Monday, December 23, 2013

It All Came Tumbling Down...

I was writing an email to my son, explaining what exact type of razor blades I use and finding them has presented me a problem, hinting at what a good present for me would be, when suddenly there was a knock on my front door. I'd don't know if you're like me, but when someone knocks on my door unexpectedly, I usually assume it's a Jehovah's Witness and I prepare to tell them that, "I didn't see the accident", prior to closing the door in their faces! Or, it's someone, somehow, that wants money in one form or another. Whether it's to win a contest at school, or they're selling magazines or candies, or their younger brother! It just never behooves me to answer the door. Throwing caution to the wind, I leap to the door and whip it open to see a strange couple, man and woman, standing there. Shocked somewhat, I wait to hear their spiel. He says, "I'm your neighbor across the street and I just bought a new sofa and it's too heavy for me to lift off the truck by myself, can you help me?" My mind immediately goes to 2005 when some doctor poked a tool through my heart while doing an angiogram, that I probably didn't need. So naturally, I told him I'd love to! Couches are not that heavy and I've moved my own sofas around at times, so why not? I get to meet a neighbor and help someone at the same time, win/win. He didn't even mention once that it was a hide-a-bed type that contains a metal frame and foam rubber mattress. I grab a sweatshirt and walk across the street to where he has a truck backed up almost to his front door. He continues to tell me it's really heavy, but I am thinking, heavy for who? Maybe his little wife, ha ha! Not me, certainly. I lift my end off the truck and walk it backwards towards the front door and think quietly, "this thing is seriously heavy, like 200 lbs heavy! Or, I've weakened considerably in my 67 years?

We reach the threshold and I specifically stop to lift my left foot over the bump and that's when he pushed forward, I think. The next thing I knew the heavy huge, sectional, hide-a-bed, sofa was on top of me and I was obviously lying beneath it. I remember saying that we are going to have to turn it at a certain angle to fit it in the doorway, since it had an attached love seat section, then BOOM, it was on top of me! The guy kept saying, "I told you it was heavy, over and over again. Pretty soon he was lifting it off of me and then I started feeling embarrassed. You know the feeling when someone says, "Hey, your fly is open"? Well, this embarrassment was about 100 times worse! I dropped his new Christmas sofa!

I don't think anyone helped me up. I recall getting up like it was nothing and kept says how sorry I was, that I guess I tripped on the threshold. Then they rushed me out the door for some reason, probably not realizing that the law suit starts when I get home, not at their house! You know, they didn't even come over to see if I were okay or bring me any Christmas cookies!

Here's the moral to my story, "DON'T ANSWER THE DOOR"!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Since occupying this residence in March of this year, I've spent a large amount of time dealing with repair people. Virtually nothing in this place worked properly and if it did work, it leaked. First it was the washer and dryer, both. The dryer wouldn't heat up and wasn't even connected electrically or vented and I soon found out why. The washer wouldn't fill with water and I was advised that even though it appeared at the residence, it was not listed as part of the residence, (my error). So, I gave them away to the first repairman with a truck, that was willing to haul them off, upon the landlords instructions. When I asked for that authorization in writing, I was ignored. The kitchen faucet was frozen in place and needed to be replaced. The garbage disposal inoperative, frozen with a burned out motor and replaced. The dish washer leaked like a sieve. The water heater wouldn't heat water. The replacement washer and dryer, (mine) were never vented and I had to pay to repair my own washer. The toilet seat in the master bath required either a seat belt or replacement, I bought a new one. The landlord sent two plumbers, right off the boat from Bulgaria, that had little command of the English language and less experience in plumbing and they were in charge of this myriad of repairs. NOTHING went right. To flush the toilet in the master bath, the one I use, you have to hold the handle to make it continually flush the toilet. They put in the wrong flapper. The roof, although new, leaked like crazy and continues to leak after 5 different repairmen have been out, which leads to the reason for this text.  

When the new roof is exposed to rain, it leaks down through the cold air return. When the roof is not exposed to rain, it continues to leak there, as well. A week after our rather heavy rainstorm, the roof continued to leak for about a week, almost ruining the new carpeting that the landlord supplied. I started with putting pots and pans down, but quickly realized that it was not that severe and reduced the item to huge old ash trays that have been laying around my garage for 30 years, as that is when I quit smoking.

After being ignored by the landlord, I finally secured the number of the roofing company and called for yet another appointment for repair. The roofers ignored our appointment twice and finally showed up a day late, about 5:30 PM. on Tuesday, of this week. By the time they got here, it was pitch black outside, but the roofers assured me they had flashlights to perform my water test. Like second story men, they set up a ladder in the dark and climbed up on the roof, but only one of them, the boss of this outfit. He was a young, tall guy that SCREAMED whenever he spoke. I mean a really LOUD talker. Embarrassingly LOUD! I want to hold me ears, LOUD! The second guy, a guy named Rudy was instructed to go into the house with me and watch for water. Rudy asked me where the water was coming in and I told him to look at the ash tray on the floor and go up! Rudy went out to Billy Bob and handed my hose up to him and then came inside and went on patrol, watching for water. About 30 minutes later, I went to check on Rudy and he was laying on the floor with his trusty flashlight next to him on the floor. My real goal was to check on him to make sure he was going though my drawers. When I approached, I noticed that his eyes looked a little sleepy, like I had awakened him. He kind of jerked upon seeing me and so I offered him some refreshment, possibly a bottle of water? He said, no, he was fine. Just then, Billy Bob came walking through the front door and announced screaming, EVERYTHING LOOKS FINE UP THERE, IT MUST BE A FURNACE PROBLEM, as my ears were ringing from his loud intrusive voice, suddenly, Rudy jumped to his feet and yelled, LOOK, water!!!!

Billy Bob, runs outside and back up the ladder, as if suddenly he was going to be able to see where the water was going in. Now water is literally pouring into my house, running around like a waterfall and Billy Bob comes back down, trudges through the mud in doing so, and this time, after he dragged mud into the house, I stopped him at the door and he started screaming again. IT LOOKS FINE UP THERE, YOU HAVE A ROOF YOU CAN BE PROUD OF, and tells Rudy to pack up the tools and ladder. As Billy Bob stands there YELLING, I casually, trying desperately not to SCREAM, because that's a natural reaction when someone 
SCREAMS at you! I'm now worried that the neighbors will think there's a fight here. I mention that if everything looks fine, why is the water drenching the carpeting? He confesses that there was one spot he wasn't sure of, where the water could be coming in and then yells, "RUDY, PUT THE LADDER BACK UP"! Now it's about 7 PM and he climbs back up there with his trusty caulking gun and returns 10 minutes later with his going away words. WELL, IT'S ALL DONE. IT SHOULD HOLD NOW, IF IT DOESN'T, THERE'S NOTHING HE CAN DO! I went back into my house feeling sorry for Rudy. He has to hear that stuff everyday! If it leaks again, I'm buying bigger ash trays!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dear Ann Landers...


Well not Betty white... but can you still do the Horizontal Mambo? I'm a very passionate person when the relationship gets to that point. Men age differently so I'm asking. Fair question right? Janine" 

I received the above email this morning on a dating service and frankly, I don't have a clue on how to reply or if I should even reply at all. I read her online profile and in addition, she claims to be a 52 year old nurse, but pretty much covers the same point about sex to the general male population. My question to you kind people is, what if a man were to write a similar email to a lady and how would she receive it?

Dear Janine:

I see that you are divorced, but at the age of 52 many women have gone through menopause and I was wondering if we were to get involved with you, would you still be interested in having sex on a regular basis? I don't want to get involved with someone, spend my money and time on them and then learn that our relationship will only be platonic. That seems a fair question, right?

