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a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

A diatribe on big-box hardware stores: forgive me, I’ve had another soaking-wet epiphany

What’s wrong with big-box hardware stores?
You go there to replace an icebox water filter. Naturally you go to Plumbing. Now, Lowes has a Whirlpool filter which takes a shove-connect 1/4 inch tube—but half the time one of the other tube inserts won’t take and it leaks like a sieve. Or Niagara, if it pops out. Soaked from head to foot trying two of those.
Which ran a major monster Lowe’s out of ALL their supply of filters for icebox icemakers.
So I go to Home Depot.
In this case the filters are in the Appliance Department, and they sold me one without a shove-in connect: it needs a brass plug, and two brass quarter-inch screw-downs to create a connection. Fine.
Back to Home Depot to get the connectors. THEY sell the filter, but not the connectors. Huh? For what? I fear I rather well lost it well enough I had about half a dozen HD employees trying to find a solution: plumbing didn’t have it. They had the ‘vampire’ saddle tap that can take the tubing FROM the pipe. But no connectors. They have another package that has connectors for a ridiculously reinforced spendy hose (like a firehose!) that is another variety of 1/4 inch hose…but my filter is downstairs near the water source (recommended by their own instructions) and they want me to fish this 8 foot hose 15 feet up to the fridge to connect it. Nope. I don’t think so.
After a great deal of handwaving, they produce another filter that does come with the two essential connectors packaged with it.
I rather imagine I’m now infamous at HD. All I wanted was a connection that has to be in at least every house in America with an icemaker and a GE brand fridge, and probably many more brands, not to mention other applications. Low pressure 1/4″ water delivery does not require a braided-fiber reinforcement.
But no, we’re supposed to throw up our hands and call the plumber to change out a friggin’ water filter cylinder.
Not this household. Not if I have to resort to aquarium supply to get connectors.
I really miss Snyder’s Hardware, wooden floor groaning under the weight of 50 years accumulation of bits and bobs that fit almost anything or can be made to fit.

Quarter inch hose, f’ gosh sakes? A common appliance need?
I can do without the 10 choices of garden benches and pots from Thailand. I’d really like a hardware that stocks ordinary connectors.

25 comments to A diatribe on big-box hardware stores: forgive me, I’ve had another soaking-wet epiphany

  • tulrose

    DH no doubt has what you are looking for in one of his many storage places in 3 locations in town. He collects parts he thinks he might use at estate sales. Unfortunately we’re in T-town back in the Okies.

  • Walt

    Use auto hose clamps on the shove connectors to tighten them up??? Caulk with silicone plumbing sealant? Baling wire? Duct tape?

    You confirm my attitude that ice makers and water dispensers are Something Else to Fail.

  • CJ

    Actually, this is 1/4 inch tubing that goes INSIDE. Glue, however, is tempting.

    The little add-on icemakers work well—especially if you get them added during setup. We had one iffy one, until we realized the set-up crew hadn’t tilted the fridge the micro-degree necessary to get everything to work smoothly. Fridge doors should shut on their own—slightly. 😉

    But the connectors I’m talking about have pieces so tiny you’d think they were packing. I’m not even going to tackle it today. My rule is —I get soaked only one a day. Then I need coffee and a chair.

  • Do I understand that the tubing slips into the fitting and is held by a catch mechanism inside the filter? I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever used one of those, but don’t recall. The problem I’d always face with something like that would be getting the tubing out of the old filter without having a small pond around my feet. I installed a filter in the farmhouse I rented, but this one was set up so that I unscrewed a long “bowl” and pulled the filter element out of the filter, then placed another one in its place. This was a Whirlpool filter, as well, but I don’t remember the model number. No messing around with the tubing once you got it in place. IIRC, the filters were something like $11.00 apiece and I got mine at Lowe’s.

  • CRussel

    For the next time, try and keep a spare around. No help this time, of course. And yes, I couldn’t agree more about hardware stores. The big box depot types have almost completely driven them out of business, and now your only choices are to deal with them or deal on the web. (If, on the other hand, you have a local hardware store, and you buy most of things at HD or Lowes or Rona, shame on you, and you deserve what you’ll eventually get.)

  • CJ

    The Whirlpool filter uses what’s called a locline connector: there’s a collar you push down to ‘free’ the line for extraction; and the top collar works as designed, but the bottom doesn’t. I use loclines on a lot of fishy apps. When they work they’re easy and secure. When they don’t, they’re a pita.

