"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Gotta park this somewhere while it is fresh in my brain and I feel like FB is tired of me whining about my dog. Lots of people have had lots of dogs die. Man up.

Yeah, whatever.

Thinking about why my dog's death has rattled me more than anything else up to and including my parents' deaths. I had a bunch of stuff I was going to step through, but it all boils down to 1) spending so much more time with the dog than with any people and 2) how much more basic and primal a dog's love and attention goes. I mean, by many arguments, a human loves me more than a dog. When I got into a bumblebee nest as a toddler, my Mom literally saved my life--while getting stung a number of times herself. And I suspect my Mom or Dad would die for me, I absolutely know my dog would've. Without a moment's hesitation. That's the other thing: humans have other things. VFW, Solitaire, coffee with the boys NPR Chapter A Day at lunch, whatever. Dogs have 1 thing: You. Total, complete, and absolute unhesitating no strings attached love and devotion--to the point of pain at being separated from you. That's another thing: The sheer level of primal emotion. I've seem my Mom happy. My Dad too. But not often. I can think of 1 time my Mom was completely and totally happy. About the same with Dad. With The Dog? Easy. Twice a day, every day. Going on patrols were the best thing in the entire universe. Seeing the complete and utter joy she had about leaving the property to go patrol the neighborhood....even though she got to do it twice a day, she was so overjoyed by it EVERY GODDAMN TIME that it is just painful to think about. Love is more complex with humans. And so is death. There's an awareness and some level of dignity. With a dog love is simple and total. And death boils down to "LOVE MASTER. DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE." Humans cling to life because they fear death. Dogs cling to life because they don't want to fail in their job of protecting Master. :(
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
This is gonna ramble. It's hard to have OCD tendencies and be fixing up an 83 year old property that's been a rental for the past 20 years. Because you've got to keep going after the squeaky wheel--with consideration on wheels that are easier/cheaper if addressed BEFORE they become squeaky. So you really have to be OK with delayed gratification. Because you rarely get anything "done." Just "done enough--for now."

Once spring came, yardwork got bumped up as a priority because it's easier to get everything under control--and keep it under control--if you tackle it before stuff starts growing. But sometimes I'll chase something shiny down a rabbit-hole. Going to the supermarket on a rainy day and looked in on the leaky shed roof. It was REALLY leaky. So I spent far longer than I should've effecting repairs on it. Although to be fair, this was one of those "fix it while it's cheap" things--tin shed. Missing screws/rotted wood. So short term I just laid some 12x12" concrete pavers on the roof to hold it down. Now it would have to be a pretty strong wind to blow that sheet metal loose with that on it, but part of the reason they were there is because the wood the sheet metal had been screwed to had been rotting. If I can stop the water intrusion, I can stop the rot and (hopefully) avoid having to replace all that timber.

Well once I got that under control, I had a look at the *other* leak. Missing flashing. I had some that I was considering putting up, but there was a big pile of bamboo stalks piled up against the shed along that wall that made it impossible to get a ladder in position. And while there had been some repairs to the roof on that side, I still didn't trust the timber enough to be crawling around on the roof. So I went and got my groceries. And the next week I started working on the bamboo. Now I'm not exaggerating when I say this pile was large enough that you could hide a minivan behind it. Basically ran the entire length of the wall, extended past it, and reached up to the roof. And was...I'd say around 8-10' wide. After 2 weeks of spending every possible bit of free time working on this pile, I *might* be able to finish it off this week. (I've been trimming the shoots off the stalks and chucking them in the Junk Garage. Any cracked or rotted stalks get piled up and burned periodically. With the amount of bamboo stalks I've got *ahem* stalk-piled, everyone is getting wind-chimes as presents for the rest of my life. Of course they all need to be cleaned and treated with oil and/or sealant, but that's another story for another time.

