"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
If I ever need to cry on command, I now have two memories that will make it happen--both dog related:

After she couldn't walk anymore, she still loved patrols so I'd load her into a wagon and pull her around her old patrol routes. As I was doing this a lady who was getting into her car said "That's the cutest thing I've ever seen!" And I looked at her full on and said "She's dying. She can't walk anymore but she loves her walks, so this is what I'm doing." And after the vet put her to sleep, he told me he could take her and take care of everything so I wouldn't have to worry about it and I picked up my dog and said "No. She comes home with me." I'm fortunate to have a yard that I was able to bury her and my cat in.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Another weekend in the books. And another disappointment and frustration.

The new yard is large. Takes a lot of time to keep it in shape. When I started mowing Saturday, the spring on the throttle linkage for the lawnmower came loose. Since it was off I adjusted it a little to see if I could make it work better. "If it ain't broke..." My "fix" caused the engine to rev--rrRRRRRRrrrrr....rrRRRRRRrrrrr....rrRRRRRRrrrrr....--and use 3x as much gas as it should. Since it was still fairly early I figured I'd run down to the hardware store and pick up a new spring. They have a lot of parts for lawnmower maintenance, but not throttle linkage springs. Of course it ate up about 2 hours and driving to 3 different locations to find this out (well, that and that the lawnmower repair store closes at 2 on Saturday and doesn't open again until Monday). Since not mowing the lawn was not an option, I tried adjusting the old spring and got that to work. But the way my allergies were acting up, not cleaning the house for another week was also not an option.

And since I was doing everything, I might as well catch up on e-mails. Got that done and getting ready to make lunch when my friend who shanghaied me into being an accountant with the promise that it would be 3 months at the absolute longest--4 months ago--called. And of course he wanted to talk. Now I'm all for talking and staying in touch. Us old guys tend to not have many friends. But goddamn man, you're stressing me out because I'm stuck working for you and it's taking up any time I have for my business. Don't call me on the weekend; the only time that is mine to try to get stuff done. Oh, and the allergies are probably also because of the change in seasons. And on top of that, while I was monkeying with repairing the lawnmower my back had a spasm. So now I've got lots of manual labor that I don't have time to do that I'm going to have to do--and now I'm going to have to do it with a bad back--if I can ever get off the phone with my friend.

Anyway, I got everything except bookkeeping done. I didn't get all the lawn mowed, but I got the parts that needed it the most. And the mower started acting up when I tried to keep going (I should also get a new gas cap. The old one, if I fill the tank too far and the cap gets wet, it causes the engine to act up) so I stopped for the night. There was enough light that I could've thrown the mower in the van and brought it over to the vacant rental. That was The Plan for the week. The lawn at the rental didn't get mowed last week so I absolutely HAD to mow it this week. But I figured if I mowed my lawn, I could leave the mower at the rental and mow there twice before bringing it back home. Instead I didn't mow there at all and I absolutely have to get over there this week.

But the weekend is over and I've still got bookkeeping to do. Mondays are crazy because I do accounting support in the morning and factory work in the evening. And I've still got to have "the talk" with the former renters about their damage deposit. I know I should be doing that right now, but I'm just to beat down for that. Not that there will be a better time any time before my friend gets staffed up and doesn't need me anymore. Ugh.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
It's interesting, when your body calls a "time out." This spring my friend tried to wrangle me into contracting for him again. I absolutely did NOT want to. But he IS my friend. And the pay was good. And it was only going to be 1-3 months--done by September at the latest. Which was lucky, because one of my renters broke their lease and moved out in September. Unfortunately the "September--at the latest" wasn't actually true. So I'm still contracting. All the things I thought I could let slide until September are still sliding as we stare at November. And on top of that I've got a house I should be getting back on the market.

I mention this because things are coming to a head. Had to punch out early on Friday because I had HVAC people over to the house to clean out ducts. I've still got to break the good news to the renters that they're not getting their deposit back. And the way my nose was running and my eyes were itching, this weekend I absolutely had to stop and clean my own house instead of working on the rental. Then I ran into problems with the lawnmower so I didn't get over to the rental with it--and we're into the 2nd week without mowing the lawn there. As I was working on the mower my back went out. But I had shit to do, so I powered through it.

