We're building a new house. It is currently under construction. See details below.. Check back often to see how the construction develops.
September - October 2007
Much has happened since the last posting. For one, my two employees, also MTU engineering students, lit out for the territory. Josh and Jesse heard they were hiring stockbrokers in Muncie, Indiana at union scale, and around Labor Day, they were seen no more. I spotted Josh by the Lift Bridge. My wife and I were headed across and Josh was coming from Houghton. I told my wife, he'll probably call while we're gone and we could get more work done that weekend. Josh called all right, left a message saying he wanted to take one more day. He'd said he wanted to head back to Munising before school started, said that he'd be back Sunday (it was Sunday) and that he could work. There was the message from Josh and although he didn't say he was still in Munising, if he ever went, that was the last I heard from him. Jesse, his roommate and co-worker, didn't even extend the courtesy of a message, even if it would have been nicely ambiguous, as Josh's message was. I suspect that they would have no problem justifying their actions, or lack thereof, with the anti-business climate that is an all-too-real market force in America.
So I hired another worker who promptly fell ill for three days, made a dynamic recovery by five o'clock on Friday, and showed up on a Saturday in time to fall (?) from the scaffolding after two hours of work. A customer with construction experience in New England expressed it best, Where have all the men gone?
Progress? The call was made to Peninsula Products, another Lake Linden business, to rent their boom truck to set the trusses. Darcy Mill (or maybe it's Mills) showed up on September 17th and we set the trusses. Darcy is another working class hero, say true and thank God big big. I've rented the truck from Peninsula Products numerous times to set trusses and after two hours, the trusses were up, Darcy wrote out a bill of sale, and I wrote a check.
Later, I made another call to Peninsula Products for additional concrete. Larry Joosten, the owner of the business, showed up with their concrete truck, one that mixes what you need on site, and we poured a couple of small patios, one by the front door and another by the walk-out patio door in the back, as well as post holes for the deck and side-entry landing and a footing for a retaining wall in the front of the house. Larry is a working class hero, say true and thank God big big.
We took delivery from Norandex, that's Tom in one photo, shortly after unloading Simonton Prism windows, siding and soffit.
Timm Gast and his employee, Ricky Rickard installed a meter base and service panel, and an electrical inspector came by to look, placed a yellow approved sticker on the meter base, but we're still waiting for UPPCO to power us up. Next job, I'm going to get a temporary power pole, as the generator can only do so much.
There's a photo of Erik Kivela delivering the roofing, Certainteed Landmark shingles, from Moyle, along with two employees, including the one who fell from the scaffolding-he tried climbing down the end, even though the ladder was present to make the descent easier. So the roofing waits, and until Uppco energizes us, enabling me to use the compressor, we've been doing other jobs-all of the framing isn't done yet, but I did plant a red maple in the front yard. Let's give 'em something to talk about.
The other, the one sitting on the roof, came by today at noon to report that he was quitting, that he'd found another job, can I hear a hallelujah and an amen? That's wonderful, I replied, thank you for the notice. Long time, passing. Well, he did insert the battery the wrong way into the nailgun and he did install soffit the wrong way, three times, on one eight foot section of a customer's overhang. But naw, I ain't bitter. Try to imagine, if you will, that blues singer, deep bass vocals, ho-ho-ho-ho, that would make a great mall Santa. Contracting, you have the joy of being Santa Claus without the attendant benefits. You get to try to make everyone happy, all the time, which can't be done, so we must be a masochistic lot. Maybe I ought to start a group, Contractor's Anonymous. Hi my name is Walt, and I'm a contractor. The first step is always admitting you're wrong. The intro and the confession is the first step.
Okee-dokee then, in the words of the good doctor. Onward and upward. We're still waiting for UPPCO to energize the site. I sent them another cordial missive, signed, with warm regards. I think UPPCO must be a unit of the military, hurry up and wait. That, or a close cousin of the Ramjac Corporation. If you ever get the chance, watch The President's Analyst where James Coburn is a real hoot in a comedic role and where Joan Delaney utters the prophetic words, I wish you'd been a plumber. The phone company plays an important role there, the ubiquitous phone company, men in black, a kind of 60's Maze. And that should be nicely ambiguous and the end of this rant.
Walt Anderson, owner, licensed, insured, bonded
725 Maple Street,
Lake Linden, MI
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