Thursday, October 9, 2008

Crisis Hits Home

One day after I said that the current liquidity crisis would not impact me, I got a phone call from Block Island. My friend Richard does not generally pick up the phone just to say hello. Before I called him back, I wondered to Michelle whether some of his work had fallen through. My hunch was correct. Feeling very bad about it, Richard said that one year of work had shrunk to three months. (Michelle, Chloe and Hazel were scheduled to leave for the island in just a few days.) His clients were having trouble coming up with the money to pay for work already completed; continuation of these projects simply, abruptly stopped. What could be done under the circumstances? Not much. In situations like this I am likely to change course just as abruptly. A canoe pulling a u-turn and heading home when it looks like it's about to storm. Michelle's reaction, on the other hand, is like turning around an aircraft carrier. Though she hadn't left Maine, she was already on Block Island. Turning around was an option of last resort. In other words, get some names, make some phone calls, and see about other work. I gave her my silver lining argument: Way back in May we thought a winter on the island would be a good way to replenish our coffers after spending all our house building funds. We don't want to borrow money to build this house. (Not that we could at this point, anyway.) But, since we're so far behind in the process, we haven't spent nearly as much as we thought we would. With $50,000 still in the bank I could work on the house all winter, and we'd be in a better position come next summer. Of course, the problem with my scenario is that we'd run out of money by the end of winter or shortly after. Working on Block Island would give us a quick infusion of the money we need to finish. So, the aircraft carrier is still headed on a course for Old Harbor. I made some phone calls, and it looks like I can work for someone else. We're not going to worry about it. In the end we're fine. Our rule of living (and building) within our means has put us in an enviable position. In the end our wealth will be wrapped up in a beautiful house we built ourselves. Debt free.

I started insulating the utility room yesterday. When I return from yet another Keyo wedding down south, I'll put up drywall, install a door and move all our stuff into it. This will be a good test of my insulating plan. I bought a couple sheets of 3/4 inch foil faced rigid insulation and ran them through the table saw to create strips 1.5 inches wide. After insulating with the fiberglass and putting up a vapor barrier, I tacked these strips to the studs. This will create a thermal break to the outside. To make that thermal break even more efficient, I'm going to put full sheets of the same insulation on the outside creating a wall with an R-value approaching 30.

1 comment:

rodolph sheahan said...

I'm not surprised. Any viewer of Bloomberg has seen a freefall DOW of "29" proportions. But having the result reach out 12 miles into the Atlantic brings it into a clearer focus. But as usual "The Mainers" have all 4 feet squarly on the dirt. After all isn't that what English and Philosophy majors do