Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Stuff It!

Dear Boardie,
Q. What should I do if I stuff an artichoke in my disposal and it gets stuck in there?
A. Call a plumber. While you’re waiting Google “What Not to Stuff in a Disposal” or see our blog for tips and links.
Q. Will the building pay for a plumber?
A. No. You stuffed it, you pay for it.
Q. What if the stuffing was my neighbor’s artichoke? I don’t even like artichokes.
A. Sinks (and the pipes) are back- to- back in every stack except for 05, so it’s not always easy to assign blame. 10 -11 stack are mates, and so on.
Q. What should I do next time I have a stuffing or a leak of any kind?
A. Contact your neighbors next door and above and below immediately. They could be effected. Call a plumber. Pay the plumber or share the cost with your neighbor if they are also stuffed.

Boxes, Boxes Everywhere

Dear Boardie,
 Q. What should I do with my giant TV cardboard box from Amazon?
 A.  All boxes (pizza, shoe) should be flattened and put in the recycling bins in your laundry room.  BIG boxes (TV, moving) should be flattened and taken downstairs BY YOU,  to the upper garage dumpster/trash “Generator” room.  Thanks in advance.

Dear Doggies

Dear Doggies
Why are you peeing in the Pacific Tower flower beds when there’s beautiful luscious green grass growing just a few steps beyond our building?
Just Curious

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Volunteering Cures Depression

Recent articles have appeared on the internet extolling the virtues of helping others as a means of curing depression.  And as everyone knows, everything written on the internet is true and factual.

Pacific Tower Board of Directors is eager to assist anyone wishing to turn their dismal lives around!  We are in the unique position of needing more helpers to assist in various duties in the building.  If you’re not depressed, that’s okay too.  Our jobs are always changing: Are you available to sometimes put a notice on each door?  Can you look up something on the internet and forward the links to the board?  Can you canvass the building and report what needs to be cleaned?  Right now, almost every job is done by two or three members of the board, mostly one, Carol Foreman.  You do not have to be a member of the board to volunteer to help the board.  You don’t have to go to a boring Board Meeting.  All you have to do is tell the office downstairs that you are available and leave your phone number and email. A board member will lovingly contact you.  Thanks in advance!

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Day at the Office

OR: Nutty HOA Prez Walks a Mile in John McLean’s Shoes OR Going from Zero to 60 after age 60.

Fact # 1 John was out with a bad foot
Fact # 2 Marvin was on vacation
Fact # 3 Every time I have looked into our Maintenance Office, I have cringed.  Why?  I can’t stand the sight of cardboard boxes in an office.  I also can’t stand an office that can’t go in Architectural Digest, so I admit my standards are probably too high.  I’m a certified neat freak.
Monday, with John and Marvin conveniently out of the way, I seized the opportunity to organize the office.  And the first thing I was gonna do was GET RID OF THE goddamn CARDBOARD BOXES!  
That’s When the Fun Began.  I enlisted our new employee Andy Noel for my partner in crime.  Our Mission, which we accepted, was to find space in already overstuffed cupboards, to store the stupid boxes.  It only took three days but we are proud of tackling this daunting task.  Office looks neater.  We pray John will forgive us our trespassing.
But here’s what I learned while cleaning: John’s office is a beehive of epic proportion!  And John is the incredible ringmaster of this buzzing circus!  If you don’t believe me, here’s a list of one day
  • Movers asked to have elevator padded and shut down
  • A very guilty resident broke a hallway light while demo-ing his tennis swing  – glass everywhere
  • GYPSY the dog needed a hug
  • Elevator company comes for monthly inspection, wants to shut down the OTHER elevator
  • A friend of the Board collects the meeting minutes to distribute
  • BENDER the dog needs a head scratch
  • Somebody’s mailbox won’t lock
  • A vendor needs to be walked around to make proposal on a repair
  • TAZZIE the dog needed loving reassurance
  • Someone’s cleaning lady needed a key that was left for her
  • The office printer ran out of ink - no spares on hand
  • BUBBA the dog needed help making snorting noises
  • Somebody jammed the entire trash chute with bubble wrap
  • Signs needed to be printed and posted for Board Announcement
  • LANA the dog needed a smooch right on the kisser
  • Fed Ex man reported a dead bird on somebody’s doorway
  • A listing Realtor called with 50 short questions
  • A contractor tried to get an 8 foot mirror in a 9 foot elevator
  • BISQUIT the dog needed an emergency back scratching
  • Somebody stole somebody else’s parking spot – but who?
  • Somebody wanted to borrow the hand truck
  • RUSTY the dog needed his ears rubbed
  • Somebody got locked out, sans cell phone – needed a locksmith
  • Somebody ELSE got locked out.  What are the odds?
  • LUCY the dog alone in lobby, leash caught in the elevator doors (owner going UP) – and needed to be unleashed, Pronto!
  • Somebody going out of town wanted to give office her key
  • A balcony needed to be cleared for the spalling scaffolding
  • Contractors left a trail of dry wall dust footprints  
  • Truck blocking dumpster room, garbage men threaten to leave w/o garbage
  • Complete strangers introduced themselves, said nice things about the Board.  I didn’t disagree.
There was so much more, but you get the idea.  It was fun, but I’m tired just talking about it! 
Karyl Miller

