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On the 14th, the owner helped close what animal entrances could be found, and boarded up the broken window at the rear of the house.  This made it possible for me to begin working in earnest.

On the 15th, I dropped sand in the area under the rear addition, to help in cleaning the feces on the floor.  Today, I took up my second stereo rig -- a cheap little thing -- and a box of tools.  Then I began tracing the electrical wiring, in the process discovering the first of many joys in store for me.  The wiring is a hopeless mess; I'm amazed that the house hadn't yet burned to the ground.  It looks like the electrical outlet behind the xmas tree in "A Christmas Story".  I disconnected everything but a single circuit that provides power to an outlet on the first floor.  I'll probably be sleeping among my tools on the first floor for a while, at least until I can get the first floor bathroom roughed in.  This way, I can have a working alarm clock.

I'm quite happy with the look of the basement, though.  There was a lot of gypsum board nailed to the first floor joists; I had feared that somebody was trying to hide something.  The joists of the first floor look quite good, however, considering their age (110 years).  Along the line, somebody had the presence of mind to paint them with grey porch paint; this was certainly not the man from whom I'm buying the house.  What is really nice is that the basement is DRY.  This is a very good thing.  One thing that frightens me a little is the terra incognita under the front porch; the owner screwed the access door shut.  I'll deal with it, as it will be necessary to rebuild the front porch, anyway.

The neighbors are another thing.  It's not that they're nasty, it's that they're Yinzers.  They're always trying to have extended conversations with me while I'm trying to work, complaining about my walking boxes of my possessions up in my little red wagon.  It's not that I don't like them, but I have a schedule to keep.  Believe it or not, I like walking up the hill, wagon in tow; it's contributed to my weighing as little as I did when I was 21.  And the kids.  For the love of St. Gulik, the kids.  I suppose that that was my own fault, for breaking into song while clearing the front yard of overgrowth; I still have a professional-quality singing voice, and can be clearly heard a quarter-mile away, without amplification.  Now, the kids are always begging me to sing.  Perhaps I should rig the front porch with stage lighting and put out a busking basket.

At any rate, here is where it starts.  When I finish, if I finish, is unknown, but the work is rewarding in itself.

May 2013

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