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Author Topic: I need a tourniquet to stop the financial hemmorhaging. Preferably in pink.  (Read 3738 times)
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PeteRock
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« on: July 10, 2009, 11:24:18 PM »

It seems that substantial financial strains are least common when you can afford them.  However, the moment your financial future becomes a bit cloudy, substantial expenses seem to become far more frequent.  Case in point, I was laid off back at the end of May due to company struggles and a freeze in spending in the industrial hygiene field.  Shortly following my lay-off my wife discovered that her car had a cracked radiator.  $800 in repairs.

Just a few weeks ago Simba started vomiting uncontrollably and was forced to be hospitalized overnight due to dehydration and an inability to hold anything down, including hydrating fluids.  At least in Simba's case we have pet emergency insurance.  So while the initial up-front cost of his treatment was close to $2000, we will most likely wind up only paying about $100 out of pocket with the rest being reimbursed.  Still, it was an up-front cost we weren't anticipating or prepared for.

Today should hopefully be the pinnacle of our current streak as I woke up to watch this morning's Tour de France stage and upon reaching the midway point on our stairs I noticed a foul ocean-like odor.  It seemed a bit humid as well.  When I finally reached the bottom of our stairs I found close to a half inch of standing water covering our entire tile kitchen and dining room and soaking into our living room carpet.   icon_eek  Once the initial shock wore off I managed to connect the ocean-like sent with the gurgling sounds coming from Jaime's saltwater aquarium and witnessed the final few drops of the tank emptying onto the floor.  At first I thought it couldn't possibly be happening.  I struggled with disbelief, panic, confusion, and wet feet.  Fortunately Simba and Nala were on the far side of the room, safe but obviously extremely uncomfortable with the encroaching water wicking though our carpet and approaching their favored areas of slumber. 

Some of you may wonder what size tank we have.  150 gallons.  If any of you have ever dropped a gallon of milk in your kitchen, you know just how much of a mess it can make.  Imagine dropping 150 of those gallon-containers of milk at the same time.  In the most prized room of your house.  I immediately went to Lowe's to purchase a shop-vac.  I managed to clean most of the water from the tile, but it was obvious that the base boards and drywall were already damaged.  I then tried to suck as much water from our carpet as well.  But the progress was slow, the house smelled like Davey Jones' gym locker, my wife is in Seattle for business, and by this point I am completely overwhelmed. 

After speaking with our State Farm homeowner's insurance representative we were directed to contact Servepro, a residential water damage response specialist.  They arrived within an hour and started investigating the damage.  What I thought to have been relatively minor turned out to be more severe than I could have ever imagined.  I guess I should have realized how bad things would be after only filling a 12-gallon shop-vac once even though the fish tank originally held 150 gallons.   ninja  That water had to have gone somewhere.  They removed half of the carpeting in our living room, pad and all, carpet tacking strips, all of the baseboard molding around the room, doors, paint chipped and peeled from the walls, tile grout is saturated with staining from dyes that washed from the tank stand into our floors, and all of our belongings are strewn about in our living room and throughout our house. 

The response team is finished for the day and we now have ten air blowers running as well as a commercial dehumidifier.  The noise is loud but it eventually becomes soothing.  Although I'm not sure if it is the soothing hum of the bowers or the drinking I've been doing after Servepro left.   ninja  We shouldn't have to remove any drywall, but all of the baseboard molding will have to be replaced, the entire dining area and living room will have to be repainted, the tile in the dining area may be permanently stained, and our living room will receive new carpeting.  But, my entertainment center will have to be broken down (it took four days to set up), all of our furniture will have to go into storage due to the lack of space in our house, and we're scheduled to leave for Myrtle Beach next Saturday.  Not to mention how much we've lost in terms of saltwater fish, live rock, and the tank itself.

Damage response will be around $2000.  The restoration effort will be close to another $2000.  Fortunately our homeowner's insurance has a $500 deductible, so that should be all we have to pay out of pocket.  However, our home is in shambles, the Davey Jones air "freshener" continues to linger, the fish tank needs to somehow be broken down and thrown in the trash, and I have no idea what we're going to do with our furniture when the time comes for the repair effort.

The cause of the situation?  In the middle of the night the bottom of the tank cracked (1/4" glass) and the entire tank drained through the crack in what looks to be a very short period of time.  I am glad I was planning to wake up at 5am or else the damage could have migrated further.  Jaime is handling it well considering that our saltwater aquarium is her pride and joy and we've lost it all (over four years of constant dedicated effort to get it to where it was), and nothing else was damaged that couldn't be replaced, but what a clusterfuck of a mess to deal with.  And, it was made slightly more stressful and difficult with Jaime being away and having to handle it all on my own.  She fortunately returns tonight around 6pm and a group of friends are coming by to help with demo-ing the tank and getting the rest of our house back into some sense of order (is it weird that after the contractor left I vacuumed the tiny little island of carpeting left in our living room because it was covered with carpet fragments and dust?  ninja).  I rarely ask for help but in this situation I can't handle any more on my own. 

