1. Roger
    Roger July 26, 2011 5:58 am

    I am glad to see that the government is not passing up a chance to show children how it treats innovation and self reliance!!
    Are you sure that your house wasn’t designed by Salador Dali?(you can soon tell, if your wall clock appears to be melting without the aid of several strong drinks then it was!)

  2. Scott
    Scott July 26, 2011 9:14 am

    In the little town I used to live in, there was a summer-long lemonade stand, ran by a elementary-school aged brother and sister team. They were out there every day during summer(weather permitting)-while they no doubt had technical assistance from their parents, they ran the business and made the lemonade. They had a great location(a “Y” in the road, near a college dorm and ball field). This was around 1984…I wonder hat they’re doing now..

  3. Ellendra
    Ellendra July 26, 2011 10:35 am

    I’m not sure what kind of timeline you’re looking at for getting the foundation fixed, but until then you may want to block the gaps with fine-meshed wire fencing or even window screening. Critters love gaps in the foundation.

  4. Matt, another
    Matt, another July 26, 2011 11:23 am

    I’ve done my share of jacking up old houses and fixing foundations. It’s not normally a terribly difficult job if the ground is sound. It’s just dirty and tiring and a smigen dangerous at times, but rewarding.

  5. Claire
    Claire July 26, 2011 11:40 am

    Thanks for the advice, Matt and Ellendra. Points well taken.

    Matt, I’ve also worked with house jacks before and found them not as scary as I expected. In this case, though, because of structural reasons too detaily to get into, there’s no way to jack up the saggy side of the bathroom without also doing serious & costly foundation rebuilding, which isn’t in my budget. So we’ve decided just to sister a bad floor joist, live with the lopsidedness — then level the bathroom floor and ceiling inside the room when the time comes.

  6. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson July 26, 2011 4:36 pm

    After reading the Wall Street News article about the thousands of Federal laws that are ensnaring otherwise well-intentioned and law-abiding people and turning them into criminals-by-definition, I was reminded of the great YouTube entitled “Never Talk To The Police.” A defense attorney makes the case that even the most innocent statement can run you afoul oftens of laws you had no idea existed, including laws of other countries.

  7. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 27, 2011 1:33 pm

    The folks that studied the mind reading dogs didn’t make their case to me, but that doesn’t mean much these days. My last two dogs, both of which lived to be 19 years old (one followed the other), were very adept at reading my mind. The last one spoke a great deal of beagle, but never mastered much English, unfortunately. He did, however, understand a great deal more than he could speak… must be something about the arrangement of teeth and tongue…

    As with some children, I began to spell certain things when he was quite young, but it didn’t take too long before that was useless. He knew what I was thinking. He was always ready for a ride in the car, jumping at the back door just moments after I decided to go somewhere, yet he knew without a doubt the few times I could not take him for whatever reason, and would quietly watch me leave with mournful eyes.

    Darn, I miss that old codger.

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