Monday, May 28, 2012

So, I'm driving home from up North.  I see off in the distance a pickup truck with a trailer on it. It has this giant - machine - you could call it a dune buggy Frankenstein style, the thing is huge.  I pass the vehicle by while in Payson, but I pull into a fuel stop to get a cup of coffee for the trip back.

I get out of there, get the dogs positioned - if I don't do that, Duke will take up the entire rear bench and force Prince to have to sit at a very uncomfortable position the entire way back (Sophie takes the passenger front seat and stands up the ENTIRE trip back, panting and looking at me funny) - and off we go.  I don't much care for driving anymore, so I tend to try to get trips done - quickly.  That pretty much means I am passing everything and not getting passed by anyone.  Or, if someone does happen to pass me, I let them get ahead about an 1/8th mile and then speed up to match their speed.  The reason for doing that should be obvious.

Well, no-one caught up to me today - I would rather follow someone else to be honest but I am not going to take my sweet old time getting home regardless.  So, a bit later, here's that pickup and that trailer with that thing on it.  I'm saying to myself, that looks like the thing my brother has when he goes off-road doing not just 4-wheeling, but rock-climbing with it.  And when I say rocks, I don't mean little things, I mean giant boulders that people have these machines they build that can crawl over them.  Well, we're going up a 7% grade and I am going WAY faster than that truck.  About the time I am maybe 100 feet behind it, I see a hand stick out the windows and fingers moving like they are walking.  I gave it no thought at first. But it continued with a waving motion thrown in.  It suddenly dawned on me that that IS my brother's machine and it IS my brother.

I look up just in time to see him sticking his head out the window with a HUGE smile on his face as I go blasting by him, I waved heartily and that was that.  I hardly EVER see him on a planned visit, what happenstance to actually find him out on the highway somewhere, not having any foreknowledge that he was out there.  I made the 115 mile (I think that's what it is) trip back in 1 hour and 45 minutes.  That may not sound like much, but remember there is 7 miles of that on a dirt road going 25 to 30 miles per hour plus going through Payson with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

Well I have quite the list of things I want to get done before going back up again.  I doubt I will be going next weekend, on the 11th I am driving Caleb up to Heber to the Salvation Army camp.  I probably will not stop by the trailer on the way up or back.  Or if I do, only to spend a few hours and try to fix a few things.  I am still attempting to decide when to take  maybe 3 days off.  I was going to do it when Caleb goes up to Heber - drop him off up there and just come back to the trailer - but I would have to have the dogs with me .  Further, I would have to waste an entire weekend with time that I could be up at the trailer - he won't want to go spending several days up there.  So, I am not planning an extended stay up there when I have to take him to Heber.  That's just going to be a day trip and without any dogs with us.

On a bit of a sour note, was the incident up there yesterday.  Mother is a black and white person.  You say you're going to do something, then  damnit, you better do it exactly as you say you are. Oh, she lives her life that way, this isn't a hypocritical thing on her part.  So, I got her a Dish Network receiver off of Craigslist.

Little did I know the hell that would ensue.  She spent a week on the phone trying to understand why, exactly, they would not activate that thing and get it going.  She got completely differing stories from people working at the same company, but it ended with them saying they would send someone - yes, I mean sending them up in the middle of the forest out in the middle of nowhere near the Mogollon Rim.  They would get it working and that was that.

Dude shows up yesterday - late.  Sun was going down type of late. He was sent from the Phoenix area.  He got in there and understood what was going on and then declared he could not activate it.  Mother blew a fuse.  Literally.  He started to explain to her why he couldn't do it - the unit belonged to someone else and they would have to call in and deactivate it - she didn't want to hear ANY of it.  She was VERY rude, unfortunately, to this guy and gave him a brush off the likes I haven't seen in years.  He walked off the property, cussing and I was standing there temporarily speechless.

Umm, I haven't seen my mother acting that bad - ever.  I have seen her get into it when I was a kid, but it wasn't anything to this degree.  The dude came back, on the phone and I was intent on playing deference. That guy cannot do anything that isn't authorized, that's all there is to it.  She was taking up the fight with the entirely wrong person.  But, in her eyes (and I totally understand this), that guy IS Dish Network and he was now feeding her the same line of BS that had been fed to her at the beginning of this ordeal and that was too much for her to deal with.

She told him off and went outside of her trailer and sat down on a lounge chair, threw up her hands and told her she didn't want to hear another word from him, either fix it or leave.  Wow!!!

I escorted the guy out of that area and away to a place where we could talk without her hearing.  I apologized, frankly, for her behavior but also stated I could understand her position, just that it wasn't really appropriate for her to be taking off after service personnel.  We talked for a while and shook hands and he left.

