Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I had no more finished a blog entry this morning, walked out the door and headed for my car when I saw a dog running down the street.

Upon closer observation, it became immediately apparent this was no dog.  A coyote.  I took it by surprise - though definitely not intentionally - upon exiting the gate and closing it.  That thing stopped and gave me a look.  I made the same noise to it that I make to my dogs when I am not happy with them.  Can't really describe the noise........but it was enough to get that thing moving again.  Fortunately, it was not traveling in a pack as they are known to do.

I know the mountains are only 2 blocks away from my house, but there is a major surface street between them and my house.  However, not really all that surprising.  Probably looking for food - whatever kind it can find.  I have heard coyotes will definitely take small dogs, I don't know about cats.  Plenty of both in this neighborhood.  I don't really have to worry about that.  My dogs are too large for one thing and for the other, they are in my bedroom at night.  Coyotes come down from the mountains at night and return in the morning.

This one must have been late, lol.  I got in my car and took off down the street to see where it was going.  Back to the mountains. Yup, it found it's way to a bypass between houses that goes to the street - but - that street at that time of day? VERY busy.  I'm not sure what became of it.  It was a very healthy looking specimen, not the raggedy looking things that I have seen up in those mountains.

However, they are considered varmint and if I knew it was legal, I would have simply shot the thing.  Probably is legal in certain areas,  but I am in a residential neighborhood and there is no way I am going to shoot a gun unless my life is threatened.

Back To The Truck AC Issue

Today? I had had enough.  Anyone that reads this blog may remember my trials and tribulations with the semi truck I drive at work whose AC was not working properly.  We had taken it in last year to fix it and then took it in again several weeks ago.

Well, it still isn't working properly.  That's 2 visits to the dealership, a total of 8 days in their shop and 8 days of renting another truck to take it's place plus a total of 3 grand - yes, $3,000 to fix it.  For that much money,  I better need a coat to wear if I leave that thing on high, which is what is USED to do before it broke. That cab would get icy cold regardless of the outside temperature.

When I got the truck back, it felt okay at first, but later on that day it didn't feel all the great.  Fast forward to now-extreme temperatures and it's simply not good enough.  It's "lukewarm" in that truck and that is NOT what we paid for.

As usual for me, I decided that twice in the shop was enough.  I called - the owner of that company actually. Of course, I did not get to speak to the owner, the owner forwarded me to the general manager over the service division.  I believe this is a 24 hour operation, 7 days a week.  They always have a backlog of trucks to fix, so when you take your truck in there, it may be 3 or 4 days before they even START on it.

The general manager called and started his spiel.  I was having nothing to do with it.  Our total cost for a non-functioning system was around $4,600 if you count the rental truck, which I do.  He wanted us to bring the truck in on an afternoon and then come for it the next morning NO, sir, we are not going to do that. Well, he replied, I am just trying to eliminate any further expenses we are both incurring.

Sir, YOUR company has incurred NO additional expenses.  WE have paid the tab for everything and WE had to pay for 8 days of a rental truck. Your statement that you have incurred "additional" expenses is outrageous at best.  He again asked if there was no way to just bring the truck in, they would work on it - all night if they had to - and it would be ready in the morning.  No sir, we have gone this route, as far as I'm concerned, this is YOUR problem and you are going to have to  deal with it on MY terms.

I further explained to this gem that we are a 2 man operation.  We start at 6:00 am. Deliveries that are in the system are expected to be on the road no later that 7:00am and contractors want their material. We do not have time to be driving 50 miles round trip to get that truck in the morning, which is WHY we have to rent a truck anytime we have to take it into the shop, which is, fortunately, not that frequently.

He went on and on about making an overnight deal work.  I finally stated to him that I would be happy to speak to the President of the corporation again if I  need to and he could make the final decision.  Mr. Gem (not his real name) backtracked considerably on that one and said no, we will get your a rental truck if it comes to that.

After 3 phones calls, to of them with this guy, I FINALLY get an apology for the truck having had been in their shop twice for the same issue.  I am still guessing this problem is simply a matter of adding additional freon, but I decided against doing that myself.  If, per-chance, it isn't a freon problem, then over-charging them system can blow the compressor and then you have a REALLY expensive repair when it comes to trucks, even though the AC system in a truck is no different than a car AC system, it's all the same thing.

