Monday, June 30, 2008

War Report...

Almost everyone has heard of the war between the states. It was the war between the North and the South, the North was victorious and it's over. I am involved in the war between the West and the East, not a popular war, but it's my war with the Lovely Jules... Friday's parting was friendly but total and complete. She picked me up, we went to lunch, she drove me to her house where I was able to extract my kidnapped car from her garage without incident. We hugged, I left and was done, finished, complete... As I think back, I'm not sure why we broke up, but it was eminent that we did.. I spent a quiet weekend trying my best to find a quick replacement on Craigslist, but to no avail. During this past weekend, I don't think I showered, might have brushed my teeth, but maybe once a day and when I went to bed on Sunday night, I was wearing whatever it was that I was wearing on Friday night. Get the picture? Slob... I never had the occasion to turn on my cell phone in that time, as I had it forwarded to my home phone.

During this weekend, although I had thought about Julie several times, I didn't call or write or text her anything. When Monday morning rolled around and I was leaving the house, I switched on my cell phone and it had 2 text messages for me waiting to ring in my morning. They were both from Jules and they both said goodnight. I texted her back asking when she initiated these two texts and she replied Friday and Saturday night. I briefly explained that I never turned on my phone and I was sorry. Then I left for my day. When I got home, I was thinking about the Lovely Jules and texted, "Have you started missing me yet"? She replied, "Yes, of course,....sob". Now, my question to all of you, my 3 readers, do you thing the "sob" meant she was sobbing or was she calling me a Son of a Bitch? When I called and asked, she said for me to figure it out! My other question is, was her texting me an implication that she was giving in first, or was my phone call the original "giving in"?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Along Came Shelley...

Then there was Shelley.... Shelley came to me from a referral from a friend. She was located on a "free" dating service and she was the only email that I received that was from a real flesh and bones person, as compared to a guy named Ralph that dragged his knuckles on the ground when he first got out of the joint until he could make a few bucks off of unsuspecting guys that were lonely, guys my age! Here is Ralph's scam. He posts a picture of an attractive young beauties online, then writes to horny old guys professing "her" love for this confused old guy with plenty of bucks. Horny guy thinks he's found happiness and releases large sums of cash to resolve whatever problem "hot stuff" has portrayed to the money-bags, only there is no hot stuff, just Ralph who is so stupid that he thinks he's home free, until Johnny Law comes and yells, "Get on the Ground" a few times and Ralph winds up back in the joint.

So Shelley, like me was an innocent bystander and I knew from her average to below average looks that she was not one of the phonies, because clearly Shelley was just below average, or so I thought. I emailed Shelley and we corresponded for a suitable length of time and frankly she seemed a little standoffish. Then, when this bogus website sent Shelley to me as a perfect match, I forwarded the email to her with the message, "It's inevitable", heaven wants us to be together. Now in Shelley's defense, it wasn't her fault that I was only 6 feet tall. Eventually, Shelley and I spoke on the phone and she was about 6' tall herself and kept asking me if big chicks bothered me. I really didn't have an answer to that question and just relied upon nature to let me know that answer. Then Shelley wanted me to send her some additional pictures and I went to my old computer to try one last time for it to perform it's tasks. After about an hour, I was able to squeeze out a few average, but fairly recent photos of the Dating Guy and I sent them to Shelley. She answered that she was pleased with my looks and here were a few of her. Up to now, the only picture that I saw of Shelley was probably off of her driver's license, indicating only a facial shot and she was wearing sun glasses in that photo.

In the course of our conversations, I was quite impressed with Shelley. She was a midwife, specializing in deliveries of babies to mothers that suffered from Diabetes. She spoke publicly to groups of doctors as she was one of the few experts in that field, holding a Master's Degree. She not only rode a Harley, but had her own and it was a trike (3 wheeler). At 46 years old, she was not only the mother of 2 but the grandmother of 2 as well. The things that didn't impress me about Shelley was that she spoke like a biker and had a deep smoker's voice. That in conjunction with her height worried me that she was more masculine than me. Above is the picture of herself along with her posse' Which one would hope to be Shelley? I just didn't want to take a chance and didn't call back!

The Dating Guy...

Return of the Dating Guy...

Well, it seems that all good thing eventually come to an end. With the recent termination of relationship, that's all I can think of to call it, the Lovely Jules and I are finally though. It took a year to wear out that welcome, but let it be said that my car will no longer be parked in her garage... With the advent of that news and with a mighty groan, I become the Dating Guy! The Dating Guy is a creature of habit that insists that somewhere out there in the big open plains, there is at least one wonderful woman that is interested in truth, justice and the American way! I will find that woman and bring her home.. In the meantime, if any of the 3 readers that I have attracted, know of anyone fitting that description, let it be known to me. Here are a few prerequisites. She must be tall (not too tall) no taller than 5' 9", thin, shapely, and drug-free. Honesty is a big one, even the little white lies suck! She has to be attractive, at least to me and enjoy laying down with a man at least 2 or 3 times a week (I'm getting old)! If you know of or have seen this woman, please contact me or write me here at headquarters.. Thank you...

With that news, it is only fair to tell you that I have taken things into my own hands (no, not that). I have become a member of a famous International Dating Service, (Oh joy) and I was contacted by a rather pleasant woman in Tucson. We exchanged emails for the majority of the day and towards the evening I noticed a change in the tone of her writing. She went from an intelligent knowledgeable person that taught at a college level to a mean, nasty, angry drunk. She had been divorced for 9 months from a 23 year marriage to a man that developed a substance abuse problem and she required at least a page and a half to explain the depths of his ass-hole-ness. The story sounded familiar for some reason. That's when it occurred to me that the Dating Guy has heard enough stories about what ass-holes some men can be and he's tired of taking the abuse from angry women that still need to take it out on him! My last email to her, after apologizing for not responding immediately, was for her to tell me that she didn't mean to "burst my bubble" but she wasn't exactly sitting around waiting for my response, but was out drinking wine with friends. I gently explained that she's NOT the woman for me and good luck with her next victim...
Whew, dodged another bullet!

The Dating Guy

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kicked to the Curb...

This topic was a gift from a blog I was reading earlier. It has to do with putting things out by your curb for removal.

