Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Pool is Closed


You know it’s going to be a rough day when you look out the window to your back yard and things aren’t where you left them the night before. I’m not talking about flower pots, beach balls or lounge chairs. Oh no, no, no. I’m talking about the pool and its adjacent wood deck! Mine are clearly NOT where I left them the night before.

They are moving…. Sinking actually, downhill. And it’s not pretty.

It started about three weeks ago with no apparent reason. No earthquake, no rain, no mudslide, no drilling, no broken water lines and no demolition in the area. One night the pool and deck just started to separate and sink.

Insert big sigh and a hefty dose of hysteria.

I immediately called our pool contractor—A 70-something curmudgeon who's a real character. He’s been building pools since Moses parted The Red Sea and he looks it. His skin is like shoe leather and constantly sunburned. His hands are strong and, even at his age, still dig in the dirt every chance he gets. And, he has a full head of gray hair but it looks like it’s platinum blonde from years of sun exposure. The pool guy is a good ‘ole boy with a mouth like a drunken sailor. (Consider yourself warned about his language in this post!)

Walking across the yard together towards the pool, our conversation went something like this…

Pool guy: Shucks little lady, I remember this pool. Damn, you did a fine job of dressing it up with flowers. Hell, it looks better than I thought it would.

Me: Um thanks. Now, but about the movement. I'm very concerned about it.

Pool guy: Movement? Hell this pool isn’t going anywherrrrrr…..

Wait for it-- Wait-- Wait.....

Pool guy: Ahh*hell*shit*son-of-a-mother*shit*hell*oh boy* shit that’s big*hell*oh honey*Jees-sus H. Christmas*hell*damn girlie*ahh hell*shit*I’ll be*shit*damn it almighty*for the love of....

You get the idea.

Me: So?

Pool guy: Jees-sus H. Christmas girlie, you are totally*hell*shit*ahhhhh! That’s bad. Oh hell. How long did it take to move this much?

Me: Overnight.

Pool guy: Are you shitting me? Who did you piss off to make that happen so fast?!?!

And then he looked at me for an actual answer!

After a long silence, Pool guy started cursing again, calling me girlie and honey in between his run-on-sentence of expletives. Finally he stopped, hiked up his pants to (finally) cover his butt crack, and said…

“That pool’s not going anywhere honey, but I suggest you step off the deck and onto the grass.”

Yes, it was a rough day indeed.

I learned that last statement was code for “this is NOT his problem”. He built the pool and deck according to the geologist and engineer’s specifications and I should follow-up with them.

Problem is, I have no idea who the engineer was for the original construction and pool guy can’t remember either. The pool was built in 1992. In 1994, we had a huge earthquake and lost a lot of our “important papers” (amongst other things) and that included the pool and deck blueprints and permits.

So the games begins, so to speak. The pool seems to have stopped "moving" for the moment, fortunately. I've met with numerous geologists and engineers and learned more about "mystery movement" than I care to know. It's kept me busy of late (Could you tell by my lack of posts?) but oh the stories I will tell-- Just as soon as we get to the bottom of things.

And YES, I'm praying "the bottom" will not be my pool and deck at the bottom of the hill we live on.

How's the view from your back yard?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna

55 comments:

  1. Oh jesus, son of a bitch, mother fuc....

    {Ahem}

    Now listen, girlie - everything is going to be okay because that pool ain't goin' nowhere. You have it on the authority of a pool contractor with his eye on the Mexican border.

    But seriously... call the City of Los Angeles Building Department. The plans and all relative contractors should be on file.

    Sorry this is happening. Can I FedEx you some liquor?

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  2. thats scary but I'm sure you will get to the bottom things. no pun intended.

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  3. Holy Crap... How the Hell did that happen..I am sorry about that but Chit that was a funny pool man..noticed I said Was.. Oh my and it happened over night..I say there was some kind of trimmer that wasn't felt!

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  4. Wow, what the heck happened? (Pardon my language.)

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  5. That's exactly why I didn't want to live in the LA hills and decided to move to Nebraska to get far enough away for the slides. Sorry for your troubles, seriously.

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  6. Overnight??? Did the pool guy offer any suggestions? Pools just don't slide overnight without an explained reason. I hope that you can find out what to do and who's responsible.

    Hang in there. I know that it's got to be a lot of work and phone calls back and forth.

