Archive for September, 1996

Big Bills Give Me the Willies

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    9/18/96 3:54 PM

The move is virtualy over.
virtualy because there are a few bytes, or bits anyway, in South Lyon.
I opened one cupboard there and discovered it still was full of ceramic mugs – the kind
you get from companies. There were at least 8 from Ford divisions.

The guy who claims to want to buy the place called the other night. He has looked into costs of fixing foundation as well as rest of place. He concluded that it will cost him about $45k, and that when done it will be worth $65k. So he offered $20k.
I told him that Julie was handeling negotiations, but she was out teaching Black Belt Class (not really – but he didn’t need to know)

Mean while Builder’s wife – Barb sent us some invoices and stuff we requested.
some of them included bills for another house. Second time I caught her doing that.
She keeps insisting that the Down Payment is a “Cost” , as well as “owner contributions”
Trying to sort through her spread sheets is a monster.
We signed a “Cost Plus” contract.
The “Plus” is 18% & 4% that are somehow combined to produce an effective 22.6666% – I think
We got an allowance for some things – like Kitchen Cabinets – which conviently Builder’s Sister sells – out of her kitchen. No commision on design work if we buy from “her sources”  our kitchen allowance was $8800 (cost)  Plus was about $2K
There are things called “Change Orders”
So when we chose cheapest cabinets – Cost $5.5k  you’d think that we would get credit for difference in Cost & the Plus
Nope, they think they get to keep whole Plus

But wait There’s More!

Julie & I decided that those cabinets really looked cheap – the wood trim was simulated plastic lamiminate that wasn’t trimed well. So we opted to go up a level and get mid range – $6.3k Cost.
Now They tell us that they have contract with vedor that they must mark up Cost by 35%
So we’re up to $8.2k and $500 to sister and because of that they get to charge us an extra 18% on the overage

I’m not sure I have all the shim-sham-doodling figured out – but it looks like $4.7k over bill to me.

There are lots of other mysterious numbers and it is like trying to unmix paint.

I really trusted these folks when we got started, and they have lots of good reference –
although I don’t think we called them all.

Maybe I’m in denial – but looking at a bill for $28k sure makes me queazy.

Then to make my night – Julie tells me that Compuserve is over billing me again.

So I get on phone to customer service and after half hour on wait – I get kid who has trouble dealing with facts of case.  We found out last time that some couple, Betty and Al Hicks, (sure they are) have some how managed to get account with  my old credit card number – Visa changed my old number, when I got new card from 10 digit to new and improved 12 digit type. I changed billing information – but some how Betty & Al managed to get locked on to my old number.
So my Visa bill shows up with 3 or 4 charges of about $120 each every month and I call up Visa and say “not me!” and they tell me to call Compuserve and they tell me to call Visa and so on….

What I can’t figure out is what can you buy from Compuserve that makes scam worth while?

Mean while we are trying to spiff up place for FrogTown Hop.

I’m still restricted to eating over sink – at least while Julie is within a 15 mile radius.
She hears crumbs dropping while she is at work and I get a call.

Plan is to have Grannie sleep over – first time Saturday night.
May be total disaster.
Joy & Mike are planing to pitch tent in vollyball court (just mowed)
Uncle Gerry, Robin, Gerry jr, Thumper, Domino, and – I forget other dog’s name are probably going to camp in camper.
And we get message from Peggy – living in Chicago that she may come and bring friend. She’s about 50ish so I’m not sure air mattress will be suitable.
I’m sure that if we were settled and not freaking out over Hop – that we could manage.
oh well – life is suppose to be an adventure.

and what did Barney say in The Match Maker about an adventure?

Something about wishing you were safe at home in your own bed…

Hope you are having the Wright kind of adventures, too.

Love Dave & Julie


Leave a comment »

Basement Surfing and Garage Sailing

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    9/10/96 8:12 AM

Julie wants to know address/phone number of scone place. She thinks she wants to order some.  I think they will end up like poptarts or worse in mail.