At least I had a case of celebratory beer in the fridge for our pool league team's first place finish in our division.  Some of the prize money went to buying a case of beer, and perhaps a bit more of it will go toward a night out to dinner with the wife.  Can't cry over spilled milk or dead fish, and it's a bit too noisy to have dinner here, so maybe we'll have a much-needed night out to get away from real life for a bit.  Never would I ever have expected to have to deal with water damage in the desert, but unfortunately a freak occurrence in the middle of the night destroyed our fish tank and flooded our living room. 

At least we're getting new carpeting.   icon_biggrin  And hopefully this will be the last of our financial hemmorrhaging for a bit.  I also landed a very promising job interview on Tuesday, so perhaps our economic woes are potentially coming to a close.  But if we go out to dinner tonight, I'm not having fish.
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 11:30:14 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on July 10, 2009, 11:24:18 PM

But if we go out to dinner tonight, I'm not having fish.

you see, if you were fiscally minded, you would have thrown the fish into the fridge for sushi  icon_twisted

<bad CeeKay! bad!>

er... sorry to hear about your aquarium and Simba.  at least the water didn't hit anything electrical.
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2009, 11:50:43 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on July 10, 2009, 11:30:14 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on July 10, 2009, 11:24:18 PM

But if we go out to dinner tonight, I'm not having fish.

you see, if you were fiscally minded, you would have thrown the fish into the fridge for sushi  icon_twisted

They're in the freezer, although primarily for Jaime to identify the bodies rather than for dinner.  It has become our makeshift morgue. 

Quote
er... sorry to hear about your aquarium and Simba.  at least the water didn't hit anything electrical.

Ultimately the damage was a lot less severe than if we would have been out of town or if it had happened while we were away for the day.  I was still shocked at just how far the water went, but also at how much damage was done by the contractor in order to access all areas impacted by the water.  Apparently all will be restored to the condition it was in prior to:



But it's still disheartening to see so much damage done to your own home, both from water intrusion and the need to demo all impacted areas.  Someday we'll have another saltwater aquarium as it is my wife's passion, but not until we move to a new home and can have a custom tank build professionally.  Until then I at least will get a break from being yelled at for forgetting to feed the fish.   ninja
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 12:22:42 AM »

Motherf*cker, Pete. That sucks.

I hope it works out for you professionally soon. This fish thing, horrible as it may be, is a set back, for sure, but it will pass soon enough. Hang tight!
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 01:54:54 AM »

So sorry to hear about your loss and water issues.

It reminds me that several years ago, there was a similar issue with the toilet tank in my parent's rent house.  It cracked and drained, which of course dropped the ball to refill it.  All while the tenants were away on vacation.  There was water pouring out the front door of the house when the tenant's mother stopped by to check on the house.  It had been days since it cracked...

The damage sounds about on par.  Baseboards, carpet, etc.  Good luck and let us know what we can do to help.
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 02:03:25 AM »

Quote from: PeteRock on July 10, 2009, 11:24:18 PM

And hopefully this will be the last of our financial hemmorrhaging for a bit. 

I wouldn't plan on it. There's always a vet bill, a medical bill, a car repair, a broken appliance, a tax bill, an insurance bill, etc. You don't notice them so much when you're working, but these budget-busters really get your attention when the budget is precarious anyway.

Our latest: My wife is complaining of a toothache that's slowly getting worse. We don't have dental insurance, obviously. Her last (insured) toothache cost us $2000. So she's taking a lot of ibuprofen.

When Iggy got his vaccination booster last week, the vet gave me a strong sales pitch for $1200 worth of "urgent" cat dentistry. Yeahhhh, that's not going to happen. He doesn't even get ibuprofen. Sorry, Iggy.

Good luck with your interview. You can only roll with the punches for so long, and they do keep on coming.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2009, 03:37:00 AM »

Sorry to hear about the tank Pete, that absolutely sucks.  frown

Quote from: Ironrod on July 11, 2009, 02:03:25 AM

When Iggy got his vaccination booster last week, the vet gave me a strong sales pitch for $1200 worth of "urgent" cat dentistry. Yeahhhh, that's not going to happen. He doesn't even get ibuprofen. Sorry, Iggy.

We get that guilt trip every time we go to the vet as well.  I finally just told them, "Look, I've got nearly $5,000 in dental work on myself I not doing because I can't afford it - there's no way I'm spending that much on my goddamn cat.".  Funny how I had cats growing up that survived for 10-15 years without ever having problems with their teeth, but suddenly in the last 5-6 years these $1,200 pet dental visits have become "vital to their health" (according to my vet).  Not gonna happen dude.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 04:41:16 AM »

Truly suck-tastic, Pete. I learned recently how to deal more calmly when major crapola hits the fan. During the shoot of my recent film short, we smashed a major expensive kitchen granite countertop in a luxury apartment. This happened due to myself and the crew standing on the countertop during the shooting to get shots. During the second day of shooting, the director of photography stood on the countertop and the entire thing collapsed. There was a moment of WTFOMGFUCCCKKK!! shock and silence after the thing happened. Somehow, I managed to go to a higher part of myself and became extremely calm. I picked up the phone, called the apartment owner, and told him of the domestic disaster. Then, I managed to re-group and refocus my cast and crew and finish the day's shooting. A few weeks later, the apartment owner had his apartment building management building company rebuilt the countertop, and I paid about $200 for the damage. The damage looked really bad and expensive when it happened, but they managed to find some unused granite on the building basement.