Then the alarm went off this morning. And I realized my body was like "Fuck it. You've been going nonstop since at least June. I'm calling a time-out." Texted that I was out sick and went back to bed.

I'd really like to take Tuesday off too to catch up on other things, but 3 days in a row seems a bit much so maybe I'll do what I can and then take some time on Wednesday. I understand the jam my friend is in, but still I resent him not keeping his word--especially when I got the news about my renters. Ah well, at least the money's good. It's just not at all what I had planned for right now. I'd hoped I wouldn't be working at all. Instead I'm busier than I've been in years.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I just figured out the other reason I'm miserable on this project: I like helping people and solving problems, so you'd think it would be right up my alley. I get to help people and solve problems. Except that I don't. Quite the opposite. I'll get told: Here's 3 things you don't know how to do and don't have the right permissions to do. I need them in 2 days. Meanwhile I'll have another major task that needs to be done in that timeframe as well and I'm only available part time. And oh, by the way, the process needed to do one of the things also makes it impossible to do that thing. The only thing that drains me faster than not getting to help people and solve problems is when I'm asked to help people and solve problems but it is impossible for me to do it.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
It's all absolutely farcical. If they don't have something by tomorrow that doesn't currently exist, the world is going to end. Dude. You've been running the company for 108 years without this little widget. It can wait until next month to be implemented if push comes to shove. Meanwhile, no one actually knows--myself included--how to do the things they want. The software is very GUI-oriented, but there's still some things that aren't at all intuitive. So I'm like "How did I do this? I did it 2 months ago, so I must have figured it out. But I can't remember." And my friend is doing the same thing. He's like "there's a way to do this." But he can't remember how he did it because he did it back in June. And of course there are different ways to do everything. Do they all get the same result? Maybe. I don't know. Maybe the result I got that *looks* fine is actually not doing what I think it is and is causing all kinds of problems in the process. But no one knows. Very tiring.

And this rant is because I was in the process of giving him a heads-up that I absolutely HAVE to take some time to run my own business tomorrow and I mentioned something in passing and he wound up going down that rabbit hole. Then, when I finally got back to it he's like "so have you rented the place out yet?" [bangs head on desk] "No. Because it needs to be cleaned up and fixed up and staged and listed. Then I need to show it to people. And then I need to screen applicants, write up paperwork, collect the fees, etc. But I'm not DOING any of those things because instead I'm farting around with you, cleaning up 3,000 item long month-end checklists and trying to get IT to give me the permissions I need to do things and adding widgets that let you filter the little graph by region."
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
So. Coming back to the original point of this thread: I have put quite a lot of thought into this. And while I hate dealing with renters, I really do not want to work anymore.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
God-damn. Forgot to mention the call last night tied me up 15 minutes later than I'd planned on working.

Still, got some desk work done and made it to bed before midnight.

Then I woke up at 3:15 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep. And not just dreaming I was awake. I was awake the whole time. Couldn't figure out why. Of course some time after 6am I finally dozed off. I'd been thinking about the places I'd lived and going into my apartment back in Portland when the garage door came off its tracks. I realized I was dreaming because apartments don't have garage doors. And I promptly woke up. 7:15-ish. So I could just get up and try to function on 4 hours of sleep. Or I could try to grab another 2-3 hours. Thinking about my strained back and sniffles, I decided to go back to sleep and was rewarded with wiggy dreams.

First I was in an apartment, trying to get to sleep but my brother kept jumping up and grabbing curtain rods or dooways or something and then kicking the curtains open with his feet. Then an Asian teen gang next door was harassing us and stealing stuff. Eventually they were shooting at us with improvised weapons every time we left the house so I decided I was going to start killing them, but of course I couldn't find any of my guns.

Woke up 5 minutes before the alarm and hit the snooze. While I was snoozing, my friend texted me that part of the 3,000 item checklist was missing and wanted to know if I had time to get on a quick call.

