House to-do list…

When we first bought the house, I walked through each and every room making a list of things to do.  I also went over our house inspector’s report, jotting down the things he wanted us to repair.  It turned out to be quite a list.  As we completed projects I drew a line through the project and patted myself on the back.  But it is still a big list.

Here it is:

Electrical

*replace knob and tube wiring

*remove improperly wires outlet on second floor, under window

*install grounding wire

*secure electrical casing on outside of house overlooking driveway

*live wires under front enterance need to be properly covered

*change all two prong outlets to three prong

*make lights in basement work on one switch instead of individual pull chains

*change light fixtures in all rooms (still need to change out the light in living room and downstairs bath)

*change light switch plates

*install exterior outlets in front and back

*run electricity to garage

*install garage door opener

Plumbing

*repair leak under kitchen sink

*new kitchen sink and faucet (bought the faucet already)

*extend/repair all down spouts

*repair down spout under front porch

*create shower in first floor bathroom (this is a big remodel thing that has to wait)

*create access panel for bath/shower on second floor

Outside

*repair siding shingles on back wall of garage

*fence in the backyard

*check on gutters, clean them out

*clean moss off of front porch shingles

*remove gigantic pine tree that is too close to the house (super expensive, not in budget yet, plus, I sort of love the tree)

*need new sod/grass for front yard

Safety & Security

*double keyed deadbolt on front door

*deadbolt on back door

*replace back door

*slide lock on basement/kitchen door

*glass block basement windows

*all purpose fire extinguishers on all floors

*big house numbers on front porch

Heat/Vents

*change heater filter (this is a monthly thing, but when we moved in, it hadn’t been done in awhile)

*dryer vent hole needs to be cut in laundry room

*new exhaust fan in upstairs bathroom

*remove wet insulation in basement and replace

* 8 new windows on first floor (going to be done on a room by room basis)

Cosmetic

*remove wallpaper (there is still wallpaper in front vestibule)

*paint everything (front vestibule not done yet)

*ceramic tile in front vestibule, upstairs bath, downstairs bath, kitchen and laundry room

*sand and stain kitchen cabinets, new hardware

*upstairs bath, paint sink cabinet and tile counter

*tile kitchen countertop

*refinish hardwood floors (not doing, they are in better shape than we thought)

*add shelves to bathroom closet and upstairs hall closet

*replace carpet on stairway and second floor

There are new things that we want to do, like add central air at some point and eventually (long way off) extend the living room out about ten feet.  Which would also allow us to add another bedroom to the second floor.  And maybe someday, after we have won a large lottery, we could get rid of the gravel driveway and pave the whole thing.

As we complete projects, I’ll update this post with my “pat on the back” strikethroughs .

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Ohio primary issues…

As it turns out, looking at the actual votes counted, Barack Obama did win my county.  I suspected he might since it does encompass Cleveland proper.  Somehow, Dennis Kucinich beat back his multiple challengers to win the Democrat nomination for the 10th Congressional district.  He would have barely edged out a win if all the people who voted for his opponents would have just picked one person to get behind.

Cuyahoga County passed a tax for the continuation of Human Services.  I supported that.  The library levy in my little city passed, which I had voted against.  Not that I am against the library, I love it.  But it already has a ton of funding and is beyond state of the art.  Last November our school district asked us to increase our property taxes so they could fix the schools and I supported that.  I wasn’t excited about another hike for the library. 

But we did defeat an income tax hike last night (61% to 39%).  Very good.  The income tax here is already pretty high compared to other cities of our size.  When we told people we were buying a house here they all asked us if we were crazy considering the tax rates for property and income.  What is worse is that S works in a different city with an even higher income tax rate which she has to pay there and then only gets partial credit for it from our city.  Between the city, county and state taxes, we really couldn’t afford the increase.

I don’t buy the argument that it is NAFTA that has hurt Ohio.  It’s taxes.  The Republicans in Ohio love to raise taxes almost as much as the Democrats.  I don’t know why anyone would open a business in Ohio.  And most of our jobs haven’t gone overseas, they have moved to American cities with lower taxes.  A high percentage of the jobs leaving Ohio are ending up in Alabama and Texas.  You would think our leaders would learn some lessons being so close to Michigan

And it’s not that I am anti-tax.  I know I have to pay for services of the city, county and state.  I want the schools to operate/educate better.  I want the police to be fully funded.  I like knowing that a fire truck will come when needed.  But seriously, fill the damn pot holes.  Our very charming little city with high taxes has worse roads than Baghdad.  I should be able to get a tax deduction for new tires and wheel alignment.

Last fall the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners raised the sales tax without taking it to the voters.  They did so because they knew the voters would never agree to it.  And the increase is for a Medical Mart that may or may not  be built here.  So we are paying higher taxes now to fund a project that may not exist.  And the Commissioners who passed the tax didn’t stand for re-election because they got jobs with the Medical Mart.  Apparently they are going to get paid even though the project may not happen here.

I love my little city.  I love living here.  But I want to be able to shop at its locally stores and eat at its locally owned restaurants.  If I have to pay too much just to live here, I am not going to be able to partake in all that it has to offer.

I did some math on the presidential votes.  If John McCain had gotten all of the Republican votes, he would have ended up with 1,055,543 votes.  If Hillary had taken all of the Democrat votes, she would have ended up with 1,135,174 votes.  Just a difference of 79,631.  No way to know how many Republicans crossed over to vote for Hillary though.  And who knows if all the Democrats and all the Republicans will get out to vote in the general if their prefered candidate is not the nominee.  Still, it does look like Democrats have a good chance of taking Ohio in November.

Shifting of the Mo…

And now the momentum is with Hillary Clinton.  Very interesting…

Last night she got her much needed wins in Ohio and Texas and little Rhode IslandBarack Obama picked up support from VermontJohn McCain won Vermont too.  Which begs the question, how can Republicans in Vermont drag themselves out to the polls year in and year out without ever having any hope of winning anymore? 

Hillary now hints that she and Barack could share the ticket in November.  She just doesn’t know yet who would be on top.  I don’t know if Barack would really want to be her Vice-President.  And I really can’t see her picking him because he would always outshine her.  If Barack wins the nomination is he really going to want to add Hillary and her negatives to his ticket when he is all about “change“?  Seems unlikely.

John McCain locked up the nomination last night.  Thank G_d.  Mike Huckabee gave a long, boring speech full of his cutesy little parables and then took himself out of the race.  Again, thank G_d.  I really wish he would just slip back into obscurity.  There is no room in myRepublican party for Mike Huckabee.

Ohio once again showed the nation that we are too stupid to vote.  Poll workers failed to show up at some polling places.  Some people had trouble filling in the ovals on the optical scan ballots.  Some polling places ran out of ballots.  Barack Obama’s legal team had to get judges to keep the polls open in about two dozen precincts.  I don’t blame our voting stupidity for the massive ice storm that hit at rush hour, which troubled the “after work” voters.  That probably couldn’t have been avoided.  And our voting stupidity if not to blame for the flooding in some polling places in southern Ohio. 

It is encouraging that about 80,000 people chose the vote by mail option.  Well, it’s encouraging only if they were real people and not voting dogs with human names.  Probably it was legit because I had to include my social security number as well as a photo copy of my drivers license in the envelope with my ballot.  At the time it seemed like a hassle, but I totally support having to have picture ID to vote.