tree, backyard – z – after removal – IMG_3078 (20110614)

tree, backyard – z – after removal – IMG_3078 (20110614)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Oh look! You can see Tim’s deck! (He was an extra in Silence Of The Lambs — see screenshot at www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/2698722705/ )

The tree is now removed! This is also a good "before" pic of the unpainted overhang window sills.

Homesite insurance, Progressive insurance, astroturf, birdfeeders, deck, gutter, house maintenance, pine tree, tree removal.
Homesite insurance sucks. Homesite sucks. Progressive insurance sucks. Progressive sucks. after tree removal. before painting.

back yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

June 14, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: So our homeowners insurance (Farmers) canceled our policy due to having peeling paint on our window sills, and tree branches touching our roof (among other things). So we switched to Progressive and they dropped us for the same reasons. So we renewed our Progressive policy, had 0 of tree work done, and rectified most of the list they gave us. Progressive dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons, including changing the tree requirements from "no branches touching your roof" to "no branches over your roof at all", so even after following their specific advice regarding the trees, they still canceled our policy again. It’s simply not possible to satisfy Progressive when they give different reasons the second time around. Most of the reasons used by Progressive to drop us the 2nd time were never given the 1st time, even though those conditions were present then as well! PROGRESSIVE SUCKS AND IS NOT WORTH IT. INCONSISTENT! And then they try to bill you after you cancel them! Anyway,we paid The Care Of Trees 0 — the cheapest of the 15+ companies I contacted — to do 3 major cuts (0) and remove the pine tree behind our addition (0). I also bought a 0 pole saw (basically chainsaw on the end of a 10 foot pole) to handle the smaller trees (i.e. the cases where it’s possible to do it yourself).

tree, backyard – 0 – before removal – 023-diptych-033 (20110524)

tree, backyard – 0 – before removal – 023-diptych-033 (20110524)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
The tree (photographed from both sides) that cost us 0 to remove. It’s pretty much 100% covered in ivy. We left it there to prevent erosion.

On the right half of the picture, you can see some old astroturf that I placed on the chain-link fence past to kill kudzu by depriving it of sunlight. It’s extremely effort-efficient, but not time-efficient. It takes a few weeks to kill what’s beneath it. But as you can see from the picture, it does in fact work. Left in one place long enough, however, new kudzu will eventually grow *through* the astroturf and lock it in place, where it can’t be removed and eventually rots away. The trick seems to be to surprise existing kudzu by covering it — THAT kudzu will die, but not the wave that comes to replace it. We got maybe 3 of these astroturfs for each about 11 yrs ago, and I think one remains. May switch to discarded carpets (on curbs every summer) as they are thicker and more durable and harder to grow through. Shit, I’d carpet my whole yard if it was possible to do that, and made sense. You know, if I lived in a cartoon world. Black shag carpet for my whole yard. Yes!

Homesite insurance, Progressive insurance, astroturf, gutter, house maintenance, pine tree, tree removal.
Homesite insurance sucks. Homesite sucks. Progressive insurance sucks. Progressive sucks. before tree removal. diptych.

back yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

May 24, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: So our homeowners insurance (Farmers) canceled our policy due to having peeling paint on our window sills, and tree branches touching our roof (among other things). So we switched to Progressive and they dropped us for the same reasons. So we renewed our Progressive policy, had 0 of tree work done, and rectified most of the list they gave us. Progressive dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons, including changing the tree requirements from "no branches touching your roof" to "no branches over your roof at all", so even after following their specific advice regarding the trees, they still canceled our policy again. It’s simply not possible to satisfy Progressive when they give different reasons the second time around. Most of the reasons used by Progressive to drop us the 2nd time were never given the 1st time, even though those conditions were present then as well! PROGRESSIVE SUCKS AND IS NOT WORTH IT. INCONSISTENT! And then they try to bill you after you cancel them! Anyway, we paid The Care Of Trees 0 — the cheapest of the 15+ companies I contacted — to do 3 major cuts (0) and remove the pine tree behind our addition (0). I also bought a 0 pole saw (basically chainsaw on the end of a 10 foot pole) to handle the smaller trees (i.e. the cases where it’s possible to do it yourself).

tree, side yard (largest) – 91 – after 3 major cuts ($500) (also main room window now painted) – IMG_3080 (20110614)

tree, side yard (largest) – 91 – after 3 major cuts (0) (also main room window now painted) – IMG_3080 (20110614)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Three *major* tree cuts (0) done, after Farmers and Progressive/Homesite told us trees can’t touch our roof. After we did this work, they changed their tune to "trees can’t be OVER the roof". I don’t think that should be legal to tell the customer they have to make certain specific changes, then turn around and say those exact specific changes were no good. FUCK PROGRESSIVE. FUCK HOMESITE. FUCK FARMERS. DO NOT USE THEM.

This is also a good "after" pic of the now-painted main room window sill. The gutter has not yet been repaired in this picture.