Looks like you handled your broken aquarium in a similar manner. Congratulations! The worse has passed. Now you gotta take it one day at a time as your living room is rebuilt. Think about the ways it could've been worse; that also helps with dealing with the stress of any semi-disastrous situation.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 04:56:03 AM »

Quote from: Gratch on July 11, 2009, 03:37:00 AM

Sorry to hear about the tank Pete, that absolutely sucks.  frown

Quote from: Ironrod on July 11, 2009, 02:03:25 AM

When Iggy got his vaccination booster last week, the vet gave me a strong sales pitch for $1200 worth of "urgent" cat dentistry. Yeahhhh, that's not going to happen. He doesn't even get ibuprofen. Sorry, Iggy.

We get that guilt trip every time we go to the vet as well.  I finally just told them, "Look, I've got nearly $5,000 in dental work on myself I not doing because I can't afford it - there's no way I'm spending that much on my goddamn cat.".  Funny how I had cats growing up that survived for 10-15 years without ever having problems with their teeth, but suddenly in the last 5-6 years these $1,200 pet dental visits have become "vital to their health" (according to my vet).  Not gonna happen dude.

We fired our last vet for blatant greed when they went corporate. Now the replacement vet is showing the same tendencies. To be fair, though, staffing changes make it obvious that they are struggling too. I understand that untreated dental problems will reduce my cat's shot at immortality. I just don't have the luxury of seeing it their way. I hope Iggy lives to be 15+ like our other cats did...without ever having dentistry.
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2009, 07:50:17 AM »

sweet geebus pete, that's horrible.  glad you caught it before it went much further. 

i wish you the best of luck on that interview.  may it land you a permanent gig.  too many i know haven't been able to get stable jobs post layoff, myself included, but contract work is still work. 

the loss of the tank is huge, but you'll bounce back somehow.
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2009, 03:03:27 PM »

Sorry, Pedro. When it rains it pours <snort!>

I sort of have somethign similar though not quite to the degree. We recently moved and Aug 1 marks the first day that we will have to pay 2 mortgages.  On top of that our lawn mower broke. 400.00 for a new one. On top of that we've spent about 1000.00 getting the old house ready for sale. + we found out that the cute purple paint stain on our carpet that my then two year old made with enamel paint is going to require an additional 500.00 in new carpet.  To top it off (we still haven't purchased blinds for a new house that has hellah windows- probalby another 500-1000 some day- sheets will work for now) and this is gonna sound so dumb, my nasal/eybrow trimmer just broke. It's gonna only be like 15.00 but it feels like the straw.

I'd pour out a 40 for our shared misery, but I can only afford at a 12 oz of Natty Light. frown
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2009, 03:25:49 PM »

That was a fabulous tank as well, Pete. Sorry to have all of this happen one after another.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2009, 03:38:04 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on July 11, 2009, 03:03:27 PM

I'd pour out a 40 for our shared misery, but I can only afford at a 12 oz of Natty Light. frown

I have Miller Lite in my fridge.  Mr. Beer Snob has been humbled.

I am so ashamed.   icon_redface

Ultimately our perspective is that nothing irreplacable was damaged, including the tank itself as we will someday have another saltwater aquarium, only the next time we will have our local shop construct a custom tank with everything drilled and piped inside.  Granted, the fish themselves are lost, but Jaime's handling it okay and while it was her baby for the past four years, she'll someday have another.  I am sure of it.  

Last night with the help of some friends we managed to get the tank and its base out of the house and into a nearby community dumpster.  It took a bit of effort, but with five people all working together we eventually got it done.  Already this morning the stale ocean odor is gone and the humidity is down considerably.  We moved Simba's and Nala's dog beds into our bedroom last night so that they didn't have to deal with the noise of the air blowers or the higher temperature on the first floor, and when we came down this morning the air is noticably less humid and things are drying pretty well.

One additional "problem" we discovered once we moved the tank was that the wood stain that ruined our carpet also permanently stained our dining room tile.  That tile not only covers our dining room but it goes into the 1st floor bathroom, the entryway, and into our entire kitchen.  As you cannot match the tile or grout by only repairing the stained area, all of the tile in our dining room, kitchen, entryway, and bathroom will also have to be replaced.  Jaime is using this as an opportunity to completely renovate our first floor, primarily with help from contracting friends.  We're going to use the insurance money plus a bit of our own (or perhaps a welcomed contribution from Jaime's grandfather) to completely re-do our first floor.  Instead of carpet in the living room and tile in the other half of the 1st floor we instead plan to lay slate tile throughout with a nice area rug in the living space.  Friends did something similar in their kitchen and small living room and the tile is gorgeous with subtle colors, a rich warm gray, nice texture, and it could really improve the look of our space.

