Monday, July 31, 2006

Blatent Phone Rip Off!

I think I'm being charged for not accepting a collect call. WTF??!

I just checked my phone bill to be sure there were no long-distance charges since one of my daughters had talked to someone in another state. I wanted to make sure the charges were not on my bill. They weren't. But what was there was a charge for $1.02 from Zero Plus Dialing, Inc.

I did a google search (and a google blog search) for Zero Plus Dialing, Inc. BOING! People are complaining all over the place about this rip-off company. Here's only one site with several complaints listed.

Apparently if you use ANY phone other than a residential one and you call collect you will receive a horrendous charge for it. An outrageous charge! It happens on pay phones, hospital room phones, hotel room phones, prison phones.... all of them. Again, can you say WTF!!?

But back to my piddly little charge. The only thing I can think of is I got a call from the state prison (I think... anyway, some kind of jail or prison and they use pay phones) and when asked if I would accept the call I pushed the button to decline. I didn't know anyone who was in jail so I am assuming the inmate dialed the number wrong.

Based on what I read on the web, it can take hours and hours on hold trying to get to someone who knows what they are doing at Zero Plus... and there seems to be some question if you will ever reach any human at all.

I'm just fuming. No wonder people go postal. I believe we are in the process of a complete and total collapse of the world's economic system and it is directly related to blatant greed.

Where to live

American Cities That Best Fit You::
75% Honolulu
70% Seattle
65% Miami
60% Las Vegas
55% Austin

Now that was not expected.... Hawaii. Of course I'd have to be filthy rich to afford it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Quiet Days and Cool Nights

Nothing much going on here... everything is relatively quiet and routine. The young neighbors occasionally play their music too loud but it doesn't last long and so far its been during the day.

LOVE the cool night air! Too bad we can't send some of it to our fellow beings who are still in triple digit temperatures.

Its clear that I don't have anything to really talk about, but its been too long since my last post so I wanted to get something out here. I hope to get a little cleaning done and to work on the painting. I kind of stopped in mid stream because I wasn't getting a 'likeness'. I stopped working on it because that seems to be the place where I really screw things up.... but today I think I know what I can do with the mouth that will help.

I'm working from a photograph that is wallet sized... I have to use a magnifying glass to really see things. Wish me luck.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

'The Neighbor' Update

'The neighbor' remains in jail but the TASK Force (drug enforcement) just cleared his apartment out and the manager is changing the locks now, as I type. A male and female were both taken away in handcuffs and a third male was able to walk away.

I feel relief and a sense of "lightness".

One of the police members (plain clothed) said 'the neighbor' was in jail for a DUII charge and would be getting out the at the end of the month. He also said if I saw any activity there at the apartment I could call the non-emergency police number to report it and they would "swoop by" and clear it out. (the place was already reported as a "drug house".) And I could do it anonymonously. (did I spell that right?)

'The neighbor's' two brothers came by... I didn't know who they were at first so I "challeneged" them. ("Why are you here!! What do you want!!") They explained that "unfortunately" they are 'the neighbor's' brothers. One of them definitely resembles 'the neighbor'. Anyway, they took the TV so it couldn't be stolen if anyone broke into the apt. and later they will return and get all the other stuff out.

There is some small pieces of broken glass by the door... the manager said it was probably from a crack pipe because the police break them when they find them.

I also found out that one of the young tenants that live upstairs is being evicted for non-payment of rent. I don't know why so many young people think they don't have to pay bills. I just don't get it. My youngest daughter has a problem with that too and now she's finding out what the consequences are... but hey, don't listen to your mother. What the hell does she know.

This young man is the one who had the illegal fireworks. Last night he and his buddies decided to party... drinking and loud music. The on-site manager reminded them that 10pm is the quiet time. His mother is the one who got the apartment for him and she was concerned about the eviction going on her record. They told her if he was out by a certain time, it wouldn't be reported as an eviction... so that should help make it quick.

I like having an on-site manager. Unfortunately its not a permanent arrangement. And I didn't know evictions happen so often, but when its the law that you have to rent units to people if they pass the credit and criminal record check that's what happens.

Now I can open my front window without worrying about who was going to be looking in... at least until its rented again.

Heat Wave is over...

