sub-standard sub-contractors

I've been on my "drywall vacation" since Monday, visiting my in-laws and assorted family here in Orland Park, IL (south suburb of Chicago) It's been a lovely visit, and i enjoy their company very much, but sadly, this trip was in vain.

(For those of you who think all i write about is rainbows and butterflies, you might find a change of pace here. You want that mushy stuff, go look at some cute & cuddly creatures instead of read this particular post.)

The purpose of my absence was to avoid being underfoot while the subcontractors were at the house doing the plumbing and the drywall. For whatever reason, both the guys who offered bids for the plumbing and the drywall flaked out.

I thought that we were in a poor economy.
I thought that construction work was in decline.
I thought that subcontractors were drying for work.

... so i'm gobsmacked that these guys basically refused our money. I'm also frustrated that the things i wanted to avoid (noise/dust/mess) didn't happen while i was gone. I feel like I wasted all that gasoline. I wasted money on two nights' hotel stays (to break up the two 10 hour drives). Worst, I feel like I abandoned Kelly when I could have been there helping him do all the stuff he did while i was gone. It's just a sickening feeling.

On the bright side, i did get to spend some great quality time with Bob & Sue, the best in-laws a girl could ask for. I got to make them dinner a couple of times, which was nice. Since Sue & Caryn (Kelly's sister) went out tonight, I also got a chance to hang out with my niece (14) and nephew (13) for a bit, teaching them to shuffle cards, how to play blackjack, how to prep & peel asparagus, and then, how to make tuxedo strawberries! I made angelhair with marinara for dinner, which they loved, and then a lemon curd for dessert, to serve with the strawberries, so i had to run to 7-11 for a pint of half & half. I had a brainstorm while i was there - i thought I'd show them how to do tuxedo strawberries - but the only white chocolate was the hershey's "cookies & cream" candy bar. It was messy, but it worked out okay. Most important, they had fun, so I was glad. They're good kids.

The other thing i was looking forward to for this trip was buying kitchen furnishings at IKEA. I've been drawing out the layout of cabinets & shelving over and over, erasing, redrawing, and redrawing some more... and i thought i had a good setup. I went to ikea's website to make a shopping list of what i needed... and it seems that nearly everything i want is out of stock at both the bolingbrook and the schaumburg stores. PHOOEY!

So I get to go home to a still-unfinished house, with no hot running water or air conditioning, relatively empty-handed since i didn't buy what I'd hope to at IKEA. Except for seeing Kelly, who i missed a whole bunch, I'll have nothing to look forward to but a messy, dusty house that i still can't unpack and organize and several more hours of sticky, sweaty work in an un-airconditioned glorified shed.

ok, whining over. at least i got a chance to escape; poor Kelly was stuck there the whole time!

Today I learned: TRIXIE IS OKAY! Kelly said that he saw her in a dog fence/cage thing in a neighbor's yard. It's good news that she's healthy and safe, but I'm sad that she won't be able to visit any longer.

Thanks to my folks

Sometimes I'm a little slow...

I meant to pay special thanks to my parents for their continued help in our home-building project. They were here for several days around Memorial Day, and, once again, they were a big help - especially as we moved our belongings from Murfreesboro to the new digs. I'm a lucky boy.

The Saga Continues

Trixie the dog has been away for 5 or 6 days and we miss her. She has provided many laughs, as well as 3 rescued guinea keets. When the keets would manage to escape their fenced-in area, they would screech loudly as they tried to figure out how to get back in. If I would approach one to try to help, sometimes they would run off into the woods. If Trixie was nearby (which was almost always) she would pursue the bird and eventually either hold it down or gently bring it back to near where I would be standing.
Speaking of guinea keets, only 4 remain in our control. We started raising 21 of them in a large Rubbermaid bin, but when they outgrew that we had to set them up in a fenced enclosure within the garden confines. Many of them either squeezed their way through the fencing or they flew over the top. I also know that the predatory birds were thinning the flock, as well. One morning I heard the keets squawking, and saw a large hawk flying low over the garden. I ran down to chase it off, and found one keet in distress. The hawk had made a grab for this keet, but didn't get it good enough. The keet had claw marks on his head, but seemed to be alright. He is one of the four that remain.