By now we should have been safely moved.

not so.

a couple of  new “quick” contracts kept me on road – Frogtown to South Lyon to Troy to Waterford to Farmington Hills to South Lyon to Frogtown.
Try to get a short load on return trip – usualy too tired to unload. my side of garage is full of stuff – shelves waiting Rustoleum, and boxes coming(full) or going (empty)  So truck stays out and boxes get soggy in dew.
I quit trying to mark what is in boxes – they have been recycled so many times there isn’t room.   Besides – it’s all “Misc”

Trying to get old place sold – Pete S.  young guy with paving business next door is getting quotes on how much to fix the basement – he may buy – but I doubt if he’ll go more than $40 k. Tony – the realitor said it would sell at $70k, but I can’t believe  that.

Julie is adding up the invoices – she is coming up about $17k less than builders figures
– but it is hard to figure out – debits and credits and backcharges.   They are charging us 18% & 4%(indrect) – comes out to 23%

Wed I pick up gear for tractor starter- $3.75
get permit for lawn sale Saturday & Sunday $5.00
expect lots of traffic – it will be “Depot Days” in South Lyon.  Next bigest thing to Pumpkinfest!
I see a few Turkeys – 4 I think wandering by the humming bird feeder. I know they aren’t humming birds – they are walking, they are all brown, and move somewhat  slower.
also a bit larger  – 6-8 lbs I’d guess. hummmm.

Friday I make up signs for yard sale – 2’x2′ foam core – painted florescent green hot glued to steel stakes.  Text is printed on yellow paper – and glued/ coated with Krylon – for maximal weather resistance.

That night we get stuff packed – folding table & chairs, pop, tarp etc.
Compuserve weather says cloudy – chance of rain – Sat & Sunday.

Sat am
get up before sun.  foggy and light mist – we decide to chance it

Tarp is about 12’x12′  – with effective dry area of 10’x10′
we try to cram as much stuff as possible on shelves and table as we can fit.
– I put up the signs at 9:00 – there are hundreds of folks in shorts and running shoes for
the Depot Run milling around Ada and Witch’s Hat

Julie is all for quiting by 9:30

But by 10: we have first customer – they snarf few games and ugly things – Julie is
giving prices to move – $0.25 for this, $2.00 for that.

We bring out jug o f change and start to roll coins to pass the time –
now a drizzle – tarp is covering 8’x8′
I bring out more stuff to keep shelves full – presentation is everything – but its hard to make some of that stuff look attractive.
people keep stopping. Most buy something.
We are only yard sale in town –
Tarp is covering 6’x6′ as wind picks up and turns to real rain.

we decide to quit about 3:30
it takes about an hour to lug the stuff back into house.
wind blows down tarp just before we try to take it down.
2 of 3 signs I put up blew down.

We get back to Frogtown – too tired to move.
we count our take – $87
but we rolled $450 in change.
We decide not to continue yard sale – just bring stuff back and put in dumpster

later we try to recheck Julies check of builers figures and make up list of questions – we only get part done.

Sunday –
Sun is out.
We get to South Lyon –
We decide to put out stuff for Free -while packing last of “keepers”

Most of the stuff dissapears as soon as we move it to street.
I’m huffing and puffing – lugging stuff up basement stairs that we missed before.

by end of day we still have full load – truck, trailer, and Julies car, plus a big pile for garbage day  – but it would have been 3 times that otherwise.

Now place is nearly empty. Still has curio cabinet ($1300 new!) and larger than life Halloween monsters made by Jonathan, and some misc trash – looks like a short load –
if we can unload curio thing.

get home.  I see one of the turkeys near front as I’m pulling in. I run and get Julie but it has dissapeared – I don’t think she believes me

We unload.
I do few hours on “quick” contract.

I get up early and try to finish work . I’m suppose to drop of file in Troy in morning.
I see the turkey family out front – 2 big ones and 2 teenagers. I name them the Nelsons – Ozzie, Harriet, Dave & Rick.

I’m nearly out of here when phone rings. It’s the Builders wife.
She wants to know what is taking us so long paying them.  I do my best to explain that we are trying to figure out numbers (she is bookkeeper) and we don’t get same answer.  It almost gets nasty, but I tell her we will have list of questons faxed by pm.

