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This tag is associated with 78 posts

Christensen’s Law

(courtesy of Dave the Genius Mechanic)

I loathe Chase Bank.  Actually, I loathe ALL BANKS!  Remember Christensen’s Law – Banks are NOT in business to serve you.  They are in business to make money. (See also the insurance company corollary).

I am SO HAPPY I am not a Chase Bank customer.  Examples:

  1.  Getting in-and-out of vehicles is a painful proposition for me.  But their drive thrus are not at a good angle for me to access.  So, I must go inside to the foyer ATM.  (Why am I going there, if I am not a customer?  My roommate is, and it’s just simpler for me to visit my Credit Union, obtain cash, and go to her bank to make a deposit into her account.  She doesn’t want a check.)  Half the time when I do this, the indoor ATM is out-of-service.  They suggest the drive thru – which is difficult for me to access.  I went up to the inside counter and was told as I was not a customer, I could not make a deposit – WITH CASH!  X-(
  2. Another time the indoor ATM was out-of-service.  I asked if they could take my deposit (a postal money order) inside.  I was told they could – If I were on the account!  Otherwise NO – try the drive-thru ATM!  X-(
  3. I went the other day to make the foyer ATM deposit.  It worked swimmingly!  It even took all the cash w/o rejecting any bills! (usually it rejects three or four)  THEN, no receipt was issued, and the machine read OUT-OF-SERVICE!  I went inside, and the one clerk said he would be just a minute – he was working the drive thru ATM transactions!  Maybe five minutes later he got to me.  I explained my predicament.  The ATM had taken my money, issued no receipt, did not return the money, then went out-of-service!  He referred me to a more senior teller, a woman.  She listened to my tale of woe, and said she would get back to me.  Then she left!  At length, she returned, and told me the funds were in her account, and not to worry.  But, she could not issue me a receipt, as I was not a customer! (Even though the ATM regularly does!)  She offered me her business card, if my roomie had any questions!  I responded something more needed to be done!  OR I WAS CALLING THE POLICE TO REPORT A ROBBERY!  Eventually, we agreed she could write on her business card the amount of the funds had been deposited – and sign it!

Poor customer service, rudeness, failure to accommodate a disabled person, I could to on…

They suggested my roomie add me to her account.  That might solve some of the issues, but in no way do I wish to be affiliated with this particular banking institution!

NOW, as to my Credit Union!  I almost closed my account there, after over twenty years, because they proudly announced a few years back they would gladly accept illegal aliens as customers!  (Yeah, nothing like furthering criminal activity and money laundering for a profit!)  GRRR!

A Fender Bender?

…or scratches?

So my roomie J and I travel together ‘across town’ yesterday from the suburbs to Central Phoenix, to the hospital where she is scheduled for rotator cuff surgery on March 21.  This is her preop visit, blood work and X-rays.  And, of course, paperwork.

And after an hour or so of that nonsense, we traveled farther West to (Jack Wheeler’s) Original Hamburger Works for a late lunch.  (We add the prefix Jack Wheeler, proudly.  He was the office manager of Tom Ezell’s Investigations and Polygraph.  We did pre-employment polys for Hamburger Works (when it was legal to do so).  And, if we said we were going out for lunch to Hamburger Works, he always emphatically corrected us, adding the ORIGINAL to the name, in that great, bass voice he was known for!

Sadly, Jack passed in 1985.  Pre-employment polygraphs stopped in 1986, except for police, etc.

After a yummy lunner (a late lunch), we headed back home.

J had a prescription she wanted to drop off at her Walgreens, so I headed there before home.  I was driving (as she had alcohol, I had not), and driving her Honda Element remains slightly foreign to me. (no pun intended)  But all was well.

Until I made the turn into the Walgreens’ parking lot, circling the building to the drive-through pharmacy window (the building used to be a bank).

As I made the turn, some fool in a pickup truck backed out.  As I was driving behind him!  I sped up (as best I could in a small lot) and performed an evasive maneuver.

