Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We Won The Haunted House Contest!!!!

Yay!!! Hurray!!!!!!
We Rule!!! Other Houses Drool!!!!!

Actually on Halloween night the judges showed up at our house to announce that we won the contest.

The Alameda Haunt Your House Contest and Canned Food Drive chose us as most haunted!!

It was really nice. The yard was packed with people and they went up on the steps and held the
trophy aloft and announced to the crowd of strangers that we'd won....and they all cheered..really,
really was nice.

Check Out Our Cool Prizes!

The most truly frightening thing is that we now own a Karaoke machine!!!
Who wants to come to a Karaoke party!?!?!?!!?!?
I really, really, really, can not sing....truly frightening...


We Won Yahoooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Realtors Really, Really, Like....My Halloween Display!

The Realtors really, really, like me!

Here's a cut/paste of the text.

Halloween Lighting Ideas

When you stroll through your neighborhood this Halloween season, get ready for some front-yard tricks and some awesome lighting treats. Halloween displays are more sophisticated — and fun — than ever, headlined by energy-saving CFL and LED extravaganzas, and powered by creative home owners who pull out all the stops when it comes to making spooky delights. Click through our slideshow and enjoy the magic!

Stage Frightful
Looking for a place to stage your Halloween piece de resistance? Second-story displays give everybody the creeps — and that’s a good thing. Stash a ghoul or two on an upper-level balcony or alcove, add some dramatic uplighting, and you’ll create an awesome welcome for trick-or-treaters. Keep lights safe by making sure they’re UL-rated for exterior use.

Not a bad shot of last years 2nd floor Halloween decorations they chose.
There is a photo credit that links back to the homepage of this blog.
Does anybody else think its super funny that the National Association of Realtors is linking back to probably one of the most anti-Realtor blog on the web?
Hurray For Sloppy Background Checking!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

HVAC quotes...Its going to cost HOW MUCH!

The other day when I was at Costco buying Halloween party supplies I saw an ad for Costco HVAC services!
Call the number!
Get a free quote!!!
I thought, well, the refi just went through we have some extra cash in the budget...why don't I call the number and get a pro out here to look at my plans for the various heating units and see what it would cost.
Now, at this point I have never ever in my life paid an HVAC pro to do anything for me..I honestly had no idea what it would cost.

Remember, I've already paid an actual HVAC designer to actually design out three systems. One for the basement apartment, one for the main floor of the house, and one for the top two floors of the house. So, that parts already been done, should save me some cash no??? NO....

The HVAC company estimator was exactly on time, I handed him the three separate sets of plans and we walked around the house to look at the various places where the equipment will be installed. He said that the type of system proposed is a pretty standard install for them..(I had my doubts about this...). He told me he'd get back to me the next day with the costs....

Well it took many more days than that but I just got the quotes today......
All I can say is, 'WOW!!'
More expensive than I could of imagined....

Here's a scrubbed version of their bid.
Yep, that's right, those numbers are not misprints.
$13,430.00 for the one and $15,780 for the other!
That's a whopping $29210 for quality heat...

But wait theres more...the top floor still....


RE: Installation of  (1) new Lennox EL296 variable-speed furnace equipped with a 5 year parts and labor warranty and a 20 year warranty on the heat exchangers only.  Scope of work includes the following:

  1. Remove and recycle (1) existing furnace.
  2. Supply and install new furnace in same attic location.
  3. Fabricate and install new sheet metal transition.
  4. Supply and install AC coil.
  5. Supply and install 10’ section of WireFlex duct work from furnace to existing boot.
  6. Supply and install PVC flue and condensate drain with acid neutralization kit.
  7. Tie into existing gas line and electrical for furnace.
  8. Supply and install new gas flex.
  9. Supply and install (1) Honeywell Redlink digital programmable thermostat.
  10. Pull permit and perform complete system start-up.
TOTAL: $5363.00

Option: Subtract for Lennox SL280 variable speed furnace– 80% efficient furnace.  -$1167.00

Option: Add for installation of condensing unit (outdoor), line set, lightweight pad, electrical connections at AC unit only, pressure test, system charge and start-up. (Excludes electrical from panel to condenser location.)     $6730.00
Note: furnace qualifies for the following rebates:
Workers’ Association Rebate:  $190.00
Costco Cash Card: (See Schedule).
Note: Lennox furnace is a 44,000 BTU unit.
Excludes: Title 24 drawings (if required by City.).

