More Water Troubles

IMG_0502This year has not been a good one for me when it comes to water and troubles with it.  We have had problems at our home, at some of rental properties, and the latest issue is at my cousin’s house.  I suppose Jessica called me since she knew we had dealt with issues like hers this year.

I don’t wish water problems on anyone.

In her case, it could have been a lot worse.  Like many people, she panicked when she first discovered the issue and just didn’t know what to do.  She behaved exactly like I did the first time that I found water issues in my home and with good reason – you count on your house being a strong rock over your head.

It was the first time that she had ever been worried.

She had called me in a panic about her home, but I was able to calm her down.  I suggested that she call a company that specialized in water damage restoration Los Angeles to come assess her situation and give her a solution.

That is exactly what she did.

She has techs coming out this week to fix her water problems and fix the situation that caused them in the first place.  She’ll feel a lot better when everything is done, and I am confident that things will go smoothly for her.

Replaced our Siding

Well spring has finally sprung and I have been looking to get some of my projects done early this year.  I have been working at my house over the past few years trying to not only maintain it, but improve it as well.  Picking at the list each and every year has helped to spread out the costs of renovating my house and has made it more affordable than doing it all at once.

At least that is how it seems to me.

One of the last exterior eyesores on my home was the siding.  It was original cedar siding put there many years ago and I had never really liked it.  There were more important things that needed to be dealt with, so I put the siding replacement on the backburner.

But I’m getting it done this year.

In fact, I reached out to one of the siding contractors Plymouth Michigan, located at 51225 West Hills Drive Plymouth, MI 48170, to help us out.  I knew that I had no experience doing any kind of siding work, so I wanted to make sure it was done properly – any of the mistakes that I might make would come with a hefty bill to repair.

So, we hired the experts instead.

It was the best decision we could have made.  It didn’t take them long to get the work done, and with the new siding in place, our home looks like it is brand new.

I love it.

My First Rental Property

The first property that I ever bought as a rental is a little duplex close to downtown.  It needed a lot of work, but it had a lot of potential (at least on paper), so it made the most sense to buy it.  At the time I was in college and didn’t have a lot of money, so I needed to make sure that I was making the right investment.

There was no room for mistakes.

As it turns out, I made a rookie mistake and missed the signs of water damage at the property.  In fact, it didn’t come to light until we had our first potential renter walk through the home and they noticed it right away.

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I had no idea how to handle the problem, so I called a company that specialized in Water Damage Restoration los angeles to come help us out.  It used the last of my savings to get the property into rent-ready condition, but I’m happy to say that everything worked out.  The water damage was repaired and the property has been bringing in a steady stream of rental cheques since then.

I’m just thankful that my first rental property purchase didn’t go smoothly – I learned a lot from that first investment.

Learning How to Type

typing-on-keyboard-1459449-639x852 While I would like to think that I am very “tech-savvy”, there are a few areas that I lack any kind of skills.  One of the things that I would like to work on at some point in my life would be learning how to use Apple products, but I need to correct my biggest deficiency first:

I don’t know how to type.

Okay, let me clarify that statement for you: I can type with two fingers, but as for typing properly without looking at the keyboard, I don’t have any clue how to do that.

It is a little embarrassing.

Thankfully the internet is full of resources that help you learn skills that you would like to develop.  In my case it took one little search on Google to find free typing lessons for beginners, and I’ve already started my lessons.

It is going to take some time to “re-wire” my brain and learn how to type properly.  I’m planning to work on it for about twenty minutes each night, and I figure that in less than a couple of weeks I will be able to type fast and properly without looking at the keyboard.

I’m actually pretty excited.

For me, I figure that it will save me a lot of time as I do type quite a bit for my business, and if I could type at a good pace, I should be able to free up my time to get more work done.

I’ll report back to you guys in a couple of weeks with my progress.

New Project this Week

Instead of spending all of my life in the office this year, I thought that I would get out of the office more often and spend my time helping people I care about.  I have been so blessed in my life with a successful business, good health and I really feel that I have hit the point in my life where I should look at paying back those who helped me out along the way.

I was speaking with my uncle Dan who lives in Altadena over the weekend, and he was sharing his plans to enclose the deck on the back of their home and turn it into a sunroom.  His wife loves to garden and he thought that it would be the perfect gift for her on their fortieth wedding anniversary.

I asked if I could help.

That is why I’m out of the office this week.  We had a company out yesterday that specialized in windows replacement in Altadena come out and figure out our best bet for putting windows into the deck.  Today we are working on enclosing the space and siding the outside of the deck.  It will take us a couple of days to get that done and we’ll have to attach a roof over the deck as well.

It is going to be a busy week, but I’m having fun spending time with my uncle.  Helping him out this week is exactly what I should be doing with my time.

La Sambre Delivers a Unique Experience

While I have spent a lifetime reading a wide variety of books, I am always on the lookout for something new, mysterious and intriguing.  I have gone from being satisfied with fantasy stories (think Dungeons and Dragons and that kind of thing) to looking for literature that stimulates my mind and makes me think.

