Saturday, April 24, 2010

More/Ace Hardware

So, the missing tenant that suddenly is no longer missing paid me a portion of the back due rent with the promise to pay the rest Monday. I took it without hesitation. There are reasons, legally, not to take it - but I am not going to worry about that. I take my losses with tenants as they come. I'm also posting ads on Craigslist to fill that room while she's gone.

I have a taker who said they would move in the day it is available - and I said cool if you're serious - but Craigslist is so full of flakes - people who make commitments or say they are coming or whatever and then - nothing. The ads will continue until the day the room is open, available and taken - ie: cash in hand, tenant takes the room. Thank you.

Dug out a piece of rebar that was unearthed during the proces of digging the holes for the ponds. It was in a position where it had to be removed. I had to dig DEEP into the ground to get that thing unstuck. Crazy.

I was at Ace Hardware today to pick up a patch kit for one of the ponds. I ordered it online - cheap, yes, but I couldn't find anything available locally. There were 2 huge tables full of clearance items. The items had already been marked down, now they were half that price. I saw a submersible pump at a ridiculous price. LOW price that is. Yes, I got it. A pond without a pump is basically a glob of green goo. Filter next.

Well, I went to the back after finding that pump to get what I had already paid for - I bought it on the net through Ace site and had them ship it there, keeping shipping costs free. I approached the counter, a man came up to the counter from the back as I was approaching. Behind me came another customer with a sales associate who walked around back and started taking care of his customer.

I moved to a position directly in front of the other guy who was standing there, at the counter, fiddling with some papers. He never acknowledged I was there. Not a single word. I was RIGHT in front of him, 2 feet away. He KNEW I was there, yet he totally ignored me. I stood there for 60 seconds waiting for this man to at least say SOMETHING. He did not and I walked. Went to the front, waited in line to pay for the pump. A lady was handing out popcorn, I asked if the manager was available.

She calls him, doesn't show up. My turn comes to pay for the pump - after several minutes - I pay, still no manager. I decided to wait and see how long it would take for this person to actually meander up to the front and deal with it - but I was also quite annoyed at that point. At Ace Hardware, I have almost ALWAYS encountered smiling employees with great attitudes. They are all about customer service, at least in my dealings with them. Manager shows up 5 minutes later. Low-key, wants to know what's going on. I tell him in a couple of sentences, he asks who it is, I said at that point it doesn't matter and I left. Well, I had asked the lady at the front for the number for the district manager before the store manager had showed up, which, btw, is NOT the general manager of the store.

I am becoming less and less tolerant of forgettable or worse customer service. In this case, definitely worse. I don't GIVE service in such pathetic terms at my work, I expect to receive at least mediocre service wherever I am going. I WANT great service, but as we all know, that is hardly likely at many different types of retail stores these days.

I walked out, called the number, was surprised that anyone answered the phone on a Saturday. It was another Ace store in Tempe where this manager also manages a store. No there, no big deal, figured I wouldn't be able to talk to this person until Monday anyway. Manager wanted to know what is going on, I told him and then asked if how I can get my money back on an internet purchase, he said he could do it, no problem. Showed up - done.

Will I go back to Ace Hardware? Of course, I am thinking this to be a fluke, it is certainly nothing like the 100 other times I've been in there (more than that, I am sure) in my lifetime. Will I get the patch from that store? NO. I have already ordered another one from somewhere else. No big hurry, either. The pond setup will not be ready for water until I get everything needed to keep water flowing and aerated.

The newest tenant, completely changing the subject because I am pretty much already at the "water under the bridge" stage with Ace and the manager apologizing profusely - is bringing her kids here tonight. Should be interesting - if I'm even awake for it, cause' my bedtime is in 1/2 hour and she is working. Her daughter is 3, her son is 7. She sat here today - we were talking - we are both talkers so talking isn't much of a problem - saying how she likes it here, thanked me for letting her in and how much of a release it is to be in a home without all the stress.

That was nice to hear. I don't like living in drama and stress - though tenants sometimes certainly cause such for me. Anyway, she went to work, then to her parent's house to bring her kids here and then - here.

Long break and it's time for me to go to bed.


Disappearing Tenant - Has Reappeared

She went to Alabama. I knew she was leaving, but that was a long time ago! She said she left 5 days ago and got back last night. Okay, I can accept that, but where is the rent? Yes, that is my major concern here.

She JUST came walking through here, I had NO idea she was even here. Almost shocking to even see her come through here.

Anyway, she said she would pay me rent today.

THAT was my biggest concern.

We'll see - later on of course.

Saturday/Fry's Food Stores

I went to cook some chicken that I bought from Fry's Food Stores yesterday - opened the packaged - enough to make a maggot puke. It was rotten, VERY rotten. Use-by date was today, not yesterday. In the last few months, I have either thrown away or cooked and given to the dogs at least 4 packages of stuff that has clearly expired before the use-by date printed on the package.

Well, yesterday, I had had enough of this. Keep throwing away $5/$6/$7 packages of meat and get no use out of it? Bunk. I took that rotten meat up to Fry's in a plastic bag, stood in the customer service line, got up to the front. The woman gasped at the smell before I said anything, but I said it anyway: "Fry's is selling rotten meat. Smell this". She wanted nothing to do with it - neither did anyone within smelling distance. One guy waiting behind me was also grossing out at the smell.

I was not happy, by any means. I was JUST at Fry's not 30 minutes earlier on my way home from work. I had to get in my car, drive up there, go get another package, stand in a long line, etc etc etc. Who wants to do that? But if you don't, you lose the money you spent on the meat and I have already done that several times.

