"You gonna get another job?"...

Oerdin

Member
Why is it so hard to understand that termites on your properties are your problem? We did our division of our father's estate and I haven't asked you to pay half of my bills? WTF?

Maybe spend less and save more like I do? I drove the same fucking Toyota Camry for 20 years and then saved the money. Why can't you?
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I figuratively gnawed my arm off to escape the trap of Portland Oregon. House had a dishwasher but I saw how it was plumbed so I never used it. The place took a couple times to pass an FHA inspection and the person who wound up buying it had that they wanted the washer fixed and I said I would not fix it. They went ahead with the deal anyway. Then when their appraiser came through for the mortgage--SURPRISE! His appraisal came back with EXACTLY the items from her home inspection--word for word--even some things that I'd already fixed like a window that had a plexiglass pane that was replaced with glass. For various reasons I listened to my Realtor and just went ahead and ran a test wash of the dishwasher. It worked for me. Sale went through. I'm in Wisconsin and the Realtor calls. Well she called a few times. First time was that I'd left stuff behind which, fair enough, that was probably my fault. I figured she'd want the washer and dryer and the paints that matched the interior walls. And the trash can was full so I paid my Realtor to have someone come through and clean out anything she wanted. THEN she called again that the dishwasher wasn't working. Since I didn't want to have to go back to Oregon for a lawsuit or hire an attorney or anything, I wound up just finding a plumber and paying them to replace the dishwasher. A few weeks--months?--later, the buyer calls me directly to tell me she has a problem because the stove fan is making a noise. I told her "Yes, it does sound like YOU have a problem" and I finally escaped that trap. People are so fucking stupid.

This morning I was walking my dog. That's stressful and exhausting in itself. There's a neighbor a few blocks away that walks his dog at the undeveloped streets across the street from my house. Good guy. Makes sure his dog gets enough exercise and does it every day like clockwork. So of course MY dog decides SHE wants to walk there in the mornings. In the night she still wants to go to the creek but now she wants to walk where the other dog walks when the other dog walks. And of course when we move to the city streets she has to stop and loiter at every mailbox so I look like some kind of mail fraud creeper. But that's where the interesting smells are. At the halfway point of the walk I wouldn't let her chase a squirrel up a tree in the middle of someone's yard so she stood, then sat, then laid down there so that I wound up standing in someone's driveway for 5 minutes (we'd been on a sidewalk that had ended at the driveway). Next she proceeds to poop in someone's yard while they're loading their kid into the car. I made a very big production of getting a poop bag out as soon as she took the signature hunch and was amazed that I didn't get cussed out. I felt particularly bad because it was a messy one that was impossible to get all of it.

I mention this because further along she pauses briefly to mark and an SUV happens to honk their horn. He's coming towards me and I see there's another SUV coming up from behind me so I steer us off the street and onto the sidewalk. But sure enough, he rolls down the window and says "Excuse me sir, but I don't let my dog shit in your yard." Yeah, fine, whatever. Do you even understand what a dog looks like when it is taking a shit, compared to peeing, compared to peeing just enough to leave a mark? Do you not see that I'm literally holding a bag of dogshit while you're scolding me? I try not to let my dog poop on anyone's lawn and I make it a point to pick it up, but if the dog decides she has to poop what am I going to do? Tell her to hold it?

Oh and "I Hate Humans, Chapter 2": I think I mentioned it but yesterday I stopped by the bank. Since it was 4:17 on a weekday they were, of course, closed. Went round to use the ATM and discovered my ATM card was expired. While waiting on The Dog's squirrel lie down I fished out the card. They've got their customer service number printed in about 6 point font--right on the back of where the credit card number is printed. So even if you don't have older eyes it is basically unreadable. So I wound up calling some poor woman who gets God knows how many calls for this bank on a given day. When I got home, I realized the number was barely readable even with glasses ("Is that a 6 or a 5?") but I managed to call it...and get a busy signal. So I called the second, 800 number. On the plus side I talked to a human almost immediately. On the minus side they hadn't actually at any point went "Oh, Fox's ATM card expires next month, we should send him a new one." You know, like ANY NORMAL 21ST CENTURY BANK WOULD DO. Furthermore, for them to mail me a card would take 2 weeks. She told me my best bet would be to drive back to my branch and they could print me up a card on the spot. Huh? Since when...what normal bank does things that way?! I hate humans.

