Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Frightening Thought...

So I'm sitting around tonight, thinking about a few things, when for some reason my Driver's License pops into my head. Remember when you used to have to get it renewed every 4 years or so, until they changed all that and finally issued everyone licenses that were good forever. Well not really forever, but until you get old, right? When mine was issued, it was good for like 20 more years or some such thing. I think you didn't have to renew it until you turned 65, I think. Suddenly a panic went through me like a chill, because on this past Saturday, I DID turn 65. I bolted for my wallet, (As fast as a 65 year old can bolt, which is not that much like lightning, to be honest) and sure as shit, it's currently expired. Been expired for 3 days now. Today I drove my old Corvette around the block, laid rubber and everything. Did a couple of donuts. Good thing no cops have stopped me on about 10 years, huh?

Now here's my question. Will I have to take the driver's test all over again, with the book and all? After 50 years of driving, no way will I be able to pass that test! Let me know...

The Story of Redneck Ron...

After yesterday's post, the cards and emails started coming in (2) wanting to know more about Redneck Ron. Well, the truth is, he's really quite a colorful character.

The year was 1980 and I had filed for divorce against the lovely Barbara, aka wife number 1. She and the kids had moved back to Chicago and I had sublet my car lot to a friend and taken a job working for a rental car company, balancing their inventory and buying fresh cars. One day I was hanging around the lot when this young kid came in wanting to know if I wanted to sell any of the cars wholesale. We had a number of cars that had been wrecked or were not worth fixing, that sat in a pile waiting for God knows what. I pointed to the pile of cars and said, those are for sale, but since I didn't know him, I told him cash only. Ron was about 25 then and reminded me of Elvis with blond hair. Tall, good looking kid with his hair on his forehead. He bought three of the old clunkers and went off as happy as a clam. I didn't know at the time, that those were the first cars he ever bought. He'd saved up a thousand dollars and was determined to get into the car business.

The years passed along and we kept in touch, but he got into the retail business and I continued to wholesale. Much more glamorous but not as much money.

Ron's social life is the most interesting part of his story. He left an ex-wife and son in Michigan and moved out to sunny Arizona. He met a girl and moved her in with him and proceeded to have 3 children with her. They lived in a house that Ron had bought at 35Th Ave and Greenway. Things started getting rocky after a number of years and the lovely couple split up. Shortly after that, Ron started seeing the younger sister of his ex-girlfriend and moved her in with him at his new house and proceeded to have 3 children with her too! His youngest son is about 10 now. At Christmas, it's just one big happy family. Don't ask, I don't.

Six years ago when I awakened from heart surgery and more of less came out of the fog I'd been in, there in my room were a host of people and one of them was Ron. He was involved in a heated argument with Patty, my ex-sister-in-law, Barbara's sister, who lived in Chicago. She was screaming at Ron for bringing me food from the cafeteria downstairs. Did you ever wake up from a dream and your Mom who's been dead for 20 years is having a political argument with your dog and the dog is winning? Well, that's how it seemed. How did Patty get there and how does she know Ron? Why are they fighting? My Morphine must have worn off.

When I got home, Ron came to see me a couple of times and was selling me some pretty nice cars. He understood that it was hard for me to get out like I used to, so he'd call me on them. Then the entire business changed and I didn't hear from Ron for quite some time. I called him a couple of weeks ago, after realizing I hadn't heard from him in about 6 months. He was busy with visiting family and called me back when he found the Volvo convertible. I used to specialize in Volvos. I was known as the Valley's only unauthorized Volvo dealer. It was printed on my cards.

So that's the story of Redneck Ron. As an addendum, we lost Patty to cancer this past January, she will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Strange Day... but Great!

Something happened today that has NEVER EVER happened before. I got up early because Ron was calling me with the news on my Volvo, if it ran okay or not. I told him I'd buy it assuming it goes down the road okay and has cold AC. When you're in the car business, like I was, you depend rather heavily on someones accurate description of a car. You base your paying price upon it. I agreed to pay XXX amount of dollars assuming certain things about he car were in good working order. Ron never told me it was a "nice" car, but it was. A nice car is a car that just shows well. It hasn't been all redone everywhere and it's still got that fresh look to it. The Volvo looks fresh, in spite of it's 94, 000 miles, which really isn't that bad for a Volvo or a car 11 years old.

With Ron, I like to pay cash because I know that the place that he bought the car requires either cash or a cashier's check. I arranged to get enough for Ron, but my mattress will never sleep the same! I met Ron over at the dealer where he bought the car, Peoria Kia, where LJ dropped me off. I inspected my buy and frankly was pretty pleased, in spite of the fact that the top won't go down, but I'll get that fixed.