No. No I don't. I'm doing stuff I don't understand with tools I have no training in using that I don't have enough time to do, fully a month after the absolute guaranteed latest date the project was supposed to wrap up--and also after getting an unexpected vacancy in one of my rentals. My friend has had over a week off during that time frame. Another of his team just got back from a week off. Another has been out sick a few days. Today everyone is going into the office to clean out their workspaces after a year of working from home. I absolutely should be out mowing lawn and doing other things to get this house ready to rent, calling an insurance provider, following up on a cell phone battery, and at least 3 other things that don't involve chart of accounts bookkeeping for a multinational company. So sorry that I missed your text. I was mowing lawn. Also, I forgot my phone at home.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
OK. So yesterday's "OMG! DROP EVERYTHING! THE WORLD IS ENDING!" crisis. The month-end checklist. "ALL THE ITEMS BEFORE WORKDAY 6 ARE MISSING! CAN YOU TAKE A CALL TO WORK ON IT? WILL YOU GET TO IT TODAY? WHERE ARE WE ON IT?"

Took 5 minutes to solve. All the items before Workday 6--about a dozen things--are somewhat ambiguously titled: "Mid-month." "15th of the Month" "20th of the Month." The month end checklist involves doing things in the current month about the previous month. Kind of. There are some things that happen about the previous month that happen before the month ends. Confused? Yeah. Welcome to my world.

Anyhow, the way you build the checklist is to take the previous month's checklist, save it as a template, delete out any comments, reset the complete date to 1/1/2100, and bump up the month, taking into account any day changes due to the weekends. For example, Oct 2 was a Saturday. So Workday 2 wasn't until 10/4. November 2 is a Tuesday. So the new Workday 2 is 11/2. Oh, and by the way, since this is a fucking 3,000 item list, Sharepoint will refresh while you're working on it, rejiggering the order of everything. And because it is all filtered too so you're only working on stuff for the current month, some things are going to disappear while you're working until you adjust the filters. Sound like fun? Welcome to my world.

So yeah, bottom line is 15th of the Month means October 15, not November 15. So everything was there, just a month late. If they'd filtered on the "missing" items they'd have found them. Just like I did in about 40 seconds. Just like one of the people who had a "missing" item did--and checked it off as completed on 11/15--even though they clearly did it on 10/15, since I doubt that if they had a time machine, they'd use it to do diligently comply with accounting management typos.

So why am I fucking off here when there are innumerable crises that apparently cannot be resolved unless I'm on them? Because I'm pretty pissed off that I got a bunch of stress dumped on me when I absolutely had more than enough stress without someone making up ways to screw with me and waste my time instead of taking 40 seconds to think something through and figure it out. So I'm punishing it by fucking off instead of working.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've finished my daily solitaire games on this machine. Didn't win any. Now I've got to see if I can do better on the work computer or the old deck of cards I have.
 

Lanzman

No-one of consequence
Create a private view for yourself, filtered as you require, and save it. Sharepoint lists should not auto-refresh unless someone has done some customization to them. If you can, go into the list settings and see if there's a workflow running that triggers the auto-refresh. You may be able to disable/suspend the workflow if you've adequate permissions.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
MOTHER. FUCKER. So I'm up to my ass in stuff. BUT the things on my plate for the contracting are "urgent." So I'm diligently working on them. Meanwhile, I'm chatting him status updates and issues (like that my ability to enter work hours to be paid stopped with the week of 10/4). Oddly he doesn't show up as in any meetings (he's always in a meeting). Meanwhile, I'm staying on top of e-mails and one of his workers says "When [friend's name] gets back..." When he gets back?! WHEN HE GETS BACK!?!? Where the fuck is he? Why is he able to be away but the world is ending if I'm not around to solve simple problems and modify tools on short notice.

I've tried to diplomatically--but forcefully--communicate that this is all outside of my scope. I hate telling one of my oldest friends "no," but it gets harder and harder to see any other option.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Yeah, I know. But the pay is good. And that can be a 2 way street. And I have to come back to something my dead Favorite Aunt once said when my friend was driving me crazy years and years ago: "He is a pretty good friend, though."

