Wednesday, April 25, 2018

When it rains .... get a new roof, cuz it pours

This skylight is gone and the new surface will soon be in place.
OUR ROOFERS ARE hard at work on our Fifth and Maine second floor roof as we speak. They are removing the two large skylights and prepping for the removal of the roof material, since they are completely rebuilding it. Much love to Jeff Schuecking, our next door neighbor, who graciously allowed the roofers to use his parking lot for easier roof access. It's saving them a lot of time and hassle.

Man, I'm gonna really miss inching through a dark and dirty crawlspace to check on buckets when it rains. The last few times we've had rain and melting snow it's been really bad, and we're tired of it.

There's a support beam on the far east side that is rotting from water damage, and it's dangerous to go back there now, so it's past time.

The problem was that this building was empty and neglected for too many years. When we first got in here, we had no idea the leaking was so bad. On New Year's Eve 2012, The Cheeseburgers had a show at One, and it started to snow and rain. Man, the water just poured down into the back area - Frank Haxel and I had to keep running back and forth from the gig to the store just to empty the kiddie pools full of water. We finally figured out they had a sump pump in a garbage can in the crawlspace to catch the biggest leaks, and it's all still up there and still pumping when it rains.

We wrestled with what to do with the skylights. The project would have been cheaper if we'd kept them. But most of the panes of glass are 100 years old and cracking, and there is no purpose to having them up there - you can't see them. At one time they were part of the heating and cooling system for the building, but long ago drop ceilings were installed so you can't see them from the inside, either.

All they do is leak and rust. It's sad, but they gotta go.

Yesterday Sheryl turned on the water to the second-floor bathroom, and something went wrong with the sink. Suddenly there was water pouring down into the coffee shop immediately below. She got it stopped but it leaked for a few hours - I am grateful for the patience and support of EFB's owners and staff, and really it was no big deal - nobody got wet and now we know the sink needs work.

Ah, the joy of owning an old building ...

Anyway, the roofers are up there hammering away, and every now and then we hear a BOOM and a POP when something falls down. It's music to our ears, knowing we'll soon have a new roof.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Garage door opener - free!

SHERYL INSTALLED A new battery powered belt-drive garage door opener Sunday. I helped by staying out of the way and being tall when required to take the old one down and put the new one up. It has a battery and works with the solar panels on the garage roof, and so far, so good.

Since the garage didn't have electricity, Sheryl put in solar panels. She had to find a battery powered opener so that it would work with the solar batteries. So for the past few years we had to manually pull the door up and down, we rarely parked the vehicle in the garage. If the weather was bad, I'd pull it up, put the car in, pull it down, and be done. Really it's no big deal but we get used to the conveniences in life, and it will be nice to park in the garage with little effort - our backs are thanking us already.

The old one was put in three years ago and almost never used. It's sitting in the garage, and we'd like to find it a new home. On occasion we'll have what we call at "Calftown Garage Sale" and just stick it on the sidewalk with a free sign on it, but this is a little too big and we'd like it to actually get used, not taken and sold off or pawned.

Call us at the store (228-8008). It comes with all the stuff you need to put it in.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cats and vets and car hair

TODAY WAS "TAKE the cats to get shots day." We loaded Josie into the Jeep, and she promptly hid under the back seat. Then we grabbed Fast Eddie from the store, and he meowed loudly all the way from Fifth and Maine to the Quincy Humane Society. Their immunization clinic is fast and cost effective.

Both cats were actually well behaved. Sheryl held Josie while I held Eddie. I had a lot more cat to hold onto, but both decided they'd just stare at the other dogs in the waiting room, and they both were very good when the vet gave them their shots.

Since Eddie never leaves the store, except to get shots, I think he was just soaking it all in and figured trying to make a break for it would only get him in more trouble.

On the way back I started sneezing, and I looked at my jacket. It was coated in cat hair. Coated In Cat Hair would make a great name for a band. Anyway, I shed the jacket and took some benadryl. Sheryl got Josie home, and now we are updated on shots and both cats are happy and healthy.

This comes on the heals of a rather productive Sunday. I played in church in the morning and jammed with the Matt Roberts Blues band at night. Sheryl got the garden planted, did laundry, cleaned the carpets and got the solar powered garage door opener installed. It works! I also got more rocks put down in the low spot by the garage and tilled part of the backyard, then put grass seed down. We'll see how much it grows, especially with dogs and Josie walking through it all the time.

So we are both sore today. Maybe we should get a shot to feel better. I think a new shoulder for Sheryl might be essential if we are going to do this every weekend.