But, he clipped us!

I pulled forward out of the path of parking lot traffic, and he pulled back into his space.  I exited to inspect the damage.  Best I could tell was a couple of scratches on the plastic part just below the fuel opening.  No serious damage, but noticeable.

I turned to greet the other driver and exchange information.  HE had hit US on private property.

And he had backed out again and left!

(I’m reminded that over 10% of Arizona’s motorists are uninsured!)

I had not taken a cell phone picture or recorded his license plate number, because it appeared he was stopping.

And we have more pressing financial issues currently than the $500 deductible for scratches.

Sigh.

(FTC – Neither Original Hamburger Works, Honda or Walgreens gave us anything!  Tom Ezell’s no longer exists, as far as I know – Tom passed a couple years ago.)

Irony

or sick comedy.  I don’t know which.

One if my many maladies is I have arthritis.  It seems to rear it’s ugly head in colder, more humid weather.

Fortunately, I live in a (mostly) dry desert.  😛

I went to the grocery yesterday, and reviewed the over-the-counter preparations. (A through G?)

Most were made of menthol, along with some kind of delivery system – cream, aerosol, etc.  I already have some Icy (something) at home.  For me, it doesn’t work as advertised, it just burns.  😦

Then I saw this cream made with emu oil.  Another preparation which had been recommended to me.  Preparation E?

I happily spent the $12 and took the 4 ounce jar home.

Remember TRIOPENIN?  From SNL?  The pill bottle of pain medication impossible for the elderly person to open, eventually ending in a hammer breaking the bottle?

I thought it was real!

This simple jar with a simple screw-top lid.  Instructions state do not use if the safety seal is broken.  If I could unscrew the lid, I could verify the seal was intact, or not!

ALAS.

Banging the jar lid on the counter.  Pounding the lid with the jar upside down. Submerging the top of the jar in hot water to make it expand.  Vice grips and a large ‘C’ clamp.

Nada. 

I began wondering if some teenager superglued the lid shut, as a painful prank?

EVENTUALLY, some combination of the efforts above prevailed, coupled with prying between the jar and the lid with the sharp edge of a Buck-type knife.

THEN, of course, I had to remove the safety seal.  No, it had not been molested.

And, I finally got to the emu-oil preparation.  Initial trials are moderately successful.    We will see about the longer term.

I’m now wondering if ALL the jars are similarly sealed?

Crap…

not this brand

not this brand

FTC – I purchased the cream, then had to painfully wrestle with it, just to get it open.  That should be enough for you.

 

No Good Deed…

You know the rest!

With both my roommate and I having infirmities and physical limitations (along with no longer being 22!) sometimes things get procrastinated about, or just ignored.

One of those things is our back ‘yard’.

Living in a small townhouse, the yard isn’t particularly large, but my roomie, with her love for the flora, has numerous plants, both potted and in the ground, which sometimes require tending.

And between recent other adventures and doctor’s appointments, the yard has not seen proper maintenance.

And a number of ‘volunteer’ plants have been added to the mix by Mother Nature.  Like lantana, which has taken over to the extent we cannot reach the hose bib or electric box!

Now, there is a time constraint, as her first shoulder surgery is scheduled for March 21.  And I suspect nurse will be added to the title chief cook and bottle washer for me.  And, with her right arm immobilized for a minimum of six weeks, her physical abilities will be severely limited.

So, Thursday last, I carved out some time in the morning to take a stab at the yard.  Because it was necessary. (It didn’t help a number of massive fronts were coming in from California starting Friday!)

My target:

wp-1487515826737.jpg

(the white structure on the right is a non-functional Jacuzzi – now a plant stand)

I popped a significant pain pill, waited for it to kick in and headed out.  Wishing in all seriousness I had a machete ala Indiana Jones.

I had a rake, a shovel, and a weed-eater.