At least in my neck of the woods. Ohmygosh... its almost 10am and it is only 64 degrees. That's right... 64 degrees! Cool enough for sleeves but I refuse to close the windows. (titter, giggle... "the blinds are moving, too, just to show-off!" more giggling from the Crusty Crone. What a sight!)

I realize that many are still caught up in the heat... California and New York come to mind. So sorry they are still baking. The following is from the local news station:

"In New York, thousands of residents entered their ninth day without electricity Tuesday, while the local utility worked around the clock to restore its service - and its image."

Nine DAYS?! NINE OF THEM!! ohmygawd... I can't even imagine it. And this in New York, one of the major hubs of the world... NINE DAYS!! This is like hard to comprehend. I can't imagine what the folks are going through. I've been very fortunate in that I've only had to experience power outages for only a few hours at any one time. I wonder why its taking this long (and perhaps longer) to solve the problem... nine days is WAY TOO LONG!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Its 5am.... still dark outside... and its frigging 81 degrees!? Holy Crap, Batman!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Squirt Bottle is at Hand!

Got my squirt bottle at the 'ready' and the fan on high. I made it through the first day of the "heatwave" without incident. Go me! Today is predicted to be the hottest day... they are guessing it will reach at least 102 degrees. (Sure beats 107 or 115 degrees that I heard about in Arizona.) It only got down to 68 degrees at 6 this morning, and it only lasted about an hour.

I just found out that 'the neighbor' is in jail.... has been for several days. One of his "homies" called the court this morning (court date for eviction request) to tell them that is why he can't appear. The request for eviction was granted. Don't know why he is in jail... one usually just gets a slap on the hand for most things, so maybe it was something serious. Anyway.... just got to be a little more patient and then the druggies should be gone. (It looks like several people are staying at 'the neighbor's' apt. The lawyers are looking into what can be legally done about the "squatters".)


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dinner's Done

By 8:30am this morning I had dinner cooked. And hopefully, it might also be dinner for tomorrow as well. After that, dinner will then consist of Fruit Loops. No cooking.

This is our first day of 'the heatwave'.... we've been warned. It may last for 7+ days with the hottest occurring over the weekend. That's why I cooked dinner first thing in the morning. Now the windows are open and the fan is going in an attempt to get the apt. cooled back down.

I'm also attempting to change my personal schedule.... up during the night and sleeping most of the day. We'll see how that works out.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Heat Wave

We're getting ready to slide into the heatwave that's been holding the country hostage. (She makes a forlorned look appear on her face, but no one can see it.)

We have had a couple of perfect days, weatherwise. Cooling ocean air has been making it into the interior valley and its been quite pleasant. Mid-70s. Today is the last of it. We heat up starting tomorrow and we will be getting into triple digit temperatures for an extended period of time. Be still my heart.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Nuttin much...

Some pictures of my financial institution. Its a great old building with lots of wood and historical energy. If I knew more about it, I'd share. What I do remember is that at one time it was a golf club for men, sat empty for a long time then opened up as a restaurant. I think it was called Sweet Tiddy Dunbar... or something similar. It is now a credit union.

It sits in the neighborhood area called Sullivan's Gulch. Sullivan's Gulch is a very small area... 20 blocks or so... and it currently has a freeway running through it. Prior to the freeway it was the area of the city where the poor people lived. I saw a couple of photos of the area from the 30s and 40s and it looked like a 'shanty town'... a third world country. It was very full during the Depression.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Locked Out

Yesterday evening I managed to lock myself out of my apartment. I had been going in and out all day long and the door was unlocked. Somehow the lock in the door knob managed to move enough so that when the breeze from the window caused the door to completely shut... the locked snapped into place.

GASP! That first realization.... the handle doesn't move. No matter how many times I try. I then thought about how I had just finished closing and locking the front window. Damn! Ah... but the back window was still open. And the on-site manager was home. Lets turn the problem over to him, shall we?

With the help of a butter knife (to remove the snap-in window screen) and a chair (to get up high enough to boost himself through the window) he was able to get in and open the door for me. SIGH. Lots of thankyouthankyouthankyous followed.

I now keep my keys in my pocket at all times.
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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Got Ants?