The kitchen cabinets will all be gutted and we're going to completely change the layout of our kitchen to make it more efficient and easier to work in.  A hobby chef of my fabulous caliber cannot continue to work in such paltry accomodations.  Fabulous  The 1st floor bathroom will get new tile, a new toilet, new mirror, and while the cabinet will stay we'll install a new sink on top of the existing cabinet.  A close friend is an architect and she is going to work with us to come up with a new design, floorplan, kitchen layout, and if we can make it work I am trying desperately to reorganize our first floor to make room for a 7' pool table.  It's a pipe dream but if we can somehow make it work we'll have a bar with stools as our dining space and a pool table instead of a dining room table.  Jaime thinks I'm crazy, but she said if we can figure out a way then we'll make it work.  

While this all may sound a bit financially irresponsible, the insurance money coupled with a bit of help from Jaime's family could really help us to make our space something special with the fish tank debacle being an unexpected catalyst to get the ball rolling.  We've come to terms with having to live here for many more years due to the poor housing market in Arizona (so much for a short-term starter home), so we plan to make it what we want it to be.  

It will be a hassle for the upcoming weeks and I have a lot of work to do in order to break down my home entertainment area, but I think in the long run it will all be worth it.  Our first floor isn't too terribly cluttered and we don't have a lot of furniture, so we'll be able to relocate most of it into our 2nd floor guest room.  Whatever doesn't fit may visit a friend's garage for a few weeks until the floors are done.  But some major short-term inconveniences now could really pay off in improving our home life considerably.  What may have seemed like a disaster at first may prove to be just the motivation we needed to get started on improving our home.  So something really positive may be coming from all of this.  With the help of State Farm, of course.

On a side note, the water damage made it to within 3/4" of my subwoofer and entertainment center.   icon_eek    

Thanks for all of the well wishes everyone.  While yesterday was a complete disaster, we're keeping a positive outlook, working hard on getting our things organized and moved into our guest room, and hopefully when all is said and done we'll be even happier in our home than we were before.  Having a place to vent certainly helped and I'm in much better spirits today.  Tired, but much more positive.  I hit the gym first thing this morning and had a great workout, the dogs have had breakfast and are napping at my feet on the "carpet island", and I'm enjoying a cup of freshly ground coffee while thinking about our plans for the future of our 1st floor.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 03:41:16 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2009, 03:52:53 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on July 11, 2009, 03:38:04 PM

Thanks for all of the well wishes everyone.  While yesterday was a complete disaster, we're keeping a positive outlook, working hard on getting our things organized and moved into our guest room, and hopefully when all is said and done we'll be even happier in our home than we were before.  Having a place to vent certainly helped and I'm in much better spirits today.  Tired, but much more positive.  I hit the gym first thing this morning and had a great workout, the dogs have had breakfast and are napping at my feet on the "carpet island", and I'm enjoying a cup of freshly ground coffee while thinking about our plans for the future of our 1st floor.

Good to hear man.   thumbsup I'm pretty sure I'd be a complete wreck had all that happened to me.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2009, 04:12:32 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on July 11, 2009, 03:52:53 PM

Good to hear man.   thumbsup I'm pretty sure I'd be a complete wreck had all that happened to me.

Well, to be honest when I walked downstairs and found what looked to be complete and utter destruction of our home I was rather upset.  I first screamed, "NO!  NO!  NONONONONONONONONONO!" and tried to somehow get a handle on the situation.  But, as I couldn't just stand there and hope for the situation to fix itself, I took it one step at a time.  First I went to Lowe's to pick up a shop vac to start the cleanup effort.  I then spoke with State Farm to determine if our home is covered for this sort of damage.

They directed me to call Servepro and Servepro was on-site in about an hour.  Specialists came in to determine the extents of the damage and to begin remediation.  For the next few days blowers and a dehumidifier will be running 24/7 in order to completely dry out any damaged materials, and once all is dry we will then begin the re-build effort.  Some friends thankfully came by last night to help us with the tank and its base, and one friend stuck around for a few hours after to discuss re-build options.  He is a contractor with tiling contacts, kitchen contacts, painting contacts, etc., and his girlfriend is an architect. 

We'll be able to not only efficiently and cost-effectively repair our home, but improve upon it as well.  It'll be a lot of work, a great deal of hassle, and I am not looking forward to taking apart my TV when we aren't even halfway through the Tour, but these things happen in life, and while I could sit back and play the sad, battered victim, instead I plan to take it all head-on and make something positive out of it.  True character is tested when faced with adversity, and as I feel I have faced a great deal of adversity throughout my life, this is just one more pothole along the road of life.  Ultimately we lost time, effort, and passion that were put into Jaime's aquarium, but these are far from being in short supply.  We always have more time, effort, and passion to put toward anything we set our minds to.  There will someday be a bigger, better, more impressive aquarium Jaime will be able to proudly call her own.  We may have to be patient, but that day will come. 

