Friday, January 20, 2017

Twas a Dark and Stormy Day

Today’s all day rain was like the angels crying for us, with us.

Flash flood warnings popped up on my phone and during television programs, but I’d appropriately prepared to stay indoors and was completely self-contained with plenty of water, diy coffee and the ability to finally get some exercise in.

In just the relatively short time I’ve been unable to walk on a daily basis, I’d begun to feel slow, sluggish, old. Thinking I’d gain a ton of weight to be feeling so lousy, I headed down to the scale in the Game Room a few days ago and was pleasantly surprised to see I’d not gained a pound. I’d have been even more pleasantly surprised if I’d lost weight, but was happy to know I’d not gained, that it was just the inactivity deluding me into thinking and feeling so.

Two days on the bike and I’m feeling better already.

I about died first ride, but that was yesterday -- shortly after I finished assembling it. My energy was depleted, body was stiff/achy/sore and I tapped out at exactly 1 minute.

Day 2, this morning, I started off with 5 minutes, took a break, moved up to 8 minutes, took a break did 10 minutes. Later in the afternoon, I put in 20 minutes and will probably put in another 15/20 before bed.

I’d purchased a mat to protect the carpet, but it’s become clear I’m going to need a puffy seat cover to provide some padding. For now, I’m using a towel.

Tomorrow, Day 3, is the first day I’ll be logging in miles towards the Route 66 Challenge, but not the original one I was interested in – Route 66 end-to-end (2,280 miles). That would have committed me to around 200 miles a month, which is a doable 50 miles a week, but I decided to start off slow with a 66 mile challenge.

If it’s dry tomorrow, I’ll head to Sprouts after my morning ride, to load up on supplies before the next storm hits.

As for the angels crying for us, with us, to keep worry at bay, I have to keep reminding myself no good thing lasts forever, but neither does any bad thing last forever.

This too shall pass.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Squeaky Wheel

The idiom that the squeaky wheel gets the grease proved to be true because, along about 2:30 yesterday, I heard footsteps bounding up the stairs. Figuring it was delivery and wanting the box placed inside rather than outside, I opened the door and here comes this big guy carrying what looked to me like an impossible weight for one human to carry on his shoulders.

When I get a delivery, I usually say “Thank you”.

Annoyed that I had to complain to get the delivery, what came out was “Finally”.

Getting the box open, the contents out and unwrapped was a workout.

Lots of parts, but I’d read “easy to assemble” online.  What I didn’t see online was “The assembly requires two people”.

Two people or just one very determined 73 year old, though I, as I set about meticulously reading and following directions. Three hours later, I was about halfway done, and reached the point where I had to stop because I needed a second set of hands to hold the console in place while I attached wires and connected it to the mast.

I thought about calling granddaughter, asking her to stop by after work today, but instead tried using duck tape to hold the console in place.

It worked.

The manual gave insufficient instructions on attaching the seat and pedals. I guess the manufacturer thought they were no-brainers.

They weren’t, no-brainers that is, so I turned to YouTube.

Three/four hours into today, bike completely assembled, console lit up -- signifying wires attached properly.

Like I said, a two person job or just one very determined 73-year old. Maybe I should rephrase that to one very determined woman because, I saw a video online where a young woman and her husband were assembling the same Schwinn 130 Training Bike. The husband became a problem at Step 2 of 9, because he didn't want to take time to follow manual directions, got himself dismissed from the job by his wife, who finished the job all by herself as well.

So job well-done me, everything works and all parts accounted for -- except for this.

This mysterious part is not in the manual, and I can't identify it, but better one part extra than one part missing.

Anxious to get the box broken down, foam, box, wrappings to the dumpster before the rain started up yet again, I headed downstairs about 12:30.

Guess who was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs, across the center divider.

Yep .. cranky neighbor.

Evidently, she saw me coming out the door and waited to engage me in conversation.

I’m thinking the girls in the office are about done with her, because she tells me she went back and got her parking spot changed from 153 to the one she wanted -- 173.

She then mentioned getting ready to go out of town and asked if the mail had been delivered yet.

