Saturday, August 6, 2011

Trailer

I have been looking for a trailer for the "homeless" couple for a while now. I mean, I have one that they are living in, but it's not very nice.
My search was accelerated today in going to 2 different places to try and find one. The first was in Casa Grande, a 47 mile, one-way drive to get there and see - another old trailer that was allegedly in good condition.

The problem a lot of older trailers have is damage from a roof that has leaked from rains at some point or another. It doesn't look good and worse, it's a lot of work to properly fix the problem. A LOT of work. Upon looking at this trailer, I had hopes, but that was the outside of the thing.\
Going in? Well, I mean, really. The flooring was buckling under my weight - meaning old and will have to be replaced. The ceiling was not only buckled in 2 places, it had caved in. Obvious water leak damage. Paneling on the walls was dry rotted or peeling. The aesthetics of this trailer? Not very nice. One of the windows had several, window-length cracks in it.

The flip side: they only wanted $700 for it. I can sell the other one for at least $500 meaning that if it was any kind of decent upgrade, it would probably be worth the $200 net loss in the end. So I was seriously considering it. The plumbing works, the electrical all works, the propane works. It had a built in microwave; oven; stove top; nice sized refrigerator.

The one they are in now? None of the electrical, water or propane works. Further, the holding tanks leak. Giving it serious thought is simply because for $200 net loss to have all of that working? Probably worth it.

But I got home, uploaded the pictures and gave it much more serious thought. One piece of junk for another. In reality, that is really what it would be. It's old - 1979. I can deal with that, but I do have an ulterior motive here. I am throwing that out at no extra charge, btw. These people aren't going to be living here forever. Pretty much guarantee that. They don't WANT to live here forever, they want to find some way to get into an apartment or some kind of normal housing.

I want to put a trailer up on my mother's property up north - she has offered many, many times over. I haven't asked, she obviously would like some company up there. I wouldn't mind, and I will probably camp out up there when I get the week off from work - which hopefully is next week. I haven't seen her in a while and I would LOVE to get out of this valley for a while and get out of this horrid heat.

So, I sat here considering this other offer. It's a 5th wheel trailer. From the looks of it, in much nicer condition, though I didn't know what year/how old it is. So, I called his number. No answer, left a message. Then I wrote him an email also saying I would like to come out today if it isn't too late to take a look. I had no more sent that email than he wrote me one - having not gotten my call or listened to my message or read my email to him - getting a bit nasty because he had made an offer to help and I was snubbing him.

Hmmmph. Oh well. He calls a few minutes later, apologetic. We had a good conversation and I decided to go see it. The problem, though, is that I don't want to commit to $3,500 for a trailer. Especially an older one. He is willing to take a down payment and then monthly payments. I'm just not willing to pay that much for an older thing unless it is in excellent condition.

I get there and this thing is a good sized trailer. It is also newer than the one in Casa grand which is a 79, this one is an 88'. Awning gone, first thing I noticed though not uncommon in Arizona with the sun baking them and destroying the fabric. A bit costly to replace. Door has issues, but he told me about that in advance. The rest of the trailer, though was solid, good looking and in decent shape - on the outside that is.

I walk in. I start examining the walls, ceiling, appliances, flooring, everything. I am not new to travel trailers/RV trailers, I have an idea of what to look for. The first thing I am looking for is water damage to the ceiling from openings in the roof. I am looking at the condition of the walls. Is the papering coming off, is the wood behind it rotted. Is there a lot of damage to drawers, doors and appliances in terms of things broken, ripped, torn, whatever. Is the flooring solid. Not the carpet or tile, the wood underneath it. Walk on all of it, heavily. See if it gives.

Lots of things to look at and consider when buying an older unit. This one is in remarkably good condition. It has some minor issues, yes, but nothing that can't be easily fixed, sans the door. The window is missing and that might take bit of fooling with to get it righteous, but other than that, it just needs some minor cosmetic stuff inside and that's really it. Okay, I am guessing the roof will need a coat of the tar like substance, but still. It's in great shape.

I was listening to this man that owns the thing tell me how much it moved him the ad that I had written. I am not known for not giving out the details of things in my writings. I do sometimes leave out details that are unimportant to a story and that just take up too much space and - leave the reader rather bored - but, for me, I write the way I want to and that usually includes much minutia. There are many people that are turned off by that kind of writing - I can't help you. Thousands if not millions of other blogs you can read if you don't like this one. He went on for half an hour of how good it was going to make him feel to help someone out, and in that spirit, he lowered the price by $1,000. NOW I was feeling comfortable about buying this thing. $2,500 for a good unit that, if taken care of, will stay good for a long time to come.

Yes, very good, indeed. This is the kind of thing where I can trust the people that are living in it will take care of it, Mark and Lynnette will. I can fund projects here and there to revitalize portions of it. The only thing this thing is lacking that kind of turned me off is the generator is gone. This is pretty common in older units: people sell the trailers but remove the generators. Generators aren't cheap but it kinda sucks to see that they have been removed. Oh well. My mother's property has electricity running to it now, so no biggies.

That's it. He lowered the price, I agreed to a down payment and monthly payments thereafter until it is paid off - interest free - and that's the end of that. It will take about 8 months to pay it off.

No, I don't have it. Details of that are still under way. Title, notary public, bill of sale, moving it, moving the other trailer.

