Sunday, May 10, 2009

Watering

I started watering my neighbor's tree. It's a huge pine tree that stands at least 60 feet tall that they simply never water. Granted a tree that large is going to have a deep root system, but - there are times around here where it doesn't rain for 3 months running. I dunno - I think the reason some of the branches are dying off is cause' the thing simply ain't watered. It provides my yard shade in the morning, it's a nice looking tree and it's trunk is going up at a steep angle.

So much of an angle, the tree has huge, fat limbs growing the opposite direction of the angle to offset the angle of the tree. The limbs coming off the angle side are VERY small. I'm always amazed at how nature adapts to whatever cards it is dealt. Now WHY someone would start growing a tree at an angle is unbeknownst to me, but - I don't want to see the thing die. I gave it a slow, 8 hour watering overnight.

Anyway, I got out there and sweated the biggest sweat I have done since the heat came in digging out 2 more holes and sticking 2 beams in the ground - this is for another trellis. I've determined that the trellises will end precisely where I want them to - right next to the back door. I also removed the doggy door - it broke - and took it back to Home Depot. Misplaced the receipt - have it around here somewhere - but I did have the original box. They gave me a store credit - which was fine with me, I got another one and already installed it. I'm afraid this one isn't going to last very long, either and that I'm going to have to end up going to another store to buy something better. Or - I could just keep taking the broken ones back to Home Depot - I kept the receipt this time IN the box.

While there, I bought 4 more bags of concrete for my trellis project and that was the end of that - spending money is not a big hit on my list at this point unless it's to pay bills. Ken - the tenant I took to see Star Trek yesterday - we're both huge Star Trek fans - is going to take me this coming weekend to see it again. Don't have to pay a dime and yes, I will gladly watch that movie twice.

Oh, and dumped a bunch of money onto the card reader today while at Fry's doing shopping for the coming week. Plus continuing on with my emails to a lady - friend - that I met through a Craigslist ad a couple of months ago. I'm just human, I need a mate. There is no getting around it. Try to find someone compatible with your views/compatible with their views and find the chemistry - if it's there - and go on. I have had dozens and dozens of emails with her, and finally - yesterday - we talked on the phone for about 45 minutes.

We seem to be connecting very well.

There is a catch.

She lives in Flagstaff, I live in Phoenix. She's living in a place where I would love to live. I'm living in a place where I would love to leave. She's living in a place she doesn't want to leave, she's in a job/career that may end due to government budget cuts and may have to move. Nothing is - ever - perfect. Or even close to it. In a few emails, she has hinted at my visiting her up on her property - which sounds absolutely gorgeous. We are both from extremely unfortunate situations, I'll call it, in past marriages.

That's my "coming-out" party for today. I have written nothing about this prior to this on here because - I simply have had bad luck with CL encounters. Could this one go the same route? Of course it could. No doubting that. But I'm going to continue to take the risk until I find someone. I'm not in a hurry - I just don't want to go into old age alone. I think that would suck, terribly.

So there it is. I am not putting up the lines for the laundry today - the cement is still dark and obviously not ready for stresses to be put on it. I'll wait 2 days before putting another trellis up, but when I do, I'm going to stretch out my shade screen along the backs of the 3 trellis and get at least that much of the southern wall covered from the sun. The next set of trellises will be - interesting. I have an access opening to the underside of my house where the next trellis should go. I'm going to have to cement posts into either side of that opening - about 4 feet wide - and then either put 2 trellises on top of each other horizontally, or - put in lumber between the posts. I'm opting for the latter, as the other 3 trellises are/will be vertically installed.

Well, take that back - on the laundry lines, I could at least screw in the eyelets for the lines - but I just don't trust stringing lines with a lot of tension on them yet.

I'm done.
ben

More Layoffs

Not unbelievably, the GM of our area announced in an email sent to everyone that another person has been let go.
There is no end to this kind of action in sight.
To say that I'm uncomfortable right now is an understatement.
Go to work everyday, stay as optimistic as possible, put on the work hat, do everything you can to make yourself as valuable an asset to the company as possible.

But at the end of the day, no-one knows if that will be enough. I have serious doubts that my company is facing any kind of bankruptcy or going out of business. It's just a matter of who survives it and who doesn't - there is no calculation that I know of that will determine that. My crystal ball isn't working too well right now, I cannot see the future - only God can do that - so, I trust in Him to take care of my daily needs regardless of what's going on all around me.