Our "rough-in" electrical inspection was rejected because of a couple minor issues:
1. There is an outdoor recepticle wire that was supposed to be on a circuit that is separate from any indoor circuits.
2. Power run into the guest bath was supposed to be on its own circuit, but it was sharing a circuit with two dining room outlets.

Unfortunately, the inspector only works in this county on Wednesdays and Fridays, so we will have to wait 5 days for re-inspection. Once we are approved we can move forward with these projects:

insulation - walls
Kenny McAfee is a local contractor who does both insulation and heating/air conditioning. He has offered to let me help with the insulation of the walls for a reduced price. He is a really energetic character and I look forward to working with him.

The plumber who was recommended will be available to start on Monday, June 22. He is currently in Montana plumbing on a mission with his church. We have to acquire a tub and ADA-compliant sink before he starts.

We are waiting for an estimate from a guy who hired JoAnna to serve breakfast to a group of drywall delivery drivers as a way to thank them for their good work. I'd like to save some money by doing the walls myself, but there's no way I would attempt the ceiling work.

electric - finish
The electrician will return to install fixtures once the drywall is finished. I am hoping the siding is done at that time so the outside light fixtures can be finished then.

insulation - attic
Kenny McAfee will probably be back to blow cellulose fibers up into the attic space.

The full installation of a heat pump system will have to wait until we have more money. Until then, we will use window units for AC and propane for heat if it gets cold before we can afford the big system. Regardless, a woodstove will be installed before we reach the coldest months.

siding and soffit
The price quote I got from the building contractor was higher than we can afford, so I'll be attempting this work on my own. I plan to hire the builder for a few hours to try to learn the best way to do the work.

June is the first month in 15 years that no monthly rent payment was required. For 15 years we have been doing this, but no more. If I had bought a house when I was 12, the 30-year mortgage would be paid off now. But I didn't. I built forts back then. I am typing this from my most recent fort. It has been a rewarding challenge thus far, but easier than I thought it would be. I didn't expect to depend on outside contractors so much, but when it was time to add the roof trusses, it had to be. I'll learn as much as I can from these guys, and examine their techniques and such so when the time comes to build a cottage or other building, my work may only require a review by the pros.

The greenhouse roof plastic finally gave way under the weight of the recent rainwater. The plastic was never intended to be permanent, and the roof was poorly designed, too. Not enough slope. I'll add some height to the ridge with another 2x8 for next season, or maybe we'll use hard plastic corrugated sheets instead. The greenhouse did its job this year, so I guess it wasn't so bad.

We have been staying in our "house" for two weeks now, and we are both greatly looking forward to the upcoming improvements. What we have is like a shell of a house. Without soffits or ceilings, any type of flying or crawling creature could join us on the inside without too much trouble. This was not desired, so I cut 44 pieces from scrap foam insulation and jammed them into the openings. So far, only a couple needed to be reset in place after stormy weather or a careless bird. I think the incidents of bugs have been reduced, too.

Speaking of bugs, the ticks have been relentless. A local commented that they are especially bad this year, so there's hope for next year. I also heard that they usually subside after July, so let's hope again. Next year we'll start with 80 guinea keets. They eat ticks.

Back on moving day, we had a grand ol' adventure. I had spent the night in Murfreesboro with the full 26 foot truck and Render. In the morning, i returned our cable modem and headed home to Prospect. All was going well until I passed the last gas station and then remembered to check the gas gauge on the truck. Empty. But those gauges always give you some leeway, right? So I made it to our place, but had to pass our driveway to turn around for the eastbound approach. There is a sharp left at the start of our driveway, so it's best to swing in from the west. It is also quite steep at the start of the drive, so I approached with some speed to get up the slope. My biggest concern was managing to get the back wheels to not run off the pavement as I made the turn in, but I actually handled that part well. It was the overhang behind the truck wheels that got me. The back bumper and hitch scraped and dug into the pavement to the point where the back tires were nearly off the ground.

No traction to move forward or back. I was stuck. And blocking half of the road. We tried jamming rocks and wood under the drive tires, but to no avail. I started releasing air from the front driver's side tire which lessened the pinch of the back end to just the trailer hitch being on the road surface.

The U-Haul emergency road service phone guy told me that it wasn't an emergency, but he did find the number of a towing company for me. Luckily, a kind neighbor was passing by and offered to head home and return with his tractor. When he did return, we hooked some chain between us and he popped the truck loose in a jiffy.

