Saturday, July 11, 2009

More

At the main branch on Friday, I was talking with a co-worker that is pretty cool - we get along well. He gave me an odd look at one point and asked me about my trees and plants. Yes, they're doing well. He says, well, when we move out of our house, if you're interested, we're going to sell everything that's ours - which is all the landscaping (it was a dirt property like mine when they moved in) included the trees and plants. Actually, he said people could come over and give a whatever donation to their cause.

The sad truth of the matter: they are going to lose their home to foreclosure. His wife lost her job a while back - like a year or more ago, found another one and then got laid off of that one the SAME day that we all found out we are losing an hour per day at our company. He got a double-whammy in one day. I immediately agreed about the trees - but then felt bad for saying so so quickly. I don't want to see the guy lose his home. He's a go-with-the-flow person, he figures to rent an apartment at less than half of what his mortgage is and start saving money.

Perhaps - but I've been over there a couple of times. They did all kinds of upgrades and modifications on the property. They spent a truckload on the landscaping and the place looks really nice, including a nice swimming pool. He tried to talk to the lender - nothing. They call him on the phone and he's like: well what do you want now? "When are you going to send in a payment?" I can imagine his frustration considering he's called them, talked to them, got nothing but the runaround and they continue to call anyway.

What're you going to do? Well, it's not too late. The "making homes affordable" program should be able to help him. He doesn't have to talk to the bank, he just has to fill out the paperwork and send in the necessary documents. I did mine online. I did talk to the lender, but they referred me to the online applications for everything. Fine and well. It's just sad to see so many people going through this, even worse when it's someone you know.

On that note, I just accessed all my accounts that I can access online - which is all of them excepting paying the mortgage online. I have come to the conclusion my mortgage company does that on purpose - force you to send it in snail mail. Then, if you're going to be late, they charge you a $25 fee to send it Western Union. Whatta scam.

Anyway, I was surprised to find all of my accounts are paid up. Excepting the mortgage that is - a given for right now. I expected to see a water bill on there - it's a 0 balance. Credit cards either paid current or not due for 20 plus days. DirectTV - 0 balance. The only thing I owed current was the broadband bill - due by today. It's now paid, of course. I've been doing my due diligence to stay on top of everything else as much as possible besides the mortgage. The only other payment that I get behind on is the car payment. The "lateness" of the payment scales back by 2 to 3 days per month. Right now it's paid current, but due on the 16th. Last payment was almost 2 weeks over, this next one will be about a week and a half late. In saying that, it does NOT show up on my credit report as late, it just means that I am dumped with a $10 late fee.

I'm totally way over-impatient to get the stuff unboxed at work - all the drip watering system stuff - and figure out what I need. I would have loved to have started on that project this weekend. It may be a while before I get the stuff, but the wait is worth the huge reduction in cost that it will be.

That's about it. I'm still psyched by my winnings at the casino today. I'm sure they don't much care for it, but the risk goes both ways when you're playing. From what I saw, they MORE than made up for it just from other players at the same table.
Think that's enough writing for one day.
G'nite.
ben

The Casino

I have fought the waves of “winning” for weeks now. I have not gone to the casino because I have not thought it prudent or even smart to do so. I ended the winning streak a couple of months ago now - close to a grand UP, not down, thank you.

Today, I did not resist. I’m sure I could have resisted, but I didn’t. It is MISERABLY hot out there. I was not going to spend the entire day working out in that kind of misery. I was also not going to sit around here all day long, doing nothing but mindless nothingness.

I got to the casino and the parking lost was about 2/3rds full. A good sign for me. “My” parking space was empty, another good sign. Getting out of the cool car and into the hot sun was no fun, but it’s only a hundred plus yards to the entrance from where I normally park.