Dutch (My screen name)

If I were ever to write this to a lady, it would be after we'd met and spent some time together and had spoken at length. I thought this email was personal and invasive and made me like a piece of meat. (Do you think this is a sign of low testosterone?)

I thought of giving her references, but that would be as rude as her email to me.Then I realized I wasn't even attracted to her and gave up the thought completely, but worried that she would think I was impotent by not replying. I certainly thought that by the time I reached the ripe old age of 67, things like this would no longer be a hindrance, but life continues to shock and surprise me. 

My final question is, "Is Ann Landers still in business?"

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Jewish Phase, Final Phase

Here's a story that needs telling. I just concluded my Jewish dating phase. After being married to 3 non-Jewish women and coming from Jewish heritage, I thought perhaps I'd try women of my own faith, but it was useless. My second date with a Jewish woman just flat stood me up, making my third date with a Jewess less than desirable. But after changing my religion to Jewish from non-religious on the dating service, I attracted a number of Jewish women just on the merit of camaraderie. I made a date with Beth for pizza a couple of weeks ago and she was all gung ho. Then on that Saturday afternoon, I texted her my confirmation of our 7 o'clock date and her reply was, she'd love to, but has other plans! (Yeah, with me!) I just ignored her reply and deleted her phone number.

Enter Agnes. (not her real name, but who really cares?) Agnes is 61 and showed pretty well on her online pictures and a new member of (I like 'em fresh) I'd seen her picture and profile on another dating service, but wrote and got no reply. She claimed she was seeing someone, but he snored, so she never replied. Now that I was Jewish and so was she, we had something in common. Agnes was 5' 4" and 120 lbs with blond hair. We exchanged a couple of emails and finally exchanged phone numbers. She called me about an hour later. We talked for about an hour and did our Jewish geography. She was from Toledo, Ohio and I from Chicago, Illinois. I'm 67 and she's 61. We both live in fairly close proximity and we're both single for over 10 years, she 19, me 11. We made a date for Friday evening and she asked where I would take her. I replied my old standard, Tutti Santi's, an upscale Italian restaurant. She seemed excited about that, commenting that she'd never been there, but was looking forward to it! Then Thursday she kind of disappeared and I couldn't reach her by phone. I called her about 7:30 and never got a return call. The following day, the same thing. Then about 5 PM on Friday, I get an email from her on, saying that her phone battery is dead and that's where she has my phone number and gave me another phone number to reach her at. I called. Here is her dilemma. She broke her glasses and has to overnight them to another state to have new ones made and she is reluctant to wear her old ones, as they're not as nice. (so far, I HATE her excuse) I don't wear glasses, but this is 2013 and I'm pretty sure you can get glasses the same day in an emergency. Honestly, I just wasn't in the mood to go out on Friday night and offered to change the date to Saturday night if she were free? She was. I made it for 7 PM and she agreed.

Now, Saturday rolled around, it always does! I sat around all day doing things around the house and didn't even take a shower until 5 PM. I proceeded to plan my attire for the evening, trimmed my beard, even used deodorant AND cologne. Now I looked okay and didn't even stink. My only problem was I was early. It was only 6 PM and I was ready to go. She had told me that her car was in the shop and I arranged to pick her up and that would take only 30 minutes at the outside. I didn't have the patience to just sit around and wrinkle my fresh shirt, so I decided to hop into the car and go to the grocery store to buy her flowers. (Flowers will get you laid!).Knowing that I was doing the right thing, I confidently walked into Fry's and looked for the florist section. There standing behind the counter was a plump 18 year old girl, at her part time job. She asked what she could help me with and I said I needed "First date flowers", she said, huh? After repeating myself, she said, "I have just the thing for you". She pulled out an assortment of dead flowers for $5. I smiled and said, I'll take 'em. Hopping into my freshly washed car, I threw the passion flowers on the floor and headed to her house.

Now, I don't have anything that resembles a sense of direction and Agnes lived in the center of a maze. If she had put cheese in her driveway, it would have helped, but no. I finally called her on one of her numbers and she answered. She said she could hear my car, I just passed her house. (How could she hear my car?) I look at the house behind me and it's completely dark, but there is in fact a woman wearing white, waving to me. Whew! I park the noisy car and approach Agnes and she seemed fine (in the dark). I was invited inside where I was greeted by the cutest little dog I'd seen in a long time. It was a Dachshund, that I'm usually not too fond of, but this one changed my mind. He was wagging his little tail so hard it wasn't even visible, just a blur. Then I looked at Agnes and I evidently got there too late. She had already begun to melt. What used to be her cheeks, were now her jowls and there was a gullet (like mine) under her chin. I know I'm sounding critical, but when a lady posts a picture that is a few years old, it's difficult to accept that this is now what she looks like, but I'm willing to accept all of that, if she is a nice person? We walked out and that was my first surprise. She doesn't lock her door. I mention it to her and she says she never does. (note to self, don't marry her).

We walk to my car and as a gentleman, I open the door for her. We drive to the restaurant and chat a bit. when we arrive, I find a spot in the handicapped parking, as a placard owner, it's legit! I got out of the car and noticed that she wasn't moving, she just sat there, not even opening her door. Was she expecting me to open it? Taking her lead, I walked over to the side of the car, primarily to see if she'd had a stroke and opened her door. She handed me her hand and smiled, as if the trained monkey had learned his lesson. That's when she explained that she insists that the gentleman open all doors for her, (OMG!).She objects to my parking place, as I can walk.(no comment). Tutti Santi's at 64th and Greenway is frickin' mobbed, but I see Lao, the owner. I've been going to this restaurant for 20 years or longer and have never had the occasion to ask for any favors. Lao greets me, as he always does and I ask if he can squeeze me in. He flatly says, no. I admire his integrity, but also need to eat. I graciously tell him I'll try another of his locations and leave with Agnes saying, "what's going on"? I explain that I didn't get any preferential treatment and we're going to head for his 59th Ave location, it's much larger and quite nice. She wasn't impressed, but I had no choice, did I? We discussed that neither of us loved the West side of town, as I had lived there for a short time and just liked Scottsdale better. We discussed her deceased husband, a lawyer and her 3 children and mine.

We arrive at the 59th Ave shopping center and honestly, I can't recall exactly where the restaurant is, but remember it's kind of hard to find. This doesn't stop Agnes from telling me where to turn, kind of like a nagging wife would act. We found it, I got out of the car and as usual, Agnes just sat there. I kind of wished it were summer, so I could stall and sweat her out! We enter though the kitchen and I think Agnes kind of liked that and we were seated by a 12 year old girl that evidently worked there. We ordered after chatting for a time and Agnes ordered a $26 piece of dead fish, sighting that she had looked up the menu online and that they offer gluten free pasta. I asked her if she were allergic to gluten and she said no, but it makes her crave sugar. Confused, I changed the topic. The reason that I wanted to go to Tutti Santi's was, I had been craving their linguine with clam sauce for a couple of weeks, so I ordered it. I did my usual joking with the wait staff when Agnes told me not to, they don't like it. At some point Agnes asked to see my driver's license and I'm sure she checked my age, when I asked for hers. She said she didn't have it.The check came and Agnes offered to pay the check, but didn't have a purse. Naturally, I paid it. I drove home slowly and asked if Agnes wanted to try Eli's to dance, but she explained that she didn't dance. Wow, that's like a monkey that doesn't eat bananas! She said we could go back to my house to talk and I thought she was wanting romance, but honestly, I just wasn't into it. We pulled into my driveway, where Agnes sat waiting for her grand exit from my car. It was really starting to piss me off! I've always enjoyed being a gentleman, but when it's ordered, it's kind of rude.

