Friday, July 8, 2011


I have opted for the week of the 8th of August to take the entire week off, of course, that is, if it's approved. I haven't really had any vacation requests turned down, sometimes I have to change the dates.

Where to go? I dunno that I am going to GO......ANYWHERE. The thought of simply booking a flight to the other side of the country and the coming back here - for no more reason than to get the airplane trip out of it - has gained traction.

I absolutely LOVE flying and I haven't been on an airplane since my flight back from the state of Washington in - 2006 I believe it was - when I drove a truck up there for the company I was working for. I could be living in Seattle right now, making $33 per hour to drive a belly dump and getting lots of OT on top of it. The distinct reason that I would NEVER want to live in Seattle is the open faucet that is set in the sky. It RAINS and RAINS and RAINS up there.

The flight back was fabulous. I really mean that. It was daylight when we took off and going up to 35,000 feet, we passed through at least half a dozen different cloud levels. We'd get above one and find another one on top of that. It seemed like we went up forever. It was a good long flight, too. I dunno, just another world for me when I am sitting in any kind of plane, large or small, and taking in the views and listening the to the engines roaring.

I guess the cost of tickets, though, are rising now. I am also not very well convinced that I want x-rays of my body being taken and I most definitely don't want some dude groping my private parts to see if I might have a bomb concealed behind my testicles. In fact, that would be the only drawback to a flying trip. I have read too many accounts of what I consider to be abusive behavior by TSA agents groping people. I don't wonder if some of those people TRULY enjoy their jobs in being able to touch people in places that ought not to be touched, unless it's your partner, of course.

The, the trip from Washington had none of that. It was before the machines and the groping. I made the whole thing an experience and I still look back at it fondly.

The question of where, exactly, I would go also has surfaced in my mind. I mean, big cities? New York? I already live in the 5th largest city in the U.S., visiting another one doesn't have much appeal to me. A flight into some place that is full of pine crested mountains where I could go hiking for a couple of days sounds like much more fun. Or perhaps a visit to my childhood stomping grounds of Pittsburgh - though admittedly, I know no-one that lives there at this point.

Another intriguing idea originates from reading Fin's blog and all of his adventures on cruise ships. I think you probably have to schedule those things a bit further in advance than the month I have before I take my time off.

In reality? The prudent thing to do is nothing, just take another staycation. The economics of our current times are not exactly conducive towards spending money on a limited vacation. I have all kinds of ideas, but in the end, it all costs money. Perhaps I could spend a bit of money on camping equipment and take the dogs - all 400 pounds of them - up to the burnt, cool, mountains of Arizona and smell the aftermath of huge, vast areas of forests that have burned down due to human stupidity. Yeah, sounds fun.

Okay, selfishly, perhaps, I have scheduled the vacation for the week when Caleb is allegedly getting out of that camp. It could easily turn out that he will be able to get a ride home from someone at the camp, which is fine by me, but, if he needs a ride, I will certainly drive up there and get him.

Another idea that popped into my head, though, is to take a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway. I have never been on it, but I have had many, many friends tell me it is an awesome ride. My mother also went on it some years ago and said it was awesome. I just looked up pricing: $180 for round trip on the observation deck - it's elevated above the rest of the train and looks to have an outstanding view of everything. They have a sale price on packages for "couples" for a 2 night stay up at the rim, but, I don't have the other half to take up with me. Oh well.

Who knows. Enjoy life while you can enjoy, I have observed. Such as one of my tenants that just walked in and spent yet another several days in the hospital. This time, because of the meds he is on, he fell asleep at the wheel and rolled the car over. Ouch.

I'll pondering what, if anything, to do with the total of 9 days off of work. I can honestly say that staying at home and doing nothing, especially during a hot summer and not having to go out to work, has it's merits. I haven't really minded doing it the last what, 2 years in a row, I just thought maybe doing something else - preferably out of this town and away from this whole atmosphere - might be a good diversion.

Meanwhile, life at the ranch. The AC coming on and going off all day and night long. The heat outside. The "neighbors" starting trouble yet again (I haven't even gone into the police visit last night). Tenants and their issues. High electric bills. This, that and the other thing. I need a bit of relief, I do believe.

Friday 8/7/2011

I finally found it. The Barber Shop that has a person that can actually do something with my hair. $16 cut - worth it to look good. Got that done today. Will be looking for that particular person when I go in there from this point forth. I have a very full head of hair and it is VERY thick. It's hard to do anything with. This guy worked his magic on it and it's the best cut, by far, that I have had in years. Not weeks or months, years. I do NOT like to wait at a barber shop, but I will do so if it's the right person.

I don't remember if I put this in yesterday's blog entry, I don't think I did. The Army Reservist had her pickup repossessed. She is, undoubtedly, in a world of hurt. I can't help her. She owes me rent and I won't wait forever for it. I can't help a person that gets fired for stealing at work. Though I understand the temptation to get a bite to eat, especially if you're broke and hungry, I don't take stuff from my employer because - fill in the blank. It's not the moral/ethical thing to do. I finally remembered to bring home copies of the "Pay or Vacate" notice, which I will be filling out and giving to her today or tomorrow.

