Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

April 29, 2017
by funny

STILL Blowin’

LOOK at the dirt on this rag!

That is just from the past few days’ dustfall on just a couple pieces of furniture. LOL!

I’m sitting here swilling coffee when I notice that by dawn’s early light, the desk looks kinda gray. The furniture was dusted just a few days ago. But the wind has been blowing dirt around for…yes! Days.

So for the entertainment value, I dragged out a clean dustrag and ran it over a few table tops. And lo!

No wonder I’m still coughing and gagging.

Took half a Benadryl last night by way of beating back the cold symptoms that seem to have segued into allergy symptoms. The stuff works, but God I hate it! This morning I feel like a zombie. The stuff leaves me feeling dazed for at least half the following day after I swallow it. Usually cutting a tablet in half minimizes that effect…but not so much today. I feel awful.

In fact, I think I’m going to go back to bed. {sigh}

April 28, 2017
by funny

Pre-monsoon Monsoon?

The wind has been whipping around for days, not altogether unusual for spring in the Sonoran desert, though it’s a little late in the season. But today it’s worked itself up into quite the meteorological frenzy. This afternoon we were having 30- to 40-mph winds…one gust blasted in under the back patio roof and blew the latched back door open!

Though the sun has been bright enough long enough to warm the pool to swimming temp, the winds are cool — it they weren’t quite so rambunctious, the breezes would feel pretty nice. But the air is so dry it makes your skin feel like you’ve turned to parchment! You itch all over…not just on the mosquito bites, of which there are a-plenty.

So I tried soaking in the tub to rehydrate and then slathering coconut oil all over the body. LOL! The upshot? The coconut oil soaked right in, didn’t do much to help the dryness, but left me smelling like a walking Mounds bar.

Olive oil is probably more effective than coconut oil…but it has its own drawbacks.


Don’t know which is worse: walking salad bowl or walking Mounds bar.

April 27, 2017
by funny

Getting Paid Across the Ocean

Take a fan and blow it across the Pacific???

A client and I are having a dickens of a time getting money — not much of it, we might add — transferred from the People’s Republic of China to the U.S. of A.

Her university’s accounts payable folks decided they would transfer the $300 owing to me for editing a fairly abstruse article direct from their coffers in Beijing to my coffers in lovely uptown Phoenix. Accordingly, a factotum in their business office asked for my credit union’s ABA SWIFT number.

I call the credit union and ask our factotum, “What is your SWIFT number?”

She says, “It’s the same as the routing number.”

I copy and paste the credit union’s routing number into my statement. Send it off.

Week or so later, client says the university is unable to make the transfer: the SWIFT number is wrong.

Copy, paste, send again.

Now along comes another squawk, this one from an admin from the university’s business office. SWIFT number is wrong. They have one more chance to deposit; if that doesn’t work, they can’t pay.

Lovely. I try to email a query to the credit union, but it won’t go through.

So I abdicate this morning’s networking meeting and drive to the credit union. Explain this to the teller. She hasn’t a clue.

It takes the manager to figure out the problem: the credit union doesn’t have a SWIFT number. A SWIFT number is not the same as a routing number. I point out that his employer’s phone rep said otherwise. He said “we try to train them not to say that.” I said they should try again. 😀

He says the sender needs to use a facilitating bank, which is a large multinational bank such as Wells Fargo, to get the transfer into a smaller financial institution such as a credit union. I say it’s a university in China! He says he’s pretty sure they’ll be doing business with a multinational bank.

So traipsed home after a visit to the Costco in those parts and the Walmart Neighborhood grocery store in my parts, sat down, and sent off an email explaining this. Suggested if they found this impossible, they could just send the money by PayPal.

So far, nothing back from China…but it’s probably been night-time all day here. By tomorrow, I expect, we’ll hear the next act in that drama.

April 26, 2017
by funny

$aved!! Thank You, Beloved Di$hwa$her

So after its human managed to line up a service call ($130 + $25/every 15 minutes) to address its loud noise, the famous Bosch dishwasher has STOPPED MAKING THE NOISE!

Just in the nick of time, too. Once again, the thing is so quiet you wonder if it’s working at all.

Last night after I’d run the washer on three days’ worth of dishes, I thought…tha’s funny…i don’t recall hearing The Noise. But then figured I must not have been paying attention.

So decided that this morning, what with Charley’s dog dish (huge) to wash and a frying pan that could go in there, I should run the machine first thing off the bat, just to see WTF.

And lo! It really isn’t making The Noise. It has a little buzz in one of the cycles near the start. But it’s a very quiet little buzz, nothing like the Growl That Was the Noise.

So: grab the phone, call the repair outfit, cancel the $155 service call.

Whew! Thank the heavens.

I figure something must have gotten caught in its garbage disposal grinder or some such. I did clean the drain filter, but that shouldn’t have made much difference: it was pretty clean to start with, and I doubt that a dishwasher cycle starts with draining a tub of water. There certainly wasn’t anything in there.

The plumber has ordered me not to put so much as a drop of grease or oil down the drain: in any form…”even spaghetti sauce has grease in it!” quoth he.

Well, that’s easier said than done: how do you wash dishes without some grease going down the drain?

