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Author Topic: Life in America - I made the move.  (Read 705177 times)

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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3700 on: May 28, 2017, 03:43:51 am »
Thanks guys. Life must go on. Easier for me than for my dad, and now his step-son is being a total arsehole and trying to kick my dad out of the house, take the car, etc. Step son is in financial shit, and sees this as a way of getting head above water. If I was in SA I'd go over and kick some teeth out, I'm that angry right now...

But my dad's brother and nephew are helping out, so I'm hoping that will get things sorted out.

Eish... :dousing:
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3701 on: May 28, 2017, 03:52:45 am »
On a brighter note...

Today we booked the two tickets for my son (and my nephew - the chaperone) to fly over!!!

He leaves SA on 30 Nov, arrives in Miami on 1 Dec. Then departs back to SA on 12 Jan. A whole 6 weeks!!!!

Man!!!  I have not been this happy for a LONG time... I can now count the days until I see the boy again. I'll work it out exactly some time this weekend, but its around 180 days!

Again, thank you so much to every single person who assisted by donating to the "Go Fund Me" site. Without you guys and girls I would not have been able to do this. We booked today because we saw Qatar had a special going, and we had just enough put away, including the GFM cash to make it.

Now I will try put away a few $ each week so that we have cash for the holiday. You will not believe what it costs to get into Disney world etc...  :eek7: 

And because this is going to be the first Christmas I get to spend with my son, ever, I am going to go the whole hog with tree and lights and prezzies and everything! Yip, he is going to be 10 years old next month, and I have not spent one Christmas with him yet.

Today I am a very, very happy old man...  :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:


EDIT: I am going to leave the Go Fund Me going for a few more weeks, just in case anyone still wants to contribute towards the visit.  :thumleft:

And those that have sent cash, please PM Mrs Zog so she can send you your stickers and a thank you!  :deal:  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 03:56:24 am by Mr Zog »
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Offline Oubones

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3702 on: May 28, 2017, 07:52:01 am »
Tom, glad that you could get the tickets bought.
It makes it real.
It is always sad that someone in every family goes vulture when a loved one has passed away.
I hope you have a good week and that your dads issues get sorted out.
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3703 on: May 29, 2017, 04:24:04 am »
I woke up early, and had a couple of PM's waiting.

I am moved by the generosity of others. Seriously. Emotionally moved. Dust in the air type of moved.

Thank you guys, you know who you are.  :thumleft:

I was also asked what Disney World costs these days. Well, I googled it, and it seems that entrance is $145.00 per person for the day. So for the 3 of us it will be $435.00 just to get in, and they don't allow picnic baskets etc, so you gotta buy all the food, water, cooldrinks etc inside at their prices. Easily add another $50 - $60 for eats and drinks for the 3 of us. That works out at around R6000 for the day... the mind boggles... but when you travel half-way around the world to visit your dad in America, you just gotta experience Disney. and a few of the other theme parks. Disney is the most expensive, the others are all less than $100 each entrance. And some you can take in a picnic basket. But even that may stop because of security concerns...

My mission is simple: Give the boy the BEST Christmas holiday he could ever imagine. Then he goes back home and pesters and nags mom every single day until she relents and lets him come live with dad. The day that happens, my life is complete. Nefarious alterior motives...  8) :biggrin:
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3704 on: May 29, 2017, 04:38:10 am »
I had another busy day.

Woke up at about 4:30, but quietly read a book until 7am when I made coffee and woke Mrs Zog. Then I got to work.

Hurricane season starts on 1 June. And last year I had to make a plan when hurricane Matthew arrived to seal up the one bathroom window and the bedroom window, and the big glass sliding door.

Well, during the year I had kept my eyes open, and scored a few sheets of "Hurricane Shutter Steel". Basically just sheets of steel that resemble IBR roofing sheets, just smaller. For the bathroom window I just put the stainless steel screws into the wall that secure the sheets, easy.

But for the glass sliding door I had another, much grander plan.  8)

The "normal" way of securing the panels means that you have top close and open them from the outside. I don't like that idea for the sliding door... if fire or trees block the front door we are trapped. Not good. So I designed a system whereby I can open and close the panels from the inside.

I basically just used some angle at each end to secure the sheets together, then used 4 door hinges (scored) to secure the angle to the wall. Then on the other end I used 2 slide-bolts to secure the "door" to the wall. Very simple, but was very labour intensive and it was frighteningly hot today too, over 100 degrees F under the porch  :eek7:  I went through 3 t-shirts.  :imaposer:

To completely remove the "hurricane door" I just push out the 4 hinge-pins. Installing it is therefore just as simple.