Sure, our home will never be the same.  But instead of thinking how much worse it will be, I instead believe it will be better.   
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2009, 04:44:01 PM »

Quote
and while I could sit back and play the sad, battered victim, instead I plan to take it all head-on and make something positive out of it.  True character is tested when faced with adversity, and as I feel I have faced a great deal of adversity throughout my life, this is just one more pothole along the road of life.

My thoughts exactly.  thumbsup

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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2009, 04:49:57 PM »

I'm happy to see you taking such setbacks in stride.  Really, that's all you can do.  Weather these and you'll come out the other side a much stronger person.  Still, it sucks and I'm pullin' for you, old boy!
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2009, 07:57:40 PM »

Whenever I read one of these types of post from Pete, I feel the need to clean.
Thanks to him, my house is rather spotlless.
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2009, 12:56:59 AM »

10 hours later and my entire entertainment setup is disassembled, labeled, diagrammed, and moved into the 2nd floor guest room.  It is amazing that four days of setting it all up with cable organizers, A/V twist-ties, and equipment placement based upon cable length and component size can all be undone in one long day.   icon_frown

And once the flooring and baseboards are repaired and the painting is finished I get to set it all back up again.   disgust  We've decided that after a long day of breaking down our home theater, washing and logging all of Jaime's salvagable materials from her fish tank to list on Craigslist, and dealing with the constant noise and heat given off by the water mitigation equipment in our living space we're going to get the hell out of here for a while and go out to dinner.  A nice meal and a number of cold beers should take the edge off a bit.  The hard part is accepting that this is only the beginning.   
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2009, 01:01:15 AM »

How are the mutts handling this?
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« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2009, 03:56:26 PM »

Quote from: Biyobi on July 12, 2009, 01:01:15 AM

How are the mutts handling this?

They're taking it in stride.  When we're working in the living room they nap on the remaining carpet "island", and if we have to go out or when we go to bed they've been sleeping on their dog beds in our bedroom instead of the living room to get away from the noise and haphazard state of things.  But they also seem to sense that something is "not right" with the house and I think they're just as anxious as we are to have our home life restored to some sense of normalcy. 
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« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2009, 06:13:16 PM »

Sorry man, that sounds awful.  It's astounding how much damage water can cause. 
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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2009, 06:54:02 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on July 11, 2009, 04:12:32 PM

We'll be able to not only efficiently and cost-effectively repair our home, but improve upon it as well.  It'll be a lot of work, a great deal of hassle  

The good news is that you have lots of time on your hands right now for exactly these kinds of projects...

Sorry to hear of the destruction, but keep plugging away and things will work out.
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« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2009, 03:38:58 PM »

Damn. I saw the thread yesterday but didn't have a chance to respond. At least you guys are taking everything in stride, and are looking at this as a chance to start fresh and make it a positive, instead of wallowing in self pity.
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« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2009, 03:48:22 PM »

Wallowing reminds Pete of dirt.  And one as Fabulous as he would never freely associate with dirt of any kind.
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« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2009, 04:50:44 PM »

I know a couple people who have had water lines break during times when no one was home and they returned to find water all thru the house. It usually leads to new flooring, painting and a real hassle.

The walls need to be checked as mold will easily develop in areas that get wet.

Luckily you caught this early.

I can't imagine 150 gallon tank loosing all it's water.....
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« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2009, 05:16:59 PM »

That's what I'm trying to figure out. If it is a 150 gallon tank and there was a crack in the glass wouldn't of there been a small leak? Or did it crack and with the pressure from the water it just got bigger and dumped out? I mean with your guys general analness(I don't mean this in a bad way) and pride in what you own/have I would assume either of you would notice a small leak before it blew out and emptied the tank. Granted I don't own or ever had a fish tank so I could be wrong I would just think it would take a long time for a small crack to empty out that big of a tank.

Or now researching I guess I thought a 150 gallon tank was a lot bigger than it really is....
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« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2009, 06:14:14 PM »

Quote from: SkyLander on July 13, 2009, 05:16:59 PM

That's what I'm trying to figure out. If it is a 150 gallon tank and there was a crack in the glass wouldn't of there been a small leak? Or did it crack and with the pressure from the water it just got bigger and dumped out? I mean with your guys general analness(I don't mean this in a bad way) and pride in what you own/have I would assume either of you would notice a small leak before it blew out and emptied the tank. Granted I don't own or ever had a fish tank so I could be wrong I would just think it would take a long time for a small crack to empty out that big of a tank.

Or now researching I guess I thought a 150 gallon tank was a lot bigger than it really is....

The problem was the bottom of the tank broke and then gave way.  With all of the weight of the water, coral, live rock, etc, once the bottom cracked everything emptied out in a rush.  Once the integrity of the tank was compromised there was just so much weight and pressure that the crack quickly spread into a full break.  And as it happened in the middle of the night there was no warning, no time to catch a small leak, and when I came downstairs it was just too late to do anything except start the clean-up process.

