Monday, January 20, 2020


Imagine you’re in the shower belting out My Way at the top of your lungs, when suddenly you’re drowned out by a shrieking alarm. Womp! Womp! Womp!

DO YOU GUESS: This can’t be good?

BINGO: You would be right. It’s important to stay calm but not too calm because, Fire?

DO YOU: Finish the song? Or find a towel, fast?

STOP. THINK: Would I rather stay in my unit and die of smoke inhalation or be seen on Wilbur in my ratty pink bathrobe? Hard choice, admittedly.

BE PREPARED: Along with your family album, always have your best silk kimono within
reach in case you have to leave in a hurry.

KNOW THIS: Pacific Tower loves you and there are numerous ways it protects you in
case of fire.Obviously we’re the opposite of a woody log cabin.Concrete versus wood is
good.Also, there are censors all over the building connected to a fire detection computer
that’s also connected to the fire department.All our doors are fire-rated not to melt for two
hours.The FD inspects the property annually to make sure all is safe.Not only that…

FUN FACT: Your unit has TWO alarms – SMOKE AND FIRE! What’s the diff? That 5” white round plastic thing (probably over your bedroom door) is a smoke alarm. It’s not connected to the rest of the building. It’s yours.You can get one at Walmart for 18 bucks plus 9 Volt batteries or you can get the fancy-shmancy combo one that also includes a carbon monoxide detector (39 smackers).You’re required by our CC&Rs (AKA the building rules) to have at least one working smoke alarm (and reminded to swap out the batteries annually).

IF IT IS CHIRPING: It’s trying to tell you – I need new batteries ASAP!

EXAMPLE: Say you left a pot on the stove and went into the bedroom to binge watch a
Three Stooges Marathon.The Stooges aren’t as funny as you remembered and you nod
off.You wake up to a smoke-filled room and your smoke alarm is blaring.

GENIUS: You immediately trace the smoke back to your stove where your mac and
cheese has turned into black and sleaze.
DO: Turn stove off.
IMPORTANT: Do not let your kimono sleeves catch fire.You’ll never forgive yourself.
DO: Turn off and reset your alarm in case the I Love Lucy marathon has the same effect.
DON’T: Leave the building.Stay home, open the windows and have fun trying to rehab
that Revere Ware you just destroyed.


IN YOUR HALLWAY: There’s the 3” X 4” rectangular fire alarm. It goes off if there’s a fire anywhere in the common areas of the building like the garage, dumpster room, boiler room, laundry rooms, hallways, lobbies and storage rooms. It’s also connected to our local Fire Station #21, and they are no doubt, on their way the second after our alarm goes off. 

DO I STAY OR DO I GO? It’s not a bad idea to leave the building. It COULD be a false alarm, but why chance it? Skip the elevator and take the stairs down - you could use the exercise. Consider it an opportunity to:

• Get away from the deafening shrieking alarm.
• Meet your neighbors.
• Show off that silk kimono.
• See cute firemen.

Karyl Miller - Writer. Trish Mylet- Editor 

Thursday, January 2, 2020


Dear Boardie,
Q. Why does the catwalk railing look shiny and new while mine looks dull and old?
SIMPLE ANSWER: Our cleaning staff cleans and shines the railing weekly whereas you rarely or possibly never have cleaned yours.
Q. Okay I admit it. It’s been years. Is there any hope for my balcony railing?
A. Yes!
LONG ANSWER:  All you have to do is A) clean your railing with soap and water. B) Rub lightly with soft steel wool. C) Shine with a soft cloth saturated with ZEP or WEIMAN Stainless Steel Polish. Yes, it smells uggy like WD40, but that smell will dissipate.
Q. What if I hate the smell of Eau de WD40?
A. Wear rubber gloves, a clothes pin on your nose and direct the spray into your soft cloth.
Q. What if I don’t have time to go to the hardware store to buy this?
Q. Why spend money if I only need a few spritzes?
A. Building Manager Joseph will lend you a can for ONE DAY or less.

Dear Boardie,
Once my railing is clean, my balcony floor will look dirtier than ever!
Q. What’s the easiest way to clean my #$^&*# textured balcony floor?
A. Wait for a rainstorm and while every balcony is wet, sweep with a stiff broom.
Q. What about when it’s dry?
LONG ANSWER: It’s important NOT to drip down on your neighbor, so do NOT throw a bucket of soapy water across your balcony (no matter how tempting). You’ve got to clean just like Cinderella: Get a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush. Get down on your hands and knees and scrub a few feet at a time. (Wear headphones playing Lizzo if that makes you happy.) Sop up the water using the entire Society section of the San Diego Union Tribune. Then scrub a few feet more. Sop up the water using the entire Sports section. Repeat. Building Manager Joseph will lend you kneepads for one day if you ask him nicely.

Dear Boardie,
Q. Why are plants prohibited on balconies?
A. Plants are permitted AS LONG AS they have a plastic, non-porous
plate underneath.
Q. Why?
A. Despite the protective coating painted on top of your balcony, the concrete is porous. If water gets into the concrete – either from a plant, a wet rug or from a hole where the fencing meets the concrete, it can travel down to the rebar that holds up the structure. Once the rebar gets rusty, it eats the surrounding concrete, compromising the strength of your balcony. We want your balcony protected. If you spot a possible water intrusion, notify Joseph immediately.



Dear Boardie,
Q. What if I see a violation happening - such as a person loading furniture into the elevator on a weekend? Should I find and tackle a Board member and  make them stop the crime?
A. No. Board members are not the building police (although they are probably more familiar with the rules than most). The Board has the task of evaluating and possibly issuing a fine AFTER an owner submits a written violation report of something they saw with their own eyes.
Q. How can I get a blank Violation report?
A. Ask the Building Manager or download a blank Violation Report from
Q. What if a renter sees a violation such as smoking on a balcony?
A. Renter would have to get the owner to make the report because only homeowners can report Violations.