We sat next to one another for about an hour and I just wasn't feeling it, when Agnes said she had a busy day on Sunday and we packed up to take her home. We arrived at her house and all I could think about was that this is the last time I have to open the door for her. She hugged me goodnight, I gave her a peck and left. I am definitely done looking for Jewish women and will probably not even date for awhile. The following day, I remembered I had this picture of her cute pup and sent it to her. She replied with a thank you for a lovely evening and a notice of no romantic interest. Ya think?

Monday, November 4, 2013

United Health Care is without a CARE...

Is it just me or are we all living in a world of strange, unusual change? Early this year, my insurance carrier, United Health Care, contacted me to let me know that they now have a program that will cover my dental and visual needs at no additional charge, all I have to do is switch to that program. I was all for it. No additional charge and plenty of additional coverage. I bit!

The first thing that happened was, I went to local pharmacy and tried to pick up my monthly prescriptions and was told my new insurance company does not cover some of my drugs..........what??? I had to have my doctor's office write letters saying that I needed precisely that drug, not some generic equivalent. A new letter is required every 6 months. No big deal, just a little disconcerting. Then the letters and phone calls started. All of the letters are of little interest and I toss them daily into the trash. The phone calls come almost every morning and they are generated by robots, no human involvement. If I don't answer, which is my option, they repeat the phone calls until I finally return the call with a pin number and am then told by a recording, it's time to refill a prescription.........What??? All of my life, whenever it was time to refill a prescription, I would do it by noticing the little container was empty OR close to empty, I didn't need a reminder. How infuriating!

Everyday it's something with United Health Care. One day, I received a letter saying to call a certain number or to fill out the ridiculous questionnaire and mail it back to them. I decided it was easier to call and do it over the phone. I get another robot and am humiliated into answering questions of a rather personal nature to a recording. For example: Do you sometimes feel depressed and that life is not worth living and you would be better off dead? My answer was: Only when I have to answer questions to a recording! I then told the recording that I wanted to end "it's" life! Evidently, I passed the psycho test, they stopped calling anyway.

Next, they assign me a new primary care physician, right here in Scottsdale. My old one wasn't on their list of okay doctors. I try to make a call to this doctors office to get a flu shot, only to find that he or she does not have an office, he is mobile. Kind of like Meals on Wheels for health care. So, when the little girl tells me that there is no office for me to come to and the doctor does not offer flu shots, I was S-O-L! Then she starts reading off of a script and says, "Wouldn't it be nice to have the doctor come visit you?" I yelled, "Hell no" and hung up! Now it was back to UHC for a new primary care physician.

They assigned me this time to a Hollis Underwood, just around the corner from me, but once again, no flu shots. I explain that I should probably have an appointment with my new PCP, just so I can call and get referrals to other doctors, if the time comes that I need one. The very professional receptionist informs me that her first appointment is in February.. Wait, it gets better. She then tells me that in spite of the fact that I have full medicare and a supplement with United Health Care (UHC), I am still required to issue them a check for $150 annually, for administrative costs!

I instantly got so mad that words would not form in my mouth, so I did what any sane person would do and just hung up! Wouldn't you?

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Jewish (JAP) Phase...

I seem to be going though  a phenomenon known as my Jewish Phase. Here's how it all came about. I got an email from a woman named Bonnie, that was and is Jewish. Although I never met her, she remembered me and contacted me when she realized that she had a girlfriend that I might like, I didn't, but that part will come later. The woman was at the time, vacationing in a place called Canada (who goes to Canada for a vacation?) About a month later, this woman Bonnie, the wannabee matchmaker, writes me and says she showed my Plenty of Fish profile to her friend, Bertha and she liked me. Oh joy! Bertha then decided her plan of action should be, to join Plenty of Fish and await my solicitation of her profile for her to meet me for lunch or something. At this point I'm sent a photo of the lovely Bertha and I decide that she is lunch worthy. I tell Bonnie that the plan is a little on the ridiculous side and I ask for her email address. I write to dear old Bertha, age 63 and she eventually (2 days later) replies. I find her boring and pretty low key and I'm pretty doubtful as to whether we are any kind of a match, but I keep thinking, maybe she is still THE ONE!

Knowing that Bertha lives around Paradise Valley Mall, I'm trying to think of a restaurant that is near her and I immediately think of Chili's. I know that Chili's is not a wonderful place, but the last time I had been there, (10 years prior) it was suitable for a "meet and greet" lunch. We arrange to meet about 1:30, to avoid the lunch crowd. I arrived first, right on time and Bertha walked in about 30 seconds later. She was short, about 5' 2", as she had explained and very thin with red frizzy hair, wearing large dark sunglasses. The hostess looked at me and said, "two"? I said yes and she lead us towards our booth at my request, instead of a table. I motioned for Bertha to walk in front of me, as I had been taught as a child and Bertha said, "No, you go first"! Smiling, I took her arm and put her in front off me, as manners legislated. I could see that Bertha was extremely intimidated. We were seated and given menus. Bertha was still wearing her sunglasses, almost as a hiding place, when I asked if she were going to keep her sunglasses on through the entire meal? She replied, "Oh, I didn't notice" and she took them off and quietly slipped them into the bags under her eyes!!! That's pretty much when the date was over for me. Bertha was 63 and that's the age when it can go either way for a lady and evidently Bertha took the wrong direction. She had that old lady look. I felt sorry for her, but that's as far as I could go. I'm always polite, even when I'm not attracted to a lady, but can hardly feel like there is a future. That's around the time that the complaining began. I asked if there were anything on the menu that caught her attention and she replied, "come on, it's Chili's". That's when I noticed that the table was sticky and Bertha answered, "what did you expect?" I didn't answer and waited while Bertha thoroughly read the menu in search of anything that might meet her caloric requirements. After 7 or 8 minutes of dead silence, Bertha announced that she would like the flat bread and soup special. I ordered the chicken sandwich that comes with Swiss cheese and bacon, one of my former favorites. Desperate for topics to discuss, we struggled until the food finally came affording me a new topic of "How is your fricking food"? I specifically asked how the soup was, as it was packed with vegetables and she replied that it was dry! Searching for an answer, I had none! I ate my sandwich and kept my mouth as fully packed as possible at all times. Wouldn't you???

The waitress finally brought the check and I took it. Bertha quickly announced, thank you for lunch and I replied that I'm only grabbing it so I could hand it to you. The look on her face was priceless. She had that, I'm not paying for nuthin' look, when I told her I was only joking with her, it will be my pleasure. The waitress asked if she wanted to take her half eaten massacred entree home and she replied, "No, it was awful". (But free).

We walked to the door and this was the very first time in my life that I did not walk the lady to her car, I just said, see ya and got into my car and split...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Surprise Arizona, a Horrible Place to Die...

My day started badly and progressively got worse. That's a horrible way to start any day, but if you read on you'll understand. I had been speaking with a woman that lived close and in spite of the fact that she was not attractive to me, she seemed nice. I made a date with her to ride along with me to Surprise Arizona, where I would pick up my deceased son's personal effects. To get to this point was no easy task, as the police department was less than helpful, every step of the way. Here's a fact, "The Surprise Police DO NOT return calls"! Unless you break a law, you will not hear from them.........period!

Shortly after my son's demise, I contacted the Surprise cops to ask what I needed to do to find out his cause of death, as he was found in a Surprise hotel room, dead. The officer after many tries, finally called me back to tell me that the procedure is, that they send out his blood to two separate labs in two separate parts of the country for analysis and if they agree, it should only take about 3 months to get the results, however if they differ, it will take 4 months for the final results, due to a third test. He assured me that they would call me immediately after they were returned. Three months came and went and no return call, so I assumed it would take 4 months and continued to wait. after 4 months, still no call, so I began my quest to contact them. I began calling and leaving messages on 10/3 and left several voice mails for the detective department, but nothing. Finally, I called and spoke with what I assumed was a desk clerk and he asked me several questions and told me to call an additional number and that would be the detective in charge of the case. Two days later, she returned my call and told me that the desk clerk was wrong, she was NOT on that case, so it was back to step one. Then she gave me the number of another detective who WAS on the case, but was on vacation for a few days. A few days later, detective number 2 calls me and tells me that she is indeed the correct person, but I need to call the evidence department and make an appointment and she proceeded to give me the case number and told me I needed to call and set up a time, but they told me that they were there all day and was I coming today, Thursday. I said, yes! She said, see you tomorrow and I hung up.

