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MICHAEL'S NEWSFLASHES & MEMORIES!!!

Capturing the events and memories that make up our lives!

Obernewtyn Has Consumed My Wife

Obernewtyn Has Consumed My Wife
Totally consuming! With an incredible smile on her face, Shelly was surrounded by the oracle spheres of power from another realm as I approached her in her bed. Little glowing globes of red and white were protecting her personal space. The pain which often overpowers her was being kept at bay. Is it a good book? It must be to have this effect. Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody, hmmm... Never heard of it. Adam must be the one to blame for introducing her to yet another book series. Wait a minute, with that kind of smile there is no blame to dole out. Instead, Adam gets all the credit. Thank you Son. So the book apparently gets high marks and the inside cover testimonial should read... “Totally Consuming!!! Shelly Leavitt” Michael Leavitt - Orem...
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NEC 2011 - Retrofitting GFCI’s on 2-wire systems.

NEC 2011 - Retrofitting GFCI’s on 2-wire systems.
The following is the 2011 National Electrical Code section relating to grounding receptacles, and retrofitting GFCI’s on a 2 wire circuit. I am posting this due to a question from a fellow inspector. I will add comments below the code citation after some further discussion... Enjoy the read! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com  
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2860 Hits
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Firewalls - I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means!

Firewalls - I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means!
It’s a great (frigid) day here in Orem, Utah! I have a long-time inspector friend, Ken Ives, from Sacramento, California, that has always given me a hard time when I referred to a water heater as a hot water heater. Kind of like fingernails scraping on a chalkboard, this has always been Ken’s pet peeve. For years I regularly made him squint when he read my messages referring to hot water heaters. and he pounced on me every time I did until I finally purged “hot water heater” from my vocabulary. Well I have a similar pet peeve, and it deals with home inspectors referring to the walls in residential garages as “Firewalls”. Is the wall in a home’s garage really a firewall? As home inspectors we need to write with exactness and be able to back ...
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Plagiarism - Inspector Steals My Website Content

Plagiarism - Inspector Steals My Website Content
They say that to copy somebody is the greatest form of flattery, but to steal intellectual property and claim it as one’s own is wrong, wrong, wrong. I understand accidents and overlooked crediting of information, but I find it hard to be kind to a fellow home inspector who literally copied and pasted one of my specialty information webpages and has been using it as his own, without my permission, for probably over a decade. OFFENDER - Tom Horning - Uniontown, Ohio - ASHI Member - http://www.detectivehomes.us - or his web designer. The buck stops with Tom Horning since his name is on the site. DISCOVERED - I performed a simple Google search this morning, 1/15/2013, for “Michael Leavitt FHA” and I was very surprised to see the following retu...
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3177 Hits
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NEWSFLASH! - Frozen Pipes - Take Action Now!

NEWSFLASH! - Frozen Pipes - Take Action Now!

Homeowners, Inspectors, Real Estate Professionals, Friends & Family:

I need to alert you to take immediate action if you are living in Northern Utah. I came into the kitchen of our Orem, Utah home about an hour ago and the water was off at the kitchen sink. Did I pay my bill? I checked the meter and it was on. I then went to my neighbor Marvin’s house and his front hose faucet turned on so I knew it wasn’t a widespread outage. I then returned home and all of my faucets and fixtures inside the house were off. The front hose bib would not turn so I knew we had issues.

Let’s face it, it’s cold here in Northern Utah and our pipes are prone to freezing. The thermometer said minus 1 this morning and I think it has warmed up to about 8 degrees now and we might make it to 10-15 degrees later this afternoon. The point is, no matter how new or old your home, please go open one faucet and allow it to drip slowly until we warm up to near freezing again.

