6. Blue Moon Madness

Friday. Weight: 205 pounds.

Last night we talked with the neighbor about the orange oil option for fumigating the house. He was okay, even enthusiastic, about that. He also stated, quite distinctly, that he was okay with any treatment for ground-dwelling termites, as he did not think that ground treatment would affect his allergies.

A crew from a termite fumigation service arrived at 830am, three guys, and two of them set to work on the labor-intensive orange oil treatment, starting inside the house, while the third guy crawled under the house to begin work on the ground-dwelling termites. The neighbor guy showed up shortly thereafter, but was disappointed to learn that the orange oil treatment was only being done to our section of the premises, and not to his as well. While we had offered to pay for tent fumigation of the entire structure, which would have treated the neighbor’s house, he refused, so we proceeded with the orange oil treatment, at almost twice the cost, which would address only our part of the house.

About half an hour afterward, the neighbor showed up again, railing and ranting almost hysterically, “are you trying to kill me?! You’re poisoning the ground! That could kill me!” His wife joined him, with, “don’t you care about his health? Don’t you care about anyone but yourselves?”

This coming from the people who are willing to allow our entire house to be destroyed by ground-dwelling and dry-wood termites. This coming from the people who… oh, why bother wasting any more energy on them? Most normal people, rather than easygoing pushovers like me, would have sued their lying, stealing asses years ago.

Unfortunately, I was at work, so my wife bore the brunt of the tirades. As my co-workers observed, “you’ve spent more time on the phone with your wife today than you have over the past ten years total!”

The orange oil technicians were exceptionally thorough, moving furniture and stored items so they could observe and treat every single inch of the walls, floors, and ceilings. They even treated the furniture and picture frames in which they observed termite damage. The ground treatment guy spent almost three hours under the house. He told us that the house is in serious danger from the termites colonizing the neighbor’s side of the structure, but that the treatment he applied should slow them down for a while. He said the support beams under the neighbor’s house are already beginning to sag. This concurs with the independent termite inspection report and the report from the tent fumigation company.

After they completed the work under and inside the house, all three guys worked around the entire outside of our half of the structure.

An upside of the more expensive orange oil treatment, in addition to not needing the permission of the neighbors in the attached section of the house: it will not harm the geckoes that live in our kitchen. Two fat geckoes show up every morning waiting for a fresh banana. We leave a banana peel and a bit of ripe banana out for them.

Anyway, after two or three hours of pacing around in his own yard and periodically coming over to harass the termite guys, the neighbor shuttered himself inside his own house while his wife went to work. Yes, the “pastor,” who is always claiming he doesn’t have any money, stays home all day in his beachfront house while his wife works three jobs to support him and their 24-year old live-at-home son.

Oh, also, last night we received an email from the real estate agent. The Buyers were not comfortable with the efficacy of the orange oil treatment, and urged use to continue to negotiate “more persuasively” with the neighbor for a tent fumigation, “and even offer to put him up in a hotel for a few nights.” We replied that we had conversed with the neighbor, that we and a representative from the tent fumigation company had met with the neighbor for over an hour to address his concerns, and we had offered the neighbor a significant cash sum for the “inconvenience” of spending one night away from home. The neighbor insisted that he might “never” be able to return to his home if it was fumigated, and that traces of the gas would linger in quantities sufficient to affect his sensitive allergies for many months. Thus, we informed the agent, we would proceed with the orange oil treatment instead, which did not require permission or agreement from the neighbor, and if the Buyers were not satisfied, would he please let us know immediately so we could relist the house as soon as possible.

Needless to say, the Buyers reconsidered their objections. I must admit to being slightly disappointed, since now that we have completed the termite treatment, the land survey, and an appraisal, I feel reasonably confident that we could relist the house and sell it more quickly for more money.

5. A.M.

5 a.m.
That’s what time the alarm is set for.
Actually, 4:50 a.m.
Twenty-five minutes earlier than last school year. To compensate for additional road construction delays.

4. The Only Thing We Have to Fear… are the Fearful

Meeting with neighbor in attached half of duplex regarding termite fumigation did not go well. He is irrationally terrified — no, not just concerned or worried or even fearful, but utterly and abjectly terrified, of the idea of fumigating the house. He believes, truly believes, that the gas will linger for months, affecting his allergies and prohibiting him from living in the house.

This will, at a minimum, delay the closing date, and very possibly derail the entire sale unless we can find a workable alternative.


Can’t sleep, so here I am, almost midnight, too bleary-eyed to see, too tired to think, typing on Day 2 of the second year of this blog.

Was just catching up on the SingleDadFitDad.com fitness blog while waiting for the over-the-counter sleeping tablets to kick in.

Work is gonna suck tomorrow as a result of lack of sleep.

Scale read 205.0 lbs today.

1. A Brand New Year

Year Two of my “Change My Life in 100 Days” blog commences today.

As Tour de France race commentator and former professional cyclist Christian Vandeveldt observed during the telecast today, a rider who fails to focus only on what he himself can do and who becomes emotionally involved in the actions of those around him will never stand on the podium.

There is much wisdom in this observation, wisdom which I should heed.