Well, I should get going. Apparently I have to go to the bank today.

OH! Bonus paragraph. Just as I was typing that I got a spam call. And I want to say that if someone said I could either have a machinegun mounted under my hood and have permission to shoot the cars of stupid drivers or I could have a device that sends an EMP spike back to any phisher, spammer, or scammer on any electronic medium, I would be hard pressed to decide which to pick.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Got to the bank. "Oh, we can't make cards. We've got the machine but we don't have any of the card blanks and we haven't been trained in how to use it. We can put in for a card and you can come back for it tomorrow if you'd like." :bang:
 

Oerdin

Member
You problems are not me problems. Are you going to repay me via your rents? No? Then fuck off! It is not like my sister was ever a good sister to begin with. I literally went five years without speaking to her.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Today is one of those days where I feel like I accomplished something significant but when I explain it, it underwhelms even me.

I'll backtrack a moment and lay out the property: 1 acre lot. Long and narrow with a driveway that runs straight down the middle for maybe 40% of the property. House is on the right. Behind the house on the left is a tin "yard barn" that I'm using to store firewood. Next to it is a tin shed that can easily hold 5 cars with two 2 car and one 1 car garage doors. The TARDIS is parked between the yard barn and the shed. After the tin shed, right at the end of the driveway is a carriage house that is just big enough to park a Ford Mustang in. Gravel driveway that is a constant fight to keep the weeds from overgrowing. Gravel floors in all the outbuildings. The tin shed and the yard barn both have rubber matting laid over the gravel. I think someone had a line on conveyor belt material because that's what the stuff looks like--3' wide 23' long strips, laid side-by-side. At first I thought I wanted to put a concrete floor in the tin shed but the driveway is the highest point on the property and there's a significant slope to the shed. Even with a gravel driveway, if I put a concrete floor in the shed I'd have drainage issues to deal with. As it is the water runs through the gravel under the rubber mat. "If it ain't broke..."

The carriage house does not have the rubber matting. And the gravel is uneven and in poor condition. I could level it and cut more rubber matting from an extra roll that was on the property but the carriage house, on the high ground, does not have the drainage issues of the tin shed. So I'm getting someone to come pour a concrete floor for it.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the tin shed has electricity. Lights, outlets and even a 220 outlet for a welder. The carriage house has a light and one old-timey outlet--but the wire feeding power to the building is snipped off. Looking at it, I can't figure how it was wired. Apparently there used to be a big yard light in the middle of the driveway at some point so maybe that's where the garage was connected to. When that went they maybe just decided that building didn't need electricity.

Well since I'm putting in a concrete floor and the building is only a dozen feet from the nearest electrical outlet in the tin shed I decided to get it wired for power. National Electric Code calls for outdoor-rated cable. It can be straight buried in a 2' deep trench. If it is in a rigid metal conduit it only needs to be 6" deep. After digging a 6" deep trench between the buildings I decided to rummage around and sure enough, I had a dozen feet of rigid metal electrical conduit. So I ran that cable in the conduit and got it buried yesterday. And I gotta say, in infrastructure there's a saying about the "last mile" being the hardest. I probably spent 75% of my time yesterday fiddling with the trench so that the ends would terminate at the right depth and the right point inside each of the buildings. But I got it done. I've also gotta say, my mind thinks it is inside a 30 year old body. I definitely overdid it with the digging.