My aunt had a dead racoon stuck in the smoke box of her fireplace chimney. I could see it with a flashlight and a mirror but the only way you could get it out was to sit in the fireplace, reach up behind your head (like pulling an arrow out of a quiver), stick your hand into the flue, and feel around until you touched the dead racoon and pull it out. I'd seen far too many '80s horror movies to be able to do that. She was resigned to hiring a chimney sweep when I had the idea to call my friend. He was over in under an hour and long story short, between the two of us, we got the bugger out.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Anyhow, right now I'm here to bemoan how I never get to have anything I love--I just have to pick the thing I hate the least.

Having a non-conventional income stream, I don't have employer provided health insurance. And I'm getting old enough that this is starting to make me nervous. And close enough to "retirement" that I want to protect my holdings. Now for a car or a house, insurance is easy-peasy--just get online, apply, pay your bills. But because the US government has been monkeying with health insurance as far back as the 1930s, nothing is that simple.

I got what I thought was my least bad option. Meanwhile someone suggested another option that looked worth looking into. But by this point I was committed so I went ahead with my chosen course of action. But when I got to the paperwork, I kept coming back to that it was called a "short term plan." I don't want to have a plan, get paralyzed or get cancer or something, and then when the plan term ends, have them go "sorry, now you've got a pre-existing condition."

The other thing was a "Christian share plan." And it seemed like it would work. I knew someone who was in it and liked it. I'm a Christian. And it seemed to meet all my needs. So yesterday I went ahead and cancelled the other plan. While I was doing that, the agent said I didn't understand the "short term" part and that I couldn't be dropped out unless I didn't make my payments. I probably need to confirm that in writing. Anyhow, I'd made my decision and I went ahead and cancelled. Didn't have time to start filling out the other paperwork until just now.

Now there's a whole spectrum of "Christian." There's people like me who believe Jesus was a pretty cool guy who had some valuable ideas worth living by and that there is an entity that, for lack of a better word, we call "God" and that praying can have benefits we humans can't understand. Heck, being raised Catholic, I might even buy that, every Sunday, all over the world, priests miraculously turn bread and wine into the flesh and blood of a 2,000 year old Aramaic carpenter--even though it still looks and tastes like bread and wine. That's another story though. My point is there are also Christians who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible and want to pray for you every time they talk to you and it seems the people running this thing are that sort. Nothing wrong with that. But they also want me to be that sort. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The other thing is, in the forms you have to acknowledge that this isn't actually insurance and the sharing of money is technically voluntary. This is a little like how the Dentist makes you fill out a form that you could possibly die while getting a tooth pulled or something. You just have to grit your teeth and sign it. But then, halfway through the application it's like "I promise to not have premarital sex" and a bunch of other born-again level things. There's really no way I can make that promise. Heck, I'd like to arrange for some premarital sex this weekend if I can make that happen. So I wound up calling the other guys back. It was too late to "uncancel" my policy, but reapplying for an identical policy was relatively painless. And it will have to do until I figure out something I hate less.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Did some work on the rental. Apart from denting the shit out of a brand new stainless refrigerator door and cracking the glass on the fireplace screen, and totally neglecting the HVAC filters, they didn't do too bad with cleaning out the place. That said, there's a huge gulf between not too bad and rent-ready. Every time I clean or fix something, I find something else that needs cleaning or fixing. That said, if I get back and tackle the kitchen door with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (the one I had fell apart before I finished) and maybe touch up 1 or 2 bits of paint, the interior will be more or less ready.*

The outside needs a decent amount of work.

I've mostly pulled weeds in the driveway. I need to finish that and hose it all down, hose off the concrete patio in the back and redistribute some dirt that is laying around to address some drainage/low spot issues. I *should* restain the deck, touch up paint on the shutters, and scrub the gutters (they're cleaned out, but they have moss and crud on the exterior). The garage needs to be cleaned out and Fish Pond 3.0 needs to be finalized.

