Gollum, nailed it. Lol 🙂
When I was a kid I always wanted a house with a big yard, and as I grew up in Colorado I noticed that the yards in newer homes seemed to get smaller. This bothered me, as I watched new subdivisions go up; the houses were so grand in scale and beautiful. The yard however, was minimized to the size of an apartment house’s tiny courtyard. It was green, it was plush, but so small in comparison to this four bedroom home that it was almost comical.
When I moved out to the East Coast however, it was like stepping into an older America. Where the houses didn’t need to be so new and grand in scale. Where the yards looked like actual yards, and were touched off with the white picket fence.
Now that I have a home of my own, I was fortunate enough to find one with a yard, of course it happened to be twice as big as most of my neighbors, but that’s to be expected with multi-fam properties.
One of the biggest problems that you run into when taking care of your lawn during the summer is keeping your grass healthy, tidy, and trim. Right now my grass falls under one of these three qualities, it’s certainly healthy. This brings me to the all important topic of lawn mowers. Now, I bought one on clearance about two years back when I was about to move into the house; because I knew I’d need a decent mower, that could last a while. This season, while trying to cut the grass for the second time of the mowing season, my mower up and died on me. Part of the reason could be that I bought the thing from Walmart where their quality ranks from adequate to atrocious. It could also be my lack of experience with lawn mower maintenance. So here’s a list of lawn mower guideline that you can follow; which has helped me tremendously.
- Get your mower serviced at the start of every season so it’ll run properly.
- Don’t use cheap gas. (It won’t hurt the mower if you do, but premium helps keep your engine clean; which is better for your mower in the long haul. )
- At the end of every season you can do one of two things to help your mower to stay in good condition, so it will actually start next season. Either run it till it runs completely out of gas, or if you detest that method; you can purchase a bottle of fuel stabilizer. Simply pour a couple of ounces in with your gas so that your gas will stay fresh, and when you go to start it the stabilizer will actually help clear your fuel lines so they won’t be gummed up from sitting all winter.
- It also wouldn’t hurt to start the mower and let it run once a month during the off season. (Think of it, like a car, to keep a sitting car fresh you’ve got to start it up every once in a while.)
- Make sure to read your mower’s manual to know what oil you should be using for it. (Don’t be stupid like me and buy the cheapest oil.)
- Buy a decent mower. (If you can afford it.) They’ll last much longer, and run better.
If you follow these tips then I guarantee that you’ll have your mower running without a hitch for years to come.
There are some great tips here for any writer who wants to create a fictional sport.
I once tried to follow this quote like a bible passage. However, as my writing has matured, I’ve found that I’ve strayed away from the quote.
To “Write what you know.” Seems so ideological, but as a creative being it limits you, to the confines of a comfort zone that is meant to be crossed.
If we did stick to what we know, we’d have some pretty boring, and uninspiring books. All of which can be directly linked to a lack of creative inspiration, and a decent imagination. It makes you glad that the imagination has no limitations; except maybe if you put into consideration a person’s level of comfort with subjects that are uncomfortable or different. Those authors who are comfortable with pushing the envelope, and emerging themselves in the uncomfortable; can usually manage to give the reader a powerful reading experience. (That will usually convey a life changing work of literary masterpiece.)
On the flip side, what you know and have experienced in life, if properly conveyed can teach the reader about different cultures, and give them a sense of worldly knowledge that other wise would’ve remained a mysterious, unexplored path.
So, perhaps to use this terminology successfully one must have been through an experience that has changed the way they view society, or on a larger scale the world. An experience of which, they have a very moving and therefore powerful message to convey. A book series that could fall under both sides of the creative spectrum, and the what you know spectrum. Would be the Harry Potter series. Where Rowling uses both a wonderful imagination, and also draws on her mother’s passing, as the backbone theme in the series. That love is a very powerful, magical emotion; which can fuel a greater purpose.
However, when an author can step outside their comfort, and let their creativity run wild. They can create worlds entirely outside the normal realm. Two books that come to mind are Alice in Wonderland and The Lord of the Rings.
Another book that draws from a very dark time in history, but also conveys beautiful, yet tragic messages of love, friendship, acceptance. As well as the importance of books, words, and imagination. Is The Book Thief, a book that lives up to its reviews as a life changing experience.
Writing what you know, is now at least for me, is a balancing act of which should not be taken lightly.
It’s been a while since I’ve actually been able to sit down and write a post. Between the lovely spring cold that kept me out of commission for two weeks, and another two week issue with internet services. But, alas, I’m back and have missed you guys.
