Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Cat With Holes

I was outside - my usual thing on weekends for sure - on the east side of the house. The east side of the house is my primary focus for landscaping, ponds, beautification.

Coco - my Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog mixed with Great Dane (though mostly Leopard Dog) is ALWAYS out there with me. I don't ask her to come out there, she follows me like a magnet on steel. I could say the more appropriate axiom, but I don't want to digress.

I was laying out the 1/2 inch tubing, paying no attention to her whatsoever. I don't normally do that anyway, pay attention to dogs while I am working that is.

I look up, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. She was on TOP of a cat that had come into our backyard and was inflicting bite wounds into it. I absolutely HATE cats, with a passion. They come over here and crap.

I was shocked. How did all of this happen without any sound? Coco is not afraid of cats. I know, people always think a cat will win against a dog - not ALL dogs, thank you very much. She - Coco - doesn't CARE if that cat bites or scratches her, but more to the point, she is MUCH faster than a cat, her reflexes are very sharp and I can't find a single scratch or bite mark on here anywhere. She had that cat upside down, her mouth over it's sides, the cat wasn't able to do anything, she had it pinned and was inflicting pain.

The cat, unbelievably, was totally helpless. You don't see THAT every day, nuh-uhhh. Cats invariably get a way from dogs, this is my experience with the dogs that I have owned - except with Coco. She is a nutcase. She will stand at that back fence for HOURS, looking at the cats in the neighbor's backyard as if they were a Hostess Cupcake. Capture it, eat it.

I had to literally FORCE her to let go of that cat. It limped to the fence and crawled up it, jumped down the other side and beelined to the window of the house - where it's owners were anxiously awaiting. They just happened to be in that room of their house, doing laundry.

I could see them through their back window, examining the cat. I am quite sure, especially after seeing it limping, that it is wounded. Although I despise cats with a passion, I am not a person inclined to see animals being - killed - by other animals. Of course it goes on in nature and that doesn't bother me a bit - the food chain. But in the case of domesticated animals, it really doesn't "turn me on" at all.

Coco was only doing what comes naturally to her. I make no apologies for the actions of one of my dogs against a natural "enemy" that has come into our back yard. I won't even apologize for the damage to the cat - why should cats have free reign to run all over people's properties where they don't belong? I DID get the assault stopped as quickly as I could, yes.

But, if those people think I am going to pay for a vet for the wounds inflicted on that animal, they have a totally 'nother thing coming. I only say that because I know that woman over there well enough to know that she might attempt to make such demand.

I don't also wonder if there is retribution coming. I am going to aim one of my cameras towards that area of the back yard - if something happens to Coco - I love that dog, she is a totally cool doggy - I am going to have it on film and I am going to be able to......press charges, actually.

Speaking of cameras, I have been dreaming of an 8 camera system. My 4 camera system is nice, but it would be FAR nicer to have more complete coverage of my property. I think the guy that sent that stuff to me from - China - is still selling those systems on eBay and still selling it at FAR lower prices than ANYWHERE else I have been able to find. I have had that system up there for 2 going on 2 and a half years now. I have had minimal problems with it - the biggest problem was attempting to figure out how to get everything into English versus the default it is sent in at Chinese. Buying another 4 camera system would integrate into the system I have - no extra software - and I would only have to set up the cameras, run the lines and install another inlet plate on the back of the computer.

Of course, that is only a dream right now. At $249 for the system, I have much more pressing issues to deal with.

I just had to come in and write this up - I was getting hot out there anyway, was time to take a break. It's in the mid 90's today. Not HOT HOT - it only motivates me to get some of this harder labor stuff done before earthly hell arrives. With the addition of this 4th station on my drip system, I will have 98% of the plants on my property covered by the system. This will free up a lot of time for me in the summer versus spending 1-1/2 hours per day watering plants. The system can water all those plants for me, I need only turn on the system. I am resisting doing a fully automatic system - even though I have it set up for such - because I LIKE going out there, even during the hot summer, and inspecting every thing and make sure the emitters are working.

Which reminds me, it is soon going to be time to cover up my sliding glass door here - in the kitchen - on the west side of the house - to reduce the heating factor of such.

C'ya later.
ben

Urgent Announcement

The room has been rented.
That will be all.
Have a nice day.

Problems With Direct TV Billing

So, I go online to pay up several bills that are due.
I look at the Direct TV bill - $104.92.
What?!!
I have 6 receivers, I have to pay $5 for each receiver after the first one. All of these companies do that, so even though I don't like it, I'm good with it. That's $30 just for all the receivers in this house. $69.00 for the programming plus tax.

I realized what happened - they had dropped my $15 per month reduction for bundling with Qwest. I immediately called Diret TV and - ended up speaking to 4 different individuals over a 45 minute span. Multi-tasking, I know these conversations with these people are going to be endless, I was mopping the floor while talking and waiting on the phone.

First person couldn't help me, I expected that. Second department couldn't help me either, neither expected or didn't expect that. 3rd department - I am being transferred between departments, not individuals within the same department. They did this because I told them if they didn't reinstate the discount, I would be leaving Direct TV - not an idle threat either - and going either with Dish Network or Cox Cable. I hate all 3 of these companies, so who cares which one you go with.....whoever is giving the best deal, really.