The house had an "above ground" pool that was actually 12-14" into the ground, so I had an intermittent duck pond when I got the place. I filled most of it in with an obscene amount of dirt and other fill--although between settling and cheaping out/underestimating how much fill you need, if it rains enough, you can see the ghost of the pool footprint. Anyhow, there was some landscaping around the pool that suggested a shape. I'd attempted to have goldfish at my first home, so I decided to save on fill and add some novelty by leaving a crescent of the old pool footprint as a fish pond. Some plants pulled from public area streams and ponds and 32 cents worth of PetSmart "feeder" goldfish and I had a decent little pond. Problem was, it didn't hold water. It mostly held water, but not enough to support fish. So it became a "rain garden." (I did offer to fill it in but the renters had plans for some kind of garden and passed on my offer.) Since a sheet of 6mil plastic didn't work for a liner, I did some reshaping of the pond and stuck in a legit purpose-designed liner sheet. Will it work? We shall see. Filled it Wednesday and it seemed to be leaking, but that could just be the liner settling in and finalizing its shape. Need some pea gravel to camouflage the bottom, weight down the liner, and provide a place for algae, etc to grow. And for the chloramine to evaporate so I can add fish.

*The bathroom fan sounds like Chewbacca being ass-raped, so I want to replace that, and I'm putting in a gas fireplace in the hopes of discouraging future renters from building fires in it. Or so they will blow the goddamn place up and I can collect the insurance money. ;)
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
OK. This is gonna ramble a bit. Something I've was rolling around in my head in the shower. Too lazy and undisciplined to cook it down enough to post where I'd like to(?)

Right now I should be at an event. Expensive. Far away. But sounds interesting. Catch is, you need to present a CDC card that shows you're 100% vaccinated to attend. If you don't you'll be turned away with no ticket refund. Since I'm not 100% vaccinated and it is too late for me to meet that requirement, I did message the event organizer, asking if there were any exceptions. Didn't get a reply.

In the Marine Corps, if your boss decides something, you're expected to carry it out as if you'd come up with it. This is straight out of Machiavelli's "The Prince." The catch is, Machiavelli points out that a Prince should regularly and often consult his trusted advisors. So the upshot is you, as a young Lieutenant (if you're smart) go "Hey Guns, I was thinking we should do X. What do you think?" And then the Gunny goes "Well sir, that sounds like a good idea but maybe I'd do Y and Z along with X." Then you go "I like it! Make it happen." That way you don't do anything stupid and paint yourself (and everyone else) into a corner. I've had senior Marines paint themselves into a corner, but that's a whole other can of worms.

My point is, the aforementioned event organizer was stupid. I tried to offer a way out of the stupidity, but they ignored me. If you're fully vaccinated: 1) The vaccine stops the virus and it doesn't matter to you if I'm vaccinated or not or 2) The vaccine does NOT stop the virus so...it dosen't matter to you if I'm vaccinated or not. BUT! What if I AM fully vaccinated. I've got the neat, easily forged CDC card and all. BUT! I present that card on the night of the event with a 100 degree fever while coughing my guts out? Do you say "Well, you've got the card. C'mon in." Or do you say "I'm sorry, but it looks like you might have the 'rona. We can't let you in. Sorry about your big ticket. Not your fault, but no refunds." What is going to be more effective at actually stopping virus spread versus feeling good about yourself, excluding people, and signalling virtue?

At this point, the event is happening. No idea how many people they got to attend. They've been offering 1/2 off tickets for quite awhile now. I'd like to see more events, but if this one bombs, that probably won't happen. I've never regretted walking away from a bad deal. But I've often regretted not being able to fix a bad deal because the other party wouldn't listen.
 

jack

The Legendary Troll Kingdom
If I ever need to cry on command, I now have two memories that will make it happen--both dog related:

After she couldn't walk anymore, she still loved patrols so I'd load her into a wagon and pull her around her old patrol routes. As I was doing this a lady who was getting into her car said "That's the cutest thing I've ever seen!" And I looked at her full on and said "She's dying. She can't walk anymore but she loves her walks, so this is what I'm doing." And after the vet put her to sleep, he told me he could take her and take care of everything so I wouldn't have to worry about it and I picked up my dog and said "No. She comes home with me." I'm fortunate to have a yard that I was able to bury her and my cat in.