So today was connecting everything up. Theoretically easy. Open up your electrical boxes on each end, strip your wires and splice your black, white, and ground wires on each end into their boxes and then button everything back up. I did have a nicer, modern switch/duplex outlet leftover from another project to put in the carriage house, but I realized I didn't have an electrical box for it and the existing box wouldn't work so I kept the single 2 prong outlet and the pull-cord on the light fixture. I did have to move the outlet to the other side of the carriage house from where it was but that was relatively simple. Now getting the outdoor rated power cable stripped was a real turd. Regular power cable for indoor use has a fairly thin plastic outer casing and then the insulated wires are wrapped in paper. Outdoor cable is more like an extension cord. The cladding is molded around the wires. And my knives are embarrassingly dull. Managed to get it cut and (after much sweating and cursing and failing) spliced in the carriage house. (Do that end first because it saves having to worry about the breaker.) Then it was into the tin shed for the final connection. First I plugged my little wiring tester into the outlet--more to see if it had power than if it was wired correctly. There would've been much cursing if the outlet turned out to be bad. Luckily it wasn't. As an added plus, I could see the tester from the breaker box so I didn't have to walk back and forth to see if I'd found the right breaker. It was, of course, the 2nd to the last one on the panel. When I cracked open the outlet, it didn't look to be wired up right. By this time I'd also stabbed myself in the thumb so when I went in to slap a Band-Aid (and later a strip of electrical tape) on that, I consulted my handy "Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual" on extending a circuit. Fixed the wiring. Then, before proceeding, I had the bright idea to test my repair so I went and reset the breaker. It hummed and immediately tripped.

Went back to have a look at it and I'd stupidly miswired it. Redid the wiring and tried it again and it worked the way it was supposed to. Then I attached the connecting wires, plugged in my tester, and reset the breaker. The outlet still worked. Went in the carriage house. The light was on. Success! Of course that's when I remembered I still needed to button up that outlet. So I tripped the breaker again, got all the wiring tucked in and screwed down, reset the breaker and tested again. This time I brought a battery charger with a 2 prong plug into the carriage house and it worked in the outlet--it even worked in the outlet with the light off, so everything is wired right. Just to push my luck, I checked the light code shown on my test plug and the outlet was actually wired properly. So the only thing I didn't test (and it would've been easy to do but should not be necessary) is that the light in the carriage house works when something is plugged into the carriage house outlet. I guess I didn't check that the light in the carriage house works when something is plugged into the tin shed outlet but that's pretty much how wiring works so it really shouldn't need to be tested.

So yeah, tremendous sense of accomplishment, but the reality is that I have a bare lightbulb with a pull-chain and a single 2 prong outlet in a gravel floored garage that work tonight that did not work this morning. Small victories.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Next major not-fun project is fixing the single car garage door in the shed. Apparently that part of the shed roof collapsed at some point so the top part of the door tracks was missing. Got that and bolted it into place. Forgot to get any kind of kit for mounting them so I made do with odds and ends laying about. Not well enough, apparently. Because if you open the door all the way, the cables come off the track, making a miserable mess. I'm hoping what I have to do is make sure the tracks are level and parallel. It should be a fairly miserable project with relatively little reward.

Now on to more grisly matters. Did I mention that last week The Dog decided she was badass enough to pursue a groundhog into its hole? Turned out she was wrong and I got to bandage a bloody bite on one front paw and carry her a mile home so I could take her to the emergency vet. By the time we got there the various lacerations had stopped bleeding and the vet said just to monitor and keep them clean. There's a red patch on the other front paw that I barely noticed at the time that has been more worrisome than the other injuries because it is on the pad of the paw and is shallow but open--area a little smaller than a baked bean that will have to grow new skin over. Anyway, this morning she avenged herself. Maybe 250 feet into the walk we went to a hole she likes to stake out and I saw a head pop back into it a second before she picked up the scent. And I will say again, what follows is pretty horrible so if you don't want to read Bambi meets Silence of the Lambs, maybe stop reading here. Anyway, she parked herself over the hole and settled in to wait. After around 10 minutes she made a pounce like a rattlesnake or something and dragged a groundhog out of the hole by the neck. 2-3 minutes of fairly tidy work finishing it off followed by a good chunk of time alternating between proudly laying next to the body and mouthing it to break various bones--pelvis, ribcage, etc. After say, a half hour, she decided to get up and head for home--surprisingly leaving the body. As we were getting ready to cross the street she had a change of heart and came back to really get to work on it.