The 3rd guy gives me a very long run around, but I stood firm and he ends up giving an additional 6 months of $10 off per month. I have to call Qwest to get the other amount dropped. Great. I can JUST imagine that. I then ask to have it verified that my contract, which should have been over in January, is now going to be over in June.

No, sir, you contract isn't up until March 3rd. Dealing with this company is like talking to ducks, they just quack at you incessantly with all kinds of hyperbole and computer script. I was getting unhappy but I maintained my phone composure and etiquette. I knew instantly what they had done: when I bought a used receiver last month for those trailer people, even though I VERIFIED that it would not extend my contract, they extended it anyway.

After getting my discount - which is NOT showing up in my current bill yet - I was handed off to a 4th department that deals with this kind of stuff. I informed them that I had bought the receiver off of Craigslist, I did NOT lease it through Direct TV, the contract should be up in June of this year, NOT March of NEXT year. Another inderminate amount of time - I was busy mopping just to keep the agitation levels down with these people and not paying attention to how much time was elapsing. This lady finally comes back and says that they can't modify contracts, so they did away with it completely, meaning that I am NOW free to cancel my contract with DirectTV.

Yes, I am probably going to start up with another company. Only if DirectTV will give me new equipment and a better price - for a full 2 years - will I change my mind. I doubt they will, but I will give it a try anyway. All new equipment - 6 receivers worth, that's what I want. It would be easier to stay with this company than to have to deal with getting another company to come out here and set up all their stuff and remove all of my stuff.

What got me going today was the second individual I spoke to who stated I could reduce my programming and theirby reduce my monthly fee. NOT happening, I replied quite bluntly, I have been an almost-10-year customer, if this is the way you are going to treat me, I am simply going to go with another company. It appears the Direct TV is starting to listen to such threats now, because they didn't used to. For them to hand me over to different departments to "see what they could do for me" is unprecedented with my long history with this company. On their status-quo days, they simply say okay, do what makes you happy, if you want to switch, go ahead and switch.

I have literally been told that by this company in the past.

Well, now I have to call back and ask why the $10 reduction isn't showing on the bill.

Fun fun.

Saturday

I believe I have finally decided where to put those ponds. When all is said and done, it should look nice - like in about 6 months, lol. I am not normally in a huge hurry when I get started on these kinds of projects - first because I like to take my time and make sure things are done right the first time and second because usually, projects take money. I am a pay as I go type of project worker. In this case, acquire the ponds, figure out where to put them, install them and then move onto the next need, which would be a bio filter and pump. Oh, and a waterfall as well to aerate the water. Part 2 will be more expensive than the ponds. That may take a while.

Meanwhile, I am doing my normal Craigslist thing in looking for another roommate by writing up a new ad every day - sometimes I'll write up 2 ads at different times of the day and delete older ads. Some people will not go through too many of the ads that are on there in looking for a room to rent. There are literally hundreds of them posted every day. I have found in the past that some of the people that moved in here found my ad near the top and I was one of the first or THE first ad that they responded to.

Umm, unfortunately, I have yet to receive a single reply to, so far, 3 ads I have posted plus the one I just posted a few minutes ago. THAT - is odd. Interlude. No more than I wrote the preceding sentence and a man calls. He's a paramedic with "Con Air". I laughed loudly - he works for the U.S. Marshall's office and flies all over the place taking care of prisoners. Proves my point to myself if no-one else: people see the first ad they find that looks appealing and look no further. He is - allegedly - coming over this afternoon.

Onto other things. Arizona passed the legislation - it will soon be legal to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Arizona WITHOUT a permit. Good - and bad. I think there are people out there that REALLY need to go through some training before they start carrying around a loaded 9 millimeter and considering the thought of actually shooting someone at whatever point in time when their life is threatened. REALLY, a person should know without hesitation the laws concerning such and when it is allowable to fire on a person and in what situations it is NOT allowable.

I do know that if you happen to come along on someone that is raping someone else, for example, that person committing the act? You can shoot that sucker. But, I don't claim to know all the situations where you might be able to fire upon a person and where you should NOT.

Well, today's farings, or at least this morning, is to go into the now empty room and clean it. It isn't dirty, really, but that guy was using the vacuum cleaner in there, which is nice, but he didn't empty the already full canister, which is not-so-nice. Means I have to take the vacuum cleaner apart, clean out the undoubtedly-now-clogged ports to get it to work again. I figure to head up to the store here pretty quick and get some of the stuff you sprinkle onto the carpet to make it smell fresh/nice. Of course, I could get the carpet cleaning machine out and do a nice little leaning of the traffic areas in there as well. Dunno, it's still early and I am still drinking my morning coffee.

I also want to keep on plugging away at this drip watering system. Everytime I think I'm just about done, I realize I still have a bunch of other things to deal with.

I am not sure whether I will start on the ponds today - or even this weekend. Probably will start the digging process tomorrow, just not sure how motivated I am to do that while I have this tenancy issue going on. It kind of consumes me - getting a room rented - until it actually is rented and I have money in-hand.

Well, I'm off to read the news and see what kind of nonsense is going on in this world today.

G'day.

Ben

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