Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Weird Shit

EPA says I have to be a Certified Lead Paint Safety Inspector. As of April 20, 2010, anyone who works on or around homes that may be contaminated by old lead paint must be Certified. Fines up to $32,5000 per day, per infraction, if I'm caught working on a home and not living up to the workplace standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

During the course of the day, the teacher kept joking about how the price of replacing windows and doors just went up. I remarked that this EPA initiative, and the resulting increased price I'm going to have to charge, is flying in the face of Obama's 30% Energy Tax Credit.

"Hey Mr. & Mrs. Homeowner, we'll give you $1500 off the top of your 2009 and 2010 income taxes if you upgrade your windows and doors to Energy Star compliant products that rate better than .30 on Solar Heat Gain, and have better than a .30 U-Factor." Oh and we just passed a law that says you have to spend 50% more on the labor to get the work done."

So they spent 8 hours Monday teaching me how to test for lead based paint in homes built before 1978. How to set up plastic sheeting 6 feet inward from walls when working inside houses, and 10 feet outside walls when doing exterior work. How to properly dispose of the paint chips that fall on the plastic sheeting. How to remove all furniture from rooms where I'm going to work before putting down the plastic. How to put on a respirator. How to properly use a $1000 HEPA filter vacuum cleaner (EPA certified.) Blah blah blah blah fucking blah. 8 hours of absolute torture. And then they give us a test to make sure we were paying attention. (100%- thanks very much)

Now I have to send $300 to the EPA so they can register my company as a Certified Lead Paint Renovator.

And, ...they also allow an "opt out" for anybody who doesn't have a kid under 6 or a pregnant woman in the house. Got that? An opt out.

Okay Mr. & Mrs. Jones, I can do this job one of two ways. I can charge you $600 per window and follow the EPA guidelines for lead paint, or I can charge you $450 for the exact same window and do my usual meticulous job which includes putting drop cloths on everything, vacuuming up with a non-HEPA filter cleaner, and we'll be out of here in about half the time.

So let's see, you have 16 windows on the house...would you prefer the $9600 price or the $7200 price?

Oh, you have small children in the house? Sorry, you have to go with the $9600 price.


You can not use a handset phone when driving your car in Manhattan. Hands free only. But you can host a TV game show from the front seat of your cab.


Jim Bunning ties up emergency extended unemployment benefits to make a point about Obama's policies, costing 2000 construction workers their jobs (at least temporarily) and John Cornyn suggests that people on unemployment like being on unemployment because it means they can sit around the house all day in their boxers watching CNN and hearing the bad news about unemployment.


The City of Chicago Public Schools are going broke, so they eliminated all spring sports for sophmores. And Richie is still pissed we didn't get the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Sometimes the only way I can get to sleep at night is to close my eyes and take a drive to New Mexico.


Keifus said...

Well, I tried twice to comment at blatherific length, but it looks like the internet is broken. Here's the short version (maybe):

Paint: Stupid legislation: it encourages Mom and Dad to leave the windows in there when kids are most likely to be sucking on sills. How much paint gets freed up in a replacement anyway? It'd be one thing if you were doing a lot of sanding.

Bunning and Cornyn: Fuck those fucking hypocritical fuckers. Brass-balls Bunning has been opposing paygo for eight years. No war or bailout is too expensive for these motherfuckers to fail to fund, but if it's anybody else getting helped out, then it's time to take stand on the principles. When it's time to help people, that's where you draw the line.

Schmutzie said...

Very little paint is disturbed during window replacement K. As in, none. We pull the old shit to the outside, and don't even remove the interior casing. The more I think about this, the more pissed off I get. Your point IS the point. They're encouraging people to NOT replace old lead painted window sash, and adding emphasis to the young couples with little kids or pregnant wives by making it even more expensive for them, the people who traditionally are the most cash-strapped. It's uber ridiculous.

When I saw Bunning pulling his one man against the world routine, I remarked to the potted plant that I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see somebody...let's just say...throw a shoe at him as he leaves his office. Cornyn speaking up in defense of Bunning was career-stupid. Now Bunning is backing off, and Cornyn is left standing there with his dick in his hand. What a couple of fucking idiots.

twif said...

You can not use a handset phone when driving your car in Manhattan. Hands free only. But you can host a TV game show from the front seat of your cab.

you think that's ridiculous? some dumb-fuck introduced a bill to ban the use of salt in restuarant cooking. at any point in the process of cooking. why? because his dad died of a heart attack and ate a lot of salt.

the man has obviously never cooked or baked a thing in his life.

Schmutzie said...

The bill doesn’t address significant matters, such as: Would salt be banned in processed foods or cured meats? Could a restaurant chef get around the ban on using added salt in a soup by, say, throwing in a sodium-laden ham hock? Ortiz didn’t have an answer for those question, saying repeatedly, “This all needs to be debated.”

Next, a proposal to open the floor to debate on adding cured ham hocks to restaurant pots while cooking chicken soup.

Do I hear a second to Mr. Ortiz's motion?

Tap tap tap tap.

Is this thing on?

No doubt we all use too much salt, and whenever I tell friends (Rick The Truck Driver is reading this) how much friggin' sodium there is in our pre-packaged foods, they don't believe me until they check the labels.

But a Bill to eliminate salt cuz dad ate too much of it and had a heart attack?

Barnes is right. Talk about abusing the legislative process.

Anonymous said...

With today's computer machined steel stude technology, a new building is cheaper and better than renovations. The only reason one engages in atomistic, sheflish small business is to avoid following the rules. Even Milton Friedman showed that small business creating jobs is unprovable because of survival bias (J Eco Lit, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 2129-2132). In today's complex New Industrial State (J K Galbraith), you do a better job if you are a large contractor because you have all kinds of compliance controls in place and access to superior information than if you are on you own.

Schmutzie said...

Instead of addressing the "content" of your reply about shellfish and the purpose of being a small businessman, I'd simply point out that it is not exactly a great time in US history to be citing Milton Friedman nor to be counting on large corporations to adhere to compliance controls.