Total cost was just under $40 for hardware. And about 7 hours of sweat and labour... but I like the result.  :thumleft:
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3705 on: May 29, 2017, 04:51:12 am »
When we moved into the house we bought a washer and a dryer off Craigslist (the US equivalent of the Junkmail)


Well, the washer has been giving trouble lately, getting stuck in the middle of a cycle. I suspect the switch is going bad, its an electronic jobbie that selects the program etc. I did manage to get another washer of the same brand (whirlpool) off the street, but it had a different switch.  :xxbah:

I had a good look at the washer, and it is starting to rust up pretty badly too. So trying to fix it would probably just be throwing good money after bad.

This morning the washer decided to die completely. Refused to wash on any cycle. despite jiggling the switch, checking for anyt loose connections, and giving the switch a couple of PK's  >:D  8)

So we made the decision to get a new washer. Not another used one off Craigslist, a NEW one with a warranty. I get VERY dirty and sweaty every day working, and with the dogs in the house we need a reliable washer. So Mrs Zog and I went off and found a new one, and severely bent Mrs Zog's credit card. But it has a 5-year full warranty, even if it gets nailed by lightning. Brilliant!

We couldn't load it and bring it home though, it will be delivered and installed (free) on Friday. Luckily I have enough clothes to last until then.  8)

Lekker to be getting a new appliance, but its an expense that we really didn't need right now.  :(
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3706 on: May 29, 2017, 05:02:18 am »
I think it was Friday...

I got a call out for a water-leak. The house in question was on City-Water, no well and pump. The City Water department had called the tenant and asked them if they were aware that their water usage had spiked during the past couple of days.

A quick interlude here... YES. The City Water department had picked up WITHIN A COUPLE OF DAYS that the water usage at that house was higher than normal. The water meters are electronic, and the City gets the readings electronically from each meter.

The water feed-pipe just past the meter had rusted out on the screw-fitting to the PVC pipe, causing a pretty nasty leak. So we dug up the box, removed the rusted out piece of pipe, and fitted new PVC fittings. Total cost for parts was under $5, and labour was an hour total. I also saw that the neighbour's water line was leaking very gently, but on the City side of the meter, so I tightened the coupling while I had it open. We are in a severe drought here, so any lost water is a problem...

Just thought I'd share, what git me was the City calling the tenant within a day of the leak happening and telling them about it. I have never heard of that happening back in SA. Not only did the City prevent a massive loss of precious water, the also prevented the tenant getting stuck with a massive water bill. Win-Win in my book!  :thumleft:
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3707 on: May 29, 2017, 05:10:42 am »
I said it was hot...

Yesterday (Saturday) I took a pic of the Weather Station in the house. The outside temp was 98 degrees F, but the humidity was low, just 29%. This was at 11 past 5 in the afternoon.  :eek7:

Today was hotter, and the humidity was also higher. We hit 99 degrees outside, with humidity around 45%. Under the uninsulated porch roof it was well over 100 degrees, the analogue thermometer I have out there was showing around 110 degrees at 5pm.  :eek7: :eek7: :eek7:

Tomorrow is a public holiday - Memorial Day. The unofficial start of Summer, and traditionally celebrated with water-sports and barbecues...

I'll be at home doing some more chores around the house, and finally getting my kayak ready for the water. The forecast for tomorrow is even hotter, with higher humidity. Sounds like a day to be spent indoors in the Aircon  O0
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Offline Donaldbr

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3708 on: May 29, 2017, 05:17:55 am »
impressive, I have just received my municipal account, and had a large water usage, no notice etc.

Found and resolved leak, but you only receive invoice a month after reading, so I am in for two months high water usage.

Ps, leak was in maids toilet, replacement washer cost R5, excess water account R2000 for two months, and maid says it was no problem because it still flushed fine.

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Offline Fudmucker

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3709 on: May 29, 2017, 06:32:26 am »
If you want to avoid surprises here, you have to read your own meter weekly.
I know somebody who reads it DAILY when he comes home from work.

(Extreme but logical - he has to stand next to the meter to unlock his un-motorised sliding gate.)
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Offline GRIM

Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3710 on: May 29, 2017, 07:06:19 am »

Tomorrow is a public holiday - Memorial Day. The unofficial start of Summer, and traditionally celebrated with water-sports and barbecues...

0

Yep, I'm in Tucson for a while, had some amazing fly fishing today, and tomorrow is braai day. The lifestyle here is tempting.

And thrn I watched the winner of the indy 500 pour a bottle of milk over himself. WTF ::)
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Offline grizz

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3711 on: May 29, 2017, 11:26:29 am »
That is pretty impressive Gary.

What you get for your taxes etc I guess.