Now, a few groundhogs back, she accidentally opened up the lower torso so she pulled all the guts out of it and ate them. Then she puked them back up because guts are full of poop and such. So this time she went to work on the upper torso, got it open and appears to have eaten most of the upper organs before she hit the 1 hour hard-stop for her "walk." Once I got her back home I grabbed a trashbag and collected the evidence since it was pretty grisly and right next to someone's lawn (yard abuts the vacant housing development and she had the body in the tall grass maybe a foot from the lawn--but the grass was all beaten down). Found a place where the buzzards and other scavengers will find it without any noisome smells or gross sights disturbing anyone and came home to unwind. As I say, as the novels progress, James Bond has less and less of a stomach for killing--to the point where he almost gets killed more than once because he hesitates to kill someone. I get it. This is just a groundhog--and they are ugly pests that destroy property--but it still isn't fun to watch them die and have to deal with the bodies. Well, not for me. The Dog loves it. Best thing in the world in her book.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
My friend who roped me into being a contractor--and that I'm going to wind up having to help out when he get hip surgery in a month...it's interesting that we are friends, because there are a lot of things we differ on. He's up the road a few hours this weekend for GenCon. Don't know if he'll come down to visit or not. But he called from the convention. Thing is, he called from a booth where he was in the process of buying stuff for his daughter. So he's talking to me on the phone while he's talking to his daughter and the salesman. It was rude and confusing to everyone. But while we were talking he said I needed to come up some year and proceeded to tell me how much money he'd blown there. Have you not been paying attention, dude? I only spend money if it makes me money (or keeps me alive and functional). I barely want the RPGs that I still have and haven't played them in literally decades. What am I going to do with thousands of dollars worth of RPG crap?

Now I'll admit I'm a bit extreme on my...thriftiness?...we'll call it that. Yesterday I had to go to the bank to pick up a replacement for my expired debit card. Got away from The Dog for this quick trip. Now for some time I've been craving egg foo young and there is an Asian restaurant literally next door to the bank. A bit further down the road is a "cajun grille" in the Golden Corral went out of business during the pandemic that has intrigued me. And after that is an Asian buffet that I've been to that is wonderful. And it was lunchtime. But did I stop at any of these places? Nooo. Because The Dog was waiting at home. And I had a perfectly good serving of franks and beans leftovers in the fridge. So I saved $10 or so and maybe 20 minutes time and ate microwaved franks and beans.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Procrastinating post. Rarely do I get my weekend chores done with enough time to "move the football" by doing something productive like working on my misaligned garage door. Indeed, I'll often cut corners and consider bookkeeping done if all my receipts in my inbox are entered into my software and all my bills are paid. Right now it is not yet 3pm on Sunday and I'm to that point. Only problem is, instead of doing something fun (or at least rewarding) I really need to do the neglected paperwork--literally. Months and months ago I got a letter from the 401(K) from contracting for my friend, telling me I needed to move it somewhere because there wasn't enough to leave it where it was. No problemo, I have a Vanguard IRA that I regularly do this to. Only thing is, it is a tedious drudge to do. And there was plenty of time. Then last night I remembered it and found the letter. Happily it wasn't the July 30 that I remembered, but I need it done "before August 8." With "before" being the operant word, I guess I need to log into this system and try to do it myself instead of making phone call(s) Monday. So I guess...

Anyway, I really need to dot some I's and cross some T's on my bookkeeping so I have a better feel for just how much money I have to invest in another rental. Prices are still high enough that I really don't have any fudge factor. But first a quick game of MS Solitaire...or three.

[EDIT: I hate the goddamn "1984" "Memory Hole" reality of our online "cloud" world. Another reason I'm dragging my heels is that it's gotten hot today. Again. AC was running the duration of my nap so just before I made the above post I checked Google Weather and found we were at the day's high of 90 degrees. Which was a little odd because this morning I was pretty sure the day's high wasn't supposed to get out of the 80s. Well after finishing up here I popped into Google Weather to find that we are currently at the day's high of 91 degrees. Fuckers. Don't revise your prediction to make it match reality, let us know the prediction was off. Maybe I need a newspaper subscription or something.]
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
"How do you eat an elephant?" "One bite at a time."

