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    April 29, 2018

    April Was Hell! Thank God I’m So Macho!

    So much has changed in my life, and so quickly.

    In my last post, my father had died, and I was left in charge of his vast empire of stuff.

    Since then, I have started a new job, inherited a Ford, sold my truck to the best Harley shop on the West Coast and have slowly started to liquidate my father’s collection of 40 year old paint, models, items that he bought over the years that are still new in the box, and his car collection.

    I had a job interview for a place that does support for billing systems between smart meters and the repository for the billing interface.

    I explained my vast experience in IT, like how I managed to keep the same blog up for over a decade, without modernizing the design, and my undercover spy work, like the time I infiltrated North Korea to verify that, yes, they do have guided tours, pictures of the Dear Leaders are all over the place, and all the missiles that they have ever made can reach Guam Island.

    My interview ended at 9:30 AM.

    PSD in a suit
    I was offered the job a little after noon.

    I had not been offered a job that quickly after my first interview since I was in High School.

    Now it was onto the task of going through my Dad’s vast empire of stuff, which included a garage packed high with boxes, two bedrooms packed high with boxes, two storage lockers packed high with boxes, a living room packed high with boxes and boxes under tarps in the backyard, when he had run out of space to put stuff.

    The opening of a bedroom.
    Cracking one of the bedrooms open – I know how Howard Carter felt cracking open King Tut’s tomb.

    My Dad personally put me in charge of his stuff.

    I made the decision that I would go through everything myself, sorting everything into piles – keep, trash, shred, sell and put directly into my trunk.

    The problem was, with the sheer volume of stuff, the piles soon blended into one another.

    I now have a vast pile of old 8 mm home movies that I have been digitizing.

    Old 8 mm home movie.
    I think that’s long lost Uncle Melvin with his girlfriends in the 1960’s.

    My Dad liked deals, and when he would come across one, he would buy two or three.

    A lot of his stuff was still brand new in the box.

    I hired a professional estate sales company to take care of liquidating his empire.

    The estate sales lady said that she had never seen such an enormous collection of stuff that is brand new in the box.

    Of course, Professional Debriefer Paul had a problem with all this.

    His plan was to sell all this stuff himself, on Ebay.

    I told him, “You must be on crack.

    “You’ve never bought or sold anything on Ebay, and it is going to take you 30 years or more to sell this stuff.

    “Mom wants this stuff out this year.”

    My cousin Joe, who had to deal with a similar situation when his father died, said it the best.

    Joe said, “So if you have ten things that you know are worth $400 each, but someone comes along and offers you $250 each for all of them, how much extra effort will it take you to get $400 for each?

    “Time is one thing you can’t get back in life.”

    We made a compromise with PDP and let him sell DVDs and other stuff that is light weight and not popular in estate sales.

    Even though it took him two weeks to think up a “good Ebay name,” he has done a great job.

    He says it is time consuming and people ask the dumbest questions.

    You can find his store here: MrEstateSale

    I hope this is not his retirement plan.

    Backyard junk.
    The backyard looked more like skid row during the cleaning.

    Backyard junk.

    It took two solid months to go through the house, and I haven’t even really gotten to the storage lockers; that will be saved for sale number two.

    The estate sales company provided staff and security during the four day sale, but between sales, I guarded the house.

    I borrowed a Universal Protection security shirt, complete with a Wells Fargo badge, from a Dry Cleaner friend of mine.

    Badge and Gun.
    I also had a toy .45 caliber Army pistol to complete the image.

    I was depending on my cage fighting skills if some shit actually went down.

    On the first day of the sale, people were actually sleeping in their cars overnight to get first grabs at 10 AM.

    I woke up every two hours and did a perimeter check wearing my security shirt during the night, or whenever a skunk or cat would set off one of the motion alarms.

    Front of Estate Sale.
    Every vulture, cheapskate and wanna-be Storage Wars character in the South Bay showed up for the looting.

    Backyard of Estate Sale
    People were looking for that $5 gem that would be worth a million dollars on Ebay.

    After the first day, I had dinner with my mother at The Admiral Risty – a pretty classy place, that served a bottle of Budweiser with a glass.

    My mother said, “Maybe you can start diving again when I’m gone.”

    I said, “Well, I hope you’ll be around for another twenty or thirty years…”

    “No, I mean when I go on vacation,” she responded.

    I’m hoping maybe I can dive in a week.

    Hell, I’ll dive Vets Park now, just to get in the water.

    Now, I’m going to head back to the Long Beach ghetto and finally get some REM sleep with my shoes off.

    Stay tuned.