At this point I can get at the roof with a ladder, the pile is much more manageable, and I'm running out of space to stack trimmed stalks. But I'd like to complete something instead of just getting to a decent stopping point and moving to the next priority. Of course then I should also probably split all the wood I've got piled between the shed doors from the tree that got hit by lightning and had been only partially cut down. Then there's still a ton (probably literally) of deadwood that still needs to be cleared and dealt with, but that's a decent stopping point that my brain can handle.

Meanwhile I'm freaking out about all the *other* things that need to be done. Phase One of the interior will be done when I put in a few thresholds, paint some doors and trim, and go back and touch up the bathroom. Now the temptation to slip into Phase Two and replace the shitty white electric rental property stove with a stainless gas range like I put in *my* rental property (and I'm incredibly jealous of), and framing off the Back Room so there's a hallway from the back door to the kitchen and a 3rd bedroom. But again, that's another story. A bigger priority is repairing the TARDIS to the point that I can move it from where I dumped it while doing the move (again, another story) to its desired location. There's some exterior carpentry--mostly cosmetic--and painting. Hell, there's still unpacking.

Yet there are only 7 days in a week and 24 hours in a day. Say we spend 10 eating, sleeping, brushing teeth, etc. Add in time traded for money to pay bills and time to buy groceries, do laundry, mow the lawn, etc, and even without a dog that requires more than 2 hours every day, things move painfully slowly. It really drives home the value of being able to delegate and pay people to do things for you. If I was at the next level, I'd find someone competent enough that I could train them to take care of processing the bamboo. I could get someone else to paint my doors and finish up the bathroom, and I could get someone else to do exterior paint and carpentry. Then I could fiddle with the TARDIS while making sure everything was going as planned with all my delegates. And I realize that is the Smart thing to do. But right now money is more valuable than time and I enjoy farting around on little projects a lot more than I enjoy supervising people (and paying them money). Besides, nothing is urgent right now.

OK. That isn't entirely true. I should be looking for my next rental property and lining up a way to buy it. And/or getting my extra parking spots in my outbuildings rented out to people. And a few other things, but again, that's another story.

[That actually didn't ramble that much after all and I managed to fairly smoothly segue 2 different topics into 1 post. I should find someone to pay me for this writin' stuff.]
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
2 things:
1) I'm progressing on my dog. Instead of inconsolable grief, now I'm down to bittersweet sadness. Coming off work tonight. Spring night. 57 degrees. Just before midnight. Light breeze. Taking off my hated 'rona mask and the sweet spring air hits my face and I just have to stop and close my eyes and put my head up and smell the air--and I remember how my dog did this at the start of the trail. And how happy she looked. And I miss her but I'm mostly OK with it, if a bit sad. And...
2) Don't ever go to medical at work. Working around stainless steel parts. We've got these cut-resistant sleeves--kind of like Batman gloves, only without the spiky things--and gloves. But I'm working with this JB Weld Steel Stick crap. Girl in front of me sticks a glop of it on a spot on the part. Then I flatten it in with a putty knife. So in addition to the cut resistant gloves, we've got latex exam gloves. And she isn't wearing her cut resistant gloves so I figure "I guess the Cool Kids don't wear the gloves for this job" and take mine off. And not 5 minutes later, as I'm fighting with some epoxy that fell off the spot where it's supposed to be, I feel a sensation in my ring finger and see the exam glove is sliced. And sure enough, it starts to turn red. When it is clear the cut is bad enough that it is going to keep bleeding if it isn't addressed, I take the glove off and use the cut off glove finger to wrap over the cut and stop the blood and announce "I cut myself." The girl says "go to medical." I was all set to fashion some makeshift bandage and keep working but if that's what I'm supposed to do...

