Monday, October 20, 2014

Backseat vendors

Torbie cat likes to crawl or jump in my lap and curl up on my chest with my arms supporting her.  I love our cuddles, and she does too. 

I know she loves the cat treats I dole out (both girls are huge fans of any flavor Temptations cat treat).  I can always use more cuddles. 

However, my allergies have been horrific. 

See, I'm allergic to cats.  I'm not going to let that stop us, though. 

I just wish dogs were as quiet as cats.  The dog behind us has been going nuts today, barking and baying.  Shut up! 

I can only hope the owners will get sick of it (they didn't have any pets for the first couple years) and get rid of it.   They do put it in the house at night, so I should be able to sleep. 

I just don't see the appeal of having a pet you keep in the yard, and one that makes a lot of racket to boot.  I wouldn't want a pet that disturbed the neighbors.  Both my neighbors, on either side, like the cats. 

I know it's probably just some stray dogs sniffing around, but I know someone's home.  They could run off the strays and get us some peace and quiet. 

That's one thing I don't understand: why have a pet you're going to neglect?  Is it because they have a kid?  We got (rented) a house, we had the baby, now it's time to get a dog? 

I know a lot of people at work thought I was pregnant, when we mentioned we were buying a home.  

I just did an ownership search, apparently it's been flipped twice in the last couple years - to various landlords.  That, generally, does not bode well. 

And Ron's trying to sleep in the man cave, which is at the back of the house, not far from the dog.  It already woke him up once.  I find that upsetting. 

Enough about this.  I am sick of writing about rude neighbors. 

Torbie's climbed up on my computer desk, sitting on the mouse tray.  I had to move the mouse of course. 

While mildly manic, I had the energy to clean and organize part of the kitchen.  I've told Ron repeatedly, I just need help figuring out where to put things.  He seems resistant to helping, which I find baffling, because he is always complaining about the kitchen? 

Anyway, I found a ton of tea - bagged and wrapped, on the counter and in a cabinet.  I don't drink a lot of tea these days, I find it upsets my stomach. 

I thought about throwing it away, but them I remembered we (surprisingly) have a lot of tea drinkers at work.  I took it in today and left it out for them. 

The loose, bagged tea, went in a drawer.  They'll have a lot of fun drinking that up. 

I put the "box" teas out on the counter.  Sure enough, the guys had a lot of fun going through it. 

One of them said something to me, later.  First he thanked me for the tea. 

I did tell a couple people to help themselves, I brought the tea to share.  I didn't want them thinking it was someone else's.   I admit I did want a speck of recognition, . 

Anyway, he thanked me for the tea and made a big production out of saying "Some people say you are too loud but I don't agree." 


My drivers are all saying the same thing lately "You're so quiet, Heather, is everything OK?"  I just tell them I'm a little depressed, tired, queasy, whatever.   Normally I am more eubullient. 

I looked at this guy, who had nothing better to do than bash the hand that just fed him. 

I didn't mention the two, very loud, television sets in our area.  I didn't mention the noise from the vending machines.  I didn't mention the constant hum of conversation.  I didn't mention I only talk to Ron.  I don't stand there in front of the vending machines, shrieking at everyone. 

When I'm working with a customer, I keep my voice to a normal speaking level.  

I stuck to the truth.  "Ron has a severe hearing loss." I told him, knowing full well he was the one who thought I was "too loud".  "I have to yell at him or he won't hear me." 

Oh, he said, and left. 


I will continue to be nice to him, even though he never, ever, buys a single item out of our machines, yet always has lots of ideas on how I can "better" run my business.  I hate backseat vendors. 

I find it particularly frustrating when they ask me to carry a higher end item, yet are unwilling to pay a fair cost.  So they end up with cheap selections because that's all they'll buy.  Yet I see them bringing in takeout from Red Lobster. 

The other vendor is working with Ron to figure out when to raise the sandwich prices to $2.50, from $2.25.  That's right.  Two and a quarter.  Yet the gas station down the street sells a very similar sandwich for $5.  

That's their right, I never expect anyone to buy anything from us.  Any purchase is a gift to us, I thank them, even Ron thanks them, and if they look at me, baffled, I remind them "You're helping the handicapped."  I mean it.  I am happy to serve them and love to see people picking out their selection. 