When I replaced my defunct water heater some months ago, I stored it in my backyard for several weeks, waiting for "big trash pick up", a time when the city comes by and collects bigger than usual debris. About a week before the eventful day, I wheels the leaky water heater to the curb and went back for some palm fronds that had been cut, when I noticed a pick up truck speeding away with my water heater in the back. I tried yelling that it leaks to the would be felons, but they were long gone. I actually felt bad that they risked their reputation as clever thieves, committing a felony for a water heater that leaks, but "Oh Well"!

Another item that I wanted to get rid of, was a Weber Barbecue that had rusted through the bottom. It looked okay from the outside, but when you removed the lid, you could see your shoes. So I put it out by the curb and taped a sign to it that read, "FREE". That thing kept disappearing, but when I'd look in front of the neighbor's house, there it stood. The people that would take it would wait until they got away with it to inspect it and would determine that it was not worthy of the price...........FREE. They would just abandon it where it was and make me wheel it back home for the next passer-bye. Eventually, I must have come across a clever person that was willing to put a piece of sheet metal on the bottom, that's really all it needed.

The next thing that made it's way down to the curb was my built-in microwave oven that quit working. Now that's a losing proposition. They all cost more to fix than to replace with a brand new one, which is what I did. The old Mike took until sundown to make it's way to Microwave heaven, when it mysteriously disappeared. I feel bad for the people that take these items. they're so full of plastic that they don't even have any metal value.

Here is an item that took forever to get picked up by the trash collectors. In the old days, we used a diaper pale and although it had little baby decorations on it, it was still the same shape as a garbage can. Each week the trash collectors would pick it up, look inside of it and put it back down. I finally had to smash it to a new and different shape, to get anyone to think it was trash.

Eventually, I discovered why the trash men didn't show up at all on occasion. After being married for a short period of time, my new wife discovered my Playboy Magazine collection and decided it had to go. Women don't understand that sort of thing, particularly in the early 70's. Those things NEVER get thrown away, they improved with age. Well, she wasn't going to hear it, they were doomed. With tears in my eyes, I walked them to the curb, early one garbage day. I sat in the window and sobbed as my old friends were about to be trashed. I could hear the truck coming. With great anticipation, my stomach cramped up as I saw the truck coming in the corner of my eye. With the screaming of it's air brakes the truck came to a sudden halt and 2 trash collectors hopped off and grabbed a couple of the garbage cans, tossing theme into the back of their truck. Then suddenly, without warning, it was almost like God gave my girls a reprieve, all of the employees on that truck got off and then began to read my Playboys. They must have been there for 2 hours just sitting and reading and looking at the pictures. With me still watching, the magazines got stacked and put into the cab of the mighty truck. That's when I finally sighed a sigh of relief, because I knew my "girls" were going to finally getting good homes! My wife asked what's wrong as I walked bye and I replied, "Oh nothing"..



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where there's a Will there's a Way....

I've been face with a real dilemma. I've got several cars that require garaging and only space for 2 cars in the garage. I tried parking the Toyota in my driveway in the sun, but when I get into it, the steering wheel is too hot to touch for quite some time. This is not only dangerous, but painful... The cars that require garaging are the seldom touched Corvette, the 99 Cabrio convertible and the Volvo convertible that I will be picking up from the Lovely Jules, soon. In exchange, I'll be leaving her the Toyota leaving me 2 convertibles and a Corvette to keep at least covered and protected from the sun. If you don't live in Phoenix in the summertime, you just don't have any idea what temperatures can be achieved by leaving a car in the sun. Believe it or not, 175 with direct sunlight will make a dashboard curl up and scream for it's Mama. The attached picture is my Cabrio convertible parked on my rear "covered" patio on Saltillo tile.



Monday, June 23, 2008

Paintless Dent Removal...

Today, my main focus was to get hooked up with a dent guy. A dent guy is a guy that travels from car lot to car lot doing paintless dent removal. I have two cars that I can think of that need that sort of attention. First I dug through my old business cards that people would give from time to time, realizing when I found the first dent removal card that it said to dial 602 before a Glendale, AZ location, indicating that this card was from before we went to 3 area codes, years ago. What the heck, I tried it. I got the information that that number was in a different area code and hung up. Next, I added a 623 before the number and tried it again, but got the voice machine of a man that just arrived here from Bangladesh and he wasn't talking about dent removal, but in his closing did mention that Allah should be with me.

Next, a different card given to me by a neighbor 2 doors down and her boy-toy, Billie-Bob. About 5 years ago, my neighbor was at a local neighborhood bar getting drunk and she came home with Billie-Bob, a (then) 28 year old good looking young man that had the brain of a 14 year old. She has kept him captive there for the past 5 years, but since he thinks he's at summer camp, doesn't complain much. As soon as he figures out that the other kids won't be coming, he's going to get wise to her scheme and run away. On that card, the number was disconnected :=(

I went to the Internet and put in a search for "paintless dent removal", Phoenix, AZ. I got a list that were obsolete and otherwise gone. I tried Dent Busters on Cave Creek Rd. and got a guy that was just plain dumb. You can usually tell from someones voice if they're really dumb and this guy qualified as "STUPID +". He informed me that those guys don't exist anymore, the only way to get dents removed was to bring it to his shop where he worked, along with a kid named Billie-Bob. I told him how helpful he was and he actually believed me and hung up, yelling to Billie-Bob, "I done good"!

Next, I called an old friend of mine that would know of one if anyone would and he told me he's pretty much out of the car business. He's buying up equipment from construction companies that are going bankrupt and selling them on eBay and Craigslist. I asked him if he needed any help, but I think we were disconnected, hmm.....

Feeling defeated, I went to my mailbox to see who I owe money to and came back with nothing but an advertisement that said there was a sale on Cremations from Neptune Society, they were offering a special. Cremate one person and get an extra cremation FREE.. That really got me thinking!!!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Calling in Life...

Knowing your position in life is very important to a person. It wouldn't be wise to rise above one's calling. My calling, of late, is to be the caretaker for these 2 wonderful beasts. My intention today was to sell my Volvo convertible to a man that was flying in from Reno, but I have to assume that his plane crashed, as he never showed up or even called to let me know he had changed his mind. As I sat pondering an email that I received from the Lovely Jules, it occurred to me that I don't have any cooked chicken for the Dynamic Duo and I don't even know where there is any on sale. An actual light bulb lit over my head and I recall seeing something about dead chicken in a flier from K-Mart. I went out to my garage where I tossed said flier and sure enough, they had dead chickens for 79 cent a pound for whole chicken, but only at the Super K-Marts. What the hell is a Super K-Mart? Does it fly?