I counted out the cash to Ron and watched him count it right back to me. It was right on the money, so to speak. Without warning, I was expecting a suggestion of lunch or for us to just part company when Ron said, "I'm about to put a smile on your face". My reply was, huh? He repeated what he said and I just stood there looking at him. I had signed and order for the car, but never bothered to look at the price. Why would I? He said to look at the order and I did. He had written the order for $500 less than I agreed to pay for the car when he handed me 5 fresh $100 bills. With my mouth open, I asked why. He said, they owed me a favor and I complained about paying so much for it, so they knocked $500 off the price. My mouth still agape, because he passed the savings on to me. Who does that??? I think a new bond just formed between Ron and myself. Guess who trusts him unconditionally?

I've known Ron for 30 plus years. Today he told me that I was the first person to sell him cars when he first moved to Phoenix from Michigan. I guess we've got us some history. Ron is an unusual character. He's kind of a redneck, but as sweet a guy as you'll ever meet. All the years while everyone else was blowing their money on good times and booze, Ron was buying property. He told me today that at one point he owned 28 pieces of land. He sold his car lot on 19Th ave and Broadway for 2 point 3 million dollars and he owned it free and clear. So what do we have here? A redneck, sweetheart, millionaire and he's only 57.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Corvettes and Volvo Convertibles...

Of all of the cars I've bought and sold over the years and there have literally been thousands, the Corvettes have always been my favorites. First, the cars are really cool and signify America's truest attempt at sports car creativity. But it's the people that drive them and want them that fascinate me. They are the elitist of the elite, in their own estimation and the surest way to ensure a Corvette sale is to ask if they feel comfortable driving a really cool car like that, as they are certainly NOT for everyone. I tried that once when I first started playing with cars at Holiday Olds in downtown Scottsdale in the 70's. This typical geek came in to look at the Corvette we had for sale. He himmed and hawed and couldn't make up his mind. I tried the intimidation line on him and said, "You know, Corvettes aren't really for everyone, do you feel comfortable representing the type of person that drives a Corvette?" He puffed out his chest and asked, where he has to sign to get it?

Another unusual customer came to see a red Corvette I had for sale. This car was really nice and this was my first customer of the weekend. He was a cool guy with his girlfriend along for the ride. They took it for a ride and came back saying, something or the other was wrong with it, but wanted to make me an offer. I asked what the offer was and he told me. He was standing, along with his girl, in the driveway and I was in the garage near the button that closes the garage. I replied that his offer wasn't going to get it, but thanks for coming out. With that I started closing the garage door. As the door got closer and closer to the ground, he was kneeling to yell underneath it, "HOW MUCH THEN? The door closed and he ran to my front door and rang the bell. When I opened it, he just said, "I'll take it"!

Another of my favorites was a 2001 Volvo silver C70 turbo convertible. I owned it about 3 years ago. I kept it for about 6 months in total and when I finally let it go for sale, it had the good fortune to make me some pretty serious money. There are few of them around and available. This is the 5 cylinder turbo model.

So today I was hanging around the homestead, getting ready for the big garage sale this weekend, when my phone rang. It was Ron, an old friend of mine that used to sell me cars before I completely retired. We talked for awhile and he asked me if I'm interested in going back to work. Why, I asked? He said he had a 2000 Volvo C70 silver convertible and he told me how much it was. I just blurted out, I'll take it! It only has 90,000 miles on it and that's low for an 11 year old car. I pick it up tomorrow. I think I just went back to work!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Ever Happened to "Babies Under 2 Fly Free"?

Around the year 1977, my younger son Brad was almost 4 years old and although we'd been smuggling him on board of airliners for free, we were really pushing the limits of babies under 2 flying for free back then, by a good two years. The last time we tried it, we were warned that we needed to purchase a ticket the next time we want him to fly. Knowing this, we still tried it one last time in 77. Hell, wouldn't you?

Here was my plan. We had almost always been hosts to Great Danes. Both my wife and myself were literally in love with the breed, as displayed earlier in this blog until the loss of both of my beloved pets and friends. Back in the 70's, we had our first set of Danes, Bogie 1 and Duchess. They were a matching set of fawns, easy to take anywhere and loved everyone and everything. Knowing this, we decided to take them to the airport for the sending off of my family. As we purchased 2 tickets for my wife and older son, we smuggled Brad through without a hitch as everyone was in awe of this matching pair of well behaved gentle giants. I heard all of the usual things. How much do they eat and you can put a saddle on them? I smiled and answered questions as my free loading son boarded the plane without a thought or a problem.

The following year we had to buy Brad a ticket because by then he wanted to sit in the smoking section!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strange Week

After a week of jumping through medical hoops, drawing blood, going for imaging and dealing with pharmaceutical needs, today was a relief to awaken and realize it was Saturday. After all of the crap I accomplished at everyone else's desire, i.e. transferring urine to a more suitable container, not breathing during imaging when breathing is exactly what we live for and arriving on time to fit the schedule that appeals to everyone but me! The whole thing was pretty anticlimactic.

