Sunday, July 5, 2009

what a nightmare i had with our home---2 years and lots of money--I learned lots of ways the trades can get you and try to reveal as many of them in the book as i could!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There are no cheap repairs

Boy did I find that out!-- You get what you paid for!

Read my true story----Well most is true ---except the astonishing ending!

Chaeles Irion

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hellish Lesson #7

Be nice to your workers but not a buddy. Be respectful but stay distant, except as it relates to the job at hand. I wasted thousands of dollars buying needless lunches and making loans to workers. I wasted countless hours and lost a measure of emotional contentment listening to an endless stream of sob stories. Anticipate that your sources for material will not deal with you honestly or in a timely manner. Not everyone needs to like you especially when you're the one writing all the checks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It had occured to me that no one needs to lose as much sleep or money as I did when I remodeling my home. An extensive remodeling guide, "Salvation" is located in the back of Remodeling Hell. Thirty seven pages of sound avice and suggestions to cutting the crap and keeping on track.
To create my dream house I both remodeled an existing home and constructed a signifigant new additon. I took away many lessons that apply to both experiences. When I began, I had no resources or no book I could consult. I learned every lesson the hard, and usually, the expensive way. These lessons/ideas can save you money, grief and time. They can make the process, if not exactly enjoyable, then at least not miserable! You will be able to check the quality of constuction and hopefully recognize mistakes when you see them. Follow these lessons and you will end up with a better house. Even if you have no previous experience in construction or remodeling, these can be enormously useful. I don't pretend I learned every lesson, but it's a handy collection.
Happy building!

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Hell with Remodeling

It seemed like a good idea at the time, thought that gave me no comfort during the hell that followed.
The plan was simple enough. I'd just bought a very nice, though dated, house situated beside a prestine expanse of Southwestern desert on the sunny slope of a mountain preserve. I'd have no new, or even old, neighbors obstructing my view, and could enjoy the striking scenery as well as the myriad wildlife that populated the area. My plan was to take what was already a basically sound house design, expand on it, and landscape and remodel the remainder, turning the totality into my dream home....
Sounds like a wonderful venture right? Wrong! I spent the next two years with bumbling contractors, plumbers, electricians and loafs and ended up with a lovely home and a pool that still doesn't work as it should. Talk about touching the burner. But for those of the adventerous mind or the valiant DIY-ers much like myself there's something to be said for making your own dreams. Or perhaps in my case building my dream. Following these funny annectodal stories is my "Salvation" guide, an assemeblance of FAQs and common problems with all the right answers. Trust me when I say I could have only wished and hoped for this information during my own remodeling hell.
Read and enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Remodeling Hell

This book describes my journey as I endeavored to build my dream house, which turned into a two-year nightmare! The names have been changed to protect the guilty and incompetent. This book contains often hilarious, but always valuable lessons of what to do and what NOT to do when building or remodeling homes. My book also contains "Salvation" thirty-six pages of remodeling guidelines that will save you time and potentially thousands of dollars. My hope is that the valuable lessons in this book will help others to not endure the same hellish experiences that had lead me to write this book.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Autograph Hell

A small taste...

'In the early 80’s, I purchased a house across the street from my home in Phoenix, Arizona. The place I bought was a “beater.” The carpet was about 20 years old, the paint was peeling and the plumbing as in serious need of repair. I worked on the house for several months, adding paint, making repairs and just generally bringing it into the Twentieth Century. Then I put it up for sale.
Among the first to look at the house was a couple from Florida. They had just moved to town and were looking a for place to buy. Although they liked what they saw in the house, they didn’t have enough cash for the full down payment.
I thought that would be the end of dealings but it wasn’t. The couple put their heads together and came back with an offer that would change my life. They owned an antiquities store, they said, a place where a person could buy a piece of history. They had antiques, jewelry, old documents and signatures from many of the world’s most famous and interesting people. Would I, they asked, take $30,000 in trade from the store as part of the down payment? I thought about the offer overnight. The real estate market wasn’t that great at the time. There was a glut of houses on the market and if I turned the offer down I could count on owning the property for a long time before I unloaded it. And besides, owning a piece of history didn’t seem like such a bad idea.
The next morning I took the trade.
At the store I was astonished at what I saw. Historic documents were framed beautifully, signed baseballs occupied their own little cubby holes, signed basketball jerseys filled picture frames as large as Shaq’s torso. There were cancelled checks from the rich and famous, signed letters, manuscript pages, basketballs, footballs, boxing gloves, playing cards. Some of the names represented where Charles Darwin, Frank Sinatra, Magic Johnson, Farrah Fawcett, Mick Jagger, President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie. The infamous were there, too, including Adolph Hitler, and Evel Knievel. I remember thinking that this was like walking through a museum where you could actually buy the exhibits.
I was hooked....'

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The first in the series....

This blog is for passionate readers, writers, and any and all who are seeking respite from their own remodeling, autograph, or fill-in-the-blank personal hell. This blog will offer tips and tricks to help you escape the pitfalls of various hobbies and professions - potentially saving you thousands of dollars. Not to mention many a sleepless night.

I got the idea for my first book, AUTOGRAPH HELL, in the middle of a crisis. When a prized autograph of President George Washington turned out to be fake, I was stunned. I am an illustrious, informed autograph collector, how could this happen to me? Not wanting to let this happen to someone else, I decided to research fakes and frauds. The book starts at the beginning of autograph collecting and takes you through a world filled with falsified documents and counterfeit signatures - most of which are "authenticated" by autograph experts who control this multi-million dollar business. Both enlightening and disturbing, this non-fiction book exposes the rampant treachery in the world of autograph collecting.

To order the book or read a little bit more about me, visit