June 2009


My across-the-street neighbor had her house painted two weeks ago, which set off a chain-reaction of house paintings. When Wilfredo the Paint Man is done with our house, he will have completed at least five houses within three blocks.

Note to painters looking for jobs: find a gentrifying neighborhood where most of the houses look really junky with old peeling paint. Ask a fair price, do a good job. Watch the job offers FLOOD to you.

The transformation of our across-the-street neighbor’s house was impressive. It went from shabby, paint-peeling, dirty gray to a clean, smooth, dark purplish blue. It looks fantastic … and I am not a person who generally gets excited about purple houses. Inspired by the sparkley new paint job, my neighbor bought new plants and chairs, cleaned her porch and has plans to take down some fencing. Suddenly with the new paint job, all that junky stuff stuck out like a sore thumb.

We had been going back-and-forth about getting a paint job. While our house is nicely painted and re-done on the inside, it looks pretty terrible from the outside. It is light grey, with bumpy peeling paint … and some very charming patches with no paint at all. Obviously, it needs a paint job. But then we thought, there is something to be said for camouflage — no one can tell our house is nice from the outside. Burglar deterrent.

In the end, we gave in. It was so easy. There Wilfredo was, doing his great job up and down the street. Then suddenly there he was, ringing our doorbell and saying he would start the next day. So if the weather holds up, we could have a newly painted house in a few days!

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is always good for a good rant. Today he was on the Senate floor, railing against the EPA and he shouted this:

“Only GOD determines when the wind blows! And only GOD determines when soybeans have 13 percent moisture! ”