I got back to the yard and discussed the situation with my manager.  We can take it in on Friday afternoon and they can have it ready by Monday morning.  Okay.  But, I played this guy, since he was attempting to play games with me, Mr. Gem that is.  I called him back and gave him my terms.  I can bring it in Friday afternoon, I can pick it up Friday morning, but.......you are going to have to have someone take me back to the shop and pick me up.  If you are not going to get us a rental truck, that is the LEAST you are going to do.

He didn't like that idea and decided that he would just come and get the truck himself and then bring it back in time for deliveries Monday morning.  Perfect.  Please do.........and I have your WORD on that, yes?  Oh yes, Mr. B, it shall be done.

What do you think?  Twice in the shop for the same problem. The first time, they gave us the  truck back and told us it wasn't completely fixed.  Surprised, I asked him why they had called us to tell us it was ready. "We didn't have authorization to do the additional repair".  "Do you not have telephones here?  Did we not leave a cellphone number contact?"  "Y, y, yeeees, but........" But what?  It was too late, I had already dropped of the rental truck because they had called us, telling the repair was completed and ready to pick up.

The second time, I informed them of what happened the first time and - yada yada yada. I specifically told them it wasn't blowing enough volume of air AND the air was not cold enough to keep the cab cool.  They fixed the first thing, they did not even ADDRESS the second item, even though I saw the man write it on the service ticket.

Oh, did I say another part of the terms of this situation is that we are not going to pay another DIME for this "fix"?  Yeah,  darn straight.  How much money should be expected to fix a freaking AC system?

Tuesday 6/19/2012

What a miserably hot day yesterday.  I looked at the temp outside at 8:30 and it was still 105 degrees.  And, of course, it's not going to get any better, any time soon.  Triple digit temps going above 110 slated for many days in the near future.

Good reason to try and get up to the mountains for a couple of night's stay this coming weekend, if at all possible.

Neighbors to the east of me were forced - for the dozenth time at least - to clean up their property.  The city finally acknowledged my complaint about the property behind me as of yesterday.  They will have to go out there - again - and determine what, if anything, they can do.

My dad and uncles are talking about another reunion.  They wanted us young-in's to deal with it, but many of us young'in's are in no financial position to be able to even think about doing anything like that. And I'm definitely not asking them for handouts.  Instead, I am attempting to find ways to save money for when Caleb comes back because a trip to San Diego again this year would be very nice.  I'm afraid I will not see my uncles in my adult lifetime.  I haven't seen any of them since I was very young and just a few years ago, one of them passed away.  Another has MLS, apparently some unbelievably horrific disease.  They apparently all did well in life as far as money goes, I am happy for them.  I am currently not on that ship, I wish I were, but I am certainly not going to get into a pity-party about it.  It is what it is and I deal with it.

I have seen no sign of Heron coming back.  We put up that mannequin head on a pole with a t-shirt, lol.  Funny looking thing, especially considering the pole is 8 feet tall.  What tells me they haven't been around is that the fish are no longer hiding.  I mean, they are still a bit skittish when I come around, but they freely come out now whenever food time is there. Speaking of food, thanks for reminding myself: dog food and fish pellets, gotta get both at Walmart today.

The dying tree? Jury still out.  Still a very few, healthy leaves on it.  As long as it shows any sign of life, I am going to continue to water it - heavily.  The heat isn't helping anything, more frequent waterings having to occur. I have some plants I am hand watering now - I do that when the rest of the plants don't need the water but these certain sets of plants do.  Saves on water usage is all, which helps keep the monthly bill down a bit.

I have not been forcing the dogs to stay outside when I am at work this year.  I have in the past, but this heat is too much.  They have a doggy door and they know how to use it.  I just don't feel comfortable putting very large dogs outside in 113 degree heat even if they have plenty of water and shade.   So, unless they start doing things in the house that are going to - extremely - irritate me, it will probably stay that way for a while.

That's it. Time to face another hot day at work.



Short trip, got that over with. I no more than got back to the yard and left for home when I got a text from yet the newest version of a di...