Arriving home after my bout with the Hooter's Girls, I received a phone call from a doctor from the same office Dr. Harvey works out of. Only this doctor sounded like a 12 year old girl. How do you take a doctor seriously when I respond to her using the name "Sweetie". I couldn't help it, it just popped right out of my mouth. She wanted me to submit to additional tests because she found that with the results of my test, I had a disease that causes urine to not drain from my kidneys. Here's the problem. She's NOT my doctor that I've been dealing with for 6 years working out of the same office. Plus, it was discovered that I had that disease 6 years ago and there is no reason to address it, other than financial. I said I'd discuss it with Dr. Harvey and she said, "He's on vacation. Well, I don't really know he's on vacation, but he's not in the office". My immediate thought was that I'd spoken with him a day earlier and he never mentioned a vacation, but to call him the next day. When the 12 year old hung up, I pictured her skipping away from the phone wearing a Girl Scout uniform, but that's just me...

LJ went away this weekend, to visit her son in Yuma. She told me that the last time she went, about 3 weeks ago, it cost her about $140 just for gasoline. My Corolla gets at least twice the gas mileage of her truck, so I offered for her to use my car, which she quickly accepted. She had some errands to run yesterday (Friday) and she asked if she could use it to fill up the tank. Naturally, I said yes. That left her truck here for me to use. Since I had the use of her truck, I figured I'd go to my storage unit to see if there was anything there that I wanted to take home for the big spring neighborhood garage sale, in a couple of weeks, like the electric bread maker that I bought for wife number 3, that she never used or wanted.

As I opened the big overhead door, I was taken aback. There was broken glass everywhere. What happened? Was there an accident in here. I looked immediately for skid marks, but nothing. How does an accident occur inside of a locked storage unit? This was a job for Sherlock Fisher! First I checked all of my glass tops and they were intact. Then the culprit exposed himself. I had stacked boxes on top of one another and one of the boxes gave out, causing the box on top of it to come tumbling down upon a lamp that had a glass shelf on it. I don't even know where it came from. Must have been left over from some wife, that didn't think enough of it to take it along. I no longer have it, but just the mess of broken glass that it left! Mystery solved, but guess what you never seem to have at a storage locker? A broom! So the broken glass will no doubt be there for a long time to come.

I went to the pharmacy this week to pick up my prescriptions. I need them to stay alive, it seems. Since becoming Medicare age, my primary insurance has declared me a Medicare recipient and declined paying for my any of my scripts. My Medicare card for prescriptions has not yet arrived, so they asked ME to pay for everything. One of my monthly prescriptions is $167 alone and that's for a 30 day supply. I left empty handed. All of this will eventually get worked out, but will I last that long?

Summing up, for the weekend I've got a truck that gets about 15 miles to the gallon and a $5 dog to supervise..... Oh well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Day at Hooters...

I tried to sleep late today, as I had an appointment at the Imaging place for noon, but wouldn't you know it, today I couldn't sleep. I didn't want to sit around knowing I couldn't eat or drink anything except for 17 ounces of water, right at 40 minutes before my appointment. I was starving.

I arrived at the joint right on time to fill out the plethora of papers. It asked me my gender then it wanted to know if I were pregnant. I answered, DUH? Now it wanted to know who to contact in case of an emergency. I thought for awhile and finally put down Julie. Next it wanted to know our relationship, so I answered "personal". Wouldn't you?

The only notable thing about the place was that it was just filled with gorgeous busty blonds. Every single employee, except a fat Hispanic guy was a drop dead gorgeous babe. I figured he was the HR guy. That kind of thing doesn't happen by accident! I opened the door to the place it looked like happy hour at Hooters!

I was about to ask how long I'd have to sit there and a nice lady came out from behind closed doors and called my name. Showtime! I was escorted to a private room by Cara and introduced to Ralph, the tech that she was training. I guess when you have ladies like that working somewhere, you have to have chaperons. Oh well. They laid me down on the table after removing my shirt and I was asked to lay in a horrible position, not on my side or back, but about 1/4 towards my side. I had to use one foot for a kickstand. Now he used what I thought was KY Jelly to lube the prod and the smell of the lubricant reminded me of better situations. Ralph told me that when he announced "stop breathing", I am to do so immediately, whether or not I've inhaled or not. Then I'd have to hold it for about 15 seconds, usually without any air in my lungs. Not fun! You find yourself panicking even though you know you can breathe if you have to. Once, I blew it and took a breath and Ralph went ballistic, showing his inexperience. Cara calmed him down.

