Friday, May 29, 2009

Just Sick of IT!

I have been busy working my tail off only to come home and hear on the news that things are getting better. Come on look around who are they trying to kid! The job market is not changing much, the car companies are still struggling, unemployment is high and people are out of work, homes are still being foreclosed on, gas prices are rising, and the banks are still trying to rip off the public.

I am really pissed about this. In one week I received two notices from credit card companies stating that they were going to raise their rates in June. Did we not give bail out money to the banks so they could in turn loan money to the public. I was furious over this. It is simply the principle of the matter that it is wrong. They want you to spend money to help the economy and once you do they want to make you pay extra for doing so. I say screw'em! I am paying off the one card and cancelling, then I will transfer the balance of the other to another bank. I do not intend to use anymore credit cards to purchase even a gallon of gas. This came after I looked at a bank statement and found a few small charges on my business checking account that is supposed to be free. Once I investigated it they were charges applied to my account by the bank just to include a copy of checks that were cashed. I never asked for this but was told that when one bank merged with another it was their policy, they had sent a letter. Not having that either. You want my account put that money back in it and keep that extra piece of paper that you are trying to charge me six dollars for. Then they were charging people a fee if they were on unemployment and were using a state debit card. Now that is just not right.

Cable bill came in and they raised that by two more dollars. This is the third time in one year. This stuff is what I call nickle and diming the public to make up for lost revenue. So now I cut back on our premium cable stations to just basic. I really believe we have entered a world of pure insanity. I remember when TV was free, when you only had one telephone and one car, life insurance was cheap, doctors made house calls, and you spent quality time instead of quantity time with your family.

Now newspapers are going out of business. Many read the paper online and pay a subscription fee. How many times has one newspaper been left at a diner or doctors office for not one but many people to read. I think the news went further. You can't compare sitting in front of a computer reading the days events to sitting in one of your favorite spots with something concrete in your hand that you can pass on to someone else and share. We are putting ourselves in the position of being ruled by those that create and possess the technology. Little by little it robs one of social skills and basic interaction with other human beings. Now we don't go to clubs, dances, church socials, or sporting events to meet someone, we just go online to look for love. By the way you have to pay for that too!

I am not a cheap person and enjoy the luxuries that life has to offer, but one that just does not like being pushed or taken advantage of. The world has become to money oriented and I for one and Just Sick of It!

Monday, May 25, 2009

America's Favorite Angel

I have had so many things on my mind lately that I have found it hard to concentrate on one thing. Something that I found very moving was the documentary the Farrah Fawcett Story following her battle with cancer. An icon from the 70's and one of the most famous angels proved to the world that she was more than just hair and a big smile with her best acting to come in the eighties. The Burning Bed and Extremites proved she actually had the talent to act. I think these roles rose her popularity even more with the female population that could identify with her characters that were suffering spousal abuse in private. I don't think there was a young girl that didn't want to look like Farrah Fawcett or want one of the cool cars that she drove. The white cobra mustang with stripes. Of course there was the famous red swimsuit poster that every young boy in America probably had pinned on there wall. So it seems she has had a loyal following of fans through the years and once again she has given the world something to behold. A journey into the life of a struggling woman's battle with cancer.

Her story however has many exposures of just what types of things needed to change and should be changed. It was not just about her, but others, and for those to come. Due to her high profile and many others she was a victim of a breach of confidentiality of hospital records and information regarding her health care. Farrah exposed the hospital and the Star magazine of this breach and had taken her case to court to gain a huge victory for all of us in getting the laws changed to protect our privacy. Go Farrah! I have always believed that the stars pay a big price for fame and fortune and this was just more proof of that. Can you imagine someone snapping a picture of your mother right after she has had chemo treatments coming out of the hospital bearing the news of months to live. Just tasteless!