Servepro was back today to clean the floors with an anti-microbial solvent, and three blowers are left for specific problem areas, but everything else is dry and mold-free.  My wife is working with the insurance claims department and we're now starting to plan for the re-build effort.  I still have a few pieces of furniture to move into our guest room (hopefully we can fit it all), and then our first floor will be completely devoid of anything.  But then we'll be at the mercy of when contractors can schedule us.  I'm not looking forward to that, although our friend is a contractor and has contacts with quality people, so hopefully it won't be as painful as it could be.

We leave for Myrtle Beach on Saturday and I just learned that Jaime's parents upgraded to a 10-person condo right on the beach.  Jaime and I, her parents, brother, grandfather, aunt, and her parents' friends will all be staying at the 10-person condo (nine of us) and a group of close family friends have another condo.  It should be one hell of a family getaway.  Deep sea fishing, seafood dinners, group games at the condo, long days on the beach, etc.  It'll be nice to get away, and the last time we were in Myrtle Beach I was able to get a temporary week-long membership at Gold's Gym so I'm hoping to do the same this visit to keep up with my workout schedule and also get some alone time when needed.

So ultimately I don't expect much to get done between now and Saturday, but when we get back we'll have a more formal plan on demo, insurance money, family financial help, kitchen renovations, contractor bids, etc.  And tomorrow I have an interview so I hope that these are the first few steps to things improving.
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« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2009, 11:15:34 PM »

Damn Pete.  Sorry to hear about the mess and life continuing to f*ck with you in general.  When you catch a fish be sure to punch it in the face for good measure.
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« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2009, 03:54:17 PM »

As an update we just got back from our vacation in Myrtle Beach and unfortunately back to the reality of our lives.  We're going to receive a reasonable amount from our homeowner's insurance, and since I'm going to do all of the demo and some of the repairs myself we'll be able to stretch it pretty far.  I'll have to hire a contractor for a few elements of the renovations, but ultimately we'll only have to pay a bit out of pocket and the rest will be covered by insurance.  I also have a friend who is pretty savvy with home renovations so he's going to lend a hand as well. 

I've had a few job interviews but so far they'd require me to reset my career from square one all over again.  The positions were far from ideal or even reasonable so I'm still on the job hunt.  I can't bring myself to take an entry-level position after earning close to 10 years of higher-level experience.  One company offered me less than half of what I used to make and presented it as if I should be desperate enough to take it.  Sorry, but no. 

Today I've been making more detailed plans for our renovations, finishing up the kitchen design, and developing a detailed list of tools/supplies I'll need, the order in which we'll tackle each project, and moving the rest of our things out of the work area so that tomorrow I can get started. 

The closer I look at things the more overwhelmed I become, but once I get started things should slowly start to come together.  I'll do all of the things I can, and parts that turn out to be more than I can handle we'll get the help of a contractor to pick up where I leave off.  While I'm excited to see the house when it is all finished, right now I'm wondering if that day will ever come.
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« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2009, 03:59:53 PM »

I recomend patience and the knowledge that it will take longer than you think.

Good luck.
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« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2009, 05:54:50 PM »

Wow, sorry to hear about all this, Pete!  I can say I've been there - unfortunately, twice.  Once, a 75 gallon, freshwater aquarium drained, and a few years ago, the town sewer system backed up into our cellar. Speaking of that, make sure you have one-way valves everywhere you might need them, like in our case, on the line between the clothes washer outlet tube and the town plumbing. 

I had a similar reaction as you did to the empty aquarium   We'd been up late, entertaining, and I was brought back to consciousness by that sucking sound filters make that are low on water.  I walked up to the front of the tank, in bare feet... and the carpet in front of the tank was dry.  I then noticed that there were fish flopping around on the gravel, and all the plants were lying down.  I got that "this can't be real" feeling, and the first thing I looked at after realizing the tank was actually empty of water - was the living room door handle, to see if it was locked.  Like, what?  Someone stole our water in the middle of the night?    Roll Eyes

It turned out that one of the seals had given way, and it took about 6 hours for all the water to drain.  The carpet was dry because the water seeped down the wall behind it, went into the laundry room below, and down a drain.  Btw, we got the tank replaced because the company matched up the "inspected by" initials to someone who had assembled more than one faulty tank.  That person was - as they put it - flipping burgers now.  Anyway, we were able to save almost all the fish, though the tank we tossed them all into was a 20-gallon one with it's own residents.  It ended up looking like a shopping mall at Christmas, the fish were all like, "wtf?"   icon_eek

I still shudder when I remember those two events.  I'm thinking that water disasters are only "better than" fires, especially if you must still live there.  I hope it all works out for you - as it seems you are making the right moves to make it work out.  Good luck!   nod
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« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2009, 04:27:54 AM »

Quote from: PeteRock on July 27, 2009, 03:54:17 PM

I've had a few job interviews but so far they'd require me to reset my career from square one all over again.  The positions were far from ideal or even reasonable so I'm still on the job hunt.  I can't bring myself to take an entry-level position after earning close to 10 years of higher-level experience.  One company offered me less than half of what I used to make and presented it as if I should be desperate enough to take it.  Sorry, but no. 