I walked around the blackjack tables, as is my want. I have methods to my madness, there is no logic, really, to it, but - I do what I must. I finally sat down at a table. It came off quickly that this was not going to be “THE” table. There was a guy there rambling on and on about how HE should be the guy to cut the deck - I sat there for about 45 minutes listening to this nonsense. The cards were not going my way. The dealer rung up 3 blackjacks in about 10 hands or so - that was my sign to leave, but mostly because of the man that just went on and on - bitching really - about the fact that the dealers were not giving him the cards to cut. I did NOT want to wait around to find out what this guy’s kind of cut would do.

I got up and found another table. That went off bad immediately. The lady I sat down to - after only 2 hands - started mouthing off to me. Why? Because “I have lost EVERY hand since you sat down here”. Really? All of TWO hands?!! Anyone willing to mouth off like that is sitting at a table I don’t want to be at. The dealer started to say something about “pretend there’s a glass window between….” I cut her off - but not rudely. I just said I would find another table. Any person that is willing to piss on other players for no more reason than they are losing - is a person I want nothing to do with.

3’s a charm. I was down $100 - money I could not afford to lose. Yet my confidence level was so high, I was absolutely sure my luck would change. I pulled out another $100 bill at the 3rd table. Got my reds - $5 chips, all of them - and plunked down a $15 bet. From there, it was history. I was as much as $300 plus up over what I walked in with. I was tipping greatly - another thing I can’t shake. Don’t tip? Might as well stay home, the cards will reject you. The dealers, the waitress, even the guy tending the bathroom. Tipped them all. Now that I think about it, I should have gone to the steak restaurant and indulged myself. I never feel bad about leaving ahead, even if I was up well above the total take.

My take today was $200. Sounds like chump change to some, to me it’s everything I spent this weekend and then some - quite a bit then-some. I bought an electric weedeater this morning, as well as the soaker hose, some bug poison and 2 packages of stakes to hold up the plants I have been planting in recent weeks.

The thing that struck me was the pit boss. She was a great lady! She made it all the better - her input and the rapport back and forth. She came back after I was down - and was surprised. “Wow, you’ve done well!”
I didn’t know they kept track of that kind of thing. I SHOULD know, I guess, but I just never considered they are counting their pennies as well as everyone else. At the end, she came back when I was cashing out my chips, I thanked her profusely for such an enjoyable time, she said you’re welcome, I headed for the cashier’s window.

In this 4 hours of casino gambling, I watched several people losing a LOT of money. I also sat there and watched a few people winning a LOT of money. One guy sat down, pulled out $500 - and proceeded to lose it within about 5 minutes. The lady sitting next to me won at least $500 I’m guessing after looking at the stack of green - $25 - chips sitting there over time.

That’s it. I had a great time and I also won some money. It’s all going towards electricity. The temps are outrageous, the electric usage is off the wall. I’ll bet today will be at least a $14 day in terms of electrical usage.

ben

Saturday

I copied and pasted a posting I made on KCL over here - it for some reason didn't appear here?!!
Oh well, I guess I could do it again, but who cares, I'll just write another post.
I bought a soaker hose for the plants today, it was on sale and the extremely high temps out there are too much. I have nodesire.com to stand out there in blistering heat watering everthing.

It's a 50 foot long hose that drips out water the entire length of the hose. I would have rathered a 25 footer, but they didn't have one that size. Anyway, I am slow watering everything and will be doing so all day long. I also was out there putting in stakes to hold up certain plants and trees that need the help - though I finally gave up and came in here, sweating profusely and decided to get an ice cold glass of water.

I'm totally excited about the fact that everything I need to install a drip watering system is going to be available right at our store. It will be at least a week, I'm sure, before we get it all sorted out and placed on shelves - I can wait that long, especially now that I have acquired the soaker hose. I don't have to stand out there watering the stuff, the hose can do it for me, I only need go out at intervals and move it from one line of plants to another.

Yes, that's pretty much it for this weekend. I have no great plans for anything. In a couple of hours I'll probably make the trip to downtown and visit the 2 guys that I have been helping out here and there - and for whom I have found a couple of other people who have also been helping them, which is totally cool.