I just don't like someone from another culture trying to dominate me because he doesn't like me talking loudly to my nearly deaf husband.   Ugh. 

That is a gripe, people who immigrate to America and then want us to act like the people "back home".  You hated back home.  That's why you moved here.  [shaking my head]  That applies across the board, to nearly every group of immigrants. 

Boy, I'm cranky today. 

That's what I hate about depression, it paints everything in shades of ugly.  I get angry about everything (I don't vocalize it, though, aside from some kvetching with Ron about shared gripes).  Everything is hopeless. 

The other vendor asked me an interesting question today, when I told him I was manic (it was pretty apparent).  "How long will it last?" 

"A couple days, to a week." I replied.  If I don't rapid cycle like I am now. 

I hate you, rapid cycles. 


I desperately wanted to go to bed early, but the neighbors had a guest over, with kids, and they all played out back by my bedroom until well after 7 PM.

Kids are going to do that, and they were pretty quiet, but there's no way I could have slept.

If I could go back in time (assuming I had a bigger budget and I could drive), I would get a big piece of land and a small mobile home, out in the middle of the country, with a nice tall fence.  It's just a little too personal hearing people talk while I'm lying in bed.

Anyway, I got "about" 8 hours, woke up tired.  I hit the snooze button a few times and figured I wouldn't have time for my God Time, but I had more time than I thought.  I did it and even had a whey protein with breakfast. 

Our ride was late, for work.

We barely made the sandwich delivery.  Happily all machines were working and didn't need much stocking.  I determined I DO need a full resupply on snacks.  I did a basic stock on snacks, serviced the food machines, and helped Ron.

I wasn't worried, we'll be back tomorrow.  

Time to go.  We left.

When Ron and I had talked about going to Home Depot after work, I assumed we would do just that.  No, Ron replied, we were going home (we ended up having a 2 hour layover), and then to the store, in case "They left us there too long".

I told him, at one point, "We would have been home by now even if they left us there 2 hours, and we haven't even left yet."  I wasn't bitchy about it, just resigned.

I am cycling between mania and depression today.  I just want to sleep and "turn off" (depression), and I have all kinds of interesting ideas (the mania).  It's wearing on top of the depression.

Torbie sat on my chest, purring, eating the odd treat, as I watched "Supernatural" and then part of "Castle".  I really am happy with a basic cable package - something the salesmen just can't understand.

Of course she made my allergies flare, but I'm OK with that.  I just mainly have a dry, occasional cough.

We finally went to the store.  Ron got his specialty toilet seat- he's been having vapors over the current one and it's plastic hinges.  He's worried they will break and we'll be without a toilet seat.   It's not a big deal to me but it was causing him anxiety.

I don't want him stressed out, so we went to the store.  We got his toilet seat.  I bought some white lithium grease for the Food Beast - it has some very stiff door latches.  It needs grease.  Now I have it.

White lithium grease is a good thing for anyone in vending, anyway.  It has a lot of uses.  Ron also wants me to "do" the hinges on one of our soda machines.

I left Ron by the door with our stuff, and then went in search of buckets and lids.  They are incredibly useful for the disaster kit.

I found some 2 gallons, 2 gallon lids, a standard 5 gallon, and a fancy 5 gallon gamma-seal lid.  I also got some extra 5 gallon lids, standard style.  I will need to break the lids off some of my inventory - to rotate it.  I want to make sure I have a way to seal them, when I'm finished.

I also got a bag of chips and called it "done".  I paid and our ride came pretty fast.

We had another pickup but got home somewhere around 1:30.  I got a nice 2 hour nap.

Now I just need to finish cleaning/organizing, maybe tackle the disaster kit, see how much room I have left in the trash can, and maybe do a little online shopping.

I still have a little fun money left - Ron gave me some a while back and I put it in my account. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finally manic

Well, the party lasted until well after 10:30, when Ron called the police.  He had been calling the sheriff, but I don't know if they came out.  The music would go down for a little while but then right back up again after they drank another beer (I'm guessing, I didn't see them drinking). 

Ron finally called our precinct.  What is the difference?  I couldn't tell you, but a call to the precinct seems to have better results. 

However, Ron burned his bridges pretty bad with the whole Barkappotamous drama, as you may remember.  He would make several angry calls a night, until they finally told him to call the sheriff instead. 

