Funny about Money

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

Work: Business, Yard, Dogs, House

Business Work

Another large job shipped off to the client in China. Huzzah! Subjected the thing to one last, fast read-through this morning and found still more glitches to fix…some of them induced by moi. I think it’s pretty clean now. It had better be, because by now it will have winged its way across the planet and alighted in Beijing.

I’m not charging anywhere near enough for this project, given the amount of time it took — that’s because (by way of saving a few yuan) he asked me not to edit the references section. That’s redeemed the fact that it’s really a pretty interesting project. And evidently a cornerstone of these folks’ careers: they’ve been gathering data for a number of years.

Today another big project is supposed to come in from yet another client on a ball-busting deadline. So far, no sign of it, so that gives a few minutes to waste on, oh, say…blogging.

Yard Work

Ruby and Cassie and (yes) Charley are going batshit in the living room, yapping at Luis, who’s engaged in one of his monumental tree clean-up projects. This house is like a forest, what with all the shrubbery. Come springtime the paloverde and the palo brea and the Texas ebony and the surviving devilpod tree and the desert willow and the yellow oleander and the olive trees and the mountain laurel and the vitex need to be gently, knowledgeably thinned so that the monster summer winds won’t break off limbs and toss them onto the house. Or onto the neighbor’s house.

Luis is an artist. He never wields a power tool. He climbs up on ladders or into the trees and prunes out the wild stuff by hand. The trees look gorgeous by the time he’s done, and they retain plenty of foliage to shade their branches and trunks from the searing midsummer sun.

And he is, thank God, back. When I called a few weeks ago, I reached a woman who said he was in Mexico.

Uh oh.

Paloverde & mesquite are all wildly in bloom now

Naturally, I figured he’d been deported in the latest wave of jingoism, and that would be the last we’d see of a very wonderful man. And he is a good man. Having enjoyed more than my share of men, I recognize a good one when I see him. This is one of ’em.

But no! The other day, there he was on the phone. So…either he’s legal, or he knows a dependable way to get back across the border. He said he’d had to go into Mexico because his father, in his 80s, developed pneumonia and they didn’t know whether the old man would make it.

So hallelujah brothers and sisters! He showed up at 6 a.m. Three and a half hours later, he’s still wrestling with the jungle in the front yard. He hasn’t even gotten around to the back yard.

Gerardo, another at-risk artisan IMHO, is supposed to come by this afternoon. He called last night and announced he intended to show up this morning. I try to hide Luis from Gerardo, because I know Gerardo considers my yard to be part of his domain and doesn’t like it much that I hire someone else to do the trees. But Gerardo is a yard dude; an arborist, he ain’t. In the course of putting him off, I ended up having to fess ‘up that the trees were getting trimmed this morning. He said he’d come by around 1:00, which translates freely to about 3:00 p.m. I’ll have to give him something extra — money for sure; a gift of some kind if I can dream one up — to assuage his feelings.

Cleaned the pool again this morning. I believe the water is now warm enough to get into, which I will do later today after all the men are out of my hair.

For reasons that aren’t altogether clear, the infestation of mustard algae seems to have died off. Speculation: that particular efflorescence must have effloresced when I got out of the habit of brushing the walls and steps several times a week, in the aftermath of the year of annoying surgeries. It doesn’t really have to be brushed every day…but it does need some attention more than, say, once a month. Or so. This winter I did feel well enough to bestir myself to attend to the pool now again, and as it’s warmed up, I’ve been brushing it down almost daily. It looks incredibly good…especially considering the aged plaster job.

So, I may be able to put off the plastering job to another year. Hope so, because according to my calculations, I will end my personal 2016-17 fiscal year with $706 in the bank… Less than that, no doubt, since Luis will charge $500 or $600 for spending his entire day swinging from tree limbs. Or at least, he surely should.

Pray for more editorial work. A lot more editorial work…

Dog Work, Etc.

Complicating matters, Charley the Golden Retriever is here, my son — his human — having hit the road for Colorado, there to visit his grandmother for her 103rd birthday.

A hundred and three. Can you imagine?

Well, I suppose having one grandmother survive into her advanced dotage makes up for having the other one die before he was born. Oh well. Of the two, I’d far prefer to have had my own mother lurking in the background for him…but that’s probably just daughter-in-law bitchiness.

At any rate, it’s nice to have Charley here. I like having a dog that’s tall enough to pet without bending over. Also, the deep roaring bark that comes out only (uhm…mostly) when there’s actually something to bark at has its advantages over endless midget-dog yapping. Sometimes you just want a dog who sounds like he means business. When he means business.

House Work

So now I’ve got to get the appliance repairman over here. If it’s not one damnfool thing it’s another. The dishwasher has taken to making an ominous noise. Said noise gets louder and louder, rising from a growl to a near roar — especially when the machine first comes on.

The repairman that B&B Appliances put me on to — that would be the guy who refrained from ripping me off for another $500 by cluing me that the problem with the damned wall oven was not the circuit board but loose wiring — has the unbelievable chutzpah to knock off on Saturday. So I’ll have to call him on Monday.

Finally got around to tucking some of the newly made compost in around the calla lily…and by the way, trimming off the dead stuff. I’m hopelessly lazy, no question of that.

Tomorrow and Monday I must remember to drive down to my son’s house and water his plants. With the temps in the 100s, anything in a pot has to be watered every day to keep it from frying.

Speaking of frying, look what I found at Fry’s!

Ever since I broke the last of the large German shepherd bowls, I’ve been needing a dog bowl large enough to accommodate a golden retriever. In 100-degree weather, the two smaller bowls that suffice for Cassie and Ruby run dry when Charley is around.

Fry’s had them on a two-for-one sale (i.e., these things are worth about a third of what we’re asking, so take two of them off our hands — please!). So I grabbed two: one to hold enough water for him and one for his food. They’re huge and they’re heavy and they could NOT be better for dogs. 🙂

And So, Away…

Cox once again is dragging. Fiddling with the wireless connection is pissing me off intolerably, and so I am going to knock off. Soon, I may knock off Cox, too: learned from both my friends yesterday that they, in their respective widely separated parts of town, also have annoying connectivity problems…as well as bills that get bigger and bigger for lesser and lesser service.

There’s an outfit in Scottsdale that caters to small businesses. I’m thinking I may find out how much they charge. If it’s not a lot more than Cox, I may just make the switch. Better to pay a little more for better service than to be constantly aggravated and frustrated with wireless that just…doesn’t…work.


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Author: funny

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  1. Curious what ends up happening with the dishwasher. Hopefully it’s something they can repair, I know it’s not that old.

  2. It actually is getting on in dishwasher years. The one that was in the house when I moved in was on its last legs (gears???), so I replaced it shortly. That was in 2004…13 years ago! Since appliances are engineered to give out in 7 years, the Bosch has done all alright by me. Relatively speaking!