Well, it was bound to happen. I may be considered an essential worker, but most all of my customers have instructed that I should only respond to emergency work orders, and there haven’t been any of those in a while. Today, two things happened. The first, was that I finished up the last three outstanding work orders that I had for the only customer who hasn’t imposed any restrictions on site visits. And the second thing was, the only customer who hadn’t imposed any restrictions on site visits imposed site visit restrictions. I’m both out of work and out of customers.

What does that mean? No answers for that, just yet. At this point they still want us to be available for emergencies, so layoffs are kinda out of the question, but paying us to stay home and do nothing but wait, is not a thing. I’ve done all my training courses, so that’s not an option. Until I hear otherwise I’ll be doing the worst kind of vacation. You know, the kind where you use your PTO hours while still making yourself completely available to go on a call.

I’ve got a good bit of PTO, so I’ll be okay for about 4-weeks. But then there will be no other days off for the rest of the year, the family vacation will get missed, and I’ll have to not get sick. It’s better than getting laid off, at least this way I keep my benefits. Oh well. Like I said, not ideal. But still, better than a lot of folks.

I’ll be very glad when this is over.

Well, I knew it was coming, and it had to happen, but today I got the email letting me know that my first student loan repayment is due at the beginning of next month. So, for the next 5 years, I’ve got that to look forward to. Unless, I can somehow manage to pay it all back early.

I don’t have a lot to complain about, when you break it all down, I didn’t borrow that much money and the interest rate is reasonable. I managed to get my associate’s degree at the community college for less than half of what I paid for my car.

Of course, I’m only 8 months away from adding my wife’s student loan payments to that monthly mix. Essentially, between the two of us, we’ll be adding another car payment to our monthly bills every month.

The good news, you don’t need to have full coverage student loan insurance.

Should I use money to make my life easier? Well, maybe not my life, but my chores. There is part of me that says doing these things around the yard without the benefit of power equipment is simply another way to get some exercise. And then I’m out there in 95 degree heat and 90% humidity and I think, perhaps I’ve made the wrong choice. Or, like last weekend, we get a bunch of wet, heavy snow and I’m out there trying to make my back as sore as possible while not having a heart attack and dying in my driveway. Same thought, I’ve made the wrong choice. Yesterday, I made a different choice.

I have been pondering this decision for a while. Last summer I thought I was ready to make a big purchase and get a lawn tractor, but then I convinced myself that I did not need such an extravagance. I have a suburban lot which, according to the local municipality, is 0.232 acres. It’s not really an all day job to mow less than a quarter acre. But it is a miserable chore that I do not like doing. In much the same way, my driveway is not huge, at least six cars, but not much more than that. And half of that is filled with two vans most of the time. I like shoveling snow more than mowing the lawn, but it’s still not a favorite.

I made up my mind about the snow blower last weekend. Getting one. Just a matter of which one. Enough of this shit.

The mower was a different story. I could not pull the trigger on what I wanted, because it’s a damn big purchase for something I don’t like doing. Kinda how I feel about replacing my roof. I was looking at self propelled mowers, but I had one of those and I didn’t use it. Sold it to the neighbor actually. It was actually Lady Ronn who said to do this. Apparently, she’s not so worried about me dying in the driveway, more that she doesn’t want me to collapse in the front yard where the neighbors will see. That would be embarrassing. So I did it. Pulled the trigger. Hopefully I won’t regret either of these purchases.

something for the snow

You have no idea how many videos I watched on this machine. Possibly all of them. I was pondering one or two stage snow blowers in our last go round. Not only is this a single stage unit, it’s also electric. Probably the big decision maker was that a couple of those videos were filmed here in Michigan, under conditions that I both recognize and have experience with. This should be perfect for most snowfalls, and the reviews say it’s bad ass enough to handle the big stuff as well. I hope that’s true. I could have gone to the store and grabbed this one off the shelf, but why bother, they’ll bring it right to my house. Home Depot will have it here in a week. Hopefully the snow will hold off until it gets here.

something for the grass

I looked at this Ryobi last year. Wanted it. Didn’t buy it. This year I compared it to a couple others, the Cub Cadet in particular, and I still like it best. It has a very go kart look to it, which I think is cool. It was on sale at the Home Depot and comes with extra blades and the hard shell grass bags, plus I had a coupon for 24-months free financing. Still not a cheap purchase. The 75AH is more than big enough for my lawn. It’s good for two hours or two acres and the 38″ blade width should make short work of my yard. I’m curious about how it’ll handle the digout for my culvert and the hill in my front yard. I guess we’ll find out in a few months. Home Depot is delivering it for free, should be here in two weeks.

My email has been full with pre-deals, sale previews, and early price drops for two weeks. I’m sure yours has too. So money was bound to get spent. i can only stand up to that kind of pressure for so long. My personal BLACK FRIDAY shopping spree started on Tuesday at Home Depot.

All of my shopping has been at either the big box home centers or Amazon. And I did NOT leave the house on Friday. Saturday and Sunday, but not Friday. I let Lady Ronn do that particular brand of madness. 

Ronn smirking
no black friday shopping for me

On Tuesday I picked up a new 6-pc. set of Rigid battery powered tools and took advantage of the pick two freebies, I also grabbed a 3-1/2″ framing nail gun by Porter Cable. The nail gun is something that I’ve been waiting for a price drop on, the Rigid stuff… yeah, that was an impulse buy.

Then on Saturday, I went to Menards and took advantage of their R-15 insulation deal. They were offering a $9 rebate per roll, so that brings the price down to $2.99 for an 18-foot roll. I have a garage to insulate and I couldn’t pass that up. I had to go back for a second load today, and while I was there I picked up a heater for the garage. So now I have two new projects that I don’t have time to do.

So much good stuff
my weekend haul

I don’t want to even talk about the stuff I bought from Amazon, but they’ve been keeping my credit card busy all weekend. And I’ve been told that the Friday outing went well. Which I assume means money was spent. Sounds like we’ve done our part to keep the US economy rolling along.

So what’s on sale Cyber Monday?