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30 Foot Snowman Terrorizes Orem, Utah

30 Foot Snowman Terrorizes Orem, Utah
I couldn't believe it when I heard the news of a 30 foot snowman somewhere in Orem, Utah. Thanks for the head’s up from Mike Campbell in Bozeman, Montana when he emailed and said he read about it in his local newspaper. We just had to go see if it was true. Bigger than Big Foot and yet smaller than King Kong, this over-sized BYU fan snowman was quite impressive. Deemed the 849th wonder of the world, we were truly awed by the site, creativity, and amazement at how they got the second and third layers up into position. Michael Leavitt - www.TheHomeInspector.com What is your greatest snowman memory? PLEASE LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEEBACK BELOW
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3525 Hits
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Sparks in the Microwave

Sparks in the Microwave

Michael LeavittHave you ever turned on your microwave and sparks started to fly? It is then that you realize that there was some type of foil in whatever you were trying to cook. So you remove the foil portion of the item and voila, everything is normal. So what happens when you check the item and there is no foil or metallic item? That is what happened to fellow home inspector, Victor Sparks (Yes, that really is his name), from Sacramento, California.

Victor shared,

“Shortly after turning the microwave on today at my inspection I noticed a small electrical storm going on inside.

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Snowy Days Remembered

Snowy Days Remembered
A neighbor knocked and then handed me a photo from more than a decade back. In it was Haily and Aaron sitting on our back porch swing with the snow falling in the background. The memories came flooding back of a more innocent time when the first snowfall found us immediately out in the yard trying to capture falling white flakes in our mouths. I remember their smiles and their winter clothes like it was yesterday. This was obviously still fall as half the leaves are still hanging on their branches. The swing set was used daily and flips were plentiful on the trampoline. Haily was always the Tomboy being situated two years younger than Adam and two years older than Aaron. Most days she was as as happy and dirty faced as both of our boys. I t...
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Social Networking - The Business Perspective

Social Networking - The Business Perspective
I took the time to format some electrical bonding information here on my blogging website and then I invited some fellow inspectors to visit the page and click the “Thumbs Up” like button at the bottom and share it on their social networks if they did indeed found the information beneficial. I received back the following response... Michael, Don't get your feelings hurt if some of us don't want to spend every waking moment on the Social network sites. Everyone has their own idea about how to handle these things, and there are other resources' out there - NAME REMOVED FOR PRIVACY I then took the time to write my thoughts. At first I had to deal with what could have been veiled sentiments by the home inspector, but then I took the time to sha...
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To Bond Or Not To Bond....

To Bond Or Not To Bond....
To bond or not to bond, that is the question? I must tell you that I become foggy on the issue every few years and I have to go back and refresh my memory banks. I was glad when Geoff Stewart from Lincoln City, Oregon shared the image above with the green wire and then asked his fellow inspector friends at the American Institute of Inspectors, “I found a #10 stranded wire from the electrical panel grounding bus bar to the incoming propane tank pipe. The main house ground was a good UFER so why would this be done?  The panel itself was wired by a Master Electrician. In fact, it was really gorgeous, so it makes me wonder if this is wrong or right?” As usual, Geoff has asked an important question that troubles most home inspectors at...
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Deck Ledger Connections - Simpson SSD’s

Deck Ledger Connections - Simpson SSD’s
As a home inspector I have become quite aware of deck failures over the years and look at their inspection as a high priority when they are attached to the homes I inspect. The International Residential Code seems to be very clear that the attaching point to the home requires 1/2” bolts or lag bolts with washers. Anything less is supposed to be unacceptable, this includes the use of just nails only. This is to help prevent injuries and death from collapse. On the surface this seems like a very simple item to look for. About 2.5 years ago I started to see a new kind of bolt that was smaller and was being used with no washer at alland I started running around like Chicken Little until my phone call to the engineers at the manufacturer was ret...
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Thanks for the caterpillar!

