I bought this because an excerpt was included at the end of another Orbit book I was reading, and I have to say I feel like I'm reading bad Buffy fanfic. At least two thirds of the characters even share names with Whedon characters, and when I got to the bits about the character called "the Aurelian," I think I actually groaned out loud on the commuter train. Come on, at least name your own characters!
In this Dec.18,1984, file photo, United Motor Manufacturing Co. President Tatsuro Toyoda gets in the drivers seat of the newly unveiled sporty 4-door subcompact "Nova" in the new Fremont, Calif., United Motor Manufacturing Co. plantjointly jowned by General Motors and Toyota. Toyoda, a former president of Toyota Motor Corp., who led its climb to rank among the world’s top automakers, and the son of the Japanese automaker’s founder, has died. He was 88. Paul Sakuma, AP
I made the HUGE mistake of hiring Certa Pro to do several interior rooms of my house, and remove popcorn ceiling in a bathroom. What a nightmare! They didn't paint any door jams, they broke a cedar window sill-and didn't bother telling me, they gouged a hardwood floor, they never sealed the room that had the popcorn removed--causing white powder to be in all rooms of a 2 story home. I can go on and on. Horrible company
If you're lucky, all your house may need before repainting is a good, healthy bath. Wash it down with a hose, and go over stubborn dirt with a scrub brush and warm, soapy water. Or wash it down with a power washer. If you're not so lucky, then you just have to face the fact that a time-consuming and dirty job lies ahead of you. Do the job well, and your paint job will not only look better, but it will last for five to eight years on average.
Sand the trim with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Sponges get into crevices where sandpaper can’t go and let you apply even pressure. Then apply the first coat of paint, let it dry at least 24 hours, lightly sand it again for a completely smooth surface, and apply the second coat. After each sanding, vacuum the trim, then wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove the dust.

You won’t believe how quickly house painting can totally transform your home. Repainting the outside of your house will give it a new glow that your neighbors will envy. Switching up the colors inside your home will bring a new life into the environment. And while we can’t help you organize and clean up every room in your house, we promise we’ll clean up after ourselves. One less thing you have to worry about, right?
All Los Angeles Painting Company, Inc., 310-470-9218, is a residential house painting company servicing all Los Angeles from Malibu to Pasadena and beyond.  We are rated by the Franklin Report, the most trusted Los Angeles home services guide, as an extraordinary value providing the highest quality service at reasonable prices.  All Los Angeles Painting consistently earns the highest consumer reviews regarding expert craftsmanship, reliability, attention to detail, value, project management and professionalism. 
Painting the exterior of your home is an essential maintenance task that can be challenging, time-consuming and extremely messy. The fastest and safest way to get the job done right is to hire a professional exterior painting contractor. A pro will have the right tools, equipment, and experience for the job, will be able to recommend the most effective paints for your particular project, and can handle the necessary prep work to ensure a lasting finish. They will also select the best time to paint your home to keep the project within your timeline and budget.
Filling gaps with a paintable acrylic-latex caulk cuts down on drafts and makes your trim look better than new. The secret to using caulk is to cut the tip smaller than you think it should be; too much caulk makes a mess. Also, instead of using a nail to break the inner seal, use a small wire so you don't stretch out the nozzle. Also consider buying a dripless caulk gun, which will automatically back off the pressure after each pull on the trigger to prevent unwanted oozing.
Not all people live where they can hire a painting contractor, like you describe. People who live in small towns can only hire painters who have a very small business, and do two or three paint jobs per week. In this case, you do have to be very careful, when you hire a painter, as we have several, in our area, who are out to make a fast buck anyway they can. 

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