Monday, April 16, 2018

Ready, Aim, Fire

Y was fired from his job this morning. The only “warning” he had came at a company dinner this past Friday evening when it was stated by the owner of the company that anyone who had made more than 3 errors during tax season would be fired. An interesting venue for the revelation – and the employees had to pay for their own dinners.

Y worked for the company for 10 weeks; during that time, he prepared about 350 tax returns. He used software he had never used before, but quickly learned and asked questions when he was not sure about something he needed to do. He was praised for his quick learning of his job, as well as told, “Chop, chop move faster” when he was first starting at the firm.

Needless to say, he was taken aback this morning when he arrived for work and was given his walking papers instead of congratulations on a job well-done.

This was not a good position with a preferred firm, and he already has been sending out cover letters and resumes, so it wasn’t a shock. He’s going to spend a couple more days in the LA area this week, then move back home, bringing his professional wardrobe and clothes steamer with him. I know he’ll find another position soon, so we’ll both move on from this experience and look forward to the next.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

No Juice

Went out to drive the RAV to b'fast this morning and nothing happened. Finally called AAA to check whatever functions they check when a car doesn't start, and it turned out to be the battery. The AAA guy told me that the battery was installed in July 2016, which meant it was still under warranty at Auto Zone, so we kept the car running and drove the mile to the dealership.

Yep, it's an AutoZone battery, but it was installed at a different point of origin -- so no warranty unless we took it back to that source for service. Yeah, that's a great idea, but it's Saturday, and my installer doesn't work on the weekends. I told the sales representative that I wanted to buy another battery, preferably one with a longer warranty, and I'd forget about dealing with the battery I drove in with. She sold me a new battery with a 5-year warranty, so I'm hopeful that it won't die in the next 2 years.

Problem solved. Saturday errands underway.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


I don’t know if I have it in me to knit one more fitted hat and matching fingerless gloves. When I cleaned out the yarn stash, I found a total of 7 skeins of either self-striping or ombre yarn, which is a subtle shading from darkest to lighter. I started with Y, and knit him a black/red striped hat. Didn’t have enough of the yarn to make matching gloves, but that remains in the to-do list as I can easily match either the bright red or the pitch black in a plain yarn hidden in my stash.

Next, I knit for Mindy, bright hot pink that is just for fun. I honestly don’t know why I bought that skein of yarn, but there it was and Mindy has a good sense of humor. Then I knit for Jack, making him primary crayon-color stripes on a black background. Turned out really cute, but I guess I can’t say that about something I made for a college man. Next came Rich, who got the blue ombre set of knit springwear that matches his new blue jacket I didn’t know he has. Then it was John’s turn, with manly brown tones, and, finally, the best of all the colors, the purple ombre yarn, which I finished up today and just have to box and mail to Melissa. Purple is one of my favorite colors, but I don’t wear it as often as I should because I never think to purchase purple.

I really like knitting hats and matching fingerless gloves, but I think I may finally have reached my saturation point: if I never knit another set, it’ll be too soon. However, dammit, I found one more skein of variegated yarn that I had put into the wrong plastic cubby, so when I feel up to it I’ll make that for myself as I’m the only one who doesn’t have a set of hat and fingerless mittens. I think the reason I overlooked this last skein is the color: it’s all bright fluorescent colors that won’t look good on anyone or go with anything! I don’t know how I ended up with it and can’t imagine that I actually bought it, but I’m going to set it out until it shames me into knitting it and getting it out of the reserves.

Yeah, I already know that I’m compulsive/obsessive, but just think of all the nice, warm knit sets that all my favorite family now have. The hats and fingerless gloves are perfect for the transition from winter to spring, so my product will come in handy for a couple more weeks as they all live on the eastern side of the country. Me? I live in the desert and it’s already been into the 90s! Guess there’s no hurry for me to knit up that last obnoxious skein of fluorescent variegated yarn.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


OK, so what am I going to do? The property next door is an illegal multi-family rental property, with a 3-bedroom house, and, in a two-story property, a one-bedroom unit and a studio apartment, a stand-alone building that is not up to code. This property has been vacant for at least 5 years, but recently a family moved into the “big” house, complete with kids and a dog. Soon thereafter, a family of 3 moved into the studio apartment, but I haven’t seen anyone using the one-bedroom unit upstairs. Yet. It may need some refurbishing as it had quite a history of use while the rest of the property was vacant. I actually called the police and told them that I thought there was some sex slavery/prostitution sort of thing going on as men would arrive with young girls and leave a couple of hours later—and the girls looked like they had been abused.

Anyway, back to the story of the octopus complex…

Last week, I noticed some workers enclosing the garage, installing two regular doors in the space that used to be the 2-car garage door opening. They’ve been doing carpentry inside and out, and had the former garage opening surface covered with spray-on coating that looks like stucco to match the rest of the house.

Today, the workers have been inside the two units, perhaps doing some of the finish work inside. I don’t know how they will bring plumbing to the new “apartments,” but they have to be hooked up to the city sewer, which may alert a sharp-eyed inspector to the fact that a property designed for a single family dwelling has now been “improved” to house 5 renters and their families!

I want to alert the city to this violation, but I’m not sure how to do that without giving away the fact that I am facing the renovated/ repurposed garage when I do dishes at my sink, so I know what’s been done. No one off-property will know that the garage is now two rental units because it sits behind the 3-bedroom house at the front of the property. But, the fact is that there are density requirements associated with property. This residential area is not zoned for the number of people who are going to be occupying it.

How do I get “someone” to come see the problem and, perhaps, offer a remedy? I don’t plan to live here for the rest of my life, but I have no plans to relocate in the near future, so I’ll have to live with the situation whether I want to or not. I’m concerned about retaliation if I sic an inspector on them as I would be the first guess of who ratted them out.

One of those damned if I do, damned if I don’t situations which make life interesting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I Can Only Imagine

I can only imagine that potential audience members for this excellent film will pooh-pooh it and pick another film to watch because ... dadadadum ... it's a "faith-based" movie, which is a great reason to give it a pass. However, for those viewers who see the film, the story takes over the backdrop wash of religion and the movie is great. It's the story of a young boy who is horribly abused by his father, but he discovers singing in public while in high school, and that talent becomes the driving force of his journey to adulthood. Along the way, there are flashbacks to his abusive childhood, just enough to remind the viewer that this is the story of a journey that many make and some don't survive.

And, the boy's faith becomes stronger as he transitions from the young boy who is abused to the young adult who is on a remarkable journey to adulthood. He keeps searching for answers to the "why" of his childhood, but he doesn't get his answer until he finally returns home and learns that his father is not just dying from cancer, but has also turned his life around. It isn't easy for the young man to trust his father, but together they find a way to reconnect and build a relationship that benefits both of them. After his father's passing, the son returns to performing with his band, Mercy Me, which leads to a pivotal moment that changes his life, as well as his career.

The title of the film and the song it is about is "I Can Only Imagine," and it's worth a visit to the web to hear the song performed by the man who wrote it, Bart Millard, performed it with his band Mercy Me, and changed his life forever with 4 little words.