Marine Corps doctrine for attacking calls for an assault 10-15 meters past your intended position. No one has ever told me why this is but I'm convinced it is because of human nature to stop when you're 90% done--which is literally deadly if you stop when you've almost taken out the enemy machineguns.

I was making good time. Then my friend called up to talk more about GenCon--and more about nothing and more about spending lots of money on pointless amusements. I eventually wrapped up that call. Then The Cat decided to attack my hand. I needed more space so I had some papers on the bed, where The Cat was laying and he proceeded to climb onto the sheet of paper I was going over and attack my hand every time I tried to check off a box. Eventually I got to the sympathy card my vet sent me when my other dog died. At the time I'd thought I was doing OK and I just completely lost it over the card. Then I spent over a year grieving that dog--and I'm still not done; probably never will be entirely. Didn't lose it, just got a little sad and wanted to stop but I kept powering along for a bit. Then New Dog came in and needed petting. And she proceeded to cry until she got petted to her hearts content. So now I'm about 20 minutes past when I planned to stop. Made a good dent in the stack but there's a bit more to go at some point. But first dinner and "Dr. Who" reruns--"The Gunfighters," from the sound of it.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I don't want to live in Wisconsin for a week. I have 2 "best" friends--one guy I've known since 5th grade and one guy that was a roommate in college. I don't hear from the 5th grade guy that often these days (although to be fair I never reach out to him either), but the college guy stays in touch. He's the guy I worked for. Well he needs hip surgery. And he needs someone to be at his house for a week. And he called me and asked me if I would do it. And what can you say when a friend asks a favor like that; when they need you? Of course as the date approaches, I worry more and resent it more. His ex is a nurse and, IIRC, lives in the same town. Couldn't they just get along for a week? Probably not. But that runs through my head. The other thing is, when you're getting surgery they tell you you need someone to drive you home but, having had ACL surgery and seeing the reaction of the guy I enlisted to drive me home, I suspect they tell the "driver" something entirely different, along the lines of "if they die, you're responsible for the body etc." And dying is always a possibility in even the most routine surgeries that involve general anesthetic and older patients. Then what happens? Am I stuck in Wisconsin to execute a will? Do I suddenly have custody of his teenage daughter? What if it takes longer than a week? What do I do with The Dog and The Cat? Load them in the car for a 9 hour drive? Then live with 2 formerly feral cats for a week? What if that doesn't work out? These are the things I pondered at 5:44am this morning. It would be simpler to just say "no," but that goes against my whole being.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Today I was forced to conclude this guy is a chowderhead*. I mean, I kinda knew this, but man...

So. Since "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" came out, we've chatted a bit about doing an Ectomobile. It's really hard for me to justify and wildly expensive and impractical. To do an ECTO-1, you'd need one of the 400 or so Cadillac ambulance-hearse conversions Miller-Meteor did in 1959. And even if you could find one, I've had experience keeping a 30 year old car running. It's a lot of work. Keeping a 60+ year old one running? Insane. To this he replies "but we have 4 college degrees between us." Yeah. Undergrads in accounting and art and postgrads in computer science and business administration. Of those, the art degree is about the most useful (which isn't very useful at all)--unless you're going to use the other degrees to embezzle a huge pile of money for the project.

But I digress. The point is, against all odds, I actually found an ad for a 1959 Miller-Meteor Cadillac ambulance-hearse maybe 50 miles from where I live. I humored my friend and sent off an inquiry on it but I haven't heard anything back. The ad may be 2 years old--I can't tell for sure. And if my research is correct, the damned thing is 2' too long to fit in my garage anyway. I mentioned all this to him today when he called me up to waste my time bitching about how much he hates his job and he said "yeah, but how cool would it be to pull up to GenCon and have [my daughter] pop out the side door?"

