The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Dumbass Factor Part 2 - Getting the Shaft

As I have mentioned in a previous post, a major factor in any home renovation project is the Dumbass Factor. It turns out that my careful planning wasn't a careful as I thought; the Dumbass Factor has struck again.

In this case, the problem is our main electrical pole. Our pole (i.e. the "Typical Self-Contained Installation" meter, main switch, et cetera all mounted on one 6x6 pole) is perfect in every regard except one. Our pole is too short. I won't go into all the embarrassing details of my delusional thinking. In short, I got it wrong.

Despite the fact that it is at its root my fault, I still can't help being pissed off with Entergy (our one and only power utility). Sometime over the last 5-10 years they completely overhauled their specs and services. The rules as I knew them have changed considerably. They have more stringent requirements for hooking up to the main power line, but they won't give you a damn bit of help to meet them.

When my mother-in-law built her home in the late 1980's, Entergy came out and installed the pole, the meter box, buried the cable to the house, et cetera. In 2003, when we start dealing with them to get our energy hooked-up, this had all changed.

The only work that they will now perform is they will drop a line down from the electrical main and hook it up to your meter. They will not dig trenches, lay conduit, install poles, or anything else. I can't help but be a little pissed when they tell me that I have to install a 6"x6" 18 foot long pole, and they have all the equipment and refuse to do any of it. I'm wondering what it is that I am paying for with the hook-up fees.

Anyhow, I'll quit bitching and just grab my ankles.

Any guess what I'll be doing next weekend?


Blogger Greg said...

That does not sound fun. I took a 2 semester residential wiring course 2 years ago so I could do it all myself. The instructor told me our utility company - PG&E - used to do it all too. Now, they will still do it but the rates are so absurd that you are better off doing it yourself or calling a third party contractor. For the course we wired a new house from scratch. Everyone spent some time digging the trench. At my house it is an over-head drop (Whew!)

1:44 PM  

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