"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
An alternate title for this thread would've been "Failure is *Always* an Option." If I ever write my autobiography, that's what I'll call it. Of course you kind of need to be a success for that title to work, so we'll see.

Anyhow, it's surprising how much this heat takes it out of you. Oh, I forgot: Today is The Dog's obedience class. At 5pm. On the other side of town. And the AC seems to be out on my car. So I did have a look at traffic before leaving and adjusted my route based on it. Then I had to wrangle her into the car. For some reason she's not a fan of the car. I don't know if it still smells like Old Dog, she doesn't like my driving, or she doesn't think I take her anywhere fun. But she does not like to get in the car. Of course from when I checked the traffic to when I was actually in transit, the traffic changed. I dunno if it was still faster than the other option, but I wound up being late. Still had to go because I paid good money for it. And I wanted her to get cooled off (and for traffic to die down) before the trip home. Shit, maybe she just doesn't want to leave her home. Because now that I think about it, she got right in the car after class.

Got home and tried my kalua beef experiment. There's a tasty Hawai'ian dish called kalua pork that is kind of a pain if you cook it traditionally, but you can do it dead simple and pretty tasty in a crock pot. I decided, for fun to try it with beef instead. It turned out amazing. I thought it would just be a baseline and then I'd tailor the recipe for the different meat but it worked almost straight up. I did add a little pepper, because you gotta add pepper to beef, but other than that no real changes. Next will be pulled beef sliders, but that's another story.

So. Dinner, local news, and "Jeopardy!". For some reason Teh Kitteh nommed on a leaf of the cabbage that serves in lieu of seaweed. Which finally gets me back to the point. Belly full, I decided on a short nap. Got up and decided to post my cooking experiment success to Facebook. Instead I saw a posting for a lost dog in my neighborhood that I'm pretty sure I saw. Possibly twice. Sometime. See, when you're out walking a dog, you run into stray dogs. The problem is, you're busy enough managing your dog that you can't do anything but avoid the stray. Especially if it is a pit bull with no collar. It was a fine, sweet doggo, but the dynamics of an unleashed doggo with no person and your dog on a leash are perilous, so the focus was on breaking contact. Some days later we were in the general vicinity and a guy had a dog tied up in the front yard and asked if anyone was missing a dog because this one just turned up. Should've maybe taken a picture, but then it would be on my phone with the phone number for another missing dog that I never saw but whose owner I ran into. Thing is, it's so long since we've walked in that neighborhood I couldn't even be sure if the timeline matched up. And what was I going to say? "Yeah, I think I saw this dog. Awhile back. Then I think I might have saw it again somewhere. At some guy's house. Awhile back." Not exactly helpful and then I'm set up as the person who failed to help them find their dog. Still... While it was a fool's errand, I had to, on principle, walk that street and see if I ran into the guy or the dog. Still 93 out, but at least the sun was down. I could sneak out without disturbing The Dog.

Yeah, right. So instead of a quick out-and-back, I wound up walking The Dog. Heat wasn't as bad, but still not fun. No luck finding the missing dog--no surprise. So now I'm home and it's approaching bedtime. And Yay! It's below 90. I mean, the humidity is, like, 66%, but at least it's below 90. :/
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I'd forgotten how time consuming and tiring it to have an active young dog. Mentally almost more than physically. I'd forgotten what it is like to get up, think "Today I'm gonna do X, Y, and Z, but first I've got to walk the dog!" and get done with the walk and just want to drink a glass of whisky and take a nap.

The Dog's patrol always starts with a beeline to a nearby bridge, then down under the bridge to where there are a couple groundhog burrows. From there it can unfold in a few different directions.

