All posts by Ripper

I hate to keep bringing up Sandy, but…

Someone asked me a question on one of the forums I moderate. To answer his question thoroughly, I would have had to consult my color books, which were lost during Sandy. It made me think about what I lost from that storm.

To start off with, and this is the worst loss ever. Mom got pneumonia due to the storm. We lost power and heat for 3 weeks. I had previously installed a gas fireplace for her, and we used that as our heat source, but it wasn’t enough to keep her from getting sick. It was too much for her.

Aside from the devastating loss of the center of the family, I also lost many personal items as well as work stuff. I lived in the basement, so my apartment was under 7 feet of water. This included all of my furniture (I had a custom made wooden bedroom set hand made by my grandfather), a dozen guitars, many keyboards, keyboard and sound modules, 3 computers, 2 terrabytes of songs I recorded over the years, all of my backup drives full of data, collectibles including a 1934 Lionel train set, every Hess truck from 1964-2012, many still in boxes. Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars from the 60s up to recent, all in original boxes or packaging, many 1/24-1/25 scale plastic models from the 70s, HO trains, some as old as 1940, N gauge train sets, n gauge bus set, Aurora/AFX car and truck racing sets, books, records, movies VHS and DVD, cassette and 8 track tapes. I am sure I’m forgetting lots of stuff, like cooking utensils, pots, pans, plates, silverware, glasses, bedding, towels, clothing…..

Then, we go to the shop. The shop had a foot of water, so all the tools in the bottom drawers were lost. I kept all the power tools down there. I had just bought a few vintage power tools. They were on the floor. My jacks (4) were all lost as were Many other tools that were out as I was in the middle of a project when I went home for the day that fateful day. My welder was damaged, as were some of the other electrical equipment. My color books were on the bottom shelf of the paint mixing machine. I lost them as well as the entire bottom row of tints.

All in all, I lost about $250,000.00 in stuff I can never replace. I got exactly $0.00 in help from FEMA or anyone else anyway. We got just enough at the house from FEMA to replace the boiler, hot water heater and electrical panel, all of which were under water for two days. We lost out on getting more money because Mom was the owner of the house and when she passed, the lines of communication with FEMA were shut down instantly. We ended up selling the house as we couldn’t afford to finish fixing it and pay the mortgage as well. I am now renting an apartment, which is a new experience.

Not sure what to say

I try not to get political, as too many people take every word and twist it to their own meaning, but lets just say I have a lot to say, but I’m holding my tongue. We have lots of problems in this country and in our world, and I am not sure what the answer is to fix those problems.

What I do know for sure is, it seems no one else has an answer either. The people in power in this country, at every level, seem to be clueless and only care about advancing their own agenda and gaining more power. Every day just proves this more and more.

November

Well, November is here. That means winter can’t be far behind. Glad I don’t live in Buffalo though. Time has come to reevaluate my business choices. I have already taken the website maintenance site down as it was just doing nothing anyway. The site is still there, but all the content is now gone.

I also removed all the content from the recording website. It was just sitting there, taking up web space. I may pull both down or just forward them to the main site (this one), which is the only one that has generated any income in the past few years.

Next up might be the removal of the airbrush forum site, No one is using it and takes money and work to keep it running.

And, finally, I may give up on the shop. It’s been getting harder and harder to get work done. Ever since I got sick and my partner did his best to destroy the business while I was home recovering, it has been an adventure, to say he least. With all the new rules regarding sprinklers and fire suppressors, it would cost almost $200,000.00 to set up a shop to spray and I just don’t have it.

October

I’m not a fan of fall. It means winter is not far behind. Winter never used to bother me. I worked all winter wearing just a thermal sweatshirt over my clothes. I did towing at all hours in all weather. I enjoyed shoveling snow. The cold was just another thing to deal with on the job. Ever since I got sick, the cold bothers me. Even if it’s 50 degrees, I’m cold. Cold, wet, snowing, freezing rain, ice storms and the rest… You can keep it. If I could afford it, I’d have a winter home somewhere warm.

