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Friday, May. 03, 2002
Let's pause for a brief message from our sponsor.

Thanks y'all. You never fail to make my day when you take the time to direct cheering in this direction. It is heartfelt and appreciated and, coming from talent such as your own, meaningful.

I even heard from Webchick yesterday. The maker of this site. And if you were to prostrate yourself and worship her talent as I do, you would know how much that meant.

Corporate Partner / good buddy Stu and I are generally found on commercial construction sites, surrounded by seasoned professionals with much talent and their own peculiar charm. It is an unspoken part of our industry that we are specifically not involved in residential construction, which smacks of shoddiness and twisted lumber and work performed from the back of wheezing station wagons. It's a snob thing, I guess, you strike up a conversation with a carpenter at the Watering Hole and all is going well until you learn that he does residential work. Then you're all kind of "Oh. Residential. I see." And dismiss him with a sniff. Snob? You betcha. I play the role well.

So it was with huge reluctance that we took on a little one-day project at a new house. It was yesterday, as a matter of fact.

We tooled up to the place in our decidedly commercial looking box truck with the corporate logo embossed on the side, dressed in our commercial looking khaki's and trendy leather boots. I guess we could have saved the effort of making a show because there was a whole enclave of familiar faces at this house.

And what a house it was. I actually gaped at it. This was the house of your fantasies, a monolith of redwood and stone set on the edge of a deepwater inlet, with enough (imported) granite walkways to encircle a good sized town. A kitchen with enough equipment to warrant a chef. Maid's quarters (actually it was called Staff Quarters, there is no end to political correctness, is there?) and a 5 stall garage and nooks and water views galore and natural maple doors and I could go on all day. It was, what, probably 6 million worth of house in an area where 1 million will get you something pretty spectacular. Ugly money. Positively ugly.

Like I say, there were many familiar faces, as the builder had elected to hire on the commercial boys and do it up right. Our thing was to install an entertainment center, a massive maple thing with many doors and drawers and places for every sort of audio component you can think of. Stu and I take particular interest in this sort of stuff, being the sort of Grumpy lads we are, who are swooned by the players of flutes and maddened by torch singers in slinky silken things.

We took our time, and not because the work was particularly difficult. What was a 4 hour job stretched into 6 simply because we simply enjoyed being there in Fantasy Land, cooing over the house with less detachment than might be shown by a staff member from Better Homes and Gardens.

When Ally jingled my cell phone at lunch, I summed it up for her quite succinctly. "I'm working at a house that you may well sell your body to have." She's been around me enough to know that I reserve such witticisms for a particularly fine building, so I don't think she took offense. Although Stu remained true to form by reminding me that she'd have to do a hell of a lot of selling to afford it.

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