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Half awake I was mulling too many things that irritated me, so I decided to get up a little early today at 4:30. I cooked a can of soup and made tea. Light rain is spattering the roof making a gentle sound, as my long driveway that was manageable yesterday is again turning to mud with holes.
The source of irritation was the visit yesterday that left a note on my door from the bum who put my septic mound in late last fall. He gave me a bid and worked for 3 days, for which I paid $4350.00. The crew got a little extra work done working about 4 hours, but he came at me with a bill for $1680 on January 1 when I had been thinking we were square (him giving me a couple hours with the job.)
I agree to paying for the half day digging a trench for my waterline, but it should not cost 1680 dollars. He has built many septic mounds and made money on what I paid. Materials were about 2200 including the pump. Subtract for three days labor of 2 men at $10 each and you have over 1500 dollars as his profit. One of the days he traveled to a doctor for a checkup.
I worked for years doing installations in a decent manner that required approval of any extra costs beyond routine work and materials. The vast majority of variations in materials were absorbed in a flat fee including mileage. Each job was done according to the agreement made before the work was done.
I am prepared to call this man a bum to his face, adding something like, "Get yourself some beer and go do what bums do! Get off my property!" The $400 would probably be in my hand. My realtor told me a lien on my property must be filed within 45 days of completion of the work. I need to see a lawyer. The bum arrives in an expensive new truck he brings around after the work is done. I have heard from someone else that he operates "that way." Apparently its a popular form of abuse done by contractors to get more money. I don't like them coming around, and he has even stopped at my neighbor's house to talk to his wife, which I think is very rude.
I don't think he desrves to be in his position. I have the mind to report him to the "Better Business Bureau." A previous contractor with a Bobcat and small bucket lacked capabillities needed to dig the water line properly. He came out at the end of the week just before rain and worked in clay after it was assumed he would leave. Instead he ignored my instructions to spread a pile of fill in an area for a slab, and moved it as backfill around the rest of my small basement. The work rutted my class-5 driveway with 6-inch ruts that he back-bladed smooth, but the material was saturated. I returned to find my needed fill gone, and had to walk through mud to get to the deck. He performed work that was not ordered AND made it necessary to replenish the fill with truckloads of sand. There was no guarantee I could get sand in there until next summer. Luckily, the weather changed and it became dry making the road again passable. The guy thinks he should be paid simply for his time, not the actual work done properly. This is 2 of 4 contractors I disute. The well and driveay catwork were fine, and the cat operator is returning this spring to finish landscaping.
Today the wind picks up and rain will come horizontal for awhile. Temperature drops near freezing again at night and then Sunday is expected to be the first of many warmer and more pleasant days.
(I also mulled the weilding hand trump play, deciding its easily possible with 2 positions. Assuming unlimited resources to buy stock, the controler has purchased large amounts of stock at a lower level, holding it. He then times a purchase of a short position with an oil signal that will (now characteristically) tumble the market. He mops up on the short position selling a little of his holding near the top while other shareholders participate in making the short play. He holds option to dump all shares at any time if necessary, but he makes 10% or better on each short play, plus another 10% on the next ensuing hold ... and so on in cyclical fashion. There is little hope for ever maintaining an even flow of oil, because they can guarantee that it will NOT be possible (especially with new increased demand from China.) The synchronized player has quite an advantage in this market, especially when the American investor is convinced the broader market will go higher, and not be tumbled with ocassional oil (or terror, or economic) concerns. What they do with huge amounts of money is beyond comprehension.)
Yesterday I went to town with 12 dollars for a couple gallons of gas and a can of dogfood. I got bananas and a quart of milk for myself to go with the can of soup I had. Money I transfered from my brokerage will be there today. It was raining when I went out and I returned to find all firewood wet, so I burned propane overnight for a little warmth. The sustained damp cold is having effect on my outlook. Looking back, I can't believe I actually spent the winter holed up in my little shack with a woodstove and no running water. Poor me.