Thanks for the updates.
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3712 on: May 30, 2017, 03:11:59 am »
Another busy Off-Day.

I shaved my face. First time a smooth shave in about 18 months.  8)

I mowed the lawn  :biggrin: 

I made a trailer for the tractor too, I had scored an old "Radio Flyer" pull-cart, it needed a pull-bar. So I made one from a piece of scrap PVC pipe. I added an old U-bolt to the PVC pipe and fitted a 1/2 inch bolt at the rear of the tractor. Now I can pull all sorts of stuff around... like bags of mulch, soil, etc.  :ricky:

I added an umbrella holder to the kayak, so I can sit in the shade when out on the water. And I reinforced the structure that I built on the back for the dolly wheels.

I cut a piece of wood to fit the plywood on the tailgate of my truck so that I can mount my small bench vise when needed.

I went to Harbor Freight and got some more rubber gloves to protect my hands when I work in shitty toilets etc. I also got a new 4lb hammer because the old one that I brought from SA broke it's handle. Now I have one with a Nylon handle. Hopefully it lasts better.

I also got two plastic boxes to put assorted nuts and bolts and other hardware in. Scratching through various bins when looking for stuff wastes too much time.

I took a bunch of scrap that I had been hoarding to the street so that it can be taken away.

I made an improvement to the latch mechanism I made on the side gate, now it works much better.

I took down a short section of fence at the side of the house. It served no purpose, and the gate was too small to allow the mower in, so I had to always cut the grass there with the weedeater.

I put some paving stones under the two gutter downspouts at the back corner of the house to prevent further wash-away when it rains.

I braaied some more of the fish I caught a few weeks ago, was very lekker!

Now this update, then an early night. I'm pretty tired.  :biggrin:
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Offline Mrs. Zog

Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3713 on: May 30, 2017, 03:19:55 am »
Quote
Now I can pull all sorts of stuff around... like bags of mulch, soil, etc.

...Maggie... etc.

She hitched a ride on the trailer. I tried to get a picture but she bailed when Gary cornered a little too fast.  :lol8:
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Offline silvrav

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3714 on: May 30, 2017, 06:57:27 am »
Quote
Now I can pull all sorts of stuff around... like bags of mulch, soil, etc.

...Maggie... etc.

She hitched a ride on the trailer. I tried to get a picture but she bailed when Gary cornered a little too fast.  :lol8:

Tell Gary shaving doesn't make one younger, which means he still needs to corner slowly...  :peepwall:
 

Offline Mrs. Zog

Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3715 on: May 30, 2017, 01:41:29 pm »
Hehehe, there is a TV advert here for John Deere ride-on mowers, where they guy on the tractor is riding fast. Their tag line is "It's not how well you mow, but how well you mow fast." We say it all the time now. I watch Gary mowing on his tractor and he rides around with this huge grin on his face; I don't think he even realizes it.

Re: the new washing machine. I'm excited about it. I have been fighting with the old one for a while now, and a new one was overdue. (Don't tell the feminists that I'm excited about getting a new washing machine). But the reality is, with the work Mr. Zog does, and me being a runner and spending morning time in the gym (= garage with a couple of free weights), and having two stinky dogs, we NEED a reliable washer.

Ah well... here is the link for the advert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgC30zIky30
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 01:44:46 pm by Mrs. Zog »
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Offline Mrs. Zog

Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3716 on: June 02, 2017, 02:50:51 pm »
The fleas are back. I flea-bombed again yesterday. The dogs are flea-free, I checked carefully. I just switched them to Bravecto last month and it's working better than the previous flea stuff. 

I suspect the fleas live in the sofa. Out of sheer desperation, I have cut a slit into the back of the sofa and tossed a flea bomb in there, too. If that doesn't work, then I don't know. I tried natural remedies, chemical remedies, and just plain cursing like a sailor. Let's hope they f**ck off this time for good.

Of course, I'm still without a washing machine. They only deliver late today. I have piles of washing that need to be done.

It's not even 9 am and I'm tired already.

 :-[
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Offline HarryDieStrandloper

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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3717 on: June 02, 2017, 03:45:13 pm »
Spray the sofa with ammonia. Put it ouside to breath and dry.
Goodluck
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Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3718 on: June 02, 2017, 03:46:14 pm »
And we thought that we had a tough life here.

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Offline Mrs. Zog

Re: Life in America - I made the move.
« Reply #3719 on: June 02, 2017, 04:23:41 pm »
Quote
"You know what they say South Africa is not for sissies"

I never had a flea infestation in South Africa either!
Please consider donating to the GoFundMe campaign to bring Little Zog over for Christmas. You can view the campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/christmas-in-america-with-dad. Any donation is sincerely appreciated. PM me with questions.