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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not That Handy

There's this mistaken impression that just because I'm in charge of developing, designing, building, marketing and selling a lot of hot little houses, that somehow I'm 'handy', and 'mechanically-inclined'. Some people are even quite put off that I'm not Norm Abrams reinvented, or some other TV carpenter pro.

Let's just say that half my customers have more carpentry talent than I do. And luckily that's the case or else I would have been too busy pounding nails than to keep visualizing and dreaming about how to provide new and dynamic housing opportunities for the NYC fast set.

Take my new plow truck, for instance. It's new, it's fancy, it's loaded and cost about twice the average Sullivan County annual salary. It's a great example of a gov't incentive program that really motivates real life small-business decisions - call 'accelerated depreciation', I can write off the total purchase price in year 1, instead of depreciating it over multiple years, helping to reduce my taxable income. These capital purchase incentives accelerate purchases and spur the economy - exactly what its supposed to do.

But, jeez, even though I've been plowing now for a few years in order to save money and keep our drives open, I would never call myself a 'plow master'. My previous 1990 plow truck kept high expectations at bay so when I would take out a stone wall, or get stuck at 5:30am, or clip a house - it was understandable since the machinery made a difficult job harder.

Now I got a truck with a plow so accurate you could pick your teeth with it. It's the V plow, with a hinge in the middle so both sides move independently. It does everything but wash the dishes, and based on what I've been discovering, it probably can do that.

In the cab we have the dump bed controller, the plow controller, and the street sander controller - 4 wheel drive thingee and a few other knobs and buttons.

It's even got a built in tarp to keep things dry or from flying out the back of the dumper.

So, the litany of issues with this new-fangled truck are countless - my neighbor (whose driveway I plow for free, btw) gives me a hard time as I hit her aged stone wall and knock loose her wishing well. The highway guys are judging my plowing accuracy and efficiency, and to make matters worse, I spent like 30 minutes last night trying to figure out how to turn the plow lights on. The regular headlights get blocked by the plow, but I couldn't figure out the plow lights, so I just drove home last night with the plow real low the ground so the regular lights would partially work. Then I spent some more time in my driveway in the dark trying all the buttons, and while I couldn't get the plow lights on, by the time I was done, I couldn't get the interior truck cab lights to go off. So at first I thought they were on a timer, but no, they weren't. So I spent another 10 minutes trying to turn the cab lights off.

By the time I found the cab lights, I also found the plow lights, so no more worries of the local snickering I am sure was following me and truck around.

Then James and I were tooling around and believe it or not, a frickin' stone got caught between the dual wheels in the back and we had to call Curtis to hook up a strap and pull the damn stone out of the wheel space, that's how tightly it was lodged in there.

Anyways, I aspire to be the plow master, and feel I am making significant strides towards that lofty aspiration.

Here's our house, with the front porch callick (yes, that is how callick is spelled), after the rainy icy storm.

And looking down our street Thursday Morning.

Our old dirty snow man who has seen better days, although it is impressive he has now been figure of our front yard for 20+ days.

That's it. Final Walk-thru for Cottage 31 tonight at 6 with Van and Eric. Closing scheduled for tomorrow at 9am. Two more closings on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, maybe it's the wine I consumed this evening, but this post is one of the most hilarious that you have posted yet, Chuck! I can picture Lisa and Lucas looking at you through the window in the house thinking, "What the heck is he doing in that truck?! Lights on...lights off. Someone should rescue this dude soon before he freezes to death."

    Anyway, all your new homes are so beautiful. Cottage 14 still takes the cake in my opinion (Yes, of course I'm biased), but, really, job well done to you and your team!