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Endings…

Well, the deed is done. Papers are signed. Check’s in the bank. The Cupola building is no longer mine.

There will still be art and books by me…I just won’t have two-towers anymore (man, how can I have an evil headquarters with only one tower?)

Not what I wanted to do…but it was the smart thing. We still don’t really know where we stand with getting all the damage from last spring repaired…and that weighs heavily.

One dream shut down. On to the next one.

Keep track of us over on The Old Victorian, The Old Victorian Webcomic, or the Life Is a Road site.

CUAgain,
Daniel and Carey Meyer

Killing dreams and moving on…

Other than death…there are only two things that can kill the dreams of a hard-working, principled man:

1) Himself…life brings changes and dreams are free to modify…
2) The government he pays homage to…by removing his ability, resources, or freedom to follow those dreams.

The storm…a year ago…and the SECOND storm (a year in just a few days)…impacted our budget by 10’s of thousands of dollars…and probably undid FIVE years worth of work. Pretty much everything we owned was damaged inside of two week’s time.

That is a telling blow…but it wasn’t a fatal one.

We rolled up our sleeves and got to work…and have accomplished some things…but with the projects/damage at both houses and Cupola Art…and the constantly re-arranging priorities as we’ve worked to salvage belongings and mitigate further damage to the buildings…have had us spinning our wheels for nearly a year.

But the really serious blow…is the medical insurance/care and Obamacare (ACA) situation. Many folks have been cheering this on…these are inevitably folks that are benefiting from the law…but NOT the ones paying the bill for the law. I’ve paid hundreds of thousands in medical insurance premiums over my career…and seldom had any claims. The ACA stripped away state law protections against predatory practices and instead, made them the “law of the land”. We’ve seen double and triple digit increase in our costs ANNUALLY, the costs of a new and massive government bureaucracy, and government regulated yet uncontrolled profit taking by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries running rampant.

This medical/government thing has ballooned beyond all rational estimations. We now consume the VALUE OF THIS BUILDING every two years, NOT in care, but rather…in premiums, taxes, and deductibles. Yet, we end up paying cash out of pocket for the majority of our medical services.

This artificially induced “crisis” has consumed our entire project budget…for Cupola Art, The Old Vic, AND the Suburban Blah House. Despite decades of hard work, sacrifices, and careful planning, we are getting knocked right out of the middle class on this issue alone.

I would have laughed out loud if someone had predicted in 2008 that it would get this bad.

There is no relief in sight…in fact…by any rational estimation…it is on track to get much worse.

This…and this alone…has robbed us of the resources to attack the rest of the damage, and put Cupola Art back into operation…at least in the short term. We looked at our houses and the damage there…the building, and our budget…and determined it would take us 3-4 years (IF the medical robbery doesn’t get worse) to get back on track.

We could not sustain this.

Today we contracted to sell the Cupola Art building. It is NOT…what I wanted to do. It is, however, the smart thing to do.

We look forward to seeing what the new owners do with this iconic building.

Now…having said all that…we are smart enough to NOT have exhausted all our resources…and we will focus on The Old Vic…and I’ll continue the art and writing in our space there. It’s even suitable for a gallery and shows when that time comes.

This feels like a failure…but as in all things…we’ll turn it to our advantage and continue to move forward.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

A New Roof!

Y’all might recall a post a few months back where-in I apparently accidentally challenged Thor to a duel and pretty much everything we own was seriously damaged in a series of severe storms…

Roof peeled and hatch gone.

Roof peeled and hatch gone.

The tally:
Destroyed roof and severe window damage on Cupola Art.
Hail-totaled roof on The Old Vic
Hail-totaled roof, windows, garage door, light-fixtures on The Suburban Blah House.
Totaled Little Rivet (but it’s not insured so I’ll just drive it).
Totaled Big Iron (also not insured)
$10k in damages to Da’ Altima (8 weeks in the shop).

The roof damage on Cupola Art was serious (along with the windows) and despite the tarps, we took a lot of interior damage…something like 640 square feet of ceiling and insulation came down, several light fixtures were damaged, and we lost some furniture and art…and art supplies.

Materials shortages, labor shortages, and the chaos in the industry due to the sheer amount of damage in north Texas area slowed things up a bit…but finally…the good news is starting! We have a roof on The Cupola! Woot!

First…the stuff showed up.

A truckload of "stuff".

A truckload of “stuff”.

A roof kit!

A roof kit!

The expensive part

The expensive part

Then, on the day work was to start…as we were sitting there, dude goes by several times with this on a truck. He looked lost so I flagged him down and said, “That’s for me!”

…and he just GAVE it to me. Ain’t life great!

Flagged him down and said, "That's mine!" and he gave it to me!

Flagged him down and said, “That’s mine!” and he gave it to me!

Very shortly though, the roofers showed up and spoiled my fun. They used the machine to lift huge piles of money on top of my roof.

Moving piles of money around.

Moving piles of money around.

The “thing” now…due to cost and durability, is a pvc barrier over insulation, the insulation fairs the roof deck as well as…well…insulating…it is a structural foam product and is easily firm enough to walk on without damaging.

3-1/2 R-20 insulation.

3-1/2 R-20 insulation.

The foam is screwed down to the existing roof deck with a few thousand big-honkin screws (technical term).

Foam screw/washer

Foam screw/washer

This is a small one.