So you can't just go into medical. There's a windowless locked steel door and a doorbell. Like an Asian massage parlor. I'm trying to figure out the door and I didn't hear a bell so I push the button again, irritating the full-on RN who is holding down the fort. I'm like "OK, give me my band-aid and maybe a little ointment to help with the clotting and I'll get back to work." But no. First she's got to finish up with the malingerer she's dealing with. So she gives me a gauze pad to put over the teeny-tiny, shallow (but bleeding very nicely) cut on my finger, just behind the nail. When she's free she has me go wash my hands. "But it's clotting. If I wash it, it will reopen it." Forget arguing with an RN in her lair. So now there's a new piece of gauze while she sanitizes the chair I have to sit in. She wants to know when I last had a tetanus shot. Of course I have no idea. And who my manager is. I've met the guy exactly once. Because this teeny, tiny, inconsequential cut is apparently a workman's comp claim. Eventually she gets out the iodine and these little tape strips that are like a cross between a butterfly bandage and fiberglass patches or something, and starts laying strips of it across the cut while noting that it looks to be short enough that I won't have to go to the hospital for stitches. Again, tiny cut. A band-aid and some ointment would've taken care of it. You can't stitch something that has barely broken the skin. After the butterfly tape things comes a gauze pad. Then some vet wrap. Then some tape. And then this kind of finger condom (which is actually pretty slick if you've ever been annoyed by band-aids coming off in the shower. I'll be saving it for sure.) Finally, a half hour later, I'm given a handful of band-aids and a couple ketchup packets of antibiotic ointment and get to leave. If we'd just started with those, we could've saved a half hour and a bunch of headache. But on top of that I'm supposed to come back on Monday so she can make sure it isn't infected. And I don't say "look," this isn't even the worst cut I've had this week. By Monday it will be healed." Because you don't mouth off to an RN who is just doing what they pay her to do. But I sure wanted to.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Just some heavy thinking I need to park somewhere. Looking at adoptable dogs a few days back and there was a year old borador 75 miles from me that has so much of my girl in him. And his name's "Stark," so he'd be pretty easy to rename "Starbuck." I might have got in a car if I had a few hundred bucks laying around and he was a girl. My Mom always liked male dogs. So that was a reservation I had when I got The Dog, but now the idea of a male dog somehow seems...odd. I could try to put it into words, but it would take a lot of words and likely still not make any sense.

Anyhow, I had some time just now, so I thought I'd see if he was still available. This made me realize a number of things: 1) There are plenty of borador type mutts in the area. 2) You can't save everyone. 3) God bless hospice workers and people who adopt senior dogs. Looking at all the older dogs and being sad at the idea of them dying in a shelter but also realizing I can only handle watching my dog die about every 10 years at earliest, I know I have to pick my battles, as heartless as it may be.

On an unrelated note, it is amazing how soft our society has become--even since I was a kid. As a kid I love watching Mom and Dad dispatch the gophers that had taken over the yard. Or bats in the basement. You could chalk that up to just being a kid and not knowing any better, but I'm also reading a hippie-dippie "How to live like a pioneer" Reader's Digest book my parents got when they moved us out to the country. I'll skip over the pages and pages of horrible stuff in the livestock section because a bit in leatherworking really sums it up so well. In talking about how to prepare hides and tan leather it suggests practicing skinning on small, inexpensive animals before moving to an actual valuable hide you want to keep. "Chipmunks and even mice are ideal..." That's some full-on serial killer shit right there. "Practice skinning on small animals before moving on to the larger prey you really want."
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I think I've mentioned this before, but it happened again in such an egregious manner than I have to say it again. The real estate investor group I'm a member of has a private Facebook group and sometimes someone will post looking for an available rental. A lot of the time they'll say "no west end." The west side of town is the blue collar and/or redneck part of town, with the northwest being the old redline neighborhood that they segregated black people to. Real estate investors affectionately refer to it as "the war zone" and back in 2017 you could buy a house there for around $12,000. That said, *I* live in "the west end" and all my properties are in the west end. I kind of resent having to drive across town for every networking event the group puts on, but I really resent the "no west end" postings in the group. Almost enough to start a list of people who post it so I can make sure not to ever do anything for them.

Anyhow...

Today someone put up a post that they were looking for a 3 bedroom with a fenced yard that would accept 2 large dogs--no west end, the farther east the better--for under $1,000.