Today I actually had a chance sit down and work on First Sight- or oops, I mean the still untitled manuscript and got in a decent word count of 718; after my lengthy hiatus. I’m hoping to get back into my five days a week groove, so that I can actually complete the first draft, but it might prove a bit difficult next month, as I shall be finally completing my still half-completed deck. Which, now brings me to the topic of the deck that I promised I would talk about.
As some of you are aware I’ve had this half-completed deck since the end of last summer, because the contractor I previous hired sucked… No wait that’s putting it too mildly. A better way to describe him would be, a lying, lowlife, scumbag. Yes that sounds much better.
At the beginning of last summer I was looking for a contractor to replace a deck that was built with the house; which was constructed in 1940, so as you can imagine the old deck needed to be rescued before somebody fell through it, and considering the deck is about ten feet off of the ground that would’ve been a nasty fall. Thankfully no such incident occurred.
So since this deck wasn’t like your general deck which is usually what… maybe… three to four feet off the ground. There was already issues there pertaining to standard building codes. Which would mean having your support beams four feet below the ground. This is a building factor that made every contractor who had given me an estimate, cringed at. That, and the fact that I wanted the new deck to go the entire length of the back of the house. This would mean sixty feet of deck, along with sixty feet of deck roofing. If I wanted to stick with the original deck’s design. (Which, at the time I did.) So as you can imagine I had loads of trouble in trying to find a contractor willing to do the job.
So when I happened across a contractor, who (at the time,) was replacing the siding of a multi-fam housing unit, and whom showed me his license, all of his qualifications and so on. I was thrilled but at the same time skeptical, for when it usually came to the estimate every other contractor greeted the prospect of the job with a loud whistle, and the usual. “Well this’ll be a heck of a project.” When Mr. Con-Tractor actually put in a bid at a decent price I was tickled pink. A month later with the new deck still in the framing stage, I went from tickled pink to fuck I’m so fucked.
A month and a half after Mr. Con-tractor started working on the deck, I had to push him to complete most of the railing, the flooring, and he’d started on the stairs. That was as close as the fucker would ever get to finishing what he started; because I had to fire him.
We’ll call this next part plain stupidity, but before I get into it, there are a few factors that I’d like for you to be aware, so that you could get a better understanding on my situation back then.
- The deck as you know was as old as the house and it was in terrible condition.
- The winters out here on the East Coast usually range from bad to horrific.
- The deck couldn’t have lasted another winter (Especially a horrific one.)
- If I had been unable to have the deck replaced last summer, and the old deck were still in full operation; during the winter, and it eventually did fall down. It would have damaged the back of the house. Which, is why you have home insurance in the event that it might occur; however that would’ve been a bigger pain in the ass.
- I probably would’ve been fined by the town, for still having such an unsafe deck.
- He was actually willing to do the job.
So yes, Mr. Con-tractor seemed qualified, his price was good, at the time he seemed very courteous, professional, and for the first week was very hard working. He’d torn down the old deck and was in the process of framing the new one. Life seems good… Oh how very wrong I was.
Let me give you the gist of the next two months. I gave the guy a deposit to start the job. Then I give him the cash for tearing down the deck and the money to start framing the new one. Then the guy drags his feet during stage two which is putting down flooring, railing, stairs, the whole nine yards. I push, he finishes most of stage two. And here ladies and gentlemen, is where I make my mistake. I gave him part of the the money to begin stage three which is roofing. Because; he explained once he’s finished off stage two, he’ll immediately begin stage three. Shortly after giving him that money surprise, surprise, I can’t get a hold of him. So what do I do? I try find another way of contact him via internet, and what do I find you may ask? That Mr.Con-tractor has an extensive criminal record. His MO, contracting scams, along with a dozen assault and battery, charges, and a few car theft charges.
So, fuckingfantastic I have no extra money, a half-completed deck, and Mr.Con-tractor just blew his third strike, because along with conning myself, he’d conned somebody else in another contracting scam and wound up back in jail.
Here’s my advice to you on how to avoid hiring an asshole like this guy.
- Do an actual background check, (don’t just assume you’re safe because he shows you a license. (Because, it could be fake.)
- Usually a legit contractor will give you his insurance info, in the event that he might be unable to complete the work.
- He’ll have a building permit setup during construction.
- You’ll usually pay a deposit in the beginning and then the remainder of what you owe at the very end. (Not stage by stage.)
- If he’s a decent contractor, he’ll get your job done in a timely manner, and won’t drag his feet.
So that’s been my experience with a contractor, and what an ordeal it was. I hope that my first experience might help you fellow home owners out there, so that you can avoid a lot of headaches later on down the road.