“I don’t know. Sometimes it comes in as early as 10:30, sometimes as late as 2:00, but won’t hurt to walk over and check”, says I.

“No matter” says she. “I don’t get mail anyway”.

Then why did she ask? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lying Liar

First used on facebook by a friend describing the orange guy, I’ve fallen in love with that phrase “lying liar”, only that’s not who I’m referring to.

This is about the FedEx guy or gal who didn’t deliver the bike on Monday because, as was posted on tracking “Delivery exception. Customer not available or business closed”.

First of all, we are not a business. We are an apartment complex.

Secondly, this customer was available ... she waited all day.

Thirdly, even though the office was closed for MLK Day, FedEx has a code. I see them driving through the gate all the time, at all hours into the late evening. Plus, there is a call box to reach the resident.

But okay, delivery was changed to today, so I yet again waited.


Along about 4:30, I checked tracking and found a delivery exception posted at 3:02, “Customer not available or business closed”.

Lying liar.

I was sitting right here and the office was open until 4:00.

Thinking this is a situation of someone not wanting to do their job of lugging a heavy box up the stairs, knowing that when he or she fails to do their job tomorrow, using that same lame excuse, the item will most likely be returned or I’ll get a notice to pick up myself, I decided to lodge a complaint with FedEx. I didn’t say the driver was a lying liar, but I did say he or she was incorrect about this being a business and my not being available.

Person taking the complaint said they'd make a notation to the driver that this is not a business and to leave the item at the door.

Duh and duh!

If he or she had actually driven to the complex, they'd know it's not a business, and isn't leaving the item at the door what they're suppose to do?

Hopefully the fact that I called in will spur the driver into doing his/her job and tomorrow -- third time, will be the charm.

Stuck indoors waiting, I not only was not able to take advantage of the MLK holiday to gather PokémonGo game tools, I’ve also not been able to run errands and take care of business ahead of the storm expected to arrive late Wednesday, run through Thursday and Friday.

I did make it downstairs today to pick up mail, drop off trash and ran into the Cranky Neighbor.

"Did your parking situation get resolved".

"Yes. Not the one I wanted, but yes".


"No. 153".

Happy she’d been assigned far and away from me, I failed to ask which was the one she wanted. But, before I could walk away, she began expressing how unhappy she is with the way things are done in California, as opposed to New York, and the fact that she drove all the way to the post office on Monday, found it closed, doors open, but no forms in the counter area.

Mercifully, the Nosey Neighbor walked over to hand Cranky an envelope she'd seen her drop. I took it as an opportunity to make my escape, and left Nosey to listen to the rest of Cranky's complaints.

Monday, January 16, 2017


For several days, I’ve been hearing mention on television of the holiday weekend. Confused, because I thought the holidays were over, but not really paying much attention I brushed it off.

Yesterday, after hearing “holiday weekend” a few more times, I became curious enough to google “What holidays are in January”.


It’s Martin Luther King Day.

It wouldn’t be fair to think that I of all people should have known because, now that I’m retired, not looking forward to a day off because every day is a day off, I've pretty much lost interest in holidays. In fact, I was at the University hunting Pokémon, wondering why the campus was so empty, when I learned it was empty because that day was a holiday -- Veteran’s Day; and when granddaughter invited me over to make a plate, after her mom dropped off her BFFs to spend the holidays, bringing along a feast, I’d asked “Is today Christmas?”

“No, grandma, that’s tomorrow”.

The 4th of July is easily remembered because it's obvious.

At any rate, if my left foot wasn’t still giving me grief, I’d head to -- what I expect to be, an empty campus to load up on PokémonGo game tools. On the other hand, if the indoor bike gets delivered early enough, I may still make it out of the complex and to the campus, walking with the aid of compression socks I invested $28 in.

Sorry now that I didn’t allow the doctor to boot the foot so I’d stay off it, or at least have support, I’d done alternative research and located compression socks advertised as serving the same purpose as a splint or boot – “Instant relief to stop that awful heel pain, stops throbbing and helps you stand and walk freely”.

I guess today is not a holiday for everyone, because tracking indicates the bike is “On fedex vehicle for delivery”, so I’ll stick to home so I can get the guy to park -- what I expect to be a rather large box, indoors rather than on the porch for me to struggle inside.

