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    Freelance writer/building defect consultant

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SonOfSwamp's Achievements


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  1. Sure. I'd strongly support your leading the way with helpfulness, gentle words for a gentle readership. Everybody likes gentle. Ironically, you're accusing me -- in a sort of backhanded passive-agressive ad-hominem and ungentlemanly kind of way -- of the polar opposite of smarminess. Smarmy is the Eddie Haskell thing. (Gee, your frock is most becoming, Mrs. Cleaver.) In the context of an HI web board, I'm curmugdeonly, a crosspatch. Since I was about 12, I've followed a creed of eliminating the screwups first, then shining up the things that need polishing. In my bandleader role, my rule was, "First, we take out all the parts that suck." It's not that I'm aiming to be right all the time. (Well, actually, I am aiming for that. Who isn't?) Anyhow, being right or wrong takes care of itself. When I'm right, I'm right. Clearly, I'm not right for this room. Please have one of the non-smarmy brethren (they know who they are) let me know when the HI community is perfect, and comprises only sweet and gentle folk who tread gently on the good earth. WJ
  2. Not that I'd even bring it up, but hidden cameras and microphones come to mind... WJ
  3. I think I created the Madison, WI mistake. I went to the paper's website, and thought I was looking at a Madison, WI paper. Anyhow, looks like Holleran is in the muckraking (and I mean that in a good way) business. WJ
  4. The same IR cameras HIs use are used to scan horses. Looky here: http://equineir.com/ WJ
  5. Seems the reporter, Kelly Holleran, is an investigative reporter for a Madison, WI newspaper. Like so many "journalists" these days, Ms. Holleran seems to be working at Blogger Level. Hard to find a competent editor these days... Of course, I could be wrong, WJ
  6. Pardon my saying so, but in my humble experience, there are just too many HIs who don't have the skillset to do a decent job. I've spent the last few years reading nonsensical reports, listening to garbled tales and outright lies, and seeing one HI brought into the courtroom straight from the drunk tank, and in chains to boot. (That leaves an impression!) It is devilishly hard to find competent HIs. To paraphrase brother Katen, it seems that many if not most HIs learn everything they know by reading boilerplate in canned HI software. Here's an example of high risk: Here in assbackwards Tennessee, the RE lobby made dang sure (via the licensing rules & regs) that every HI is set up for a lawsuit. TN HIs have to have E&O. If an HI makes one little mistake, or if some muleheaded customer just thinks he made a mistake, his deductible and his premiums go up and stay up. It would help if there were a legitimate HI knowledge base. Something other than the usual folklore. Thirty-plus years of "professional" HI work, and no knowledge base yet... WJ
  7. Looks like whimsy to me. Somebody took a little piece of trim off a wood piece, then turned it into a mini-mantel. Of course, I could be wrong, WJ
  8. If you don't mind me asking, what's a leader in this context? WJ
  9. Those are June Bugs. I've seen those bugs ever since I was a kid, from South Carolina to Tennessee. Best I know, they eat no wood. The feed on leaves, at night. They will fly into a house if a window or door is left open. The grubs live underground for 2 - 3 years. They do some harm to trees and shrubs. I say don't call 'em wood destroying insects, because you'd likely be dead wrong. But don't go by me. I'm not a bug man. WJ
  10. My humble experience is that nasty smells in a house either go away eventually, or they get so bad that anybody can find the source. WJ
  11. Is Illustrated Home still available? Buy the CD, and you'll have just about every useful graphic imaginable. For a while, CodeCheck sold their graphics. Don't know if they still do. FWIW, the CodeCheck graphics, besides being useful, are enjoyable. Finally, this: Don't go by me, but I think that building codes are now in the public domain. Google "building codes public domain." Oh, and it's copyright. Trust me on this one. WJ
  12. Ditto Richard. My co-inspector and I were always hired before anybody called to book an inspection. Best I could tell, the folks who wanted us to do their inspection had just one criterion: I want those guys. FWIW, we bypassed RE referrals by running a perpetual ad in the local alternative newsweekly; and, 50,000 papers were printed each week with the ad and my little column. WJ
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