But everytime I see another layoff, I certainly have to wonder if my name is going to end up on that list or not. I don't doubt that most if not all of my co-workers are thinking the same thing. Drivers are hardly immune. The company must have drivers - yes - but who stays and who goes - if any more drivers are on the axe list - no telling.

Changing the subject, yesterday I went with the girls to Dennys for breakfast. Yes, this is another bad-service deal, but I was mostly keepinp my mouth shut about it, as the girls were definitely unhappy with the level of service we were receiving.

To put a face to it, the man that was serving us was no-where to be seen after he took our orders and came back with our drinks. The lady that was serving tables next to us was in and out and in and out - checking on her customers quite frequently. I'm not one well taken to having to wait and wait for a refill on coffee - one of the main reasons I go to a restaurant to experience the "bottomless cup".

The girls kept asking the lady waitress - who was not our server - to please get us this and that. After we ate - the food was good if nothing else - I went up to pay at the counter my portion of the meal. The man behind the counter was clearly a store manager. He asked how the service was. I sort of paused for a moment, thinking about how to word that reply - and ended up saying it was okay. This manager saw right through that, apparently, and asked what was wrong. I tried not to make a big issue out of it, just referred to us having to ask another waitress to get stuff for us, as our waiter seemed to do a good disappearing act.

He proclaimed his loud disgruntlement with the waiter in question, said he was going to comp me and left the counter for a minute to go talk to another manager, apparently. He came back and I flatly told him I did not say anything about the waiter to get a comp. He said he knew, gave me $5 off the meal anyway, and that was that.

It appears to me, at least - in recent times - that management is taking a much more serious approach to customer relations than they have in the past. I've noticed it at many stores. There is one type of industry that seems immune to giving out good service, however, and that is all the large companies of which you have to call an 800 number to get through to them. More specifically, DirectTV; Qwest Communications and really, a host of others just like it. I'm more referring to the stores where you walk in and buy something versus the faceless entity where you call in and contract for services "rendered" in terms of receiving improved service. Home Depot takes the nomination and prize for most improved as far as I'm concerned.

When I walk in there nowadays, all employees apparently have been instructed to greet customers. I mean ALL of them. You walk by one and they're "how's it going?" or "Hi, welcome to Home Depot" - stuff like that. You ask them a question, they don't point you in the direction of what you need, they take you over to it and show you. I'm telling you, from the years and years of terrible, horrendous service they used to give, it's a dramatic, palpable - and nice - improvement. Even nicer that there is a store location only 2 miles away from my house.

Anyway, I'm sitting here mulling my options for today. The ex-tenant still wants me to come over and dig out that tree, but this time included the option of not having to dig it ALL out in one day. Maybe I could go over there and get the prelim stuff done - an hour and a half or so - and then come home. I really don't feel like going over there at all, as I'm about to take off to Fry's for some food, go to Home Depot for 4 more bags of concrete and a cheap paint brush to apply more Thompson's Water Seal to the trellises, and also do at least one more window with the styrofoam treament.

Dunno.

I do know that I'm - outta here!
ben

Sunday

Walked out in my living room this morning to find a guest laying on my floor. I had no knowledge of this guest even coming over last night - I went to bed early as I was tired and wanted to catch up on my sleep.
It's just Kyle - one of the boy's friends who comes over maybe once a month to spend the night, sometimes the weekend. It's also the same kid who has an almost full time job working at the raceway - considering he's 14 - I'll give him kudos for earning his own money and helping out his parents who have been hard-hit by economic chaos created by the current state of affairs in this crisis going on right now.

The T posts are in the ground and I'm just waiting for the concrete so set enough that I can install the eyelets and string the line. I figure later on today I should be able to do that without worrying about the concrete giving way to the pressures applied against it with running the line.

Which leaves a couple of other projects to finish up that I have been putting off for various reasons. I still have 2 more trellises to install on the south wall, along with putting up the shade screen behind those trellises and I have more styrofoam to put up on a couple of windows. I have enough material left over from the sliding glass door project to be able to cover everything else. Meaning it won't look so bad - styrofoam versus southwest style material, take the latter any day.

Today is Mother's Day, want to wish all mothers a great day and hopefully your kids - however old - will give you the honor deserved for filling such a vital, irreplacable role in all of our lives.
ben

Fitful sleep. I could easily have left out of here at 4am and been 200 plus miles down the road by now.  Just need to get home and get a nig...