Got ants? Tired of over-the-counter remedies not working? Try Cream of Wheat. Sprinkle it around the area they travel... they'll take it back "home" and have a feast. I won't go into the rest of the story, but in two or three days the ants should be gone. I got this tip from a maintenance worker who got it from an old codger. The maintenance worker said it worked at his place (after trying everything he could find).

Oh.. and here's something else. When your digital camera says "HEY... My batteries are too low to take pictures...give me more JUICE and give it to me NOW!" don't throw those batteries out just yet. They still have plenty of juice in them to run a walkman radio (don't know about the tapes, they use a lot of juice) for several days. That's been my personal experience. They might also work in other things that don't take lots of energy.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Personal Rant

I'm beginning to believe that in order to qualify for section 8 housing one must be as DUMB AS A STUMP! My advise is if you are ever looking for a place to rent, be sure they DON'T allow section 8.... if they do, run... run like hell!! You'll save yourself a lot of grief. Oh... and if you are going to be a landlord and you care about your property then... well, you know where this is going.

Need a Ride?

I noticed this stretch limo parked on the street across the way. As the driver waited he dusted it off with a towel as several passer-bys stopped to speak to him... no doubt asking how it was at cornering. After a while I noticed someone putting something in the trunk and then getting into the back door. One lone person. A female who, from this distance, looked Asian. Perhaps there was to be an evening wedding.

I have often noticed the back porch on the building behind the parking lot. I tried a zoom but apparently my camera doesn't zoom very much. It looks like a lovely place to enjoy the breeze of the evening. I suspect many a story could be concocted with this porch as a setting.
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Friday, July 07, 2006

Feeling a little nervous today

(I know.. I know... old photo but its all I had.)

I'm feeling just a little nervous today because I think 'the neighbor' is going to get a 24 hr. notice to vacate and you can never tell how people will respond. And 24 hrs isn't very long to find a place to put your stuff... and then move it. However, if this is a surprise to him then perhaps I should consider his disability to be a mental one rather than physical. Burned out brain cells due to crack usage?
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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

And it runs?!

I guess this car runs... it was in the store parking lot when I returned to my car. I sat in my car a few minutes because I was a bit stunned. You could even say I was utterly amazed... The "hooptie" must have been running in order to get it parked, yet... yet... mygawd, it looked like it had been sitting in the junk yard for a decade or two. Yes, I was impressed to say the least.

The second boring picture once again fails to capture the brilliant color (see tiny red spots?) of the roses. It would have also helped if I could have stood on something higher when I snapped the picture. This is a parking area in front of a fire station... Beautiful roses and color everywhere, except in my camera.
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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Cleared it out!

Cleared out 'the neighbor's' apartment just a few minutes ago. Not permanently, but nonetheless its movement. Six people came out... but I'm getting ahead of things.

Traffic at 'the neighbor's' place has been reduced greatly since Friday, but not completely. At 2:30am someone knocks on my door, a white female... wrong apt. She goes to apt. C and enters. During the next three hours (of which I snoozed off and on) a few people come and go. At 5:45a I hear another knock on my door. By the time I get to the door there is no one there.

At 6am I see the new on-site manager go to apt. C... the tenant comes out to talk to him, then I hear the manager telling people in the apt. to vacate. I'm guessing its with the tenant's permission. Apparently someone had been arguing and the manager came to quiet it down. (His significant other works graveyard and was trying to get to sleep.)

A guy was angry because someone took his money that had been sitting on the coffee table. Can you say STUPID? Now what idiot would leave money on a coffee table with five other crackheads sitting around it? Lots of milling around on the common porch area and semi-loud talking by the guy who lost his money. He's upset, of course. While this was going on two other people came but stayed back to watch, then left after seeing they weren't going to be getting anything.

I believe the tenant gave the okay to have his apartment cleared out cause I heard him ask the manager if he had another key to the apt and then told him to lock it up. The tenant as well as the five other people then dispersed, some muttering under their breath.

(If it was the tenant that took the guys money, then having the apt. cleared out would be to his advantage, wouldn't it. But it could have been any of the people. Three women and three guys, including tenant.)

It shouldn't be too long before the word spreads. It may not get to everyone, but I bet it gets to the regulars or most of them.

Can you say Yahoo with me?