The Waiting Game

So here we are some 2 weeks later and we are still in limbo with the insurance company. Not that I have a problem with that because based on the letter sent to me, it would take up to two weeks for the appraiser to complete and file a report to the insurance company, who would then take some more time to review the report and mail me the check and report. I spoke with our agent on Friday and she confirmed she had the paperwork and check ready to go.

While I was hoping it would have arrived today (Monday), it didn’t so the waiting game continues. I am more curious about the appraiser’s report, as the monetary value of the check should more than cover the damage from the water/leaks.

So with an overall total price in mind I have started putting together a schedule of hardware that will be needed, as well as price for each item. One question that remains is what sort of value will be put on a square foot of carpet, as well as a square foot of wood flooring. Since the floor coverings we have are no longer available replacing ALL the floors though out the house is the only answer. That was taken into account by the appraiser.

Outside of having someone install new flooring, I will hopefully do a good portion of the work, such as ALL of the demolition associated with our remodel, guess you would call it that. That is the easiest part of a remodel anyway and takes the least amount of time. I will also pay someone to do the tape and texture of the walls and ceiling. This is not something I want to spend anytime with and we have a very good reference for this work.

As for additional work required, I am playing it by ear. If the wife has her way then I won’t be doing any work since it usually takes me a long time to get anything completed. Guess that is one of the joys of home ownership. If we can stretch our money we are looking at replacing the kitchen cabinets. Here is why. The wood floors extend under the cabinets, excluding the dishwasher and stove. Trying to remove the cabinets and replace these cheap cabinets would be a nightmare, if not damn near impossible to do. Of course we won’t get the insurance company to buy us new cabinets for the kitchen so we must stretch out money.

So until we get the remainder of the paperwork in hand we continue to wait. I was told not to even start removing anything in the house until we review the report and have the check processed. One of the things I was not pleased to hear was the fact the check will be a two-party check, made out to me and the mortgage company. It could be up to the bank to withhold a portion of the available funds. They also want a copy of the appraiser’s report.

2010 Japan International DX – CW

Contest: Japan International DX
Date: April 10-11, 2010
Mode: CW
Period: Starts 0700 UTC Saturday; ends 1300 UTC Sunday

BAND/QSO/PRE
20 / 25 / 19
15 / 5 / 5
TOTAL: 25 QSO / 19 PRE
SCORE: 475 (TIME ON: 1 H 04 Mn)

SOAPBOX: I had hoped to put in a better effort in order to work towards some of the JIDX sponsored awards. Unfortunately band conditions, my antennas and externals factors amounted to very little participation.

Water + Light Fixture = Bad!

Let the clean up begin! It has been a rough few days with a toilet backing up and a pipe (continuing) leaking. Unfortunately the only worse place this could have happened would have been in the foundation. The second worst post would be between floors, which is where this leak happened.

When I started remodeling the upstairs bathrooms I did notice some nasty looking water marks, some mold as well. Most of it was cleaned and treated and I built over it. This leak did not rear its ugly head until Thursday morning when I had just dropped my son off school, I received a call from my wife.

In very colorful language she explained there was water leaking through the light fixture onto the dining room table, just off the kitchen. To make things worse it was filling up in the ceiling, as well as splattering on the floor.

Now it would okay (I guess) if it were tank water from the toilet, but that was not the case. It was a brown-gray, very unpleasant smelling water. Yes, it was from the sewer line. Some nasty shit! Literally!

After punching 4 holes in the ceiling in order to pinpoint the leak I noticed the extent of the “leak” and how much of the ceiling it had consumed. It was not a pretty sight. The ceiling drywall was completely saturated and stained a yellowish color. As for the pipes, I not found the direct cause, but the plumber I called came out and snaked out lines and believes it was a block that caused the back up.

After some discussion we my wife we decided to open a claim with our insurance company. I was somewhat hesitant, but she was insistent, which is good because I was ready to start ripping the drywall apart. Unfortunately the job would have been bigger and more costly for a DYIer.

The insurance agent called back and spoke with my wife, consequently a clean up and restoration company were contacted and made it out to the house the SAME DAY. Talk about a quick response! I met the adjuster yesterday who took notes, pictures and spoke to me about the extent of the damage.

Today, Saturday the clean up crew (of 1) is here, saws going in the background removing all the contaminated material. I believe the entire wood floor is going to be replaced, along with 60% (or more) of the ceiling drywall and possibly some of the walls in the dining (nook), kitchen area. Upstairs in the spare bathroom, the floor (particle board) will need to be removed. The walls should be okay, but there is indications of water damage on the carpet just outside the bathroom, so carpet might be a possibility as well.

Add this up and yeah, this job would have been too much for me. As well as time consuming and unfortunately time is something I don’t seem to have much of these days, even on my days off. So we will see what happens. The clean up crew told me we will have a contained area, marked off with heavy duty plastic up for at least 3 days. Let the fun begin!

Visalia is Go!

While I have been licensed since 1995 it was not until 2007 I bought an HF rig, antenna and started to work DX. Sorry, but the local repeater work just does not excite me. That is because of my upbringing in San Diego, where my father had his shack and multiple yagi antenna. DX, for me is where the action is at!

One of the events I found out about last year as the International DX Convention hosted by the SCDXC (this year) in Visalia. Since I really have no desire to attention the Dayton ham convention, this convention about 3.5 hours south of me really excites me. By the time I found out about it last year it was too late.

This year I really had no intentions of attending because of work and family commitments is not quite possible…yet. Then Chris, N6WM sent out an e-mail to the NCCC Reflector about needing club members of represent at the booth the club sponsors. I figured this was a good “in” to the convention and possibly a day pass from the XYL to attend.

Thankfully the XYL has given me the okay for Saturday, now I am working to get the day off from work (Apr 17) in order to drive down and arrive at Visalia by 0600 in order to join in the festivities. I don’t have any intentions of seeing any of the presentations or attending any of the extracurricular activities.

I hope my presence at the booth will help strength the support of the club. I look forward to meeting other hams with a like interest (DX and contesting) as well as possibly meeting (hams call it an eyeball) other hams I have worked in the past. I also look forward to possibly seeing a legend in the ham community, K6NA, Glenn who is a family friend from way back.

LOTW: RTTY vs SSB

Is it me or are a majority of the RTTY operators also LOTW users? I pose this question because the last contest was a biggie, the CQWW WPX (SSB). Now 10 days since the conclusion of the contest and I have yet to receive a single LOTW confirmation. Sure, I only had 80+ contacts, but the point is I uploaded them within a day. Since this is a big contest many are looking over their logs before submitting them to CQ. Even then, 10 days and nothing has been confirmed.

Now, if this were the WPX RTTY contest, I can guarantee I would have seen 50-60% of the QSOs confirmed. Not sure why RTTY users are so thorough when it comes to finishing a contest and uploading their logs. But the phone ops have not been all the impressive so far. I am frustrated because I worked some new DXCC and want to make sure I get that new one confirmed.

Not sure why there is such a big discrepancy between the two modes. Does this mean that RTTY operators are more advanced in using PC based applications? I find that hard to believe and honestly I don’t think that is the case. Are the logs that much larger and complex for the SSB version of WPX? There is some truth to larger, but still even a large log would not take 10 days to upload. Maybe the LOTW servers are backlogged? Again, not a very good answer since I have seen some older confirmations come through in the last week. Regardless, it’s time to wait and see just what I can confirm.