I got into my Toyota that I was trying to melt in the sun and began the trip to a place called Super K-Mart. When it's 115 degrees outside and your Toyota is sitting in the sun, guess what the temperature of the steering wheel is. 2004 is not the exact temp, but it felt pretty close to that. I stopped at my mailbox to see if there were any fliers there and got lucky, there were. I found that milk is on sale at both Fry's and Albertson's for $1 a half gallon, but I hate milk. I haven't been to a K-Mart since the old Chinese restaurant moved to Indian School that Julie loved so much, I'm gonna guess at 15 years. When one has Wal-Mart, why would one go to K-Mart? It seemed to me that there was a K-Mart behind my old favorite Chinese Restaurant, but they tore it down years ago, That place was a former Bonanza Steak House for all of you oldies... So I was headed to Cactus and 32nd Street in beautiful suburban Phoenix. I was sure it was still there until I pulled up on the corner and didn't see it. Disgusted, I was about to turn around when I noticed a major shopping center where it used to be. It was talking about Craftsman and Sears, when I realized that Sears bought K-Mart and this joint was a new SUPER K-MART! I was close to getting chills, but not quite.

I entered and in keeping with K-Marts history, the joint was beautiful but empty. I was privy to the Number one Handicapped parking space without a fight with some old woman with a walker. I entered and bowling came to mind. This place was empty enough to bowl in. It was well lit, had the typical K-Mart employees, people that couldn't cut it at Wal-Mart. I saw a sign that read fresh meat and thought they were referring to me! I walked in that direction when I spotted their butcher. After reading some of the tattoos on his arms, I located his face and asked where they kept the dead chickens. With a friendly K-Mart smile, he pointed to the freezer case and gave me the "low down" on how they situate things there. If it's on sale, it's in the freezers on the ends of the isles, got it? I was tempted to challenge him to a game of tic-tac-toe on his forearm, but didn't feel that I knew him well enough. I spotted the dead birds though. Grabbing my limit of three, I headed towards the checkout when I thought, gee, this is an ideal place to get a floaty for my pool. I asked another young lady that was dragging her knuckles across the floor if she worked here, after all she was dressed in a red vest and had a K-Mart name tag. No luck, she didn't speak English. Another gentleman dressed similarly offered his help and I was told that the pool section is all the way down on the right. Putting my hands over my eyes to even see that far, I asked him to call me a cab for the trip down there. He didn't think it was funny and let me know with a dirty look.

After about an hour walk, I arrived at pool-land and again asked for direction from a K-Mart employee, but was told she was new. A way too friendly gentleman from the gay side of town sauntered up and offered his help. I asked for where I could find the floats for the kids. He pointed out a few that ranged in price around $50, I said no, for the little kiddies and he showed me one for $2.99! It said for age 4 and up and I'm over 4. I bought it. I was happy enough to skip! I've had the expensive ones and frankly, I don't want to store them all damned winter, I want to throw the mother out! I am a little worried that I might have bought a gay looking one, it's bright orange...

I drove home anxious to blow up my raft and put it into the pool, but when I entered, there was blood all over the floor. I assumed that someone rang my bell and my female Dane is so anxious, that she runs across the tackless strip that used to hold down the carpeting, that she has ripped loose. when she hits it, she bleeds like that and gets blood all over the floor. I cleaned it up and found lots of blood drops around the tile floor.

Knowing that I had dead chicken to clean and cook and dice, I began that chore. As soon as I opened the first dead chicken bag, I had two onlookers that couldn't be drawn away with a team of mules. As I took out the necks and gizzards for the trashman, I thought about the BARF diet and decided to toss a chicken neck to each of them. Neither dog knew what to do with it, Bogie spitting his out, but when I offered to throw it away for him, he swallowed that sucker on the spot. He was confused as he's never had raw food before, but as bad as his stomach has been on processed dog food, it couldn't have been any worse.

That was all about 5 minutes before I looked into the living room and saw a trail of diarrhea that ran about 10 feet long. Being color blind, I thought that was blood on the floor, but all along it was SHIT. Poor Bogie, here he's been sick the entire time I was gone and I come home and feed him a raw chicken neck for the first time ever. That's when he proceeded to puke all over the family room floor. Not having any patience for any of this stuff, I whisked Bogie outside, while I cleaned up the puke and just threw out the towel I used. Let Bogie in because remember it's 115 outside, then spent about 2 full hours cleaning up shit in the living room on the (used to be) white carpeting. Thank God for the latex gloves that Randi left.

Now it's time to feed the Dynamic Duo. What do you feed a dog that's blowing chunks and has the Hershey Squirts, but is famished and insists on eating. I gave him just kibble with his new powder that is for his sensitive stomach. I gave Zoie diced chicken and kibble and she wasn't interested eating, but a little. She went outside and wanted to drink, but feeling bad for her, I offered them cold water inside. Zoie drank a lot of water and wanted to go outside. I was still finishing up with the living room mess and I went outside and saw Bogie squatting unsuccessfully. Then I saw a puddle that he had left outside, telling me that he still had the squirts. I finished cleaning up everything, picked up the yard because it's garbage day. Chopped up a few palm fronds that had fallen in the wind last night and was thinking about stripping down to my underwear and jumping onto my orange raft, when suddenly, out of nowhere, Zoie explodes and pukes up her entire dinner all over the tiles patio, but in 3 different places. I'm totally disgusted with my head down into my hands saying, why, why, why, when I realize that both dogs just got sick OUTSIDE, not in the house! I hosed down the patio and jumped into the pool with my clothes on. I needed that 2 seconds under water where the real world doesn't exist..........just 2 seconds, please! I surfaced to 400 LB of Great Danes barking at me, trying to tell me that if I drown, who will be their caretaker? See, that's my calling in life!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just Another HOT Day...

