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Frank Borger

I can certainly understand why you would want to apply a framing hammer to some of the bureaucrats who run our licensing boards, but please think again.

That would be a horrible thing to do to a framing hammer. You might damage it.


You know what, Frank? It's not the bureaucrats -- they tend to be decent people trying to do a good job. It's the Progressives who make the demand for a useless job, and who will NEVER understand that their basic premises are flawed. And the Socialists, too.


This is one of the very few times that I'll ever say the US has something to learn from France. The French, while dogged by socialism in most areas of life, have still managed to maintain a liability-based system of ensuring building quality. (If you build it for someone else and it fails, big fat lawsuit. If you build it for yourself and it fails, well, you're an idiot.) I don't know if there's licensing or not, but there are no onerous builing permits and inspections, and the building quality is generally higher with lower costs. We should learn.


Sacre bleu, Adrian. Praise for France on MY blog? That will never do. The same could be said for their wine, but The Happy Carpenter has had no French wine since the French veto (except they did trick me on a bottle of "Fat Bastard" -- who would expect a bottle labeled "Fat Bastard" would be French. But they won't fool me a second time.)

But I should have mentioned Texas -- when I was there for one year in '83, Texax still wasn't licensing contractors. Didn't notice any buildings tumbling down.


A Naples-based roofer who has signed at least 60 contracts since Hurricane Charley has apparently abandoned many of his jobs after taking payments from customers.
Several homeowners who hired state-licensed contractor Leroy A. Jenness of Hawkeye
Roofing Inc. paid more than $10,000 before his phone numbers went out of service and
the company left hurricane-repair work incomplete....."Before I even gave him a nickel, I made him give me photocopies of his state license, his city of Punta Gorda license, his workman's comp verification," said LaRocca, a Punta Gorda Isles resident. "We called the Better Business Bureau. And I would not give him a
nickel until he got a building permit from the city."
It still backfired on him. LaRocca said he paid nearly $14,000 -- the first two payments on a tile roof that was only dried in. He later had to pay the roofing supply company more than $5,000 so he could keep the tile that had been delivered to his house.
Some homeowners have found that Hawkeye didn't get building permits and didn't order
materials. Customers said that to avoid having liens placed on their property they had to pay suppliers for materials that Hawkeye had installed.


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November 2008

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Seen at low tide

  • American White Pelican
    Saw 30 in one flock on a weptember evening while fishing
  • Hummingbird
    Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
  • Flamingo!
    One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
  • Falcon!
    Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
  • Black Skimmer
    These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
  • Dead sea turtle
    cool, but smelly
  • Reddish Egret
    These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
  • Sand Piper
  • Brown Pelican
    I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
  • Wood Pecker
    They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.
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