life

Breathing a sigh of relief (so far…)

Americans by and large have too much stuff.  That’s probably why 30 years ago the whole storage bin craze started.  Paying someone a monthly fee to store whatever you couldn’t have in your house, which was probably also bursting at the seams with stuff.  When I moved to this area in 1993, the running joke was that the town I now live in had too many dollar stores and hardware stores.  Today, while there is still a plethora of both, far and away they’re outnumbered by storage companies.  Within the town limits there are at least five and I’m probably overlooking a couple.

When I sold my parent’s house, the majority of the things in the house were either stored or sold through an auctioneer.  My parents were pack rats.  Of the worst ilk.  I’ve written before about the lengths we went through to empty out the mass of stuff they had accumulated over 30 plus years.  But in the intervening time, I’ve been storing the remaining contents of that house, adding in items from the other houses that my wife and I have lived in over the last 25 years.  I’ve mentioned before that I’ve moved the storage items several times as well.  3 different times to 3 different storage companies.  The last one has been a little of a headache, since they’re not easily contactable in case of a problem.  They even one time accidentally cut off the lock to my storage bin, replaced it with one of their own and I didn’t find out about it, until I went to get something, and couldn’t get in.  Once I contacted them (finally) I was informed that they’d made a mistake months ago and didn’t bother to let me know!  I was paying them storage fees and wasn’t even aware that my lock was gone.  I guess I should be grateful they didn’t just leave it open to anyone.

Getting back to the reason for this post.  I was going through my checkbook a couple of weeks ago and realized I hadn’t paid the storage fee for my space since August.  Oops.  Uh oh.  The funny thing (well not really ha ha funny) is that they’ve never contacted me to let me know I was late with my payments.  Definitely something that you don’t want to be too late on, because in the contract, they can sell your stuff and clean out the space, and leave you with bupkus.  And that’s NOT A GOOD THING!  Ahem.  So, I wrote out 2 checks, and sent then on their way, along with an apologetic note for forgetting to keep my account current.  I also asked for an accounting of my balance to be certain I’m in the black, not still in the red.

The checks cleared my bank today.  But I haven’t heard from the management person about the other.  So I guess I’m going to have to start calling again, trying to get ahold of a real person.  This might take a while.  Too, I should go down to my storage space and make sure my things are still there.  Because if I’m paying money and my things are NOT there….then there’s going to be a problem.  A BIG ONE.

So, I have something to do in the next few days.  Like I don’t have anything else to do…like get ready for the Christmas season.

Honestly, did you think I was going to forget?

I had an eye appointment today, my first since 2016. I used to go every year, but then my insurance changed at my workplace and they only covered a new pair of glasses every 2 years. I’ve been going to the same place for my glasses for the last 10 years, so they have all my prior prescriptions on file. Even so, now that many things are being automated and upgraded for web-based filing and reminders, what was once a simple system of reminders has now become overly complex. Or so it seems.

It used to be when you made an appointment, you were given a card so that you could go home, copy the appointment on your own calendar at home. The day would come for the appointment, you’d go, that’d be the end of it. Maybe 10 years ago, people seemed to need further coddling and reminders, so doctors’ offices would call you a few days before your appointment to remind you of it, OR they would contract with an automated system that would do the same thing. You’d have the option of confirming the time of the appointment that you’d make (months ago) over the phone, then on the day you’d go, and that would be the end of it.

Nowadays, it seems that people require even more coddling. For my appointment with the eye doctor, I received no less than FIFTEEN reminders stretched over the last 3 days. Email reminders, text reminders, three phone calls from their automated system to both my home phone AND my cellphone. Each day since Wednesday I’ve received both text reminders and emails letting me know that I have an upcoming appointment. Really? Really? No one needs this much of a reminder of an appointment. And I can’t believe this is isolated. I’m sure thousands of people are getting bombarded the same way I am. We’re not imbeciles, please stop treating us as if we are.

Btw, my eyes haven’t changed all that much according to the ophthalmologist. I’m getting new glasses just the same, though I did ask if I could just get the lenses, since the frames tend to be the big outlay. They recommended against it (naturally) since the frames I have now are a discontinued model (again, naturally) and wouldn’t be fixable if they were to break. Unlike my wife, when it comes to new frames, it’s always a several weeks’ breaking in period, because I have to get used to how the frames feel behind my ears. And that unfortunately takes a while. So again, I’m up for several weeks of adjustments and refits, which (luckily) they don’t charge for.

Which is neither here nor there in the above rant. Just updating those that care. Those that don’t…the suggestion box is over yonder.

Snow!

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Snowmageddon!  Ok, not really.

We’ve all heard about global warming, and how weather patterns are going to be changing from now on.  Well, they have been changing for many years, though sometimes it’s hard to see when you’re in the midst of it.  Now, I’m not advocating because it snowed yesterday and this morning (as well as 11 inches last week) to say that we’re in the midst of some ‘snowpacalypse’, but….you have to admit, there have been a lot of odd weather patterns we’ve been seeing around the world for the last few years.

