This Weekend

The wife wanted to go badly to get some groceries for the past couple of days. I do not ever go to the grocery store past noon; ever. It’s a code I have. She knows this, yet still sleeps until 1 pm; except Saturday.

Yesterday morning, she was up at nine, and we were gone by 9:30.

First stop, Lowe’s. I was really looking for a battery charger as I had some gift cards to blow. They had one for $89. Seemed a little high, so I passed. I still picked up some Gorilla glue, Raid Fumigators, and some Gorilla tape. Can’t have too much.

Next stop, the liquor store.

Then, grocery store. We arrived about 10:30. We were done just before noon. I have not had a cart that full since I couldn’t remember when. I turn away, and the wife has put in stuff. Hey! That’s not on the list!….It’s on MY list…..ok.

$273. Large peaches were 67 cents a pound. I cannot ever remember them being so cheap. The wife indicated that she wanted to return and buy some more, and we’ll try our hand at canning peaches.

I also found a recipe for peach turnovers using frozen peach slices wrapped in a crescent roll sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar. We may try that as well.

Back to the house by 12:20. Not bad. Still time for a nap, and/or a trip to the meat market here in town.

Sunday

Didn’t get to the meat market. I had forgotten that Saturday in town is very busy. We live outside of a touristy town that calls themselves the “birthplace of the cowboy”. At noon on Saturdays in the summer, they have a shootout. Actors portraying bad guys and good guys fire blanks across the main drag.

The courthouse is home base for any number of local gardeners and farmers selling their wares. I decided not to fight the traffic. Any other day of the week is fine, as it returns back to being a sleepy country town.

We watched the entire mini series The Lost Room last night and were up until about 3 am. I got up at ten and began prepping the stew for tonight. I had a 1.8 lb hunk of sirloin, and cut that up; browned it with a little garlic and a thinly sliced onion. Added to a 3 qt crock pot with half dozen large carrots, and half dozen red potatoes, and an onion. Should be done by seven. Stew for two. About a cup of water in the bottom…and maybe 1/4 C of a dry red that was already opened.

I made my rounds in the garden as well. The okra seems to be coming along as the plants are now on their second set of leaves. The watermelon have taken a turn towards being a vine, and that’s a good thing. More leaves on them too.

After all the rain, the weeds in the uncultivated gardens have sprung alive now. I hate to use the glycosphate (active ingredient in Round-Up) as I think that shit never really goes away. The only alternatives are manual weeding, covering with black plastic, or an alternate herbicide that works. I still have a cherry tomato plant that is surrounded by weeds larger than it.

We vow to do better next year.

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Northern Tool + Equipment

I got a feelin’ that there are a lot of guys out there that just love hardware stores; Home Depot, Lowe’s, Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, and and even the local small stores.

I think I have told the wife so many times “man, if I had a $1000 to blow, I’d still need more” that she can probably predict when I’ll say that.

Who among us doesn’t drool and get lost in the hardware store? the possibilities…the possibilities.

Harbor Freight I realize is nothing more than a Chinese outlet for very inexpensive tools and supplies. Still, I have found myself wandering in on Saturday morning with my coupon for a free LED flashlight, only to find out that only one coupon is allowed per purchase. There are ways around that as well, as I found.

I have been recently introduced to Northern Tool by one of my blog buddies TSquare. There are three stores within 150 miles of me; two are just 50+; one way. Still, a particular item I was looking at elsewhere was listed in the the San Antonio ad for quite a substantial savings; even $20 off retail at another supplier, yet listed in Northern Tool’s own national catalog, it was listed at normally $139, on sale for $129, and free whipping shipping. Why not for $99 as advertised in the local catalog? I asked them, and am waiting reply on that one.

I told the wife my plans to buy two for long term gasoline storage, and she implied that “I thought we were trying to save money until we sold the house.”

Not often practical, but when she is, she really nails it.

The sale ends July 21. I signed up for Northern Tool’s membership at $40 a year, giving me free shipping on everything.