The plan was to work until it was done – no excuses!  Then, the pain pill wore off.  At about two hours.  When not involved in manual labor, they last four or more!

So much for THAT idea.

BUT, I cleaned up 75-80% of the yard, obtained access to the bib and the utility box (getting stabbed byagave-americana the century plant at least twice!), and trimmed back the palm tree by the back gate as to only get attacked by one palm frond, in lieu of three.

With palms like these, who needs anemones? – Thelonious Monk (from the liner notes for the Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ album)

More obviously needs to be done.  But that’s for another day.

And Friday and Saturday I paid for my good deed…

My arthritis kicked in big time, as did muscle pain, general tiredness and malaise.

And my doc wants me to limit use of NSAIDS, having over-used them for the past twenty years or more.

SIGH.

The Mouse On The Drain

(not to be confused with The Mouse On The Moon, or other Duchy of Grand Fenwick tales!)

“Welcome to the drain, gentlemen!”  😛

My roommate and I share both household upkeep and maintenance.  To the best of our abilities.  Between disabilities, health conditions, arthritis, age, pain and shared whining, sometimes things are not as pristine as either of us would like.

(The fact we both have an over-sufficient amount of ‘stuff’ doesn’t help, either!)

Of course, this had little to do with today’s story…

Being the male in the house, many (not all) of the yuckier tasks fall to me.  And sometimes, it’s just the “luck of the draw”.

Today was one of those days.

The past couple of days while visiting the shower, I noticed what we always called when I was married (back in the 80’s) the mouse on the drain.  That is, a disc of hair jetsam on top of the drain grate, starting to inhibit shower drainage.

Back in the 80’s, it was roughly the size of a half dollar, and easily disposed of.

And, of course, not wearing my corrective lenses in the shower, it could have been something else – as in this case it was, a small round grey plastic comb.  (My roomie and I share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.)

And she does many hair-related things in there, with a multitude of chemicals and preparations.  I have shampoo and conditioner.

Fast forward to this morning.  Having picked up the plastic comb, I thought I’d be free of the ‘mouse on the drain’.

Not so fast, there, bucko!

The real mouse on the drain – or, in this case the rat or nutria(!), had wrapped itself into the workings of the grate, and was hanging (yuch!) down into the drain proper!!  And the shower floor was beginning to fill with water!

Fortunately, my hair is in need of cutting and is maybe a third of an inch long.  So, I’m thinking I’m not the main culprit. (ignoring body hair additions here for discretion).

I was able to complete my shower and listened to the slow-but-inevitable noisy drainage, fortunately before it crested into the bathroom proper.  Then, I picked up a proper tool to remove the drain cover (a long hemostat that is left in the bath for this very purpose – what earlier functions it may have had I can only imagine!  🙂  )

And took it upon myself to remove the long, tangled, fist-sized wet hair clumps from the grate and dispose of them.

After having done that, I policed the opening of the drain pipe for any additional hair/soap remnant escapees.

And replaced the grate.

I washed my hands and exited the bath.

I’m hoping next time I will notice the impending crest a day or so sooner.  And be able leave the mouse on the drain for someone else…

😛

The Twelve Labors Of Hercules 

Hardly. 

But trying, nevertheless.

With my knee being ‘iffy’, and The Horrible Chair, just going downstairs can be a challenge.

And, when my roommate having breathing difficulties and sometimes staying in bed, it’s up to me to be  (as my Father would label himself) the chief cook and bottle washer!

That is, take care of the livestock and fetch medicines, water, soda and food for the ‘infirmed’.

I’ve no complaint about so doing – after all, it was my roommate who saved me from possibly having to live on the street with my income decreased and I lost my home.

The ‘problem’ (and this is a joke, folks) is the livestock in question sometimes makes it difficult to do chores.  Because, they, too, want attention.

Or just to be in the way!

