Thursday, June 05, 2008

And...They're Up

This is one of my favorite pieces. It's a small one, from a yew tree.

I started hanging the big ones off the eaves on my patio. Suspended from the eaves are wrought iron pieces, all around the house except in front. They make great orchid hangers.

However, since they're right in front of many of the windows, it might tend to look unsafe to a Windstorm Inspector. Now, I know perfectly well the guy is just going to measure things and write up a boilerplate report. But I can't help thinking I'll get that one in a thousand who will prefer to Make Waves than to have a nice easy boilerplate job, and may call his boss's attention to this odd habit of mine.

So I figured it was time to hustle them off the eaves, and onto my ficus patch. That's the infamous Ficus Patch I spent a week or so chainsawing last January. See, an adjustor for my Citizens claim was coming out, and the ficus had grown so tall you couldn't see the dangling branches in the slash pine any more. I thought a tree trimmer was covered under my windstorm policy. Surely they don't want my big tree dropping limbs on my roof, right?

Next time I'll read the policy.

Well, I got an interestingly weird leg infection out of it, and an Eye Contamination Incident months later; a lot of exercise and fun; and huge stacks of ficus trimmings I chopped up in my chipper and am turning into much-needed compost. And lots of firewood. So it wasn't a total waste of time. I really do love climbing up my trees with a chainsaw.

While I was up there, I notched some trunks to hold these very long galvanized horizontal fence poles. I hung a good number of them way up in the ficus patch. These, you see, will hold very many orchids and other stuff that ought to be hung off the ground and tidied up. It's away from the house, doesn't use up my carport space, and the ficus leaves will quickly cover most of the stuff with lush green leaves. From here on out, I want every single thing about my house to look as nice as possible.

One problem...Galvanized fence posts are ugly. They just ARE. I've been told that no matter what you do for prep, what kind of primer you use, etc., they can't hold paint for more than a year or two down here. So if any of you engineering/handyman guys out there have any good ideas for making galvanized poles look less ugly, I'd be thrilled to hear them.

Walter and I scrambled to get the wood off the eaves and onto the ficus. He was wonderful. He knew perfectly well that none of my cleaning fits were actually necessary. He's got significant real estate and management experience - bureaucracy type, no less - of his own. Sure, that was going to be a boilerplate type inspection. And he knew it.

But Walter also knew perfectly well that it made me feel much better to work off a little Pre-Inspection Anxiety, and also to have the place tidied up for my own sake. I don't like it messy. At all.

Not to mention, it's just...sweet handholding activity. You know. Uh, supportiveness.

Aww, mush.


Well. The ficus patch poles filled up quickly, especially as they weren't really set up yet, so I made a space by the patio to lay the rest of the newly wired wood on the ground. I layered a bunch of plastic crates down first to keep the wood off the ground. At this point I don't want more ants and bugs eating it.

So the last pic is after the inspection. There was probably over a ton of wood strung up already when it was taken. If not? There sure is by now.

I've been stacking it and stacking it and stacking that stuff up like nobody's business.

I'll try to pick out some nice individual pieces for photos tomorrow. Right now it probably all looks like just a jumble of wood to you guys.

But me? Oh, am I excited! There are the most beautiful things in there, you just won't believe how gorgeous they can look...

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SeaPhoenix said...

I'm usually pretty sharp, but "boilerplate" had me stumped..."Boilerplate is any text that is or can be reused in new contexts or applications without being changed much from the original. Many computer programmers often use the term boilerplate code. A legal boilerplate is a standard provision in a contract.

The term dates back to the early 1900s, referring to the thick, tough steel sheets used to build steam boilers. From the 1890s onwards, printing plates of text for widespread reproduction such as advertisements or syndicated columns were cast or stamped in steel (instead of the much softer and less durable lead alloys used otherwise) ready for the printing press and distributed to newspapers around the United States. They came to be known as 'boilerplates'. Until the 1950s, thousands of newspapers received and used this kind of boilerplate from the nation's largest supplier, the Western Newspaper Union.

k said...

We used the term for our early business plans, liquidating delinquent loans. See, the Committee always had certain things to ask about: what's the local economy, the prospects for any recovery soon, the loan history, the current status of the borrowers.

So at my first contractor to FSLIC, one of the reasons I was sent there on hiring was because I'd just spent my first year out of college doing formal real estate consulting. I knew exactly what those kind of reports should look like.

Not all the other asset managers did. In fact, none did.

So I did a boilerplate business plan, all the way down to the *if/then* decisions. Like: *The local economy has been hard hit by the oil price shocks; unemployment is x%; net outmigration is x%*...You just dropped in the relevant numbers from the appraisal, mostly. Easy, fast, informative, sourceable.

All the asset managers used it, and it worked great. Suddenly Committee was very happy with our plans and started approving them left and right.


The other asset managers were pissy about it at first. But after their plans started getting approved, and they themselves weren't getting cussed out in front of everyone in Committee any more, they came around.

I'd never heard where the term came from, though. Thanks for that!