When I was in IT I used to say "you can have it fast, you can have it cheap, you can have it done right--pick 2." I contemplated saying something like that--or making a "unicorn" comment. But I bit my lip and thought "if you can't say anything nice..." Because it isn't easy to find a property that will rent to 2 large dogs and my "west end" 3 bedroom is over $1,000--plus animal rent. Shoot, I want a 1,000+sf 3-1 brick ranch with a detached 2 car garage for under $100,000--and I'm willing to buy in the west end--but I'm not silly enough to post that to the group. Because that doesn't exist in 2021. So I watch. And I wait. Because I'm tired of working for a living.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Sex dungeon, it is. Because everything in "Dr. Who" is so much larger than you'd expect. A fucking consol is 7-8' across. That almost takes up all my space, so I guess "no.".
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
" ...very few people keep tough after forty. They've been knocked about by life--had troubles, tragedies, illnesses. These things soften you up. "
-M,
"For Your Eyes Only" short story.

I think our society has gotten a lot softer too, but I'm definitely not as tough as I was when I was younger. I've got some land so The Plan was to do a little hobby farming. But I've been reading about it and raising livestock is really just the intermediary step. It should be called "killing livestock." To get milk you've got to have baby milk animals. Then something has to happen to them. And the milk animals that get too old. Chickens eventually get old and stop being productive. Rabbits are pretty much for meat and fur. Hell, even plants. You read how to grow carrots or something and you weed out about half of them, keeping only the strongest.

I replaced the plywood panels over the basement windows with glass. One of them needs a proper frame, but for now I just tacked nails around the inside and then used Gorilla Tape and some fiberglass insulation that was handy. Well not enough insulation, apparently. Because this afternoon there was a cute little salamander peeking in from under the tape. "Oh shit," I thought. Sure enough, he was stuck. I did get him off, but he lost his tail. That's fine I guess, but he also lost a good amount of the skin from his back. I considered just killing him, but I figure if he can regenerate a tail, maybe the back skin won't be that big a deal. Turned him loose under the back deck to give him some protection from the sun and from predators. I've gotten too soft to live in this world. I need to go live in a monastery.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Heavy is the head that wears the crown/that's why they pay you the Big Bucks. I don't like pestering people for money. So I send out a rent invoice on the 15th. One of my renters is great. Even checked in with me one time when I forgot to swing by (my rentals are closer to my house than my mailing address is so, since I've only got 2 rentals, it isn't a big deal to offer to pick up the rent in person). The other guy, on the other hand...He's a good guy. But clearly he needs a second reminder, closer to the due date. I've got an Olde Fashioned calendar over my desk with "Rent bills" and "$" written on it on the 15th and 1st (and "Trash Day" on Fridays, but I digress). Hadn't heard from him by 3pm today so I texted him (just like last month). He'd spaced it. To be fair, it IS Derby Day here in Louisville. At first he was going to just pay the late fee (and I was going to hold him to it) but then he texted me around 10pm and said he was home and could get me the check. So I pulled on some pants, hopped in the car and picked it up. Next month I send him a reminder a day or 2 before the 1st.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I think I'll just do a sex dungeon. Everything in Dr. Who is so much bigger than you realize. When you build a TARDIS, you realize that, while it may be bigger on the inside, it is a lot goddamn bigger on the outside than you thought. And when you go to build a console room, you realize the goddamn console is around 7' across. So you need, like, a 15x15' hunk of open floor for even the tiniest console rooms. I think I'll just hang some shackles on the wall, add a dog cage, and maybe a gyno table and call it good.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I learned to swim in classes at the municipal pool. They chucked you in over your head (it was the shallow end, but I was little) and the instructor stood in front of you, just out of reach. You'd splash and flounder along, thinking "If I can just get to her, I can grab on and be safe." But she'd keep walking backward at the same speed you were splashing forward. Before you knew it, you were at the other side. Life's kind of like that. You're always in over your head, always a little uncomfortable and scared, and always working as hard as you can to keep your head above water. If you've been smart and lucky and lived a good life, maybe you've got that safety net that will rescue you if it all becomes too much, like the instructor.

