Fences Make Me A Great Neighbor

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Not the way you remember hearing the old saying? It’s my twist because it makes more sense to me, plus I could really give a shit if I have good neighbors or not. Mine know I don’t want them in or around my yard. For the newbies reading here today, my house sits on 11.93 acres of land somewhere way outside the city of Houston. Now, we live in what’s called an “acreage neighborhood” where all the homes sit on a few acres. Just so happens that when I bought my “lot” that I bought the two lots available to the left and the one lot available to the right. Why? Because I wanted my neighbors to have to put some work into it when they would choose to be nosey. After almost 10 years I would say the experimental theory has been a success because I barely know my neighbors, just the damn way I like it. Within the almost 12 acres there is a roughly 4 acre pond which was dug so I could build up where my house would be built, as well as level out what would become my yard. Also, there is 3ish acres of a densely wooded area which butts up to a feeder creek off of the San Jacinto river. Everything else is mowed as my yard and has a wooden fence around it.

Well, after the storm last night I found a tree had fallen on a section of my wooden fence way in the backyard. This explained why the breaker for the electric circuit had been tripped. Yes, it’s a partially electrified fence. Why? To keep the criiters, varmints, and the neighbors dogs from digging under the fence and getting into my yard. Don’t worry, out in this area its only putting out about 2000 volts. But, the tree seems to have damaged the line by completing the circuit, hence tripping the breaker. At least the mystery is solved, I figured I would find a dead animal of sorts out in the back, not a tree on the fence. Since I located this so late in the afternoon all I really felt like doing was exactly what I did, take a picture of it, well, actually about a dozen. Why? I needed them to show to the insurance company to show the damage. The adjustor will be out Monday morning to make a report so I can’t touch it until afterwards. If it were endangering life or property then I can, but its just a fence so I was told to wait. Waiting is not something I am good at, especially when there is so much work to do. Meanwhile, the neighbor on that side figured out I was back there and decided he wanted to have a 30 minute chat about absolutely nothing, in fact I don’t even remember as I sit here writing this.

When I tell my wife what had happened and what went on with the insurance she went off on one of her tangents and wants me to look into having the tree removed by someone and the fence repaired by someone. She didn’t ask when I would be taking care of it, she wanted to know when someone else was going to do it. There will be nobody else doing any of it because I want to do it. Plus, I have the kids to help me out, so it will be fine. On top of that, I finally got my favorite tool on the planet running again after it died on me back in March, I thought it was really dead, but it runs like a screaming chainsaw banshee now. So I’m good to go. Y’all were aware that every man has his favorite tool? My dad’s is a 50 year old flathead screwdriver, my son’s is an old roofing hammer, mine is, well, mine is the fine machine pictured below, its probably the most useful and versatile tool I have ever owned. Next week I put it to the test, next week I will see if bringing it back to life was worth it, next week the chips will fly. Fuck calling a tree removal company, fuck someone else fixing my fence, I will do it my way. My wife knows this already, she was just trying to be cute and see if she could ruffle a few feathers. The adventure never ends in our marriage, but that is life as well, shit happens, we could cry about it or take care of it. Some of us know the right answer, the others call a tree removal company.

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Sometimes……………Life Gives You A Flat Tire

0000 flat-tireThe last thing I thought I would be doing this morning was changing a flat tire. I guess that is why it is such a surprise because one doesn’t expect it to happen. Well, it may always be in the back of our minds but we hope that it never happens. I would have to assume that most drivers aren’t thinking about it directly. Any way, while I was getting dressed to go to physical therapy this morning I get a panic phone call from my wife who is kind of hysterical. After getting her to take a few breathes she was able to calmly tell me she has a flat tire. I asked if she was off the road and in a safe place so she doesn’t get hit. She answered by telling me that she got the flat when she pulled into Starbucks to get a coffee. Which is ironic in a way because six months or so ago she got a flat at the exact same place doing the exact same thing. I should send Starbucks my bills. She tells me that she has not called USAA Roadside Assistance because I am much closer. Which, is a very true statement, I was less than five minutes away, if that. So, I finished dressing and headed over to change the tire. When I arrived I was surprised to see she had parked in a space pretty much out of the way. Luckily for me there were two spots on the her left side so I just parked in the middle of them to give myself some room to work since it was her driver’s side front tire which got the flat. Now, I don’t claim to be as fast as a NASCAR pit crew, in fact I am just the opposite, I like to do the task at a speed which is comfortable to me. I have learned that if a person rushes then they usually forget to do something or put something back. Since this is the second flat on her car and the last time was not too long ago I was familiar with where everything was and the whole drill.