I already ordered a garden cart to haul stuff around the yard; basically a wagon as the wife wants to begin hauling boxes to the bunkhouse, and back again. I wanted no part of it; usually I bring the truck over to the house, and haul stuff back and forth.

7/13 Update

Northern Tool responded to my inquiry, and indicated that I could call their sales number, and order anything out of their catalogs from them. They assured me I would get the “catalog price” in addition to the free shipping. I was not allowed however, to use the “in store” coupon that my pal so graciously sent me, for a mail order.

So, do I drive the 100+ mile round trip into San Antonio onto Loop 410 after getting on I-10 to use the $20 coupon?, or save the gas and not use the coupon?

I’m torn I tell ya, Torn.

CPAP

After about a 6 week hiatus from using my CPAP machine, I got back on that old horse again last night. My wife had mentioned that my snoring had increased without it.

On my last attempt at putting the unit on, it ended up ripped from my head, and tossed broken, into the closet.

I use a full face mask that regulates exhalation air pressure as well as the constant pressure necessary to keep me inhaling.

I wrote earlier of my experience with the company that issued it, and their shortcomings thereof.

I bought a new mask seal and filters (which are supposed to be supplied by “the company” from Ebay, and a new “headgear” if you will, that I destroyed tearing if off my face during a brief fit of frustration that turned to anger.

After six weeks of comfortable sleep, I awoke today with a record case of dry mouth. As suggested by a reader, I add a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide to the humidifier tank to aid in preventing sinus infections. My nose was so stopped up today, I dared not speak as I sounded like Porky Pig. Ever try to wet your whistle when your  mouth is so dry that water runs off of it? Yep, imminent choking fit on the way.

Because of my facial hair, the mask seal loses its integrity during the sleep period, causing the pressure to leak around the seal. I could tighten it, but then the replacement “headgear” I bought was a small. It’s already stretched to the limit.

The machine detects this, and gives the sleep period a bad grade for the night. But who cares? For whatever reason, the cellular signal this unit sends out is not detected by “the company”, therefore no billing had been done until recently.

I am still paying off my deductible for the sleepover at the hospital for the “study”, and I have not  yet paid a dime of the $500 I have been billed by the doctor. Yet another poison pen letter lurks, waiting to be sent.

Am waiting to sell the house to settle all outstanding debts. Three more weeks until closing.

This Just In…

We have a new Supreme Court Justice. Funny how the dems are all screaming against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that he is so conservative that gun control is going down the toilet. What’s wrong with that?

Among those who are crying, noted in the article as “Hollywood’s elite” are

Joss Whedon…who the hell it that? Never heard of ’em…

Julienne Moore…what a waste…

Ron Perlman…he’s still pissed  because he’s so ugly…

Rob Reiner…hates being in Daddy’s footsteps…

Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert…both squeezed from the same bar rag; or was it bar fly?

John Cusack…guess I’m giving away all your movies…

Alyssa Milano…airhead and a half…

Billy Eichner…who?

Josh Charles… who?

John Cryer…who?

Cynthia Nixon…who?

Andy Ricther…who?

Ken Olin…nice to be a wealthy producer and director, huh Ken? get your puny voice heard?

Hollywood’s elite my ass.

Issues

I’ve been  having issues with the local garbage pick up company. Rockin K waste services out of Centerpoint TX to be more specific.

I used to use another company that charged $33.00 a month and some change for garbage pickup. They were called Vaquero, and were subsequently bought out by a much larger company…I forget who they were called.

Anyway, This guy John K who owns Rockin’ K, pulled up to me while I was out checking the mail one morning. He drove a dually something or other, pulling a tandem axle trailer, with wire mesh sides full of household garbage.

He seemed friendly enough and he asked me “how much you to you pay for trash pickup?”

I told him and he said “would you switch to us if you could save money?”

I nodded, “sure, if the savings was worth the hassle of switching.”

“We charge $80 for three months” he replied handing me a business card.

Some quick calculating with the gears turning in my head came up with close to $20 in savings “sign me up”.

