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MICHAEL'S NEWSFLASHES & MEMORIES!!!

Capturing the events and memories that make up our lives!

I'm a Mormon! - Would you like to know more?

I'm a Mormon! - Would you like to know more?
I'M A MORMON! Yes, my name is Michael Leavitt and I am a Mormon. "Mormon" is just a nickname for members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". As a member of the church, I am a Christian and I have been born again as I have attempted to shake off the natural man desires of my earlier years. I am thankful for the "Plan of Happiness" that places Jesus Christ in the key role as our Savior and Redeemer. This plan allows a sinner like myself the ability to turn to him by making changes in my life. His atoning sacrifice allows me the ability to repent and change. As I ask others for forgiveness for my actions against them, I am equally touched to offer them forgiveness for their actions towards me. As a Mormon I believe that we ar...
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Braving The Elements - BSA Fall Camporee 2014

Braving The Elements - BSA Fall Camporee 2014
Five Scouts, four men, and a Bishop were brave enough to tackle the elements and find great enjoyment at the Orem District 2014 Fall Camporee. As a group from the Windsor Third Ward sponsired Troop 596, we became very bonded in the electrifying lightening, thunder, and wind blown rain filled night. And even though this could have been miserable, we all seemed to be having a blast. RAIN - Did I mention that it rained? In fact, of the 17 hours we were there, it rained about 13 of them. The other 4 were under constant threat of more. After nearly 3 decades of doing this type of campout, I am convinced that it does not matter what Friday/Saturday they pick on the calendar, if they call it a Fall Camporee, then bad weather will happen. MILD TEMP...
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Life Changing Events - Thank You Lost Boys

Life Changing Events - Thank You Lost Boys
There are certain moments in life that change the direction one takes. The four pictures I will share in this blog entry document just such an event in my life. Instead of my sharing my feelings and memories,  I am going to throw it out to my friends to see if they know anything about this 2 hours that forever changed my life.  CHALLENGE Who knows any of the details of this event? Either by hearing me relate the experience or because you were there, please share any all all details that you may remember. DATE: Approximately 1994 WHERE? HOW HAS THE LOCATION CHANGED? WHAT VEHICLE DID I DRIVE? WHO WAS THERE? WHY DID THEY MAKE IT HAPPEN?: WHY WAS IT SO SPECIAL IN MY LIFE? WHAT WERE MY FEELINGS THEN? HOW DID IT CHANGE THE COURSE OF MY ...
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Treasured Moments W/Tommy

Treasured Moments W/Tommy
It was a joy dropping in unannounced on Jessica with the hopes of catching Rolf, Poppy, and Tommy playing in the Wymount quad. I was surprised to learn that Tommy came down with a highly transferable viral illness that left the 3 kids quarantined in their little unit. Tommy took his position on Grandpa's lap, while Rolf and Poppy watched Peter Pan. Tommy loves to play with my magnetic Clic-It glasses and in an effort to distract him I showed him my camera and monopod. Have you ever tried to teach a 2 year old a new word like monopod? None of it made any sense to him, even after I explained that three legs on a camera holder is called a tripod and one leg is a monopod. "Shouldn't that be a unipod?" Jessica asked. We kept going with the theme...
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Cookies - Do A Good Turn Daily!

Cookies - Do A Good Turn Daily!
Originally shared on www.UtahScouting.com I walked in the door from a long night of umpiring girl's tournament softball when my son Aaron said, "Hey Dad, you have every man's vision of loveliness sitting on your desk." "What are you talking about?" I responded, and with that Aaron bounded down the stairs to come back with a plate of cookies wrapped in cellophane and a note written on lined school paper. I was flushed with feelings of love and appreciation as I handed the note to Aaron and asked him to read it to me... Kade - Bacon Boys' Patrol Leader Wow! Such an act of kindness from an 11 year-old young man. The Boy Scouts of America have a tried and true slogan, "Do a good turn daily!" Young men learn and repeat this slogan in their weekl...
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Fishermen, NOT!!!... Swimmermen, YES!!! - Varsity Team 596