I've had 1 interview. One. And they didn't call/write/contact me back. I called, emailed, visited, all to no avail. I may be taking that entry level position before long.

 crybaby
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« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2009, 04:55:13 AM »

Quote from: lildrgn on July 28, 2009, 04:27:54 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on July 27, 2009, 03:54:17 PM

I've had a few job interviews but so far they'd require me to reset my career from square one all over again.  The positions were far from ideal or even reasonable so I'm still on the job hunt.  I can't bring myself to take an entry-level position after earning close to 10 years of higher-level experience.  One company offered me less than half of what I used to make and presented it as if I should be desperate enough to take it.  Sorry, but no.  

I've had 1 interview. One. And they didn't call/write/contact me back. I called, emailed, visited, all to no avail. I may be taking that entry level position before long.

 crybaby

One's expectations change. Today my wife had her first interview in six months...for a contract job that doesn't actually exist yet, and that doesn't come with benefits. Everyone got along famously and hoped that it might lead to an actual permanent fulltime job someday. Maybe.

It looks like salaries have dropped about 20% in the realm of writing/editing/teaching journalism.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 04:58:51 AM by Ironrod » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2009, 05:40:53 AM »

If I could share my own agony ITT, today was one of those days for me as well:  

1) started out with my finally getting my car back from a smash and grab while I was shopping in Microcenter.  Destroyed my drivers door in an effort to get in, then just smashed another window to get into the car: 1600 dollars of damage and I am without a car for week, because initially they said a couple of days, and why go through all the hassle for a couple of days I plan on taking off?  Wrong.  Got my company laptop with a month worth of email and work products they will never be able to use due to encryption and Computrace.  500 dollar deductible on the car.  Had to take a cab to get it because GF and I are in a huge argument and she was in no shape (mentally, the root cause of the fight) to drive.  Am now the company poster boy for laptop theft.

2) Court date for a 40 in a  30 mph speeding ticket.  Not a big deal, except it was in what the city of Houston now calls an "urban district": just like a school zone but with no sign and no option for defensive driving.  After some bullshit from my boss and a lunch break and a potential reset, I just paid the deferred adjudication costs (another $200)and went back to work to argue with my power-mad control freak boss about an extra 20 minutes at lunch, in a job where there are no time clocks and I work way more than 40 hours, on the house in most cases due to all kinds of freak out when I reported my real hours.  Also, he didn't show until 10AM at all.  I would get another job but I am caught in the middle of the senior/entry gap:  not enough to be senior whatever but too much experience to stay entry level long enough to take a chance on me.  Resumes are flying, though.

3)Had to give away one of my production machines in order to squelch a huge family fight between my adult sister and my mother.  The older machine that I been working on for them dying while they were making the two hour drive to my house.  Which turned into a battle royal as my PTSD bipolar borderline personality GF went off because she didn't feel like they gave her enough notice before they showed up (a full day for a quick visit-this was the fight from earlier).  The police were called, my dogs got loose, we were lucky no one went to jail or no animals were killed.  Lots of tears and unmended fences, though.

4)Just got finished paying 450 bucks for an alternator replacement on my girlfriend's car, a week after the warranty ran out.  Of course we had it in the week before but the owner wouldn't make it right because he is having hard times and the insurance company wouldn't pay out for a couple of weeks.  He needed my cash, which I would have gladly given as a loan but it really kind of smells the way it worked out.  Guy has been my mechanic and pretty good acquaintance/friend for the last 8 years.  It was sad as I could tell he knew he was blowing it but so needed the money.

5) Last week, DirecTV got my billing mixed up and charged me suddenly for all of my receivers and installation again, except this time with no rebates, deductibles, or my other payments.  Of course this was right before payday and I didn't have enough money to cover, so that diet coke now cost 36 dollars rather than 99 cents.  Got it all worked out but I spent an entire day on the phone with the bank and DirecTV trying to sort all this out.

6) I am totally trapped in every sense of the word: at home, at work, within even myself with my diabetes, I don't feel like I can take any action that would have a long term beneficial  effect because of (hopefully) extreme short time damage do to people in every circumstance.  I must have a sign that says please hold my affection for my son, my contractors, my family, etc. for ransom; its the best way to control me and I feel very hemmed in by circumstance.

Of course, I have a job which pays ok in these times even if I hate it,, I have a house (still damaged from Ike, just got the check cashed finally after 9 months of struggle: the raccoons who live in the attic will be sad), and a family, all of whom love me even if they say horrible things to me and hate each other now,  so I should thank my stars and pray for good outcomes for everyone else in this thread.  