Now that I was pissed off at Ralph, I decided to play the smart-ass. I causally asked Ralph how long he'd been doing this and he replied, "about 6 months". I let about a minute pass and mentioned that the reason that I asked was because, my kidneys are in the back, not on my side where he was looking. That's when Cara almost fell off her chair, yet Ralph found no humor in the comment whatsoever. Forty-five minutes later I was done and I asked where I could deposit the 17 ounces of water I was required to drink. Again Cara laughed and Ralph was confused.

Stage 2 was meeting Celeste', a buxom blond from Canada, who finished her sentences with, aye! My CT scan took about 10 minutes and I was free to go, which I did and headed straight for the Knock Kneed Lobster for some deep fried fish. I was starved! After the last two days of miserable issues, I felt I deserved it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pissy Day...

With the addition of Medicare, I come to you basking in the sunshine of health insurance, a fulfilling feeling to say the least, after going through most of my 63rd and 64th year without any insurance. I decided to investigate some of my problems, compliments of the U.S. Government, hooray!

After a couple of visits with Dr. Harvey, he determined that my blood pressure is too high and that the cause needs to be investigated. He did this once before in 2006, when he decided I had cancer of the kidneys as a secondary location and bone cancer was my real problem. He determined this with blood work that spiked a certain enzyme, indicating either cancer or some other benign problem. So after getting shingles from nerves, he figured I'd be dead by then if it were cancer, so it turned out to be the other benign thing. By then I'd been going to an oncologist for 6 months.

So tomorrow I'm scheduled for an MRI and an ultrasound of my kidneys, to try to locate the culprit that is driving my blood pressure up. In preparation for these tests, I was told to do a 24 hour urine collection. My first. Now I thought, where in the world would I find enough people to donate their urine to fill up the 78 ounces required. I didn't even know any of the neighbors! The Lovely Jules turned me down, flat! On Friday, I drove around for almost an hour looking for a street named Eugie. I learned never to ask women where certain streets are, because they will send you on a wild goose chase instead of saying they just don't know. I finally found a mail carrier (male) that knew exactly where it was, thus I found Sonora Quest Lab, in Thunderbird Hospital.

When I opened the door, a guy literally fell out, because the line was back to the front door. I did a quick uh-uh and left and that was just to get the container. I decided to use empty water bottles instead. What I'm about to share were some very personal moments, that no self respecting man should ever have to do. The closest I'd ever come to this, was at a drive in movie one night, peeing into a 16 ounce Budweiser can, in my early 20's. Ah memories! To be sure that I had enough water bottles, I prepared for the event by saving several and removing the tops to let them dry. I didn't want to dilute! You know I never needed to flush the toilet once the entire day. Imagine the savings in water. Then I was up late last night thinking of a way to smuggle the water bottles filled with pee into the facility. Here was my plan.

Wearing a fake mustache, I'd enter Sonora and ask politely for a 24 hour collection container, then I'd go outside, remove my mustache and come back with the container already filled. Or I'd go to a second location to do the sting! Suddenly I remembered I had a mustache and no razor, so I just went in there carrying 5 full bottles of pee in a Trader Joe's shopping bag, looking like every other homeless man.

The girl behind the desk knew me and said hello. I replied, hello and that I'm here for a 24 hour urine collection, would she like to donate? She just opened her mouth, but no words would come out! I guess she didn't know me that well. That's when I started to take her into my confidence, big mistake. I said, "Look, I've got about 5 water bottles filled with urine and I need to turn them in to you here, will they be okay like this or do I need to transfer, said contents, into one of your containers"? From the look on her face, she obviously thought I'd asked for her first born! Her mouth was agape and she was aghast. All she could say was, she could lose her job! I asked what the difference was and she yelled, "CROSS CONTAMINATION"! The she asked me what I washed the bottles out with and I knew better than to tell her soap, so I told her just water. That was the truth. You'd have to be an idiot to wash out water with soap!

That's when I realized that nothing in life is easy and I was certainly driving in the left lane today. I decided to use an Obama approach, so I lead off with another "Look"! Either accept my urine collection OR give me a container and I'll turn it in somewhere else, to another location. She decided to call her boss. Twenty minutes later, the OKAY was approved and I was allowed to take my pee bottles into the men's room, to do the switch.

As I poured my own chilled urine, from one container into another, I thought to myself. I believe this is the first time I've ever had to do this......................... Yes, I'm certain of it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What a Surprise..........Costco Sucks!

As I was making the old Buick ready for it's inspection today, I was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. I put my Blackberry into my back pocket, then sat down. When I took it out, the screen was gone. Just blank and nothing brought it back. I tried all the tricks I know, even rebooting, but no luck. So, after the Buick trio left and I knew my next stop would be Costco, because that's where I bought it and I bought it there because Costco is normally WONDERFUL about everything. Notice I said normally.