Saturday 8/6/2011

Standard and Poor can go piss off. The government did not default on it's debt, downgrading the U.S. credit rating was a dumb move, IMO. Although I don't think too highly of the circus clowns we have running the Federal Government, I highly doubted the entire time this carnival atmosphere going on over there was ever going to actually end up with the US not paying it's bills, even IF the debt ceiling wasn't raised in time.

Tenant moving out today. He owes me money and I am going to get right in his face and demand it about the time he starts moving junk out. Though, I was informed a few minutes ago he was already moving stuff out half the night. His car is parked out front, so he is at least still here so that I CAN confront him on the unpaid rent issue. Meanwhile, I got busy this morning and posted a room rental ad on Craigslist. Going to get even busier once he's gone and go in there and clean the carpet - and whatever else needs cleaned or repaired.

Today was supposed to be the start of my 9 days off. I am really ready to get some time off of work, thank you. They are looking at letting me have next week off instead. It's kind of hard to plan anything when you hear at the last minute whether you actually are getting the time off or not.

Going to a store today to get new rugs for my bathroom. I don't really shop for such, it will take longer to drive there than it will take to go in, find something, pay for it and leave, lol.

Caleb is not going to California, apparently the event is overbooked as it is. I asked him about going back to work, he said he would be doing that - next week. Oh, I replied, but didn't give my real thoughts on it. My real thoughts are: go back to the store, get reinstated and get back to work. But that's just me. If I'm not working, it's because I am unemployed and am looking for a job. That's the only reason other than perhaps if a health issue stopped me, which I hope never happens.

Speaking of work, I got what I asked for - I guess. My manager got an email from the ops manager asking him why I was hauling a stick of pipe on my truck with only 2 straps on it. We're talking a 5 pound stick of pipe. The pipe was on the deck of the trailer, butted up against dunnage that was holding up 4 fire hydrants - about 2,500 pounds worth. In other words, that stick of pipe being held down by 2, 4-inch straps and kept from moving forward in case of a "deceleration event" occured - wasn't going anywhere.

Technically, DOT could write me a warning for it, but I doubt they would. Still, with the new regulations, I COULD get a warning or even a fine for it. In the case of a warning, they are as bad as a ticket in the eyes of any company nowadays because of these new regulations.

So I wrote the ops manager an email saying that DOT probably would not do anything about it because of the way I had it on there, but that from now on I would go ahead and strap it down according to the law, which in that case would have needed 4 straps.

I did, however, take it much further than that. I expressed my angst about seeing others of our drivers hauling 20,000 pounds of pipe with only 3 straps holding it down. The pipe is 20 feet, 4 and a half inches long, meaning it requires 4 straps. But, we get a "penalty" strap because we don't have headboards on the front of our trailers, so in reality, to keep with the letter of the law and in this case, safety, we should have 5 straps on all of those loads.

The man writes back, apparently excited about that new information, new to him anyway, and declared that ALL loads with ANY pipe on it would now require 5 straps for all drivers in our division. Lol. What's the problem with that? 2 things. I don't have enough winches on my trailer to cover that many straps if I get a load with a bunch of other stuff on it and the time it takes to put on additional straps. The first is easily fixed: simply go buy more winches and straps, the ops manager approved it without asking. The second I couldn't care less about, the extra time that is. I am paid by the hour, doesn't bother me at all. I already do it, anyway.

It's the other drivers who, undoubtedly, are mad at me for bringing up such a thing. Well, the problem with their lack of sufficient strapping is that it is getting the entire company into trouble under these new regulations. Get enough warnings against drivers in any single, given company, and the DOT will step in. DOT has given itself broad, far-reaching powers with these new regulations, including the ability to shut down an entire fleet of trucks. So let them get mad.

Enough. I am just waiting until stores are opened to go out and get some things done.

G'day.

ben

Friday 8/5/2011

Friday
It was just wonderful to come in here this morning - work that is -- and have the alarm go off. Why? Because the keypad to disarm it isn't working correctly. I tried to press the first number in the passcode - I don't know, maybe 50 times?....and it would register.

So, the monitoring company calls, is everything alright? Yes, excepting this blasted alarm! I was sitting here for 15 minutes listening to this shrill, high-pitched noise going off in my ears.

Gag. Here's a good one: all of a 2 day notice for moving out. Cool, huh? This was from Rey, last night, who walks in and gives me the news. "Thanks for the advance notice, Rey". I was obviously not happy about getting such a short, abrupt notice. He is moving back to Tucson. He cannot hold a job down, anyway. Too long a story to go into right now, don't feel like it.

I just love it, though, when people play games like this. Whatever. This is like the 4th or 5th time he has announced that he is moving out over the last several months, I'm figuring it's probably time for him to go.

I was offered yet another trailer, this time a rather large looking 5th wheel RV trailer. Oh, and yet another response, this from a guy who says he has an older one that he wants to sell and will come down in price because of what I am doing with it. Not in a big hurry for any of this, really, I'm waiting to see if the IRS gives me the money back in the second round of returns or not.

Well I'm done with this one. That alarm going off was completely an unecessary intrusion into my brain this morning going off for THAT long.

ben

Dad

SO the trip to visit my dad. Space but the elongated Drive no doubt about that. However I tend to drive rather fast so the 15 hours was prob...