Saturday, May 13, 2006

Raining, pouring, snoring

So last Tuesday it started raining. And honey, I don't think it has stopped since. It either is pouring like the deluge Noah dealt with, or it just gently mists piss at you all day. Either way, it is no fun to be outside. And that's kind of good, because this weekend and next weekend we have to pack and be done.

Oh yes, the packing. You know. I'm all about the packing. Blah blah blah packing, work, BNL, packing, boxes, bottle of wine, packing, blah blah blah. I too wish I was a little more interesting. I'm truly sorry. Blah blah blah packing. Blah blah.

Rant alert.

The other day I had to go to what Mikey lovingly refers to as "The Crack House." AKA Lowes (or Home Depot).

This state has a brand new law that requires homes with fossil burning fuels (aka EVERY house in the commonwealth) to have CO detectors installed. Landlords are required to put them into apartments. Homeowners are required to put them in their homes.

The law grew out of the fact that a 7 year old little girl unfortunately died after becoming poisoned by carbon monoxide in her family home. Their vent for the propane heater was blocked. And she and her family succumbed to the gas, and she died.

That's really sad. But do we really need laws for common sense? (that's rhetorical. You know that most laws are passed because people do not have the sense that God gave geese).

Instead of having a law or recommendations which:

a) require people to go clear off their vents for their heating systems, or
b) require home builders to not build hermetically sealed (aka energy efficient) homes where no fresh air can ever get INTO the building through cracks or gaps under the door or whatever, or
c) require home builders to put heating system vents 10 ft up in the air on the side of the house instead of like 1 foot off the ground so snow can pile up on it and block the damn thing

now everyone is required to go out and buy CO detectors. And First Alert and the other companies that make the damn things make a shitton of money.

Her dad should have known where the vent was, and if it was new construction should have demanded the builder of their house put it up higher. Or, her dad should have built a protective frame around the vent, if it was too low to the ground.

After all, we're in New England, and once in a while we get more than a foot of snow.

Fire departments come in and inspect that you have them, and you have to PAY for a certificate, which is good for 30 days, to prove you are in compliance with the law. You cannot sell your house without one of these certificates.

I think it is a pantload of crap that personal responsibility for not having the common sense to go make sure your vent isn't blocked has to impact me and every other citizen of this state. It's crap.

But. It's the law so I grudgingly have to go buy the stupid things.

And damn if they aren't freaking EXPENSIVE. They were like fifty bucks. And I needed one for each bedroom. Holy crap.

That's five of these damn things.

I called my fire department to make sure I was doing everything right, because like MOST state laws they've left it up to the individual fire chiefs to determin how they will enforce this.

Isn't that just a kick in the pants. Let's make a law, but in one town this chief will do this, and in another it will be this, and who the hell cares. Just don't require us to have some uniform STANDARD where every single town is the same.

I heard from someone that they HAD to be hard-wired into an alarm system. Who has the money to do that? And then someone else told me that you can buy the combo CO-Smoke detectors, but then someone else told me that the CO detectors HAD to go in the bedrooms, and the smoke detectors have to be 10 ft away from bedroom doors.

What the?

So I'm standing there, confused as all hell. I asked the inspector if I could buy the dual detectors, smoke and CO. He said no. Unless they are voice alarms which say which offensive item is being detected.

Which is so damn stupid.

In my opinion, if I'm hearing an alarm my ass is getting out the damn house. I don't need to know WHICH bad thing is being detected, I'm hearing beep beep beep and running out the door.

After I grab the kids, of course.

And he also said that it isn't a good idea to buy the voice alarms overall, because "you may have a tenant who doesn't speak English well in your house, and they won't know what the alarm is telling them."

Well, they should learn English then if they want to live. Right? Holy cow. This is now pissing me off.

I could buy the dual alarm voice thingie or the dual beeper thingie for forty bucks, OR I can buy individual alarms for 20 to 59 dollars each. I picked out what I thought would do the job, but I probably got it all wrong. And I won't pass my inspection. Which, if it were in the interest of public safety, should be FREE TO ME. No charge. Whatsoever.




I hate this state sometimes.

So overall, I didn't enjoy my visit to the Crack House the way I usually do, because I left there feeling like my wallet had been raped by bureaucracy. Next time I go to the crack house though, it will be for gardening supplies and plants, and I'll have a much better feeling deep down. I'm sure.

I haven't felt like geocaching lately, due to high anxiety and worrying about being ready for the move. But today, man -- today I could use a hike. And I can't go really, unless I want to be soaked to the very core of my being.

It's God's way of keeping me inside, this stupid pouring rain. Doug too. Doug has no excuses now... and he is actually really doing a tremendous job with the packing and purging and cleaning. He's going through his grad school papers and books and deciding what to keep.

"I read a few of my papers," he said to me, "and man to they suck!"

Dude graduated with honors. And thinks his papers suck.


I gave an upstairs apartment key to the future owner of this house. He's been up there since 10am painting and working. He and his employees from his job (they don't work if it rains, which should give you an idea that they are outdoor day laborer types) have been here since Wednesday, which should tell you that it has indeed done nothing but rain. They are pretty quiet, but I forgot what it was like to have people walking around upstairs above me. When my tenants moved out (remember, it was like I set them on fire and I was confused by their speediness) it suddenly got incredibly quiet here.

Now there are walkers above me, and I miss the quiet.

In the cleaning and the packing, I'm finding some truly fun and cool stuff. I found this picture of Jessica and me from when she was about 3.

photobooth 1995
click for the larger version

I think we're at the Salem Willows, in the photo booth there... we never use these things, but I think she was just so gung ho and excited that I succumbed to her cuteness and we went in. I used photoshop to make it horizontal. I've got mad skillz, yo.

This morning I noticed that the orioles were back in the apple tree. Usually I have two males and a female. So far only one male is here. He's huge and VERY orange.

I'm going to miss the cardinal family and the annual orioles. I hope that the bird feeder and tree in our new yard host some interesting birds.

I'm going to miss the creek and the sound it makes. Normally by this time in the year we're sleeping with our windows open and enjoying the sounds of the water rushing along. This year, it's been cold and, aforementionedly, raining. I hope for a couple good comfortable nights so I can once again, one more time, enjoy one of the reasons I bought this place.

Well, I'd better get back to it. You know, blah blah blah packing.

More later.

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