I was tired, since I'd gotten little sleep last night and was busy from the moment I awakened, but I knew I had to get phone service before the day was up. I sauntered into Costco and after being greeted by the usual guy that seems to remember me, I made it back to the Kiosk where they sell phones. I'd say I had to wait about 10 minutes as they finished up with customers, when Bobbie asked if he could help me. Bobbie is the manager there and he's got that cocky look that you'd like to wipe off his face rather aggressively. He was a punk. Those of you that are 45 and older know what I mean. He asked my what my problem was and I showed it to him. I handed him my paperwork that for some reason I actually had with me. I pointed out that I'd had this phone for 1 year and 10 days. Bobbie smiled and said I was S.O.L. Those words. I explained that when I bought it, it was explained to me that the warranty was good for 1 year and because I was buying it at Costco, they were doubling the warranty to two years. Bobbie matter of factly said, we don't do that anymore. I countered with, but you did do it then. Yeah, but we're not honoring it and your phone is 10 days past warranty, and pretty much goodbye. As crudely as he could, he said, "Why don't you take it across the parking lot to AT&T, maybe they'll feel sorry for you" and he turned away.

I learned long ago, not to try to reason with a punk. I internally growled and walked away. By the way, Dan, my salesman stood there like a statue as his punk boss called him a liar. As I walked towards the exit, I seemed to get angrier and madder, when I turned and headed for the management offices. The young girl called for a manager and I drew Ian. Tall, skinny and 22ish. I explained that I was a 25 year customer and I still have my Price Club card and I don't feel that I'm being treated fairly. He listened and said he agreed, but unfortunately there was nothing he could do. I just looked at him and explained that I did business with Costco BECAUSE I don't get treated this way. He said he'd go and ask his boss. I waited for about 15 more minutes while I was in the way of customers that were returning items they didn't want. In other words, I was in the way. Ian came back and reiterated that there was nothing he could do. I didn't get mad, I didn't use foul language and I didn't threaten to cancel my account, but I will.

Here's the issue. Not only do I now not own a functioning phone, but I have an additional year left on my contract, without a phone. Costco does not sell phones without contracts. If I buy a new phone, which I was willing to do, I had to add a line to my existing contract for about $70 a month. Then my bill would be around $200 a month. No fucking way!

I wandered over to AT&T across the parking lot and talked to two young guys and asked which was better with horror stories. They both said they were! I told my sad story and a guy named Chase (named after the bank) said he would make a call in my behalf. He talked to someone and after him begging on his knees, whoever he was talking to, agreed to honor my 1 year contract in spite of the fact that I was 10 days late. First I had to pass the "paid on time" test, which I did with flying colors. The worst part of the transaction was that I had to drive all the way to Paradise Valley Mall in rush hour traffic and there was a rollover accident stopping all cars for about 30 minutes.

I got home about 6 PM and the Lovely Jules had cooked a pork tenderloin with artichokes, topped with parmigiana cheese, diced cooked ham and roasted pine nuts. Not too shabby!

Summing up: I'm super-tired, with a new phone, a pile of cash, and a full belly!

The Car that Wouldn't Go Away, Went Away!

I broke down last night and placed my Buick on Craig's List. I'd heard from one of my friends that it's working great to sell older cars, plus it's free. After shelling over about $100 for an ad on AutoTrader, I certainly felt the price was right.

About an hour later, I got a call from a gentleman that claimed he had a 2 year old baby and needed a safe car. I suggested a Volvo, not a supercharged Buick. He seemed to be about 20 years old, claimed he lived near me and wanted to come over at 8AM to view the car. I laughed and told him, "Absolutely not"! I don't get up until after 9 these days and I'm certainly not interrupting my sleep for the "car that wouldn't go away".

In spite of praying to the best of my ability, sleep would not come. I did the tossing and turning routine until 3 AM, then took a pill. Still nothing that resembled sleep. Many strange thoughts and then one of my legs tried to learn a new dance, but no sleep for me. I kept thinking I have to be up no later than 9 to be ready for my customer. I saw 5 AM, then it was 8 and I laid in bed until 8:30, then ran for the shower. By 9 AM, I was showered, shaved and dressed, with a wave in my doo. I poured my first cup of coffee and started making ready for my client. I cleaned the windows on the old Buick, then sprayed about a quart of Fabreeze into the guts of the great beast. It looked and smelled good. So did I! Ten o'clock came and went and nothing. I got stood up! Neither the Buick or I were going to the dance..................until Judith came along!

Judith from Prescott was down here looking for a car for herself with her 40 year old daughter and 103 year old mother. What a trio! The phone rang about 12:30, as I sat there dejected. She asked all the questions that a REAL buyers asks. Most importantly, she asked if there were a bank close by to get the title notarized? She also said she would be a few minutes longer, as she needed to go to the bank and get ca$h! Yippeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cash!

