Sump Pump Floats And Floor Drains, Oh My

Yesterday, I got one of those phone calls from my wife that I never want.  “There’s water in the basement.”  My wife heard one of our water alarms going off and found a puddle of water in the middle of the basement.  She couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  I only work a few minutes from home, so I was able to get there pretty quick.  I didn’t even have to go to where the puddle was.  As soon as I went down into the basement, I knew what the issue was.  The sump pump wasn’t pumping.

Why You Don’t Skip Routine Maintenance

Remember how I said I knew right away what the problem was?  I knew that it was the sump pump because when I went downstairs, I saw that water was seeping up through the cracks in the floor, as well as around the perimeter.  And this had happened once before, many years ago.  That time, I went downstairs to feed our cats, and saw the same thing.  And it was the same problem.  The sump pump wasn’t working.

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I Give Up! Snacking At Work Edition

Giving up is rarely encouraged, but it can be a good thing with an unhealthy or time wasting behavior.  Such was my snacking at work.  So, I decided that I give up!

How Snacking At Work Consumed Me

See what I did with that heading?  It consumed me.  Get it?

All cleverness aside, I looked at a lot of things as I set out for a healthier lifestyle.  When I put together my list of things I needed to change, snacking at work was right at the top.

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Perspective: Attending Pediatric Physical Therapy

Our son is finishing up a round of pediatric physical therapy.  He has been a ‘toe walker’ ever since he took his first steps.  While this doesn’t stop him from getting around, his pediatrician advised we take him to therapy after his last check up.  The reason for this is because toe walkers often don’t stretch out muscles and tendons in their foot.  This appeared to be the case for my son.  By having him go through therapy, we would all learn methods to stretch these out.  The hope is that it would lead to better walking habits.

The Results

So far, we’re one for two on the  goals noted above.  He has improved the mobility in his foot, meaning that it stretches out better.  This is a good thing.  Unfortunately, he still often walks on his toes.  We always tell him when we catch him, and he’ll drop down while he walks, but it’s just a habit that he’s not ready to break yet.  This isn’t ideal, but it means we’ll have to keep him engaged in the stretching exercises.  The good news is that he doesn’t have to go to therapy indefinitely. His movement will be measured by the pediatrician, and if needed, he might need to go back to therapy occasionally.

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Smart Single-Family Rental Investing

Opinions often vary regarding the advantages of investing in single-family homes (SFHs) over multi-family complexes (MFCs). Some feel the short-term potential of MFCs surpass that of SFHs. While others cite the long-term potential of the SFH as being a preferable trait. The reality is—of course—it depends.

What are your long-term goals? How much is your available capital? What is your overall tolerance for drama? Depending upon your answers to those questions, smart single-family rental investing in a city can indeed be preferable to multi-family rental investing when you take the following factors into consideration:

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6 Things That Troubled Brick And Mortar Stores Need To Do

In an ever changing retail landscape, Gander Mountain is the latest victim to consolidation in the brick and mortar landscape.  They filed for bankruptcy and will be closing about 20% of their stores.  For now.  As has been the case with many other retailers, this is often the first wave of many.  Can Gander Mountain make it?  That remains to be seen.  What’s clear is that troubled brick and mortar stores need to make changes if they do want to survive.  While there are no guarantees, here are some potential changes.

Cut Locations

This is the first and most obvious solution.  Stores that aren’t making money are the first to go.  Even profitable stores might need to go if the profits are trending downward.  Stores need target more than just the obvious choices here.

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6 Tips For Seasonal Small Business Owners

Running a seasonal business is not like running a year-round business. There are different things that you need to consider, and if not managed properly, can become a financial mess. You need to not only save money during the off months, but to increase your revenue during the busy months. If you’re the owner of a small business that only operates for a couple of months out of the year, and you’ve been having a little bit of trouble, here are a few tips to hopefully make things run a little more smoothly.

Find New Revenue Sources

The first and best thing you should try to do is find a way to make money during the off-seasons. Examine the resources available to you.  Look at things like location, space, employees, and inventory.  Take a look to see if there is a way they can be used when your business is shut down for the year. For example, if you own a store that only opens in the summer, perhaps you can rent out the space for storage during the winter months. The store is going to be closed any way.  Why not make a little bit of money from it?  Every bit will help.

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Looking For Some Good Lunch Meat Alternatives

I’ve taken 2017 as a time to really focus on improving my health.  I’ve been trying to get in better shape and make some healthier decisions.  I’m 42.  In the past, I would often brush off decisions I knew weren’t healthy by telling myself I could fix them down the road.  Well, after hitting an age that’s roughly half of my expected life exptency, give or take a few years, I realized that road was getting shorter.  One of the things I’ve thought to do is to come up with some lunch meat alternatives.

My Typical Lunch

I’m a brown bagger, which is something I’m proud of.  Keeping my costs down for lunch has always been a big thing for me.  I see people go out to eat every day, but I’m fine to sit at my desk and eat.  This also gives me time to go for a walk.

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Books I Read In January & February 2017

I love to read.  I have loved it since I was a kid.  It’s something I try to do every day.  Here are some books I read during the first two months of the year.

Books I Read In January 2017

  • Monsters In Appalachia by Sheryl Monks.  I love a good set of short stories and this did not disappoint.  As you might guess, they’re centered around the region known as Appalachia, an area known already for many struggles.  The people here definitely fit the bill.  Rating: Four stars (out of five).
  • The Whistler by John Grisham.  I’ve read every book by Grisham since he started writing.  He’s been around for so long and has written so many books, that it’s now sort of hit or miss.  This one was definitely a
    Photo by EthanN77 courtesy of MorgueFile.

    miss for me.  It was about a whistle blower within the judicial system.  Not his best work.  Rating: Two-and-a-half stars.

  • The Unseen World by Liz Moore.  This was a really cool book.  It is a combination of a mystery, coming of age,  family history, with a touch of science fiction thrown in.  A girl sees her father start slipping away to Alzheimer’s, and as she grows up and into adulthood, she uncovers many secrets.  I love this book more than any other I’ve read so far this year. Rating: Five stars.

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March 2017 Updates

It’s March!  Did you know that even though Spring doesn’t officially start until later this month, that from a meteorological standpoint, spring has started?  That’s right, from a meteorological perspective, the seasons start on the 1st of the month of the calendar change.  I guess they know something we don’t!  I hope that things are going well.  Here are some March 2017 updates and goals.

Fitness

I recently wrote about some renewed focus on my fitness.  So far this is going well!

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My Stump Grinding Tip – Hire Someone

To grind or not to grind?  Here is my best stump grinding tip: Hire someone to do the work!

A Few Stumps To Grind

One of the features that drew us to purchase our home 10 years ago was the number of mature trees on our lot.  Our

Image from Morguefile via dhester

house is relatively new (built in 1999), but the developer kept many mature trees.  We love this.  However, with a number of mature trees, we had to have some removed.  A few years ago, we started losing quite a few elm trees.  After the dust settled, we have a few less elm trees left, but had a few more stumps.  I wanted to get them ground out and put grass seed down, so I debated whether to do it myself or have someone do it.

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