New York NYC Journal

Did you know that 59% of grandparents supply some form of daycare?

For the first year of our grandson’s life we did daycare 5-days a week. These were 10 and sometimes 12 hour days. We know and realize that the grandson is very advanced in many ways because of our daycare.

Also at times we also had the 9 year old grand daughter.

Today we had both, but the 9 year old had school. Since our plumbing is not operational/functional we took care of them in their home.

Very rewarding, but also very demanding.

A very strong attachment has formed, and it is doubtful if we could live but a short drive away. We would likely follow if they moved out of state. Anyways another reason to stay loose and flexible.

Lately I go to bed early, wake up in the middle of the night, and go down to the living room to practice on an unplugged electric guitar (Tele). My pre-bedtime practices usually end with me falling asleep, but the late night sessions the practice is of very high quality and a lot of work gets done. The progress is great, and these late sessions do not disrupt of disturb “Maggie.”

I kinda realize that I grew up taking care of my elderly dad who was 69 years old when I was just 13, and also my younger brother. I grew up being a caretaker. With Maggie I kinda take care of her.

Now Wednesday, when the sewer pipe repair is scheduled, is not so far away. On Wednesday, Maggie will have both kids at their house, while I take care of business at our house.


JB Weld likely would of worked for me, but there are multiple issues with that pipe, and tomorrow they will hopefully get rid of all of them.

They are expected at 9:00 AM.

At the grandkid’s house I watched a series called “Into The Old.” This show is akin to rescueing abandoned houses or doing restorations that honor history of old homes.

Some of the homeowners were very personable, and you got to really know them. I would hope to think that I would be one of them. Know I don’t watch TV.

I thought about if the Baby-Victorian remodeling was documented, but the pace would be too slow because other than the kitchen and baths pretty much I’m the guy doing the work.

Anyways the point is that my house would be a good candidate for the show, but the timeline is too dragged out.

A crew of 5 guys showed up at 9:05. One truck is large and is a kinda mobile shop. A van has some machine that required a water hookup from my house.

Today the day before Thanksgiving is like a Friday for these guys and they want to be done by 3:00 PM.

Pretty much this technology began around 2017 and the capitol equipment outlay is large I was told. Right now they are clearing out roots. I assume several camera inspections will be performed as things progress with the prep.

The air quality indicator on the Dyson air purifier is in the red showing and indicating poor air quality. I am reminded of when we lived in Greenpoint not so far from a sewage processing plant where about a third of NYC’s sewage was processed. Occasionally the wind would be just right and we would get a whiff.

Had to move the wooden trim that was salvaged from the dining room. I decided to move it outside into the driveway because it was in the way, but then moved the pile into my garage just in case for the upstairs. You never know… I can always throw it out later…

I just secured a 22T 54mm BCD steel chainring to be able to recycle some muy retro Grafton cranks in the Yo Eddy. The Shimano M-739 cranks from 1997 have chainrings that are not so abundant and are costly. Pretty much I will have an option.

Chainrings currently on the bike still have life left in them.

The Yo Eddy is my 27 inch wheeled bike since I’m running 2.35 wide tires or wider up to 2.5 inch wide tires.

I’m also surprised that the Yo Eddy is only 23.5 pounds with no Ti bottom bracket, a Kalin seatpost, heavy pedals, and the oversized tires that add weight.

A few 29.4mm Thompson seatposts are posted, and I put in a best offer on one.

The 22T steel chainring is already shipped.

The thought came to mind is that pretty much I am living the dream and have pretty much everything I need on hand.

The sad decision to ever sell the Baby-Victorian would mean I an either terminally ill or dead. I can certainly manage the house on my own. To be clear it is “Maggie” that would not be able to manage.

I figure the best insurance is for me to be doing everything to promote my health. Maggie has some bad behaviors that are not conducive to longevity. She gets emotional and upset easily; she tends to stay a bit too busy to really relax; she does not keep a regular schedule; she tends to worry and be anxious; and she really does not take so great a care of herself like eating and sleeping enough.