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Game of Thrones Man Cave?

Dear Boardie,
I’m planning on remodeling my condo into a Game of Thrones Man Cave. I own it so I can do whatever I want, right?
Signed, Homie

Boardie: Thankyouforasking and nooooo, you cannot do whatever you want.  You have to follow our HOA Architectural Guidelines.

Homie: “Architectural Guidelines?!  I have to conform?!  Bleech!  I’ll have you know Game of Thrones is considered visual candy of the highest order!

Boardie: Will there be a moat?

Homie:  Don’t worry, the alligators will be battery operated!  Why do you have to have so many rules?

Boardie: We have rules to protect everybody in the building from everybody else in the building.  What if your upstairs neighbor installed a wood or worse, a tile floor without the required regulation thickness of cork or cork-like lining under it and you started hearing them clopping around 24/7?  What if, even barefoot, their calluses sounded like the Russian Army was doing the Mambo on your noggin?

Homie: Filling out forms is bor-ing!  What if I just go ahead and do what I want and your rules be damned?

Boardie: The Board will and its lawyers could demand and possibly make you remove any unauthorized improvements at your expense.

All because the owner didn’t get architectural 1.  Guidance and 2.  Permission.

Homie: How can I protect myself and still make home improvements?

Boardie: John’s office is just itching to give away free copies of the newest Architectural Guidelines (only 2 pages!) plus a king’s ransom of blank Architectural Forms for owners to fill out and submit for board approval.
Download the Architectural Guidelines now at

Remember that old saying …
‘Tis better to seek permission than to seek a jackhammer.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hey Board, What Have You Done Lately?

That’s a fair question.  So, here’s a short list (just the Highlights) of what your Board did from June 2015 to June 2016:

Approved all spending including: employee’s salaries, all maintenance, all repairs, upkeep and renovation of the common areas, purchasing of office equipment and supplies - ALL for $400 a month.  Yay!

The Board reviewed all Architectural Plans and Violation Reports

Hired our new employee, Jeff Jacobs-Levardo

Created a new Excel database of owners/renters, their cell #, emails

Wrote and edited your monthly Newsletter

Added to our BLOG:, posted all Newsletter articles and our Rules and Regulations

Repaired spalling (concrete cracks) on every stack and balcony, pool deck, and garage

Remodeled both Gym bathrooms

Upgraded to new pool furniture and umbrellas

Upgraded to a new Rec Room fridge

Upgraded to new light fixtures for catwalk and all balconies (plus 200 lightbulbs)

Upgraded to a new cigarette disposal system for the front entry

Upgraded to a new doggie poop disposal station for the front entry

We thank our Board Members: Tom Ward, Carol Foreman, Kathleen Morgan, Bob Weber, Trish Mylet and Antoinette Hamilton

We also thank our Menas Manager Kristine Bermudaz

Thanks to all!