I mention this because things were just getting comfortable. There's a small cushion of money in the bank. While I could need a new roof and a new AC at any moment, right now there are no big bills looming. I'm finally starting to reap the tax benefits of owning property so I'm told I've got a pretty big refund coming. The home renovation projects are starting to wind down. But awhile back my friend that hired me as a contractor a little over a year ago called me up about another gig. At first I told him I wasn't interested, but within 24 hours I called him back and said I'd do it. I don't have a dog taking up a huge chunk of my time right now, property values are so high that it will be challenging to find my next rental, he is a good friend so if he needs me for a relatively short project, I should help him out, and the money is really too good to pass up.

Of course when I called him back, he admitted he didn't actually have the money lined up yet and didn't know when he'd be bringing me on. So I went about life, getting things done and working on my Plan and just as there was a light at the end of the tunnel, I got a call from him. "What are you doing Monday (today)? I'd like to start onboarding and get you a computer." :/ "Well, I'd like to put in notice with my boss. Hopefully I don't need a day job after this, but they're one of the largest employers in the area so I shouldn't burn any bridges." "It's OK. You don't have to quit. You don't have to work full time and we can work around your schedule." :/ So now I'm facing the prospect normal people have, of selling all their time for money and then trying to fit in chores like painting trim and fixing roofs in their spare time. Ah well. It's supposed to be a shorter project than the last one. We'll see.

I've always complained about things other people would be grateful for. "You've got to go live in Hawaii for 2 years and get paid lots of money? You poor boy. That sounds terrible!" "Your friend wants to pay you lots of money to sit in your jammies in your bedroom, doing an undefined job at the hours you choose? How sad!" Well, I guess I should get going. Haven't heard from him yet, I work the other job tonight, and there are things I'd like to get done while I've still got time for them.
 

jack

The Legendary Troll Kingdom
I'm familiar with the dynamics of your dilemma. Always have to peel the apple (or onion) to get to the core of the matter. If your friend had told you up front what he told you later, it probably would have been a different outcome.
 

Oerdin

Member
I think I've mentioned this before, but it happened again in such an egregious manner than I have to say it again. The real estate investor group I'm a member of has a private Facebook group and sometimes someone will post looking for an available rental. A lot of the time they'll say "no west end." The west side of town is the blue collar and/or redneck part of town, with the northwest being the old redline neighborhood that they segregated black people to. Real estate investors affectionately refer to it as "the war zone" and back in 2017 you could buy a house there for around $12,000. That said, *I* live in "the west end" and all my properties are in the west end. I kind of resent having to drive across town for every networking event the group puts on, but I really resent the "no west end" postings in the group. Almost enough to start a list of people who post it so I can make sure not to ever do anything for them.

Anyhow...

Today someone put up a post that they were looking for a 3 bedroom with a fenced yard that would accept 2 large dogs--no west end, the farther east the better--for under $1,000.

When I was in IT I used to say "you can have it fast, you can have it cheap, you can have it done right--pick 2." I contemplated saying something like that--or making a "unicorn" comment. But I bit my lip and thought "if you can't say anything nice..." Because it isn't easy to find a property that will rent to 2 large dogs and my "west end" 3 bedroom is over $1,000--plus animal rent. Shoot, I want a 1,000+sf 3-1 brick ranch with a detached 2 car garage for under $100,000--and I'm willing to buy in the west end--but I'm not silly enough to post that to the group. Because that doesn't exist in 2021. So I watch. And I wait. Because I'm tired of working for a living.

