Wondering Where To Begin……

20160106_103353.jpg

Have you ever had such a daunting task ahead of you that you truly try to avoid it altogether? I just so happen to have such a task ahead of me. Looks like lady luck is on my side once again today because its raining. Which works for me because I’ve been fucking avoiding the task of cleaning out my storage unit for a couple years now. I can only imagine all of you OCD motherfuckers freaking out right now as you look at the picture. But, in all seriousness, its time to get it done, time to get out what we want, trash the trash, donate the old clothes and toys, and sell a few things I have been holding onto for years.

It’s time, I’ve been packratting this storage unit since 2000. Now that my daughter is married and moved out of our apartment we have a spare bedroom. So, we decided that the storage unit could go. I did the math the other day, $80.00 a month for 180 months is $14,400.00 that I’ve paid to store everything we didn’t want to throw away. That’s allot of fucking money! So, now we will weed through all of it and be done with the storage space. I’m actually kinda excited to see what I will find. I can only say I actually can account accurately for about 30% of the contents. Stuff like camping gear, holiday decorations, a waterbed, a dresser, an antique singer sewing machine, an electronic dart board, a $4,000.00 bowflex, and most of my Air Force stuff. I can’t even guess on anything else. Yes, I know its sad. Oh, and there’s a few boxes of Japanese antiques I told my ex I got rid of only because she wanted them. I’m interested in those boxes, got some stuff from older dynasties, 1700s and 1800s. This should be interesting, there’s stuff from this and my prior marriage, there’s just no telling what I will find.

I will be working on this the rest of the month as I need to be out by the 1st. For the things I will be selling or giving away I will offer it up here first I guess. It’s bigger stuff like the dart board for sure, but it would need to be picked up as I can no longer deliver. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out. My intentions are to get it cleaned out, then see where I’m at. Can’t start tomorrow, will be at the VA most of the day I guess, time for my next fluid draining and shot in my knee. This little ordeal usually fucks me up for a few days. I’m sure this isn’t the last post about the storage, I will update as I get into it. Maybe one more month won’t hurt…..

Homeowner’s Association Form Letter

wpid-20140423_072355.jpg

So, yesterday I walked the close to 1/4 mile trek out to collect my mail from the mailbox located out at the end of my driveway. Normally I would take the golf cart but I was feeling froggy and just decided to walk. I don’t usually “sort” my mail out here in the street but there was allot of crap that I was going to put in the recycle bin since it had not been collected yet. As I am flipping through it all I see a letter addressed to “Resident” with my address printed below it. It is a letter from our beloved homeowner’s association. Might be important so I went ahead and opened it. After reading it through the first time I was left asking “what the fuck?” and need to read it again before I got pissed all the way. After A quick review I can see that they are talking of my location, it has the correct block, lot, plot, and section. The address on the envelope belongs to me, so it must be my property being spoke of. The jist of the form letter is to inform me (property owner) that a complaint has been filed suggesting I am burning “trash” items too close to the street which is too close to neighboring houses. The date sited was 22 days ago. Too close to my neighbors? My nearest neighbor’s house is over 650 yards away. The letter continues to outline the “offense” by stating that I was burning tires and other accelerant fuels. Wait just a damn minute here. First I don’t burn anywhere except the rear of my almost ten acres of property. Second, I don’t burn tires or use gas or diesel to set such fires. The letter has me at a loss.

As I am walking back to the house to go make a phone call because they have assessed a $350.00 fine for the incident, I notice, which makes me remember, I did have a fire in my front yard about three weeks ago. The scorch marks are still visible as I walk by. I wonder if this could be what they are referring to in the letter. I haven’t written about this yet here so y’all are probably scratching your heads wondering what has happened. I guess this is a good place to put in what happened and the I will figure out why there was a complaint. In a way I guess an outsider could say it was a trash fire in my front yard but if a person was paying attention they would of seen it was my riding lawn mower that had actually burst into flames. Man, I loved that old mower too, I was sad to see it go out in a blaze of glory like it did. What happened? I was mowing in the yard in front of my house pretty close to my driveway when a giant puff of black smoke blew out of the front of the engine cowel. I jumped off and flipped it open and when I did it burst into open flames. I was able to dowse the flames with the garden hose but it was too late. As I stood there watching it smolder a bit I secretly was hearing TAPS being played off in the distance. It was almost a tearful moment for me, but I held it back. It truly was a spectacular show but at the same time I didn’t like seeing my old friend roast its own marshmallows.