    The GE unit and others use a lock-nut that fits on the tubing and slides down over it. You insert a little washer with a tiny tube attached that slides into the tube. YOu screw down the nut, using a double wrench, one for the filter, one for the tube, and it SHOULD work. I’ve used similarly ones, but never one this small and futzy.

    I agree with you, CRussel, about patronizing the mom and pop hardwares, and real hardwares. From books to bolts, the times they are a-changin’ , and not always for the better.

  • I am not a handyman. Not by eyesight at least, and not likely by innate talent and disposition. Though there are some things I’d do myself if I could see to do them. (Grumble.)

    So any trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot on my own can be, well, odd. And repairmen are *really* expensive these days.

    But my last two (three?) trips to said establishments have been — exceedingly aggravating. I went back home and (grumble, grumble) ordered *online* for delivery, because both local stores did not have what I needed in stock, and I couldn’t find substitutes.

    Why? — Because not all their people are trained enough in what stock they have, what things do, and how to serve their customers…and sometimes basic problem solving. When I, the non-handyman, can actually tell some young guy, hey, you need to do X, Y, and Z to do that to serve your customer…something’s wrong in the training. (It was a task to find and cut down items to the needed size.) (Yours truly was then dumb enough not to mark on the boxes which one was cut to what size. D’oh.

    Why else? — Big one, here:

    Welcome to the New Economy, post-crash. Welcome to Just In Time Inventory and downsizing. Where before, I know I could have walked in and found a number of options and plenty of stock so that I as a homeowner or someone else as a contractor / repairman could pick up stock right then, even have choices — Now, they only carry certain items at all, and only a few there at the store. If you want/need something else, or more of the items, you need to order them and they’ll ship to the store. — But…it’s…a warehouse…a store…where you…store stuff. :headdesk:

    It should be added that I’m not in a small town, either. I’m in one of the biggest cities in the nation. (Houston is currently 4th largest, I think.) So…there are (should be) other locations for both chains, but these days, far enough away it isn’t always smarter for me to go there. — And with those projects where I needed something? Yes, they said they looked. The other stores in town didn’t have them either. Maybe two weeks to get them in. Basic stuff. Things I’d expect anyone in town to need. I only needed a few.

    Oh, but I could go home, order from an online store of one kind or another, and have the items shipped to my door. — Meaning I could’ve done that in the first dang place and saved myself a few hours, much aggravation, mystification, and cab fare.

    I have since discovered that this holds true for ohter “big box” stores on many items also. My workflow now is often to search online and “Save To Cart” if such is possible, then look locally, and if I can’t get it that day, to come back home and order online. … Or skip local suppliers altogether. — I don’t *want* to avoid buying locally. It makes more *sense* to buy locally and support the businesses and employees in my community (when the money stays here and doesn’t go far, far away), and to get the item immediately and bring it home, without shipping, etc. — But in many cases, all sorts of chain stores are doing this to themselves.

    I have actually had the following exchange with a big-box chain store clerk:

    “Oh, sir, you can order that ONLINE from our website, and have it shipped to our store, and we’ll call you when it arrives, and you can come pick it up.”

    “But…if that’s the case…can I have it delivered to my house?”

    “Oh, sure! Yes, you can do that!” The clerk was quite pleased with himself.

    “Oh, uh, but I came to the store because I wanted to buy locally, and take it home today. I’ve just spent an hour in the store, not counting looking for this order.”

    “Oh, sir, I’m sorry. But you can order it and pick it up!” He said brightly. (Can’t blame a guy for trying, I suppose. At least he was being nice to me.)

    “Um, thank you, I’ll go right home and order, and have it delivered to me.”

    “Thanks for shopping with us. We’re glad we could serve you today!”

    “Thank you.” I went to the checkout line after that, mystified. They had other models, but not what should’ve been a big seller, and it was not a peak sales day or time.

    The clerk got points for being unfailingly cheerful in the face of potential customer upset. He wasn’t as air-headed as that exchange makes him sound. But the policy and explanation were. I wasn’t angry, just very surprised and a little disappointed. — I ended up ordering from (where else?) Amazon, because that big-box store’s website was virtually impossible to use as a customer. I could find it easily (and more) from Amazon, because on most things (not all), they have the process well organized. The item arrived in one or two weeks, nice as you could ask. — And the chain store didn’t get my business, even though the clerk was trying his best to be nice. He had either an instinct for customer service or good training on the interpersonal skills. It was the company’s policy and process that didn’t make good sense.

