It's been a good ride so far!

Since I was just a kid all I have ever wanted to do was to make people laugh or just smile. As a child, an educator sent a note home to my parents. It read; If your son thinks he is going to get through life making people laugh he is in for a RUDE AWAKENING! He is not living up to his potential. WELL, I'M STILL NOT! But at this site you will at least see me try. From the heart, thank you for even being interested, it means the world to me. I always say, I have not a single fan but many a friend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Starting to polish up our little Gem

On the 15th I believe, I posted up about a property that we are deeply involved in the purchase, renovation and hopefully soon, the re sale of.  I was blown away by how much interest you guys showed in it.  In that original post I told you all that I would keep you up to date on the progress of the property and show you what a little bit of imagination, elbow grease and a hammer can do with an old foreclosed home.  Today we took a trip up to the doctor and stopped by the property to check up on how it was coming along.  Right now about 80% of the demolition is complete and the prep work is being done to prepare for finish materials.  Not only has the home taken on a drastic appearance change from the curb but once through the door it has become unrecognizable from its former self!  Well, here, check it out.

Here is a shot of what the exterior looked like when first acquired.
The exterior was refinished with masonry product and is now stucco which
is traditional here in Arizona and will be painted earth tone.

Over the years it seems that the kitchen more or less grew with the family.  There was no real thought that went in to it it seems.  A cabinet was added here and there and there was a built in "china cabinet" that must have been hard to move so they literally built around it.  Very strange!  There was tile in some spots, carpet in others and spots where three different types of tile met up with no real transition, they just came together.
Take a look at this shit!

When you entered the home and looked towards the kitchen this was how it appeared.  By this time we had already chopped up all or most of the flooring.  You can see the smoke rising from Diane's brain working over time.  This was the moment she decided that "THIS KITCHEN MUST GO"!
.....and here is the very same shot and how it appeared today!  One hell of a big difference isn't it?  Don't worry, that crazy oak railing is not going in the kitchen but rather it is replacing the shit ass home made rail outside on the small front patio and entry. 
Here was a view looking from the kitchen towards the front door.  It truly is night and day!

Once Diane gets on that job site and begins cracking that whip, work finally gets done!  She paces like a lioness and the workers suddenly become like gazelles.  Suddenly, siesta time is over!  Check out the difference now!

All of the flooring in the main living area has been removed, the cabinets, the appliances, that old china cabinet and even the walls have been taken down.  I can't wait to see the design that she has for the new kitchen.  She is amazing in her vision for these properties.  Let me show you another view of what this mish mosh of a kitchen had grown in to, it was truly horrible.  Just look at how they built around the cabinet!
.... and take a look at the very same space now with the cabinets out and the walls removed.

In Arizona, they say that the biggest room in your home is your back yard!  We average around 350 days of sunshine here per year.  The old saying here is 9 months of heaven for 3 months of HELL!  Those 3 months are our summer and all you need is some A/C in the house and a pool in the yard and life don't get any better.  The bigger the back patio, the happier the family!  This home had an average sized screened in patio with a few makeshift windows and a swamp cooler.  Over the years, walls were built and small prison cell like rooms were added along the back of the home.  What the hell is the sense in having a big beautiful back yard with a pool and a hot tub and you can't even see the damn things?  I made the command decision that the patio bar would stay!  ARE YOU SHOCKED?  But I also made the decision that the entire back of the home would come off!  This home was going to have one big, beautiful patio for the new owners to enjoy!  Here is what it looked like when we got this joint!

As of today, this has all come down!  The exterior walls have been removed, the windows and screen are gone for good.  No more prison cell!  As I said, of course the bar had to stay but the rest is history.  What was a 16' patio is now about 36' and it will all be open right to the pool and spa!

As you can see, THE BAR HAS REMAINED!  How can you enjoy your backyard without a place to make margaritas?  Once again, Diane obviously rocking her construction pumps is cracking the whip again!  As far as the rest of the property goes, the bathrooms will be gutted and those silly one piece shower stalls will be pulled out and the showers will be all done in tile.  Every nail hole will be filled, every single flaw in the will be made perfect and new flooring will be installed throughout.  The home also features a two car garage that was converted years ago in to one huge family room.  The only problem was that the room was so dark and so dreary.  In the middle sat a wood burning stove which will soon find its new home on MY PATIO.  There is a big ass closet that will be ripped out we've converted a room that I have no idea the original purpose that it served in to a huge pantry and laundry room.  First things first though, we had to make that room more inviting and get some natural light in it so we blew out the center of the front wall and framed in a big ass window.
This was how it looked before with all of the lights on and the camera flash going off!
There is nothing like adding natural light to a once dark and miserable space! 
Yes, that is the stove that will be going out on my back patio.  I have a separate patio all lined
up for this bad boy to be placed!  Can ya feel the romance?