So following her story Farrah travels to Germany for laser knife treatment to remove lesions that have not yet been approved in the states. That particular part of the treatment did work by the way. Her take on this was the fact that there are types of treatments out there that work, why not make them available in the states. What is taking so long when this could potentially save lives? I think we lose sight that these people are just that "people". Yes they provide entertainment, but that is only their job. They struggle with life just as everyone else does, maybe just on a different level. It was rather sad to see her struggle and brought back flooding memories of my mothers struggle with cancer. That once vibrant young woman with the big hair and white flashing smile now frail and riddled with cancer bedridden in the end still full of hope for one more ounce of life. Farrah might just have been one of America's favorite angles as she has brought joy, protection, and maybe even hope for a cancer cure. What more can an Angel Do?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

winning ticket

Finally have some time to myself.
These are just some pictures of one of the jobs we did. I am too tired to mess with this computer to put things in order. What a weeding job this was. Actually we shoveled 2 yards of mulch out and 5 yards of mulch in, taking 1 yard of mulch to another location. What a back buster that can be.

So hopefully things will get back on course but I have learned a couple of things this year. No one is exempt from a recession and how to live with less. You get caught up in things and desires for stuff that you really don't need but just want. I am learning to shop better, save more, and enjoy what I have. I really don't miss much except for taking our big trip once a year. I have had a great deal of my friends wonder why I have chosen to do this type of work (really labor intensive). I must say that I enjoy hard work and sleep better with less on my mind. I like instant gratification in what I can do. Most of all there is no office Politics! Plus it helps keep me in shape and I get to meet more people in our community. I wish I had more equipment sometimes but wonder how other companies do it with the high cost of some of it. Most people pay anywhere from $5,500-$11,000 for a commercial mower and they will get two. Now that is alot of grass to cut to get that back plus labor, taxes, gas, license, and repairs. I bought mine used and they are still doing good knock on wood.

I did put flowers on my mothers grave for Mother's day than we went to Lisa mom's for a cookout and crabs. It turned out to be a nice day for everyone with really good weather. I miss going out and shopping for my mom. It used to be a challenge to come up with some cool ideals for the holidays and I always loved seeing the surprise on her face.

I put the dogs on a new food regimen about 3 months ago to help with the yeast in their ears. Golden retrievers are prone to this and it can be on going and unpleasant and itchy for them. After ear treatment and cleaning the vet recommended a new food which was an outrageous cost. More of a fish, potato, rice, fruit and vegetable blend of food. So being a chef I researched the ingredients and have been cooking their meals to add to a cut back portion of their dog food. Well let me tell you this has done wonders. Yeast has been gone, dogs have lost some weight, not as much waste in the yard, cheaper on the wallet, larger portions for the dog, and everyone is happy.

Well I missed the Kentucky Derby and didn't get to place a bet due to work. It is a good thing because I would have lost. Lisa however always plays the long shots. Next is the Preakness which I am looking forward to. I will be glued to the tv as they come out of the gate gripping onto what may be the winning ticket.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I am truly starting to believe we live in Seattle. Seriously it has rained for a week straight. These lawns are totally out of control and people are inquiring if we cut grass in the rain. Not! Soon I will have to accessorise the mowers with paddles. This wet grass just dulls the the blades in no time, not to mention that it takes twice as long to cut it. It has just been a really bomb of a week here. Damn grass growing almost 10 inches high on some lawns due to the fact of broken mowers and waiting to long to call for service. Then they want it cut short. It just doesn't work that way.

Today I went on a murdering rampage (not of my own control). On the way to a job of course a squirrel has to jut out in front of the truck. Before I could even hit the brakes I heard a small thud under the tire. I wished someone would invent a silent squirrel siren to place on your vehicle. Then I was only a mile down the road when 2 birds came down in front of the windshield then pow! One slammed directly into it! Scared the crap out of me at first. Then I had the great treat of picking half a bird wing off the windshield wiper-yuck! What a nasty start of a day. I knew it wasn't going to be any better. More wet, tall, unkept grass to mow-yuck!

I did check out the new owner of a small garage that just opened which has good prices.
I cut a deal with him to change the blades on the mowers at half the price the mower places charge. The best part of this is that he does it all on the same day. Hardly no waiting. I think he could pick up a great deal of business in this department he advertises it. These dealerships charge you and arm and a leg to do this type of work.

