Saturday 26 October 2013


      "But now I think I'm able to carry on..."
                                  -Sam Cooke

Hey, Constant Reader,  long time, no see.

     Miss me?


      Robert F. Kennedy once said, "There is a Chinese curse which says "May he live in interesting times." "

      Times have been interesting as hell around here lately.

       Since I last added a post  to this venerable archive,  there have been some big life changes around here for SWMBO and I.

       In September, we made the decision to put   Stately Jones Manor on the market.


       It is more house than we need, or want, at this point in our lives, and the time and money we have to devote to maintenance and upkeep and mortgage payments and property taxes is time and money that can't be spent on the boat.

     Or rum.

      So, we had a confab with the most amazing Realtor I know, signed the listing paperwork, and then did something very, very stupid.
   We asked for recommendations on work that should be accomplished around the house to maximize the value and minimize buyer's objections.

   The list was long.

    SWMBO and I realized we had about 5 years worth of unfinished, half-finished, unstarted and unplanned renovations to accomplish...

   ...  in three weeks.

   Remember those home decorating "challenge" shows on TV, like Trading Spaces , where ham-handed amateurs accomplish an astounding amount of transformative work to an old home in an amazingly short period of time?

     Bull.  Shit.

     Here we are, a month on, and the house photographed well, but there are still a ton of little jobs to do, like replacing old light switches and tuckpointing  brick and repainting trim.
   Inside and Outside.


  It is a bittersweet decision.  We have a lot of good memories here, and we love Stately Jones Manor.  But...   it doesn't float.

    Friends, relatives, co-workers have been asking the same question, "Where are you moving to?"

   When we answer  "Dunno.  Haven't had to worry about it yet."  There is some consternation.

    "Well, you need to move somewhere!"

   Whoa, let's get Stately Jones Manor sold first, then we can worry about the next step. It might sell in a month, or it might be on the market for three months with no action, in which case we take it off the market and continue to live with it and in it.  We don't need to sell SJM.  But, it would be nice not to have to mow the lawn we never use and paint the trim we never see and clean room we don't use and...

... it is a little frustrating always having to keep the place in "An agent has a client who wants to see the house can they come over in 15 minutes?" -level readiness.  We're not total slobs,  but now the laundry has to be folded and put away straight out of the dryer and shoes are always in closets and the bed laways has to be made and the kitchen sink has to always be dish-free and the bathroom sink has to be toothpaste blob- and whisker-free and....

   ...Okay we might be total slobs.

   What is really frustrating is that it puts any winter boat building projects on hold.  I don't want to start building something and then get confronted with a no-conditions, full-asking-price offer asking for a 30 day closing.

   (Although, now that I think about it, maybe that is one way to guarantee a quick sale- start building something that will be a royal pain in the ass to move.  )

      I've also undertaken a bit of a serendipitous career change.

      I wasn't looking to change jobs.
      I wasn't actively beating the bushes or trolling

      But an opportunity was offered, and I saw the chance to be one of the rare lucky few who are able to work at something that they really love to do.
     The money isn't huge- it's not a whole lot different than what I have been earning.

     But, it's an interesting challenge.
       And, for the first time in almost 20 years, I will have weekends off.

        That's huge.

        In fact, it's difficult to explain how huge it is, to have a schedule that fits your spouse's, and your social circle.

        This season, due to our work schedule, SWMBO and I sailed together far less often.

       Hell, the reason we started sailing in the first place was because it was something we could enjoy together.  I know it sounds sappy, but when we're not together, sailing is a little less enjoyable.  Whiskeyjack did not leave the Dock as often as she has in seasons past.

      So, it's been a crazy busy few weeks, but the worst is past, so now, instead of coming home from work, changing clothes, picking up a hammer or a drill or a paintbrush, I can get back to scratching my head and trying to figure out how to  fill a blank screen woth something worth reading.

    Thanks for sticking around.

   and remember to...
"Talk the Dock!"




  1. I really like the house, and if it had sails and floated, I would be interested! It is really nice. Sounds like you need a condo but that means you won't have a workshop. Good luck with the sale, market has really picked up here in New York.

  2. Good luck Brian! Hope whatever happens with Jones Manor, it's the right thing.

  3. Nice one, Brian. If only you lived in Toronto, you could let the place fall to rat-poop and still make 500% over your purchase price because somebody wanted to raze it to the ground to do cheaply-built, maximally priced condo infills!

    (Wish I was joking...)

    I think the takeaway from your post is the weekends off, presumably in a smaller, more manageable abode. Don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods for house prices, but you may consider a) renting, or b) renting and a reasonably priced storage unit for your extra furniture and that much-needed workshop.

    I say this because a) it'll give you a breather and more time to sail on those freshly free weekends, and b) you can park the house money in rotating 30 day notes for a couple of years until real estate prices stabilize.

    I wouldn't touch a condo unless I had cancer, frankly. Find the cheapest place you can stand, and wait for the shake-out in overextended, bubblicious property prices. Even in your neck of the woods, I would expect a 20% "correction" sooner rather than later. You might get a bigger boat out of the arbitrage!

  4. Congrats on the new job.....weekends off!!!! Funny as this might appear, it will take adjusting to get used to this. (speaking from someone who worked rotating shifts for a good number of years.) I'm sure the cane sugar beverages might help in this matter.

    Does this mean the rumour of that white steel boat on the hard behind the Port Dover Marina, are true?.....a new floating stately Jones manner.......

    You talk of maintenance issues reminded me of a quote that I found on one of the sailing forums I was perusing, that seems appropriate for you;

    “A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would not think to try and refloat it."

    Hope you have a fast sale.

  5. Good luck on all fronts mate. We did the condo thing some years back and have never regretted it except that it means no garage for a workshop and no space for a muttley. It does mean however that we can run to the boat Friday evening, not come back till Monday morning and not have to face an out of control garden. It's not for everyone but it does suit us. Andrew B (Fuzzy)