Then he drove off before I could thank him. We had a busy day after that, unloading the truck - load by load - onto my car trailer, then hauling it uphill to the house. Later, the unloading was a shorter distance as the first stuff on the truck was destined for the shed which is just 20 steps from the road.

Moby Dick reference makes me seem literate!

We got up early (again) and put more stuff in the ground (again) Other things have had a higher priority, and I find myself putting in 'seedlings' that already have lots of flower buds. Some even have blossoms! I'm trying to learn what the things are by looking at the leaves and the stems, getting to know the plants more intimately than just reading their nametags, but today, what i thought was cucumber, was actually okra.

One of the spots where we were digging resulted in a loud CLANG when Kelly struck it with this huge digging spike. The spike weighs about 25 lbs and is about 6 ft of solid iron. Kelly named Ishmael because it looks like a big harpoon. He used Ishmael to find the edge of the thing, then employed it as a lever, wedging it under the rock. A few grunts and groans later, he unearthed - literally - a huge, flat rock that was probably 6" thick, 18'' wide and 2.5 feet long. we didn't know what to do with it so we placed it in one of the paths. As he was wresting it from the ground, I said, "I bet nobody from your old job would picture you doing this!" With all the climbing and carrying and hammering and shoveling, and all the other heavy lifting that comes with building a house, Kelly's kinda ripped!

After a few hours, it started raining. First just a sprinkle, then a decent downpour with lightning and thunder. We went in for breakfast, and then Kelly took a nap while i picked over a few boxes to see if anything could be consolidated. Then i had to do some office-work for the two jobs i'm doing this week. It's weird to sit down at the computer and not be able to check e-mail!

We still haven't made our 'big purchase' at lowe's, but we'll have to do it soon... we need to get the lights so they can be installed, and we need the bathtub so the plumber can put it in. We allotted space for an extra-long tub, and Kelly seems to be considering upgrading the bathtub to one with whirlpool jets. A guy at the local kitchen & bath fixtures store showed us the difference between a traditional jacuzzi-jet type tub, and one with whirlpool style jets, and the difference was night and day.

We also have to figure out what to do with all our stuff that's scattered all over here while the drywall goes in. Kelly mentioned he might rent a uhaul truck for 3 days and park it up here, just for the waterproof storage ability. He's encouraging me to go on a "Drywall Vacation" since -- in his words -- there's no reason that both of us have to suffer. The major stipulation is have to take Noodles with me, so I can't fly anywhere, but I can drive up to 8 hours. Where should I go? If we were still in L.A. I'd choose Las Vegas - only 5 hrs away and plenty of cheap places that would not only accept pets but would also have kitchenette units.

When the "Drywall Vacation" can start, tho, depends on a lot of factors. The first one being that the electrician we hired made a couple bonehead mistakes and we didn't pass the inspection. One of the mistakes was that there were too many wires being run to one switchbox, and the other is that it's against code to have an outdoor outlet and an indoor outlet run to the same breaker. For someone who made such a big deal of the almighty "CODE" and how many outlets had to be on a wall and whatnot, that one seems like a no-brainer, so i'm especially disappointed with that.

So the electrician has to come in and make the adjustments, and then HE has to buy another permit for re-inspection, and then we have to wait another week before the inspector will come out again. Until we pass the rough-in inspection, we can't do the wall insulation, or plumbing, or drywall, and then the roof insulation, and THEN the electrician comes back to finalize his work, and then the inspector has to come another time.

Kelly's found professionals to do all those other things, gratefully. He wanted to do more himself, but he admitted that he just doesn't have the experience to do it right the first time. Luckily he can be nearby and watch, and a couple of them have made it clear that they wouldn't mind him actively helping and learning.

I've still been making all our food in this makeshift little kitchen, using only electricity indoors. (We haven't fired up the grill in a while, but I probably will later tonight) We have a toaster oven, a microwave, and an electric 'burner'. It's working out okay. I baked a couple dozen cookies to give to Tom Merritt, the guy who brought his big red farm tractor to our driveway, pulled the uhaul out of the rut in the road, and saved the day. I used an electric skillet to make pancakes the other day, which was a nice break from monotonous mornings of cold cereal. Kelly attached the tankless hot-water heater to the wall today, but our propane tank doesn't arrive until tomorrow, so i've been heating water for washing dishes (and showers!) in a 60-cup electric coffeemaker. I also have a rice cooker, a deep fryer, a waffle iron, and even a george foreman grill... none of which have been recruited for active duty. Now that we have reliable electricity, i haven't been using those butane stoves. They were awesome to heat up food when we were eating lunch in the shed, but the fuel is costly and hard to come by, so if we can avoid using them, we will.