As I sit here at my post at the kitchen table, I wonder why I'm glued to this spot. This is a laptop on a wireless connection, yet I sit here working, when I could be travelling about. Where would I go? The rest of you, that are experiencing spring, have no idea what 115 feels like. It's been really hot here in the "Valley of the Sun"... While I was driving home on our freeway, the I-17, the thermometer read 118, but quickly cooled down to a breezy 115. Who am I kidding, it was hotter than hell today!

So, I'm sitting here and my best friend is at my feet, begging for attention. When I break for a paragraph, I reach down and pet his head and as soon as I stop, he lifts his big head and lays it on my lap to remind me to never stop. Bogie is a Great Dane and he weighs in the area of 300 LB, the biggest one I've ever seen. I adopted him as a pup and never saw his parents, but was assured by the rescue that his father was a monster. I'll bet he was, if his number one son is any indication.

About a month and a half ago, I was at the Dealer's Auction and mistakenly bought a Volvo that drove through, but just barely. It was really cheap and pretty clean other than the engine not sounding so good. I figured, what the heck, I can use a project and since I've got a great mechanic, I'll buy it. First thing that happened was, when I called my friend/mechanic to help me pick it up. Out of his mouth came, that it has a blown head gasket. We towed it to the lot. Then, my friend/mechanic went online and guess-timated the cost of repair and it called for 26 hours of labor. Did I mention that I felt as if I'd made a mistake? Because the job was not what he called "profitable", the car then sat for about a month, when I had a talk with my friend/mechanic that was quickly just becoming my mechanic. I explained that these cars don't accrue in value as they sit there, and if he doesn't want me to take this "juicy" job somewhere else, he's best get going on it. The next day he had it all torn down and 3 days later, the head was off and it was sent to the machine shop, where we got an estimate of $800 just to mill the head. With a tear dropping from my otherwise dry eye, I told him to go ahead. That was about a week ago and today, our machine shop genius announced that the proper specifications for the head are not available and he doesn't want the job and I owe him for what he's done so far. Does that sound right to you? Because he's not interested in finding out the correct specs for this car, I have to pay his for his work so far. I called a wrecking yard and found a motor for $1350 and I'm not going to be able to use the old one at all. I did say this car has been a headache, right? This car still needs misc. parts, like windshield wiper arms, gas door, and dip stick. It still has some dents to remove and the battery is flat dead and this damned dog won't stop begging for attention to let me write this damned blog! I don't drink and I don't smoke and I recently gave up sex and all of those things sound pretty good to me right now... and my best friend in the whole world will not stop farting as he lays faithfully at my feet.. I think I'll go to bed. Tomorrow will probably be fine, just fine....


Sunday, June 15, 2008

What Goes Around, Comes Around...

You know how when you're alone and your eating breakfast, how your mind might wander off someplace that you haven't visited for a very long time? Well, that's what happened to what is left of my once pretty sharp mind. I was thinking about a transaction that brought a smile to my face, although at the time it was a disaster. It's also an example of how most things get evened out by the big guy up above and karma.

One fall day, I was at the auto auction when a white Dodge van went through. I'd recently had pretty good luck with vans and thought, this is a fairly low mileage one and the color is right, why not? I bid on it and eventually I was the high bidder and took possession of it. Sometime, between when I bought it and when I picked it up, it received a dent in the right front fender. I mentioned it to the management and they looked at the check in inspection, which included several pictures and sure enough, it wasn't there before. They told me to take the van, get it repaired and send them the bill for the repair. I was shocked that they would stand behind the incident and did as they said. I went to a body shop where a friend of mine was the owner and asked him how much to repair the dent. When he was finished, the estimate came to $700! I was again surprised, but he explained that I asked for a retail estimate and that he didn't owe me any favors currently and that's what he would charge to do the repair. I said, okay and took the estimate to the auto auction where they happily cut me a check. I took the check, tucked it deeply into my pocket for depositing and called Dent Masters. If you're not familiar with Dent Masters, they remove dents without body work. They prod and pry and with some pretty sophisticated tools cause the dent to just seemingly "jump out" of the fender. Although it wasn't perfect, it was certainly passable and it only cost me $50 for the 10 minutes of work.

Other than the repair to the fender, the van was completely ready for sale. I placed an ad in our local newspaper and waited. I got a few calls and eventually someone came out to see it. It was sort of an unusual couple. It was a father and son and the son was old enough to be my father, leaving his father to be somewhere around 90. The younger guy did all of the talking. They were looking for a van for Dad. He was more than capable of driving still and needed something to get him around as he wrecked his last car. It's never my position to judge people that want to purchase a car from me, but this guy certainly looked too frail to be driving. The son asked if they could take it for a test drive and of course I agreed. The son got into the driver's seat and pulled away with Dad in the passenger's seat waving goodbye. I waved back, looking in the garage for something to do for the 5 minutes they were gone. When they returned, Pop was driving and decided to back her into the driveway as opposed to pulling in straight. He was slow, methodical and precise, backing cautiously into my driveway............... until the last second where he meant to step on the brake and stop the van, but instead pounced on the accelerator, smashing into my house! I can't even describe the funny noise I made when I saw what he was headed for.

The old guy got out of the crunched van and started apologizing, using lots of, I thoughts..... I should haves..... and I'm sorrys...... That's when I pulled the van foreword to inspect the damage to the house. He had rammed the house pretty good and all I could think of is the $500 deductible on my home owners and the $1000 deductible on the car insurance. None of the damage was bad enough to reach those figures... The gentlemen left, promising to think about it. They called me the next day to tell me that they have found one that they liked better and it didn't have a smashed rear end.. I asked him if he was prepared to pay for some of the damage they caused and he explained to me something that I already knew.. That it was my responsibility to handle my own repairs if I'm going to do business from my home. Seething, I hung up and called the handyman that had quoted me $650 for the house repair alone. Humph, isn't that the same amount that I saved from the auction?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Farewell to "RED"...

1987 Red Corvette

There was a time in my life that offered a far more naive Mel. It was before I realized what the color "RED" could do to a person. Being a bit color blind, along with a percentage of my gender, color was not of the utmost importance to me. I always knew that "GREEN" was the worst color for anything not having to do with nature, but aside from that, I thought all colors were created equally, until I tried a few "REDS". I recalled delving into the Corvette market in my younger years. I learned that they held their value a lot more than the average automobile, simply because of the amorous lovers of sports cars, along with the passion for "RED". At one point I bought a Silver and Gray Corvette, that I loved because it was low mileage and that "chip" that they added to them to give them a little more horsepower. This Vette SCREAMED down the road. I kept it for probably a year and eventually tried selling it. No luck. Everyone I showed it to had "a few more to look at". (Death to the car salesman). A friend suggested I paint it "RED" and I replied, why. The more I thought about it, it would seem like a different car to me and might give it new strength in the sales market. I went ahead and tried it, knowing full well that changing colors on a car is a big "no no".