The first hurdle is (are?) the stairs.  I know, not livestock.  But just going down them can be painful.  And sometimes the kitten (Belle) plays the ‘can I trip him on the stairs’ game.  (Does this count as a second hurdle?)

Belle

Belle

Hurdle Two – the Cage.  (In no way resembling Star Trek-TOS episode!)  We have taken to giving the livestock the run of the downstairs.  We used to pen up the older dogs in the downstairs bath-as a makeshift kennel.  And that worked for many years.  But, as they have aged (both 16 now), their hearing and vision has diminished.  And D.J., especially, gets scared in the dark when he cannot move about freely.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except he starts barking.  One yelp every eight seconds or so.  ALL NIGHT.  Or until he finally falls asleep.  The yelping resumes when he awakens – even at 0300!  Letting them go free gives them enough ambient light to patrol the downstairs and see enough not to bark.

D.J.

D.J.

Unless, of course, a stray cat appears in the back yard.  No plan is perfect.

(Back to the cage)  We have a ‘cage’ kennel we have used for Lola (the puppy-now two, but forever nicknamed as such) which also is just the right size to block the dogs from going upstairs.  They are supposed to use the designated paper by the back door, but sometimes they like to sneak to the upper landing.  And we don’t like that.

Lola

Lola

SO, I’ve descended the stairs, and prepare to move The Cage out-of-the-way, when Gracie becomes involved.  She likes to sit on top of said cage and add an addition three or four metric tons to it’s weight.  HER nickname is BAC – for Big Ass Cat!  Plus, she can be kinda snotty if asked to move and might hiss at you!

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Now that we’ve made it down the stairs, and moved the cage, there’s the kitten, again.  No, she’s not gone away.  If I walk past The Horrible Chair, she will jump up on the seat and demand tribute!  Which means flopping over and belly rubs!  (the cat, not me)  I must admit this is not much of a trial, and rubbing the belly of a purring kitten is quite pleasant.  😛

tribute

tribute

She can continue with an additional trial, following me incessantly and meowing tiny mews, until I either fill up the water, the food, or change the cat box.  She always lets me know.  But every time I walk by The Horrible Chair I must pay!  🙂

Okay, okay!  I know.  Animals are a blessing, and three (or four) interactions with them first thing in the morning is great! (Except for the B.A.C.!)

And four is not twelve.  Perhaps I need to rethink this.  But The Three or Four Challenges of Hercules just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  😛

Again With The Gratitude!

I’m disabled.  For a number of reasons, including lymphoma.  I don’t make much money on disability.  I’ve an old, beater car, without working A/C.  I rent a room in which to live.  I’ve no romantic relationship in my life.  I have chronic pain issues.  They will never get better.

Sometimes, as above, I whine about these things.  The holidays do not help.

But, The Universe usually doesn’t let me sit on the pity pot too long…

Some time back, I reached out to a friend-of-long-ago on Facebook.  And, he never responded.  Oh, well.  He was a college classmate, who became my boss (for a time) then a good friend.  And we lost track of each other because of Life.

I was always a little envious of him.  In college, he was in good shape, having just left The Marines.  He

Archer

Archer

was handsome.  Sparkling blue eyes, a shock of black hair, chiseled jaw and a permanent five-o’clock shadow with a blue/black beard undertone.  He kinda resembled the adult cartoon character Archer.  And his wife was gor-geous!  (Maybe that was the most envious part?)

Well, I finally heard back from him on Facebook!

We all have our ‘stuff’.  He is no different.

He’s divorced, and NOT friendly with his ex. (I am with mine.)  He, too is on disability, brought about by his military service.  He has a type of chronic leukemia.  Not necessarily lethal, but in need of regular treatment. (Which he now receives).

And he told me he had been homeless for ELEVEN YEARS!!!

He is now working with other homeless veterans to help them get back on their feet and find places to live.

And to think I was whining earlier…

GRATITUDE

A ‘Hate’ Sticky Note

Seriously?

