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June 12, 2022 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Brick Cleaning
Brick Cleaning

Issue 1186

Did you just subscribe to this newsletter in the past week? That's cause for celebration. Let's each get a two-scoop sundae made with mocha-chip ice cream. If you want to go whole hog, we can eat a 5-way and cheese coney before we pass out eating the sundae.

If you, though, have been a subscriber for about thirteen trips around the sun, you very likely might remember the opens in a new windowrare video I recorded about one week after shaving off my mustache. I had that fuzzy lip about 45 years. I got out the razor because my youngest daughter played a prank on me that I fell for.

John Deere Snowblower

Inflation Update

Did you see the news this past Friday? The folks higher up the food chain than you and I reported an 8.6% inflation rate for the month of May. That's the highest in over 40 years.

How bad is it around my house here in central New Hampshire? opens in a new windowGo here to see living proof.

Keep in mind the only reason I'm bringing up inflation in this newsletter is to warn you to either BUY the stuff you need for your home now before prices continue to spiral up and up, or figure out a way to get much more revenue than is currently flowing into your purse, wallet, or bank account.

I mentioned to you in opens in a new windowlast week's newsletter that inflation is going to bite all of us in the gluteus maximus. The trouble is, it's going to get MUCH WORSE. You better start looking for some bite-proof padding to put in your pants.

The 8.6% rate is a half-truth and all half-truths, as we know, are whole lies.

Why is the 8.6% rate a lie?

Well, those folks crunching the numbers today aren't doing it the way they used to do it in the 1980s. If you computed the current rate of inflation like it used to be done, you'd wince when you'd discover the actual May inflation is very likely over 15%.

After all, in the past twenty months, gasoline is up 100%, airline fares are up 38% on average, diesel fuel is up over 135%.

An article I read on Friday, quoting a Bank of America executive said that "Since the beginning of the year (just six months!), Hartnett noted, natural gas prices have increased by 141 percent, gasoline by 91 percent, oil 61 percent, iron ore 45 percent, wheat by 39 percent, and soybeans by 33 percent."

So how in the world are those folks tucked away in some stark limestone government building coming up with a single-digit number of 8.6%?

After digesting Mr. Harnett's numbers, you have to ponder if you're being played. If you don't feel you are, I'm to assume you must love getting sand stuck in your nostrils.

To add further misery, did you see the drubbing the stock market took as a result of Friday's economic news? How's that 401K of yours doing? Yeeeouch!!!

Your investments need to be doing BETTER than the inflation rate or otherwise you're standing still or going backwards.

The best advice I can offer is to start making better decisions about anything directly or indirectly related to finances. But what do I know? I ate lunch for 20+ years sitting on empty overturned drywall mud buckets. Joan tells you below what she thinks of my ability to gather facts and share them with you.

Stain Solver & Inflation

A new batch of ten tons of Stain Solver is about to be made. ALL of the prices of ALL of the ingredients, packaging, freight to get things to the plant and finished product to the distribution center are UP.

If you want to get the BEST and LOWEST PRICE EVER for opens in a new windowStain Solver, order it NOW!

At least one size is already out of stock and two others are dangerously low.

My Past Week

Three days ago, we had some really heavy rain. I had to go to town and opens in a new windowgrabbed my favorite rain jacket. It's a stunning blue one that makes my eyes pop on gloomy days.

I had last worn this jacket about six weeks ago on a visit south to see my son. He and I walked to a nearby pizza parlor on a drizzly day to grab dinner. On the pizza parlor carry-out counter was a small box filled with schedules for the Nashua NH Silver Knights minor league baseball team.

I took one of the folded paper schedules, stuffed it in the jacket pocket, and proceeded to forget about it.

After getting back from town the other day, I reached my hand into the pocket days and found the schedule. I opened it up, started to read it, and a big smile appeared on my face.

Kathy, my loving wife, thought I was nuts. She asked me what was responsible for the grin.

"Look! Check out the names of the Knights opponents.

Brockton Rox
New Britain Bees
Norwich Sea Unicorns
Pittsfield Suns
Vermont Lake Monsters
Westfield Starfires
Worcester Bravehearts

I've got to get a Sea Unicorns hat or a Lake Monsters one! Surely they have one in 7 and 7/8 size. What do you think?"

Kathy rolled her eyes and made it clear that I should spread my happiness in other parts of the house.

Two days ago, I collaborated with a life-long friend, Phil Clymer. We co-authored an article about a very very special room we spent time in as undergrad geology students.