Thanks for the caterpillar!
It is always fun to open up my email and receive a message from our youngest grandchild Tommy. “Thanks for the ceterpillar!” Tommy shared. He is very short in his messages, but the attached pictures always speak a thousand words. Cute? Yep, he is adorable! Proud? Yep, he coordinates his outfits perfectly and he will never be accused of his Mommy dressing him funny! Sad? Yes, I wish I was closer and could give him a big hug and kisses. It was fun rocking him to sleep as he fought it every step of the way, during our short visit to Cape Cod early in December. Tommy would scream and scream and scream, and then he would just go silent like somebody turned off a light switch. So thanks again Tommy for keeping me up to date with the highlights in...
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New Years Sledding

New Years Sledding
The Leavitt family tradition of bringing in the new year continues with another successful late night sledding. Instead of midnight, we delayed it until 1 AM to accommodate Aaron and Haily’s big dance that ended just after midnight. Then we changed clothes and headed for the big sledding hill. And when I say big, it seemed much bigger to them when they were all under 10, but we had fun all the same while trying not to wake up the nearby neighbors.   Haily was the newest 17 year old to attack the sledding mountain.   Aaron caught incredible air   Adam just always has a blast doing whatever we are doing.   And yes, I was glad to survive the experience. HAPPY NEW YEAR!   How did you bring in the new year?
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Circuit Analyzers - Which Should I Buy?

Circuit Analyzers - Which Should I Buy?
Testing electrical outlets is very important. The selection of testing tools is vital to making accurate assessments. Knowing what your testing device is telling you is also critical as you convey your findings to your clients. So what tester should you use. What if somebody was purchasing a tester for you, which one would you choose? Longtime inspector from Hawaii, Michael Stewart asked: Aloha all,  Are there any opinions out there on which circuit analyzer performs best in our line of work, the Ideal Suretest or the Amprobe INSP-3?Online reviews seem to favor the Amprobe but I seem to recall the Suretest as being the one to have from some you out there.My bride is purchasing the one I want as a late Christmas gift and I sure want to ...
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Haily, the Tomboy - She draws and she also writes!

Haily, the Tomboy - She draws and she also writes!
From my daughter Haily’s blog...   Friday, December 28 not one of them   [This is a paper I wrote for English. She let me keep the format like this. (Young rocks.) Anywho, enjoy!] -=-=-=-=-=- There comes a time in every tomboy’s life At least once a day When she is forced to surrender all independence, All knowledge, All of her muscles. Because her kryptonite is something she loves even more:   Gentlemen.   You see, My childhood consisted of a Much different life than most girls. My childhood was the epitome of adventurous.   While most girls were inside With their perfect ringlets, And precisely painted nails. Playing House, And deciding what dress Barbie should wear.   I lived under the sun. With dirt wedged ...
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CPSC RECALL - LG Washing Machines Recalled

CPSC RECALL - LG Washing Machines Recalled
457,000 LG washing machines sold between February 2010 and November 2011 are now subject to a recall spearheaded by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. So check out the recall information at http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Clients/CPSC/121812_LG_Washer.html for more details and pictures of the affected LG and Kenmore units. These products were sold at Best Buy, Home Depot, Kmart, and Sears stores. The information shows how to locate and read the identification sticker to determine if your unit is part of the recall. Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com
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2032 Hits
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Electrical Fire - Self-extinguished inside panel

Electrical Fire - Self-extinguished inside panel
A 2012 Christmas night fire displaced Sioux City, Iowa family. I get notified of electrical fires regularly and am always intrigued by the reporting. Unfortunately there are rarely any credible follow-up stories with details as to the findings, so we are left to imagine what actually caused the fire to happened. Here is the story... Electrical fire leaves Sioux City family without power Dec 25, 2012 8:45 PM MST * By Jacqueline Quynh SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) A Sioux City family was without power Tuesday night after a fire broke out in their home's basement. Five people were inside when it happened around 8 p.m., but none were hurt. According to a fire official at the scene, when the fire broke out residents inside smelled smoke and had some p...
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Into The Woods - The Poster

Into The Woods - The Poster
INTO THE WOODS - Can you draw faces? It is a talent that few possess, but my daughter Haily nails them every time. She gets the proportions right. She gets the eyes and noses perfectly. She captures the look that never fails to please. Saturday afternoon she did it again when Miss Pam, the drama teacher at Orem High School, asked Haily to create the poster that would hang in the large commons area announcing to the school the opening of the play later this week. It is incredible to think that she took black butcher paper and taped up several rows to create the large 10 foot canvas. That combined with a few paints, a few hours and voila... Success! I feel a bit bad (tongue firmly placed in my cheek) for the two girls cast in the role of Litt...
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The Lighted Corsage