(from Peter)

Today’s award goes to a bunch of hysterical, pants-wetting, sissified social justice warriors at Edgewood College in Wisconsin.

The post-it-note says “Suck it up, pussies!” Whoever wrote it also drew a winking, tongue-out smiley face…

. . .

Students had been invited to express their feelings about the election by writing them on post-it-notes and placing them on a designated table. The post-it-note in question appeared in the window of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion instead, according to Campus Reform.

College Vice President Tony Chambers sent a letter to campus condemning this “act of cowardly hatred” and “intimidation.” He wrote:

A group of cross-functional college staff representing campus security, student conduct, human resources, Title IX enforcement, and diversity and inclusion measures convened Tuesday morning to discuss how to address the hateful message. This group determined that the message constituted a Hate Crime…

College officials informed the Madison police, and now the cops are investigating. They are investigating a post-it-note. With a non-threatening message and a smiley face on it. After inviting students to express their feelings via post-it-note.

That’s hate for you, I guess.

There’s more at the link.

Ye Gods and little fishes . . . hysterical over-reaction, anyone?  I wonder what they’d do with a real hate note?

“the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion”

I think that says it all.  Someone’s college money is going to pay for said office.

I’m not a believer in ‘hate speech’.  There’s speech.  It may be colorful, laudatory, or vile.  But so-called Freedom of Speech supports it.  It’s protected.

Unless it’s an actual threat of criminal violence, libel, slander, or child porn – it’s protected.

Waa!  He called us a name and drew an inoffensive cartoon is protected.

GROW UP!  You’re in college now.

♫ When I’m 64 ♫

♫ “When I’m Sixty Four”♫

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with youI could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
Ho!

(apologies to Paul McCartney)

Well, I turned 64 today.
There’s no one special person to whom this song applies.
I suppose I should be grateful I’ve made it this far.
But, frankly, doing it alone sucks.
(I’ll stop whining now.)
I DO have friends, family and animals to whom I can turn in time of need.
And that means everything.
Almost.
A touch, a hug, a kiss.  Holding a hand?
Doesn’t appear to be in my future.
(Okay, I will stop whining now!)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Partisanship, With Blinders

Regular readers know I am not openly supporting any Presidential candidate (except, of course, Joe Maddon – the Chicago Cubs manager, on my sidebar! 🙂 – bumper stickers for charity! )

So, I’ve been observing the machinations and mewlings of the candidates as a distracted observer.  With an airline barf bag at-the-ready!

An interesting side note on this (and most recent) elections, is the degree of partisanship that continues to appear.  For example:  YOUR candidate said “X” so many years ago (a crude statement), therefore they do not deserve to be President!  Completely ignoring the high crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated by their own candidate!  A crime being stronger than an inappropriate statement.

Now we have a recent debate (which, again, I refused to watch) wherein Mr. Trump made a number of provocative statements, including if he were President, Secretary Clinton would be in jail!

One would have to be wearing blinders and earplugs to not understand the meaning behind such a statement had to do with her alleged actions involving thousands of confidential government emails and perhaps non-actions involving the deaths @ Benghazi.  (The sale of uranium to Russia and the misdeeds of The Clinton Foundation notwithstanding!)

But depending on your party affiliation, you might choose to make Mr. Trump dictatorial and conclude his statement was a blanket declaration to imprison all those who differ with his policies.

And ignore the crimes of your own candidate.

Of course, as oft repeated by Bill O’Reilly*, holding up another’s bad acts do not serve to justify one’s own!

“THEY did it!, so I get to!”

*I used to enjoy watching Mr. O’Reilly, until he began parsing the Second Amendment and stating ‘assault weapons’ (whatever THEY are) should be banned.  Then, I stopped watching him.  I view him as a populist, saying what ‘the people’ want to hear (not unlike Mr. Trump.  Huey Long?).  Except, O’Reilly has slightly better filter than Mr. Trump!)

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…