Karyl Miller

Boardie's Imaginary Suggestion Box

(A few neighborly ideas Pacific Tower-ers might want to try.)

Laundry Room – what if everybody marked their baskets so if you forgot to collect your laundry from the washer or dryer, your neighbor could knock on your door to remind you in the nicest way possible, that OTHERS ARE WAITING!  Believe me, they will thank you for not having to rifle through your laundry, searching for clues and wondering if those tiger-printed Calvin’s belong to you or the dude down the hall!

Lobby – What if puppy owners carried a roll of paper towels under their arm on their way to their walk?  It’s not unusual for happy puppies (who are being gushed over), to make it inside BEFORE they make it outside.  Totally understandable.  But leaving a puddle in front of the elevators while you race Fido out to make #2, creates a slippery slope of yellow.  Papering over that puddle and cleaning it up when you get back will win you one guaranteed ticket in Doggie Heaven (after you die, of course)!  

Pool Umbrellas – What if the last person leaving the pool area cranked down the umbrella and tied it shut so it doesn’t take off in the wind and poke somebody in the eye?  Wouldn’t you be nice?

Gym Men’s Room Toilet seat is ALWAYS UP.  Why? Q. What’s the first thing you see when you walk into our lovely redecorated Rec Room?  A. The Men’s Room door wide open and the bare-naked toilet seat up for all to see.  This image of an open toilet is beautiful only to a dog, and ironically, dogs aren’t allowed in the Rec Room.  So how about it, macho men?  

Wet Wetsuit.  Dear Boardie, if the Rules and Regs say I can’t hang my wet wetsuit over the railing of my balcony or on the catwalk railing, how the heck am I supposed to dry the damn thing?! A. Hang it on a hanger in your shower, then wait.  Haven’t you ever heard the saying time is the great dryer?  Important Reminder: Don’t shower during the drying process or you will set yourself back AND no doubt, be mad at yourself squeezing into a damp/cold/clammy wetsuit tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rules and Regulations

Official listing of all the Pac Tower Rules and Regulations
click here Rules and Regulations

I'm So Board!

Your seven HOA board members are volunteers dedicated to this building and the residents for which it stands.  The board supervises our maintenance staff, oversees each and every dollar going out of this building (be it regular maintenance, repairs and upgrades), all while holding our assessments at $400 a month.  Board members also head and serve on various committees (you’re invited, by the way!) like Architectural, Executive, Building, Human Resources, Landscaping, Leasing, Legal, Repair and Remodeling Committees. If you’re interested in being a board member, you’re welcome to nominate yourself when you get your ballot in the mail.  Four board positions are up for grabs in June.

Speaking of repairs and upgrades, remember our stained, rusty, dark and creepy-looking gym bathrooms?  The ones you wanted to shower with your boots on?  Gone!  Banished.  Finito! They have been upgraded to gorgeous new light and bright!  It almost made me want to work up a sweat -- just to take a shower!  I said ALMOST.  But feel free to avail yourself after your workout. Singin’ allowed and encouraged!

This was a long way around to thank a board member who pulled the entire bathrooms remodel all together – Carol Foreman.  Carol has been a devoted building volunteer for years.  She is also a past president of our Homeowners Association and has worked tirelessly for our benefit.  Do you love the new snazzy pool furniture and umbrellas?  Thank Carol - she picked everything out and made it happen.  She was a leader in the remodeling of the entire building hallways and rec room two years ago. The list of her contributions goes on and on!
Designing the bathroom upgrade and supervising it to its completion was a very time consuming and often frustrating task.  Millions of decisions had to be made.  Teams of tradesmen had to be coordinated and supervised.  Thanks to Carol from everybody! Your efforts are appreciated! 
Karyl Miller

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pac Tower Going to the Dogs?!