We have done enough today just getting the cats their shots.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Great Venues in Quincy

ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, I saw one of the best bands to ever come through Quincy. Andy Frasco and the UN tore up One at Sixth and Hampshire, much to the delight of about 150 people. Andy's band is really tight and they understand it's about the music and the show, and they rocked for two hours. They are opening for the Foo Fighters this summer and head to Europe next week for a tour, so it was a big deal to get them to come to Quincy.

Andy was brought to Quincy by our friend Craig, a huge fan of the band. It was a party on a Wednesday night, and the event wasn't really designed to make money, they just wanted to have some fun and get Andy to Quincy. Now there's talk of bringing him back and if that happens, you don't want to miss it.

About a month ago I saw Eric Johnson at The Castle Theater in Bloomington. It isn't much bigger than One and there were maybe 500 people there, and it was incredible. I like the idea of One being an  events-only venue, but I really wish they would tear out the restaurant booths and open the floor up. They could put temporary seating in there for shows and perhaps make it economically viable to get bigger names in town, if promoted right.

Why can't we get some big rock and roll names to come through town, much like the old days when Rush, Ike & Tina Turner and other big names would play at Turner Hall? It would make sense since Quincy is surrounded by Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis, even Indianapolis to the east. Bands are always looking for stopover gigs.
Photo Credit Bad Wolf Media, Mike Sorenson

There are places keeping the music alive, smaller venues like State Street Bar & Grill, Revelry and The Club Tavern. The Oakley-Lindsay Center isn't really a concert venue but they have had some good ones in there.

I love Morrison Theater inside Quincy Junior High School - Emily is playing with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra Saturday night. It would be a great venue for rock shows, but let's face it, if you don't sell beer you won't draw much of a crowd. Don't hate me for saying it, because it's true.

Then there's my old pipe dream of building an outdoor amphitheater on the river, right at Gardner Expressway and Front Street, where the old cardboard box company once stood. Gosh, think of warm summer nights and a great band rocking down there - who cares about the one-road access, putting in sewer lines and flooding every spring? I've already got my secret spot staked out on the bluff to watch it from afar.

Still daring to dream, especially after seeing Andy Frasco at One.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The mall and the local impact

BERGNERS IN THE Quincy Mall is closing. I tried reading some of the social media comments but the world is full of moronic web warriors and it gets depressing. You can't engage them because you should never argue with somebody who thinks or knows they are wrong.

Many people shrug and say it's too bad, the mall is dying, Quincy is dying and there's nothing to do here. Where can I go now to buy my clothes and shoes? Where you always go - online. Hey, I can save a few bucks and it's a lot easier than battling that horrendous Broadway traffic and waiting two minutes at the traffic light, or having to park at least half a block away from a store downtown.

Meanwhile, the city is having a budget crisis and our water rates might be doubling, our police and fire departments are looking at cutbacks (including closing a fire station again) and places like our public library are looking at reducing services.

It's all cyclical, folks. If you don't spend your money here for things you can get just as easily and for about the same price as clicking a computer button, well, we are going to struggle. And it's sad that closing a nice department store has to bring the point home, and only then do people (maybe?) realize how shopping online can really hurt their local economy.

We are no better than anybody else, and I've been guilty as anybody of going online instead of shopping local. But lately we are trying to take a better look at our shopping habits.

I go to the local grocery store as much as possible. Last week we went to Carl's Shoes and got some great shoes with great service from Jamie and the crew out there. The Farmer's Market opens May 5 and we are looking forward to getting tasty grass-fed beef. If I need a shirt or suit, I am going next door to Schuecking's.

We've ordered dog food online in the past, but that has stopped and PetCo gets our business now. Besides, Angus likes visiting the local pet store where he usually convinces us to buy him a few new balls. We are suckers for sure.

This blog has been written many times. It will be written again. We all need to shop local and keep it local.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cats in the bag

SHERYL JUST TOOK the dogs to get their shots. They were actually pretty good for her and the vet, from what she says. Now they have new shiny tags and everybody is happy.

Next week we have to take the cats, and that's gonna be a whole new adventure. Sheryl has been looking for a cat carrier - I swear we had one at one point, but who knows where it went.

Fast Eddie is always crawling into guitar cases and gig bags. So, we've come up with a brilliant solution for him - a guitar gig bag! He'll crawl in, we'll zip it up and leave a little room for air, and off Fast Eddie goes.

Josie is another matter. For one thing, she has sharp and nasty claws and she won't like being put into any kind of container. You should have seen her go to work the other day when she caught a baby bird and played with it in the house. Fortunately the bird expired quickly. I think.

I'm sure we can find an old Gus Macker travel bag or purse laying around the house somewhere. We better wear gloves and have plenty of treats to bribe the cats, especially Josie.

And, as always, we remember it's their world, and we just live in it. Carry on, cats and dogs!