The three generations rang the bell at about 1:30 and I greeted them graciously. Hell, knowing she brought cash, I would have had the event catered! They were as sweet as could be, we got Grandma a seat in front of the TV while daughter and Mom drove about 3 minutes and returned saying, "We'll take it"! No haggling or sniveling or weaseling or chiseling or (I know you're waiting for me to say it) Jewing me down! Just, I'll take it. I never heard 3 sweeter words in my life.

The youngest of the trio handed me some pretty fresh hundred dollar bills and I politely counted all 43 of them to make sure they didn't give me too much. (Yeah right). I helped Grandma off the couch and spotted that Grandma spotted, but didn't say anything. I'd say all together, it took them about 10 minutes to get situated and drive away before I could scream YEA!!!! At the top of my lung!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Automobile Update...

It's not like I'm not used to it. People giving you the impression that they're going to buy a car from you, then disappear into thin air, but not at this rate. It seems that the car that wouldn't leave the house is still at the house! I had 2 different sets of people commit to buying it, yet here it is. On good faith yesterday, I took the car that wouldn't leave the house, to the mechanic's place and spent an entire afternoon and about $150 getting the poor thing to not make the little noise it was making, that seemed to scare buyers away. It was the tensioner that was feeling rather tense and complaining ever so softly, sounding like a potential problem. So that and a new belt quieted her right down. As she was purring her way home, my phone rang and it was buyer number 1, calling to tell me that the credit union declined their loan (big surprise) Would YOU want to loan someone $4300 for a 14 year old car? Me neither.

So I went home with my new quiet car and waited for the chubby girl that promised me that she wanted it, to drop by with a deposit. By any chance did she go to your house, because she sure as hell didn't come here! I didn't even bother to call her and put her on the spot, what for? Today, not a single call pertaining to the old car, until about 5:30 when Chubs called and asked if I still had it. That she "for sure" wants it, but can't get a ride over to give me the deposit money. I suddenly became very quiet, polite and serious. After all, when someone wants to give me money these days, that's not only serious business, but very uncommon. She said she'd be over either today or tomorrow with the dough. Well, today's over, I guess it's tomorrow! I'm glad I'm retired.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It Took 6 Months but......

Was it a miracle? Did the stars line up, finally in the correct pattern? Did the deteriorating ozone eventually influence the mindset of mammals in the northern hemisphere? Today was a day to remember. A first class day!

First, when I awakened from an extended sleep this morning (10 AM), my phone showed 3 messages in voicemail. One from a friend that had me over for dinner last night and another from a perspective buyer of the "car that wouldn't leave the house" and thirdly from a lady that looked at said car and wanted to buy it! Yes, she and her husband want the Buick with the supercharged engine. But............they have to get a loan for the full amount from a third party, known as the credit union. My experience with credit unions declares that they really HATE loaning money on 14 year old cars and said buyer better have credit like GOLD!

It was about 4 PM, as I waited for a lady to show up that had called on Sunday afternoon and emailed last night. She worked at the ME (Medical Examiner's) office here in Phoenix and I was dying to ask her if her name was Kay Scapetta, but I digress. I walked across to the mailbox and grabbed the mail. As usual, a lot of stuff for LJ, a few things for her ex-husband, more things from people that once lived here and one lonely piece of mail for yours truly. It was an envelope from my arch enemy, Chase Bank. I even commented to LJ that Chase was doing their usual dance that they are required to do after showing me "no mercy" on the Ralph Lloyd Juriansz crooked dentist fiasco. Merely as a courtesy, did I even open the letter to read about how they were not going to resolve this issue in my favor.

The first paragraph was the typical opening thanking me for my phone call on March 1, 2011. Reading down it explained that they were changing their decision and crediting me back the $3500 since I supplied to them the necessary criteria, indicating that I was truly left at a disadvantage from the crooked dentist! I looked up and said to Julie, "I have to read this again", and I this time read it aloud to her. She looked at me and asked, "does that mean they're agreeing with you"? Yes, I think so!!! Suddenly I wished I either drank or smoked pot for some reason, because a celebration was surely in order.

Only God and the people involved in the conversation that occurred after I hung up will ever know how that happened, because there was no reason for me to think I'd done anything but piss everyone off when I ended our conversation on March 1st. Could it be that someone read my blog and came to my much needed rescue? Stranger things have happened.