You might want to read this wistful time-machine piece, especially if you've been financially successful and would like to enhance your legacy by having something named after you.

I'd also be interested to know if you might have been in the car that sunny day on I-40 in New Mexico. It's a 1:10,000,000 chance that you might be one of my subscribers! How funny would that be?!!!

Finally, I started book #2 of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Book 1 - The Eye of the World - was pretty good. So far, lots of plot armor.

Hiring Exterior Painters

Last week, I also had a fast text exchange with a very dear friend of mine from high school days who lives nearly 900 miles from me. We still communicate on a regular basis.

About a month ago, she had told me that the trim on her old distinctive brick home was going to be painted this summer and then immediately switched to another subject. I didn't comment at the time about the painting job.

Here's part of the text exchange from a few days ago:

screen shot text message lead paint

My dear friend later told me that she's used this painter for many jobs and she trusts him and his crew.

I scolded her for not sending me a text months ago saying, "Tim, I need some advice. Bob and I need to get the house painted. What do I need to know about the process so all goes well and what is the BEST paint to use?"

Had she done that, I would have sent her this opens in a new windowsimple document that YOU SHOULD BE USING AS YOU PREPARE TO GET BIDS FROM PAINTERS.

In that document, I specifically WARN you and the painter of a potential lead-paint hazard.

opens in a new windowGo here NOW and get the document.

opens in a new windowGo here and READ HOW TOXIC the LEAD is that might be in and on your home.

It's obvious to me that my dear friend's painters are CLUELESS about the lead hazard. If they were cognizant, they would NOT be using sanders.

Not only are they endangering my friend and her husband and any other homeowners they work for, but the painters are also endangering themselves.

What's more, and I'm not a fan of many regulations, the opens in a new windowFederal EPA has strict guidelines contractors must follow when disturbing lead in residential homes.

I ended my conversation sharing that her days of growing vegetables outdoors next to the house are pretty much over. All of this misery could have been avoided.

Don't ALLOW THINGS LIKE this to happen to you. Always ask me for advice BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK of reaching out to contractors.

ADA compliant Shovel Man

Homemade Weed & Grass Killer

Look at this photo:

homemade weed killer brick sidewalk

What killed those weeds and the grass? How many days do you think it took? Would you eat what I used to kill the weeds and grass after seeing this photo?

opens in a new windowGo here and tell me what you think of my experiment.

Starbucks Coffee Sizes Scam

A friend of mine sent me a opens in a new windowshort video you need to watch.

Before you watch the short video, think about how many videos you've seen online that you think are believable and then you SHARE them with others not thinking twice at what might happen.

You might want to reconsider doing that until such time as you make sure what you're sharing is true.

Tim's Digital Mail Sack

opens in a new windowLast week's newsletter section about Inflation generated several replies that were dripping with vitriol.

If you're tempted to write something similar to what I received from Joan in Toledo, OH, you may want to run it through your Mom Filter first.

Imagine what your mom would say about a flaming email you're about to hurl at someone in response to something you read. Would your dear sweet mother approve of your response, ask you to tone it down, or would she send you to your room?

Here's what Joan sent to me. It's copied and pasted with absolutely no editing or touch up:

"You obviously are a Republican (I think Donald Trump is a disgrace to the human race) and don't believe in the covid vaccines and now you're an economy expert blaming the higher ups (Biden) is he also to blame for Europe's inflation?. Please stick to your expertise and leave politics out."

- - -

I responded politely to Joan asking her for some hard facts to back up what she said. She never responded.

I didn't mention politics at all in last week's newsletter. I just stated financial and historical facts.

It's my suspicion that Joan has thin skin about what's going on, who's not doing anything about it, or who's doing lots to make inflation worse.

Each and every response similar to Joan's had a common theme. All were telling me what I should do.

I find that personality flaw quite interesting from a historical perspective. Go back in history and focus on people who love to tell others what to do, where to sit, etc.

That's quite enough for a Sunday in June.

Go out and enjoy the WX as we call it in Morse.

Tim Carter
Founder - www.AsktheBuilder.com
Hilton Hotels Use - www.StainSolver.com
Field Day 3 Weeks - www.W3ATB.com I'll be 1B

Do It Right, Not Over!

P.S. Do you want to know the dirty little secrets PR people use to get you to buy products?

I'll bet you had no idea how easy it is for people to knead you in their hands like a piece of soft warm putty without you even feeling their touch.

But soon you'll know and better yet, how to defend yourself!

opens in a new windowGo here and discover how to not be a piece of putty.

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