A seven inch screw. They have bigger ones!

A seven inch screw. They have bigger ones!

The barrier is a PVC product that is 60 mil thick, and reflective white.

The barrier. It's 60 mil PVC.

The barrier. It’s 60 mil PVC.

It is 10′ wide and screwed down with the same large screws used on the insulation and a particular washer that gives some more bite to the product.

The "bitey" washer.

The “bitey” washer.

Step one: Install insulation and fair up roof. (they had various widths and wedges of foam to level things out).

Insulation going down.

Insulation going down.

Next the barrier/TPO went down. It is screwed all along the edge and then the seams are chemically and heat fused. This part went surprisingly fast.

Main covering goes down fast!

Main covering goes down fast!

Then the real work started…terminating all the walls and edges…the TPO is brought up and over the walls and screwed down with metal bars on top. It is heat-formed to the contours of the walls and glued to them. That work is what I call “fiddly bits” and is most often the hard part. This took 8 men the better part of two days to accomplish.

Heat formed and glued up and over the walls.

Heat formed and glued up and over the walls.

One problem this roof has always had was water could stand at the back…and this damages roofing materials. They faired the area with foam and made everything run to the scuppers.

Scuppers and drain slopes nicely faired

Scuppers and drain slopes nicely faired

Woot! Roofage!

Water proof!

Water proof!

The tower has endured decades of minor damage…I have work to do here. It is not leaking. This fall I will get up here and screw everything down, and add flashings to resemble the missing shingles (mostly not visible from the ground).

Tower repair needed...

Tower repair needed…

Somewhere in there I also constructed a new, two-piece roof hatch…much heavier than the last one which was demolished in the storm…and the roofers nicely covered that with TPO…

This is a better roof than has ever been installed on this building…so that is forward progress. R-20 insulation, COMPLETELY water-tight, extensive warranty, reflective white, and best of all…did I mention water-proof?

Brian McCarty of Regency Roofing and Construction, who also did the roof on The Old Vic, was our contractor for this, and I recommend him.

Next…we fix the inside. Ugh.

The first batch of ceiling stuff.

The first batch of ceiling stuff.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

…and not a drop to drink…

We have a contract to put a new roof on the building…but due to demand, materials, weather, etc it has not been done yet. There’s a LOT of folks out there needing new roofs…

So…last Friday we got around 8″ of rain…2-1/2 of it in under a half hour.

The tarps are not up to that kind of abuse.

12 times I emptied the shop vac...AFTER I swept a ton of water out the front door.

12 times I emptied the shop vac…AFTER I swept a ton of water out the front door.

I spent Saturday cleaning up the couple hundred gallons of water that got in and overflowed the traps upstairs. I also used fans to dry the floors…and removed any wet materials so I don’t have a mold problem later.

Sunday…Well…through a feat of derring do (and nobody died!), the reckless deployment of strength (gonna feel that in the morning), and sheer determination (too stupid to know when to quit), me and Mike deployed the giant heavy rubberized canvas tarp from hell on the front damaged section of the roof.

Just getting it UP there was 75% of the battle. Heavy, stiff, and difficult to get a grip on…getting it on top of a roof that’s 36 feet off the ground is a challenge in itself.

The blue tarp was largely semi-permiable by now just from flapping in the breeze and the sun (they don’t last long).

The giant tarp from hell thing is heavy…something around 200 pounds or so…and 50 feet long by probably 16 feet wide. Ugh.

Anyway, got it up there, tacked and boarded down…and I didn’t take a pic of it. And I ain’t going back up there just for that. The tarp covers the hatch and getting ON the roof is probably something like being born…slither through a hole…and slide head first under this tight, warm, damp passage and…ugh. Never mind.

Getting back IN that passage It also makes it extraordinarily difficult to get OFF the roof…well…*alive* anyway. I’m pretty sure this entire episode is a metaphor for the male brain in general but I’ll just leave it at that.

Anyway…hopefully I should fare better in the next storm. This was…of course…scheduled for tonight…but since we finished the tarp, the completely random forecast now says no rain for more than a week. (that will…of course…change tomorrow).

It will still leak…there are several places the roof is damaged and this only addresses the worst part…but hopefully this is the end of the damaging leaks.

We will see.

This is what I do when I get stressed and have no idea *what* to do…I put my head down and work…and what do ya know? It actually helps!

Now if you’ll excuse me…the ibuprofen content of my blood has fallen WAY beyond minimum levels.

Kudos to Mike…I couldn’t have done this without his help.

Update: Sooo…when I went to bed Sunday night the forecast was for 10% chance of light showers after 10am Monday.

We got 2 inches of rain before 9am. I checked things out and while I still have some leakage, it is around the edges and very light. MUCH better.

Now…I just need a roof!

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

Shattered

It’s a distinctly crisp sound…walking through broken glass…some ancestral memory or cultural artifact cementing its crunch and almost musical notes as the unquestioned herald of chaos and destruction.

But it’s quiet when I don’t move…and for a moment I just stand there among the carnage and ponder.

An overwhelmingly foul mood and uncertain thoughts arise…and that’s perhaps inevitable…when you’re staring at the wreckage of shattered dreams.

OPRS (Other People's Roof Stuff).

OPRS (Other People’s Roof Stuff).


(there’s a couple hundred pounds of Other People’s Roof Stuff that blew through the windows of our building)