    Yet that same thing, “Oh, you can go ONLINE and get it from our WEBSITE,” has become a mantra, and a reason not to carry things in the local (warehouse sized) (storehouse) bricks-and-mortar store location. — No matter that really, I would prefer to get it today, locally, take it home and start using it right away; and no matter that I would prefer that some portion of the money I spend should go back into my own community, because those minimum wage paid employees live at least somewhat near me, here in my city.

    This has happened in a number of cases, often enough I learned my lesson and usually look online first, or skip buying locally entirely on some things now, because I know it’s a waste of my time otherwise.

    Very unfortunately, this was also my experience at my last trip to Barnyard and No Bull. I went back home and ordered online then too. Their nearest location to me is bigger than one of the city branch library locations I went to as a boy. But they now do not keep much in stock of any one book, and some books, authors, or subjects are hardly covered or not carried in stock at all. But, but, but…it’s a book store! For books! And…their chain is faltering and had beaten out the competition. So…things do not look good in Mudville, while Casey is at the bat.

    Welcome to the new economy and the online age. … Oh, I want companies to regain common sense again! (Also to pay their workers a livable wage and get their supply locally and funnel profits locally when possible.)

    It’s a mixed up world out there.

    • depending on the item, if you order it online and have it shipped to the store and then go pick it up, you save on shipping charges. If you order it online and have it shipped to your home, you might have to pay those shipping charges. I try to order “ship to store” whenever I can, but then, there are other places where I shop that if I reach a certain amount, the shipping is free….

  • paul

    A good family-run independent hardware store (bookstore) is a thing to cherish!

    “Icebox”, eh? I figure I’m a few years older. Ok, we were city folk when I was a kid, though Mom knew what an icebox was and the word was known in the house, the first “fridge” we had I recall was a Servel natural gas powered box. Remember them?

    15-20 years ago Home Depot had great hardware departments, had everything. Since then, all they have is the common stuff. But that’s generally true. Ever notice how “supermarkets” have less variety of fruit & veg than old “green grocers”? Blame the SKU’s, computers, daily/hourly stock tracking (of which Walmart is renowned), “just in time” shipping, and the management that insists on rapid turnover to maximize profits that keep Wall Street happy.

  • ryanrick

    We flat quite fussing with them and order the filters online. Even for a small town (ca. 15000) we have no true independents — we have an Ace (no refrigerator filters), we have a miniscule Sears (appliances only – but not our filters anymore) and Home Depot which may or may not have any on any particular day. So we get them online.

  • Psider

    I remember the old family run hardware store in the small country town I grew up in. The main floor was roughly organised, but packed with stuff, with things spilling into random areas. Bits and bobs and bails and coils and boxes, piled and stacked, up and up.

    And then once, I got taken upstairs to the storeroom, and it was like a treasure room. Downstairs x3. Wending past all of the things escaping across the dim aisles.

    Modern museums are a bit like new hardware stores. Shiny, but missing the mystery around every turn. I loved poking through the old one, never sure what I would find around each gloomy corner, or in the next dusty display case, in a seemingly long forgotten room.

  • smartcat

    We are fortunate to still have local hardware and appliance stores, plus locally owned lumberyards. When we were buying a power inverter during the first of many power outages, we went first to HD. They wanted to sell us one that went into the cigarette lighter, not what we wanted. When we were leaving the lot Proge suggested we go across the street to McQuade’s. With not much hope we asked. The response was, “Sure, what size do you need?” Eight hundred watts and home again!

    The same thing happened when we needed to replace the belt on our very old Kenmore dryer. Even Sears was stymied. Finally one of the guys at McQuade’s said we should try Morrone’s electronics and appliances. Again, “Pretty sure it’s in stock, if it isn’t we can have it for you in two days.” Five minutes later we had the belt. By the next day we had a working dryer.

    When we buy a new stove, guess where we are going to buy it?

    Many of the local stores still have dogs and cats on the premises. Sometimes living in a slightly backwater community has it’s advantages.

    Proge has the dribble fountain and the filter and the filter hooked up. The goldies are happily swimming and we have six babies! Spring may finally be happening!

  • Jo-Ann Croft

    Yes, this is a constant problem for the last few years. Computer parts are a good example. Best Buy is the only chain electronics store left now, but their shelves are always empty. My son went there to buy a new fan for his CPU chip water cooling system. The shelves were empty.