I will be making a list for the boys to get things done around here this weekend - of the which I expect them to get it done. This time, when they accomplish everything, I'll give them a couple of bucks each to go to the store and get some ice cream or something. They won't find that out, however, until they finish the jobs. It took them about an hour and a half of constant work last week to finish. They are ALL asleep right now - well I don't know about JD, he goes home to sleep - they must have stayed up late last night.

I'm trying to talk myself out of getting another 401k loan. If the loan mod I applied for comes through, I probably won't do it. Only if a financial emergency arises will I get that loan in that case. A financial emergency would be something like the car breaking down or the AC quitting - though it's still under warranty for the compressor and other expensive parts of the system. I'm trying to tough it out without the loan is all I'm saying.

Well, that's it. Highs today are ranging - depending on whose forecast you read - anywhere from 112 to 115 and tomorrow, allegedly, 112 to 117. I went to open the door of my house a few minutes ago from the outside- my hand burned as I turned it, and it's not even noon here yet. GAG!!!!!
Outta here -
ben

I'm Not Ignoring My Blog................

………….I just have a lot of “stuff” on my plate.

The watering of the plants around here is taking endless amounts of time. The hot weather just sucks the moisture right out of the ground and doing a deep watering on that many plants is next to impossible with just a couple of garden hoses. I can’t wait until we get all that stuff unpacked at work and I can buy all the stuff to put in the drip system. Meanwhile, I think I’m going to spend $10 on one of those hoses that has all the small holes in it for doing a good slow watering that will cover 50 feet worth of plants at the same time.

I also did that loan mod application this week and sent in all the necessary documentation. At the very least, I’m hoping for the HUD interest free loan that sticks the past due amount on the end of the loan. What that will do for me is free up another $60 per month in late fees. Every little bit helps. I’m facing some serious electrical use in the coming days if not weeks. I read online that hell is visiting Phoenix this week and it’s bringing it’s temps with it. I don’t like hell and rather bid it a good riddance. Regardless, it’s 7:00 am and it’s already 90 degrees outside.

Further the stuff that is happening at work is a bit - stressful I guess I’ll call it. You go to work and wonder what’s going to happen next. I’m not dissing my company - I’m just saying it’s a little nerve-wracking to know that layoffs are on-going and they will continue to do so until they figure that this thing has bottomed and they don’t need to get rid of anyone else.

And then there’s all the tenant stuff that comes and goes. Never know what’s going to come up next. I need a vacation. I would love to take a week off and go somewhere nice and just let the cares of this world float away for a while - I’m good at dumping that junk out of my mind when I’m on vacation. A nice pipe dream, but dreams are better than nothing.

As for today, there is quite a lot I want to do - but I don’t know that I’m going to be very motivated once the heat really kicks in. I figure I should stop writing and get out there and get some stuff done - but I also figure I would like to just take a day off from everything - sorta like the vacation dream - and do NOTHING but stay inside, alone, with no interruptions, and just watch movies. Lol, that is definitely a dream that certainly won’t materialize around here. Actually, I guess I could come close to it by disappearing into my bedroom. Kick the boys out, tell them to leave me alone, ignore the tenants and just have the presence of a bunch of dogs that endlessly love to follow me all over the place. However, I don’t consider my dogs a nuisance or an interruption - they know me well and they know how I want them to act in my house.

So, that’s it. My life in a huge nutshell as it is currently panning out. Oh, and I forgot that I promised the now ex-homeless guys I would take them some food today. Nothing fancy, just something to eat. They don’t have the gas turned on in their place yet so they can’t cook. I’m trying to decide what to make to take over there, but I figure I’ll probably end up just making the chicken breast that is on sale at Basha’s - 77 cents per pound - cook 2 packages of that and a couple of side dishes. They at least have a working refrigerator.

C’yall later?!!

ben

My plan for today accomplished. Hook the trailer up to the Jeep for the first time, haul it over to the town where my stuff is in storage, ...