I really hate this much rain. Everything is wet and muddy to the point that I am even starting to spot snails. We never have snails!

I learned another hard lesson this week. Old friends can pick up very bad habits and may not be the same person you thought they were. Yes I knew better then to mix business and friendship, so actually I tried to keep things on the professional side while doing landscaping for a friend. I however did give her a better price since we have been friends for awhile. After the job was almost completed I gave her the invoice and said we would be back tomorrow to finish. The next day we finished the job and to my surprise she failed to give me a check. Well I thought she'll just drop it in the mail. Nine days later, no check. After an email inquiring about my payment she tells me that this month is tough and wondered if I can wait for payment. You have got to be kidding me. Who hires someone, then after they do a job tell them they don't have the money.

I was actually furious over this. I have equipment expenses, dump fees, payroll, and business expenses to pay. I am suppose to wait for my money while her no good lazy son rapes her of every dime she has for his drug habit. He should have had his butt out there doing it to help her so she didn't have to hire anyone in the first place. What are people thinking. He's 44 years old.

To me friends don't do this and would not dream of doing that. This is not the same person I knew years ago. Basically it comes down to this. I do a job for you , you pay me when it is done. I called her and told her I am sorry for her misfortune and I have a business to run, I need her to pay the invoice asap. It's not personal, but business. I am really kind of hurt and pissed off at the whole situation. Never again!

I am asking everyone that can help about our Leeland cypress trees. Accidentally sprayed with volck oil, which is causing them to turn brown. If anyone has a cure please let me know. I would really hate to lose all of these trees.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Inevitable

We knew it was coming but just not how soon. They laid Lisa off last Friday and closed the Pennsylvania office. This week we took all the jobs that the weather allowed and worked until 9:30 one night with lights. The good thing is we knew it was coming so have tried to prepare, I have work lined up for the next month to keep us really busy.

For those people that think the economy is getting better I have news for you, it is not! I work in several different types of communities doing lawn care and landscaping only to find people at home laid off. Some of the most prized communities have stopped lawn services altogether. We both have been applying for jobs. I have applied at factories for night shift so I can work during the day. Lisa has applied for a job listed in the city as a Cat Scan Technologist on the p.m. shift. During this interview she had been told that 7 other people applied and that 3 lived out of state. One will relocate from Wisconsin if she gets the job. Now tell me the economy is getting better.

I myself am dumbfounded at how people are doing the interview process. I am educated, have vast supervisory experience, culinary degree, great references, and can't even get a job working a night shift in the TastyKake factory. I guess that is a good thing because I would get fat eating all that good stuff. Oh well I will just have to move on. I do want to mention that I have noticed all the banks still have companies come in to basic clean, wash windows, lawn care, and to carpet clean. I guess they can afford it with the bail out money. As I sit and listen to the car commercials announcing what they will give you, I find that once again they are copying and competing with each others market campaign. GM needs a new marketing campaign and strategy. What are they doing with the bailout money?

Maybe I should write to congress and ask for a loan to bail us out. Now that is really walking around with your head in the clouds.

I had an interview with a restaurant corporation and was so totally amazed at how over the top the district manager was. I actually called the corporate office and spoke to human resources. Mind you this is a salary position. The man actually had the nerve to say there could be some 100 hour weeks involved. Is this even possible? I laughed as his face remained serious. He then proceeded to tell me what a prick people thought he was and that he could be. Okay now I never have had an interview go this way. His concern was that I had my own business and that I would not invest all my energy into management of their business. He was a retired cop trying to tell me about my field. Come on with this is not what you know but who you know politics. Okay let's get it over with, let me slice my wrist right now and give you blood. After all that is what your looking for. I proceeded to call HR and give them the lowdown of why the position was still vacant and how I felt this interview went. Of course I did not want the job either. I also did the math for her which would put one that worked that many hours better off at a local convenience store. Are they crazy!

So now we are trudging along like many others after the inevitable.