It hasn't gotten below 80 all week--with mostly brutal humidity. Today is the first day in the week that the heat index isn't supposed to get above 105. So I gotta get The Dog out for her walk as soon as I get up--have breakfast and coffee after. Today she stayed in the shadow of the bridge, next to the creek for most of the time because she found a groundhog hole that she thought was occupied and guarded it for, like, a half hour. Then she headed off along the bank we were on in the direction I don't enjoy. It goes toward a bridge a block away with an apartment complex along one side. I've already put my foot down on exploring past the second bridge because the terrain and vegetation is too heavy for me and it is far too easy to lose her there--with a pair of very busy roads. I also try to avoid the apartment complex--private property and all--but there are interesting smells there for her and on a hot day like today, the shadows of the buildings are good for minimizing the heat. So of course she proceeded to embarrass me by taking as long as possible to smell everything. I was getting the stink eye from a few people so I started moving her along. Sure enough, a woman with a clipboard headed our way. "Please stop walking your dog on our private property. We have a number of elderly people who live here who are nervous about your dog."

Really, there's nothing to say. I agreed, mentioning the challenge of getting her out during this hot spell as a "fig leaf" for being in the wrong as we headed off the property.

So, tiring day just from the logistics of walking a dog in this heat, made doubly--triply--tiring by essentially being told I was a Bad Person for trespassing, and because now we can't go on the property and The Dog will not understand why. Ah well, she'll forget quickly enough and get over it. But I'll still feel bad.

I'll never understand people who are afraid of dogs. My dog isn't particularly big and she certainly doesn't behave aggressively in public. She's always on leash when we're someplace like a sidewalk or street. And she doesn't tug at the leash or otherwise act scary. But I guess that's moot point. People are entitled to feeling how they feel and expecting to feel safe at their homes.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Oh, and so far I'm stalled on renting my old home. Possibly the accent walls are causing some people to balk and that is a bit frustrating. When I rented, I hated the generic beige walls so it's hard for me to understand people wanting generic beige walls. And my accents are generally neutral, in spite of being bold colors--an almost black blue on paneling on both sides of the white brick fireplace, and an olive on one wall of the beige master bedroom with vintage pine wood trim. The kitchen is a pumpkin orange/schoolbus yellow (I was trying for "harvest gold" to play off the retro cabinets) that complements the muted blue vintage vinyl floor. The backsplash is colored to tie in with the floor and appliances with black, white, stainless, and a kind of steel blue/grey. The least neutral room is the other bedroom. That was mint green with white trim when I got the place, so I went with a purple accent wall (I was actually going for retro colors when I picked them--harvest gold, avocado green, and eggplant).

I'm also a bit annoyed because I've always landed a tenant very quickly. Of course they've turned out to be less than optimal tenants, so maybe I need to trust my property management company. On top of that, my friend that I worked for doesn't seem to have any concept of how much work real estate investing is. "Isn't that place rented yet?" That was his constant question when I had a place come vacant while I was working remotely for him and working my other part-time job. "No. Because I've got maybe a week of stuff to do to get it ready to rent. And about 2 hours a week to do it. And then there's listing, showing, screening, lease paperwork. So no. It isn't rented. And it won't be rented while I'm working for you." But now this place too. "Isn't it rented yet?" "I only got it back the afternoon of May 1. And I wasn't remotely happy with the way it looked until almost the end of May." "Yeah, but I thought with a rental company, they'd get someone in there quick." That's because you don't understand real estate investing. Shit, I'm a novice at it and I've been doing it seriously for over 2 years and studying it and doing it on an amateur level for over a decade.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
This heat wave is brutal. Also, I forgot how unproductive you can be when you have a dog and a cat. The Plan for today was to load up stuff to fix up the laundry room (brushes, trays, stirrers, spackle, putty knives, concrete stain for the floor, ceiling paint, trim paint...etc) and then run to pick up a few odds and ends and then just bite the bullet and buy some rugs and curtains etc to help with staging. Home Depot, Lowe's, and Wal*Mart are all in a row on the same street--along with a plant nursery because I really want to replace the plant my idiot tenant's tree company cut down when I hired them to trim back trees that were overhanging the house and driveway. The Plan was, if Lowe's had the odds and ends I needed, I'd just pick up paint there too. If not, try Home Depot. If not, just get whatever paint they had at Wal*Mart. Well no joy at the hardware stores. And then the Wal*Mart I went to had a pitiful selection of rugs so I just scrubbed on the staging items and went back to Lowe's (because that was on the right side of the road). 4 guys in the paint section. 2 customers waiting. Everyone in the paint section wandered off, leaving the customers standing around the counter. Another guy wandered into the paint counter, did not make eye contact with any of the customers, and then wandered off to join his compatriots. So I got in my car and drove across the fucking street to Home Depot.