Fishermen, NOT!!!... Swimmermen, YES!!! - Varsity Team 596
Originally shared on www.UtahScouting.com SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 - 5:30 AM came early as the Varsity Team 596 from the Windsor Stake in Orem, Utah gathered by the flagpole at the Windsor Chapel. The time was enough to trim the number of boys from 12 down to the 4 that arrived. In fact, most of the others had other commitments, but this select group of young men were looking forward to hiking up to Silver Lake with the hopes of catching lots of fish. Brother Burr, Brother Humphries, my son Adam Leavitt, and myself were to be the leaders, while Alex, Bryson, Bradley, and Riley were the enthusiastic boys attending.... Wait a minute, Bryson showed up with anything but an enthusiastic smile on his face.  He would have much rather pref...
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OHS Homecoming 2014 - Aaron and Kate

OHS Homecoming 2014 - Aaron and Kate
It was a pleasure taking Homecoming 2014 pictures for my son Aaron and his group of 8. Enjoy the photos. HIGH RES PHOTOS - DROPBOX LINK - 28MB Aaron & Kate  Derek & Amanda  Hunter & Sierra  Bronson & Rebecca  
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BYU Cross Country Race - #ohscc

BYU Cross Country Race - #ohscc
 This morning was the second time I have attended the huge Brigham Young University cross country race.  This event features both college and high school races and there are over a thousand runners. Our son Aaron ran for the Orem High School Varsity team and he came in fourth from his school. As a junior he has shown incredible improvement from the same time last year and he really loves to run.  The following 98 photos feature all of the Orem runner except the Fresh/Soph boys because I arrived just as they finished... Sorry! Click on any of the photos and open up the larger view... Enjoy!    
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Brent Lambert - We Just Lost One of the Good Guys!!!

Brent Lambert - We Just Lost One of the Good Guys!!!
I am still in shock from hearing the news that my good friend Brent Lambert has just passwed away. Why? Well Brent was one of the good guys. Yes, he was younger than me. Yes, he has kids scattered through the entire spectrum of the public school system. Yes, it was of natural causes and not do to a blameable accident. And yes, he was just too young and still in the prime of his life. The news came last night at about 10PM while I was sitting at the drive-up window at Weinerschnitzel. First off, I rarely go there for late night food, and I had just called my wife Shelly, to which she did not answer so I left a message.  When the phone rang, I just knew it was her calling back so I did not even look at my phone when I answered. But on th...
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Southern Brazil... Saudades, I Miss My Gaucho Friends!

Southern Brazil... Saudades, I Miss My Gaucho Friends!
Saudades translated means to look back with fond memories. I spent two years of my young life proselyting amongst the Gauchos (cowboys) in the southern most portion of Brazil in the state, Rio Grande do Sul. I landed in the modern city of Porto Alegre and after just a couple of days I boarded a bus for 9 hours that took me to the small city Sao Borja which ends on the Uruguay River with Argentina on the opposite shore. I liked to think that it was due to my Mission President's ability to trust in me that I was sent so far away from his offices in Porto Alegre.  But my hindsight has confirmed that I was sent so far away because the he knew that I needed to be humbled. As a result, President Pedro Brassanini sent me to a far off place wi...
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AF Grass Relays 2014 - Fresh/Soph Girls

AF Grass Relays 2014 - Fresh/Soph Girls
The Orem High School Fresh/Soph team ran very strong throughout each leg.   Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division.  
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AF Grass Relays 2014 Fresh/Soph Boys

AF Grass Relays 2014 Fresh/Soph Boys
The Orem High School Fresh/Soph Boys team ran very strong throughout each leg.   Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division.  
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AF Grass Relays 2014 - JV Girls

AF Grass Relays 2014 - JV Girls
The Orem High School JV Girls team ran very well.   Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division.  
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AF Grass Relays - JV Boys

AF Grass Relays - JV Boys
The Orem High School JV Boys team ran very strong throughout each leg.   Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division.  
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1457 Hits
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AF Grass Relays 2014 - Varsity Girls

AF Grass Relays 2014 - Varsity Girls
  The Orem High School Varisty girls team ran very strong throughout each leg. Check out my other posts with photos of the other teams. Just click on "X-Country" on the left navigation bar and select the division.
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X-Country, Hay Bales & Face Plants - VARSITY BOYS