They DID make it right, though. I won't besmirch them that. I got the new package for free, my money back, PLUS a gift card. I was actually quite surprised. I was in no mood to ask for freebies, I just wanted my meat, go home and cook it. I didn't ASK for my money back or a gift card, I didn't even intone such. In fact, I had half a mind when I walked in there to leave the rotten meat on the meat cooler in the back, grab a "fresh" one and just walk out. But, I figured I might get into trouble for such so I resisted the impulse. It would be nice, though - rotten meat laying out with all the allegedly "good stuff".

I informed them that whoever is working the meat department giving these use-by dates is wrong. It's happened enough times that there is an obvious flaw in their calculation. From the stench of the meat, that stuff I had was probably 2 days into the rotting process. Regardless, I refuse to lose another penny to rotten meat. Although they compensated me, I was still not very happy about having to drive all the way up there after I had just gotten home for the weekend, settling in, thinking about what I might do and attempting to cook some dinner.

End of that story. If you Googled for the Fry's story, that's it, the rest is just my personal, daily stuff. You are welomed to read it, obviously, but just lettin' ya know.

I have several options concerning work around the house for this weekend, I have not decided on which - if any - I am going to do. I am looking daily for pond items for my ponds. Without a pump and filter setup, there will be no water put into them. They aren't quite IN the ground yet, probably 2/3rd's done with the digging. People are selling stuff on Craigslist - just not as cheap as I'm looking for. I have a set up in the back to put together for shade for the dogs for summer. I have several plants in pots that need put in to the ground - just have to decide where to plant them. There is work to be done inside the trailer - but that is on -hold for awhile. Who knows. I usually get a wild-hair and go out and start in on something.

Meanwhile, the missing tenant is still missing. I would have already moved her stuff out of the room on an abandonment notice, but how does a person abandon a nice pick-up truck in excellent condition? She simply isn't here - but WHERE is she? And why hasn't she contacted me? Oh, how I wish I would remember to get people's phone numbers. I have the other 2 tenant's numbers, I don't have hers. I have held off on the notice, but today I am posting it. Whatever her situation is, I can't and won't wait forever for her to either pay the rent or deal with her stuff in getting it out of here. She doesn't have that much things, it won't take much to empty out the room once I gain legal access to it.

Diet? It's going. Yesterday, I ate a plain bagel in the morning. I was at the main branch at work and there were bagels out on the table. I toasted one of them and ate it without any cream cheese or any kind of spread. 8 hours later, I ate a good sized Talapia filet with more broccoli and just some tomato sauce, onions and spices. Quite delicious. That was IT for eating yesterday. I figure that bagel MIGHT have had 250 calories at most. Talapia is VERY low calorie stuff. A 4 ounce filet is around 100 calories. I figure that meal was less than 400 calories. So, yesterday's calorie count - 650. I'm a bit hungry this morning, but not as much as I thought I might be. Yes, my stomach is growling but I have no motivation right now to get up and make food. I might toast a couple of slices of bread - 200 calories just for that - and eat it plain to tide me over until this afternoon when I will decide what I am going to eat. I have plenty of that frozen Talapia and it is QUITE good, I love fish.

Oh, the chicken I got from Fry's? By the time I got back from Fry's, I was disgusted with all of it and just put the chicken in the fridge. I didn't even cook right away my fish dinner, I just put it all out of my mind for a while. I think dieting and eating in general are all, totally in the mind. If you can change your way of thinking about eating, well, it's importance and impulses to eat go way down or even disappear altogether. Yes, you have to eat, no you don't have to eat all day long and no, you don't have to eat all kinds of junk food that is doing nothing but adding fat to your body. Will I be able to last? I'm sort of taking the AA approach to it - one day at a time. Decide each morning to not give in.

For example, I'm sitting here on the computer, Michael has the TV in the living room on. A Dairy Queen commercial comes on. They have Blizzards on sale. Buy one, get the other for - whatever it was 20 cents or something. I LOVE Blizzards. I also steer way clear of eating ice cream. If I eat it 3 times a year, that would be a generous estimate. My favorite is the German Chocolate Blizzard. Because I eat very little sugar, I get a pretty good sugar high if I do eat one.

But, I put that out of my mind. What do I need ONE Blizzard for, much less TWO of them for? My problem in eating is that I like sauces and creams on my dishes. I also make foods that sometimes have high fat content.

Well, whatever. Do what I can and not beat myself up if I blow it somehow.

As for the Arizona Immigration Law - I read about all these inflamed Latinos, yet I talk to Hispanics personally who have NO problem with this law. Sure, there are plenty of Hispanics against it, but there are plenty that AREN'T against it, either. Simply put, a few voices that are getting media coverage are NOT speaking for EVERYONE. Obama wants to put an end to it. Great, Obama, then DO something about the HUGE problem we have in our state!

"It's going to change our lives," said Emilio Almodovar, a 13-year-old American citizen from Phoenix. "We can't walk to school any more. We can't be in the streets anymore without the pigs thinking we're illegal immigrants." This was a great quotation from a punk - juvenile that views cops as pigs. Is THIS the voice of the Latino opposition? ROFL!!!!! Do these people REALLY think the "pigs" are going to start stopping High School students on their way to school? No, I do not view cops as pigs, this was this kid's statement, not mine.

Mexico warned the proposal could affect cross-border relations, with Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa saying her country would have to "consider whether the cooperation agreements that have been developed with Arizona are viable and useful."

Well, dear Mexico, I find YOUR inability to control your own citizens, deal with the drug cartels and your desire to send your people here so they can send BILLIONS of American dollars back to you to be less than useful, too. What's Mexico going to do, stop the "rich" Americans from coming in and spending money over there? Laughable.

This entry has waxed long - I'm ending it.



Well it's almost 3 pm and I haven't heard from the manager about a run for tomorrow, so I'm going to assume that it isn't go...