We got that settled, and #2 is great now.  They don't leave trash everywhere, they have a small house dog, and they're quiet. 

I don't know why #6 is getting progressively more aggressive in his partying, when the kids have a birthday.  I don't know why they keep having kids when he told me "It's getting crowded", and he works 80 hour weeks.  I don't know why they bought a small house, with a small yard and driveway, if they don't believe in birth control.  I don't know why he thought I'd hand over my driveway for his family's parking lot.  I was so glad, last night, I hadn't. 

I don't know.  [shaking head]  If it wasn't for his wife I'd wish they'd move out.  But she's nice. 

I don't think it's a good idea to teach kids to have late night parties, disturbing the neighbors, screaming, yelling, and kicking a soccer ball at 10 PM right outside someone's bedroom, when you know they are home.  But they'll reap that behavior when it's pointed at them, one day. 

I can only assume they are in some kind of church (because, and I find this most provoking, he swore up and down to friends of mine he was a born-again Christian) where birth control is forbidden.  I don't know. 

Ron cancelled our ride to church, which made me unhappy, but he said we needed our sleep after all the drama.  I agreed. 

So I woke up around 7:30.  I heard some cleaning up noises and a vehicle drive away around 8.  He left for work, apparently.  That must have been a lot of fun after last night.  I doubt he even got 8 hours of sleep.  Please God everyone will be quiet today. 

Since I was a little manic, I did my God Time.  I like to give Him my best, whatever that may be. 

I plan to do a lot of home organizing and purging during this mania. 

I killed the wasps who had set up camp in my BBQ.  It wasn't as bad as I'd feared. 

I found 2 balls in the yard and threw them back over the fence.  I found an ant mound and poisoned it. 

I calculate I spend about 10% of the time manic.  I try to use it as much as possible.  Spend it doing needed things. 

10% of the time I have an average mood.  The rest of the time I'm depressed.  Sucks to be me, huh? 

The manias are not worth the depressions, let me tell you. 

However, I do have the mania, I have a mostly empty garbage can, so I plan to do some purging and organizing.  I have a lot of trouble figuring out where things ought to go, so I plan to recruit Ron for help with the kitchen (a mess). 

I also need to do some work on my bedroom. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I meant to talk about this a while ago, but forgot. 

I forget a lot, but people like having me around.  I'm pretty evil, unmedicated.

One thing I hate about vending machine troubles, work issues, noisy neighbors (including the crane and steel cutting companies) - powerlesness.

I like to believe I have power over my life.  I like to believe my life is going to go the way I'd like.

I don't like realizing the things I want, and take for granted, in my life, are completely subject to the whims of others.

Take work: my day starts by checking the machines.  Are they working? 

If they're not, can I fix it?

If I can't fix it, that's a $70 service call.  Not counting parts.  Our last service call was $100.

Here's another one that freaks me out: plumbing issues.  Years ago, I had a demon possessed cut off valve for my toilet.  I couldn't cut it off.  I was in tears, desperate and frantic.  It was the middle of the night.

That's the closest I've ever come to giving up on evangelism.  I really thought for a moment "I can't handle this.  I can't do it."  Of course I can't; but God gives me what I need.

In this case we had a friend who fixed the cut off valve.  I had the whole shower-wall falling into the bathtub and raining tiles like rain, issue.

That should have cost probably $10K-15.  Instead, God sent a wonderful, bored, man who was looking for a project.

I now have a 5 star shower enclosure.

Happily, Ron and I know a kindly electrician, and we installed a new electrical panel back in 2004.   If we need help, we have it.

I could get very tweaky about house foundation issues, but from what I can tell it looks OK.  The siding is fine for now.

Business is better - the worst seems to be behind us.  Our management, and even our vendors (Dr Pepper) seem to be showering us with wonderful new machines, or the option to get them.

I may have even fixed the rip-off feature on Snack #3, an ongoing issue.  We'll see.  God showed me.
That's one thing I work on - humility.  I find it easier to give God the credit for something He had the whole time, anyway.  :)

I am pretty powerless. Hell, I can't even drive.  I am dependent on a lot of people for a lot of things.

You can't imagine how awful it was, waiting on the cab to take a dying cat to be put down, and having to wait and watch him suffer.