Totally sucks about the water leak, car repair, etc.  Let not your heart be troubled.  Everything is going to be alright, one way or the other.  Think of it as burning bad luck, so when things turn around like I know they will for you, it will be a clear sail across the finish line and that yellow jersey.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 06:03:01 AM by Rhinohelix » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2009, 02:24:05 PM »

Quote from: Rhinohelix on July 28, 2009, 05:40:53 AM

Totally sucks about the water leak, car repair, etc.  Let not your heart be troubled.  Everything is going to be alright, one way or the other.  Think of it as burning bad luck, so when things turn around like I know they will for you, it will be a clear sail across the finish line and that yellow jersey.

 icon_biggrin

Of course at first I was pretty upset about the damage caused by the fish tank.  And growing up my father and I never got along and so I have zero home improvement experience outside of what I've learned on my own (replacing a toilet, painting, patching walls, building a custom closet).  Fortunately a close friend of mine is an experienced contractor and more than willing to help with our renovations to stretch our insurance money as far as we can.  We'll get a licensed contractor to handle installation of our kitchen cabinets, countertops, and the floor tile, and my friend and I are going to do all of the rest (movement of a few walls, replacement of drywall, installation of floor moulding, relocation of a few outlets, all demo, kitchen design, and paint). 

We'll inevitably have to pay some money out of pocket as we're not restoring our space to pre-existing conditions but instead making improvements we've always dreamed about, but with financing our kitchen through Ikea, purchasing materials on our own rather than through a contractor, and utilizing special offers like three months or one year no interest at places like Lowe's or Home Depot we'll be able to accomplish what we want without putting ourselves at financial risk.  In the end I am sure we will greatly appreciate the improvements, especially since we'll handle much of the work on our own, and I am very excited about the final goal. 

"Faux" slate tile (porcelain tile with the texture, colors, and size of slate but with greater durability at lower cost) throughout the first floor, a throw rug in the living room, speaker wire run through the drywall (behind the baseboards) for the rear surround sound speakers, fresh paint, dark brown-black cabinets in the kitchen, faux concrete countertops (cheaper but with the same look and even better durability), brushed nickel handles/hardware, a new stove and dishwasher, new farmhouse style sink, taller faucet in the kitchen for washing pots and larger items, new toilet, tile, and sink in the powder room along with a new mirror, lighting, etc, and a bar with bar stools along the wall that separates the kitchen from the dining area/living room.  A few walls will be reconfigured, a couple of outlets will be moved, demo will take a great deal of effort due to my OCD and obsession with cleanliness and order, and disposal of the demo-ed materials will be tough as our development isn't a big fan of tossing things into the area dumpsters and I don't have property for renting a roll-off. 

Regardless, the end product will leave us with a house we love and a space we've always wanted. 
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« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2009, 01:25:57 AM »

After a metric shit-ton of demo (tile, thinset, 1/2 bathroom, drywall, entire kitchen) and a bit of shopping, our vision as well as our budget are both starting to come together.  We managed to find an alternative to the $70/sf countertops we fell in love with.  The alternative is similar, but far less expensive at $58/sf, and that cost includes installation as well as a stainless steel sink, sub-mount installation of the sink, and plumbing of the sink (the $70/sf countertop does not include installation, sink, sink installation, or sink plumbing).  We were also planning to do faux slate tile due to cost, but we managed to find real slate for even less than the porcelain alternative.  The porcelain was $3.25/sf, and we found real slate for only $1.59/sf at a local tile wholesaler.  After sealing the slate tile is absolutely stunning.

My wife found inexpensive appliances on Craigslist, a friend is helping us with all of the wall framing, drywall finishing, texturing, electrical, and painting, and cabinets are scheduled to be installed August 24th to the 26th.  Once the cabinets are installed we'll have the countertops measured and eventually installed, and once all of that is finished we'll have the slate flooring put in, I'll handle the floor moulding myself, my friend and I will seal the slate tile and grout, and after the flooring is done we'll finish the 1/2 bath on our first floor.  While picking up wall studs, drywall, and electrical supplies today we even found a toilet on clearance for our 1st floor bathroom.  Regular price was $250, but because a new model is coming out soon they had it on clearance for $90.  That was one of the most unusual impulse buys we've ever purchased.   ninja 

Each day we get closer and closer, but christ is it a lot of work, and I long for the day when I can just sit back and enjoy our home.  One more month of work, material installation, etc, and once it is all finished we'll be having one hell of a housewarming party to celebrate completion of our efforts. 

The job search is coming along, and Aerotek has a few leads for me next week, a few potential interviews, I've already had a few phone interviews, but my wife wants me to do all I can to finish the home renovations before returning to the workforce.  Not that I'm slacking off in my search, but my wife has been supportive of my layoff and she's happier with me getting our home to where we want it rather than going to a 9-to-5, at least at this point in time.  Once the home renovations are done I'll be ready to go back to a normal job.  It'll be far less work.   icon_wink 
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« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2009, 02:13:56 PM »

How are there no photos of this momentous demo and rebirth?!

Before and ongoing and after photos at least?!
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« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2009, 02:22:32 PM »

Pete doesn't post pics because the sheer fabulosity contained in them would burn your eyes out even though you are looking a second hand visual.
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« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2009, 02:44:08 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 10, 2009, 02:22:32 PM

Pete doesn't post pics because the sheer fabulosity contained in them would burn your eyes out even though you are looking a second hand visual.

I've seen the attempts to photograph either him or his fabulous stuff. All you see is a glare on the picture. Cameras are not equipped to handle the luminosity.
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