    The explanation given was that it was the beginning of the month and all stock had been bought out by local computer repair businesses. Which makes absolutely no sense at all. I don’t think businesses would pay shelf retail prices for speculative items they could get cheaper online.

    Hopefully, local stores will start appearing to take up the slack.

    • If there is a Fry’s store near you, check there for computer parts. Fry’s sells computers and parts down to the geek-out level 🙂 and other electronics, some appliances… a number of other things. They are a combination “warehouse” and “yuppie” business.

      My one complaint is that the local Fry’s went to cost-cutting store lighting. I have (no kidding) had to use a pocket flashlight the last times I’ve been in there. On the last visit, apparently the store salescritters have the same problem: There were a couple of table / desk lamps at workstations. Heh.

      Yes, it encourages online purchase too.

  • My favorite Mom-and-pop hardware store folded 2 years ago. You could find any connection in existance and the help was always friendly. I miss them.

  • chondrite

    At least if I go to our local Ace Hardware, I have a better chance of finding one of their staff that has been around forever and can help me locate what I need. The folks at Home Despot or Lowe’s are usually little more than glorified stockboys, and have little clue about what they are putting on the shelves, which is probably to be expected for a bit more than minimum wage. My favorite place to just browse for hardware is our local ReStore, run by Habitat for Humanity, and a cornucopia of almost any weird home repair or improvement thing under the sun. I bought the tiles for my kitchen countertop there, the flooring, plumbing components, grout and sealant, a vent hood for my dryer, and a bunch of other stuff. It’s probably the closest you will come these days to the old hardware store jumble.

    • chondrite

      I think Paradise Auto has folded, however 🙁 They either carried or were able to get in a couple of days any auto component I needed, from turn signal bulbs to a water pump to a replacement radiator. They had a Countertop Cat as well, with a perpetual smudge on his back, probably from being petted by greasy hands 🙂

      • Hanneke

        Here’s another story about a smudgy cat which may raise a smile.
        A young stray, half-grown, had wandered into a local foundry. The men in the workplace were kind to it, brought it food and petted it, but some of them also worried because he was deaf, and couldn’t hear the heavy machinery coming.
        So one of them told his wife, who told me, who told my sister, who wanted a cat. She went and picked him up, and thought he was at least half siamese, because he had that colouring: he was a bit beige, lighter on the belly than the back, and his ears and tailtip were quite dark, with gradual shading on his head and lower tail towards those points.
        But the longer she had him, the lighter he became. Finally even the darkest points were pure white: it had all just been grease and dirt from being petted by the men at the foundry. That did explain the deafness of course, as that is quite common in white cats 🙂

  • CJ

    Countertop cat. Gotta love it.

  • Raesean

    Pretty much every town here around Boston still has a local hardware store, generally with a local, often family name followed by “Ace” or “True Value” meaning that they have joined a hardware coop for purchasing. Indeed, yes, they are well stocked and knowledgeable.

    My Grandpa ran the local hardware store (then called Johnson’s Farm Supply, and started by his father, “Boomstopper” Johnson) in Reading, Mass until he retired early due to poor health in the 50’s, moved with my Grandma to Barrington, NH, got bored and started a Farm Supply there.

    When my spouse and I moved to Reading in the late 80’s, Johnson’s was still owned by a couple of the store employees who had bought it from my Grandpa. They and the main store accountant very much remembered my Grandpa, even though he died in 1970, and my Grandma, to whom they sent greetings. It was very nice.

    Hmm… but I am about to prove my lead sentence wrong because the two men who bought and co-owned the store sold it about 6 years ago when a Loews moved in the next town over, distracted customers and, separately, property values spiked so much in Reading center that Johnson’s and the two other stores by the train station that my Grandma well-remembered all made a mint selling to a big developer who put in a big, boring building I have refused to look at the few times I’ve been back to Reading.

  • Heheh. I have a Countertop Cat story too.

    Our first full-time pet cat was a stray who picked us when I was, oh gosh, maybe ten? We still had the mama dog I grew up with.

    His name was unoriginal but suited him, Thomas. Our dog’s name was Schatzie. My mom had had a semester of German and my dad had served in West Berlin for his stint in the army in the 50’s. So she was Schatzie. Actually, she was Schatzie Bug, because she liked June bugs so much…. (I’m an animal lover and nearly any animal likes me. I have had cats ever since Thomas, but I miss having a dog sometimes.) Anyway….

