Tag Archives: free

Remember the free pool table?

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You know, the one our friends gave us that inspired my husband to spend untold thousands in converting his storage barn to a man cave extraordinaire? Well guess what…. the husband has decided the free table isn’t good enough now and has been shopping for a new one.

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Have you ever shopped for a pool table during a global pandemic that forced everyone to stay home? If not, I don’t recommend it. Maybe it’s just Maine, but up here decent pool tables are hard to find. After exhaustive research ( that would be me, you know he wouldn’t take the time ) and a few disappointing viewings from Craig’s List ( ‘oh yes, the table is nearly new and in perfect condition’ they say… standing over a tilted, dented wreck with ripped felt ) we found a store with two ( yes, that’s all ) tables for sale.

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Did I mention it was a very high class place? I deduced this by the dogs playing poker plastic sculpture that took center stage.

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Swanky pool cue holders were available as well.

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Husband tried this table but it got a no vote from me. If we’re going with better… I want better, not seedy pool hall decor.

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This had a little more style, but the wrong color felt. Turquoise may be hot right now but we prefer the old fashioned green.

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The tables can be ordered and customized with any wood finish as well.

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Out the door, delivered and professionally set up for $3,500. Please note this is a far cry from free…. but not as much as the Brunswick or Olhausen brands. Those babies go for $8,000 – $10,000.

* gulp *

The search continues.

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Someone thought this was a good idea.

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While at our local pub last week, a patron who was sitting on the other side of the bar bravely ordered this:

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Yes, you read that correctly. The beer was brewed with gummy bears. Why such an atrocity should take place I don’t know… but he laughed and gagged and promptly pushed the can back at the bartender who attempted to throw it away. I say attempted because you know my husband wasn’t going to let that happen.

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Yes, the beer was pink.

Yes, it tasted as horrible as you would imagine pink gummy bear beer would taste.

But you know what? The husband drank it anyway… because free beer is free beer.

🥴

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I love my town… Part who cares anymore.

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Our town has come up with some marvelously creative ways to keep kids active and engaged during the Covid months. This is the latest.

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Businesses and public areas are all displaying clues.

In other news, people are offering free treasures.

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Dirty, smoke stained old cups from a discontinued set? Christ, don’t tell my husband.. he’d be on them like white on rice.

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An icicle contest. Most excellent!

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Our big one had grown to 5 feet so I proudly entered it to take the lead…..

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Until Robert showed up.

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Damn you Robert. You and your massive projectile.

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Going, going… gone.

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Now that the man cave/ barn Mahal is starting to shape up? The husband wanted things out. My things that is.

Our old loveseat has been stored in there for years, and I was sad to see it go because it’s wicked comfortable and matched the walls quite well.

I voted for keeping it as you can never have too many comfy kick back with a beer or cocktail places to sit, but was instantly over ruled.

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The first person turned out to be the in-law of the man who stained our barn, so goodbye loveseat.

The next thing he made me get rid of was the driftwood tree. He’s been squawking about it’s removal for months now and no matter how much I tried to convince him it would be a unique addition to the barn decor?

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The minute I listed it? Three women were fighting over it. Guess I should have sold it instead.

So two of the things I wanted to keep were gone…. and guess what was added?

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A turkey foot that flips you off.

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This was a retaliation gift for the plaque I made the previous owner of the pool table after my husband beat him badly at the first game. They insisted the foot and plaque accompany the table…. so we’re now the proud owners of a petrified foot.

What do you want to bet we’re the only house on our block with one of those?

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The circle of life.

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As you already know, my husband is the king of free. He can’t pass up anything, no matter how useless…. as long as he doesn’t have to pay for it.

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This has driven me nuts for years and I have never, ever! felt the need to join him in his obsession.

Until last week.

When I saw this on our local Facebook page:

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Pre-Covid our plan was to replace all the flooring in our home. (Post Covid? Holy crap, I don’t want strange people in my house!) Along with that plan would have come long overdue new furniture, to include coffee tables. So since the plan went out the window with the plague, I thought why not? This looks good… and it might be a nice interim fix.

I should have known.

When the husband lifted it out of the truck? It jiggled…. and never even made it into the house. What an utter piece of junk! Fake wood, loose glass and legs so unsteady dropping a napkin on it would probably cause it to collapse.

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Out it went, in front of our house.

How bad was it?

The damn thing was there for a week and though lots of people looked, no one wanted it.

Next stop?

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The recycle center.

Where I left it…. and my desire to ever pick up anything marked free again.

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I love my town.

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And their wacky Facebook Group postings.

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Cat damage and springs that poke your butt?

Hurry up people, these won’t last long!

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A noisy big yellow machine. I shall follow this thread and report back. Who knows… maybe it’s the Beatles’ long lost submarine.

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Christ. Don’t tell my husband!

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You may not know what it feels like to fall off the turnip truck, but in my town… apparently you can fall off the potato one.