X-Country, Hay Bales & Face Plants - VARSITY BOYS
This past Saturday I snapped over 4,000 photos at my favorite sporting event of the year.  American Fork High School hosted their annual "Grass Relays" which I always refer to as the "AF Hay Bale Relays". The two mile course features several locations where they place rows of hay bales that must be navigated to finish the course. About 30 schools attend, with about 1,500 runners competing in any of the 7 races. For Freshmen, Sophomore and Juniopr Varsity teams all of the boys run at one time and the girls at one time within their divisions. But for the Varsity teams they each have five runners that run twice around the track before handing off their baton to the next runner on their squad. My son Aaron ran for the Orem High School Vars...
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Teach to Learn - Scott Knecht's New Blog

Teach to Learn - Scott Knecht's New Blog
It was a nice surprise this morning to receive notification from Scott Knecht's new blog.  It is living proof that even old dogs can learn new tricks. This man holds a special place of reverence in my heart, because it was while he served as my LDS Bishop, that his weekly teachings in young adult Sunday School helped inspire me to turn my life around. I encourage you visit his blog and subscribe... http://teachtolearn1.blogspot.com/ Here is his first entry, http://teachtolearn1.blogspot.com/2014/09/i-love-process-of-teaching.html Teach To Learn ...because if you don't, you're just teaching to teach. Monday, September 1, 2014 I love the process of teaching.  I love to think about teaching, to prepare lessons, to stand in front of a...
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Out of Small Things... My Brazil Missionary Journals

Out of Small Things... My Brazil Missionary Journals
Tradução Português - veja abaixo Fellow LDS missionaries, family and friends, I look back so fondly on the two years of my mission that helped shape the way I have spent the last 27 years since I have returned home. Some of you know that I turned 25 the last day of my stay in the MTC and I was so thankful to be able to serve the Lord as a missionary. I wrote at least one full page in my journal almost every day for those two years. About 5 months in, my companion developed walking pneumonia and we spent a couple weeks indoors and I took the time to integrate my photos into the journal and then had the first two volumes bound in leather and titled, "O Livro de Miky" or "The Book of Miky". The idea for leather binding came when I visited the ...
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Billy #$%#$% - Humor Kept Me Safe - Part IX of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Billy #$%#$% - Humor Kept Me Safe  - Part IX of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
BILLY #$%#$% - HUMOR KEPT ME SAFE - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. If you haven't read the previous 8 entries, then I invite you to enjoy them when you have time. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * CH. 9 “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” NOTE: 7/28/14 - This entry was authored and posted pending the approval of "Billy". I have removed all references to his last name. If he reads this entry, likes ...
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"Fielder's Balk"... Is there such a violation?

"Fielder's Balk"... Is there such a violation?
I just finished another umpiring write-up, this time dealing with where a first baseman can stand when he is holding a runner on first base. SCENARIO: Runner on first and the first baseman is holding him on with his foot in foul territory before and throughout the pitch. The coach wants a balk called because the defensive player was in foul territory. Is there such a thing as a "Fielder's Balk"? READ MORE AT http://comeonblue.com/ump/umpire-blog/entry/fielder-s-balk-is-there-such-a-violation
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Obstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!"

Obstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!"
I have just written a new blog entry for my umpiring website, www.ComeOnBlue.com, titled Obstruction - "You guys have been calling it wrong around here for years!" SCENARIO: R2, 1 out. Ball hit and runner rounds third as the catcher receives the throw. The runner turns to head back to third with the third baseman in front of the bag clearly blocking the base as the throw is coming his way. He catches the throw high as the returning runner comes in crouched and barrels into the third baseman's thigh with his shoulder as the tag is brought down hard on top of him for a clear out. The third base coach complains loudly about the call as he tried to comfort his son (tagged out runner) who reportedly, by the coach, has broken his shoulder from th...
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LIVID - You Are The Worst Umpire Ever

LIVID - You Are The Worst Umpire Ever
"You are the worst umpire ever!" Pretty strong words from and irate third base coach as his runner slid into the tag right in front of him to end what would have been an incredible comeback win after tournament game time had already expired. What he saw was different than what I saw as i came down the baseline from home to make the call. Check out my ComeOnBlue.com umpire blog for the full account... http://comeonblue.com/ump/umpire-blog/entry/livid-you-are-the-worst-umpire-ever
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3AM Longboarding Road Rash

