Monday, May 25, 2015

We Were Robbed!

Once we moved, we told the contractor, “Thank you but we will take it from here.”

Since our plan was downsizing, we didn’t expect to spend a lot of time on the second floor. Nevertheless, we realized that those upstairs bedrooms depended mainly on lamps for illumination. So being “contractorless,” we called an electrical subcontractor and told them we would like to have recessed lights installed in the three upstairs bedrooms. It seems everyone in the construction business is super busy in the Nashville area these days. Home construction may be down but mega apartment buildings are going up everywhere. The subcontractor “worked us in” to their schedule sending over two workers on a Saturday.
The electrical company has done work for us many times over the years and has done a great job. They have often worked in the current and prior residences when neither we nor anyone else was in the house. We trusted them completely. I admit, however, that this time we were not familiar with every member of the crew doing the recessed light work. My wife and I needed to run an errand, and we left the men alone to complete their work with instructions about securing the house if they should finish before we returned. We were gone a couple of hours.

When we returned, the house was locked, fully secured, and the men were gone. I had to go out again, so I looked for some cash that I had left in a basket on the kitchen counter.  [I have to be very careful here not to mention names. In America, you are innocent until proven guilty, and proving guilt isn’t easy without the help or stupidity of the thief.] Oops, the money was gone. So were three of my wife’s rings that were also in that basket including her 53 year old wedding band. Now getting nervous, I checked where I kept my watches and rings. Two very special rings were gonea 22ct gold David Yurman piece with the image of a horse in black jade and a second gold ring with a carnelian carved by the German artist, Manfred Wild.
The sheriff is on the case—so is Mark Rollins because whoever the culprit is, this probably wasn’t his first robbery, and unless we catch him and put him away, it probably will not be his last. “Mariko, get your Beretta—the game is afoot.”

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For more about the move and its trails and tribulations go to the prior post titled Our Next House.

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Our Next House

My email, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have been filled today with well wishes. My thanks to each you for touching base on my birthday. I thought I would use the occasion to give you an update on our physical move. It is only about three miles from the old homestead, which is now in the hands of my daughter and her family.

We are figuratively ‘bruised and bloodied’ but finally in our next house. I’m not calling it home yet because there is still a lot to do before it feels that way.

The plan had been to down size, but I think something went wrong with that plan. The house was previously owned by a professional hockey player. And I have been told the house was frequently an after game hang out, so it has taken some wear and tear. Thus, we decided to remodel and - renew the house before occupying it.

Our three month remodeling plan took about eight months, and there are still odds and ends that have to be done.  We had five destructive water events during the remolding. The first was an overflowing drip pan of an air handler installed in the attic. Then during a severe cold snap, we had an ice damn that damaged the ceiling and floors of the breakfast room. Both events did a lot of damage but were nothing compared to what we experienced during the water heater saga. It started when a traditional water heater also installed in the attic died of old age. Its tank burst sending water crashing through the ceiling and flowing down the walls of the living room and master bedroom suite. The contractor talked me into a tankless replacement so that I would never have that kind of problem ever again. Not so! After the drywall and other damage from the first water heater had been repaired, the tankless water heater froze and burst. It was déjà vu. Then the contractor recommended that I build a insulated room around the next replacement to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. Confident that the insulated room eliminated all risk of another frozen water heater, we went ahead with the installation of  new subflooring and carpet. The temperature outside dropped. The replacement of the replacement of the replacement froze and burst despite its protective new insulated room. In came the big fans again. Freshly painted dry wall was removed along with light fixtures, portions of the carpet, and subflooring. All had to be replaced, restored, and repainted. It déjà vu all over again!

This time I remembered the old saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” It turned out the tankless water heaters were installed in such a way that when the lights in the attic were turned off so was the power to the water heater. Which I later learned later, if installed properly, would remain unfrozen even at 30 degrees below zero.

That was the last straw when it came to a water heater in the attic. You see we already had a second traditional water heater in the garage. The only thing the one in the attic did was serve the master bedroom bath. “Guys, we are downsizing! Why in the world would two people need two water heaters?  I wish the contractor had thought of that instead of “an insulated” room. We rerouted the plumbing of the master bath to connect to that already existing other water heater—and finally I can say “We will never have to deal with that kind of problem ever again!”

We did get something out of this that most people don’t have—a nice insulated room in the attic. It is empty. The tankless water heater that once called it home is only a bad memory.

More to come—We were robbed!