Monday, October 29, 2012

New York Webcam

Live broadcast by Ustream

Worst Hurricane ever?  Looks like a normal summers day on the Isle of Man.

(And I still haven't seen Godzilla)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY Or Not To DIY?

After 10 years of looking at the same wallpaper it's finally been decided that a holiday will be dropped from the schedule and we are going to decorate.  When I say we I don't mean me because of all the things in all the worlds, the one thing I won't and will never do is hanging wallpaper.  Painting yes, wallpaper no.  It goes back to GCSE art when in order to qualify to do the course you had to draw a box in 3D, I had every angle back to front so it had the perspective of being in the box looking out., my teacher was disgusted, I am fucking shit at anything that requires an artistic eye, I have artistic dyslexia.  To be honest I also wasn't that keen on getting involved in the knocking stuff down, making things good, general bits and pieces side of things either, I have a rapidly failing business, cash I have (for the time being), time I don't.  My plan was simple, spend cash and get a pro in to do it.

The wife had other ideas, why pay for labour when you can do it yourself and then spend that money on many lovely things for your new living room.  Just to be clear here I wasn't exactly being stingy with the budget but anyhoo, every penny saved on labour is a penny to be spent on stuff!  Giving the wife credit she did throw herself into this and did a great job of stripping the walls but even so I found myself getting too involved.  I didn't want anything to do with it, spend money, do nothing.  So when the plan on relying on favours finally looked like it was going to drag out I convinced her that it would be better to go with my plan and just pay somebody.  I would stump up the extra cash on top of the original budget.  How hard can it be, get estimates from painters and decorators and have them do it, it's what they do day in and day out surely?  Or so you'd think.  In my keenness to pay somebody I'd forgotten my one golden rule of dealing with the trades, nothing is every straight forward.  The only estimate we've had back so far has been the usual shit* where as what I want is "here is a room, make it look nice, I'm going out to work, see you later".  To be fair though the other 2 lads that have come around have looked a lot keener to actually do the work, just waiting to hear back from them now, fingers crossed.  It's still got me thinking, like I said we don't decorate on this scale very often so what the hell to other people do?  That first painter & decorator we had in seemed genuinely surprised that everything wasn't pristine for him to just slap some wallpaper on, surely by the time you've prepped everything you might as well just do the decorating yourself?  And by yourself I mean my wife.  Is it just us again or do painters and decorators usually walk into rooms where everything is exactly how they want it ready for chucking up some wallpaper?  The key here is I don't mind paying, I'm not expecting freebies chucked in, I just want to pay you to do the work so I don't have to! 

*An example of the usual shit:- We had a fence blow down, we got somebody in to replace it (I was too busy with work).  The conversation went along the lines, yes we can do your fence no problem, if you just get up to B&Q and get the panels you want, you'll also need some new posts so if you can sort them out and get them set ready for us, it's probably only 1 days work to put the fence up (it was 3 panels).  Oh and you'll need to get rid of the old fence first.  All I could do was shake my head and laugh as I tried to explain to him that if I was sorting out the panels (we don't have a van), tipping the old fence and putting in new posts I might as well attach the panels to the posts myself.  It was lost on him, he did actually think I was going to pay him a days labour to screw on 3 fence panels. I replaced the fence.