3AM Longboarding Road Rash
Adam fell that men might be... The phone rang, and as I listened to Shelly on the other end, it was not good. Apparently our 20 year old son Adam was  long boarding down Skyline Drive in Orem and he took a horrific crash. "I need to go pick up Adam. He has crashed on a long board and is really hurt," say Shelly. I was sooooo groggy that she asked if I couldn't watch 1-year-old Max while she went to make the rescue. Yes, max was staying the night and attempting to sleep in our bed. That is interesting, to say the very least. So many questions came to my mind... Why was Adam riding a long board at 3 AM? Why was Adam shooting down a major hill? How could he have suffered such a fall without breaking major bones? But maybe it was the adren...
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Squeaky Floors - Solution

Squeaky Floors - Solution
I found a solution for that squeak, squeak, squeak found in so many older homes with carpeted flooring. This is often complicated by newer carpeting that won't be being replaced for years to come. The solution is "Squeak No More." That's right, this is a specialty screw that gets installed right through the top of the carpet and then it gets broken off below the carpet line. It is a pretty clever fix. I just wish that they had them in stock. The best I can recommend is that you figure out how to order it into the store for pick-up. Priced at $19.95 for the kit, it is a great option. Michael Leavitt HOME DEPOT LINK
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Failing Engineered Garage Slab

Failing Engineered Garage Slab
My good friend Ken Salvo from New Jersey shared: Howdy...need some advice from the Indagator braintrust. I did a home inspection in 1999 for a very nice lady. She just called and asked me to come out to look at her garage floor. This is a 1950s garage, with a cellar below. There is a poured concrete deck, and the rebar is rusting, expanding, and is breaking the underside of the deck apart. Chunks are falling onto the floor, and some rebar is visible. There are some cracks in the surface, in the garage, though nothing major. As is normal, most of the spalling is occurring under the area where a car is regularly parked. Snow melt has likely seeped into the cracks, accelerating the corrosion of the rebar - mostly directly below the car parked ...
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Haily - Stitch By Stitch - Incredible!

Haily - Stitch By Stitch - Incredible!
My daughter Haily has just submitted work in the North America Artist Showcase contest and I would love it if you would visit the Facebook page and vote for her piece titled, “Stitch by Stitch.” I don’t know all the contest details, but they allow a vote per day and any votes you could offer would really mean a lot to both myself and to Haily. LINK TO CONTEST Thanks so much! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.
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2041 Hits
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Dillon Erickson - The Mild Mannered Caving Beast!

Dillon Erickson - The Mild Mannered Caving Beast!
Take a 25 year old man from Beaver Dam, Utah and assign him the calling of an Assistant Varsity Coach in Boy Scouting, and what you end up with is an enthusiastic leader that loves to shoot geese and ducks one day, and then rappel into the depths of the earth the next. But what you really have to respect is that on Sunday he faithfully attends his church meetings and fulfills his callings as a Young Men's leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So who is capable of this? Why it is Dillon Erickson. All of this comes after being married just a couple of years with a lovely wife Courtney and a cute little almost one year old, fourth teeth and counting, young son named Easton... Yes, he is named after the baseball bat. It is ...
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BlowholeCave - Rabbit Traps, Flaming Torches & Navajo Blankets

BlowholeCave - Rabbit Traps, Flaming Torches & Navajo Blankets
What a great experience it was to lead a group of excited new cavers through Northern Utah'’ Blowhole Cave.5 of the members of our group had never been in a wild cave before and they were excited with the prospect of heading subterranean. As a group of Boy Scouts, you can’t just say, “Hey let’s go explore a cave next Saturday that includes a vertical 80 ft. rappel into the earth.” The BSA has wise put into place special restrictions and guidelines to ensure that only experienced participants take on these great risks. I was contacted by this local Varsity Team a few months back with their goal of being able to cave and we started the training wheels in motion. They already had done canyoneering which included lots of bouldering, climbing an...
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Aaron's 16th Bday - Our Youngest is Dating

Aaron's 16th Bday - Our Youngest is Dating
Yes, to day is the day that our youngest child officially became older enough to date. We have a family rule that there is no dating before 16 and then only in group dates until at least 18. It has been a good family policy with our older three kids, and tonight Jessica, Adam, and Haily all decided to group date with Aaron to get him started on the right track. Aaron asked Vanessa Kirkby to be his first date, and she gladly accepted. She is a little bit older, which is good because our family policy also means that you can't date anybody younger than 16.  So for a little while many of Aaron's friends will be off limits until they too become of age. I was fortunate because I was able to head over to the Riverwoods and take pictures of t...
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Meth Discovered - 74-year-old suffers symptoms