I am BONE dead tired. I was AT work at 4:00am. I figured I would get a short day in getting out early, I figured wrong. The delivery didn't take too terribly long and then I was back at the yard, pulling a large order for Monday. I wanted to leave early, I really did, lol, I was and am that tired. But, a delivery to a place near Coolidge came up - a 42-mile (one way) to take some materials down south. It was decided that it needed to get done today because there is not going to be time Monday. So, for this pay period, I have the first 80 hour period since - at least 2-1/2 years ago. Our numbers were way up last month and already this month we are starting to get up there and a lot more work in queue.

Which is good, because there are even MORE financial experts now starting to talk a double-dip recession or even a depression. Employment numbers were dismal for last month and that has a lot of people worried at this point. I am not going to worry, well not too much anyway, it is only human to start thinking about things when they have the potential for affecting you - drastically I might ad.

On that note, I got my 2008 W-2 from work - lost the original. I can't find the mortgage interest payment information, so I guess I'll have to call two companies to get that information for 2007 and 2008. If it is worth it, I will modify 2007 with interest payment to get even more money out of it, if not, then I will milk the 2008 cow for it. I'm going to get every penny I can out of it and get some money in the bank to help tide me over if the situation starts getting really rough.

I have my ideas for saving my property if I ever lose my job and can't find another one - I have sort of gone over that on this blog before, but, those ideas are still there. I actually have room for another travel trailer in my driveway if I back the one I already have up all the way to the fence. I could live in it and rent out my master bedroom, which could net me at least $500 per month. I am not there and don't even want to go there..

Lynnette, one of the trailer tenants, announced today that she was upping her rent. A bit unusual for a renter to up their own rent, but, they aren't paying very much, lol. I have not hinted at it nor did the thought cross my mind to ask them for more. I figure they are probably paying their share of the utilities they are using and that's all I wanted to get out of them considering their situation. I didn't turn it down. I didn't even try to turn it down. The reason is simple: since they are paying more money, I can get a window AC unit for them cheap. They can shut off the swamp cooler and turn on actual AC. The extra money will pay for the extra use of electricity. Trust me, those swamp coolers do not work well this time of year. If it's 118 outside, it's 90 something inside. Or not, the thought crossed my mind and I figured I might help them have a bit better quality of life in that thing by having it actually cooled versus a reduction in heat that isn't enough to make it feel cool in there.

I have a lot of junk going on in my head right now, in case you hadn't noticed. Not that I am really sweating anything, just really pondering things. The situation of going to church has caused me to really do some serious soul-searching and intended changes of lifestyle.

One change will occur Monday: the weight/fat loss competition at work starts and I intend on going full out on it. I REALLY want to the last 10 or 12 very stubborn pounds. I have decided that I am going to buy tons of those Weight Watchers frozen meals and that is ALL I am going to eat for the most part, with a deviation here and there for some fresh cooked chicken maybe thrown into a chicken salad type of thing. That and start pumping iron at the gym. I think it cool to be a part of that kind of competition and see what kind of results occur for everyone, not just me. There are some "robust" individuals at work, quite a number of them that need to lose at least 100 pounds. Yes, I said at least 100 pounds.

This is the status quo for America today, obesity and extreme overweight is no longer the exception as one might say it was 30 years ago. Seeing extremely large people walking around is not uncommon anymore, you see it everywhere. I am not dissing overweight people, but I am saying how much more motivating it might be for any given person to be in a contest with other people they know and work with to try and lose it.

Ummm, can the economy be fixed, a question posed to readers for an "unscientific" poll. I don't wonder if it wouldn't already be well on it's way to recovery if the government hadn't meddled in it so much? Obama isn't going to carry much weight into election "season" if the economy keeps tanking as it is.

Well whatever. I don't want to go there right now. This economic chaos has been going on a long time now and the related unemployment and housing crash, it really serves no great purpose to dwell on it.

I have no plans this weekend excepting going to church on Sunday. Yes, my self-made, 4 week in a row church visit commitment has been fulfilled and is over as of last Sunday. But, that didn't mean I didn't want to keep going. I wanted to go to the same church and see how receptive they are to new people, cause honey, there are plenty of cliquish churches out there with people that don't want anything to do with the "newbies". You can't get into their circles/realm if you paid them. Not that I would want to pay anyone for such a thing, it's just the point that people can be extremely selfish.

The exterminator is coming tomorrow morning. This after I got rather upset that they did not show up 7 days after the first spraying when they said they were going to AND I have seen 3 roaches since the "cleanout". It was the fact that they didn't even bother to call, much less show up that caused me to call the owner of the company and demand my money back. Well, not exactly. I demanded they either come out and get rid of these roaches as they promised to do or give me my money back. He's a really nice guy and all, but I shelled out $150 for this guaranteed service with a 2 visit application to make sure they are all gone. In my view, that's a lot of money for 2, 30-minute visits, well not even that long.

I have no desire, whatsoever, to get up early and take all of that stuff out of those cupboards again, but buy golly, it's gonna be done and they will have total access to all of it, just like the first time.

Oh, I forgot: I want to find a place to shoot off some rounds in that 12 gauge shotgun. There are some shooting ranges around, I guess I could go to one of them.



Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...