A Little D-I-Y Project – When I replaced the stacked mini-decks that serve as stairs to the back yard, I anchored them in the same corner, where the fence meets the porch, as the previous stairs. In doing so, I preserved the most annoying side-effect my D-I-Y-ness has ever created – the stair/fence leaf prison. Every autumn, leaves from up and down the street are blown to our yard, turn up our driveway and lodge themselves between the solid side of the stairs and the chain link fence. The fence is a reverse-osmosis leaf trap right out of the Twilight Zone. The diamond shaped holes are big enough for a large full green leaf to get in, but too small for the shrunken, brown, dried-up leaf remnants to escape.
Every year, I try using a variety of small leaf rakes, garden stakes, narrow pieces of plywood and a gas-powered leaf-blower – all to no avail. This is where leaves go to slowly rot.
Earlier this year, it occurred to me that I could modify the bottom rail of the fence to match the contour of the stairs. Saturday it occurred to me that I had enough leftover fence rail to do the job. I also had the tools required and I could probably do the job in one nice day – just like the one we were about to have. Even better, the process required cutting, welding – and grinding, because when you weld like I do you must be good at grinding – steel. Three of my favorite things. And, as a bonus, it was precisely the kind of job that justifies owning those tools. I mean, you can’t buy this fence rail at Home Depot.
If you enjoy D-I-Y projects, the slideshow includes the significant steps.
Office Supplies – A few weeks ago, I received an email advertisement from, oh, let’s call them RedCo. They were offering $25 off any order over $100, and they were offering an even more special deal on purchases of ink or toner. I jumped at this offer because I’m an impulsive marketing sap who falls for things like “while quantities last” and “3-Days only” and “Lowest price of the year.” After I placed my order, The Editor pointed out that the last time we needed these items, she bought them from BlueCo and paid less – even after the discounts and free shipping.
Two weeks ago, RedCo asked me to complete a survey. I gave them a horrible response. I explained in detail the basis for my dissatisfaction. One week ago, they asked me to review the product online. I did, echoing the comments I made in my survey response.
I received an email containing their reply to my review:
“Our stores are able to price match our and our competitor’s online prices at the time of sale. Just let them know, and we will take care of it!”
There are three things wrong here:
- I didn’t buy the product in a store, I bought it online in response to a special offer.
- The toner is for an older laser printer and it is never available in the store.
- Why on earth would I ask one store to match another store’s lower price? Why wouldn’t I just buy it from the store with the lower price?
I wasn’t able to point these errors out to RedCo because my review and their reply have been deleted. I predicted that they would do that.
Walker Lady – Maddie and I walked very early yesterday. When we got to the Veterans Memorial (at the end of the entrance to her park) she pulled me toward the access road that goes behind the baseball field – she wanted to go the long way. It was a cool, quiet morning, and she was being very good, so I agreed. We walked about 90% of the way back to the street, when The Walker Lady came out of her apartment building. Maddie froze. Maddie’s inner Captain Kirk said, “Hard about Mr. Sulu, maximum warp” and she practically tore my shoulder in half (yes, I am still watching Star Trek Original Series reruns, thanks for asking).
We traced our steps back to the park’s main entrance, and Maddie stopped again. She looked over toward the driveway the Walker Lady would have used. We had been walking long enough for the W-L to complete her walk. I assured Maddie, “she’s not there!” but she gave an evil-eye stare and a low grumbly growl, just in case.
Thanks for reading. I hope you had a good weekend and I hope you stay well and have a great week.
Photos in the gallery collected on our walks and while sitting.