It came out beautiful, although the expense of the paint job made me think I might have priced it out of the market. I liked it so much that I decided to keep it a little while longer. Another year later, there was no doubt in my mind that I was stuck with this car. I seldom drove it as I got older and was about to turn 50. I decided to try my luck on it one more time and placed an ad. My price was so high that I didn't think I had a chance in hell of ever selling it. The very first phone call I got was from a man named Ralph. Along with several questions about the car, he asked why was I selling it. I thought for a moment and answered, "because I'm getting too old for it". Ralph inquired how old I was and I replied, 50. He said, that's not too old, I'm 54! I told Ralph that he was too old too! We both laughed. Ralph made an appointment to come out and see the car.

When Ralph showed up for his appointment, he was a nice enough guy. He was an engineer for Allied Radio and they were in the process of being eaten up by Honeywell I believe and his life was turned all upside down. Not only was his job being compromised, but his wife of many years announce that she was leaving him and leaving their 17 year old son with him, as well. So now Ralph was unemployed, abandoned, aging and reaching out. I couldn't have ordered a more ideal buyer!!!

We went out to the garage and looked at old "RED". As she sat there in her glory, I noticed a gleam start to shine in Ralph's eye.. He asked all of the right questions and all of the answers were good. It was a one owner, owned by an older Scottsdale gentleman, had all of the service records, a clean accident history. I told Ralph that it used to be silver and I painted it "RED" and he remarked, nice job. He asked if we could take it for a ride and told him of course, that's what this is all about. As Ralph climbed into the driver's seat, somehow he didn't look 54 anymore, more like a 45 year old Ralph. He cautiously pulled out into the road and took off, going slowly and methodically. Ralph was starting to show the "pride of ownership" that I had hoped for.

Being my neighborhood, Ralph asked where he could take it to best let him get a feel for the car. Since Greenway Road had just been paved and restriped, I suggested it. Greenway almost looked like a race track in the area that we were in. It had banks and curves and ideal for a test drive, plus I knew a secret about old "RED". "RED" was quick. She moved right along. When you would "get on it" in first gear and let wind out, when it shifted into second, due to the torch of the engine, it would give a little "chirp" from the rear tires and it would slide a little to the left, making you think you were losing control of the car, but would always regain it's control. When I first discovered this, I felt a little bit of adrenalin escape into my bloodstream, along with a little bit of pee into my pants!

I suggested to Ralph that he "get on it" once and Ralph looked over and said, you don't mind? I said, I know you want to. Ralph pulled over and started from a stop and only "RED" and I knew what was to come. As "RED" got ready to shift into second, I made it a point to watch Ralph's face. It went from responsible, to terror, to delight. I knew that "RED" was going home with Ralph.

When we got back to my house, we were both still sitting in the car. Ralph looked over at me and said, "How much are you asking for it, $11,000? I nodded, yes. Immediately Ralph asked, would you take $10,000? I think all I did was raise one eye brow and without my saying a word, Ralph just said, why would you, I'll just take it. We both burst out laughing.

Ralph paid me and left with "RED". He left his Jeep at my house overnight and came back the next day with an overjoyed 17 year old son with him to drive the Jeep. I watched out the window as the argument took place and the kid eventually got into "RED" and took off. I felt a sense of loss as I watched "RED" drive away, but the $11,000 seemed to comfort me.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

For Sale: 1999 VW Cabrio Red Convertible

Before agreeing allow someone to come out to look at one of my cars, I ought to interview them, just a little. There was a time when I had less patience than I do now, that I would tell middle Easterners that the car in question was just sold, therefore avoiding a frustrating interaction with someone that I don't want to deal with. However with the economy as it is today, I can no longer afford myself that luxury. These days, I'll even deal with the Asians! ( The Asians are notorious for wasting a lot of your time and then buying from only another Asian.)

Last evening, I got an email from a Dan Dorkman with a Honeywell domain. This is a good clue that Dan is an engineer, another group to shy away from, but since I used to deal in Volvos, I learned to deal with engineers, because that's all I ever got. It would be safe to say that when you sell Volvos, you stand a good chance of dying from second hand pipe smoke. In addition to the signature pipe, they usually have beards and really thick glasses, but I digress...

When Dan wrote, I answered very politely to call me and offered him my cell number. Lately, I've spent a little too much time exchanging emails with people that never call and without the phone call, people don't feel a commitment to come to see the vehicle. About 6:30 PM, my phone rang and it was Dan, however I was in the process of installing a new printer/fax machine and the call was rudely answered by the fax. He was conscientious enough to call right back, saving me the embarrassment of calling him and apologizing for giving him a fax number to reach me at. We chatted about the car for about 2 or 3 minutes when he asked me if I was from the Midwest. I said yes, Chicago but I've been here for 35 years and had hoped my whiny Chicago accent had left me. He told me that he could still hear it, that his wife was from Chicago and sounded just like me.

Dan was inquiring about my 99 VW Cabrio red convertible for his daughter. I took him through the 50 cent tour on the car, but realized that the car was at my new friend's house, Mean Mona. Mean Mona and I had had words earlier yesterday and she was about the last person on the planet that I wanted to talk to about then. It seems that Mean Mona is in the battle of her life against the dreaded hormones and occasionally is not fit for conversation,l if you catch my drift. I explained to Dan that the car was elsewhere in a nice clean garage and I needed to collect it. He agreed to waiting about an hour before coming out and by the way, he was coming from Gilbert,AZ, quite a drive. When someone comes that distance and comes immediately after making the contact, they are usually pretty serious buyers.

Grabbing a bottle of water and calling Mean Mona, to arrange for the car switch, I found her not answering. (More stress) I called no less than 10 times, trying to indicate to her that it was important. She was outside watering her yard and didn't hear the phone, but did call me back about 10 minutes later. By then I had already called Dan back to tell him I was unsuccessful at rousing Mean Mona. My perfect scenario would have been for Mean Mona to drive here while Dan was doing the same and everyone rendezvous here. Mean Mona wasn't in agreement to that plan, so I hopped into the car, after calling Dan back and arranged for me to meet him at my house at 7:30.