As I’m leaving – meet Julie in driveway – She isn’t feeling well and headed to bed.
Get home about 6 pm and we go over numbers and questions again.
“why are we being charged $157 in materials for back door step? – it is only 6 small
pieces of wood – bill includes four 2x4x8′ and three 4×4 x10′ and 2 pounds of nails,
among other things”

We then try to work on Frogtown Hop invitations (Sept 22) but can’t focus. So we hop into Jacuzzi for quick ride – then bed.

All for now
hope you all are well and having fun.


Dave & Julie


I know it’ s a long shot – but if you can make it to Frogtown Hop it would be great.
or any time.   We now have guest bed! & sheets too.

Leave a comment »

Laboring Daze

FROM:    David y Wright, 71510,536
From:    David y Wright, 71510,536
DATE:    9/4/96 10:58 AM

Hope you have been having fun.  I know we are trying

When we last left off  The Hambright clan had just left.

Julie goes back to work.   There are more layoffs – but she misses the cut.

pressure goes up for yours truly to get a real job.

call from old ski buddy – his firm wants some graphics for program menu.
I get the job for $1600 – more or less.
They are in hurry – boss is going on road and wants new look – so I rush
find out this morning that I misspelled “Genzlinger”   (Mr G missed it too)
lots of other clean up – it will take twice as long to fix up – but what the heck…

Dan – who had pnemonia before and couldnt, wants to help with continuing moving
I call and set up time after work. Thurs 5:30
Rush like dickens to get my desk and more shelves dissasembled.
He shows up half an hour early and we load truck & trailer.
He says when will I need help again?
I tell him we should talk about it after we unload @ Frogtown…….
He wasn’t planing on that…. but quick call to girl friend – Jennifer – and we are on way.
He tells me as we are unloading (in dark) that he is taking Jennifer, and his and her kids camping over weekend – possibly to Hartwick Pines.
Neat.   But he isn’t sure…  some logistics or something.
I tell him that they can pitch tent @  Frogtown.

Saturday  Julie & I go for big load – misc crap.
we get back about 2 or 3 pm whipped
there is tent in field.
About 4 pm they show up – day at Silver Lake.
Dan has 2 kids – Michel ~ 4 and Ryan ~7
Jenifer has 2 of her kids – Chris ~ 16 and Aron about 11 along with Andrew about 16

Younger kids begin shooting arrows around target leaning against pole barn.
adds to distressed look

Chris and Andrew  ride bikes around trails…
Arron is given instructions on mower operation – to cut car path around field.
Starter gives out ….. has to be pushed back.

make a fire and kids begin flaming marshmallows – after stripping several trees for exactly right stick.

Jennifer is alergic to rag weed and somthing and can’t breath.
She comes in house – takes shower and crashes in Gramma Lynn’s bed.
little kids use bathrooms instead of woods – and Julie keeps wiping off little  hand
prints on walls –

next morning  older boys go to find local horseback riding.
others head back for lake – Jennifer seems  ready to pack it in –

Louie (old friend from high school) comes out and we have chicken and corn on grill.
Dan et al come back from lake – they decied to break camp – Chris has allergies too and not having as much fun though.
They roast few weinnies and have some corn  then drive off into sun set.
Dan seems bumed – probably because he wanted to “rough it”

Julie & I get early start – by 2 pm have good load off stuff and head back.
I manage to do some “Work” then to bed.

Tuesday – Spend most of day froging around with Genzlinger job, & one for Sheldon. –
Get to South Lyon and pack medium size load.
Pete – guy who owns rental duplex next door and wants to maybe buy ours stops  by. I give him key so he can show to foundation specalist – need to find out how much will cost to fix up before we talk serious $.
Get home about 7:30 – too tired to unload in dark.

Julie & I go over bills and invoices trying to figure out how we got so far over cost.
Some of it doesn’t make sense or is miss catorgized as change orders vs varriences.
While we still have to pay, it make difference to me if it is something we wanted or if they over ran costs.
And some things – we just don’t understand.

Wed –
we are planing yard sale this Saturday/Sunday to unload last of trash.
need to get permit from city of SouthLyon to run it – $10
More than expected gross.

I dumpped 2 gallons of Clorox in well – first attempt at eliminating odor in water.
followed instructions from Cribley, well diggers. it has to sit 24 hours – so will live off
bottle water till tomarrow.

next I need to send out some resumes so I better get busy.

lots of love

Dave  & Julie too.

Leave a comment »