Funny about Money

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

Day 1: De-Computerizing Regime

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So today I took it upon myself to try to break the not-so-benign computer habit. This is easier said than done: apparently I’m constitutionally incapable of not checking the email first thing in the morning.

My son is almost out of minutes on his phone, so that’s my excuse: if he has something to say about the dog crisis, he’ll say it by email. And he did: more about which under separate cover.

I regard this de-computerizing scheme as akin to decluttering: when too much junk accrues, you need to shovel out your life. Get rid of STUFF.

LOL! Just think in terms of “digital stuff” throughout this spiel…

At any rate, by not turning on the computer but instead getting off my duff, I got a lot of STUFF done…and done by noon, believe it or not:

Clean pool
Swim
Deposit check
Send receipt
Update spreadsheet
Drive to pool store

Explain to DIFFERENT pool store clerk that an orange reading on the pH test means the water is too HIGH on acid, not too low on acid. Today’s pool guy manages to grasp that concept. Why the regular guy did not escapes me, since it’s the most basic of all possible basic concepts. He agrees the water needs a base added to it; peddles some soda ash to me. I also buy a case of shock-treat packets.

Onward to the paint store: buy a gallon of primer, a gallon of gray paint, and a quart of white semigloss for the trim I inevitably will butch up when I repaint the hall
Onward to Total Wine: buy a small bottle of bourbon, which should last another two or three months
Dump half the package of soda ash into the pool; reflect on how much I dislike working with soda ash
Finish writing the present scene of the noveloid; reflect on how to get the only fully likeable character out of the predicament he’s about to fall into
Eat myself stupid with broiled open-face sandwiches chased by a bowl of ice cream

All of this, accomplished by noon. Of late, what I’ve gotten done by noon has been…

Browse several news sites
Write a blog post, maybe (maybe not)
Play several online games, over and over obsessively
Fart around with the email
Write a post on Quora
Write post or comments on NextDoor
Fart around on FaceBook…

So at least something got done today. For a change.

Whenever I can get to it, my plan is to paint the hallway and touch up the interior trim. Some years ago, I got the bright idea of painting the hall this kind of rusted-pumpkin orange color. It’s not as hideous as it sounds: matter of fact, I’ve liked it quite a lot. The north hallway wall runs up into the dining room, so that wall serves as an accent wall in there, and then the wall on the south side matches it. And you can see the color through the archway from the living room, where it serves as a kind of accent in there.

But whereas the other colors in the house have stood the test of time handsomely, this orange business hasn’t held up as well. I’m really pretty tired of it. And it’s dark.

There’s a (very expensive!) red-orange light in there: orange light just gets soaked up by orange paint, so really that light just barely makes the hallway navigable. My son wants the light, and so he can have that; we’ll replace mine with one that emits a nice white glow..

Gray is the new orange… Permutations of gray are the height of style these days. Amazingly, my taste was way ahead of its time when I painted this house: the bedroom and the accent wall in the office are matte gray; the fireplace brickwork and hearth are semigloss gray, a very pretty soft color called “silver” by the now-defunct designer Alexander Julian — who apparently also was well ahead of his time.

When you look at the various designer magazines, you see a whole bunch of colors that are not even faintly gray dubbed “gray”: hues that I call “cream” and “taupe” and even “beige.” And lo! There’s the subtle, smokey green of the living room: “gray.” Hilarious!

One thing is clear: replace the orange hall with Alexander Julian’s “silver,” and presto-changeo: the house will be at the forefront of interior fashion. 😀

Besides the fact that I’ve grown weary of the orange hallway and the orange wall up the north end of the dining/family room, I want to update the place a bit because I’m beginning to think about selling. The influx of bums, drugs, and crime is causing a lot of unrest among the residents. Latest news is a large apartment complex for “homeless families” is going in about a mile down Conduit of Blight. That’s in addition to the three- or four-story homeless apartment complex Catholic Social Services is installing right next door to a soon-to-be-formerly upscale infill development.

Supposedly these will get people off the streets. One surely does hope so. They’re better than the shelters we used to have around the Encanto District, which would put up transients at night and then throw them out at dawn, leaving them to wander around our neighborhood, ride the buses, and doze in the library until such time as the flop opened again that night.

The National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty says the main causes of homelessness in America are insufficient income and lack of affordable housing.

According to the most recent annual survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, major cities across the country report that top causes of homelessness among families were: (1) lack of affordable housing, (2) unemployment, (3) poverty, and (4) low wages, in that order. The same report found that the top four causes of homelessness among unaccompanied individuals were (1) lack of affordable housing, (2) unemployment, (3) poverty, (4) mental illness and the lack of needed services, and (5) substance abuse and the lack of needed services.

Presumably, then, these housing developments will address one (1) of the four or five leading causes of US homelessness. But…we still have the remaining issues. What is to be done about the corrosive state of poverty, about the right-to-work-for-nothing laws in Arizona, about the lack of mental health care, and about the drug abuse?

My expectation? Nothing.

What will be done about the fundamental issues is nothing. The practical consequences of those terrible societal problems will be dropped in our laps, where they can remain invisible to our city fathers who live on the side of Camelback Mountain, in the balmy reaches of Paradise Valley, in the high-rent environs of Arcadia, or even out in Scottsdale.

{sigh} I love my home and its spacious yard and the friendly neighbors. And I can’t afford to buy anything comparable in a safer part of the city. But…I’m afraid it’s time to think about moving to a smaller, lesser house, or else moving out to Sun City — which, because no one wants to live there, is a lot cheaper than central city areas and newer, fancier outlying developments. At a certain age, you’re really too old to cope with drug addicts and bums in the alleys, thieves watching your home for an opportunity to break in, and the inevitable German shepherd.

Still…how d’you like Chloe?

Think I should adopt her?

Or maybe Chance? As a male, he’d probably get along with the bossy corgis a little better than Chloe…

Heh heh…just what I need: three dogs to have to take care of! 😀

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