I'd see similar unrealistic stuff in a San Diego forum. Unusually someone from the Midwest or south who had never been here or who once spent a weekend on vacation. They'd say they want a 3000 sq ft SFH on the beach, with a one acre or larger lot, in a good school district, closing to shopping but without any traffic or crime, must accommodate two large dogs, and neither of them have a job but will be looking for one. Oh, and they only want to pay $1500 tops. Bitch, get realistic, for $1500 you will be lucky to find a studio in a shitty part of town without a parking spot.
 

eloisel

Forever Empress E
I have retired and live on sufficient plus passive income. If I ever have to go back to work again it will be because hell has frozen over or we've all gone to hell in a hand basket. Getting a job probably wouldn't do any good at all, would be more like grasping at straws. Is this still a thread about getting another job?
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
The only job I want at this point blows.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
The guy I usually wind up working for (I'm part time at a factory, so when someone calls in, I fill in for them) is married (at least that's how I understand it.) And black. A few nights ago I wound up working with a scorchingly hot black chick. And we got along pretty well. That night The Guy spent a good deal of time hanging out with her, even though she doesn't work in his area. The next night, when he'd see us chatting, he'd manage to get in whatever awkward dig he could get at me. Today during lunch we all wound up sitting together and he said "don't let her beauty come in the way of our friendship." You know the old Western trope of "smile when you say that," that meant you could get away with something if it was lighthearted? This was the textbook example of that. I'm sure he absolutely meant it. But he played it off as a joke.

It's not a hill I'm willing to die on. I'd love to do dirty, dirty things with this sweet young woman, but I don't have the power or the prestige. And I'm only around 2 nights a week. So instead I try to pick up what I can on flirting. And if there is an opening, well, I won't walk away from it.

All that said, remember the bit in "Batman Begins," where he's like "I'm not going to kill you. But I don't have to save you either"? That's where I'm at. When I bought the new place I mentioned I had extra enclosed parking and I was going to be renting it out. He said he was interested because he needed a place to put his restored '86 Caddy. Well the spaces are ready to go. But at this point I don't think I'll give him a heads-up unless I'm having a hard time filling them. And I feel no obligation to stick around until he's ready to leave (something he mentioned when I said I'd be leaving as soon as I was satisfied with the security of my rental income).
 

jack

The Legendary Troll Kingdom
These are good stories. It would be interesting to see you edit them into a book or something.

You ever do Moth standup?
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
For various reasons I've got a busy day tomorrow. So I was going to get everything prepped tonight, not have anything to drink, get in bed by 10 so I could get 7 hours of sleep and still be up by 5.

Instead I screwed around until it was far too late to prep anything. Then I had a cocktail after my late dinner. When I realized 7 hours of sleep were out the window, I moved the wake-up back to 6am so I could get my 7 if I went to bed in 15 minutes.

Then I proceeded to drink 3 cocktails and fuck off online for an hour and a half.

I'm so weak and stupid.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
As my brain was waking up this morning, I was rolling the situation at work around in my head, following a train of thought about "bros before hoes" when it occurred to me that, by that standard *I* was probably in violation of the rule, because the guy I work for often almost certainly saw her first.

There are the points of that I thought he was married and that she's subordinate to him at work, but those aren't points I can make a claim against. The Marine Corps really screwed me up on a lot of things. I've got the awesome, chick magnet dress blues, but the occasions where it is appropriate for me to wear them are miniscule. And I was never able to successfully parlay the Marine thing into a girlfriend due to the population mix around a Marine base and the fraternization rules. An officer absolutely could not date enlisted. You were also supposed to stick within your "class": lieutenants and captains can date, majors and lieutenant colonels can date--but not if they are in a direct chain of command. There's always a scarcity of female Marine officers and the smart ones know not to date anyone they work with because of all the competition etc that it will generate. I did manage to date one once because we were geographically close and worked together, but were technically in different commands, but I'm rambling. Then you wind up with that the majority of women out there are enlisted or the wife/girlfriend of enlisted and it somehow seems wrong to be stealing some corporal's girlfriend. One time I was out with a couple friends and was making time with a nice non military girl but I went to the bathroom and my "friend"/roommate had stolen her. On top of that, once he had her he didn't know what to do with her. We had to badger him into getting her number and then I think he went on maybe one date with her. That guy was a piece of work. Came across as a nice guy but he absolutely manipulated people to his ends. Not to the level of a psychopath, but definitely at a level that you had to watch out for. Unfortunately the FBI agent never asked me about that when she came to me during my MBA to interview me for a security clearance he was getting.
 
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