Of course, the current US Administration is in deep climate denial, even going so far as to insist that the recent rash of forest fires in California have -nothing- to do with climate change.  The current US President seems to think that what’s happening around the globe is ‘normal’, and can’t possibly be anything other than what has always happened, and will happen in the future with the climate.  Except that there’s never been a time in the history of the planet where the dominant species has effected the global climate the way humans have.  Certainly dinosaurs were never so evolved that they were burning fossil fuels at such a rate as to effect global weather patterns.  Or at least I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Honestly though, the snow is kind of screwing up my fall clean-up.  I was supposed to have the leaves raked and on the curb by now.  Little hard to do so when they’re buried under 5-6 inches of hard packed snow.  Not even sure that the village I live in is going to be collecting leaves when the snow melts.  Generally they stop around Thanksgiving, and that’s in 3 days.  The weather report is saying that the cold weather is going to stick around at least for another week.  So that’s going to put a crimp in that leaf plan.  I do have a back-up plan in case the village stops collecting leaves.  Though it’s going to cost me some cash.  But it can’t be helped.

Getting back to the topic.  We’ve been undergoing a bit of a cold snap to go along with the unexpected snow.  At least we’ve made some changes to the house in the summertime, so now it’s a little more efficient.  So hopefully over the course of the heating season we’re not going to be using quite as much NG as last year.  It will be interesting to see what the difference is if the temperatures are similar.

Finally my repaired snowblower worked like a champ in the heavy snow.  11 inches of the white stuff was chopped up and blown into the next yard like the machine wasn’t really 28 years old.   Of course, I had completely forgotten I had drained the gas tank, and spent about 3 minutes yanking on the starter cord without any luck.  Once I remembered and filled the tank with fresh fuel, I was in business.  I even managed to assist the new tenant across the street unbury his vehicle.  HE doesn’t have a garage…I do!  Which I’m VERY thankful of.  Constantly unburying the car is something that I don’t miss at all.  Just let the snow, ice, freezing rain, whatever happen and drive the dry car out of the garage.  That’s how you do it!

Anyway, I said my piece.  It’s nice when it snows.  Just have to wonder if we’re going to end up with more of it over the coming years, because of something happening that we’re affecting.  Food for thought.

 

 

 

This is gonna take awhile

Fuck.  I’d forgotten how much I hate cleaning.  The last time I’ve had to do this much sorting/cleaning etc was when my wife and I moved into this place back in 2000.  As we all know, with procrastination, things get bad over a long period of time, and in your head you think “No problem.  I’ll do this, this and this, and it’ll be over before you know it!”  Yeah, well it doesn’t work that way, buttercup.  Even with my music playing in the background from my phone over the Bluetooth speaker, it was taking a frigging eternity to sort through the pile of crap that’s been accumulating over the last couple of years next to my computer.  TWO kitchen sized trash bags FULL of stuff, not to mention two paper bags full of scrap paper recycling and I’ve managed to reduce it to a pile of stuff that needs to be sorted again.  Old pictures, tech hardware, SEVEN old cellphones (I shit you not), and a host of other stuff.  I did manage to find the photo manipulation software I’ve been looking for since I recycled my desktop tower, so I got that installed so I can stop jury-rigging pictures with MS Paint.  That was a pain in the ass, for sure.

All of this effort is to get the house ship-shape for my birth mother’s visit next week.  I visited her 2 years ago, we’ve been sort of shuffling back and forth about how she was either going to get here, we’d meet in the middle or some other plan.  This summer she had hip replacement surgery, so she wasn’t able to travel for at least 6 weeks post surgery, so we had to schedule around that.  Even so, she’s not frisky enough to manage a 4-5 hour drive alone, so she’s going to be taking a bus here.  Naturally there’s no direct service between where she is, and here, but at least she was able to find a route that only had one small layover.  She’s going to be here for about 3 1/2 days, give or take.  So we have to make sure that she’s comfortable, I have sufficient things for us to do to keep her out of the wife’s hair, and so on.  There’s enough things to do in the area vis-a-vis sightseeing and so on, but as we don’t normally go out much in the evenings, it’s a matter of keeping her entertained in the off hours.

Just stopped in to kvetch.  Back to work.  Wish me luck, I’m going to need it in spades!

Seasons change

Summer has given way to autumn.  I know that because of the subtle temperature changes that have come forth in the mornings as I head out to work.  Sure it’s still somewhat warm, but I’ve already started to look forward to my Keurig Chai Latte (and laid on supplies from Amazon in the past week) in the morning instead of a cup of flavored water.  Too, I’ve started to use the heater in the bathroom again, I’ve broken out the plaid sweatpants that I wear in the evening instead of parading around in shorts as I’ve been doing the past few months.

I’m also seeing the change in colors of leaves here in the northeastern US.  A definite hallmark of autumn.  At least I don’t have to deal with the literal mountains of leaves I used to have to when I was living with my adoptive parents.  Try having 2 1/2 acres (1.01 hectares) of trees dropping leaves on your property every autumn and see what you might have to do to get rid of them…at least then we were able to burn the leaves without having to jump through endless hoops…I doubt the people who own the property now are able to.

Finally, it’s going to affect when and how myself and my girl are going to be able to get together.  Due to financial constraints and other instances, our plan to get together every couple of months has gone by the wayside.  I can understand and appreciate that she has issues with driving in snow, so it may very well be the soonest we can get together again might very well be come spring 2019.  That remains to be seen.

We’ve talked about it at length more than a few times.  We’ll talk more about it in the future, guaranteed.  The bond is strong.  It will happen.  Just have to be patient about it.

And I hate being patient.