No car parked next to the right side of mine yet. So I don’t know what’s up with Cranky Neighbor’s parking situation.

She strikes me as the type of individual not necessarily looking for workarounds/solutions, but one who just enjoys having stuff to complain about or only wants the outcome she wants. I mean, really ... a lawyer or the Attorney General over a parking space? Especially since she'd said she'd gone that route previously.

When she said she'd done so I'd asked, "How did THAT go?"

"I got a call at home. My husband picked up the phone and said, 'A Mr. xxx would like to speak with you'".

"That's the Dean!"

She had a far away look in her eyes, like she was remembering something very unpleasant, when she said, "He (the dean) was not happy with me".

"How did the parking situation go?" asked I.

"It was cleared up a few weeks later."

Probably would have been cleared up without all the drama, as will it get cleared up here as well.

Happy am I, she’s across the quad, rather than next door.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The One About the Cranky Neighbor

Her words, not mine.

Friday the 13th turned out to be an okay day. Sun was shining – for about 30 minutes; I beat everyone to the laundry room and was done before others began trickling in.

First to trickle in, as I was packing up dry laundry, was the new neighbor – the older lady who took the upstairs unit across the quad.

I greeted her with “Hey neighbor”.

Looking highly agitated, she greeted me with, “I’m so fed up with the office, so frustrated. I’m going to get an attorney, send a letter to the Attorney General, and I’m thinking of moving.”

“Oh no! … Why? … What’s wrong?”

Her upset stems from parking in the carport area.

She states the new Community Manager said “You can park wherever you like”. She did so and ended up in someone else’s assigned carport spot. Reporting being told she’d have to move her car to the office, she says she was then told by the Assistant Manager that the Community Manager had given her incorrect information -- that she can park wherever she likes on the property EXCEPT in the covered carport areas, as carports are specifically assigned and paid for monthly.

“You know they don’t like each other don’t you?”

“No, I didn’t realize that.”

“I can see it in their eyes.”

Interesting. My spidey sense never picked up any friction between the Community Manager and her Assistant. Friction between the former Community Manager (Nurse Ratched) and everyone, yes; but nothing between the new manager and anyone, least of all her assistant.

At any rate, new neighbor said she then requested a carport, and it took forever and several calls and visits to the office before being assigned a numbered space.

Problem is, another car is in that spot and never moves.

Since then, she says the office hasn’t been responding to her at all.

“I’ve worked in business and this is no way to run a business!”

I told her I was sorry she was having problems that, inasmuch as things have been going fairly well since the new Community Manager was put in place, the problems with the office now may stem from the fact it’s only the two of them, and the Community Manager has been sick with pneumonia, while the Assistant Manager has been off/on dealing with some unknown illness.

“I’m not buying that!” says she and went on to say she was already angry about all the paperwork she’d had to provide to get a unit in the complex, how the office had no legal right to intrude into her financial privacy to the extent they did, that she’d previously contacted the Attorney General about a parking situation at the university where she’d taught, yada yada yada.

I mentioned the monthly Management/Residents meeting. That if the parking situation is not resolved, she could take it up then.

That was a “no”. She feels an attorney and/or the Attorney General the way to go.

I mentioned having good service just sending an email to the office.

She says they never open email.

Asking if the girls were in the office today, I said “yes”, hoped they’d take care of her parking situation and suggested she request No 167 specifically -- the spot to the right of mine, because no one has parked there in all the years I’ve been here.

She made note of the number and said she’d check it out “If no one was parked there today”.

I’m beginning to get a picture here, form a somewhat negative opinion of the new neighbor.

Still mumbling about being frustrated, that the friends she’d spoken to and the son who’d moved her in were now also upset about the way she’s being treated, she laughingly said, “I didn’t mean to burden you with all this. That’s all you need, a cranky neighbor”.

So that’s going to be her moniker here on the blog – the cranky neighbor.

I hope my helpfulness in suggesting she park next to me doesn't come back to bite me in the butt.

Friday, January 13, 2017

To Party or Not to Party

That was the question.