Fido may be really cute and fun for the owner, 
but we’ve noticed lately quite a few dogs going naked and BORN FREE – in other words, going leash-less on the elevator, lobby and hallways. Most people don’t like strange dogs jumping up on them and sniffing them.

At Pac Tower it’s against the rules to have a loose dog anywhere in the common area. THIS ALSO INCLUDES THE POOL area where dogs are NEVER allowed at any time. One man’s Best Friend, may not be another’s. ‘Nuff said.

Swimming in Winter?!

We’re so blessed to have El Nino bringing us these summer-like days where we get to have a pool party in the middle of winter.

BUT the rules seem to have been forgotten. There are lots of pool rules which are listed on the South wall of the pool. Here are the three biggies:

· No glass bottles
· No dogs
· No loud music

If you live here it’s your responsibility to know the rules and to keep your guests in line. If you violate the rules, you can be brought before the HOA board and possibly fined $250 for the first offense, so learn the rules. Your neighbors will appreciate it.

Tap Dancing on Wooden Floors

Everybody wants wood floors nowadays. Even though
The Pac Tower Architectural Guidelines insist a layer of cork
goes under the wood, wood floors can still be noisy. If you love your
neighbor as you love yourself, and you have wood floors, think
about removing your shoes and doing a sock dance.

Love Your Plumbing

Thanks to longtime resident Azita Aparicio, here are some handy Internet tips on caring for your plumbing.

Clean your drains once a month. However, some drains will need to be checked on more regularly, particularly bathtub or shower and bathroom sink drains because that's usually where hair becomes a problem. Hair loss while shampooing or shaving is a natural everyday occurrence, but it doesn't take much to block a drain pipe. When you add to that all of the soap and toothpaste you're using, it's easy to see why clogs can happen so quickly and be so stubborn.

About Once A Week
Lift up pop-up stoppers in the bathroom sink, remove any debris and put it in the trash, then rinse the stopper off and put it back in the drain.
Remove the drain cover from your shower or bathtub drain and use a bent wire or a hair catching brush to clear out any debris that has accumulated there.

About Once a Month
Clean your garbage disposal with a sturdy disposer brush or grind up a few cups of ice and some table salt. This helps to cut the grease and slime off the sides of the disposer. Then flush it out with cold water followed by half of a lemon or lime to deodorize.

The Big Giant List of All the Stuff You SHOULDN'T Put Down Your Drains...
Grease, fats, or oils from cooking - they congeal and cause other items to get stuck, creating clogs and massive blockages. This is a really broad category that includes meat fats, lard, vegetable oils, shortening, butter, margarine, and many dairy products.
Coffee grounds - they pretty much do the same thing grease does.
Meat, poultry, and fish bones, as well as egg shells - garbage disposals aren't meant to grind bones or egg shells, so the shards often go down the drain to form clumps with other items. The fat from any meat left on the bones only makes the clog worse.
Pasta, rice, and breads will expand with water causing blockages. And even if the water eventually drains, these foods are most likely still stuck to the inside of your pipes to cause another blockage next time.
Gum…it seems fairly obvious that something that is basically a sticky ball will get hung up somewhere.
Stickers - often people will pull the label stickers off fruits and veggies and simply toss them down the drain during washing. These can clump up with other things to cause clogs.
Hair. Human, pet, doll, fuzzy pillow, or stuffed animal hair - it doesn't matter - just try to keep it out of your drains.
Baby wipes, napkins, paper towels, and other paper products. Even some toilet papers just don't dissolve quickly or thoroughly enough to be handled by septic or sewage lines.
Tampons, maxi pads, other feminine hygiene products, including the packaging they come in.
Cotton balls, cotton swabs, cigarette butts, fabric softener/dryer sheets, or similar fibrous materials - including fibrous foods like celery, carrots, and potato peels which your garbage disposal cannot chew up.

Cat litter, even the flushable kind.