You may not realize the impact that blogging has on certain things, but each time I bashed Qwest, I got immediate results. When I switched away from Cox, Cox contacted me from my blog. Every time I write out the name Ralph Lloyd Juriansz, the crooked dentist, perspective people that want to check out a new dentist, read what I have to say on the subject and perhaps one fellow patient (victim) might avoid the wrath of RALPH LLOYD JURIANSZ <------- the crooked dentist! For now, my efforts must concentrate on finding a new dentist, one that I actually do my homework on and marvel at how the Gods have changed things in my direction. Thank you.

Oh, the second set of ladies want the Buick too and the first ones to bring the money here wins!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lovely Marcos Island in Florida...

I got an email from a friend a few days ago. He wanted to know if I wanted to go to Marcos Island with him for a mid-winter getaway. He told me how he'd been there with his wife about 2 weeks ago and it was a lovely romantic vacation. While in Florida, he also took his two young children to the theme parks. His kids are 19 and 17 year old boys. This is the same guy that I traveled to Florida with last year to visit our friend Barry, who has been stricken with cancer and in undergoing Chemo currently. As much as I'd like to see Barry, this is what the trip would entail. First he told me he would insist on separate rooms or a suit with 2 separate sleeping rooms, due to my occasional snoring. I tried to explain to him that he also snored and that's what to expect when you invited men to go on vacation with you.

We talked for about 30 minutes since I hadn't spoken with Bruce in quite a while. He had heart surgery about 9 months ago and of course I spoke with him several times around then, but he's been rather heard to tie down since. Suddenly he excused himself from the phone, as he said he had to pee and it was an emergency! Before I could even comment, he was gone for about 3 minutes. When he returned to the phone, he asked if I were still there, that he would have hung up if someone had done that to him. Hmm... just what I was thinking... I haven't had to deal with anything like that since my son was 5! Then he asked me if I were the same way, that suddenly you have to pee and there's no time to waste? I thought about it and noooo...... that's not one of my problems, hello! He continued to describe this romantic vacation for two heterosexual 65 year old men and I was getting more and more disenchanted when suddenly he announced that his son was calling and he'd call me back. He never did and I'm NOT packing!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Old Timer's Gang...

The call came yesterday. It was Chuck Todd. Chuck is an old friend from yesteryear. I met him in 1975 when he was the used car manager at Courtesy Chevrolet. A 28 year old kid wandered in there and asked for the manager. I told him I was a recent transplant from Chicago and wanted to be a car dealer. Humble was the setting for the day. Chuck was and still is a towering man, standing about 6' 3" with a strong vocal and an even stronger IQ. He was intimidating to those who could be intimidated, but I made quick friends with him when he told me that he too was from Chicago. He sold me my first wholesale car, a 1973 Maverick, for $250. As I was pulling off of the lot, I heard a strong voice come over the PA system and it said, "Will the new Jewish kid from Chicago please come to the used car office"? With a reddened face, I complied. When I walked in, Chuck took the purchase order out of my hands and tore it into about 10 pieces and said, "In the event of a retail sale on a car, retail wins over wholesale every time". Then he explained that one of the salesman was writing a retail order on the car as he was wholesaling it to me, to come back another time and he'd sell me something else. I did and that began a 35 year relationship, both business and social.

The message that he left went like this. "Call me back, it's semi important." I did and he told me he was having lunch with Jerry Hendrickson and Dave Allen tomorrow, do I want to join them? Yeah, I did!!! I haven't seen those guys in over 20 years. I figured they were dead or hiding. These were 2 guys left over from my drinking and partying days. Immediately stories came to mind that had me laughing till my sides hurt. Jerry in particular had a drinking problem. Back then it was just funny though. He was married to a Mexican woman named Lupida. We all knew Lupida because she was always calling the bar and getting all pissed off at Jerry and hanging up on him. She always showed up to pick him up though, but not before reading him the riot act in front of everyone. When Jerry got too drunk, he'd call Lupida and she'd scream holy hell at him. One night, Jerry staggered to the pay phone at Dave's Bar and dialed his home number to alert Lupida to his condition. As he was waiting for her to answer, he sneezed. The sneeze caused his glasses to fall off of one ear and hang precariously, balancing on his nose. Then he sneezed again and his glasses went crashing to the floor, breaking both lenses. Just then, Lupida answered the phone and Jerry proceeded to ask her to pick him as he'd broken his glasses and can't drive. The entire bar broke up laughing, since Jerry clearly used the emergency of the moment to his advantage.

Another time, Jerry was clearly plastered to the point where he couldn't drive and Lupida would not pick him up. I had been drinking, but was clearly the more sober of the two. Jerry climbed into my car and I promised to drive him home. He was very adamant about asking me if I knew where he lived. He asked me about 5 different times and I assured him, I did since I'd driven him home many times in the past. As we started driving Jerry immediately passed out. As we drove along, I realized I was hungry, so I pulled into a McDonald's drive through. That's about when Jerry woke up and grabbed me screaming, You said you knew where I lived, I don't live here!!!!

