Dog-walk this morning: we encountered nine other pooches on our perambulation, not counting the several large dogs illegally allowed to run loose around the park. There were at least four of those, bringing the total to around thirteen. This is about par at that time of day: around 6 to 7 a.m. All of which is well and good, except it means I have to be on the alert to keep Ruby from lunging at any of them and triggering a reprisal sally. Nothing too wacky there, except for the sheer number of residents in this neighborhood who are out walking their dogs at dawn.
Two guys showed up at the door, wanting to trim the accursed palm trees. It’s been two years since I decided to belay trimming the filthy things. Every time the wind blows, they drop piles of debris onto the street, the alley, and the neighbors’ yards, which I then have to run out and pick up. And even when the air is still, they sprinkle tens of thousands of BB-like seeds that jam Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner’s innards and stop him dead.
Ordinarily I would ask Gerardo to do this job, and in fact this spring he and I have considered it, in a desultory way, but what with his wife’s illness and demise, needless to say he’s had his mind on other things.
So when these guys showed up and offered to do the job for $45 per tree, plus another chunk of dough to shave off the frond stems that cling to one of the four trunks, I thought…why not? And told them to PLEASE not drop the stuff in the pool.
Ohhh no, señora! No fronds in pool!
Well, easier said than done. When I looked out there after they climbed down from the sky, they’d filled the pool with palm tree fronds and debris! What a mess!!
But…they managed to get all of the giant, wet, heavy leaves out, all of the sticks and floating crap, all of the dried out shreds of palm leaves. Piles of dirt and BBs and miscellaneous crap still lay on the bottom. So I got out the leaf bagger, screwed it on the hose, and started to vacuum the stuff up.
Well. Sr. Luis had never seen such a thing in his life, and he was delighted. Forthwith he took over the job, and before long the pool was spotless. He asked where I’d gotten it, and I referred him to the Home Depot. And I suggested that if he found clients who had these damn trees near the pool and offered to clean the pool after trimming the things, he could beat out the competition and also charge more.
And I paid him more than he asked, further flooring him. It still was well under $100 per tree, for a dangerous job that can best be described as horrendous. All told, each man earned about $100 apiece for three hours of hard physical work, by the time they bought gas to run their pickup and large trailer up the freeway to the county landfill and then paid the fees to use said landfill.
These guys are horribly underpaid to do a difficult and dangerous job. Every now and again one of them dies when a palm frond falls on him and he suffocates, or when he falls off three-story-high tree.
So there was that.
Then there was today’s saga of the shoes.
Our choir director asks us to wear closed-told black shoes to process up and down the aisles of the sanctuary. Sounds easy enough, eh?
I’m sure it is, if your feet don’t hurt all the time and if you don’t have to buy spectacularly overpriced European shoes so that you can walk without pain. Those shoes are usually sandals…with…yes: open toes.
Finally I decided that if that’s what he’s going to insist on, he’ll have to put up with Sanitas, since those are about the only closed-toed shoes I can manage without agony. But…the ones I have are about worn out. And to buy new ones, I have to drive to Tempe (40 minutes one way) and pay through the schnozzola for the things.
And so, away…to the Internet!
All the Amazon retailers are out of stock. But I found the Sanitas company itself! They also will ship your purchase to you. So I ordered a pair of black clogs, size 40.
Sanitas doesn’t seem to have the touch for overnight delivery that Amazon does. A week later, the shoes show up on the front porch. Eagerly I open the box and find…a pair of size 35 shoes!
Thank you so much, folks!
So I had to package these back up and schlep them through gawdawful afternoon traffic to the UPS store on the other side of the freeway, one bitch of a drive. Rush hour starts here at 3:00 p.m. Fortunately, they’d included a return label, so I didn’t have to pay to ship it back to them.
Homeward bound I remembered that I could cut through an industrial park to dodge some of the worst traffic on Conduit of Blight Blvd. So that was a small redeeming factor. Anyway.
After the sun went down, I dumped two gallons of liquid chlorine into the pool, which should help to beat back the algae deposited by the palm fronds and gunk.
And now, coming onto 9:00 p.m., a loud monsoon storm is blowing by to the south and east, with lots of lightning and wind.
A-n-n-n-d it’s beginning to rain. The dog and I have pulled the wicker chairs indoors (well: the human hauled; the dog oversaw), and now we’re going to crawl into the sack, before the power goes off.
Toooo late! Just as I was about to hit “PUBLISH” a bolt of lightning hit nearby. Knocked both computers down. Took 20 minutes to get the laptop back online, with a fair amount of data probably lost.
Oh, screw it! WHAT a day…