Meth Discovered - 74-year-old suffers symptoms
  While researching meth contamination news stories online, I came upon this article and video about a 74 year old woman who discovered that her home had elevated levels of meth contamination. She had lived in the 100 year old apartment for a couple of years and saw a great decrease in her quality of life, so her daughter did a self-test for meth. The results were very low, but above the State of Utah regulated levels so they got the Health Department involved. More testing was performed and it was confirmed that elevated levels were present. Typically, these levels have no affect upon the majority of mankind, but the most susceptible are the very young, the elderly, and those with respiratory illness. Once again though, very low level...
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PHOTO CHALLENGE - Deck Ledger - Brick Veneer

PHOTO CHALLENGE - Deck Ledger - Brick Veneer
As home inspectors we get to see installations that most people don’t even notice as being wrong. While researching images on the internet I found a specialty website dealing with front porches and this photo was prominently displayed. How many things can be wrong?... Let me count the ways!!! INSPECTOR CHALLENGE - Take a look at the photo and list the items that you see wrong. If you see anything done right, then you might want to list those as well, but that list should be short. LINK TO WEBPAGE HOSTING THE PHOTO PHOTO CREDIT: Front-Porch-Ideas-And-More.com What issues do you see?
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FROZEN PIPES - The Deep Freeze Is On!!!

FROZEN PIPES - The Deep Freeze Is On!!!
It was 3 degrees outside when my son Aaron came into my home office this morning and said, “Hey Dad, when I turn the shower water on, nothing happens.” There are few things that bring more fear to my soul than the thought of frozen pipes. “How could I have been so stupid?” I told myself again. Why is it that I did not give any thought to protecting myself this year from pipe freeze ups? It was a few years back when our laundry room froze up and as I got the water to flow again I realized there was a ruptured pipe and we had major flooding until I could dig out the water meter shut off cover and get the water shut off at the meter. Few things are worse than winter time flooding. Everything is freezing cold and the conditions are absolutely t...
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Meth Contamination Makes 3 Girls Dizzy

Meth Contamination Makes 3 Girls Dizzy
One of the best things I ever learned in my earliest of schools days was that A+B does not automatically equal C. You would think that I would be all for any news story and video that helps promote meth contamination testing, but I do not. I love it when the reporting is fair and on target, but when it misses the mark and spreads unfounded fear, then it is bad for everybody. I am left to wonder if meth contamination was the actual cause of the long term dizziness suffered by three Western Washington University students who fled their 100 plus year old near college rental home when very low levels of meth contamination was discovered... Meth found in Washington home after renters felt dizzy Updated 6:51 pm, Friday, December 6, 2013 BELL...
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CPSC RECALL - Crown Boiler Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

CPSC RECALL - Crown Boiler Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The following is cast iron water boiler recall. In my area I have never seen a Crown Boiler, but this recall is a safety hazard that gets added to the list. The majority of homeowners here in Northern Utah have forced air gas fired furnaces and not radiant heat boiler systems. QUESTION: What is the risk associated with this recall? ANSWER: Carbon monoxide poisoning. QUESTION: What should you do if you have one of these boilers? ANSWER: Consumers with recalled boilers should immediately contact the installer or distributor from whom they purchased the boiler or Crown Boiler to schedule a free in-home repair. Consumers who continue using the boilers while awaiting repair, should have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed outside of sleepi...
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Moisture Meters - An Inspector’s Lifesaver

Moisture Meters - An Inspector’s Lifesaver
When I was trained as a home inspector back in the mid-1990’s it was common to be told to not take pictures (film cameras) for fear of missing something displayed in the background of a shot, and never to use a moisture meter. Both of these concepts are flawed, as modern tools help home inspectors do a better job. Yes we still have our minimal Standards of Practice which help establish realistic expectations, but if I can find an otherwise concealed issue or do a better job of documenting an issue, then I greatly lessen my liability because I have better protected my client. Fellow home inspector Reuben Saltzman from St. Louis Park, Minnesota shared in his blog... Home Inspectors Shouldn’t be Nail Biters While having lunch during a recent a...
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Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding Litigation

Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding Litigation
This morning, after I posted the class action settlement on the Trex decking mold and color fade issue, my good friend and fellow home inspector, Darryl Piatt, from Coos Bay, Oregon, responded with information on yet another settlement from another brand. Darryl wrote... Michael, I posted information some time back on the Certainteed Fiber Cement class action settlement. I just noticed that you are blogging about the plastic lumber Trex suit so thought you might be interested so I thought you might be interested in the link... http://www.certainteedfibercementsettlement.com/hc/en-us Darryl Piatt - Coos bay, Oregon I just love it when friends, family, and fellow home inspectors share informational links and stories with me because it helps m...
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TREX - Mold & Color Fade Settlement

TREX - Mold & Color Fade Settlement
Have you heard the news? There has been a settlement to the Trex decking mold and color fading class action lawsuit. Now don’t mistake this for the prior settlement almost a decade ago dealing with deterioration. This latest settlement deals with color inconistencies and staining only. IMPORTANT DATES PRIOR ROT, SPLINTER SETTLEMENT FOR PRODUCT SOLD PRIOR TO: July 31, 2004 CURRENT SETTLEMENT FOR PRODUCTS SOLD BETWEEN: Aug. 1, 2004 and Aug. 19, 2013 This one may have slipped by your radar, as it did mine. I just barely saw the notice in the latest issue of the Journal of Light Construction magazine. Here are the major links... Trex® Mold and Color Fading/Variation Class Action Settlement Mahan, et al. v. Trex Company, Inc. Case No. CV 09-0067...
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My Wood Badge Beading Ceremony - 11/24/2013

My Wood Badge Beading Ceremony - 11/24/2013
After 28 years of adult leadership in the Boy Scouts of America, I finally was awarded my own personal beads from Wood Badge. How cool is that? Wood Badge is advanced Boy Scouts of America leadership training that helps an adult leader better understand the roles of young men as they progress through scouting. The six day course culminates with the participant creating a Wood Badge Ticket that features 5 goals that must be completed within an 18 month period in order to receive your beads. After 14 months, I am happy to report that I completed my goals and was ready to be awarded. Bob Church was our Buffalo Patrol Guide and he gladly arranged his schedule to be at the meeting and conduct the ceremony. Bob has been a great example to me and ...
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Family, Vows, & Snitching to Get Out of Solitary Confinement - Part VIII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Family, Vows, & Snitching to Get Out of Solitary Confinement - Part VIII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
FAMILY, VOWS, & SNITCHING TO GET OUT OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * CH. 9 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 8 - FAMILY, VOWS, & SNITCHING TO GET OUT OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT I am absolutely amazed at how destructive a prison sentence can be for the remaining family members who remain long after the gang member is impriso...
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Gang Mentality - Part VII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Gang Mentality - Part VII of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
GANG MENTALITY - DOCUMENTARIES - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 7 - GANG MENTALITY - DOCUMENTARIES In putting all of this latest research together this past week regarding Frank Reyna, it is obvious that when you train up a child to become a gang member, then it is a pathway through life that is ingrained into their soul ...
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Solitary Confinement - Part VI of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Solitary Confinement - Part VI of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
FRANK REYNA’S SOLITARY CONFINEMENT - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 6 - RANK REYNA’S SOLITARY CONFINEMENT It is Thanksgiving Eve 2013 and I am faced with sadness as I sit here at my computer having performed research into the internet presence of Frank Reyna. If you haven’t read any of the last five blog posts dedicated t...
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My Response to Frank Reyna - Part V of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

My Response to Frank Reyna - Part V of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
MY RESPONSE TO THE UNEXPECTED LETTER - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 5 - MY RESPONSE TO RANK REYNA Wow! Frank Reyna... I am so impressed to receive the letter from you. I came into my home office and my wife of 24 years, Shelly, had propped it up on my computer keyboard. I picked it up and immediately read the red stamp ...
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The Unexpected Letter - Part IV of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

The Unexpected Letter - Part IV of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE UNEXPECTED LETTER - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 4 - THE UNEXPECTED LETTER Michael Leavitt   We need to fast forward 37 years to November 25, 2013. It was a cold and clear winter day in Northern Utah when I walked into my home office from a difficult afternoon of inspecting, only to see a letter propped up on m...
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The 9th Grade Wall - Part III of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