It's weird being hyper-attentive to cash these days. I mean, we always were -- which is how we were able to save up to move out here and buy land. We haven't had the guaranteed promise of Kelly' weekly paycheck since September of last year. We're still using our savings and have taken a relatively small loan from Kelly's parents, but within 6 weeks, this house will be finished! Best of all, the land it's on is paid for. No rent. No mortgage. Just utilities, cellphones, groceries, dog- and chicken-food, and an amazingly low annual property tax assessment. Things are looking good.

A bunch of miscellaneous things about the fauna of Mockingbird Acres:
-- we're down to four keets. Despite our best efforts, they rest have either escaped or been attacked. It's sad, but as i've said before, they're not the smartest birds. Not by a long shot.
-- our chickens love watermelon seeds, and then they will peck at the rinds (after we've finished) until nothing's left but the hard green shell. They also love the cracked-corn and wheat berries we bought for them. The maker called it 'scratch' but we call it 'crack'. The most fun i have all day is when I put some in a can and rattle it and call out "CRAAAAAAACK!" and all ten chickens come running full-speed-ahead from wherever they were and look at me expectantly. running chickens are gut-bustingly funny.
-- We are surrounded by critters here! So far we've seen a box turtle, a HUGE snapping turtle the size of a dinner-plate (OMG that thing was FAST and SCARY when it went in for a snap at you! Kelly rescued it from the goat farmer's barking dogs and took it way back past our property line) salamanders, squirrels, and SO MANY kinds of birds of every shape, color and size. We've seen at least two groundhogs, but no other large pests since the possum.
-- there are catfish - and maybe some other kind of fish - in our pond. I couldn't believe it when i saw it but there they were, dozens of them, sunning just below the surface.
-- we have all kinds of frogs, including a big baritone bullfrog whose voice carries forever, and a few toads, too.
-- there are hummingbirds!!! I was really going to miss the hummingbirds that came to our feeders in Glendale, and I'm so thrilled to be able to enjoy them again.
-- butterflies are abundant here, too. Like the birds, all sizes and colors. They're everwhere, all the time. It's like an animated Disney movie: there's a certain kind that seem extra 'friendly' and will come right up and land on you! Sadly, they don't seem to realize that they have two too many legs for me to be okay with them near me and I still freak out.
-- Trixie hasn't been seen for days. I really miss her. I hope that someone just decided that she was as awesome as we thought she was (She never even chased the chickens!) and decided to keep her in their house, but in the back of my mind i fear for the worst. Come back, Trixie!

Kelly's writing his own post, too... so you'll get a double dose, and hopefully not too many repeats.

Don't forget! new photos are uploaded on Flickr. click on the mosaic in the right margin.

Today I learned: did you know that you can spend as much as $1600 on a bathtub faucet? That's more than twice what i spent on the whirlpool tub!

Gardening, Catering and my life as a Bandwidth Vagabond

Sunday, June 7, 2009 2:06 PM

Kelly got up before me today, and went to rescue the remaining keets. We're down to nine that are in the garden enclosure -- which is about what we expected. Everyone keeps saying that guineas are dumb, and they're right. I'm sad that we lost so many, but they're probably around the property somewhere.

We spent the rest of the morning working on the plants: I watered the herbs I'm keeping in the greenhouse (herbs like it hot & need to get dry between waterings) and as Kelly clears weeds, I'm transplanting seedlings the garden. They're hardly seedlings anymore, but we've had to push back the transplanting as other priorities got in the way. As i write this, it's gorgeously sunny and 90ºF, which is just too hot to be outside in full sun on your hands and knees. The other day, when we were out there, Kelly took off his shirt to cool off, and since there's nobody around to see, i took off my shirt too! I couldn't believe what a difference it made. Topless gardening from now on! (well, except for my fear of sunburn...)

