Saturday, August 22, 2009

Inexpensive project - brick and pavers path to repair an entry, backdoor, $1 dollar each (Home Depot), total cost $4, Seattle, Washington, USA

Inexpensive brick and pavers path entry, backdoor, $1 dollar each (Home Depot), total cost $4, Seattle, Washington, USA
This back entry to an older apartment rental used to be a jumbled, unsightly and confusing nightmare, especially dangerous to people using canes to walk, those with bad eyesight, and even to the cat or dog. Using the existing brick dug out of the old walkway, purchasing the 4 larger brick pavers (concrete), we restructured the area for $4.00 using existing materials. This project was accomplished in 2 four-hour sessions with two people.

Between sessions the area was cleared of the materials and the ground was leveled to make walking here easy to do, even when the project was not finished. All tools were put away.

We added drainage using all the small pebbles and rocks we could round up from the yard. These rocks are no longer in view in the finished project because they form the foundation for the left, right and front areas so water drains from the left to the right and away from the entry.

Entryways, paths, exits, stairs and all transition places, such as hallways, and driveways should always be kept as clean and free of debris as possible.

There are multiple reasons for keeping transition areas clean and clear.

First is safety, and safety is aways the first consideration in walkways and staircases. The last thing anyone wants is a disabled or older person falling down a staircase, or tripping over stuff left in a transistion zone.

In my own case, my mother fell over a bag of potatos left on the staircase of her house, onto the landing where she cried out for help for 4 hours until a passerby on the street heard her. After that she always wore an emergency call necklace just in case. If we all followed the simple rule not to leave anything on a stairway, it just simply would not have happened.

Second is the energy or spiritual quality of any location. To keep energy flowing and clear, entryways, exits, hallways, paths and similar transition areas are the veins and arteries of physical places especially around the house.

Anything which blocks the flow of energy often is a safety risk as well.

The desire to place things in such transition zones that block their use, may be reviewed and considered as physical manifestations of energy and psychological problems such as the desire to hide, not deal with personal or professional problems, or other similar energy flow issues.

Now both the people and the cat enjoy walking through this area because they don't even notice it any more. Not noticing a transition zone is a good place to begin with a redesign - the best result is to notice the beauty of such an area, because its usefulness is a given.

Backdoor entryway porch, updated, project cost $4, Lake City, Seattle, Washington, USA

Monday, August 10, 2009

With something to cheer about: A cliffhanger, untangling personal economic near disasters and boondoggles

I want you to know something in the government still works!

The Governor of Washington Chris Gregoire's office responded to my email plea regarding the unemployment problems I encountered with a call today from a real live person, Mr. Mike Lundstrum. Mike is an interstate laison for the unemployment program here in Washington. He is following up in minute detail to get both Washington state and California state to pay me the back payments owed to me for my unemployment claims from both states.

Due to California's archaic paper forms process, and internal online form screens and Washington's oversight in informing both me and California of my valid claim I was not paid unemployment for some months. We don't even want to imagine what handling all those millions of paper forms is like in California.

Mike said he is "like a dog with a bone on this sort of thing and won't let go until it is resolved." I am not sure how much I will be paid finally, but it should be something more than a month of unemployment and it could be two months plus worth.

There is an additional so-called waiting week in my California claim that I will not be paid - and what exactly are we waiting for kids? - that waiting period in all states should be abolished in IMHO. Why put up with "we've always done it that way" as an excuse?

Mike has also notified the California Federal Extended Unemployment program that I am qualified, if we reach that point. I was hoping his call was someone offering me work, but sadly "no", he said, he "was not that person". He did however suggest that the state of California hire me to get an online claims system up and running, hen hen hen.

Now, to figure out what happened to the school loan deferment forms I requested two weeks ago so I stand a chance in heck of returning to the UW with a loan.

Then, on to untangling the credit problems created by the auto-fraud detection and auto-payment software programs at Bank of America that ate my credit card and accounts, canceling my account, charging me for the late auto-payment that it did not make, and then dooming my credit without my ever missing a payment in 10 years. Shame on you Bank of America for canceling my credit for your own software mistakes and claiming it was because I was unemployed!

My new Virgin Mobile phone setup triggered the fraud detection software at BoA, because the phone, purchased from Best Buy was not registered in the Virgin database. Ok. Days of boondoggle wasted time and energy. Good luck getting the "customer service" at BoA to listen to the words coming out of my mouth. When I call again I will be Rambo - armed to the teeth.

I have lived on the edge many many times in my life, with increasingly great faith, but this last 2 or 3 years, even I have to admit has been a wingdinger, a real cliffhanger, and I can hardly wait to see what happens in the next installment -- like a child afraid of the boogieman under the bed, up late at night watching TV.

I know I learn more this way, but WHOA.

PS for those of you who have never been poor enough to qualify for foodstamps or other aid, I discovered that programs to help the poor provide only for landline based phone service, not cell phones. So I wrote a number of our representatives about fixing that antiquated oversight.

The real poor live out of their car, or public sleeping cots in group shelters, or on the street - they don't have the luxury of a residence - where are they going to put a landline -- in their pocket? and if We The People are going to help provide homeless and needy with phone service they should have cell phones because that is what makes sense.

Anyway - Cheers!