Back now to my drive along date with the woman. We agreed, since she had a Meet-Up date with a group of people that enjoy Ethiopian food (WTF?) she wouldn't be available until 1:30 or so. At about 1:15 she calls and sounds like she's confused. Our prior agreement was that she would ride with me to Surprise to get to know one another. (Sure beats driving alone, I thought) She told me she lived only a block from my old address, so when she called, I asked for her street number on Paradise Lane. She was reluctant to give that to me and wanted to meet somewhere. I said, okay, how about the Circle K at the corner. She said, wonderful. Then she asked where we would go? I said, Surprise, to pick up my son's belongings. She said, I'll just follow you! I'm thinking that although she is a nurse, she's certainly not a brain surgeon! I calmly explained that it would defeat the purpose. The purpose being that we could ride and talk. She said she didn't feel comfortable riding along in the same car. I explained that it would have been nice if she'd told me that hours ago, instead of having me wait all morning for her to stuff starving people's food into her mouth and what kind of people eat Ethiopian food, if you're not Ethiopian? I hung up and angrily hopped into my car mumbling stuff...

Now for the looooon boooooring ride to a place called Surprise, Arizona. I arrived in Surprise.......surprise, but could not for the life of me locate the police department. I considered breaking a few laws to get noticed and have the police come to me, but decided it was not in my best interest. I found a shopping center and it had a Walmart, but I couldn't find a greeter or anyone that spoke English and decided to search some more. Having the address was useless. Where the address took me, AND my cell phone GPS, was just a block wall, that ran for blocks. I found an unmarked driveway that looked to me like a construction site and low and behold, there was the address written on a building way back from the street and it said 17274 and "Evidence". That was it! It had several doors, but they were all locked, plus I imagined walking in and several cops pulling out their guns and yelling, "GET ON THE GROUND", then firing at me. At the back of the secret building, there was a single door and above it, it said Entrance. Finally, my journey looked like it was coming to an end. With me, I had the death certificate, as instructed and my personal identification. I entered a small block room, about 7 X 7 and a bullet proof glass window like the tellers have and a motel bell with no one around. I dinged the bell and a nice young lady entered and said, hello. "Do you have ID?" I was about to say, yes, when she said she didn't need it, she knew who I was because of my 3 o'clock appointment. I asked how she knew I was her 3 o'clock appointment because I was told I didn't need an appointment, just to come in. The girl said, "Oh my!" I said I was there to pick up my deceased son's effects and she said, she works in another department, the girl that's allowed to go into the evidence room in not here. I'm starting to boil again and this time I'm not going to mumble! As I was planning my attack on the Surprise Police Department, she interrupted me and said, the girl I need to see has a 3 PM appointment and she knows she'll be back by then. It was a long ride to Surprise and I asked if I could use their bathroom? She said, it's across the street at Walmart, sorry. I had an hour to kill anyway, why not? I left walking with my legs very close together and headed to Walmart, when I realized that this may just be the Walmart that all the hideous pictures and jokes were taken at! Walking across the parking lot were 3 young ladies with their yoga pants so tight, that I think I spotted a hemorrhoid!

Once I entered Walmart, I realized that they had their Halloween costumes on sale and considered buying a clown costume so I'd fit right in with the Surprise Police! Instead, I saw there was a McDonalds and decided a quick "pick me up" was in order. I used the restroom and watched some really freaky people eating. Checking the time, I realized I'd killed enough of it and headed back to the Evidence department. I already mention that the 7 X 7 room was made from block, but I didn't mention the awful acoustics if offered. It was like being in an echo chamber or trying to use a cell phone with AT&T as your carrier! VERY ANNOYING to speak and hear your own voice bounce back at you. Maybe that's how they keep people form screaming at them. As I walked in this time, I was greeted by a young lady in uniform and I was pleased to see some professionalism, finally. But I came to my conclusion too soon. It was not a good sign that this lady knew who I was and started back-stepping immediately about a small problem. She cannot release some of the evidence, as it is an ongoing case. I asked what piece of evidence it was and she replied, his cell phone. I said, that's fine, keep the cell phone. Then she told me that detective Stoopid never signed off on anything and she cannot get in touch with her and how does she know I'm who I claim to be anyway? I said, Duh, because I have ID and the Death Certificate! That's when I realized she was not authorized to release anything to anyone and it really wasn't her fault. I told her that only one word comes to mind when reviewing this entire incident and that word is "UNPROFESSIONAL"! Frowning she agreed. She told me I was welcome to wait, I laughed. What exactly am I waiting for? She replied, you're waiting for detective Stoopid to call and release everything. I smiled and told her that I'm here to pick up these things, because it's the right thing to do. Not because I want a suitcase of soiled clothing from my dead son. I told her when it's finally released, to just throw it away and left.

I was going to suggest that the Surprise Police should exchange their uniforms for clown costumes, but kept it to myself.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 and Ambien, Uh Oh!

Around the time that my son passed away, I developed a horrible case of insomnia and a friend of mine, who happens to be an MD, prescribed Ambien. If you know anything about Ambien, it does have some unusual side effects, to say the least. Knowing this, I never leave the house after taking it, but rather stay home and embarrass myself in privacy. I've used this drug in the past as well.

So one night about 3 months ago, it's about 3 AM and of course I'm wide awake and drop a pill. Still, I cannot sleep, so I get out of bed and decide to surf the web. I have an old AOL address that I do not use, so after retiring from Match about 18 months ago, instead of putting up with all the spam mail Match distributes, I change my address with them and send the junk mail to my AOL account. Problem solved.

So here it is about 3 AM when I get up and look for something to do. I decide to check this AOL account to see how many winks and flirts and emails I have, just to occupy myself. Sure enough, I've got about 300 emails from Match and I happen to notice that I have 26 current emails from women. Emails drop off after 30 days, so that's a lot for a man number one and in addition, I had hidden my profile prior to my last membership expiring. I'm thinking, why? Did I get featured as the fool of the month? Was someone that I knew trying desperately to get in touch with me? Had I won something? Here's the deal. They tell you that you have a gazillion women interested in you to get you to rejoin, but will not let you see who they're from or what the emails say. I go back to bed, but still can't drift off, even drugged. Anyone with insomnia knows that one trip to the kitchen is not enough, so it's up out of bed again and I keep staring at the 26 nameless emails and figure, I MUST find out what's up. Back to the bedroom, but this time to get my wallet with it's credit card inside and plop down $85 so I can read my 26 emails. I'm drugged remember?

Rubbing my hands together, I'm audibly announcing, "come on baby, give it to me" (the emails, of course) and voila, here they are, right before my very eyes. Twenty-six of these babies. As I begin, I see that one screen name is repeated about 15 times. In other words, one woman sent me 15 of the 26 emails and that woman from the looks of it is 75 years old, white haired and plump, living in Nebraska, hmm..... What could she want? As I read the first email, it wasn't really an email. It held one word describing the pose I was in, in that particular photo and there were 15 photos. Each email read, "STANDING, SITTING, SIDE VIEW, OUT HOUSE, WITH DOG, MORE DOG, and so forth. She was obviously suffering from dementia, poor thing. I deleted he emails and still had another 11 to look at. These were all from out of state and from elderly women that evidently took Ambien too!