We realize that it's not going to get any cooler 'round these parts, so we've interviewed a couple of heating & cooling professionals. the first guy was pricey, but the second guy's estimate came in a lot lower. Kelly may even help him with the work in exchange for a discount. Before we sign off anything with anyone, we're waiting to hear from Kelly's dad's friend to find out what we should expect to spend. We're probably going with a unit that's entirely pre-fab and the major piece of it is outside, then ductwork throughout the house. In the meantime, we've got a couple of fans and lots of cold water to drink. Thankfully, it cools off at night.

How about some good news? I've been getting more inquiries about chef work! I'm glad that the website's been attracting people, and that people seem to like what they see. I'm on track for a gig a week, which is a pretty good start. The jobs are in Nashville, so it's good that I'll have a reason to drive up there and get some of the more esoteric groceries i want to shop for for myself, like good olive oil and cheeses and such.

Despite the lack of decent cellphone service and the total dearth of Internet access here at the homesite, I've been able to do what i need to do as a bandwidth vagabond, getting open signals from the local funeral home, from the Country Kitchen restaurant, and from the library. I go in the library when it's open, but otherwise, i park outside and soak up some wi-fi. Still trying to figure out whether to just suck it up and get a satellite or hold out for local DSL. Not having connectivity is really a pain in the butt.

Off to get screens for the windows shortly... Kelly's been finding a couple mud-wasp tubes on his things... in the house!

Hope you're enjoying reading our stories, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Today I learned: gardening gloves from the dollar-store are cute but useless. Also, 'investing' in the more expensive vigoro brand gardening tools was totally worth it!

book review: The Food of a Younger Land

On my old blog, ChefBlog, I would review books from time to time. Usually, of course, these books were about cooking (duh/lol). I recently read a book that was about the history of food in America. I found it especially interesting to read since I'm discovering a whole new culture and cuisine here in Tennessee. (Heads up, Los Angeles, you can find fried pickle chips just about anywhere here, not just at Pure Luck, but I've yet to find jackfruit carnitas in the South, so I will still have to come back every so often.)

The book is "The Food of a Younger Land" by Mark Kurlansky.

How this book came to be is a really fascinating story: In the late 1930s, the government in Washington created an agency called the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was charged with finding work for millions of unemployed Americans, in every imaginable field. One branch of this was the Federal Writers Project (FWP), managed by Katherine Kellock, which produced hundreds of guidebooks on America. It was Kellock who came up with the idea of an anthology of stories and recipes from all over the United States.

This is when Americans primarily ate 'home cooking', which is to say, what you ate when you were 'out' was probably similar to what you ate at home. The authors of each section describe the way people ate before the boom of industrialized fast-food, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anything as refined as what customers expect when going to today's restaurants.

This isn't a recipe book -- although a few recipes are included -- the focus is on the stories regions and foods discussed , including:
  • Rhode Island Jonny Cakes
  • Minnesota Lutefisk
  • Indiana Persimmon Pudding
  • Florida Conch
  • New York City Oyster Stew
  • Georgia Possum & Taters
  • Nebraska Lamb Fries
  • North Carolina Chitterlings

In the author's own words (somewhat condensed by me), he offers this disclaimer:
This book is not an attempt to produce what America Eats might have been if it had been edited and pieces selected. Instead, it is a sampling of the broad and rich mountain of copy that the dying Federal Writers Project generated for this, their final effort... The reader can experience the archaeologists adventure that I had sifting through these unedited and unpublished manuscripts with all their blemishes, including misspellings, bad English, bad Spanish, and chaotic recipes... In the process, forgotten cuisines and a vanished world are unearthed. This is the fun of finding a seventy-year-old manuscript.
And what fun it was to read! Each section had its own chorus of contributors, and each individual writer had a distinct voice.

Some writers were more well known than others. Remembering that the FWP was created to give the unemployed an opportunity to work, these stories were written by authors of various skill. Some were already well-known writers, others were unknown and remained so, while still others became novelists of some renown. Kurlansky's preface of each anecdote includes any accolades and distinctions received by its writer.

While I happily recommend reading "The Food of a Younger Land", I can't decide whether I should suggest this is a good bedside book... Anthologies, by nature, are good for reading in self-limiting portions, but this was such a fun read that I kept turning the pages long after I should have been asleep!