The adjustment into retirement is very fraught for her. She says she is happy, but I’m not so sure because she seems so unsettled. Meanwhile I’m in the place where I want to be. Every day I move forward and move closer to the center of my small universe.

Sadly I can kinda predict the future, unless Maggie figures it all out. Of course she has had my support, but then again I have been an enabler. For instance I have picked up a lot of slack around the house while she wrote her book. When she was a digital influencer my weekends were spent working for her.

Surely I reaped some benefits and financial rewards, but otherwise I could of done other things with my life…

Getting the house ready to sell pretty much is insurance for Maggie’s benefit and future.


I think you summed up the sich-E-A-tion.

In the world of theater there is this expression, “In your own time.”

Each individual pretty much gets there, “In their own time.” Sadly some never get to the realization to grow.

The Digital Influencing was a trap, and so was actually writing and publishing a book.

Something about just having a small cult following is really all that is needed, perhaps just a few people who truly understand.

For me I want to avoid mass culture. I don’t want to be a sell-out. Free expression is mucho important to me, and I’m cool with just a few people who really know me.

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The crew finished up at 12:30 instead of by 3:00.

I just spent the past 2-hours running the dishwasher, the washing machine, and doing a basic clean-up.

I guess I never want to experience the camping out in a house we did with all the demo. If I ever demo a house again I will need a place to live. No more camping in a house for me.

Anyways it is great to have a house back.

I kinda learned that we caught everything just in time. The clay pipe was ready to collapse. Not sure if that would of evolved into needing excavation. As they cleaned and bored the hole they experienced cave ins.

A hot shower felt great.

The old clay pipe lasted 111 years; this new 4 inch pipe that lines the old pipe is warrant-teed for 50 years. I’d be almost be 116 years old which approaches the oldest man alive.

The current oldest man alive is only 114. He lives in Venezuela.

The 116 year old man no longer is alive. He was from Japan.

Among the ten oldest people currently alive 9 are women, plus the 114 year old Venezuelan.

I’m pretty certain I’ll at least get to 100. My dad despite being poor, illiterate, and having a brutal life lived till 94. Of course I enjoyed more education, a higher standard of living, and a higher income that suggests 114 years by one longevity test.

When I lived in NYC I took the same test and only got to 109. Pretty much the only change involved air quality. Basically just by not living in a polluted urban environment I added 5 years to my lifespan.

Maggie’s mom also lived to 94. Maggie is projected to live to 105 according to the same longevity test.

“Maggie” tells me that Fern, our agent’s assistant, that so far there is no new date for the shooting that has to be done for a campaign that begins in January.


For me it is the end of the year, and pretty much it would work in my favor if this income rolled over to 2024 for tax reasons. Do the work in December, but get paid in January would be ideal.

Also if I don’t have to live on savings, that means I can keep that saved money saved.

I’m at a point where I will again live below my means and save money. Much of the heavy lifting has been performed that required contractors. Now the home improvements are on me and that means cheap labor, meaning free.

At this point we want to build a big slush fund.

My local Audi dealer in Mohegan Lake just sent me a flyer that gives me $50.00 off a synthetic oil and filter change. As a bonus I get all my fluids topped, the exterior washed and of course the multipoint inspection. This is a lot better than the 20% coupon I was going to use.

I also have $50.00 off just in case I need other service.

I already have an appointment scheduled for December because that’s when my annual State Inspection is due. Very timely.

Generally I only put about 7K miles in a year, but this year I put on a whopping 10K in my wanderings. The 2015 Audi A4 now has 37K miles on it.

The new flyer came in a timely manner.

I never thought that the sound of a flushing toilet would be so pleasing. It is nice to have my house back. Because it is small and uncluttered it is easy to clean. Maggie is the one who kinda makes a mess, but the grandkids are worse.

The grandson is only 15 months, but he is so advanced that he actually already is doing the “Terrible Two’s” and having tantrums and all these testy behaviors. I think we created a high maintenance kid. Also he likes to explore and cause trouble. He is very aware that he is testing how far he can go. Pretty much I’m strict with him.

Anyways it was good he was not in our house these past few days. He creates a lot of mess when he is over our house. Much better that he pollutes and destroys his parent’s house.

