Roller Coaster

The last 24 hours have been a series of emotional highs and lows.
We’d made an offer on a beautiful two-story country house. There was trouble beneath the surface.

Thank goodness for home inspections and inspectors. There were numerous issues that needed repaired. Drainage problems, electrical problems, worn-out roofing shingles, and more.

This would have been an endless money pit. We exercised rights of rescission, backed out of the contract.

Lucky for us, we’d previously visited another house. It was a little smaller. With less grass to mow. But, it was newer, and in much better repair. We needed to downsize anyway.

We’ll have to sell some surplus furniture. There’s a couch, sofa-sleeper, coffee table, two end tables, a three-section entertainment cabinet. All in very good shape. All to be posted on FB Marketplace.

Cord Cutting 101

The advertisements made it seem so simple. “Break away from the clutches of subscription TV! With this simple device, that attaches to your window.”

Like most everything in life, if it seemed too simple, it probably was. Why? Because every situation was different.

“Let me know how it works. I may do this myself,” So, said my neighbors and friends. I was their test subject.

My true purpose was to bring back the local NBC station, denied because of a never-ending dispute with Direct TV. Other stations received over the air, would be added benefits.

The window antenna failed. Even with the supplied booster. Not even one channel received. It was returned for refund.

A more conventional antenna purchased to be mounted outside. It was called the “mini-yagi”. Didn’t know exactly what “yagi” were–mini or otherwise.

Mounted outside, then later in the attic, with an additional booster amplifier, success was limited.

Alternative methods to secure the elusive local NBC affiliate were plentiful. Need I mention down streaming from the internet, CATV, the other satellite provider? All of which required additional subscription charges.

There was no logic to it, at all. Some days ABC and NBC came in beautifully from the “mini-yagi,” Last Wednesday evening, my three favorite NBC dramas came in clear as crystal. Thursday, the day after, no signal.  I’ve spent too much time, money, and effort already.

As a “mini yagi” test subject, I can not make a recommendation.  Do further research, before you attempt to cut the cord.  Apparently, I reside in a “black hole” for TV signaling.  If you reside near a major metroplex, good for you.

Don’t believe advertising claims.  If the antenna is purported to have a 70 mile range–it may not always be true.  Like EPA car mileage claims, it’s only under ideal conditions.

Antennas receive broadcast signals in a straight line.  Applying “digital or HD capable” to TV antennas is somewhat of a misnomer.  Old-fashioned rabbit ear antennas would pick up digital or HD, if the broadcaster’s signal was clear.

 

Don’t Be Afraid To Cry

A large room with a window
Could have been a bedroom
Floor cluttered with shirts
New, men’s sport shirts
With designer logos
On left, chest pockets
Logos, of a Southwest
Native American talisman
Slow parade of unfamiliar
Men, of all persuasions
Came and went
Helped themselves
To expensive garments
From the window
My father’s face–reflected
Disappointment, sadness

 

Parking Woes (Poor Sportsmanship)

There is no way to determine if infractions were caused by winter visitors, or by regular health club members.

It’s been much more crowded, inside the gym–outside the gym, in the parking lot, since the arrival of winter visitors.

Today, I parked in the hinterlands. At a parking row next to the back of the property. Why was it an issue?

Because of a few that refused to park between the lines. At least eight prime spaces were rendered useless. Cars parked crooked–took up one and a half spaces. Pickups, with their back ends extended halfway into the spaces behind them.

When I left an hour later, the offenders were gone. There were plenty of spaces. Which meant I exercised with what my high school coach, Rock Rosetti, called “Poor sports.”

Another One Bit the Dust

Our local International House Of Pancakes is closed. It was no surprise, that a business poorly managed, with dismal customer service went out of business.

Victim of modern times and tastes? Hardly–more a cautionary tale of how not to run a business.

Five years ago, the place was tip-top. It was sad to be disappointed over-and-over with poor service.

On my last visit, customers waited to be seated; tables weren’t cleared; trash cluttered the floors. A member of the wait staff grumbled about making change for a twenty at the front check out.  Wasn’t that why he was there?

When they were opened twenty-four hours, shift workers, could grab a cup of coffee at two in the morning. One morning, at four AM, they were out of regular coffee. There was plenty of decaf. I didn’t want decaf.  Decaf wasn’t going to keep me awake at that early hour.  The manager claimed to have failed to reorder.

Other than “Business Closed” signs, the bad memories came back. Especially, the certificate for a free breakfast, offered after my poor customer service complaint to their 800#.  I used it in my local restaurant.  They charged me double price.

Restaurants come and go.  This restaurant previously housed an Outback steakhouse franchise.  We could use another decent breakfast restaurant–especially one with a buffet.

Sorry–No Selfies

The same young man was behind the counter last evening. With so much pent-up energy, he bounced up-and-down while taking customer orders.  My faithful favorite burger franchise, decorated with orange and white stripes was about to let me down.

I should have known something was up last time, when my favorite burger with grilled peppers and onions wasn’t on the menu. “Did they still have it?” I inquired. “Yes, ‘Mr. Bounceabout’ answered.”

What a let down. My favorite burger had been discontinued since my last visit. The bouncing counter attendant announced with cold finality.

Disappointed? Yes, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. Why did menu favorites come and go?  An acceptable substitute found, and a chance to explore new menu options.

What Do You Do?

At first I wanted revenge.  Spraying Roundup on something he held near and dear?  No, didn’t want to start a war.  Displaying tacky plastic flowers where my lilies formerly were?  Nobody in the neighborhood would get it.

My neighbor was a little too enthusiastic about spraying weed killer this spring.  He doesn’t yet know it, but his flowering crabapple tree is on the critical list–as well.  I doubt if he could tell a lily leaf from a blade of grass anyway.

This would make a good case for the Judge Judy show.  Out of three different types of lilies, only one was left.  These were on my property–there was no encroachment.  I was most disappointed that the ones, with three yellow, and three brown petals were gone.  These came from my daughter’s yard in Illinois.

Today was transplant day.  All surviving lilies were transplanted, far away from my neighbor, and his notorious spraying.  I’ve included a picture of how things looked two years ago.  The deep red and gold lilies were all that remained.  They’re, not in bloom, left of the yellow/brown lilies.

One Of the Good Guys

I’m still shocked, in disbelief, that a neighbor and good friend passed away last night.  He was within a year or two of my age.

Rick and I were retired communications workers–for the same company in adjoining states.  We could fall back on telling telephone “war” stories.  Rick always lent a helping hand when needed.

Because of Rick, I have buried telephone service to my workshop.  It’s an old-fashioned landline.  How else were my antique telephones going to work?  With ringers as loud as firehouse gongs, they’d refuse to operate on wireless–the very idea.

Every good thing that will be said, Rick deserves.  He was one of the good guys.  Me and the dogs will miss him.  We couldn’t pass by Rick’s house on walks without Max putting on the brakes.  Max loved to see Rick–go back to his workshop.  I know it was an interruption.  Rick refurbished golf carts.  Rick always found the time.