So here I am on at age 67, $85 poorer and the victim of a process that evidently works. I've dated a few women, so it really wasn't a waste of time and money. Some were great, others were not so great, but they represent the title of this old worn out blog.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Aftermath of Max...

I slept late today and rightly so, I was bushed. I spent the entire day with Max, my 9 year old grandson, the son of Brad, my 40 year old son. Brad and his wife went to the Cardinals game and I am always more than pleased to drop down to Max's age for about 8 hours or maybe even 9 and spend the day with him? He reminds me of things I haven't remembered in many, many years. Like putting your finger into your mouth and popping your cheek while watching TV, kind of a lost art. The highlight of the day was when around 4:30 PM, I lost him, but I'll get to that later.

I just walked into the restroom and noticed that the mirror over the sink was a continuous mass of water spots, as though someone had washed their hands and dried them directly on the mirror. I remember how that one happened. Max had just finish 1/2 a box of Oreos and walked into the TV room and I said, Max, go wash your hands and he did! After washing his hands, he came to me and asked if I had any toothpaste, as he wanted to brush his teeth too. I took him to my bedroom bathroom and offered him a squeeze of toothpaste, but not before he quizzed me on the brand and flavor. I suggested he try it, brush it around his mouth and teeth and if he didn't like it to just spit it out and left him to his own devices. I DID NOT intend on him spitting the toothpaste onto the mirror however! Last night when I went to bed and read for a time, I realized he had turned the room fan to high and investigated my Kindle. If you've ever used a Kindle to read, you know that it doesn't calibrate in pages, but rather it shows percentages of the book already read. I had just spent a week reading a book and I only had about 5% left, about 50 pages. When I picked up my Kindle and started where I had thought I'd left off, it read 77%, meaning that Max had changed my reading spot to where he was strumming through. Ten minutes later, when what I was reading sounded awfully familiar, I realized what he had done and smiled, taking another 20 minutes to find my place.

Normally, I keep at least an ear on Max's behavior, if he's out of sight, but yesterday our cable went out, along with the TV, modem and wi-fi. This all occurred around 5 minutes after Max was showing me that I don't need a remote to operate my DVD player. I'm not accusing him, but just a strange coincidence. I literally had to spend about 2 hours on the phone with Cox. During that time while I was occupied with a lady named Tammi from Cox, in upstate New York, Max was in the bathroom sending me text messages and photos of my shower head from his Kindle Fire, that his grandmother sent him. I think that was around the time that I noticed my kitchen floor was covered with Oreo crumbs and every door frame in the house was showing 9 year old finger prints in dark brown Oreo stains or it could have been from the chocolate covered ice cream sandwich he had. I don't think there were too many times through out the day that Max wasn't eating something, when suddenly he announced he was HUNGRY! I looked at my watch and noticed it was getting close to the time we had to get to his hockey game. I remembered some burgers I had cooked and frozen and he agreed to eat one of those, but wanted ketchup, lettuce and tomatoes on it. Whoops, no lettuce. I don't have lettuce. Men living alone don't eat enough lettuce to have it last for more than one sandwich, so it's too perishable for most bachelors. An actual light ignited over my head as I asked a dumb question. Do you like McDonalds. Max yelled "Big Mac"! We didn't have time to get dressed, pack up his huge bag full of equipment and eat an entire Big Mac, so I suggested a regular burger. Max assured me that he could eat a Big Mac faster than anyone he knew and when we got there, he ate his Big Mac faster than I thought prudent, but including napkin wipes, Max broke every record known to mankind and some women too! I'd say, 2 minutes flat! I was still eating my regular burger when he grabbed my fries and asked if could finish them in the car. As he dragged me out the door of Mickey D's, I was forced to drink my Coke in the car. By the time I got the Volvo into gear, Max's cheeks were full and he handed me the empty fries bag.

As we pulled into the skating rink parking lot, Max was out the door and we needed to get his bag out of the truck. Accomplishing that, we headed towards the front door, when I realized I'd forgotten my sweatshirt. In an effort to keep the ice from melting, the arena is kept at about 55 degrees (guessing) and the last time I almost froze. With Max wheeling his huge bag, I told him to go ahead, I'd meet him inside as I went to get my sweatshirt. I had to walk maybe 15 feet back to my car and grab the sweatshirt and did. When I got inside, Max was nowhere to be found. I started checking dressing rooms, but could not find Max! I believe the word for it would be semi-panic. There were a lot of dressing rooms and a lot more kids. In one dressing room, I told some father that I was looking for my grandson. He asked me what team my grandson was on and of course I didn't know. He asked me how old he was and I said, 9. He asked what his name was and Told him Max. With a smile he said, "well, there's Max, right there!" I apologized and said, "Sorry, wrong Max"! (Imagine that guy trying to pawn off the wrong Max?) I went all over and finally called my son Brad, at the Cardinals game. Of course he couldn't hear me and the call was dropped several times. We were both in noisy arenas with heavy cell phone traffic. I finally got his text saying that Max was #13 and on the Bruins and that Brad would be here in a little while, the football game was over.

At some point, I spotted number 13 on the ice, he'd gotten dressed himself and I was certainly relieved. Just then, Brad walked in with a smile on his face, pointing to Max on the ice and what could have been a disaster was averted. I'd say that off hand, I'd walked/ran about a mile in an indoor arena circling the ice and locker room areas, Great exercise, huh? WHEW!

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Son Passed Away...

I haven't written anything in months, I just didn't feel that feeling that tells you to share your thoughts. Many things have occurred in my life, not all of them good.

On 5/20/13, I got a 6 AM call from my first wife, that I ignored. She's on my DNA list. DO NOT ANSWER. Everyone has a DNA list, you just may not call it that? You know the one, you keep their number and name on your phone, so if they call you DO NOT ANSWER. She was persistent and rightly so, as the news was horrible. My 43 year old son was found dead in a hotel room in Surprise, AZ. My former wife was in shock and not making a lot of sense. She was flying to AZ from Florida and was arriving the following day, but in the meanwhile, a lot needed to be done. No one gives you instructions on what to do when a family member dies and it's what you can improvise. My ex was determined to have him go to his final resting place wearing a Cubs jacket and hat, so my other son and I shopped for those items. Brad was wonderful and took charge of many of the final decisions. We shopped and had lunch and discussed what to do with his mother when she arrived. She and I have been divorced since 1980 and there was no love lost between us. She was without funds and nowhere to stay. I offered her accommodations with me, but she declined mentioning that she would rather stay in a hotel. With a shoulder shrug, I gave the idea a full, "okay"! When she arrived, she had decided to stay with me after realizing what a hotel or even a motel would cost, but she never did tell me. She announced it when we picked her up at the airport. Oh well, here we go again... No communication.

After researching the pros and cons of the different options when a loved one passes, Brad and I decided to have our son and brother cremated. Now, the job was to sell that idea to his mother. I have been in AZ for 40 years and this is my home, however Stu had only been here a few years, yet Chicago, where we are all from, held nothing for any of us, plus we'd have to fly his remains across country to purchase a plot and have him buried. Cremation just made more sense. The funny thing about my former wife, if we told her we decided to have him cremated here, she would fight it with everything she had. So our plan was to have her think of it and we were planning to just agree. (And there lies the reason that the marriage did not work)

So Brad and I laid out all the reasons on a table in black and white and scratched our heads on what to do. Barbara looked over the figures and the costs and said, "Cremation seems to make more sense". We made the proper calls, but only after a deep breath was enjoyed by Brad and I.

The crematorium arranged to pick up the remains and there was a showing for the immediate family and that was it. Brad and I had been estranged from his brother for about 17 years. His mother had not seen him for several years. During that time of estrangement, Stu had converted to Baptist and belonged to a church in Surprise. Members of his church had arranged a memorial service and we all attended it the following day. 