So now you guys know a little bit more about what we do with our time when we are not riding those crazy murder sickles around the country and I'm not on stage entertaining or sitting on the ol' lap top and writing crazy shit for you all to read!  For those of you who did not see the previous piece about the story of this home, how we came about our involvement with it and so on, than I'll hit you with a brief recap.  My amazing wife, Diane is hands down, the very best realtor that I have ever seen!  She is so good that nearly every client that she has ever gotten a home for has referred their family and friends back to Diane to purchase their own home.  With the real estate market being so volatile these days and with all of the foreclosed properties, you need a very knowledgeable agent on your side and as I said before, SHE IS THE BEST I'VE EVER SEEN!  Back in the day, we use to find investment properties for friends and clients and turned them all in to real estate moguls before we began doing it for ourselves as well.  So flipping homes is in our DNA!  These days, Diane's client base is nearly all investors and most of those fine folks are coming down from Canada because their market is still exceptional up there and they are buying down here in Arizona.  We've made so many Canadian friends now and have done so much business with them over the last few years that we are practically honorary Canadians.  Now if they would just let me cross the damn border we could actually go and visit them too!

So as I promised, I'll keep you up to date on the progress of this property, as crazy as it seems right now, we are not really all that far from finishing this home.  I can guarantee one thing, this home will be beautiful when we are done and a lucky family is going to have a great place to call their own and either raise a family or have one hell of a vacation house!  So if you are interested in finding out more about the insane deals that are going on down here, please don't think twice about hitting Diane or myself up with those questions.  As much as I love to make people laugh and smile, Diane loves to find people homes of their very !  If not for you and you know someone else who is thinking about something like this, have them reach out to us.  THE ONLY STUPID QUESTION IS ONE THAT IS NOT ASKED!

Until we see each other on the road again,

Keep the wind in your face,
Tits in your back
and The Man off your ass!

Your friend,
Jack Shit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Great Disappearing Act!

I've gotten a ton of messages, calls and emails from a whole bunch of you guys wondering if all was okay.  It seems that so many of you have made a place for me in your lives, that when I drift away for a while, you guys actually miss me!  YOU ALL NEED TO SEE A SHRINK, SOON!  I just want to let you know that all is well here with the Shit family.  As well as can be expected!  Every now and again, I just get burned out, pissed off, broken hearted or just flat out disgusted with things and rather than bitch and complain about it or go on meaningless online rants, I just take a step back.  Each of us these days has our own problems, life of late is no picnic for so many.  I've always meant to inspire people, open their eyes to something they may be missing or at the very least, bring a smile to their faces.  I never want to be that guy who leaves you feeling worse about yourselves or your life for having read my writing!  So I just turned off the computer, stopped emails from coming to my phone and took a break for a few days, grabbed my boot straps and pulled myself back up.  I think the thing that makes me feel so disgusted when I am in a dark place is simply that I have nothing to be in a dark place over!  I have a great life!  I share my life with a beautiful angel who would step in front of a bullet for me.  Business has been better for us than it has been in a very long time and for the most part, our health hasn't changed!  It may not be the greatest for either of us, but it has not gotten any worse.  The fact that there is so much good going on in our lives and the fact that we are surrounded by supportive people who love us makes us very lucky!  It is because of those reasons that when I feel really, truly shitty that I come down even harder on myself!  Over the years I guess I have become conditioned to the whole "one step forward, two steps back" and it seems of late we've taken a great many steps forward and I am waiting on the hammer to fall and smash the living shit out of us and "go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200"!

I awoke this morning having realized that Diane had virtually no bad reaction to her shot last night.  I was so relieved and so very grateful.  I got up and said enough is enough you fucking wimp!  So what if that hammer falls and knocks you on your ass, it's not like it hasn't happened before!  Each time that it does, you just start pushing forward again.  I decided to stop worrying about everything, or at the very least I decided to "try" to stop!  I am going to focus on what is great.  I've decided that living your life waiting for the bad shit to happen is NOT LIVING YOUR LIFE AT ALL!  Fuck it, I'm done with that shit!  I've never been the kind of person who looks forward to things for this very reason!  So just like we learned from "What About Bob", I'm going to start with baby steps!  I am going to look towards the immediate future, not down the road and not at the big picture!  So what does my immediate future hold?  What's going on in my life?  Well for one, it is now riding season in Arizona!  Diane and I have each gotten new bikes to ride, well, new to us that is!  We finally got that bike that we can load up with all we need and ride to anywhere we want to go and I am really looking forward to some great road trips together!  In the absolute immediate future, this weekend I'm not going to Vegas Bike Fest but rather taking a trip down to Tombstone, AZ and performing the wedding ceremony for two dear friends!  I'm a giver, not a taker and I can't wait to do what I do best and that is simply bring smiles to the faces of the people who mean the most to me! 