The 9th Grade Wall - Part III of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE LONG WALK OF SHAME - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 3 - THE 9TH GRADE WALL Michael Leavitt 1976 was 36 years ago and “The Dreamers” bi-centennial graduating class from Washington Irving Junior High School was enjoying their last year together before the great divide that would send all of the student body at least thr...
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The Long Walk of Shame - Part II of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

The Long Walk of Shame - Part II of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE LONG WALK OF SHAME - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 2 - THE LONG WALK OF SHAME Michael Leavitt 1976 brought us the bi-centennial celebration of our country as the Viet Nam war was fading into past memories. My Dad was a depression baby who had lived with the scars of living through a tornado that exploded the house wh...
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Fear & Survival - Part I of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

Fear & Survival - Part I of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”
THE LONG WALK OF SHAME - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era. CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 * “DAD, WHAT WAS IT REALLY LIKE FOR YOU IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL?” CHAPTER 1 - FEAR & SURVIVAL Michael Leavitt I often think about my survival from Washington Irving Junior High School. Survived is the key word in an era and environment that was anything but conducive to academic learning. Set in the heart of East Los Angeles with young...
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Michael Leavitt
Augie shared... "Wow, Washington Irving JHS. I was a 7th grader when you were in ninth. I moved in with my aunt and uncle. Their k... Read More
Monday, 28 December 2015 14:23
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FLIPPER ALERT - Email To The Orem City Building Official

FLIPPER ALERT - Email To The Orem City Building Official
I felt it important to keep this blog thread going about the home being flipped here in Orem, Utah that is currently a very good looking 1944 home, but unsafe. This is the home that shocked me (CLICK HERE TO READ) . I felt it important to personally discuss the situation with the Chief Building Official here in Orem. “Who is that?” you ask. Well I did not know either. So I put together a 1-page summary detailing the prime issues present in the home as the result of the lack of using licensed professionals and failure to pull the legally required building permits. Then I headed down to the Orem City Offices and found out the Mr. Bill Bell was in a meeting. I then asked, “Is it a quick meeting, the type that lasts all day, or the type that ex...
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The Shocking Truth - I’m Hopping Mad!!!... But Glad To Be Alive

The Shocking Truth - I’m Hopping Mad!!!... But Glad To Be Alive
I must say that 38 hours later I am still hopping mad at the recent purchaser of a 1944 home who bank-rolled the renovation of the home to place it once again upon the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) market to take advantage of some poor unsuspecting souls. Does it matter most to me that he completely renovated the basement that featured enlarged window wells in the two bedrooms to allow egress, yet create negative grading that turns them into the fonts of living water that still seeps into the home? Oh I can’t prove this due to the fresh paint and carpet that removed all the visible evidences from prospective buyers, but I know that it is an ongoing issue. How? I just know. Or does it matter that the bedroom (and I use that term loosely), that ha...
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Real Estate Broker - Jail Time For Forging Termite Documents

Real Estate Broker - Jail Time For Forging Termite Documents
And fear spread throughout the Northern Utah real estate community... I was saddened to read the story of the real estate broker in Vernal that felt he needed to forge   documents to complete his real estate transactions. One of the documents he forged must have been the NPMA-33 termite, since this is the official report needed for many HUD backed loans. I look forward to learning more about the how’s and why’s, since all he had to do was make a call to somebody like me and the termite inspections could have been done the same day he called. This was especially true back in the 2011 to 2012 time frame of which he did this at least 14 times. It isn’t like the real estate market was booming then, and I am sure the termite inspectors in h...
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Want Solar??? Residential PV Info

Want Solar??? Residential PV Info
For a quick primer on residential solar systems, ECO Building Pulse shared the following... Reach for the Sun A guide to understanding photovoltaic systems for residential applications. By Hallie Busta Federal and state incentives have lowered the cost of residential photovoltaic (PV) systems, piquing the interest of homeowners hoping to slash their energy bills. But when choosing among the growing stable of solar technologies available, designers must consider other factors beyond economics. Before specifying a PV system, an architect or consultant must calculate how many kilowatt-hours of energy a project will require. Austin, Texas–based architect Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA, uses an energy-modeling program that combines information about the s...
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