Mama flew home to her own life and Brad went back to work. I picked up his ashes a few days later and here they remain while everyone decides on what to do with them. It's just over 4 months ago that all of this took place and we still don't have a cause of death from the State of AZ., however it appears that he took his own life.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

This House May be Haunted...

I've been living in one home or another for about 67 years now and never in those past years have I ever experience any of the things that I'm about to share with you. First, it was about 4 days ago that I retired to my bedroom to read about midnight and about 20 minutes into reading, I heard a crash that about lifted me out of the bed. I almost levitated from the shock of the unexpected noise. After calming down, I got out of bed to investigate the source of the strange loud noise. Nothing! I looked everywhere. Finally, I slid open the closet that is in the adjoining bathroom in the master bedroom and noticed that I ran out of clothes before getting to the third section of that closet and had left it empty. The closet has one of those closet packages, where there are shelves and hanging rods, depending upon your specific needs. In the third position or section, there were a series of shelves that were completely unused and the top shelf was laying upon the one below it and the supports that held it up were also missing, but found on the second shelf, under the top shelf. I know that's confusing, but picture a shelf that has unexpectedly fallen straight down one to it's next position. A light bulb lit over my head and I realized I had found the source of my crash! I went back to my book, but not before making a mental note to put something on those empty shelves...

When I moved into this house, the toilet seat in the master bathroom required a seat belt, so as not to fall off of it. So, being the owner of a toilet seat that I had been storing for about 4 years in various garages, I simply took my brand new toilet seat out of the plastic that I had stored it and installed it onto the commode. That's when I noticed that the stored toilet seat had just about disintegrated from AZ's summer heat. I laughed as I tossed the second toilet seat into the dumpster. I went to my new favorite store and asked the nice people at Walmart to show me to the toilet seat section, but only after finding someone that spoke English. I found and purchased a new wooden toilet seat, for the mere price of $13.95 and it didn't even require a seat belt! Taking home my newest purchase, I quickly installed it and have had the relief and pleasure of using it for the past couple of weeks. That being said, last night, about 10 minutes after getting into bed to finish the horrible book I'd been reading, AGAIN, there was a terrible crash in my sleeping quarters restroom. This time, the loud noise actually levitated me and cause goose bumps that covered my entire body and stayed for several seconds and left me shaking. HOLY CRAP, what's going on? This time, the first place I went was to the toilet seat and it was in the down position, you know, the ways ladies like it and I had just used it and knew it was up!!! In my entire life, a toilet seat has never, on it's own, changed positions. That's freaking haunted!

Another sure sign that your house is haunted, is a cat sitting on your roof at about 5 PM (I looked it up). This one, I did not see coming. Yesterday, right at 5 PM, I happened to gaze out the window and this is what I saw!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Life with a Double Amputee...

The title is a little deceiving, but I wanted to get your attention. Now that you're here, here is the real story. My dining room table and I had a horrible day yesterday. The day involved the loss of 2 legs, a lot of blood and sadness all around.

In 1980, I became a single man, after a 12 year marriage that failed miserably. I moved out of the family dwelling and found a townhouse to rent. I had little in the way of furnishings and needed everything. My first trip to the grocery store involved the purchase of a steak, plastic utensils and a sharp knife, to cut the steak. After broiling my dinner, I looked around and saw no where to sit and made a mental note to buy a table and chairs, so I did, (but not until I ate the steak). The following day I found a store with a "Going out of business" sign in their window and bought a solid oak wall unit and a matching dining room table with 4 chairs. I was set! 

Here it is 33 years later and until last year, when I abandoned the oak wall unit, those two items were still doing their job of filling my rooms and had served me well over the years. For the last 3 years, my oak table resided in a storage unit and a couple of garages, but were still considered family. Upon moving into this house last week, my table came out of retirement and proudly took it's place in my new dining area. Life had not always been so good for my table and chairs however. When we lived in the "big house" in North Scottsdale for almost 20 years, I became host to an out of town friend that was forced to reside in Scottsdale for a time, due to his wife breaking her back in a car accident. Doug and his wife lived in Sedona. He would come down every weekend to visit his wife in the hospital here at the Barrows Institute, after her back surgery. Sometimes alone and sometimes with his 2 daughters. I was married to wife number 3 at the time and we were happy to have him occupy our guest room. One night, while eating dinner, Doug leaned back in his chair and was balancing on the 2 rear legs when the chair totally collapsed leave the chair in pieces and Doug on his ass! I think that's the night Doug began his diet. Doug, an attorney, and I was sure he was going to sue me, got up, brushed himself off, assured me he was okay and said, "I'll bet you that's going to cost you a pretty penny"! (he was right) My wife and I decided to discard the remaining 3 chairs and have new ones made by a local furniture manufacturer. The year was 1998 and we'd had good service from the set and weren't ready to retire the table, as it matched our kitchen cabinets. The 4 chairs cost us about $1200 and when I say us, I mean me.

So here we are at the new house and I notice that the leaf is not in the table making it the size of a card table, which is okay, but why bother to store the leaf and the piece of custom glass that I had made for it? I decide that the right thing to do is to insert the leaf, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Go figure, but the table has warped from the heat of the garages and is frozen solid in it's current position. priding myself at being the king of solutions, I first try using a tire iron to pry it apart, but unless I'm very careful, I could do more damage than good. Scratching my head for about 30 minutes and thinking, I decide to use a hammer on the underside of the beast and hammer it apart. It's working, but extremely slow going. I counted and for every 20 whacks with the hammer, I'm moving the warped work about 1/4 inch and I have 18 1/4 inches to go. My next brainstorm was to get the accordion jack out of the Volvo and use it on the table, but first I have to prop the table up on something, so I use my briefcase on one side and a soup pot on the other. Try to imagine a visual of my task. I'm also using my trusty hammer and wooden cutting board to absorb some of the impact of the hammer. Now I've got the table opened about 12 inches and only have another 6 plus inches to go when I realize that the jack is opened to it's maximum, so it's back to whacking it with a hammer. This process, so far, has taken about 3 hours and no telling how many neighbors I've pissed off with my loud hammering. Suddenly, and suddenly may have been the wrong word, because I only measured my progress about 200 times along the way, I had reached my goal and it was now time to slide the leaf into the waiting opening (sounds kind of sexual, or is it just me?) I get the leaf in, but the table now doesn't want to close, it's still fighting me every bit of the way. I only need to move it about 1/4 of an inch, but where will I hammer on it? I use my wooden cutting board to whack it on the outside of the side of the table and break the cutting board in half with the first smash. (Note to self: Replace cutting board) Now using 1/2 of the cutting board, I finish my task and get the leaf in place and voila, I'm ready to go! All I have to do is put the table back up on it's legs and push it into place...

This is precisely what happened when I attempted to do that. This may have been God's way of telling me that oak is out! The picture below tells it all!

Bulk trash collection is April 1, I already checked!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Move...

Chuck's Movers (623) 234-3778

It was a Sunday, about eleven days ago and the movers called and said they could fit me in on Sunday, today! LJ had just finished helping me load the first load onto her truck, after being the victim of a series of collapsing shelves. She really did pretty well, only bleeding from one arm. We drove to the new house in 2 vehicles, driving really slowly, so as not to lose her load. We no sooner arrived at the new house when my phone rang and it was Chuck, my mover, saying he was just 5 minutes away from my old place. Running around like a Keystone Cop, I apologized to LJ for abandoning her, but I HAD to be there when the movers arrived. She said she'd unload the truck by herself, along with Macy's help. Macy is a dog! I thought she was joking as I drove back to the old house at 90 MPH. 

About an hour later, Chuck and his helper had loaded the first run to the new place, when my phone rang and it was LJ. She explained that she and Macy had finished unloading her truck and were on their way to get some burgers, what do I want on mine? I couldn't believe she had actually unloaded that thing alone, some of that stuff was pretty heavy!