I sped down the 101 to Mean Mona's and when I arrived there, Mean Mona had put the car outside and was leisurely watering her front yard, in an extra mean way. She yelled that I look like a fag in that car, flipped me the bird, I flipped one back and split. I TOLD you Mean Mona was a mean one! I was only half way through my road race back to my house to meet Dan the man. I showed up right on time and blown to smithereens, having driven at 75 MPH speeds with the top down. I backed the red convertible into the driveway and got Bogie out to help me wait for Dan. Bogie laid down in the driveway and pretty soon Dan and his daughter Courtney arrived making a big deal about Bogie, my Number 1 salesman. Bogie schmoozed for awhile with the buyers, the first thing I taught him and excused himself to the house.

Any kind of a red convertible is a "passion buy" and poeple buy them because they feel they have to. It's not a "need", but a "want". Knowing this, naturally I use it to my advantage. Dan introduced himself and somehow within the first sentence mentioned he was a Desert Storm veteran, creating a whole new respect for him. Courtney was a chip off the old block and the two of them read the owner's manual for no less than 90 minutes, asking about a gazillion questions that I couldn't answer. The top went up, the top went down, the boot went on, the boot came off. Does it have a pass through for her skis? Has it been washed by a car wash or by hand? How many miles to the gallon. Dan found that it had a power top that was disconnected, but worked. I had to stop him from rolling up his sleeves to repair it, right on the spot. I told him not to, it works fine now, manually. I didn't want to be rude and tell him that the new ones are $35,000, this one is almost 10 years old and in EXCELLENT shape. When he asked me how I want to get paid, I thought it was going in my direction, but then he told me he had to run it past his wife, who is probably the decision maker. I think Dan and Courtney would have stayed all night had I not started making going away noises. They would have cozied up with a lamp and that owner's manual and been good for the night.

It's traditional with that type of purchase, if the buyer doesn't leave at least a deposit, he's not going to buy the vehicle. My guess is that Dan is going to do some more research on the car and call me back with an offer..............Or he might just be happy with that owner's manual???


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Why I Live Alone...

My Relaxation station.
( About a month ago I threw out an old 6X9 rug that got too disgusting and you wouldn't believe how many pairs of shoes I found that I thought were lost!)

There was a time in my life that I considered myself a rather neat person. A place for everything and everything in it's place. Well, that's mostly over now. Over the years I've learned by living alone, that the best place for things are where they are easiest to get to.

I was raised in a family that thought cleanliness was secondary to many other things and it revolted me, the confusion that existed within the household. I went out on my own at a very early age and set a new precedent of immaculate cleanliness. Here was my problem. I couldn't find a woman that lived up to my rigid expectations and although I was willing to make the effort myself, I found their messy habits a hindrance.

I lived happily in my almost perfect bachelor palace until I was 22, when I met my first wife. She was 23 and had lived her entire life with her parents, her mother being just the type of person I wanted. I thought certainly that the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, but I was wrong that time. Although I still maintained a healthy clean personal environment, my wife's personal areas looked as though we'd experienced a disaster and worse yet, she was too lazy to do anything about it. As children came along, they were raised in throes of chaos. If you were hungry, you looked in the fridge for food. If you needed clean socks, you looked in the dryer. Towels were piled up in a mess on the dining room table. One time I turned on the oven to heat up a pizza. To my surprise, that was where she hid dirty dishes when her family visited. Can you see the grounds for divorce forming yet?

One time, one of the kids spilled a Coke or Pepsi on the kitchen table and it was the type where you could put a leaf into it, meaning it had a crack down the center of the table. The soda dripped down onto the floor and was never wiped up. Eventually dirt, dog fur, and slow moving insects would get stuck in it. It became a dark spot on the floor in my kitchen. Each day when I'd come home from work and enter through the kitchen door, that was the first place my eyes would settle and I would begin to seethe.. One day, after many months of looking at that spot, I came in and exploded. I insisted she take the kids out to a movie or somewhere, so I could clean the house. Naturally, I began with the spot under the kitchen table.

Eventually the Princess of Dirt and I parted company in a court of law and she went her way to destroy the homes of several other men. I met wife number 2, the Queen of Clean. This girl couldn't go to sleep if there was anything out of place. At first I thought this was amusing that I was able to find my match for housekeeping. After awhile, it really got on my nerves having her wash the screen on the TV as I watched the Suns play. That marriage didn't last too long unfortunately. I think it was when she packed the Windex to take with on vacation to a 5 star resort that ruined it for me. Would you believe she used it to clean our hotel room window? That divorce happened in 1991.

In 1992 I bought the house that I currently reside in. It was my dream house. Although I know there are bigger, better houses out there, to me this is as good as it got. At the time, it was just my son and myself needing a roof over our heads, but I had worked hard and could afford it at the time, so I figured why not? It's a sprawling 3500 square feet with exotic island landscaping, a billiard room, a master bedroom that you can bowl in and 4 other bedrooms that have never been used, really. The dogs and I wander around this house aimlessly looking for homeless people that have taking up residence here. It has a swimming pool that I haven't used in years and the cover hasn't been off of the pool table since I got these dogs 10 years ago. (Bogie grabs the balls and runs away.)

I bought this house new and designed it myself, adding tile floors and window treatments as desired. I kept this immaculately. I was washing something or vacuuming something else, constantly.. I was happy, content, had tried marriage and it didn't work for me. I think it was my son that pointed out that the chances of me meeting a woman in this house were rather remote and that perhaps I should venture out into the world. I did. In Feb, 1996, I met my third and last wife. We married in November of that year, waiting about 10 months to get to know one another. During that time, I learned a lot about myself as well as she. I felt that I really knew her when we moved in together as husband and wife. Although we had spent probably about 4 or 5 nights a week together, you really don't get to know a person until you live together. I knew that Debra's house was truly messy, but she had me convinced it was her dirty sister that kept it that way and within their family circle, Debra was known as the clean freak. This pleased me, truly. Debra moved in on 11/02/1996 and NEVER lifted a finger to help with anything aside from occasionally washing the dishes after me mentioning repeatedly that I do all of the cooking she could at least help with the dishes. One day, I went upstairs to get something and there was my lovely new wife who had just gotten ready for work. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that we had 20 different cabinets in our master bedroom bath and every one of the cabinet doors was ajar and towels were hanging over them and her make-up was thrown around the counters and about a week's worth of dirty clothes were strewn onto the floor and Debra was ready to leave. With a quick kiss on the cheek, she was gone. I stood there over my once clean bedroom bathroom, planing my next move. Whatever move I chose, must have been the wrong one, because that marriage ended in November of 2001, after right at 5 years..