    Where we lived was on the edge of the city limits and it was common for animals to be dumped, and we would later get other cats who saw a good thing and invited themselves to stay.

    That’s probably how this cat found us. He was a ginger and white cat, and as happens, moved in immediately.

    My mom’s (and dad’s) art and frame shop was next door. They’d started it when I was around Kindergarten age and it continued until we moved when I was a high school junior. My mom was a professional artist, mostly oils. She loved crafts too. — To this day, I feel nostalgic, at home, when I smell turpentine and linseed oil 🙂 and I’m around arts and crafts supplies. — When I was a kid, I’d come home from school to the art store, and I’d stay there with my mom until dad got home from work. When I was older, I could be at the house too, but typically, I was there at the shop when it was open.

    That mama dog, by the way, would go back and forth from the business to the house. She always found a way to get under the chain link fence. Heh.

    The cat showed up one night, moved in, and that was that, as far as he was concerned. He and the mama dog had a treaty going: Don’t mess with me and I won’t mess with you. We like these humans.

    The cat discovered he could make himself at home in the art shop, which he did. Back and forth to the house, but with us when the shop was open.

    Soon, there was a cat in the back office on the sofa, keeping me company while I did homework or watched TV or drew or read. He kept my mom company while she painted between customers or students.

    He explored the windows and the shelves of art supplies and the framing supplies and the classroom and gallery spaces. He quickly decided that a shelf with a window view was a good place to sun himself and watch the goings-on unobtrusively.

    He also discovered the counter top at the cash register. This was a nice, bare, wooden space in the middle of everything with a good view of all the windows and the door, of course. Naturally, he’d be in the middle of this or off to one side. It was a nice place for a nap.

    Regulars (and cat people) got used to seeing him on the counter, snoozing.

    One day, a new customer came in and made purchases; art supplies, as typical, tablets or paint or brushes or medium or canvas.

    She brought her supplies to the counter and of course, there was a cat on the counter, not moving. She looked at the cat and had started to put down some of the supplies.

    “He moved!” she said, a bit surprised.

    He woke, moved, raised his head, and then, equably, moved over to lay down again, so the customer had space to put her purchases.

    It developed she was somehow not sure, and thought he might’ve been asleep. …Or might’ve been stuffed.

    Well, she wasn’t too odd about it and our cat didn’t acknowledge the slight. After all, he knew he was not stuffed. Shouldn’t she?

    My mom took this in stride and had a good laugh with the customer, who left happy with whatever supplies she’d bought. (I was there to see the whole thing.)

    The customer presumably left also with a better understanding of counter top cat behavior….

    Just to add to this, our cat, who was more gentle than lazy, was so used to people that he did let people rest canvas or other such items upon his person, as long as no one was rude and pushy and heavy about it. He would generally move, but occasionally, hey, it was his counter, what was their problem? He never lashed out about it. He’d move over, or stay in the shelf by the window, or stay in the office. There was a sofa and two work tables, and he could watch my mom paint.

    I always greet (or acknowledge) any store cat or dog. I figure they’re the boss or they have a good “in” with the boss. And they are generally good company for the company.

    I’m a “small office / home office” person these days. I have two cats who trade the desk, the window, and the file cabinet that overlooks the other window in here. Heheh. So I suppose I have a form of counter top cats.

    Hmm. Smokey just decided he needed a snack, and Goober is likely on the bed at the moment. 😀

  • I will be a little more quiet this week, as real life stuff (budget, other obligations) have reared their ugly heads, and I’ll be attempting to resolve these in part or in whole, through this week and probably next.

    I will, however, be back in as time permits for a dose of sane, reasonable people who like good discussion and good reading.

    I so hope to make enough progress to get out from under the eight ball.