In review of the complaints in the letter I can see why they would say I was burning tires and using an accelerant because the tires did catch fire and the fuel line did melt and feed the fire. But hold on, this means that my incident was visible to someone somewhere. So I stood in the spot and looked around 360 degrees to see if I could figure out who the bastard was that assumed I was burning trash in my front yard. Well, there is only one house in my view and that is straight across the street. That old bastard has the eyes of a hawk then because its a good 200 yards from the street in front of his house. And it only burned for 10-12 minutes anyways. I’m so confused. Anyway, I will deal with him later, I have bigger fish to fry. I went in the house and called the secretary of the homeowner’s association to discuss the complaint and the fine I was not ever going to pay. I invited him out to check out the burned out carcas and I was declined a visit. I was told to go to their website and print out a form which I could use to defend myself. Once filled out I am to mail it to them with supporting information and/or pictures if available to justify my case. I was also reminded to enclose a check or money order with my form so I could pay the fine. Ummm, fuck you, there will be no check or money order enclosed you goofy bastards. I filled out the form and enclosed some nice glossy pictures with my explanation of what occurred. When I was done I sent my son down to throw it in the mail box for pick up today. This is why I detest having neighbors.

This whole thing has served as a good reminder. Since my other rider (the back up) isn’t in that great of shape and isn’t exactly dependable, I think I will get dressed and go mower shopping. I wonder what I will come home with. Have y’all seen the commercials for all the different riding mowers lately? Maybe they have been the “sign” I have been looking for and just haven’t realized it. I better make sure the trash fire I have going currently is out before I go because I would hate for some snooper to say I left it unattended. If I get a new toy I will be sure to show y’all so don’t worry.

wpid-sany0310.jpg

We All Have One Of These Drawers

We All Have One Of These DrawersWe all have one of these drawers, the catchall drawer for anything and everything. For some reason it is the first place we look for whatever it may be that we are hunting. It doesn’t matter where I live in the world there is always a catchall drawer somewhere to be the savior of everything we don’t know what to do with. I don’t know about your drawer but mine always ends up full of trash, empty cartons, and empty packages as well. I could swear this drawer started out with tape, a note pad, and a few pens. What in the hell happens? I clean the catchall drawer out at least twice a year tossing out everything that isn’t needed. But, I swear to you, when I come back it looks exactly the same. It’s a damn conspiracy I tell y’all. Yes, I hear ya, just organize the drawer and the problem eliminates itself. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! All of the crap will just “mysteriously” collect in another drawer. Is it so hard, I just wanted a pen.

The Annual Neighborhood Yard Sale

IMG_20131109_080528289_HDR

No matter what I get involved in it always seems that I get asked to drag my smoker out and do what I do best. Some people cook, some people grill, but only the best can smoke. For those of y’all new to The Sting Of The Scorpion all I can do is recommend that your do a category search for “Smoking” and catch up. For everyone else this in just another day in my life. I’m not sure if I have ever posted pictures of the “other woman” (as it is called by my wife) so here she is. I have more smokers but this one is my oldest and my favorite. I built this trailer smoker back when I was in high school in the year 1985 based on a smaller project I had completed in shop class earlier that year. My smoker was built-in my parents garage using leftover metal from other projects. The trailer was bought at a yard sale and then modified and beefed up to make sure it was up to the task at hand. Since its conception and completion this smoker has been in my family ever since. When I joined the United States Air Force in 1988 I made sure this smoker went with me all over the planet, wherever I went, she went. Anyway, back to the present.