But here's where Dish Network totally sucks.  I didn't know this until yesterday.  If you buy a receiver from someone - like off of Craigslist such as I did - and they have an active account and do not deactivate that unit, Dish Network won't reactivate in someone else's name. But that isn't the worst part: if the prior owner of that is in arrears with Dish Network, Dish Network will NOT activate that receiver until YOU, the person that is NOT responsible for that bill, pays the bill in full!!

Now excuse my French, but that is a load of BULL****.  I have NEVER had that problem with Direct TV!!! They don't CARE where you got the receiver.  It's the CARD they care about.  The card makes the thing work or not.  No card, no access to the satellite.  Well, I don't like Dish Network anyway, just one more reason to really not like it.   The receiver I bought?  The customer is in good standing but HE has to call in and authorize the unit to be put in someone else's name.

Gag.  My mother had Direct TV and I still don't understand why she switched.

Whatever.  Here's another weird thing.  I had no idea that she had had a full septic system installed for a cabin or whatever she was going to have built or placed on the property - deal went south and I am not going to go into all of THAT. So, I am in her yard - it's a fenced-in area. There are sticks of sewer pipe sticking out of the ground with adapters and plugs on the top of it.  We SELL this stuff, I know what this is: sewer clean-outs.

WHAT is THIS for?  I ask her.  The full explanation about the cabin.  Oh, well why don't you have it connected to the trailer?!!!  She isn't even USING the thing.  She has to go to an outhouse to use the toilet.
Well, she says, I may get into getting that done this summer.

Okay.  Enough. You don't pay thousands of dollars to have a septic system installed and then, after a deal goes south, you don't use it with the application you already have.  That doesn't make any sense at all. It would take a 20 foot stick of sewer pipe and some fittings and adapters and that would be the end of her using an outhouse. I do hope mother isn't going senile on me, but from her actions yesterday and seeing that unused system in the ground, ummm, I dunno.  And let's just say here that the deal that went south - I'm not so sure about  her story at this point.  I wonder what actually happened.

But, I love my mom and I think maybe she needs help with these things.  She may not WANT the help, but I think I may insist and see what happens.

Well I'm home anyway.  The dogs? Crashed out.  Totally crashed out.  I mean, laying on the floor snoring crashed out.  These trips take it out of them.  I was informed that I can give them Benedryl for motion sickness- ie: the car trip.  But, I haven't researched that yet and I ain't giving them nothing to them, especially Duke, until I am sure that it's safe to do so.  I think Sophie would totally benefit from that as well. She just stands there, in the front seat, the entire trip, she won't - or can't - lay down. Crazy dogs.

This entry? Waxes long.


5/28/2012 Monday - Memorial Day

I wonder if the newer generations coming up even know the meaning of Memorial Day or the great sacrifices that so many of our nation's military made in wars past in order to for us to keep the abounding freedoms that we still enjoy to this very day?

How easily do we give up those freedoms in the name of "security" and "what do you have to hide"?

Rhetorical questions.  The All-Knowing Government has their answers to those questions.

I am still up in the mountains, been here since Saturday morning.  So, quite a nice time away from polluted air and people in my face seemingly 24 hours a day.  I slept better last night than I can remember sleeping in the past year.  I didn't even want to get out of bed this morning, I could have slept another couple of hours.  Dogs, however, have their own schedule and to not meet that schedule within some reasonable time frame means...............a certain liquid or a certain mass left on your living room floor.

Fortunately, my mom has a  large fenced in area around her trailer so I just take the dogs over there and they can roam around for a while while I clean up house, make bed and all that sort of stuff without them in my face.  I do need one of those fences around here, but, money constraints right now will have that put off for some time to come.  Only if I can sell the other trailer, then I will spend the couple hundred it's going to cost to get a good fence up around this thing so I can just let the dogs out at will.

My Direct TV I could not get going yet again.  So, I am taking the whole mess back down to the valley and I am going to get it working down there.  If I bring it up here again and I still can't get it to work, foregone conclusion that I will have to have Direct TV come up here and install it for me. But I think my satellite dish was damaged and I think that's why I couldn't get it to work.  I have 3 more dishes to play with, lol.

There is no doubt that sitting up here and watching a good movie at night before bed is something I want to be able to do.

It is so ever-loving-nice to have a place to come to in such a beautiful setting and get away from people.  I don't hate my tenants, but I have very little privacy at my house.  That's just the way it is, I have gotten used to it over the last years of renting out rooms but..............and better, I haven't received a single phone call from any of them saying that "something" is afoul at the house.

It's almost 7:00am, I am going to be leaving within the hour.  It's been wonderful being up here, but I have plenty to do at the house and I pretty much take care of the plants.  I could ask Mark to help me out with it, but I would rather do it myself and make sure that all is well in plantdom.  I did ask him to feed my fish, but even if that were neglected a few days, the fish would easily survive that.

I may write more later, right now I am getting ready to leave.


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...