    January 3, 2018

    Looking Back At 2017: One Of The Weirdest Years For Me

    2017 was one of the weirdest years that I have ever been through, and I must say, I can only hope for better days ahead in 2018.

    January and February ended up being hectic months, as I was involved in setting up the best Harley and Chopper repair shop in the entire world; Rick the Biker and I took an old storage garage and turned it into what we hope will be part of a lucrative retirement.

    Long Beach Choppers, LLC


    I do the books after my regular job, while Rick, the HMFIC, runs the shop and does the repairs.

    It has not been an easy first year, and Ramen noodles is getting a little old, but the shop made it and business is picking up.

    Long Beach Choppers

    However, the money I invested in the shop would have made me a Bitcoin millionaire by the end of the year.

    Yeah, well, I can actually see and feel the shop, so… well, fuck, don’t follow me!

    In March, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 hypertension from stress, no diving and no exercise.

    Anyone who says there are no symptoms for high blood pressure, does not know what they are talking about – pinched shoulders, bloodshot eyes and an over pumping heart.

    Having found it impossible to get my high quality Luxfor Aluminum tanks filled locally, since New England Divers was in the process of moving, I was prompted to get back on my bike and see what I could do to lower my blood pressure.

    Penny Farthing At The Grand Prix In Long Beach

    Excersize and raw garlic helped a bit, but everyone complained that my breath smelled like that of a Korean liqour store owner.

    Around April, I think, the Divevets diving club just sort of disappeared.

    All during this time, a secret SCUBA diving trip was in the works.

    I had planned a diving trip to Russia and North Korea in July, and needed to make sure that I could still dive; I had to get some newer tanks that I bought at a garage sale a few years ago hydroed so that I could get back into diving when I could.

    In June, I finally made it back to the water on a solo dive off of Redondo Beach before making my official trip announcement – “Diving in Vladivostok, Russia.”

    I left out the part about diving in North Korea, because I didn’t want to jinx the trip.

    It was jinxed anyways when Otto Warmbier was medevaced from North Korean custody in a comatose state before dying in a Cincinnati hospital; Mr. Warmbier was the 22 year old college student who was convicted of sneaking onto a staff only floor of his hotel and stealing a propaganda banner featuring the Dear Leader, and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

    That was a tragedy, by all means; I am not making light of it.

    In June, 13 days before I was to depart, the worst tour company on the face of the Earth, emailed me and said that effective immediately, they were no longer taking any Americans to North Korea.

    I had jumped through so many hoops obtaining not only a PADI certification, but a Russian visa and airline and hotel reservations, that I begged them to not renege on their original agreement and take me.

    They wrote back and told me that they were not going to take me, and that my safety was their number one concern.

    They acted like they were doing me a favor, but they never explained how, or what I had to even do with Otto Warmbeir.

    Otto Warmbier In Custody

    I couldn’t believe that I had been discriminated against due to my national origin; that is not suppose to happen to white, male, American citizens.

    Trying to at least save face, I attempted to organize my own SCUBA charter to North Korea, but was about $25,000 light in the pocketbook, and there was a severe lack of interest among my fellow divers.

    Then, the US announced their travel ban, forbidding Americans to travel to North Korea unless they obtained permission from the US State Department.

    The only thing I could do at that point was to settle for the second to the last trip that would allow American citizens in to North Korea; it was organized by the best travel company in the world.

    My trip was very impromptu and very short, but being one of the last Americans in North Korea gave me some slight media fame and more blog content than in the entire year to date.

    Being interviewed by NBC World News.

    Things worked out, everyone from the tour made it back from North Korea without inncident, and the people that I met on the tour are still my friends thanks to the internet and social media:

    Me with huge portraits of their Dear Leaders.

    Me with the Mansu Hill Grand Monuments.

    In September and October, I was back on my bike and trying to get back in the water and even do some cage fighting since the motorcycle shop was running without my constant assistance in various emergencies and peon type crap.

    Me and the other penny farthing guy.

    Then, I just slipped into “End of the year mode.”

    In November, I actually made it back into the water.

    Yeah, some parts of this year I cannot declassify, yet.

    Notable personal records for me in 2017:

    The year was the least amount of SCUBA dives that I have done since starting to dive in 2002 – I dove four times in 2017!

    Due to the time change, when I flew home on August 17th, I was in the countries of North Korea, China and the United States all in the same day.

    I asked a total of fifteen women on dates in 2017; nobody accepted, with one even telling me, “I just turned lesbian.”

    This blog has still not made any money with six regular readers, after a decade online; I wonder why I still do it.

    Until the next post, dive safe!

    If you don’t dive, read safe!

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