IMG_20131109_080443001_HDR

This past weekend was the annual neighborhood yard sale. Around 200 houses and businesses participate and it is generally a real big deal for this community. My baby sister happens to live here in this small country town southwest of Houston and they participate year after year because she invites all of the family and in-laws to participate. I always have two specific jobs, I smoke and I play cashier. This year was a little different because I actually brought some big things to sell like a leather living room set, dining room table with 8 chairs and three 2 foot leafs, two different Arachnid (brand) electronic dart boards that I had restored (circa 1982), an adult go-cart, washer & dryer, and an ass-load of clothes. When I pulled up at 5am with my trailer-load and smoker in tandem tow I was greeted by my parents, my sister, and some early morning “shoppers”. In the end, the only thing that made it to be sold in the yard sale was the clothes. I had made $8800.00 before it ever began. I unloaded the trailer onto 4 different pick-up trucks and I was basically done. I wasn’t expecting it to be that easy, but it was, and it made the rest of the day a breeze for me. Over all, selling 90% of the clothes brought in another $413.50 making my grand total for the day $9213.50 which wasn’t too shabby in my book. I got a whole lot more money like this than I would have seen using Craigslist. So, I had a great day. The rest of the clothes were given to my mother to donate to their local Goodwill.

I would like to discuss the people who came here to buy “other people’s junk” because the range at the yard sale was better than I could ever find at the mall. There are three types of people I saw that really stood out. There were the “lookers and fondlers” that basically had to see everything, did through everything, yet bought nothing. Then there were the “hagglers” who wanted to get a better deal than the best deal offered. These are my favorite because they have the most money to spend and they are trying to get as many deals as they can for their buck. Luckily, for me personally, I only had to drop off my price for one item which was the adult go-cart, I was asking $3500.00 since I paid $3500.00 for it. It was ran hard and I know it, but it was clean and well maintained, we settled on $3400.00 and the old man thought he got a bargain on the 5-year-old cart. I guess it is time to go buy me more toys for Christmas. The last group was the “in a hurry” people because they move at high speeds hoping one won’t see something or something will get missed. Are they scamming, probably not, but if something was overlooked they wouldn’t say anything in my opinion. But, they never haggle, just pay how much they owe, which is super easy for me. When I price something I always go high with it because I know people will want to work the price down, which is the game we play, but everything has a bottom dollar they won’t budge from.

IMG_20131109_113508588

Pictured above was load number two of the meat that was smoked, ribs, brisket, and sausage. Earlier I had smoked 80 sausage links and sold them for $3.00 a piece as sausage on a sticks. Since the meat was provided (donated) by my sister’s father in law, he wanted all proceeds to go to the “kitty” and divided up between the 6 families that were there, so we all got an extra $40.00 to boot plus I basically snacked on whatever I wanted all day long so I didn’t go hungry. In the end it was a good day, I went home with an empty trailer, a pocket full of cold hard cash, and a full belly. Anyway, that was my Saturday what did yours look like.

Is The Comment Spam Really Needed?

Information Technology Concept

I’ve been blogging here on WordPress now for just about a complete month and it has been a wonderful transition which has led to it being a wonderful experience. I’m still learning though and I’m still in that curve where I have many questions. Which is why I’m writing today because I’m trying to figure out what the “normal” is around here on average. As a comparison, I had six successful blogs at Blogger and I rarely, if ever, had a spam comment on a published post. I know, freaky, right? In fact, the quantity of spam comments that ended up being blocked were only (4) four. I always thought that this was an honorable record. Now, my e-mail on the otherhand was a complete different story, there were easily 250 spam e-mails a month. After the change, after I moved here, I noticed the e-mail spam drop off a tad and then spiked way out of control here in the last week. But, the spam comments that Akismet actually catches here on the blog is what amazes me, it claims to have an accuracy of 96.04%, and yes the rest make it through. In under 30 days 151 spam comments have been blocked. Which makes me wonder and then ask, why all the spam comments here at WordPress? I won’t get all longwinded and drawn out here when I say that I find it quite disturbing that people are either that lazy or they have way to much time on their hands.

Just to let all of y’all spammers out there know that there are no hard feelings here. Y’all actually humor me allot, especially the Asian or Russian dating sites that peddle their prostitution and of course the knock-off brand bargains. Hell, y’all should just pay me because if it is as cheap as y’all claim then there should be a check in every pair of shoes ordered. Look, I suppose my point here is that I understand that y’all don’t understand that this is NOT a commercial blog and I do NOT sell and I do NOT advertise anything. But, if y’all actually looked around then y’all would notice that. But where are my manners, I often forget that spammers really don’t care about anything but what they are peddling. Too bad the only things y’all try to peddle to me is pure bullshit. Y’all should try harder!

large