That said, I don’t ever give any real thought to leaving NY. If it gets worse though, it may be something to consider. I have a friend who wants me to open a shop in Miami. I have to admit, I have given it some thought, especially during last winter.

August

So, it’s August already. It feels like I was just out shoveling snow yesterday. But, I digress. Still working on getting work space. Looked at several buildings, some for rent, some for sale. Nothing worthy yet, except for one building for rent in Westbury. It went before we could make a deal. A previous prospect who was unsure, became sure….

I can’t tell you how much work I have turned away while looking for work space. I get phone calls and emails daily from people looking for custom work and looking for me to do it. I’ve even made a deal or three to go to the customer to do the work. I can’t operate like this normally, but in a few instances, it is possible to get the job done this way.

On a personal note, I am also still waiting on a kidney transplant. Many changes have happened, but there is not much new to report. I will update if and when things change on that front.

July update

It’s been a fun month so far. Let’s see, it started on June 27th, when I had surgery on my arm. The next day, there was a music festival in Rockaway, so I went. I guess the combination of the heat, dialysis the night before and the anesthesia was too much, but it was still a good day.

After resting the rest of the weekend, Monday I awoke dizzy and light-headed. This normally happens after dialysis, but I hadn’t had that since Friday night. Tuesday was the same, but I managed to get through the day only needing to rest more than usual.

Wednesday was another story entirely. I had plans to visit my aunt in Brooklyn. My sister Debbie (and my 11 year old nephew) showed up as we were going together. She took one look at me and said “we’re not going to Brooklyn”. Instead, we headed to the ER where they determined I was anemic. They gave me an aspirin, sent me home and suggested I see my regular doctor. My sister and nephew went home and I went back to resting.

I had to go to dialysis again that night. When I arrived, I told them about the ordeal and they took a blood sample and my blood pressure. My blood pressure was dangerously low (it’s normally dangerously high). I didn’t get the blood results until the next morning.

Thursday was worse. I woke up seriously disoriented and dizzy. I was awakened by a phone call from the nurse practitioner at dialysis. She told me to hang up immediately and go to the ER. My numbers were that bad. This time, I went to a different hospital (with my other sister, Patricia) as that’s where my nephrologist is associated. They did many of the same tests as the other hospital. There really needs to be a centralized computer system for medical records. I had to endure all of this crap twice in two days. It was determined I was anemic (duh). No surprise there, but this hospital took it much more serious. I was bleeding internally. An endoscopy was scheduled, I was told no eating or drinking, put on IV, etc., etc., etc…

It turns out I had a bleeding ulcer, caused by my medication. More medication added to the list. Oh joy. After 2+ days in the hospital, I was sent home again. This time, I actually felt better.

I am now in the process of getting all of my doctors on the same page. This is not an easy task.

Aside from all of this, I had a checkup with the surgeon who worked on my arm last Friday. I popped a stitch and it had to be fixed. That was the least of my ordeals in the past two weeks. I have been having issues with dialysis again. Too long and boring, but I’ve had it…….

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th and a full moon. We should do ourselves a favor and stay inside tonight…

All kidding aside, another week has gone by and I have nothing new to report on the shop front. I am really starting to lose interest in looking.

I will post once again, I am looking for a legal body shop in eastern Queens or western Nassau county that is looking to rent all or part of the shop. I do not need a big space (for now), one or two bays will do just fine. My work will not interfere with your business, I will not steal customers from you as I will not do collision work. I can add to the services you offer your customers. You can now offer your customers full custom paint services, including airbrushed graphics and murals. You can offer them radical customizing, such as Lambo, suicide, gullwing doors, top chops, sectioning, shaved handles, reversed hoods and trunks, power actuation of all moveable parts, and more.

Matrix

84 Caddy

Caddy DTS 3rd Brae Light Kits

Looking for a shop

If anyone knows of a shop available in Queens or Nassau County, please let me know. You can contact me using just about any page of the website. Thanks. I’m looking to spend around $2000 per month.