Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Was going to smoke brisket today, but the lady gave me a frozen brisket so i guess we'll do that tomorrow.  I want to start early and cook it around 200-225 for however many hours - probably at least 12 - to get it to the falling apart with a fork mode.  The price of food is rising - that was predictable and coming to pass.  Ground beef is up several dollars per pound - the meat supply was disappearing around here but now it's slowed way down after the rising prices.

Supply and demand.  I was at least happy to see that the toilet paper chaos appears to be over.  Cleaning supplies with bleach - Lysol especially - is still a rare find.  This cattle ranch has higher prices, but that's to be expected for quality cuts of meat.  I wouldn't want to have to rely on them solely for meat.

Texas is every so slowly reopening, but we're far from being out of the woods.

Anyway, my vehicle is running great, the engine lights are off, the bill was $536 so I'm as happy as can be considering spending even more money on that thing.


Mark called from the Phoenix house.  We got into a conversation for short period of time and then? He informed me that Lynnette left at the beginning of April.  What?!!!  Mark takes care of the house, Lynnette went off to work. Lynnette paid their portion of the rent - quite modest at $250, mark took excellent care of the house . Now what.  Mark has no income.  He can't work. He's 72 years old.  He's dealing with the house, but he's in fear of losing his situation.  He dumped $700 onto the card reader last month, unbeknownst to me until he said he had and I just checked and yes, it's all good.  There's enough on there to last until somewhere in August, maybe even September. 

So, he's basically paid up 3 months of their portion of the rent in advance.  He then went into worrying about getting everyone to pay rent. But lengthy discussion came to the conclusion that those that were put out of work are all receiving the $600 per week stimulus from the government on top of the state unemployment.  They are well saturated with funds to take care of their living situation.  So what? He's broke.  Lynnette used to give him money for his projects and things.  Not exorbitant but it's money.  His work around the neighborhood has fallen off because - of course - the virus. 

So what now?  I dunno.  Give him rent free living for the next 3 months, sure.  But do I go further with it.  Probably  At least give him $100 to keep out of the rest of the rents collected to help him out a little bit.  Crunch the numbers, see what I can do to help him.  I need the house to pay for itself.  I don't need him to fall out into the cracks and end up on the street somewhere. THAT is undoubtedly what he's worried about. I speak highly of him because he really is a man of moral character.  He did some things in his life that got him into a bad situation, but that was decades ago.  People change. Things people did a long time ago and have obviously changed their ways shouldn't be held against them, for the most part anyway. 

I'm going to do what I can to help him, that's what I can say. I wish I could start a go fund me for him, but I doubt it would go anywhere, especially in this financial climate. 

The other "news" that came today was that the grandmother is coming here - tomorrow. She hasn't been here in months, she lives hundreds of miles away.  I mean, there are things that happen when she comes here. First, she tries to take over the entire household.  Her way.....

Second, she spoils the hell out of the kids.  They become infected with the idea that they can act out and do whatever they want. I completely resist that nonsense and if I'm around, those kids aren't getting away with the nonsense.  3rd.  The kids get spoiled to the point that when she leaves? It takes a week at least for things to get back to normal.  In a normal situation, the kids GO to grandma's house. What happens there? Is whatever.  When they come back, the normal rules still apply. 

We had a discussion about that today as Taylor invited me to Chili's after she was done with work today.  We're friends, let's get that clear. Yes we all live together, but we are just friends. It doesn't go beyond that, in case anyone reading this starts wondering.  After she told me grandma is coming, I also observed the exasperated look on her face.  It's all about the granny's effect upon the household.  She can deal with it for a couple of days, after that, it's too much. She is coming from tomorrow - Wednesday - until at least Sunday.  Lol.  Taylor is not in love with the way she treats the kids and the last time granny was here, she started to put limitations on her.  You just can't come into someone's home and expect to radically change it with the flip of a switch. That's ridiculous, selfish and disrespectful.

Now what? Nothing, lol. Getting late and I have an agenda for tomorrow, not the least of which includes smoking a brisket, but also mowing the front lawn.  The kid (he's actually 18 years old but in my view he's still a 5 year old in the way he conducts himself) next door was paid on Thursday to mow the lawn the next day. Nope, I didn't pay that, Taylor did.  We have a lawn mower, one of us can do that.  I dunno why she offered him to do it, waste of money but it's whatever to me. Just that if he doesn't get it done by noon tomorrow, I'm doing it and he can Taylor can deal with the aftermath.  Yup, I told her I would do it. 

I think I've had enough for one day.

7:30 came around. I dragged myself out of bed - went to bed late last night - got a cup of coffee and headed out the door.  Took the SUV to the Ford dealership where I was informed that they don't have a shuttle.  Geeze.  There is no Lyft or Uber in this town. There used to be on Uber driver but they stopped for whatever reason, probably not enough business.  Whatever the case, I walked the 2.6 miles home and found out just how out of shape I am in lol.

It wasn't a "specific" appointment time, it's drop your vehicle off and they get to it in the order that it was received.  So no way I'm going to sit around there and hope they get to it immediately.  They might not even get to it today, I was informed, but I'd rather take it to the dealership than any other place in town.  That's because everywhere else here is actually a lot more expensive for car repair and I would like to hope the dealer would have more knowledge and specific equipment for Ford products.

As with the boat, I'll be lucky to get it back out of there under a grand.  This is why I'm considering trading it in, it's not been a cheap vehicle. I've had several issues with it - the thing only has 132,000 miles on it but it acts like it has 300k, just for the issues it's had and the issues have been cheap fixes.  I never had these kinds of expensive issues with that old Buick I had for 10 years. Yes, it had some issues, the interior was falling apart by the time I got rid of it, but as far as repairs, it was light on the wallet - excepting when I got the front windows fixed at $800.

I really would like a GMC diesel pickup, a bit older model, nothing new.

And they already called me.  An ignition coil needs to be replaced.  I figured. They wanted to do all kinds of other "maintenance" that would amount to over a grand.  With just the coil, an oil change and fix the wheel tire sensor - the light is on showing a low tire, none of my tires are low - we're around $500.  The maintenance they wanted to do included replacing spark plugs that we already replaced, no need for that thanks.  I couldn't believe they wanted $350 just to replace plugs and the boots that go on them.  Hopefully the coil fixes it and I can get down the road without any other expenses for a while with it, if I decide against a new vehicle. Just haven't really decided, I'm looking at my financing options atm.

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...