The Lighted Corsage
I am sitting here breathing a sigh of relief as the finishing touches of Aaron's Beauty & The Beast Lumiere costume have just been completed. At the end of the play, Aaron becomes human again and he is dressed in black tuxedo tails with a custom gold sequined vest, custom gold waterfall ascot, and a pink flower corsage. It may seem like overkill, but I really wanted his corsage to feature 3 lit candles. It seemed only fitting that this corsage be lit like his enchanted Lumiere costume, right? Well, I thought so anyway, so I gave it some thought over the last couple of weeks trying to come up with a game plan on how to accomplish the dream. Yesterday I was shopping in All-A-Dollar and found three little candles that you would use to ligh...
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Count Our Blessings

Count Our Blessings
Thomas S. Monson shared in conference... Take an inventory and review your blessings, both large and small... Men are that they might have joy!... We can pray and our prayers will be answered.   President Monson went on to share that we should never ignore a prompting. How have I been doing in that regard? Have I been able to help those in need? Or have I been so self-absorbed that I am missing some of the promptings?... Definitely too self-absorbed! I think about the blessings within our household. We have great children that are making great decisions. I look at how excited Adam was to hear the changing of the age for missionary service announced yesterday. he did not immediately say that he was modifying his plans and leaving earlie...
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Lumiere - You Light Up Our Lives

Lumiere - You Light Up Our Lives
You can say that I am one proud Dad, or as Aaron calls me... Papa Smurf. I have put the finishing touches on his play costume for the upcoming Beauty & The Beast. As Lumiere it was only fitting that he light up like an overgrown Glow Worm, and glow he does! Talk about a lot of work... yet it was soooo very rewarding for the dozens of hours invested int the project. The play opening is about 5 weeks off, so having this costume done really takes a load off my shoulders. But the greatest part is watching Aaron’s eyes light up as he puts it on and becomes Lumiere. Mark your calendars for November 7-12, 2012 with 7PM performances each night plus a 1 PM matinee on Saturday. All of this takes place at Canyon View Junior High School in Orem, Ut...
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Michael Leavitt
In response to Facebook Likes and positive comments... This is the first time I have had a major costume done 5 weeks before openi... Read More
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 10:27
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The Falling Rain

The Falling Rain
Haily just informed me that the rain is falling outside and the thought of all the work that went into yesterday's “Chalk The Block” chalk art gently being washed away is a bit disturbing. I am so thankful for the pictures I was able to snap while the weather was still good. It just goes to show how important it is to take life by the horns and tail and get the most out of the wild ride.. Such is life!!! Rain drops keep falling on my head...
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Chalk The Block - Provo Riverwoods Art Festival

Chalk The Block - Provo Riverwoods Art Festival
On Facebook I posted... “What a great event “Chalk The Block” turned out to be. I dropped my Orem High School student daughter off in the morning to what I thought was going to be some kids coloring on the sidewalks, only to find that this was an incredible showcas e of talent by those wishing to donate their skills on behalf of care and a cure for autism. I have several hundred photos of the event, including every chalk art entry in both the mid-complete and finished stages hosted on Haily’s website at http://hailyscomet.com/Art_Chalk_2012.html . Thanks Riverwoods for hosting an outstanding event that turned into a Leavitt Family day of fun!!!” I woke up this beautiful Sunday morning and realized that there were a couple of the pieces of a...
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“Oh No” Twins Having Fun

“Oh No” Twins Having Fun
LINK TO VIDEO Jessica and Dave sent along a new video from Cape Cod. It is a blast to watch, and it is obvious that Rolf and Poppy are now old enough to really be a lot of fun. I think that is what makes their departure to East Coast living the toughest. It was also tough realizing that this morning would have been the perfect Fall morning to take them fishing... But then there is that 2,138 mile separation... Sighhhhh! I wonder how hard it must have been before the days of Skype and YouTube when the prior generations were separated by large distances. That would have been tough and I should quit my yearning, but it is still tough being a long distance Grandpa. Looking at Rolf and Poppy repeating the same fun activities over and over and ov...
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2142 Hits
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Mom’s 82nd Birthday

