Saturday, July 03, 2010
ANOTHER QUESTIONS GAME!
To play, copy and paste into your blog, then change the answers. You are not allowed to duplicate answers; you must use different ones!!!
1. Name something you use in the shower?
2. Something people hate to find on their windshield?
3. Name something a man might buy before a date?
4. What is something you cook in the microwave?
5. Name a piece of furniture people need help moving?
6. Name a reason a younger man might like an older woman?
7. Name something a dog does that embarrasses its owner?
Something on neighbors lawn
8. Name a kind of test you cannot study for?
9. Name something a boy scout gets a badge for?
No idea, I've never been a boy scout
10. Name a phrase with the word 'home' in it?
Home sweet home
11. Name a sport where players lose teeth?
12. Name something a teacher can do to ruin a good day?
13. Name something that can brighten your day?
14. Name a bird you wouldn't want to eat?
15. Name something a person wears even if it has a hole in it?
16. Name something that gets smaller the more you use it?
Remember...NO copying!! You can't use the same answers as the last person.
Friday, July 02, 2010
When it comes to splitting the bills, you have to look beyond splitting the bills.
It's not that simple. It's never 50/50. Unless your incomes are exactly the same, and you both spend precisely the same amount of time on domestic chores (the unpaid work).
Most people don't see anything but dollars and cents. Income, housework and leisure time are usually grossly unequal. In general, men earn more, do little housework, and enjoy oodles of leisure time. No wonder women are more depressed and pistoff.
A good friend of mine once told me a story about a fight she had with her husband. Money was tight. They both had jobs, but she made less $ and he did nothing around the house. One day he suggested to her that she should get a 2nd job so they would "bring home equal amounts". Yep, he was ONLY looking at the paycheck side of life.
She said "If I have to work 2 jobs, what the hell do I have YOU for?"
She was right- if you count housework, she already HAD 2 jobs, and was putting in MORE than double the work time he was. But of course, he didn't think to count the housework part. It's just accepted that in a male/female couple, the women will do close to 100% of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, and childcare that happen in the household.
If you want to find out who is spending more time working, look at leisure time. Women don't have any, because they literally don't stop working until they go to sleep.
I guess that's all I have to say about that.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
I just opened my inbox and I've got great news- I passed forensics Consulting Academy!
Academy, which I attended in February, was four days of intense study and a two hour exam. I cleared that hurdle (step one). If you pass the exam, you receive a homework assignment: a hypothetical scenario for you to evaluate, and write a forensic report. If they like your report, THEN you have officially passed the Academy (step two).
It's been three weeks since I mailed my report. It was never acknowledged. After two weeks, I started checking my P.O. box daily. Nothing. No emails. I haven't heard a peep. I was starting to wonder if my report was ever received, and fret about what I did with the tracking number.
Last night, I finally emailed headquarters and asked when I could expect my results.
I just returned from 4 exhausting hours of physical labor, sawing tree limbs and cleaning up debris. I opened my inbox and found an email from the Academy. It began "Congratulations on passing the Academy..."
I'm ecstatic! I should be receiving instructions for step three (another report scenario) in a day or so, along with a registration application. If they like THAT report, and accept my application (and fees) I will have to submit a 4th and final report of my own creation.
I may achieve the Registration designation before the year is over!
Someone, peel me off the ceiling!
Monday, June 07, 2010
I got a call today from a woman who was furious because her tenants did some unauthorized landscaping.
They had pruned two of her beloved trees, and ripped out and discarded her 38 year-old peonies.
Imagine renting out the little house where you raised your children (because you couldn't bear to sell it), and driving up to discover that sight.
I spoke to her for a while, getting the background information. The trees were planted by her late husband, before they even OWNED the house... when they bought the house and moved across town, they paid to have the trees dug up and moved to there with them.
You start to get an idea of what these trees meant to her.
Then, she told me the story of the peonies.
After we established the history and the circumstances surrounding her anguish, we started discussing what I could do for her and what my services would cost. Like a lot of people, she wasn't prepared for the fees, and it takes some finesse to overcome the sticker shock. At this point, I usually empathize with the client and explain to them that their reaction is standard, since most people have never paid for a forensic arborist, and have nothing to compare it to. That usually calms them down, and the discussion can progress. Good for me, she went a step further, and started explaining to ME why I had to charge that much: "I know you experts don't come cheap" and "It's not easy to find a qualified Consulting Arborist". All in all, we hit it off very well.
We will meet at the property tomorrow morning. I still had some daylight left, and the property is very close, so I did a drive by. I'll have to do a lot more emotional soothing on her- the trees don't look anywhere near as bad as her emotional reaction led me to believe.
My assignment here is monetary value: what are the trees worth. There are a few ways to determine the dollar figure. One method is based on math and trunk measurements and species ratings. Another is replacement cost- which is how she is leaning, since she's already gotten removal estimates.
I haven't examined the trees closely yet, but I am going to have to break it to her that I can't give her a replacement cost estimate unless I recommend removal. It's unethical. If I am called to testify in court, and I think the trees have not suffered significant damage, I am going to have to say that. And I already let her know that even though the trunk formula method is a very common way of assigning value, the figure does not hold up well in court. And the situation is litigious.
Not good news for someone who already feels incredibly violated.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
I no longer guarantee my installations. I've had it.
Every time I plant things for people, they die. They never die in MY yard. I'M not doing anything wrong. I've seen the exact same situation play out, year after year after year. People don't WATER things, and they die. Then, the people are perplexed, deny any wrongdoing, and insist that they have watered and cared for the plant diligently. They ALWAYS say that.
When I offer a guarantee, I lose money.
I planted a tree several weeks ago for a neighbor. I looked him in the eye and made him swear that he would keep the tree well watered. Obviously, that meant something very different to HIM than it did to ME.
This guy lives four blocks away. I walk past the tree every day. From all appearances, the guy did everything possible to KILL the tree. He stacked about two feet of mulch on top of it in a huge pile that vaguely resembled a beaver lodge, and placed a gaterbag (water drip irrigation bag) on it, and walked away. Literally. He left the tree on autopilot, exactly like everyone else does. The water bag was filled ONE time. The tree has been slowly dying ever since I planted it.
Yesterday he emailed me, saying the tree didn't seem to be doing so well, and he had NO IDEA WHY.
I wrote back that the tree was dying of thirst.
I attached some research fact sheets about mulching (or not) and watering.
Today, he responded back. Now he's on the defensive, insisting that there isn't excessive mulch on top of the roots or touching the bark, and the tree is well watered. He even speculated that the tree might be OVER watered.
Buddy, I ain't blind! I see this tree every day.
This after I TOLD him exactly what the problem was and exactly how to fix it. Nope, I am the one here who doesn't know anything about trees. I am the one who is mistaken. He's done everything right.
He asked for my diagnosis, he got it, he had to face a difficult fact: the tree was dying because he neglected his responsibility of care. Nope- not happening. Unable to confront his role in the trees demise, he chose to discredit me, and lie to my face about keeping it watered and not buried under 30 lbs of mulch, as if I am a moron and CAN'T TELL.
So, his tree will die. His mind won't let him accept that it is his own fault, and he'll be angry at me for saying so. He'll probably complain that I gave him a bad tree, don't know how to plant trees, and generally badmouth me all over the neighborhood as an idiot.
One thing is certain- I will never offer a guarantee again. Not that he got one. He didn't pay. It was a gift.
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