    I will be concentrating more on font design and less on writing for a while, so I can get some font designs finished, and get them in the process for consideration to be sold by a vendor. From submission to review to contract and payment takes four to six weeks. Then from the time they are posted for sale to the first disbursement, if large enough, takes another four to six weeks. This means in total, around two to three months before I would receive whatever income from it. And like writing, it’s feast or famine, and you collects sales / royalties thereafter. So, the best strategy is to have a few one-off fonts in process with a font-family (a number of related styles), in order to get a stream going, and to prevent creative boredom or burnout. The development process can be weeks, months, or years, with drawing, tweaking, hinting, kerning, refining, until it’s of a quality you’d want to put out there. That depends on the tools, the time to actually do it, and the designer’s tastes and skills. (In the old days before computer type, the process took years, and was very specialized.) Implicit in this is, when you put a font out there, will people love it, buy it, use it, and tell others; or will people not like it or not find it useful for real-world projects? This is up to other people’s tastes and the trends of the time. There is a lot of good competition out there producing good work, and there is a lot that is not so fine either. There’s also pricing to consider. So… well, I think what I have will be hits, but I won’t know until they’re out there. And… that’s likely another three months down the line.

    Meanwhile, I get to stretch my budget some more to accommodate the latest whatever-this-is until it’s resolved.

    I am hoping one item is a misunderstanding or mistake and can be resolved simply enough, and maybe even gain some help or an ear who understands my situation. Or it could be nothing. Or it could be a big deal. I will know later today or later this week.

    The other is some foul up I have not yet determined, either an error or .. possibly, I don’t have as much time on a debt as I thought. So… I will see later today and take at least one step to solve it. Later this week or next, I should be able to do more. And perhaps part is, I surely hope, an error or missed item. … One part: Where is that envelope, pray tell? I’m still looking.

    So if I’m more quiet than usual, well, I’m attempting to keep my figurative boat afloat.

    I feel a little like Sandor in this, but it’s thankfully not the same. It is, however, a pain in the budget and savings, and … stuff has to get done, for my own peace of mind, and to meet obligations.

    Meanwhile, I am not going to give up on writing every day, even with my scattered, round robin approach. I’m still learning how to write fiction. And… some of this is pretty good, I think. A lot is rough, first draft material. But… I actually like doing it and want to get something out there. (Likely ebook, self-publishing, but I’ll know whenever I finally have something ready.) … But first, anything of those has to be completed, not a partial rough draft. I’ve been writing around 6 to 10 pages of rough draft prose per day, and rarely missing a day. I think I might have that chance, at least. So I will keep at it. It feels right. I like doing it. I’m still a wannabe, a newbie.

    So… that’s where I am this morning.

    And now to finish getting ready, and then to face the stack again and see if perhaps I overlooked what I’m looking for, or if the thing never arrived at all. — And then today to make calls to get the Sissyphian ball rolling again.

    I so want the heap of To Do to dwindle and be done. I want my life back. I want my home to be fit for visitors, if I were ever to have some. I at least want it fit for me and my cats. … Or I want to be ready to move to an apartment and sell my home. … But I want things solved. I want a sustainable budget and life, not what I’ve been living with. So… once more unto the breach.

    So if I’m uncharacteristically quiet, it’s only because I’m trying, single-handed, to slay less figurative dragons involving figures, home repair, accounts, obligations. An increase in income or another pair of hands would do wonders to solve things.

    Part of the problem is likely someone who doesn’t know my situation thought they’d see to it that it was pushed along and solved as they think it should be — without trying to talk, call, or write me first or to offer help in solving it. — Or one part is a simple mistake, or even an offer of resources to begin tackling things more. — I should know today or this week, I hope.

    So… well, gods be feathered. I’ll keep after it. Got to.

  • It is Monday morning. There are two rules for this. One, the world does not revolve around what I want, drat it. Two, it is nearly impossible to reach a real live person, even after 9:30am or 10:30am in one’s own city. I have left messages and now await calls back. At least the friendly neighbor was available and friendly as usual. This is much appreciated. I’ll bet she was well loved by her students; she’s a retired school teacher.

    The errant envelope appeared. I’d missed it in sorting through things last week. This solves one immediate problem and reduces another. Yay.

    One call should go toward solving another few, funds toward a couple of needed repairs that will ease things a lot, and solve or take chunks out of others.

    The young lady official is probably swamped with her Monday caseload and hearing and seeing things I would not want to know about. I have a call in to her to resolve whatever misunderstanding or possible resources are available, so she can know she doesn’t have yet another real problem, only someone struggling to bail out his boat.

    But if nothing else, I’m galvanized into “get ‘er done” mode again, and maybe there will be more sustained progress building from there, until (I hope) I can get an increase in my income from work done. Oh, I hope. I also hope for real progress in how I’m doing things, so live is more livable, enjoyable again, and things are in good shape around here again.

    Meanwhile, awaiting a return call and getting little stuff done.

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