Well now that's a total of $34573!!!!

I honestly had no idea that it would cost that, just wow...
I looked up the cost online for the top floor job and its only about $2k in materials delivered....
The material cost for both downstairs units is going to run less than $5k!!!

So, guess what we're going to do?
Yep, be our own HVAC contractor also...hurray!!
Sheet metal cuts all around!!!

One thing that was funny was that in the upper floor quote the estimator originally had a 60kBTU unit in place...even though the design called for a 43kBTU unit! When I called him on it he said, 'Well, you don't want to be cold do you?' Well then what's the design for if you're just going to ignore it and go with rules of thumb?

So, we could either have heat, an exterior paint job or a new roof in spring...cause we're not going to have the spare cash to pay a pro to do more than one...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spam,...Spam, Spam, Spam

Boy do I get spam! Lots and lots and lots of spam comments.
Check out the comments below...
Some of them are actually funny.
Since I have uh, the picture password thing enabled to comment I think the spammers had
to actually type in the comments.
Does this mean that there is a room full of people in India somewhere manually commenting on
blogs to try to get traffic driven their way?


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Nother cigarette add...Love the theme comments!
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Another add for rental units on another anti-Realtor post???
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Love this one..they've got a similar blog? Oh wait no, they're selling lame shower door sweeps...
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This one is just a complete mystery to me...Except for the lame marketing of their patio cushions...
Next up, much more serious stuff...HVAC talk.

Day Of The Dead, In The Haunted Pumpkin Patch

We don't really advertise this (until now) but we keep the grave yard open for the Day Of The Dead.
This isn't a scary sounds, things jumping up at you event.
He just have the lights on and Victoria and the singing pumpkins singing softly.

Even though its fake its really quite peaceful.

We had our own personal Day Of The Dead ceremony this year.

Two close friends of the Haunted Pumpkin Patch died this year within weeks of each other...

Even though it wasn't 'real' it was oddly comforting to light the candles and visit with our friends.

Baby Madmadscientist mostly liked that there was another night of the singing pumpkins and

Next Up-The Haunted House Contest...did we win?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Night!!

So after hours and hours and hours of decorating, lots and lots and lots of tweaking and fixing it was finally Halloween night...
Annnnnnnnnnnd It Friggen Rained!
And rained and rained and rained...a steady drizzle-downpour all night...the night before and the
the night after, warm and sunny...but Halloween night..CRAPPY Weather!

Soggy Halloween Night Shots.

We of course Had Trick Or Treaters

Wow, those are actually the only shots I can find of TOTs....dang, how'd that happen?

Before the rain we got to do a little neighborhood trick or treating.

I think everyone knew it was going to rain that night so the TOTs started waaaaay earlier than last
year. I had to give up the trick or treating to 'man the gates' as we were getting inundated.

Our Awesome Band Of Halloween Helpers.
Some came the days before, some stayed all night in the rain!! All of them were awesome and we
seriously owe them all....a steak dinner!

Skeleton Man Mat

Who willingly lied down on the wet grass to scare people....

Our actors and helpers

The End Of The Night Crew

The Madmadscientists'
Wet, Tired, Cold, But still Happy.

High Five Grim Reaper!!! On another successful Halloween.
Which reminds me...
See that candy on the ground? The grim reaper scared a grown man so much that he dropped his
bag of candy that he was collecting for his kid who was too scared to that!

Next Up, Day of the Dead

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloweentime- Party, Party, Party!

Well, basically we try to have the entire yard done up and awesome by the middle of the month...
This year for various reasons we were a bit behind schedule...basically running around up to the last minute to be done by the weekend before.....

Which was good because we basically have a party every night here for the days leading up to Halloween.

Party Pics
We had lots and lots of bicyclists...

We Had Lots Of Cute Kids

We Had Lots Of Not So Little Kids

We Had Judges
Don't they all look a little bit grumpy?

Sorry no pics of the lavish food spread we put out with hot spiced cider, truffled crock pot mac&cheese and more!

Next Up- Halloween Night!