Friday, January 20, 2012

Not really about sailing but.....

This post is more about the fun and excitement of being a home owner and a parent of a teenage man-child than sailing. Though, it may affect my boat project list a bit...... 

On Thursday (January 19th, 2012) I put the year in just in case you are reading this in 2052.... I stepped in to the shower to get ready for work and lo and behold, no water from either the hot or the cold. Now it was currently -11F out side and I thought the obvious, froze up. So I tried all the other faucets in the house and they were all good. So I went downstairs and cleared the stuff out of the way of the closet where the tub plumbing is and felt the hot water pipe. Sure enough, it went from warm to very cold along it's length. So I grab my daughter's hairdryer and proceed to heat up the pipes. Sure enough after about 10 minutes on each the water starts to flow. But, hold your applause until the end please.... Now the water is not draining, well I guess the drain is froze up too. So back down the stairs and OH CRAP, missed that last step for some reason and roll my right ankle under me and down to the floor in pain.... Oh yeah, hmmmm, yep can put weight on it so maybe not all that awfull.

I proceed, limping, back in to the previously mentioned closet and start to thaw out the drain pipe. After about 10 minutes I stop and I hear running water from the other side of the wall. Well the trap for the tub drain is PVC, and as we all know, when water freezes it expands.... yep, bust the trap and the water that was in the tub is now all over the couch in my son's room. A few choice words for me not checking the obvious. 

At this point I realize how this little event came to pass as I have never had any issues with any pipes freezing in the 7+ years I have lived in my home. Let alone, pipes that are interior to the house, no where near the walls. My son's basement window no longer had glass on it. It was covered in duct tape and a blanket. Apparently that "repair" was attempted the night before without my knowledge. Well the top 1"-2" had nothing covering it so as the cold air blew in, it traveled in the small space between the drop ceiling and the joists. Reaching my tub water lines and drain. Hence the freezing. Guess it got down to about -13 or so that night. 

I made a list for Home Depot, they are literally a block away and I put some Styrofoam in the window and stapled plastic sheeting over it. That problem solved. Put on a new tub trap and then that problem was solved. So all in all not too big of a deal, got the day off after all because of it.

Oh wait, that ankle thing. Around 4pm I go to finally take my shower and I look at my right ankle. It is a wee bit larger than the left and has been starting to hurt more and more. Off to Urgent Care!!! Only took about an hour there as we were first in line, nice series of X-Rays and in the words of the Dr, "This small line here could be a fracture. I will call you in the morning after the Radiologist has a look. In the mean time, have this boot to wear." Now I am sure some of you know what those boots are like to wear. I drove home with it on but after we got home, I took it off. Took a handful of Ibuprofen, elevated my leg, and iced it. 

 Got a call from the Doc this morning and the Radiologist said "Possible non-displaced hairline fracture." Possible..... not even the Radiologist can tell... Doc says, wear the boot for 6 weeks.... Awesome. 

I will now be walking around with this thing on and even better, walking around the Chicago Strictly Sail Show next weekend. As my boss said, maybe I can get a wheel chair... yeah, she is funny... So no climbing around on the boat for six weeks. I have a cyst on a bone in my left hand, broke that last year is how I know, so I may have that surgery now so I can be all set once it is warm enough to work on Papillon..... Never a dull moment.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lessons in Beurocracy

I haven't posted anything since getting Papillon home but, that doesn't mean things have not been happening. One of the first things I needed to do was to get the Michigan title transferred to me and a new Minnesota title and registration issued. I also need a title for the trailer as Michigan does not title trailers of the size I now have. I bet you can see where this may all be leading......

So I called the local MN DMV folks, took me about a day and a half to actually get through as the line was constantly busy. Once I get a hold of someone there, they inform me that since my boat is not a vehicle I need to contact the Minnesota DNR, Department of Natural Resources, in order to get the title swapped and the new registration. After thinking about it, it actually made some sense. So I called the DNR and asked what to do, they said to bring my info to the local service center, one is just down the road from work, and they will be able to take care of everything. One nice thing is that seeing as I bought Papillon from a private party, NO SALES TAX!! Weeeeeee!!!! Gotta like that. OK, that is the happy part of this story. 

When I was on the phone with the DMV folks, I asked about the trailer. Remember, it took me a day and a half just to get someone on the phone. The person said I needed to contact Michigan and get a copy of a letter on their official letter head that states that they do not title trailers as such as mine. Legal disclaimers and all that between MN & MI. Oh yeah, here we go.....

So I call the Michigan DMV, nope, the Secretary of State's office handles all this stuff. Maybe 10 minutes including hold time for that call. Now off to the Michigan Secretary of State's office. 10-15 minutes on hold for a person to say that they need to transfer me to someone else. Another 15 minutes on hold and I get a nice lady that says, "Sure, I can fax that to you." Well that was a nice surprise. So I have her fax it to the fax machine at work hoping that in the last 7 years the number hadn't changed. I had no idea what the number was either, who faxes anymore??? I found it on my business card. Which, I don't use and I have never handed out more than 5 of I think in the 7 years I have been at this company. 

Anyway, I get the fax and it looks good. So I take all my fun little documents to the service center over lunch thinking I should have packed my sleeping bag for how long I think it is going to take. Well it wasn't too awful. About a 15 minute wait for my number to be called. The nice young gal helps me with the boat title first. Pretty straight forward. Write a check and thats about it, including the new registration.

Now for the trailer, well..... "Minnesota needs 4 pictures of the trailer. Front, back and each side.". She also didn't quite buy the letter from the fine state of Michigan either. Even pulled their statute book out. Oh hell.... so this is what I get.... "You need to take the pictures and come back. I can't say for sure that MN will be OK with the letter or not. Will have to see. You may need to get your trailer bonded too as MN does not want to get sued by MI for something that has an outstanding title on it". But, but, Michigan said that..... yeah OK. 

So now I need to get pics of my trailer, print them, bring everything back and oh yeah, a copy of the bill of sale so I can say how much of that was for the trailer as I need to pay the 6.5% sales tax as a trailer apparently is a vehicle...... I will get the pics done over the upcoming weekend and deal with the rest of this fun and excitement next week. The Holidays happening is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

Project #1 for the boat is also starting up. Took some pics and will be starting to document that "little" project here shortly......