At Home Depot, there were NO employees in the paint department. After looking around a bit I headed over to customer service and had them page for someone. Headed back and loitered a bit but no one showed up. So I got in my car and drove BACK across the fucking street to Lowe's. Eventually got my paint. Oh, and I wound up picking up a little Japanese Maple at the nursery. Didn't have a shovel with because I hadn't really planned on buying a tree, but the place was out of the way enough that I didn't want to make another trip. And I couldn't just stop off at home for a shovel because this would confuse The Dog.

Got to the house and got as much done as I could (which wasn't much) and headed home. Got home and couldn't remember if I'd locked the door or not, so I grabbed the shovel (and a stepladder because the ceiling was too high in the laundry room to easily use the stool I'd brought for the purpose) and went back, locked the doors, and planted the tree. We'll see if it survives or not.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Oh, and my point was that, the implication of this thread (or at least the "Office Space" reference) is that I don't want to do a damned thing if I don't have to, but today I realized that isn't accurate, because I felt really bad about the idea of blowing off today so I went and TCB. So I guess I still want to do stuff, but I want to do what I want, when I want to, not be like "well, I've got work tomorrow afternoon, so I guess I won't get around to adding the 2nd coat of plaster until maybe Sunday."
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I am at an age where I wonder if I'm tired all the time because it's been so hot of late, after countless tick bites I've finally gotten Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, I have cancer, or if I'm just getting old and can no longer maintain the activity level I'm accustomed to and its all downhill from now on. Must've slept close to 9 hours last night. Took my afternoon nap, and still needed another nap when I got back from grocery shopping. Now I've still got plenty of time to do stuff. Or I could just drink whisky and fuck off online and go to sleep.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Just need to bitch a bit. You may remember, I work 2 nights a week at a factory. Been doing it for 2 years in August. Pay's good, it's part time, there's no responsibility, and I hate it, which is good incentive to make enough on real estate that I don't need a job (in theory). As a part time worker, they stick me wherever someone's sick or on vacation or whatever. Right now we've got a lot of people, but a lot of them are new. So they'll break a job into 2 (or even 3) parts and have several people doing it. Tonight I was doing a job I'd never done the entire thing on. And the line started up for the day before I had my cut-resistant gloves on (I was running late, but also they assigned me the position at the last second), so I started out a bit behind and the supervisor decided to split the position with someone.

And as it happened, that someone was a lazy turd who couldn't stop playing with his phone.

I generally try to hide specifics for whatever reason, but I'm too tired. I make dishwashers. So water comes out the bottom of the dishwasher into conduit that feeds it to the spinners that wash the dishes. The job entailed putting the cover on the part where the water comes into the washer, putting the conduit in place, and shooting a screw into the back wall to fasten it. One guy put the cover and conduit on and the other guy shot the screw. We switched off at each break. And it sucked regardless.

When I was shooting the screw...they have a lubricant that goes on the cover to make it easier to install. He would not use the lube. So he needed to use 2 hands to install the cover. Because he needed 2 hands, he had to wait until the washer was fully in front of him, leaving me about 3 seconds to shoot my screw. And of course sometimes he also had to fuck off on his phone, which further cut into my time. When he was shooting screws...fuck, I don't even know. He'd be fucking off on his phone or fucking with his shoelaces or sitting down for a bit or whatever and still wouldn't shoot the screw in time. So we kept stopping the line.

Now no one has ever given me the numbers, but I've SWAG'ed it and I think my guess is pretty good. I figure it costs $400 for every minute we aren't making a dishwasher. Throughout the day we caused the line to be down for over 5 minutes. The Big Boss was periodically coming to stand behind us and watch us.