So I’ve taken to wiping the dishes off carefully with paper towels (yes, I know: ecologically unfriendly!) to get as much grease and food particles off before putting them in the washer. This means that the washer’s internal garbage grinder is not getting what we’d call a lot of strain put on it. There really shouldn’t be anything in there that could have jammed it.

Anything’s possible, though. Come to think of it, some months ago a wine glass broke inside the washer and pieces of glass fell to the bottom. I suppose I could have missed picking up a piece (though I did take the shop vac to it). Maybe it shook loose and went on down to the sewer when I took the innards apart to clean the filter.

WhatEVER. Thank goodness I don’t have to blow another couple hundred bucks on getting that thing repaired, on top of all the other repairs and maintenance that have been draining the checkbook.

April 25, 2017
by funny

Clash of the Cultures

So one of the neighbors called the cops on a young couple who are regular visitors from the other side of Conduit of Blight Boulevard. Usually these two come through the ’hood pushing their toddler in a stroller, presumably making their way from the depressing apartments to the west of us into the park, a much nicer venue in which to enjoy the company of a small child. They had a friend with them — maybe a relative, but because I think they’re Latino and he was decidedly of the African persuasion, let’s call him their friend.

This little group was doing nothing wrong. They were not peering into backyards. They were not stealing bicycles or potted plants. They were not fighting. They were not harassing anyone. They were just walking along, engaged in a lively conversation.

As they walked by the Funny Farm, all three dogs went screaming BATSH!T, because the passers-by were making a little noise — unusual noise, that is — especially Friend, who was carrying on about some event at the top of his voice, in that aggressive rap tone and meter that some people affect. The young mom, at one point, advised him to quit making a drama out of everything, which elicited a spirited defense of his personal approach to Life, the Universe, and All That.

They were not committing a crime. They did not appear to be about to commit a crime. They were not doing anything out of the ordinary. They were just…well…acting ghetto.

Apparently some of the residents here can’t cope with that.

Hence, not one but two squad cars. Yes. Four cops in two spectacularly marked sedans came cruising down the street after the three pedestrian desperadoes, to do…what? Give them a lecture on how to behave properly in Whiteyville?


You know, there’s no reason to believe the young man was intentionally offending or even had any idea he was offending. The couple has moved through our space comfortably for weeks, and so he probably felt right to home. There are people that you recognize right off the bat as dangerous, even as immediately threatening — like the two felonious looking dudes with the bloodhound. But these folks were not that. That kid could not have scared me if he tried. Which he did not.

He wasn’t hurting anyone or anything. He wasn’t threatening. He was just being what he is: a goofy kid.

Here’s what I think about that: If you are going to live on the edge of a ghetto, you must expect to meet people, now and again, who exhibit ghetto behavior. They must expect to meet people, now and again, who exhibit up-tight whitebread behavior.

Get used to it.

It’s part of the Zen of living in a big city: you get used to the many different styles of its many different people. If you don’t like it, move to an HOA in the boondocks and commute to work an hour or two each way.

One of the few redeeming features of urban life is that it is interesting. The main thing that makes urban life interesting is the rubbing together of cultures: the coexistence of people with different viewpoints and different habits.

That’s why we live in the city.

April 24, 2017
by funny

Hey, Mr. Dishwasher Repairman, Play a Song for Me…

And sing me HOW MUCH you want to work on the washer? Dude!?!

No kidding. This morning the Bosch CSR reported that to come over and check on the weird, LOUD noise their supposedly whisper-silent dishwasher is emitting, they will charge $130 to show up at the door and $30 per 15 minutes of service call time.

I say…uhhmmmmm….. so, you’re saying that if the guy says something’s so wrong with it that it can’t be repaired, you’re going to charge me $160 to tell me the thing is kaput?

Tha’s right, sez she.

Dare I say it?

Yes, I dare: Holeeeee Sh!t

This happened after I called a beloved and trusted repairdude, who said he couldn’t work on Bosch because Bosch has locked up the market by making it impossible to buy parts. So I had to call the phone number Bosch emblazons on its equipment to get one of their repairdudes over here.

Okay. But…..

Said pronouncement was rendered suspect by Bosch’s Annoying Phone Tree, which said, first, “Press 1 for service” and then second, “Press 2 to order parts.”

This registered after I’d talked to their platinum-plated CSR: waaaitaminit….. If you can’t buy parts anymore, howcum their Annoying Phone Tree offers to sell you parts?

After hearing the exorbitant preliminary estimate and after thinking about that for a minute, I called B&B Appliances (my new go-to appliance retailer) and asked if they knew anyone who could work on Bosch appliances. Noooooo prob’, said they, and they emitted the name of a local outfit.

Called. They seemed to have no problem working on Bosch machinery…that’s because they’re an official Bosch repairdude company.

That notwithstanding, the cost of their service cost was significantly lower (though still way too high), and the cost of their hang-around-your-house efforts was lower. Somewhat.

It’s still going to cost a stupid amount of money to find out why turning on the dishwasher awakens an enraged Tyrannosaurus rex. However, I figure it’s better to get it fixed now, rather than waiting till it breaks down, and then having to wait half a week or more until they can get someone over here to tell me it’s broken.

What we need here is to persuade Speed Queen to start making dishwashers…