What else?  In just a few weeks, I will be back in Daytona for the first time in a very long time and I will be once again hosting the greatest Biker Bar On Earth, the WORLD FAMOUS BROKEN SPOKE SALOON for Daytona Biketoberfest!  Being from the east coast, going to Florida was a big part of my life.  I have only been there once since my father died in my arms down there.  Once I moved to AZ, it wasn't just a hop skip and a jump anymore.  There were no more "hey, ya wanna go to Florida tonight" moments!  Back in the day, you could catch a flight from Newark or Philly for $59 on special, hell, sometimes even less!  The Broken Spoke has welcomed me as part of their family and I will forever be grateful for that.  We have one hell of a Biketoberfest planned for you guys!
The Broken Spoke believes that it is about the BIKES, THE BROTHERHOOD AND PARTYING, not about who shows up with the biggest tour bus or who has the most semis full of gear!  We will continue our tradition of RESPECT towards you, our guests and for the TRADITION AND THE HISTORY of this lifestyle that we have each chosen!  If it ain't broke, we don't fix it!  In that spirit, we will continue to bring you the very best in live music, all day, every day.  We will only stop the music to move the party in another direction all together with hysterical games and contests and then bring it all right back to incredible live music again!  This is a formula that the one and only Jay Allen created and it is what you folks, our extended family love and we are sticking with it!

ONCE AGAIN, THE BROKEN SPOKE SALOON WILL BE THE HOST AND THE HOME OF THE INTERNATIONAL MASTER BIKE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION RIDE IN CUSTOM BIKE SHOW.  Yes, you read that correctly, RIDE IN, not trailer in!  This show is always an amazing display of Iron and Chrome!  You don't want to miss this.  Do you have a bike you are particularly proud of the work you've done on?  Well ride that bad ass murder sickle over to the Spoke and enter it, hey, you never know you may just become the reigning IMBBA Biketoberfest winner!
For a rally that is only a few days long, we truly do have a SHIT TON of great times, great events and great chances to make memories planned for you!  When you hear me on that mic talking about RESPECT and that you are OUR FAMILY, that is no bullshit!  We do this all for you!  It costs a bunch of money to get down to these events in these times we live in and the only thing we want you to do is leave with a big ass smile on your face and like so many others, we want you to walk out that door, shake our hands and tell us it was the best time you've ever had!  Nothing makes me happier than when I hear someone tell me that and end it with, SEE YOU NEXT TIME!

I've found that along with not putting too much pressure on yourself about what the future will hold, it is fantastic to look back on great times.  The beauty of making memories is that they are yours and no one can ever take them away from you, ever!  You can access them any time you want to or more importantly need to.  A great memory can pull you up and out from the darkest place.  That memory can bring you right back in to the very moment that you were living it, before it was ever a memory!  As a kid and in to my teens, like so many others, I was a fuck up!  Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't a total mess, I was just your everyday average kid running wild in the streets.  I've heard people use the phrase "the soundtrack of your life" many times and if you stop and think about it, we all have one!  We can't remember where we put our car keys, when the next doctors appointment is or something as important as our wedding anniversary but a song can come on the radio that you have not heard in 20 years and not only does it take you back instantly to where you were and what you were doing but you remember damn near every single word to that song!  How the hell is that even possible?  For me, there was one song that each and every single time that I was about to do something stupid, something dangerous or something truly FOOLISH and for that matter as I was doing it, the song would play in my head.  I don't mean like I'd hear the chorus, I mean THE SONG PLAYED IN MY HEAD, like cuing it up, hitting the play button and going from start to finish.  I'm sure we each have  OUR OWN THEME SONG of sorts, the one song that more than any other was "THE SONG" that inspires, that brings a smile instantly, THE ONE THAT TAKES YOU BACK!  For me, that song was Molly Hatchet's, Flirtin' With Disaster!  The great times, the broken bones and the "how the hell did I ever survive that shit" floods back instantly in tsunami like waves! 

Now you are probably thinking that your pal Jack Shit has lost it?  This post began with me being down in the dumps, to writing about pulling myself out of the dumps and then on to what the future has in store for me and then bouncing right back to the past.  What is the meaning of all of this?  Well let me share a little something with you that made me really happy and really excited. 
Yeup!  The one and only Molly Hatchet is playing the World Famous Broken Spoke Saloon for Daytona Biketoberfest!  I mean really, what the hell is a bike rally without Molly Hatchet?  So now, not only do I get to do what it is that I love more than anything, entertain people, but I get to do it on the very same stage that the performers of my very theme song will be playing on!

So I say if you have to look back, look back on only the good, never dwell on the bad!  If you have to look forward, look forward with great anticipation not with fear or concern as to what may happen!  Life is going to throw shit our way, there is no doubt about it, but if we are constantly waiting for that shit storm to hit, we miss out on so much!  So I say to hell with it!  Let the hammer swing away and try to knock us down!  I guess the key is that if it hits us, to get right back up!  Grab an ice pack, put it on the lumps and just say fuck it!  What does not kill us only makes us stronger.  I say get off your ass, get on your bike and go out and make some of those memories that we can count on later in life to carry us out of another dark place we find ourselves in!  So I guess I'll see you guys in Daytona at the Spoke!  I'll be the guy off on the side of the stage with the big ass smile on his face!

Until we see each other on the road again,

Keep the wind in your face,
Tits in your back
and The Man off your ass!

Your friend,
Jack Shit