Mom’s 82nd Birthday
It was a great birthday with mom at the LDS Brigham City Temple. See the great photos... http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Family/LeavittTimes_2012_9-5.html
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1554 Hits
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Sugarland Concert

Sugarland Concert
What a wonderful, wet, and visual Saturday evening spent with the family seeing Sugarland in concert. When they say that the Usana Ampitheater is an outdoor rain or shine event, they aren't kidding. We drove to West Valley with ominous clouds looming in the west that turned to thunder and lightening on the horizon. As we stepped from the car it started to lightingly rain. Yes, Dad had given the warnings before leaving that we should plan for rain. Haily wasn't concerned, as getting there as she said repeatedly, "But Dad, I am wearing a cardigan!" What we needed was full foul weather gear for what was to come. Enterring the outdoor arena for our first time we hunkered down under three blankets that would soon be fully soaked.  Since it ...
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Sherri
Sounds like a fun & memorable night! Glad you finally got to see them in concert!
Sunday, 02 September 2012 19:14
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And my daughter dwelt in a yurt... Say what?!?!

And my daughter dwelt in a yurt... Say what?!?!
In the same fashion as Nephi of old reported that his Father dwelt in a tent (1 Neph1 2:15), I get the opportunity to tell all that ask that my daughter Jessica and her young family are now dwelling in a yurt. That’s right, a YURT! This is hopefully a temporary abode at a State Park near Cape Cod, Massachussettes. It will probably downscale to a tent and then finally upscale to a dwelling with solid walls once the end of summer holiday season ends and all of the tourists go back home to free up some longer term reasonable vacancies. But after the initial shock is over regarding the yurt, then the realization that her spirits are high and the trip is still in the great fun family trip stages. I am certain that if the yurt was the end all be ...
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Mary Poppins Dinner Rolls

Mary Poppins Dinner Rolls
What an incredible surprise to open our front door and find our nearby neighbor, Julian Bitter, standing there offering us the wonderful gift of a Ziplock bag full of dinner rolls. Wait, that greatly undersells the gift. The rolls were just baked and perfect in almost every way, hence their new name as the Mary Poppins Dinner Rolls. Just seeing them brought back a flood of memories as I served together with his wife Sherida as she faithfully created the desserts for our monthly Cub Scout meetings. Her cinnamon rolls were incredible, and her theme frosted cookies always amazed. Now seeing her big bag of fresh rolls immediately made my mouth water. “You do realize that I don’t want to tell anybody in my family about these,” I told Julian. My ...
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Recent Comments
Michael Leavitt
Leandra Wurdel - Bom seria ver você comer novamente uma grande "nega-maluca" como aquelas que eu fazia pra você e o Elder Jensen, ... Read More
Sunday, 26 August 2012 18:24
Michael Leavitt
Leandra, one of my greatest blessings of Brasilian missionary life was being exposed to “Nega-maluca.” I have not found anything t... Read More
Sunday, 26 August 2012 18:25
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Let Them Fly

Let Them Fly
It is interesting transitioning from being an active parent to becoming a passive Grandfather bystander. Both Shelly and I have been spending 23 years investing quality time in the development of our kids hoping to share with them and help them hone their skills to make the best decisions and choose the path that will lead to the least heartache and the most fulfillment and joy. With that being said, the difficult part is allowing our children their free agency and room to stretch their butterfly wings and fly. But let them fly we must, and fly we know they will. I have never really been scared as to whether or not our kids will choose good over evil. We continue to watch them choose good. I think the hard part is when they pass through the...
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1493 Hits
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Dinner With Jose Artalejo - Summerfest 1978

Dinner With Jose Artalejo - Summerfest 1978
If any of you are interested in climbing inside my head and taking a walk through my memory from 1978, then you will enjoy a recent journal entry dealing with a Boston concert at Anaheim Stadium. All of this was triggered after having a friend I haven’t seen for over 30 years in our home to visit and eat my homemade carne asada tacos... http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Family/LeavittTimes_2012_8-22.html
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