Today I had the opportunity to play my custom Santa Cruz Model “F” and my other Model “F” known as the “HOG.” These guitars are still opening up and are getting fuller sounding, as well as getting louder. Their voices grew a lot today, and this is so wonderful an experience because part of me seems to grow and exist in the guitars as they open up.

The HOG is getting “boomy” in the bass and the overall sound is mucho warm. The 1934 “F” made of old growth wood harvested in the 1930’s has this articulate singing treble bite that is mucho wonderful. Anyways it was very rewarding playing these two guitars today.

Know that good acoustic playing makes for better technic when playing an electric guitar. My friend Dave mostly practices on acoustics.

No response yet from my best offer on the seatpost. There is another one available, but let’s see how this one plays out. The holiday might mean a delayed response, but pretty much my offer is only good for 24 hours. I’ve had pretty good luck with my offers.

Maggie is home so I’ll practice on an electric guitar unplugged.

No response yet on the best offer on the seatpost. Oh-well.

Today should be a very relaxing Thanksgiving. I don’t have to prepare a feast, but I don’t know how the food will be. “Maggie’s” daughter is a working mom, and to my horror they eat a lot of processed foods. In many ways they are typical Americans.

I get the flyers from Shop Rite and Stop And Shop, and all the sales items are mostly processed foods. Pretty much we only buy meat at these two stores when on sale, and I mean I load up with whole chickens, or bulk up on prime cuts of pork, or London broils for BBQ.

Most of our shopping is done at Trader Joe’s. Normally we don’t eat any processed foods.

Anyways, now that I think of it, perhaps Thanksgiving won’t be so relaxing. The grandkids are a handful, and that household is always chaotic.

I think over the holiday weekend I’ll deal with the finishing details of the bathroom upstairs. The door has been stripped and refinished already, but the doorway I only half completed with the stripping. I still have to stain the moldings and touch up in places. The hinges and doorknob also need to be stripped. I have scotch bright rotary wheels and wire brushes. A heat gun works really well with a scraper to remove the non lead paint.

Maggie has plans to donate all his clothing stored downstairs. We heard of this person that does a pop-up event in a Church, but it is elevated to a fashion event for the poor and not a typical thrift shop. The event is set up like a high fashion experience, and the clothing also is elevated.

I have about six totes that would fill the bed of a full sized pickup like my C-10 that are full of these clothes. Most of them were gifted to Maggie from brands, maybe worn once, and some never worn with tags still on them.

Maggie complains that I have a lot of stuff, but my stuff gets used and isn’t warehoused like much of her stuff that will never get used. My stuff would get even more use if I could get her warehoused stuff out of the way. My stuff is organized, but hers is not. Pretty much her stuff gets forgotten and lost. I had to remind her of all these warehoused items. They occupied the porch basement before the sewer leak.

I need a plan to contain her. One plan is keeping her and her stuff out of my attic.

Why do procrastinators talk about work rather than do any work? I call this virtual work. Talking about work I find not productive and a waste of time.

I see a pattern of procrastination and the link to anxiety. This is how frenzies happen, double booking, and unnecessary stress is created that shortens lives. Why are micromanagers the worse managers?

Anyways this behavior is crazy and makes no sense.

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Good news is my best offer was taken on the seatpost.

The Yo Eddy weighs 22 3/4 pounds, and that is with heavy oversized tires that have a width of 2.35 inches. My intent is try to get the bike to weigh 22 pounds which is light in weight for a mountain bike with a front suspension fork.

I have a Ti bottom bracket, and this seatpost. The big weight savings could be some expensive pedals width a Ti spindle. The seat I have on the bike now is pretty light, but I can shave off two ounces with a lighter seat.

In the future I can also add Maxxis Minion tires that are 2.5 in width, but are considerably heavier. This is likely what I need to tame Blue Mountain a bit so I can ride and be in more control.

I forgot that I need to harvest the leaf accumulation down the block from all the leaf blowers. No doubt that the illegal chain link fence I installed at the base of the hill will get covered this winter. All the mulch and clean fill is creating a series of terraces that one day will become a cliff.