Now I'll cover for and help someone who is trying their best but coming up short. But I'll Blue Falcon throw someone under the bus if they're not pulling their weight. So I made it as clear as I could that it wasn't me that was slowing things down. And I made no effort to help him out when he was behind because he was lazy and fucking off. And I know at least once the Big Boss saw him fucking off on his phone while I waited to be able to shoot the screw.

At one point when he was slow enough to fuck me on the screw, I happened to make eye contact with my boss, down the line and just shrugged helplessly. She came over and gave us a talking-to. And of course she had to scold both of us--even though I'm almost a rock star there. But this didn't help. So eventually we had to leave the station to go talk to the Big Boss in the office with the Union Steward. Of course Idiot managed to get lost on the way there and I made no effort to help him.

But I'm not going to full-on throw him under the bus. You just don't do that. Besides, I'm too passive-aggressive for that. So when they're scolding us and asking what they can do to help us be successful the most I can do is say that I think it would be faster to have 1 person doing the job because 2 people just gets in the way. At this point the Union Steward makes a speech about staying off your cell phone while working. Within 10 minutes the fucker was back on his phone and causing the line to stop. Oh, and he spent the last period of the shift wearing his backpack so he wouldn't have to spend 3 seconds picking it up when the shift ended. So I spent a little over an hour bumping into a backpack every 16 seconds. Then he needed to go to the bathroom 5 minutes before quitting time and wondered if I could handle things alone. I desperately tried to convince him I could, but he must've decided not to risk it--because if I couldn't, he'd look bad and if I could...he'd look bad--so he stayed.

I hate humans so much.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
My life doesn't scale well. Maybe my priorities don't work with productivity. Well, not maybe. My dog gets around 2 hours a day of walking. Playing with The Cat. Reading my stories online, playing some solitaire. Then I need to somehow fit in making money, getting my hair cut, replacing clothes as they wear out, washing my car, going to the movies or out to dinner, etc, and I can't fit it all in. 1:30 Tuesday afternoon and my breakfast dishes are still on the table as I try to get through all my online reading and figure out how to move forward with the rest of the day.

Part of it is that I still think of New Dog as Old Dog. I give her the level of attention Old Dog needed and truthfully, she is OK without that. That said, I also am respectful of not creating problems with her. Old Dog had some separation anxiety issues, but she was OK. Then one day I had to work on the other side of town with rotten traffic and instead of coming straight home I went to my Toastmasters meeting for that week and it created a level of separation anxiety that I had to battle for the rest of her life. Dogs' brains function like a human with PTSD. That's the natural way they are wired--a stimulus triggers a memory for them. And that puts them back in that moment. Very hard thing to fix once it is programmed in.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Just taking a quick break from Responsibility while hiding out from this heat wave. I hate people who aren't just honest and up-front with you. This house has come a long way since I got it around a year and a half ago and I really needed to show it off a bit. It has an extra bedroom and was appraised at about twice what I paid for it. About the only person I could think of who would really appreciate it was the Realtor I worked with on the deal.

Now I get that her time is valuable. And maybe she had no interest in seeing the place. She was the listing agent as well and I got the place for considerably less than they initially listed it for. But when I asked she said she'd be delighted to see the place. Only then she said she tested positive for the 'rona and I never heard from her again.

I'm generally of the philosophy that opportunity only knocks once so I never ask someone a second time. But I really wanted someone to see the place. And I wondered if maybe I was missing opportunities with this approach, so I reached out to her again. "Why yes, I'd love to see the place! When would be a good time?" I said I work Monday and Friday nights but any other time would be fine, just let me know. Nothing. So 3 days later I said "how about Tuesday, around lunchtime?" She asked if she could do Wednesday and I said it was on my calendar. She said she'd see me then. Wasted a day waiting around for her and she never showed. At this point I'm forced to conclude that "Yes, I'd love to see the place!" really means "I'm not that interested and have better things to do," which is fine. But why not just say that in the first place. Because where I come from "I'd love to see the place" means...that you actually want to see the place. Weird, huh?