When the movers and I showed up, LJ was sitting on my new patio eating her burger and Macy was chewing on hers. The garage was fully packed with things from her truck and everything was nicely put away. I could hardly believe my eyes! The movers, Chuck and his 16 year old nephew worked fast and soon the truck was on it's way back for the second load.

Now I've used Chuck before and he's unbelievably inexpensive, quick and efficient. His overhead is nil and works out of an old pickup truck and a trailer of his own. After the second load was in place, I asked if there was a goat that we could tie to the back of the trailer, just for effect? In addition to Chuck being extremely strong, he's pretty quick-witted. The above picture was taken a little too soon, as there was still a reclining chair that went on top of the 2 black couches. It was a good thing there were no bridges to go under! The entire move cost me $260, plus a tip. My previous movers charged me $800 plus, for the same load, plus they stole my jewelry!

Now I've been in this house for about 11 days and finally got most of the repairs done. Here is a list of the things that didn't work. Dish washer leaked heavily, garbage disposal inoperative, faucet in the kitchen leaked and was frozen in place, washer and dryer were both inoperative, shower leaked, and the vent for the dryer was blocked. Everything has been fixed or replaced, I threw out the washer and dryer and used my own that I had just bought before moving here. Here is a biggy! The toilet seat in the master bath required a seat belt to stay on it. Today, Walmart was kind enough to sell me one that had no bad history and was guaranteed to be more stable. I bought a butter dish, a new microwave, a toilet brush and a plunger. I've got all of those things packed away in boxes but it might be a very long time before they surface.

The worst of the ongoing problems is the smell of cigarette smoke that seems to be attached to the house. They tricked me. The place has new wall to wall carpeting and was freshly painted, plus there were room fresheners everywhere when I looked at it and now that they've dissipated, it's more than obvious that a smoker had lived here. Today I bought a gross of air fresheners. Walmart is my new best friend! They sell tomatoes for 94 cents a pound! (Safeway, $2.99)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


The move is finally behind me. I'll talk more about that in another post. I'm sore, feel pain, exhaustion, but for the most part, good! Today, I went to Costco to stock up on everything. For breakfast I had 2 toasted hamburger buns with cream cheese spread across them with my index finger. I'll find the silverware another time........ maybe. On my way out to the car, I happened to look to my right and there was a baggy full of plastic eating utensils, right before my very eyes. The same ones that my first wife purchased and packed away about 33 years ago. She said we'd need them one day and she was right. 

I had just finished with James, my cable installer, who supplied me with Internet and 30 commercial filled stations for a mere $65 a month. I already had all the things that I needed for installation. my router and modem all packed away in a large baggy. He asked me where the wire is that goes between the 2 and I had no idea. Because of that, Cocks Communications will charge me $6.50 a month for the rest of my life to rent theirs, or I could have bought one with the wire for $130. I shook my head and said, just do it! Two hours later, after 2 cable boxes (one wouldn't work) James shook my hand and asked me to give him a 9 or 10 on the survey that is soon coming. I agreed to, because after all, James was 6' 9" tall! I headed out to Costco.

Did you ever stop and count the number of soaps that appear in your everyday life? Me neither, but I needed them all. Laundry soap, kitchen dish soap, dish washing machine soap, hand soap, and shampoo. Can I count toothpaste (teeth soap)? I spent almost $400 and all I've got to eat is Oreo cookies, ice cream and hamburger meat. My cart was full slam up and Costco carts are huge. I could hardly push the mother. I also had one of their cases of water on board, in addition to all of those damned soaps. No telling how much my cart weighed but to add insult to injury, it kept pulled hard to the left. (I've got to take that thing in and get it aligned). I was at the farthest corner of the huge warehouse store and was moving along at a pretty good clip, when I looked ahead and there was a woman and her 2 daughters walking 3 abreast covering the entire isle. I knew I could stop, but didn't want to. I pictured myself in court explaining to the judge, just how the accident happened and that they were run over by a madman pushing an overweight shopping cart that was pulling hard to the left! Instead, I yelled out, BEEP-BEEP and all three of them looked back to see who was beeping them. I'm guessing at their ages to be Mom about 45 and overweight, daughter one was about 15 and there was a 20 year old there too. 

As I passed them on the left, fighting hard to keep it on the road, my mind went wheeling back to an easier time in my life when I was 6 years old and I had just learned to ride my 2 wheeler and the only way a kid was to get any respect at all on the streets of Chicago when he is 6, is to yell BEEP-BEEP, when passing another kid on a bike. It was 1952 and I don't think they had invented bicycle horns yet! The woman whispered something to her 2 offspring and I'm pretty sure it wasn't nice...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Looks Like Mel was a DUD!

Unknown to me, my new Real Estate hero was anything but. He was a dud! After our 2 days together, he gave up and continued to answer my calls with, "Sorry, nothing new on the MLS, I'll keep you posted." I actually believed him that there were no new houses listed for rent for about 5 days, until the end of the month was about to happen and I was afraid I'd be tossed out into the street, so I mention to the lady that I reside with that it looks like I'll be here a little longer. She said she had a friend in Real Estate and she'd call her. Frankly, it went in one ear and out the other, because if after I exhausted all of my resources trying, how was she going to find someone, just like that? As she was walking out the front door, talking to someone on the phone, she yelled to me, "What part of town do you want to live in"? I yelled Scottsdale and about an hour later, a dozen houses appeared on my computer from this woman Michelle.

With my mouth wide open, all I could think of is that lying SOB, Mel. Evidently, he decided he didn't want to bother working with me as it wasn't going to be profitable for him and instead of telling me, he just tied me up for a week, wasting precious time. Did I mention that Real Estate people are among the lowest forms of life, (except Brenda)? I used to think it was car salesmen, but Real Estate people beat them hands down! 

Magically, Michelle was able to spend a couple of days, (about 3 hours total) with me and showed me about 6 houses and they were all nice. One, we couldn't view the first day as it was being carpeted with new beige carpeting. It was a 3 bedroom with a built-in bar in what could be an exercise room or study. A great room and it already had 2 refrigerators, in addition the 3 that I already have. With 5 refrigerators, I may not need air conditioning! It's located in an upscale part of Scottsdale just 4 blocks from the main freeway. After reviewing the three I'd seen on the previous day, one was already taken off the market, so I jumped all over the one with the new carpeting and I sign the lease for it tomorrow! It's about 1600 square feet and has a 2 car garage with built in cabinets, washer and dryer, desert landscaping and the only down side is a chip in the porcelain kitchen sink and no pets allowed. Time to call the movers!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Search Continues...

It seems that finding a suitable mate is easier than finding a house to rent in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. My search began about a month ago and hasn't come close to an end yet. There are a thousand reasons why I haven't found my new home, but the bottom line is, I just haven't found one that was both suitable and affordable. My first Real Estate nuisance was Carolyn. Carolyn was a talker. Mouth, non-stop. I learned things about her husband that I not only didn't want to know, but was embarrassed to find out. Prior to our first meeting I was told by her that she was reluctant to meet alone with me, because I may murder and/or rape her. I told her I had a headache and just wasn't in the mood. Frankly, neither thing ever has occurred to me.Once I wanted to kill my first wife, but that was an entirely different situation. Moving along, she insisted on bringing her husband along, which was fine with me. The husband, a large quiet man, never made eye contact or ever said a word and I could tell he didn't want to be there any more than I wanted to be there. Just awkward. It was raining and she was about 30 minutes late, leaving me sitting in a parked car in the rain, checking my watch. when she finally arrived, she explained that she had left her lock-box key at another house and had to search for it. (note to self: Carolyn is a flake)

We viewed the house, while Carolyn picked it all apart. It was a 2 bedroom townhouse, with the living area over the 2 car garage. You walked in the door and were immediately struck a commercial looking staircase that went to the living quarters and it was right on a busy street, offering traffic noise 24 hours a day. I left, wet and disheartened. That was out first meeting. Then Carolyn disappeared for about 4 days, not a word, nor did she return my calls. I was about to impose on a friend in Chicago to find me a Realtor, when Carolyn finally called and told me she had some personal business to attend to, that kept her occupied for the first part of the week.