“Maggie” has a black eye from the grandson that happened yesterday. She says it was an accident.

Round two will be today. LOL.

“Maggie’s” black eye worsened as the day progressed. A real shiner emerged.

The food was good. Pretty much a Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving of elevated quality. This was a nice surprise.

I dug out a book, “Patterns For Jazz” that is one of four books that a friend/mentor took me to a music store in Albuquerque and told me to buy. Pretty much all I needed were these 4 books to learn to fly.

That goodbye was over 30 years ago. I’ve had a disrupted life with lots of moving around, too many beginnings and endings, but here I go back to starting over again.

At the end of the Cold War I participated in special retraining programs for “displaced workers” meaning former defense contractor workers. Grumman kinda imploded and went from 30K employees to only 10K employees. I was considered lucky having been one of the last 10K before I decided I needed the severance package to go to school. I heard the rumor that the severance pay was going to be discontinued…

There was this personality test that kinda profiled you into an optimum career path. I found it interesting that one of the career paths was the clergy, but know I distrust all organized religions, and basically I only take the good ideas and totally reject all the rest. My worse profession was a prison guard, but my best optimal professions all involved the arts with the top choice being a musician, than a visual artist, then a photographer.

So part of the test was BS, but basically my identity lay in wait. There is some serious growth going on with the guitar. Pretty much my practice is the high point of the day, and the gear I have promotes inspiration in a huge way.

I find that the house too is a form of inspiration, but in a different way. Don’t tell Maggie, but I’m kinda glad that I can now do things in my own time, and that the process is not rushed. I’m glad it is not getting compromised by Maggie’s learning curve and undeveloped skills. She tends to rush through things, and to me this leads to sloppy results that are below my standards.

In a ways working on the house has been elevated into a form of art. I get rewards and satisfaction. So far I have sidestepped “Woman-Factor” and have had my way.

The weather is not so warm, and I need to harvest leaves. I have a basement window I need to restore because the sewer crew dislodged the storm section in doing their repair. I have to strip the other half of the upstairs bathroom doorway, strip the door hardware, and then refinish the doorway with gel stain.

All these are little jobs I consider baby steps.

Meanwhile the Yo Eddy is another creative endeavor…

All these tasks for me are rewarding and I get pleasure and fulfillment from the progress. The reason why I can enjoy them is that there is no rush, deadline, or stress. I am doing things in their own time… This might not be agreeable to Maggie, but she is so sidelined that she has to mind her own business.

The abandoned house is getting the roof stripped today. This crew also does siding, and the 1939 house has asbestos siding.

The new owner is a PE who does construction and remodeling. Even though the house is small and perhaps only 1000-1200 square feet, just making the house mortgageable means it is a $500K house in today’s market.

I suspect siding will bury and cover the existing asbestos siding, and it will not get remediated. Too costly and expensive. Also too easy just to cover the problem.

BTW I hate plastic and aluminum siding as well as vinyl fencing, especially on an old house. Seems so out of place and fugly. No charm…

Read an article about Canada’s housing shortage which is worse than in the U.S. Pretty much they say a repeat of the 1980’s where demand caused sustained price increases that remained chronically high. Know that in Canada there is a 25 year limit in the term of a mortgage making affordability worse.

I suspect the housing shortage will keep and maintain housing costs high here in the U.S. In Canada the cost of housing is an even bigger portion of income than here.

Well things are advancing rapidly at the abandoned house, almost like on a HGTV show. New stoop, new roof, new kitchen and bath underway after gutting, and don’t forget all the tree removal.

I think we kinda received and benefited a large price drop because of the rundown condition of the now abandoned house not far away. Our house has already increased in value a lot. Kinda crazy.

I got a very nice surprise in the mail today: Devil Christian’s newly published book: “Uneasy Engagement.”

This book is wonderfully edited and well done. It was printed in Belgium and the B&W shots display good contrast throughout the book. Not easy to do.

They say, “Watch out for the quiet ones.” Devil Christian is not a braggart like me, so I have to say that this book is a really nice accomplishment.