Though yesterday’s heavy downpour didn’t stop -- not for a second, the precipitation in my head cleared and I messaged my friend of 40+ years that I would not be driving down for her husband’s 70th birthday party.

Felt a little guilty when she messaged me back a sad face saying she was looking forward to seeing me but, oh well, I’ll get over the guilt of disappointing her. She’ll get over the disappointment.

In retrospect, I think it was her strong desire for me to make an appearance that caused my indecisiveness but, when all was said and done, the desire to do what would make ME happy, and a matter of economics, were the deciding factors.

I received notification of the Route 66 Virtual Challenge yesterday morning.

Still bummed out at having to opt out of the Citrus Run because the heel spur in my left foot is still giving me grief, I’ve been further bummed out at not being able to participate in other 5Ks coming up.

Seeing that I could indoor bike the Route 66 Challenge of 2,280 miles, the question then became do I waste time, energy and x number of dollars in hotel fees to party for one night or do I invest time energy and around the same x number of dollars in a Schwinn Upright Bike.

Answer was a no brainer. The Schwinn won hands down and arrives on Monday.

On tap for today is beating other residents of the complex down to the Laundry Room.

It’s 5:00 in the morning and looks like, after a week-long downpour, we’ve been given a break, which means – with 178 apartment homes, it’ll be a stampede of residents heading for one of the three laundry rooms on the premises.

I’m attempting to beat ‘em all by heading down at the crack of dawn, well ahead of posted laundry room hours.

The 52-Week Money Challenge is also today, at 10:00. Rain or shine, I plan to go down to the Community Room to see what that’s about.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cats and Dogs

That’s what the weather visited upon this area all day yesterday and, when I woke up this morning it was cats, dogs and the kitchen sink.

I was beginning to think it yet another sign of the apocalypse and that someone should be building an ark when, along about 12:30 it suddenly stopped and the sun actually came up.

About a month shy of completing the needlepoint project begun in May of last year, and running out of a floss color needed for completion, I took advantage of the break in the rain, drove to the craft store in Rancho Cucamonga and, while waiting to check out, spied a selfie stick.

I’ve been wanting one of those for years, had off/on looked at a few online, but was scared off because I didn’t know if my phone would fit and figuring out how to work it looked complicated.

When granddaughter’s two BFFs visited her over the holiday, one had a selfie stick and showed me the ropes.

I ended the lesson feeling confident, saying “I’m getting one” and what do you know, before I could get around to deciding which one to buy, a reasonably priced stick jumped out at the craft store. With a 40% off coupon, the stick and floss, totaled to less than the stick alone.

Now when I take pictures of events here at the complex, I can actually include myself in them.

After the craft store, it was filling up the tank at Costco gas and a plan to get laundry done before the clouds I saw looming over the complex dumped another load on us.

Never made it to the laundry room. Instead, I made the mistake of logging into facebook, where I learned the orange guy held a press conference and, once again, spoke out of both sides of his mouth. What fascinated me was nothing he said, but what others posted about what he said.

I was glued to the puter, laughing at how others worded what they'd gleaned from all the double talk -- fake news is okay when he uses it, but not okay when used against him, funny tweets about blackmail for the having women urinate thing, and how it is he describes himself as being an extreme germaphobe, yet has no qualms about grabbing vajajas.

The comment that struck me funniest was “He lies and lies and lies some more. He even lies about his lies. Lying liar”.

That phrase “lying liar” is going to stay with me.

I took a moment to meditate that his supporters set aside prejudice, self interest, take blinder off and wake up.

I’m still going back and forth about that 70th birthday party. The event is on the 29th so, if I’m not showing up, I should let my friend know by the 27th at least. I’m so not able to make a decision that I looked to my horoscope to decide for me.

It predicted “A fun getaway between January 12th and February 7th.

Interesting, but it had also predicted a huge lottery win last month.

I’m still waiting for that, so I’m not putting much faith in this latest prediction.

At any rate, whether I end up attending or not, my wish for myself is no more party invites, so I'll not have to wrestle with these decisions in future. Invitations to 5Ks, yes. Invitations to meditation sessions, yes. But no more parties.