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  7. Holy crap WTF!! Sorry I'm a Jersey girl! Wow girlie I feel your pain..now you have me worried about my unattended house and pool in Utah..damn where's my paper work...? Good luck!!

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  8. lol! your pool guy sounds like some spaniards i know... look on the bright side... your house is still where you left it...:) besos!

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  9. OMG! Thats awful!

    Have an award for you over at mine - hope it cheers you up.

    RMxx

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  10. Expensive, scary and frustrating for control freaks like you (and me, btw). I could feel the stress eminating from the page, Joanna.

    Those things over which I have no control are those things from which my gray hair sprouts...and the furrow lines in my brow...and perhaps a few extra pounds too.

    Hang tough and remember it's a thing, not a person. That's all I've got today!

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  11. Pool guy sounds like quite a character to put it mildly. No worries girlie 'cause we all know that pool ain't goin' anywhere, the pool guy said so.

    Seriously how scary for you to have your pool and deck moving and not have answers.

    I am so looking forward to the follow-up stories that come with this. I pray your answers come soon....very soon!!!

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  12. That is crazy! Keep us posted....

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  13. Not knowing if your pool will be there in the morning could be interesting. Hey, that may be a good giveaway post for you. Let your readers guess how many days it will take before your pool.....on second thought, you may not want to play that one.

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  14. I love the lack of responsibility on everyone's parts!

    The view from my backyard is stable. And beyond stable, we see acres and acres of cotton fields. Very pretty this time of the year when it looks like the field is covered in snow.

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  15. Sorry for your pool troubles! That is very disturbing. Our backyard is too tiny for a pool, but we have a child's play yard that takes up about half the space. Someday...garden.

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  16. Oh J you are such a hoot! I'm not complaining with our view. I'll take the squirrels tossing their empty shells at my head and digging up our yard as in a view from a Chevy Chase movie. Have a golden weekend! xoxo

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  17. Wow. That would be very stressful for me. I do love your back yard.

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  18. your pool moved...overnight. scary. loved his response though...up unyil it was not his problem. hopeit works out for you.

    our backyard isdying with autumn. the grape arbor is slowly turning brown, the pears are gone...the leaves are changing and falling...

    have a great friday!

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  19. Just boggles the mind, the very thought of my pool/deck/house sliding away. I really don't have to worry about ours sliding down a hill, maybe a huge sink-hole opening up and swallowing us, but not sliding away.
    However, our pool is going away. Starting this evening, it's being disassembled and I get to reclaim my backyard. WOo-hoo!!!

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  20. Holy Cow! I did not know this was possible. Well I guess I know very little.
    That pool guy is hilarious, with his foul language and exposed butt crack.
    I hope your problem gets fixed real soon.

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  21. Aggghhh~! I have to say you did a great job with this post. I almost felt I was there, but I'm so sorry you are dealing with this!
    No pool in our backyard, just grass and flowers and they aren't moving.

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  22. Is it an inground or above ground pool? I can't imagine what caused it to slide!

    I hope you get it all taken care of so you don't have to worry about it anymore. That's a lot of water to have speeding down a hill!

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  23. Oh wow. That is crazy. And I bet mighty frustrating to boot.

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  24. Oh, that sounds expensive! Sorry you have to go through this. Sounds stressful.
    But I hope it gets straightened out soon!

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  25. Thank you for this. Thank you. After reading this. I have no problems in my life. NADA! And, the view is exactly where I left it and hasn't changed.

    More than that? I don't have an effin, damn, shite, clue what to say to you. Holy hot damn...

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  26. "Insert big sigh and a hefty dose of hysteria"

    I will steal that line for an upcoming post. Oh yes . . oh yes I will...

    because thier are moments in life that we can neither prepare or plan for. And these moments bring us to our knees. And while we are down there there is no planning or preparing to rise again.

    Cuts to core of who we are. Type A women who plan and accomplish things with ease and stealth.

    Yeah, just sold my house, can't ya tell?

    Here's hoping your solution comes quickly and not as expensive as they are saying it is!

    :)

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  27. I checked and my backyard is still where I left it. I love that you can tell such a distressing story with humor, though I know you are not feeling humurous about the situation. Is there insurance for that kind of thing...probably not in CA. Hoping to read about a less than disastrous outcome soon.

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  28. Growing up we had a pool installed in our yard - we lived on a ravine. We noticed that we were losing more and more of our backyard every year and soon enough it might cause problems with the pool. To the rescue our city and they installed a concrete culvert in the ravine -- only problem was they now destroyed the fish habitat. Oh well no idea where the pool is now.