I've been single for about 7 years now. No one bothers me with their messes. If I don't feel like doing the dishes at night, I don't. I pick up the yard almost everyday, after all, they're Great Danes. Some times I make the bed, other times I don't. I have become what you might call sedimentary and I just don't care!



Saturday, June 7, 2008

My Two Best Friends...

My two best friends in the whole world both circle before they lay down. They each have 4 legs and no arms, yet they maneuver beautifully. With the rare exception of needing an opposing thumb occasionally, they can do almost anything. Bogie, the boy, even knocks on the door to come inside and lets me know when he wants to go out by opening the door with his nose and gently letting it shut, looking back to see if I got his message. He speaks to me and asks for things. It's not like he asks for outrageous things like some of my former wives, it's usually just a cookie. They don't know how to tell time, yet they always know when it's time to eat and gently nudge me if I'm busy on the phone or preoccupied with business. By the way, they will not subscribe to daylight savings time and I agree that it's just silly. My two friends are Great Danes, also known as Gentle Giants. You really wouldn't know that by the way Zoie, my little girl, a mere 120 LB ran at me at full speed in a playful way. I thought certainly she's break to the left or right and miss me, but no.... She hit me at full speed wanting to play. I doubt that they feel pain the same way a 62 year old man experiences it, hmm..... I limped away wishing she were a Yorkie, but she never knew it. Zoie is Bogie's girl. Bogie is my big boy. He's an amazing 300 LB of harlequin poetry. He was lonely and so I searched high and low for a female for him and finally selected Zoie. The have been in love since the day they met and shared a tug-o-war with a rope. It was love at first sight. Although they've never tied the knot, they've been engaged for the past 9 years. That crazy pair just won't set a date! Recently, mirroring real life, they asked for separate beds. It started out, if he was in the bed, she insisted on sleeping on the couch. I went to the goodwill and bought a second bed. Now they're sleeping in twin beds. He says she stinks, she says he snores. Now everyone is happy. Bogie's 10 and Zoie is 9 and I know when they turn 16 they won't ask for a car!



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

We're fencing off Mexico, but what about South America???

Today started out like any other day here in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ. We were delighted to have a rather breezy, clement day, a break from our triple digits. It must have been declared Palm Tree season by our visitors from the South. I've been bombarded with anxious Hispanics ringing my bell, dropping a card and leaving. Many can't speak any English and are hoping their interpreter is home when the calls start coming in. I make it a practice to ignore most of my front door guests, as I've learned long ago, that people ringing my front door bell seldom have anything I want. Another reason is, I seldom wear a shirt around the house in the summertime and it seems rude to answer the door half naked. The biggest reason is the Dynamic Duo. That doorbell rings and there is a sudden rush to the front door by 400 LB of Great Danes and everyone coming to visit aren't necessarily ready to meet them. Most going backing down the 4 front steps tripping and mumbling something about their mother calling them, making a quick clumsy exit.

Today I was in the mood to teach an illegal a lesson and just opened the door and let them out saying, yes, can I help you? Do they bite? That's what I usually hear in a heavy Spanish accent. My reply is, "only when they're hungry". Then I mention it's their dinner time. Anyhow, this dark skinned gentleman managed to get out the words Palm Tree in his sentence and I told him yes, I'll pay $25 a tree and there are 9 of them. With a combination of Spanish, English and sign language, he told me to wait, he needs to ask his boss. He then returned for the details again, I must have confused him. With his third return, he told me they would do it. Two more men jumped out of the truck and it seems I've made myself a deal.

Right around that time, my guy became the social director of the operation and told me his name is Vinnie and asked mine. I told him Mel and he said, like the actor, Mel Gibson? It seemed that Vinnie's English was better than I thought and playing the dumb Mexican must work for him. While the working end of the operation dressed in spikes and other climbing apparatus, Vinnie and I bonded. My first question was, are you Italian Vinnie? Yes, was the answer to that, although it turned out that his great, great grandfather was from Italy and settled in Honduras where he met his wife and raised a family. The other two workers were Guatemalan and everyone knew of Sheriff Arpiao. His name would be heard in the middle of a sentence in Spanish and then laughter would ensue. I guess some people are a universal joke.

The Dynamic Duo got a lot of attention and then I thought it wise to put them in the house where it was cooler. First Vinnie asked me for some 2 stroke oil for the chain saws. I referred him to Home Depot, just 1/2 mile away. The little guy went. I forgot to tell you about the little guy. He was the boss. He hopped out of the truck and couldn't have stood 4 1/2 feet tall. He had jet black hair and lots of it. He turned out to be 63. He walked up that tree as if there were no gravity. I was amazed. My trees are 40 to 50 feet tall and he never got tired. He was the only climber. My buddy Vinnie and another guy did the ground work while shorty resembled a 10 year old boy with his gusto. Shorty went to the store for the oil while the helpers took a break. When the boss got back, there was another truck following him. It seems while Shorty was 50 feet up in the air on a really windy day, he took a telephone break and called his girlfriend, a woman that more than tripled Shorty's stats for weight.

Let me describe my gardener's truck. It was a Chevrolet, mostly. It said Chevy on the red front half, but the bed was a white Dodge with a lot of homemade devices welded onto it. Behind it, he towed a bed from a Ford, just the bed. Shorty's girlfriend drove a brand spanking new Toyota 4 door, Tundra. Out of the Tundra climbed out about 1200 LB of women. All about 40 years old, all really, really fat. Some spoke a little English but most didn't. I was beyond trying to figure out the relationship, but suddenly I had about 6 women working to finish my job. Everyone was working. they were quick, efficient, and clean. No one lit a cigarette and they had their own drinks. If they needed a bathroom, I never knew about it. These people were GOOD!