What else? Going on 4 weeks since the party that I wound up bailing on because ticket prices went up like 25% from the one 6 months ago and there was no promotion on this one. The fact that there have been no photos or posts on social media from anyone about how much fun it was makes me think no one showed up. Well, I need to get going. 6pm. Still 97 degrees out, but the black dog HAD to go OUT. I thought she had to go to the bathroom, but she just found a toy [she barked at this point and I had to stop and go let her in] and refused to come inside, hanging out in the shade as long as she could.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Fucking touchpad. Forgot to turn it off again after the computer went to sleep and it just deleted out about 2 minutes of typing. Long story...no, fuck it, I'll just type it out AGAIN.

Nature is cruel. And/or stupid. A white rabbit showed up recently. It goes with the white cat that hangs out at the neighbor's. But it has ventured onto my property a couple times. One night The Dog went after it and it easily escaped. Tonight it was in my back pasture, chilling about 5' from the fenceline to the neighbor--that it can easily fit through. The Dog spotted it and began a stalk. He must have seen her but he waited until she started her charge. Then, instead of the nearby safety of the fence, he decided to go FORWARD, across my property to the far fenceline. This was also slightly towards the Dog as well. Happily, he looked like he would easily stay ahead of her--as long as he didn't get hung up on the fence--until he slipped in the wet grass. He recovered quickly, but The Dog gained a lot and there was a flurry and a rabbit squawk of distress at the fence. I ran up, expecting to see The Dog with a new trophy but he must've made it through the fence. Didn't see him anywhere nearby, so maybe he wasn't badly injured. I dunno. I guess I should've scared it off or kept The Dog from chasing it, but I figured it was perfectly safe and harmless. Nature is never perfectly safe and harmless.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I had a plan. No, that's not true. I've had MANY plans. Plans going back to 7th grade or so. Shit, kindergarten if we count "I'm going to be a fireman!" So far they've all failed for one reason or another. I wonder if that's the allure of "Pinky & the Brain" or Wile E. Coyote--deep down, at some level, we can relate. Anyhow, we won't dwell on the countless plans I've had that failed. We'll just go with the last one. That was a good, sound plan in 2017. It didn't work in 2012, so I amended it. By the time 2019 and 2020 rolled around, I had to make some pretty big changes to it, but it was working, more or less, as late as June or even August of last year; back in February of 2021 it looked like it was working really well. I was 2/3 of the way to my goal. Then it all came apart. I mean, not catastrophically. Not even to the point of being unrecoverable, but it definitely hit some bumps. I considered just chucking it on the heap with all the other plans, but thought I should at least see it through to that last 1/3--or find out getting there was impossible. But man, I dunno. Maybe it's time to realize I'm not cutout for buy-and-hold single family residential real estate. Only thing being, I can't think of a better plan right now. It can/should cash flow. And I need cash flow. Otherwise I need to get a job. And I don't think I'd like another job.
 

Oerdin

Member
Get a job and continue to purchase realestate. The co.ing Biden recession will be a good opportunity to find good deals. You will need good deals because interest rates are going to be high.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
The Dog just bagged a groundhog on the property. Officially earning her keep at the next level of varmint control. [details follow, stop reading if you don't want to hear them] It didn't seem that large, but my memory of groundhog size is sketchy. Anyway, it was stupid enough to get caught in the open with no escape route, but smart enough to put up a decent fight. She's a more skillful killer than Old Dog. Old Dog would regularly get bit--repeatedly--while fighting. She chased this one under the deck and came out with it in her mouth but it had...I think it had some part of her collar because its head was supported by its mouth but I could see daylight between the two. She managed to get it off. Apparently she'd broken its pelvis and/or back in the initial attack because all it could do was lay on its back and menace with its teeth and front legs. She would make quick feints and lunges until she'd get a hind leg and toss it. Eventually she got it face down and was able to come in behind and break the neck/crush the ribs. Not terribly pleasant to watch, but a lot more elegant and precise than her predecessor.
 
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