    Hope this isn't too horrendous for you - I remember earlier this year when our contactor thought they might have to pick up our whole house to replace the main support beam. Our story ended well - they just had to weld steel supports on the beam.

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  29. Oh, and BTW, I think your pool guys brother has done some work on my house.

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  30. Oh, Joanna, I'm so sorry! Maybe you can call your plumber guy and see if they make hill or pool condoms. Seemed to fix your pipes. :)

    (Maybe this will be funny tomorrow?) Sorry!

    Hugs!!

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  31. Just goes to show that the earth is in perpetual motion!

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  32. Thanks everyone! That's a picture of our pool and deck above "before". We are holding our breath for the soil reports that should be back from the geologists next week. Until them I keep checking the movement and listening for a big gush of water :-)
    Ha!
    Keep those cards and letters coming. I love hearing from you.
    xo

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  33. Oh for cryin out holy Hell mo-fo!

    What a disaster! Wonder if your homeowner's insurance will cover this. In any event, I do feel bad for you. No more pool parties for a while!

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  34. Sounds like a Gawga boy to me! I'm sure you are feeling overwhelmed with all the info. you must be receiving, and you're probably seeing a bunch of dollar signs flashing in front of your eyes. Good luck!!

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  35. gosh, that's scary...it might be time to start doing some long term planning of where you want to move to for retirement. Safety first and all that.

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  36. Sheeeet!

    I knew there was a good reason for us not to have a pool.

    Good luck... as I think you're going to need it.
    do you Pray?... if not start now.

    extra big hugs for you :) xoxooo

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  37. ps... your pool and garden look absolutely beautiful in your photo and I was happy to read that no person was near it when it began to slide.

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  38. Oh jeepers. Overnight. Good luck getting that figured out. I take it your on a good size hill? I used to live in So Cal (near pasadina) on a beautiful mountain side. Our neighbors had a pool but I was too young to think about adult stuff. I just wanted to go swimming. Haha.

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  39. Oh girlie, I'm so sorry. That just stinks. My brow is all furrowed.

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  40. I thought you'd post abou the end of summer or something like that, but nothing like this, geez, this is bad. Hope it doesn't get worst - good luck!

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  41. Uh-oh. That's alarming. (Understatement, I know). I'd be panicking, which is why it's great that there are people around like your first respondent (Alix) who keeps a cool head in a crisis. She's absolutely right, that should all be on file. I really hope you can identify the problem soon. Not knowing is the killer, isn't it?

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  42. Actually it occurred to me (just as I hit the 'send' button) that if you involve the city/planning authorities they may well leap into action, come to your help and speed things along, for fear that this affects more than 'just' one property.

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  43. I dunno, I kinda think Alix had down in the first sentence :))))

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  44. Hi all, You'd THINK blueprints and the likes would be on file by the City but noooooooooo! Only permits MUST be kept on file, the rest is "owned" by the engineer and the homeowner. So if you lose your stuff you have to track the other guy down to get it.

    Stay tuned, the saga continues!

    xo

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  45. Never owned a pool but I've swam around in a few. I think they are supposed to be relaxing.
    Good laugh reading those remarks from the pool guy.
    One question - do you swim in it much?

    Just an idea off the top of limited knowledgeable head - drain it so it doesn't weigh as much and maybe you could inspect it better.

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  46. Hmmm, got that checkbook handy?

    Shite!

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  47. I had to laugh at your rendition of the pool man's speech! Hell I hope you don't lose your pool... and it can be fixed.

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  48. I am afraid I would worry about my house moving if the pool is. Please be safe.

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  49. POTD! POTD! POTD! I knew it! Gosh Joanna, must be nice to be so awesome.

    Congratulations on the honor. Very deserved. At least SOMETHING good has come out of this insanity!

    You rock, girlfriend.

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  50. Pool Guy is hilarious!! Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!!

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  51. Yikes.. I had to enlarge to get the full effect. That's pretty scary. But your pool guy is a hoot.

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  52. At first glance this is an amusing post but when you start to get into it, it's horrifying for the home owner/you. Hope your problems get sorted out without any more damage.

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  53. Very funny post, although I know the pool business is not funny for you! Congrats on POTD mention.

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  54. Oh, MAN! (or is it Girlie?!) What a bummer!!

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