365. A Year of Failure

352. 9 July 2015 – fly to Portland, Oregon. Drive to Eugene, Oregon

353. 10 July – visit relatives

354. 11 July – visit relatives

355. 12 July – visit relatives

356. 13 July – drive from Eugene, Oregon headed for Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Stop overnight in motel in Spokane, Washington, the halfway point.

357. 14 July – drive from Spokane, Washington to Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Meet up with a friend for dinner.

358. 15 July – Pillar of Darkness Expedition: 1915

359. 16 July – sightseeing (and resting) in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

360. 17 July – drive from Canmore, Alberta to Portland, Oregon. Arrive late at night.

361. 18 July – visit relatives in Portland

362. 19 July – visit relatives in Portland

363. 20 July – visit relatives in Portland

364. 21 July – visit relatives in Portland

365. 22 July 2015 – fly home from Portland.

My life should be dramatically different by this point, but it’s not. After a year of trying, I’m still overweight, at more than 205 pounds. I’m still stuck in a job I dislike. I’m still broke and in debt. I’m still surrounded by clutter. And apparently I can’t count; I’m missing three days somewhere, because I started this blog on 26 July 2014, so a year should have concluded on 25 July this year. Maybe I had a “Lost Weekend” in there somewhere, but if I did, I can’t remember it. Of course, I guess that’s the whole point of a lost weekend, isn’t it?

Lost day. 23 July 2015 – back to work. Long day of “Write Core” training.

Lost day. 24 July 2015 – back at work. Another boring day of “Write Core training. Talked to boss at the end of the day. Gave verbal notice of intent to resign. This is likely premature.

Lost day. 25 July 2015 – A major hurdle remains regarding the selling of the house. My spouse believes it is surmountable. I do not. Or more accurately, I believe that this hurdle, a recalcitrant neighbor who intends to block the mandatory termite fumigation of the property, will delay the closing, resulting in the Buyers backing out of the transaction. Ultimately we can “force” the fumigation, as our house is at imminent risk of major structural damage, but this will require time, money, attorneys, and possibly court, and result in significant delays in time and outlays of cash we do not possess. At the end of the process we will need to re-list the house for sale and, assuming we can find another buyer, go through the entire lengthy, stressful, and expensive process again.

351. Mines! Dead Ahead!

Surveyors came out today to do the land survey.

Neighbor chastised them for trampling bushes he says are on his property.

Surveyors left. Without finishing.

Surveyor supervisor telephoned me and asked me to speak to the neighbor.

Yes, they trampled and cut some bushes. Yes, they did a rather haphazard job of it. And yes, it’s part of what they have to do to do their jobs.

And yes, the survey will <i>help</i> the neighbor, because he is currently in a boundary dispute with another neighbor over a fence that’s being constructed.

Another snag. Another stall. Another obstacle that might very well lead to the failure of this transaction.

I guess I should have been standing out there “sidewalk supervising” to make sure the surveyors didn’t pull out a machete and start hacking away at the bushes. Silly me, I should have assumed that that’s what they would do. Because, you know, I’m paying these guys <i>A THOUSAND DOLLARS</i> so that I can stand out there and tell them what to do.

The first survey company we called wanted the same amount of money, and they expected us to provide them with an official map of the property boundaries. Like, if I <i>had</i> an official surveyed map of the property boundaries, I wouldn’t need a survey, would I?

I hate living here.

I will be Away From Keyboard until… well, actually, I think I’ll either be away or just be returning on the 365th day of this blog.

And what will I have to show for that year? Another year older and deeper in debt. Half a year spent trying to sell the house and failing. A return after an all-too-short summer intersession break to a job that doesn’t pay the bills.

Yay, me.

350. Torpedo Hit Amidships

As is ALWAYS the case with real estate stuff… and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS the case when I am involved in any project… we hit kind of a major snag earlier today. An appraiser came out to the house, representing the lender for the buyers. He took one look at the house and said, “I don’t think the square footage is right.”

Now, we bought the house and had an appraisal done. We’ve refinanced twice over the years to get lower rates, and had an appraisal done each time. The square footage comes from the county tax records. Silly me, never thinking to measure the house myself. Stupid me, assuming that three previous appraisals plus the county tax office would be correct. After all, this is fucking Hawaii, home to the stupidest people on Earth. And apparently I’ve become one of them, because it never occurred to me to question the dimensions.

The appraiser measured the house. I watched him. I helped him hold the tape measure. I verified the measurements with my own tape measure after he left.

The house is over a hundred square feet less than the tax records, and the previous appraisals, indicate. And when the indicated size is only 1,000 square feet, a hundred feet is a lot.

Before he left the appraiser said it’s unlikely the house will appraise for enough to satisfy the lenders.

So now my stress level, which is already so high that I can’t sleep and can’t focus, is ramped up even higher. It’s all the waiting that’s difficult, and all the stupid crap that’s out of my control, that’s in the hands of other people.

We now have to wait to see if the house appraises for enough to justify the loan. We have to wait to see if the buyers back out of the deal because the listed square footage was incorrect. We have to wait for… a bunch of other stuff too, any part of which could sink the deal.

Sadly, I may very well end up stuck here.

349. Stay of Execution

Today, along with several co-workers from the school at which I work, I received a Certificate of Commendation from David Ige, Governor of the State of Hawaii:

With Governor David Ige of Hawaii

With Governor David Ige of Hawaii