Lunch was great, it was like an old timer's lunch meeting. When I walked in, the bartender said, "Hello Mr. Fisher" and his voice was familiar, but I had no ideas who he was. I tried buying some time, admitting that I almost didn't recognize him. The truth is, I didn't have a clue. That's when I realized it was young Pat, a kid who used to work at the old Polo Lounge, back then Pat was about 24. Pat was back working for the same guys at Eli's and his son, Pat Jr. was our waiter. His son was about 27. Pat was the guy that got me interested in Steven King books and I started with "The Stand". Thousands of old thoughts came back to all 4 of us and naturally the conversation went to who died and who was doing well. We had all about quit drinking and smoking by now, except Jerry who drank about 4 beers and held a cigarette and a lighter in his hands the entire 3 hours we talked. He only put them away long enough to eat his clam chowder, then took them out and wanted to excuse himself to go outside and smoke, but the conversation kept him involved.

Many years ago when I first moved to AZ, I worked with Dave. A neighbor and I opened a place on Cave Creek Rd called Cave Creek Sales. We sold cars and campers and did service work. Dave worked there when we bought it and he kind of came along with the property. He was a hillbilly from Iowa, but got pretty good at the car business and somehow made a good living. One night, my wife and I had a fight and I told her I wasn't coming home. Dave offered me a place to sleep on his couch, being a single man (and straight). When we got to his apartment in Sunnyslope, I noticed that the bathroom door was missing and only covered by a blanket. When I asked what happened to the bathroom door, he told me that he used it as a front door. so naturally I asked what happened to the front door and he said it was stolen! Humph, made perfectly good sense to me, but I still slept with one eye opened.

We sat there reminiscing for about 3 hours when it seemed like we'd all had enough. Jerry immediately lit his cigarette and choked on it. We all exchanged phone numbers and promised to get together again, but you know how that goes. Jerry took my number with enthusiasm, when he learned I had an active retail dealer's license. It seems he's got some trucks and nowhere to put them. Maybe we can all come out ahead?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another Nail in my Coffin...

I got a phone call from Chase Bank again on Friday. It was from the same lady that I'd spoken to the third or fourth time I tried to get my dentist issue resolved. Here's what I attempted to do. I contacted the governing agency that governs over Chase Bank in hopes that someone of authority might come to my rescue and see the injustice that is taking place.

I refer to the $3500 that Chase Bank insists that I owe them to cover the amount they forwarded to Ralph Lloyd Juriansz in payment for a fraudulent dental diagnosis. He prescribed a dental plan for me, then skipped out with my money and really did poor work where he even did work. All of the teeth that he worked on, now need to be removed and replaced with false teeth, that by the way I'm avoiding by doing nothing. But nothing won't last long and eventually I'll lose all the teeth in question. Not what I had in mind when I handed over $3500 to this crook.

So when the crooked dentist skipped out, Chase reversed their decision and determined that I still owed the dough, but they did waive the interest which to me represents acknowledgement of guilt. Why would a bank forgo interest unless they thought I was right?

So I contact the governing agency, which by the way again, was not an easy task. No one wanted to claim ownership or responsibility for Chase. Finally after weeks of researching it, I found the correct party and sent a long typed letter, going into detail of the atrocity. What do you suppose they do after 3 weeks? They forward my letter to the same woman that I'd already spoken to, to resolve my issue. This woman, whose first name is Jessica, has strict instructions from her higher ups, to get rid of me. To do whatever it takes, short of waiving the owed amount to quiet me down. I called finally on Tuesday and our conversation goes something like this. First I ask her NOT to interrupt me while I'm speaking, because she likes to do that and let me at least finish my story. She says nothing, so I begin. At some point she blurts out that there was nothing saying the work done was inadequate by the replacement dentist I went to after the first one abandoned me. I asked her if she actually read the second dentist's letter that I had supplied to her. she said, yes. Then, as she was really reading it, she said he does say that the work performed by the previous dentist constituted malpractice BUT, he doesn't say how much it would cost to rectify it, which is what Chase uses for guidelines. I stop her and ask, "If I get a letter stating what it will cost to correct the errors, will you side in my favor?" NO, she says! I ask what I have to provide or do, to get their decision reversed and there was a long pause.............. Nothing she said, nothing will reverse our decision! She suggested I get an outside council to look at the case. I know from experience that that will cost a fortune and lawyers don't accept this type of case on a contingency. I then asked why we were having this discussion and she said she didn't know, but she has to resolve problem from unhappy customers. I hung up but might just do the entire thing again, but next time not answer her phone calls, so I'll just keep hanging on her books like the toothless parasite I represent to them... They were only the rear teeth that I would have used for chewing. I really didn't need them. Like hell!!!!