Note the condition of the shingles. Progressive insurance (Homesite insurance) dropped our insurance giving us a list of reasons. We fixed the items on that list. They then dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons not included in the first list, including "curling shingles" on my roof. The shingles certainly aren’t perfect, but do these look like something that’s going to fly off my roof and cost an insurance company a lotof money? Of course, we survived Hurricane Irene AND the post-Irene flood storms JUST FINE … With zero water in our house. Progressive did not even cite our roof the first time they dropped us. Quite simply, Progressive Insurance/Homesite insurance are ASSHOLES. The roof sure as hell does not need to be re-done if it is functioning just fine. Plus, I just patched it with roof cement to strengthen it up even more! Be smart. Stay away from Progressive. Their low prices aren’t worth it. The State Corporation Commission has been notified, but since Virginia is a Republican state, our regulatory agencies barely have any teeth.

Also since then, additional gutter guards have been deployed, and they are uniformly and 100% covering the front gutters at least. Had to cut some into custom-sized pieces to get full coverage.

In case you’re wondering how a gutter gets damaged: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/4481727978/ … Yes, it’s all you people who keep wishing for snows’ fault. Also, here’s a picture of how bent up our front-right gutter was: www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/3596132314/

Homesite insurance, Progressive insurance, gutter, gutter guards, house maintenance, tree, tree cuts, tree removal, window.
Homesite insurance sucks. Homesite sucks. Progressive insurance sucks. Progressive sucks. after painting.

side yard, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

June 14, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

BACKSTORY: So our homeowners insurance (Farmers) canceled our policy due to having peeling paint on our window sills, and tree branches touching our roof (among other things). So we switched to Progressive and they dropped us for the same reasons. So we renewed our Progressive policy, had 0 of tree work done, and rectified most of the list they gave us. Progressive dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons, including changing the tree requirements from "no branches touching your roof" to "no branches over your roof at all", so even after following their specific advice regarding the trees, they still canceled our policy again. It’s simply not possible to satisfy Progressive when they give different reasons the second time around. Most of the reasons used by Progressive to drop us the 2nd time were never given the 1st time, even though those conditions were present then as well! PROGRESSIVE SUCKS AND IS NOT WORTH IT. INCONSISTENT! And then they try to bill you after you cancel them! Anyway, we paid The Care Of Trees 0 — the cheapest of the 15+ companies I contacted — to do 3 major cuts (0) and remove the pine tree behind our addition (0). I also bought a 0 pole saw (basically chainsaw on the end of a 10 foot pole) to handle the smaller trees (i.e. the cases where it’s possible to do it yourself).

roof, never-before-seen post-addition chimney roof & flashing – IMG_3084 – lots of tree poop (20110615)

roof, never-before-seen post-addition chimney roof & flashing – IMG_3084 – lots of tree poop (20110615)
Virginia Insurance
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
Another curious thing about my chimney: Why are there two? We have a theory that there’s a 2nd fireplace buried in the wall downstairs, behind our leftward cabinets (where we keep our bread machines). It was perhaps covered up for heat-loss reasons, or perhaps because the kitchen was expanded and put cabinets within burn-range of the fireplace. There has definitely been discussion of turning it BACK into a fireplace downstairs, but it would be kind of an expensive hassle, and would remove a place for a couch to exist.

See the brown stuff? The detritus of tree branches falling and collecting in this never-before-seen area of our roof. The smell was horrid. I named it "house shit". It was worse than horse shit, but not elephant shit. As I cleaned some out of the gutters, I had to drop it straight down (for life-threatening balancing reasons), where it landed in Carolyn’s hair (repeatedly), her unable to block it with her hands 9for life-threatening balancing reasons). Probably Carolyn’s least favorite part of a lot of this.

Note the condition of the shingles. Progressive insurance (Homesite insurance) dropped our insurance giving us a list of reasons. We fixed the items on that list. They then dropped us a 2nd time for new reasons not included in the first list, including "curling shingles" on my roof. The shingles certainly aren’t perfect, but do these look like something that’s going to fly off my roof and cost an insurance company a lot of money? Of course, we survived Hurricane Irene AND the post-Irene flood storms JUST FINE … With zero water in our house. Progressive did not even cite our roof the first time they dropped us. Quite simply, Progressive Insurance/Homesite insurance are ASSHOLES. The roof sure as hell does not need to be re-done if it is functioning just fine. Plus, I just patched it with roof cement to strengthen it up even more! Be smart. Stay away from Progressive. Their low prices aren’t worth it. The State Corporation Commission has been notified, but since Virginia is a Republican state, our regulatory agencies barely have any teeth.

I reinforced the flashing edges with tons of roof cement. (This is the before pic, there is no after pic.)

Homesite insurance, Progressive insurance, bricks, chimney, flashing, house maintenance, shingles, tree.
Homesite insurance sucks. Homesite sucks. Progressive insurance sucks. Progressive sucks. after addition.

roof, Clint and Carolyn’s house, Alexandria, Virginia.

June 15, 2011.

… Read my blog at ClintJCL.wordpress.com
… Read Carolyn’s blog at CarolynCASL.wordpress.com

Close-up of a lone tree in a West Virginia field – wish I had my tripod handy!

Close-up of a lone tree in a West Virginia field – wish I had my tripod handy!
Virginia Western
Image by Alaskan Dude
While visiting family in western PA in October 2009 we popped into northern West Virginia to check out some state parks, including Cooper Rock, Valley Falls, and Blackwater Falls. WV is really an underrated state – it is very scenic – great waterfalls, vistas, rolling hills and big rivers – if you have a chance, check it out!