Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Joe Btfsplk Lives Here

If you've never heard of Joe Btfsplk, he is an old cartoon character by Al Capp who brings bad... no, horrible luck to whoever is near him. I think he lives in my attic.

For months I've been trying to save money for our trip to Chicago. For some reason every time I get some cash saved up, something needs fixing. Usually something very expensive. On Monday it was the PT Cruiser. It needed a new gasket, new front wheel bearings (both wheels), and various other parts replaced. The guy asked me if I had purchased the car new. I told him that I had. He then asked me if I had ever had it serviced, because all the parts in the engine were the originals. My position was that it added to the value of the car as a untouched classic. The mechanic disagreed. Besides, it will probably be another twenty two years or more before my eight year old PT Cruiser is even marginally collectible.
$1,100 was the bill.

This afternoon my tenant called and said the shower was leaking. That would be the shower that Mark's friend, the unlicensed plumber, had rebuilt from the ground up. I went over and took a look. Sure enough, moisture was creeping up the walls, and around the baseboards of the bathroom. This time I called a licensed plumber that I had used before. It was like that show on HGTV, Holmes on Homes, where the guy cleans up the mess of incompetent tradesmen and contractors. He looked at the shower and just stood there, "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Gotta tear it all up, and redo it."
$1400 is the estimate.

On my way out of the apartment, my tenant had a little 'by the way' for me, "You have termites Alan.".  He then pointed to a little pin hole on the wall, and a pile of termite poop on the floor. Luckily I bought a termite protection contract from a local pest control company. I just hope they're still in business.


  1. So what does all this mean for your plans to go to Chi-town?

  2. Fellow House Repair PersonJuly 21, 2011 at 4:55 AM

    I know exactly what that you're going through! As soon as one thing is fixed, something else breaks. We just had to replace an water heater. Not as expensive as your things but it happened at a bad time (but when is a good time??). Hope you still can make your Chicago trip.

  3. Set up a Pay-pal account and accept donations for your trip. Also, you have a year to send a wedding gift so you could hold off on that unless your prescence is present enough! Try that and a card!

  4. I prefer cash. You know where I live. Just leave it under the frog in the front yard.

  5. I looked under the frog and didn't find any cash! WTF!!! Damn, that tenant is a pain in the *$%@!