Geez. Getting a 1959 hearse in running condition would be an expensive miracle. Driving it for hours on interstates would be insanity. Doing all the stuff to get even the exterior to look like the 1984 prop would be a nightmare, with all the wiring and details. Doing the interior would increase it exponentially and he starts talking about adding the gunner's seat from "...Afterlife"?! First off, the car doesn't have a "suicide door," so you'd have to completely reengineer the door--which would be practically impossible for anyone with normal resources. And they don't really do "The making of" promotional specials anymore, but I'd bet the effect of the gunner's seat is a combination of mock-ups, different vehicles, and selective photography to create the illusion of doing all the things the seat does in the movie.

Long story longer, when you're telling someone about the difficulties and expenses of a project and they start adding more difficulties and expenses, you have to realize they're not serious about doing something. But I guess I knew that already. One night he texted me that he wanted a pirate ship. Now having had some interest in this at one point in my life, I got to work on Google and pretty quickly found him 2 or 3 50-55' gaff-rigged schooners that were at credible prices, had the look of a pirate ship and were even close enough to our homes that my sailing skills just might be enough to bring them to us. Never heard anything more about wanting to have a pirate ship after that.

I still haven't completely ruled out living on a boat. But I'd have to completely rework my life to such a point that I've almost completely ruled it out.

*Or he could just have daydreams and fantasies that he never expects to act on.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Today has gotten away from me. At the risk of exacerbating this, a partial recap: Worked last night. This always screws up my next day. This was made worse because I didn't set my usual alarm. So waking up took some time. The problem was, I woke up early and then decided to doze a bit. But every time I looked at the clock it wasn't quite 9am so I'd give it another half hour or so. Eventually I woke up enough to realize that by now it should definitely be after 9, looked again and realized I was looking at the hands backwards. It was 10:45, not 8:50.

Then there's all the stuff that has to happen now that I have pets again: Feed them, water them, clean the cat litter, let them out; water the plants. Get them back in. While I'm doing all this along with all the stuff like opening drapes and brushing teeth and having breakfast I realize the toilet is running when it shouldn't be. So I stop to fight with that for a bit. I'd only just solved the problem of it NOT running at all and now it is running apparently constantly. Well it turns out it is just...somehow the valve is clogged or something so the water is just trickling in. Thought I fixed that--until the next time I used it.

So here it is 5pm. Past time for The Dog's afternoon walk and I haven't done any of my weekend chores. And it's again freaking hotter than it is supposed to be. This morning the high was going to be...81 or something. I forget. I'd look it up, but right now it is 87 and the site I reference is now telling me the high was always going to be 87 today--even though I know that's BS because it was only 86 until I hit "refresh". I'd just write the whole day off, but I really don't have that luxury so I guess I'd better salvage what I can of it.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Today, as I played catch-up, trying to salvage the day, I got The Dog walked and headed out to pick up groceries. Got home and let The Dog and Cat Out while I put away groceries and did sundry other exhausting things before getting the laundry going, making dinner, and settling in to watch reruns of "Sell This House." Played some ukulele during the commercial breaks and enjoyed a cocktail or three. Then it was time to take a shower, which meant also time to check on the laundry, since my towels were in the dryer.

Turns out the dryer works better if you set the dial and push the start button. Luckily I remembered I had a spare set of towels laying around--actually several. First I was set to use the fancy show towels but then I remembered I'd used my regular towels when I staged my old house for showing as a rental and switched to the regular towels from my Oregon house. So I switched back to the previous set of regular towels. Then I realized the other problem: My jammies were also in the dryer. It's warm and I thought I might have some old boxers I could wear tonight. But my boxers are all hella old so the elastic in the waists are shot. Then I realized I probably had some long underwear I could wear--like Elliot in "E.T." Suiting deed to thought, I sit here in a 1980s Batman t-shirt and some grey long-johns that I originally bought to be the base for a Batman costume that never happened. I get on BoxOfficeMojo to see how "Lightyear" is doing (not good) and find out that "E.T." is getting a 40th anniversary IMAX re-release and is showing at a theater on the other side of town.

Something is trying to tell me someone.
 
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