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This is a running gag because certain parts of our town lose power quite easily. Flatulent rodents will probably strike here next, stay tuned

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Sadly, I know of no retail chicken establishments.

Wonder if I could talk them into a few clever and highly motivated red squirrels instead?

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Are you one of those people?

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You know the ones, they pick up every free paper or publication they see no matter the subject?

Proctologist Monthly?

Yes.

Belt Sander Enthusiast?

Sure.

The Do It Yourself Lobotomy Newsletter?

Why not.

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It probably won’t surprise my regular readers to learn my husband is one of those people.

Free is his favorite word.. which is why he came home with one called the Maine Agricultural News the other day.

My husband, the man who’s never planted anything (other than free trees he lets die) in his life.

Here are a few fascinating highlights:

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Color me proud. My state is one of the top 5 potato chip potato producers.

And lord knows I do my part to keep the Lays company in business.

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The Pomological Society? There’s a sought after membership if ever I saw one.

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For those who don’t know, Maine blueberries are highly prized and big business up this way.

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But thanks to President Trump’s Chinese trade war, among other things… the berry news is decidedly blue.

And finally, disaster.

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Say it isn’t so!

Maine craft brewers have cut back on the production of beer to make hand sanitizer?

Oh, the horror.

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And on the 3,037th day….

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There was heat.

Yes, that’s really how long we’ve been working on the big barn. Saying we don’t like to rush things is a bit of an understatement.

But last week, this happened:

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The son of our soon to be ex friends came over to install a heat pump. It’s his business, and while I’m still cursing our rat bastard friends for giving us the free pool table that’s cost us thousands… their son is a great guy.

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Of course he might have been cursing them as well because drilling a hole through a building my husband built isn’t as easy as it should be.

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What should have taken mere minutes turned into a bit of an ordeal. And when that happens…

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You grab a hammer.

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After the hole was finally cut, it was just a matter of mounting the unit.

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With my husband… the man who has never lined up anything perfectly straight in his life…. standing back and saying, nope. It needs to go up a little on the left.

I believe my jaw dropped open at that point.

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Outside, the electrician connected power to the box… next to all the scrap wood that had to be hauled from under the barn to run the cable.

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And the rest of the crew installed the compressor thingamagig.

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Which is ugly as all get out but thankfully is on the one barn wall we can’t see from our house.

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I was glad to see they used great stuff. Because I’m sure awful stuff is more readily available, not to mention cheaper.

So…

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The big barn now has a heat pump. And future bar patrons can be assured of proper ambient drinking temperature.

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Cost of that free pool table so far?

$7,764. And no, he’s not done yet. The open stairwell still needs to be sealed off to prevent heat loss.

Free.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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Because it was free.

 

That was his reason for coming home with this:

 

 

He saw it on the side of the road on his way home from Lowes.

 

 

Imagine it.

Someone no longer wanted this filthy, faded, and broken in two places crab sand box.

 

 

The husband thought one of our neighbor’s kids would want it, which was thoughtful.

But guess what?

None of them did.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that this is where it ended the day.

 

 

 

Because free is never really free.

 

Remember the free pool table my husband came home with a while back?

 

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Well… it turns out the damn thing is going to cost us a fortune.

Why?

Because now that he has a pool table, he wants to build a bar. And while I’ve never been a woman to argue with bars, if he builds the bar he wants to heat and cool the space… which means he had a guy  (the son of the  soon to be ex  friends who gifted us the pool table, which can’t be a coincidence)  come over and give us an estimate for a heat pump unit.

Ka-ching!  That free pool table is going to cost us $4,000.

But that’s not all.

If he heats and cools the space it has to be air tight. And while he did put insulation under the floor and behind his pretty walls….

It’s a barn! It’s nowhere near air tight.

So….

 

 

Construction of a frame to seal air leaks in the big doors began.

 

 

Foam boards were purchased and cut.  (with – it’s a miracle! –  a 21rst century tool)

 

 

But my idea of an easily removable frame was thrown out like baby’s dirty bath water.

 

 

And to my horror….

 

 

This monstrosity emerged.

 

 

A screwed in framework with double sided attached foam boards.

 

 

And plywood covering.

 

 

This sucker isn’t going anywhere.

 

 

When I lamented the decided un-movability of this air leak blocking structure, he told me it would only take a few minutes to undo if we needed to open the doors.

Considering it took him a day and half to put together, I highly doubt the veracity of this statement.

And if you think the sound of the cash register ringing is finished?

Au contraire mes amis, it’s just begun.

The heat pump contractor told him in order for all the heat to stay downstairs, the ceiling would have to be insulated as well.

This is the ceiling.

 

 

It’s a lot of ceiling.

 

 

And this stuff is $55 a bag.

 

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KA- fuckin’-CHING!

And I haven’t even talked about how he’s going to have to block off the opening to the second floor yet.

Free.

It’s a relative term.