The next time I heard from her, she was again 30 minutes late and called me twice in that time to ask if I knew if 56th St. went through to Bell Rd. I said, yes. She hung up and then called back immediately and asked the same thing about 64th St. She arrived and informed me that she would have to buy gas, as she was on empty. I offered to do the driving. Evidently, I had passed the rape/murder test, because she hopped in. I drove us to the house we were to view and it was awful. Stained carpeting, ripped in some places and smelled from cat urine. We headed to the second house and it wasn't bad. I made an offer of $150 less a month than they were asking. Carolyn continued to pick the house apart, in spite of the fact that I was interested in it. She pointed out that the flooring was the cheapest you could find and the fridge had a rust spot on a screw in the freezer compartment.

After making the offer, Carolyn called me back to report that they would not accept my offer, point blank. I asked if she made an offer or did she have a conversation with the other agent? I never signed anything! She said, she made the offer. Carolyn then disappeared again for a full week. The following is an exchange of emails that took place between us, resulting in my terminating her.

You told me you did not want to pay $1,200 because of the tax of 2%, I see this rental of $1,300 also has the rental tax of 2%. I am not wanting to waste my time and yours if you are not willing to pay what they want. I have my mother coming into town have a ton of work to do...
I will get paid $200.00 at best after fees...I want to help you, but you need to decide soon!
You are aware that I didn't create the pay schedule that you are subject to. I stopped keeping track of the number of times you've told me how little you are making on me, but it is either 5 or 6 times now. (Once was too much) Also, I don't feel like I have to justify with you, why I make the decisions that I make. FYI, you've pointed out every flaw a house has (and there have only been 2 in addition to those townhouses on Bell), from smoking smells to cheap everything. I just didn't feel the house on Pontiac warranted a $1225 payment with it's rusted refrigerator and cheap flooring.
Moving forward, I don't feel that I can work with you any longer, you seem to be under too much stress.
Good luck with your mother.

I never heard from Carolyn again and that was a good thing. I called my friend in Chicago and she referred another Realtor to me. Another Chicagoan, that has been here 9 years and went into Real Estate after relocating here. He was formerly in the men's wear business, as was I. His name is even, Mel and he's my same age. We seem to get along well and I've already made an offer on the first house he showed me, but didn't get it. He's ambitious and calls me everyday. I made another offer today and we're supposed to see 2 more houses tomorrow. I feel confident that I'll find something soon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dr. Jan Prasad.........Attempted Murder!

It was 1/23/2005 and Dr. Jan Prasad was fast asleep in the hospital dormitory, as it was about 4 AM and he had been on his feet all day. Sadly, he was on a rotation, it was his turn to be attending cardiologist at Paradise Valley Hospital that eventful night. In the Cath Lab, layed a frightened man about 58 years of age, that had just been misdiagnosed by another sleepy doctor working the Emergency Room. He was told he had been having a heart attack, but it turned out to be untrue. 

The patient, me, had been having a difficult time taking a deep breath, but was still able to run up stairs and do his daily work without discomfort and the problem that had brought me to the ER was the feeling that my lungs were just not accepting air as usual. It kind of felt like they were somewhat already filled with something. Not knowing that Paradise Valley had a horrible reputation for scamming potential patients to extract extra money from them, I chose to go there, since it was close. It turned out that Mayo Clinic was just as close, probably closer.

The Cath Lab was an operating room setting, with people wearing masks all around me and a huge monitor above me. I laid there making jokes, so as not to cry. Suddenly, the two operating room doors swung open and a maniac with a foreign accent, somewhere in the Middle East, came busting in, similar to the way that Elvis would entered the stage. He was ranting and screaming at everyone, myself included. I don't recall what he said to others, but to me he said, "From now on you're my patient and you don't listen to any other doctors, do you understand?" I nodded, yes! I kept thinking that at any moment security would come through those same doors to contain this escaped maniac, but it turned out, he was my doctor, (holy crap).

He began by asking me what allergies I might have and then asked if I were allergic to shrimp? I thought we were going to order out, but it just turned out he wanted to know if I were allergic to iodine. The next thing I know, there is someone puling off my pants and shaving cream is applied to my private area and a razor is being applied. Quickly, I was naked and shaven and still no one explained anything to me. I started praying!

The overhead monitor lit up and suddenly I was watching my own angio-gram. Terribly interesting. Now, the maniac yells out that he's found 75% blockage and is going to install a stent. Huh? At some point and I'm watching on the monitor, he's having a difficult time and begins cursing, when he pushes too hard forward and I watch the monitor fill up with blood, or for all intents and purposes, just turn black. I ask the idiot/doctor what just happened, because I could tell from the reaction of the others in the room that something very bad had just occurred. I heard him casually say, "I tore your heart"!

At first it didn't even compute. I stalled, my thinking was adjusting for what he meant. Can you tear a person's heart? If so, what do you do to resolve it? My thoughts went directly to John Ritter, the actor who had just died of a torn aorta. Was I going to die? I asked the butcher/doctor and his reply was a casual, "I don't think so, we have a controlled environment and we'll fly you to John C. Lincoln Hospital and you'll have open heart surgery" and he walked away... I asked someone why they don't just do the surgery here and was told, because we don't have a cardiology department..........huh?

So they called Air-O-Vac and they flew me over for about $17000. I remember seeing the sun coming up over Camelback Mountain and how beautiful it was and praying that it wasn't the last thing I'd see. We landed on the roof at J. C.  Lincoln and looked for the first person I saw that looked like they could administer an IV. By this time, I was in severe pain, as blood was leaking out into my chest cavity. They put me out and I was in a coma for 2 and 1/2 weeks. During that time, I lost kidney function, as someone did not install the assist pump properly and it caused my kidneys to shut down. My son flew in from CA and was told that I was not going to make it. While I was out cold, I had several more procedures to try to keep me alive. I had a blood clot removed from my lung and constant drainage of my lungs that were filled with fluid. I was turning septic, I was told. 

During that period of time, they discovered what was really wrong with me to begin with. When they opened me up and I mean with a scalpel and a dremel to saw open my poor chest, they found a liter and a half of fluid in my pericardium, the sack around my heart. I had endocarditis or an infection in my heart. All of this could have been avoided with an antibiotic. They also found a aneurysm, that otherwise may never have been found and may have killed me? Perhaps this was part of God's big plan to begin with, I'll never know.

One thing I do know, is that doctors and nurses were lined up to congratulate me for my survival and as far as Dr. Jan Prasad was concerned, I think he may have come to see me, although I was pretty heavily drugged and had a hard time telling reality from hallucinations. I think he came to see me, but had nothing positive to say, only that my chart did not look too good, that he didn't think I was going to make it and left without saying, I'm sorry, or things like that happen sometimes. He was very negative and I never answered him or replied in any way. I watched him walk out and asked the nurse to not allow him back, that he seemed unbalanced...

I wrote this story in 2007 in more detail, but neglected to mention the horrible doctor's name, due to repercussions...It's been 8 horrible years since 2005. The man literally ended my life as I knew it. I suffered the initial shock of what happened, endured dialysis and bi-weekly pumping of fluid out of my lungs for months. Several surgeries to install and remove lines and pumps. Many more procedures including a misdiagnosis of bone cancer that continued for 6 months. This man cost my my life as I knew it.............. and no apology!