Other "flushable" products - including toddler wipes and sanitary products. Most often these things don't break down as well as the manufacturer claims, especially if you have a septic system.
Band-aids and dental floss – these both tangle up with small clogs to turn them into big clogs.
Razors, blades, syringes, needles, etc. – these can cause serious injury to municipal sewage/wastewater workers and to wildlife. Contact your local pharmacy or public health authority for safe ways to dispose of this type of item.
Condoms, balloons, or rubber gloves will inflate and can be a fairly destructive obstruction.
Prescription medications, lotions, and cosmetics. While anything that goes in or on your body might seem safe, these items can be potentially toxic to wildlife and/or leech into our drinking water. Many pharmacies will “take back” leftover medications, or check with your doctor or local public health authority for similar disposal programs.
Glue. Do we really need to explain why this is a bad idea?
Bottle caps, whether metal or plastic, will not only ruin your garbage disposal but can also get stuck in smaller pipes.
Toys are a common culprit of toilet clogs. Teach kids about what is and isn't okay to flush, and make sure they understand the toilet isn't a jacuzzi for Barbie and G.I. Joe.
Soap can clog drains faster than you might think - mostly when the residue builds up and catches other things. Try using less detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. when you can, and from personal experience we recommend trying to keep the kids from dropping a bar of it down the toilet...
Paint, paint solvents, nail polish, or nail polish remover harm our groundwater and in many places are illegal to put down drains. Check with your local paint or hardware store for information about how to dispose of these items properly.
Motor oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze, etc. Your local auto parts store can tell you how and where to dispose of these substances, and some even have programs to dispose of them for you.
Bleach and other anti-bacterial cleaners. This one is mostly for those who have a septic system since anti-bacterial agents can kill off the good bacteria that are keeping your septic system functioning, although there is mounting evidence that these cleaners are detrimental to municipal sewage systems as well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How's Your Plumbing?

Here's a New Year's Resolution for 2016 you may have not thought of:


Thanks to longtime resident Azita Aparicio, here's a list of links to make your pipes sing!

- how to keep plumbing free of buildup with proper and regular maintenance (kitchen and bathroom):

- commercial plumbing cleaners that should NEVER be used (despite their claims of opening clogged drains):

This concludes Part One of your lesson for today. Part Two will include these topics:
- a list of items that are NOT allowed to be flushed down the toilet
- recommended detergents to use for laundry and bathtubs that are low sudsing
- actions to take and contact information if unit is flooded or if you have plumbing issues (both during and after business hours)

Christmas Elves Caught on Security Cam!

By now you have all seen the beautifully decorated Christmas tree in our lobby. Were you wondering who decorated it? The tree was selected from Green Gardens by our staff. John McLean and Marvin Mendez added the lights. Elves, caught by our security cam did the trimming while humming Christmas Carols. Here’s the photo from our security cam.

Giving Thanks

At year’s end we thank our staff John McLean, Marvin Mendez and Gerry Gutierrez for keeping our building clean and repaired, for giving out forms, getting quotes, emailing vendors, and the myriad tasks they undertake throughout the year. This is John’s 15th year at Pacific Tower and Marvin’s 11th!

We also thank our Board of Governors who meets monthly to discuss and vote on all issues having to do with the building, as well as exchanging untold numbers of emails every day.  Thanks to VP Kathleen Morgan, Treasurer Tom Ward, Carol Foreman, Trish Mylet, Bob Weber Antoinette Hamilton and little ole me. Lastly, we thank our Menas Manager Kristine Bermudez for all she does for our building.

Dead Christmas Tree?

                         Dear Boardie,
Q. Now that Christmas is over, what do I do with my dead Christmas tree?

A. Thanks for asking.  1. Please wrap your tree in an old sheet before you take it out of your unit to minimize the horror of a bazillion dry pine needles piling up in our hallways and elevator.  2. Drop it off at Kate Sessions Memorial Park (corner of Soledad and Loring), which is accepting old trees for disposal. 

PASSING PARADE Passes by Pac Tower

12.11.15, 100 Santas walked by and you missed it? You’re welcome.