That was October 14 last year, at which time I paid him $80 for three months. Since then, I have nothing but billing issues from him.

My next quarterly bill was January 2018, and I was billed for $85 for the next quarter.

At the time, I thought wow. I must have really gotten a special price. It never occurred to me that he had raised his rates, and I paid the next three month fee of $80. Again in March, I paid another $80.

He tapes his billing onto the garbage barrel. The same kind we used in the city, just no automatic picker upper trucks. No, he has his very own knee grow that hauls the garbage, and dumps it into the trailer.

When I was traveling back and forth to McAllen, I was often gone over a Wednesday, which is Rockin’ K pickup day. Obviously, I could not haul the barrel to the street, but they would walk up the driveway and roll the barrel out themselves to dump it. Another huge plus is that they will haul away ANYTHING. I mean everything. I have left busted refrigerators out on pickup day. Piles of cardboard boxes (I just moved, remember?), boxes of boxes, large bags of spray paint, old pain, hardware, scrap iron, and they haul it all away. Once, even an old water heater.

Still, the billing conflict continues. I emailed them one day at three in the afternoon (they’re usually here by noon for pickup), asking where the hell are they?

He responded quickly saying the trailer broke one of the axles, and he had to borrow one, that was smaller, hence having to make more runs to the landfill and yes he would be late and why was I paying only $80 instead of $85?

I replied I knew of no price increase, and you told me it was $80 for three months. Are you telling me that you quoted me $80 for three months, and before that period was up you raised you rates without saying anything?

I posted my rate increase on my website.

You have your own website?

Yes. Have you ever looked at it?

No. I have better things to do than to look at a garbage company’s website. I set my bank on an automatic payment for $80 every quarter, as you quoted.

The current billing is $85 per quarter.

Well, shit. If you kick it up again, I will have to go back to the other guys, as the only reason I jumped ship was the savings.

That’s your right. Right now, you are in arrears one month.

No. You are mistaken.

After that exchange, I downloaded all pertinent information concerning the discrepancy, and began another exchange that paraphrased as “I have proof that I have paid you on time and even earlier since day 1. I do not owe any payment until June 29. I have the checks if you’d like to see them.”

He gave some BS excuse, but had not heard from him until now.

I checked with the bank today, and he had deposited the check.

Now, when I lived in McAllen, the garbage pickup was Thursday for a long time. I swear to you, those guys could set your clock. Every Thursday; I mean Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July; they always came on Thursday. More recently, they changed to Monday. Yes, Columbus day, Veterans day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day…ALWAYS!. I mean, if you didn’t get your trash to the curb by 7:00am, there was a good chance that you would not get it picked up  until next week.

Not so with the country garbage pickup folk.

Even the other guys will postpone Thursday pickup until Friday.

So that brings me to my whole point on this rant: Since Wednesday is regular pickup for Rockin’ K, I emailed to find out if he was taking the 4th off.

Me: Are you guys picking up tomorrow? or Thursday?

Wise Ass John K: yes

End of exchange.

So, the way I figure is that I have unlimited options but have narrowed them down to two:

A. leave a dead squirrel on top of the garbage for three months

B. wait three months and set his precious garbage can on fire, then cancel after emptying out the shop and shed of every stinking piece of scrap lumber and piece of junk still lying around…

It was too late to cancel the payment or stop it.

I always get even…usually to the point of overkill. Maybe I am paranoid. Maybe I worry too much. At least I am aware.

Update:

As it turns out, they picked up on the fourth, despite the fuzzy answer to my inquiry.

I have decided to begin emptying out my shop; all the ag chemicals my pop stored there, and  the now corroded cheap shelves he stored them on, will all trickle into the garbage over the next three months. Then, the shed filled with 3/4 used up cans of Krylon, and wood stain, and paint. There even a pair of solid wood doors out there. On second thought, I may keep them. They may be handy for additional security.

Am I paranoid?

Personally, I believe that every retailer out there would screw every consumer out of a buck it he thought he could get away with it, and make a big enough difference in his wallet.