Disclaimer: received from the publisher as a review copy

keets, curtains and electric codes

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 10:30 AM

Day 3 of being a full-time resident of Prospect, TN. So far the biggest battle has been against the Daddy Longlegs spiders. They seem to love to come inside the house and find wherever I want to be and stake a claim to that space. Kelly won't smash them; instead, he picks them up and throws them outside. ::shiver:: The house is still wide open, because the window screens haven't haven't been delivered yet and the soffits haven't been closed in... so if you've got legs or wings and you want to get in, there's nothing stopping you.

At this very moment, there are two men working on the electricity of the house: Toby, the owner, and his assistant. Here's a photo of the outlet/light plan I did with the electrician.

click to enlarge
He has to adhere to certain codes, so there must be an outlet every "X" feet, with "X" varying depending on what room it is. This means that there are going to be more outlets than I originally wanted, which is no big deal, but there are going to be WAY MORE lightswitches than i thought there would be! I guess lightswitches are just something you take for granted. The layout of this place means that we're going to have one at each entrance of the kitchen, each end of the closet, both entrances to the dining room, and so on.

We still haven't figured out how we are going to close off the bedroom. If we had a normal door and a normal wall, we could put a switch at the bedroom door like normal people. We'd like to have it closed off by a curtain, so we can open it during extreme weather, so that the temperature will be steady through the house. Instead, we've got to put it where there IS a wall... so because of the ceiling fan, the outdoor light, and the switched-outlet he has to put there to maintain "code", there's going to be a three-switch plate by the exterior door of the bedroom. BOOOOOO!

And, as far as the code goes... Toby said that it'll be a problem if the inspector comes out and finds out that we've been living here, in the condition that the house is currently in. There are extension cords running from the Temporary Service Pole to the house which powered the saws and drills and such during the construction. Now that we've moved out of the Murfreesboro apartment, those cords are supplying power for running our lights, fans & appliances (only the fridge & microwave). That's probably dangerous. . (We also had 500ft of extension cords running to the greenhouse, when we had the chicks and keets living there!) In order to pass the first inspection, we may have to pretend to not live here for a week. Kind of a drag.

The electric installation is approved in two stages. First, there's the "rough-in", which means that the inspector comes out and makes sure that the X outlets per Y feet standard is met, the GFCI plugs are in place, and whatever else. Then, after the drywall (which we haven't yet subcontracted) is installed and the fixtures & appliances (which we haven't yet purchased) have been put in place, the electrician comes back to put in switches and faceplates and such. Then, at last, the inspector approves the final installation.

I know I must sound like I'm whining, but Those of you that talk to me over the phone or through Instant Messenger are all probably sick of me saying, "wait until you see it" but I am really excited that everything that i was hoping for (design-wise, anyway) is working out just right.

Last night, two of the neighbor's goats jumped the fence onto our property. This wouldn't be a problem except that we have been unloading the greenhouse, and Kelly's trailer was full of our seedlings! We had to load them back into my truck overnight, and now there are gossamer spider webs clinging to every surface. ::shiver:: I must have been suffering from delusions when i agreed to move out here.

Another interesting development has been with the keets. on our 2nd day here, we moved them from their cramped box in the greenhouse to a corner of the garden. It's a good thing that i barricaded the bottom 18" of the perimeter with 1" chicken wire, because those little boogers could squeeze right through the 2x4" welded wire! I guess their feathers are really thick, because they look fatter than they really are. They waddle around like a big feathered amoeba, and if one get separated from the pack, she'll let you know! They sound like an alarm clock: "EEEEE! EEEEE! EEEEE! EEEEE! EEEEE!"

The next morning, (yesterday) we got up at 6am to avoid the heat and planted some of the seedlings. The ground is very rich, because when the weather was cooler, you couldn't turn over a rock without finding a worm, but it hasn't been broken by shovel or spade for a long, long time. I hacked away with the pick-axe, while Kelly used a hoe to break up the weeds. I have three blisters, and Kelly got at least one, too. By 11am, it was too hot to think so we quit for the day. Plenty to do in the house, where even if it wasn't much cooler, at least it was shaded.

That brings us to today. More wood shavings on the floor from Toby drilling through studs for wiring. Everything still in boxes all over... but there's nowhere to unpack it anyway!

Today I learned: +