That isn’t too much to ask, right?

So you can imagine how intrigued I was when a good friend of mine suggested that I check out the new book by Kuro Yamamato, La Sambre.  She has similar literary tastes as I do, so I knew that it had to be something special.

I headed over to their website and I learned about this new book which promised to be unconventional compared to most literary works of our day.  As I dug deeper into the site, I felt like I was being sucked down a rabbit hole, and after a few minutes, I had more questions than answers.

But I was hooked.

As I rushed to find the “buy button”, I discovered that this book wasn’t even being distributed in the traditional sense – there was no way to buy it either.

I was shocked.

Thankfully there was a way to get a copy of the book – by it being gifted.  I filled out the contact form and made a request for this book.  While I don’t know if that will happen, I do know one thing – this has been a unique experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. 

Hopefully I will have the opportunity to hold the book in my hands some day.

Marketing to Local Music-Lovers through Social Media

For the better part of the last two years I have performed in a band here in my hometown.  I suppose that it was inevitable – music is and has been such a large part of my life and is really the only time that my soul is truly happy.  I’m not trying to be melodramatic by any means, but music would definitely be considered my passion and my “dream job” that I have had since I was a child.

The trouble is that I have never taken the leap to head down this path in life.  I have always played it safe and logical, and for me, that has taken away some of my happiness.

We recently were invited to play at a local venue here in town after their band canceled on them, and the four of us decided to take our shot.  This venue is going to be a lot larger than any place that we have played before, and though we have our own small fan base, it is really the opportunity for us to take things up a notch.

With such short notice of the gig (it will be tonight), we decided to reach out through social media marketing with the help of AdmonMedia, an online marketing agency based in Melbourne Australia.  They specialize in helping businesses and bands like ours reach a larger audience through social channels. 

Now that we have the marketing taken care of, we can focus on the show.  We have just a little less than five hours to come up with a complete set.

I’m hoping that tonight marks the first step on a rewarding music career.

Found Some Mold in our Basement

I don’t know if I have ever been so afraid as I was when I discovered mold in our basement.  All at once I felt fear, anger and concern about the place that I have called my home for what seems like years.  I couldn’t help but wonder if it was even safe for me to be in my home anymore and that is truly a scary feeling.

You are supposed to be safe in your home.

But seeing mold there on some of the walls turned everything upside down.  I didn’t dare touch it, but I knew that I had to get someone in to give me an opinion as to what could be done to resolve the issue.  Leaving it alone was about the worst thing I could do, and I would rather deal with it right away.

So, that is exactly what I did.

I contacted a company that specialized in mold abatement and they were out in about half an hour to examine the problem.  They were able to assess the situation and provide a way to solve it.

Which is exactly what I needed to hear.

They will be out again later this week to get the work done and I feel better already knowing that soon my mold problem will be history.

Finding New Windows for the Shop

As a business owner I am always trying to make incremental improvements to our storefront.  This can include everything from a fresh coat of paint to a complete renovation to the customer service desk.  From the rickety old store that we started from until today there have been countless improvements done to our building.

But we are not done yet.

In fact, I have been looking at making some changes that will both help the energy efficiency of the building as well as make a good impression.  You see, we still have the original windows and front door that came with the building when we bought it years ago and they have needed to be replaced for a long time.  While a simple paint job used to cover up their age, it is to the point where we can’t hide it anymore: they are just too old now.

So I have been browsing store front commercial windows and doors in Los Angeles to try and create that perfect first impression when the customers pull-up to our building.  I really wanted a modern and clean look that would allow them to see into the store whether we are open or not.  I have always been a big believer that window shopping can convert a looker into a customer, and that is exactly the goal with this renovation.

I have narrowed my selection down to a couple of styles, but I am going to sleep on it for a few days before making my decision.  Our store is going to look the same for the next decade or so, so I have to make sure to pick out the right ones.

I can’t wait to see what the storefront looks like when we are done.

Perfect Birthday Gift for Grandma

What do you get for a lady that is turning the young age of 92?  My grandmother will be having her birthday in just a few days more than a week and I have been agonizing as to what I should get her for her gift.  She has seen more than I have at my age, and if she needs something she would just buy it on her own.  But being the good grandson that I am, I vowed that I would find her the perfect gift this year.

It was a lot harder than I would have thought.

I searched through store after store trying to find her a gift, but I didn’t have much luck.  When you have no real idea as to what someone her age could use, it makes finding a gift difficult.

Really difficult.

I was just about going to give up when I recalled a conversation that we had just a couple of weeks ago.  We had been talking about baking and how she didn’t have any aprons.

It was like a light bulb went off in my head.

I decided to get her some kitchen aprons at one of my favorite clothing shops.  The beauty of buying her this type of gift was that I could pick it out online and have it delivered right to my door.  After all the Christmas shopping that I did at the mall this year, I was so thankful to be able to sit at home with my tablet to do some shopping.

The apron will arrive just before my grandmother’s birthday and I know she will love it.