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Volpone

Zombie Hunter
This is out of left field. It's marginally real estate related, but not really. Mice are a thing again.

At my first place, even after The Dog banished moles from the yard and wreaked havoc on errant squirrels and raccoons, I would still get mice. I'd know they were back when I'd find a dime sized hole in a bottom corner of the dog food bag. Then I'd put a trap in the closet and in a few days I wouldn't have mice for another month or two. Last house didn't have mice. First rental did. This house, the neighbor said he had mouse problems until I moved in and they went away. After my dog died, he said they came back.

Hadn't seen any in my house myself. Did see a few turds, but I was able to rationalize them as old ones I'd missed while cleaning up when I moved in. Until I got a new stove. Cleaning out the old storage tray, I found mouse turds in it. The smoking gun. Even so, I held off. But I dont' have a mop bucket. I use the kitchen trash can as a bucket when I mop or wash the car. So I had it over at the rental while I was getting that cleaned up. Just a trash bag under the sink at home. And when I went to take it out, trash fell out a bunch of small holes in the bottom of it. So it was on.

Now I want to say, the person who said "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door," I don't think they were speaking literally. The point was that the mousetrap is pretty well figured out and hard to improve on. So my question is, why do people keep trying to improve on it and why is the classic mousetrap of the 1970s so hard to find? What are the options? Poison? Yeah. Because I want the neighbor's dogs to die from eating a dead poisoned mouse. Glue boards? Sure. Because nothing says "humane" like finding a mouse stuck to a board and then having to deal with that. Nope. I want the plain old wood board with the spring-loaded snapper and a set-trip that latches onto that copper sear with the little roll/loop that you stuff cheese into. But apparently you can't have that. It took about a month before I finally found the basic wood trap. But even then, they always fuck it up by replacing the sear with a yellow plastic one that is adorably shaped like a slice of cheese. Super. Except the fuckers don't work. I spent 5 minutes Sunday night, trying to get the catch to not slip off the baited trip. Finally wound up bending things until it would stay.

Checked it a few times with no results. Just about trying to convince myself that it was all in my head and that I really DIDN'T have mice, but tonight the trap had moved an inch or two and there was no bait on it. :confused: So I did some more fiddling with it and put it back in place. A few minutes ago, I heard a sharp "CLICK!" in the other room and realized what it was. Decided it was less unpleasant to try to get a dead mouse off the trap than to get another trap tuned so it would actually work, rebaited and replaced. Now we'll see if we just had one interloper or more.

It's hard to get around how much killing life entails. Roaches, beetles, wasps, hornets, carpenter ants...I don't even blink at this point. But even if you want to grow some of your own food, it comes down to killing. Eventually chickens stop laying enough eggs, so into the pot with them. If you want milk from goats, they need to have babies. But you don't need more goats every year. Shit, even fruits and vegetables. Read the instructions: "Plant 1 inch apart. After 6 weeks, thin 50% of the weakest plants...." Killing. Death. Death makes the world go 'round. "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Here is what I'm working on right now: The database generates reports. Dozens and dozens of reports. We'll call them the TPS Reports. Because the system used to overwrite them at the end of the month, someone would download the reports as Excel files to save to the Sharepoint site in case anyone needed them later. BUT...

They've since changed things so that the TPS Reports are archived in a searchable Website. So archiving them is now redundant. If you need a report, you can just pull it up instead of saving them all.

Well my friend/boss didn't know this. And no one outside of 1 person on our team probably knows this. So for now I just have to download all the TPS reports as Excel files so I can save them to the Sharepoint server.

It's not difficult. Just time consuming and monotonous: Click the dropdown. Select the file you need. Click "View Report." Click the "Export" icon. Select "Excel." Open the file. "Save as" to my hard drive.

Then, when I've got them all, I'll reverse the process and create a file on the SharePoint server and upload the files from my computer to the server.
 
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