0000 Starbucks_ZombiesAs I was getting the spare tire from the rear of the car, she has one that is on the back with a plastic protective cover, this man walked by and asked if I had a flat. I turned to him and said “nope, just checking out if this was a spare tire or not”. He gave me a snotty ass look and walked away. My wife gave me the “WHY” look and I told her he asked a stupid  question. So, I continue to go about getting the spare off and getting the jack and tools out to get started. After I loosened the lug nuts I began to jack the car up. To the side of me I hear “hey……you know you are in two spaces?’ I turned to her and told her “yes, I do know I am in two spaces, thanks for noticing” and then I turned back to jacking the car up. Before driving off she said “well, now I have to find a different spot farther away and surely it will make me late. I hope you happy!” Happy? Indeed. Your happiness is why I am here changing this tire. I mean, what a bitch. Don’t worry that I am here changing a flat. After a few minutes this 20’s something girl wearing a Starbucks shirt walks up to me to ask me how much longer I will be because she is getting complaints because I am parked across two spots and they have very limited spaces to begin with. The she asked if I knew what time of the morning it is and how busy they are. I’ve about had it. I looked at her and told her “That when I was done with my fucking picnic I would be sure to leave” and she turned to walk away. She mumbled some shit about her calling the cops. Okay, call the cops, why do I care. I carried on to remove the other tire and get the spare on. After I got it on I pulled the jack and went to the back of the car to put the flat in the spare tire’s spot. By now, I’m sweaty and my hands are dirty. I told my wife to wait for me because I was going inside to get washed up.

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When I went into Starbucks I asked where the restroom was. I had it explained to me that the restrooms were for paying customers. At this point in time it was everything I could muster up not to come unglued on this bitch. Instead, I turned and went back out to the cars. I told my wife to follow me to the gas station so I could air up her spare. When we were done we both drove off, her to go to work and me to go to physical therapy. The whole drive I thought about this little tire changing episode and how much I actually hate the Starbucks Zombies. I understand having a habit since I smoke, but damn you don’t want to get in between a junkie and his coffee fix. Overall, I laugh at it all because it is pathetic that people flock to this mecca of coffee and don’t want any delays. Delays? I remind everyone I’m in a “boot” because I have to fractures in my left ankle, my whole life is a freaking delay because of it. Want to know what humors me the most? Not only did the people talk to me or bitch at me as well as drive by real slow gawking at what I was doing in “their” Starbucks parking lot, but not one damn person asked if I needed or wanted any help. I would have declined the help because I have zero problems changing a damn tire, but damn, nobody even asked. Is their fucking coffee that important that they can’t be human to another person without taking offense. Screw it all. What is done is done. As far as I am concerned it is all over. I just wanted to let y’all know I lost a little bit more faith in my fellow human beings today. I wake up every morning hoping my overall opinion of mankind will change for the better on that day and then bullshit attitudes like the ones I experienced today slap me in the face to tell me that kindness and thinking beyond yourself is too much to ask.

As a small housekeeping note, the pictures, graphics, and artwork were snatched from the internet using a Google search on the subject matter. I have no idea who they belong to so I can’t give credit. I am, however, grateful that they were available for download or else this post would be pretty boring to look at. Plus, it proves my theory and others in the world see the same thing I do when looking a Starbucks Zombie dead in the eye.