At one point I called Vinnie over and told him, whatever they do, DO NOT get any loose fronds on the Creepy Neighbor's side, on my B side because that guy's an asshole. Suddenly Vinnie switched to English and yells to his amigos, "Don't get any leaves on the neighbor's yard, he's an ASSHOLE!" So much for keeping secrets...

Not to try to second guess anyone, but I got the feeling the girls were a house cleaning crew that had just finished a job and they just happened to be in the neighborhood, but Bogie was in Seventh Heaven with them all making a big deal about him. Yep, my Babyboy likes the women. The bigger the better for Bogie....

In addition to the job they were there to do, they also removed an old tree stump that had been bothering me. They did it for free and did it within 2 minutes. That was the same tree stump that my ex-girlfriend Julie wanted to trade me a brand new treadmill for, straight across. If I gave her the treadmill, she would ask her son-in-law to remove the tree stump, some deal, huh? Then, it turned out that I have 10 Mexican Palms, not 9, like I said. No one seemed to count them besides me and since I last counted them, one more grew out of my reach.. They never mentioned it, so I decided with the good job they did and as fast as they were and didn't argue about anything, even Vinnie, that I'd just give them $300. Vinnie grabbed the money and put it into his pocket and immediately Shorty came over and started getting upset in Spanish. I'd bet anything that Shorty wanted the money and Vinnie is going to give it to him, but only $225. I yelled, "come back next year" and went into the house....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Farewell to St. Jules...

Ever since the Lovely St. Jules and I parted company, I've been worried about meeting someone that would be as good a fit as Julie. Seldom do we meet people that we "click" with the way that St. Jules and I did, but that is over now.

Enter Mona P. Fisher.... Mona is a friend of a friend and the moment that we met, I knew it would be a long relationship. Where Julie was crabby, moody, and sometimes less than accommodating, Mona is happy, charming, always in a good mood and open for anything and everything. She's open minded, attractive and built like a brick shit house, to coin a phrase from the past. Mona is fashion aware, a great cook and happy to be spending time with me. She's career oriented and has a great work ethic. Although Mona is pushing 50, she looks and acts like a much younger woman. She's well balanced and knows a little bit about most topics. You can take Mona anywhere and be proud of her.

Be prepared to be hearing a lot more about Mona in the future...


Monday, June 2, 2008

More Trouble in Tuba City...

Today was 104 degrees. Hot huh? I went to my car lot to spend the day there washing cars and putting things in order. Another of my motivations was to get Paul, my mechanic and landlord to start working on some of my cars. Recently I bought several cars that require a lot of mechanical work. One in particular is a head gasket job, that will pay somewhere in the area of $3000 in repairs, yet tomorrow marks the 30 day period that it has been sitting there. My office of my car lot does not have air conditioning. It used to, but one day when I came to work, it was missing. When I inquired, Paul told me he removed the unit to install in his new trailer. His kids are going to spend the summer and I don't want them to be without AC, do I? I couldn't believe at the time he had cannibalized my trailer without even giving me notice. I decided to move out, without giving him notice. Paul always justifies what he does and makes it seem like he was always right. He insisted that I was wrong for moving out without giving him notice and if I wanted AC, I should have said so.

Casually, one day, I told Paul that keeping a refrigerator running in a hot trailer is probably coasting him $50 a month. The very next day, he unplugged my refrigerator in the trailer. Me and my big mouth. Last week, I spent about 90 minutes in my trailer without AC and without a refrigerator to even keep a bottle of water cool, while waiting for my insurance man to come. I broke down and turned on the fridge to cool my water and decided to keep it plugged on and brought a case of water down. Today, when I arrived, I saw my case of water in Paul's fridge and he explained that he was awfully disappointed to see I had plugged in the fridge. If I want water, I can come to his office to get some and keeping the fridge plugged in is asking too much. I guess I'll be moving again, soon...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Darned $5 Dog...

I went to a friend's house last night to watch a little TV. I don't seem to see enough of the thing here, so when I go out, I really enjoy watching the tube a little more. We were laying in bed, as that is where her newest TV resides and we were watching cage fighting. I'd never really seen this type of sport before and was quite impressed with it. These maniacs go into a cage with a like minded opponent and literally try to kill one another. Blood is everywhere. The mat is even coated with an even layer of plasma. One guys ear was practically ripped off before our very eyes.

My friend was so engaged watching the teeth fly, that she was screaming at the top of her lungs, "Kill the bastard". I didn't really expect her to react that way, as she's usually quite demure and never even let's a curse word escape from her well made up mouth. You'd have thought she was a cheer leader for the winner! Well, without warning, her pet dog, a 65 LB fellow, that was purchased for the mere price of $5, leaped from his position on the floor and attacked me. He tore his 4 canines into my arm at the fleshy part of the forearm and tore the flesh off. With a quick swallow it was gone and he was after me again, this time he engaged his teeth into the stub that was left and was ripping again! I went into immediate shock as my friend kept screaming STOP, to her $5 dog and then repeatedly asking if I was going to sue... She ran for the first aid kit and put 2 of those small band-aids onto the oozing flesh, saying that ought to hold it. Then she took her index finger, pointed it directly into her $5 dog's face and said, "Bad doggy", sending her pet outside for punishment. Then she resumed screaming as I almost bled out, watching the cage fight.

I passed out and looked over at my friend who was also asleep. With my one good arm, I let myself out and drove over to the Emergency Room of St. Kylie's Hospital, where I was tossed onto a gurney and wheeled to the OR for life saving blood transfusion. Suddenly, my cell phone went off and I answered it and it was my friend whose $5 dog chewed off my arm. She was hysterical finally. I barely made out what she was screaming, but it sounded like she was saying, "someone had better plan on paying for her comforter that was literally soaked in blood". I agreed to fork over the necessary cash as soon as I was released from the hospital. She said, I'd better or she was turning it over to her lawyer. I hung up and the staff prepared me for surgery where they were going to graft a hunk on flesh from my ass and attach it to my abused stump of a right arm. They assured me that it may smell bad from time to time, but should function okay.

My friend, feeling pretty bad about everything, invited me over tonight to take her $5 dog for a walk with her. I'm going, but I'm wearing armor!