I'm pretty powerless, but God is a lot bigger than my problems.  I need to stop freaking and fumbling around and just toss them over to Him.  


Weekdays are great.  The neighbor kids are all at school and it's quiet. 

Weekends can bring anything.  Today it was 3 strange cars in front of the neighbors house, yet another party in progress, and Ron and I upset they're "ruining the neighborhood". 

I've got NO problem with a party.  None at all.  I do have a problem with very loud mexican polkas blasting from speakers set right next to my bedroom wall.  Especially when it runs late at night. 

At any rate, a lot of kids screaming in the yard, ball repeatedly kicked against the side of my house.  The kids got the dog behind me worked up and he added a lot of barking and baying to the mix.  This went on for hours after we got home. 

I didn't sleep well last night.  I had so been hoping for a nap. 

I got up at 4, hit the snooze button a few times, and did my God Time later.  (Already done)

Our pickup was a little late, but the driver was nice.  I was horribly queasy from my medication (pretty unusual, these days).  I crawled on the van, so to speak, and hardly said a word.  The driver kept asking me if I was alright and then yelled at Ron - "What did you do to her?!"

I told her I was "OK" but very sick to my stomach from my crazy pills.

Now if I were a driver, I would not greet that statement with relief.  Mine did.  She apparently likes me a lot, and was very worried.

We went to the warehouse.  Ron had a very long list of sodas, nearly 30 cases.  I told him "I can't get this, and my snacks.  We're going to have to come back for snacks if I get all this."  

I was pretty frustrated.  For years, Ron would buy sodas and food inventory in preference to snack items.  The snack machines looked awful, as a result.  Not only that everyone complained and it made me look bad. 

No one cares if a soda machine is out of Dr Pepper.  Everyone cares if the snack machine is out of Snickers.  I'm a little touchy about it. 

So, I got what I could (not much).  I checked out, to a much smaller total than Ron had expected. 

That would be my missing snack items.  I did get the pastry.  Praise God my label gun is working again.  I sell a good 36+48+24 = 108 to 120 items a week.  They like my selections. 

We did have a problem.  Our ride had a head cold earlier this week but swore he was "better now".  Ron said he sounded better so I agreed to the outing.  However, when he picked us up he sounded very gravelly and coughed a lot. 

He caught me looking at him "I don't have a temperature" he told me "I'm not contagious."  He then proceeded to tell me about the wonders of zinc lozenges, which I knew about in 1999.  He touched Ron's wheelchair.  He touched some of the merchandise.  He got up close to the guy helping me and made "cute" comments, speaking into his face. 

I was riding right next to him. 

I sure hope I don't get sick.  I did have this:  Whey isolate gel.  It's good for the immune system and muscle recovery.  I also took some supplements. 

I tried to load a lot of the drinks onto the "long" folding cart.  It got stuck in the door and set off a horrific alarm.  I'm sure the police had a lot of fun laughing at me on the security camera. 

Ron was desperate to help, and he had already.  He said he wanted to get up in the truck bed and help me get the merchandise.  I told him OK. 

I'm overprotective.  I need to stop that.  Ron managed for 37 years before he met me. 

So, I told him, try.  Just don't fall out of the truck bed, I begged, or they'll all blame me.  Once he got in there, he remained seated. 

The other blind vendor was in an accident recently, and I told his wife "I know what it's like to have people blame you for something that was never your fault."  She agreed with a wry laugh.

Ron was careful, and got up in there while I got my carts.  Probably a good thing I didn't see that. 

He shoved the cases toward the tailgate, I loaded them onto the carts.  It worked great and Ron felt wonderful about "helping". 

"I hate walking around in that truck bed" I told him.  "I get dizzy and I don't feel safe." 

After I had all the drama with the alarm - horribly triggering for PTSD, not to mention embarrassing  - I loaded the (heavy) drinks onto the 3 shelf metal carts and left the lighter things on the longer metal cart. 

I got it all inside, that took a while, and gave Ron my back brace.  I only use it for the heavy loading stuff, like handing cases of water up to the nice helper at the warehouse. 

I finished my gel.  I had a little adjustment to the texture but I like it.  I'm glad I have another one.  I plan to use it for my next heavy delivery day. 

Snacks looked OK, but the food machines were pretty weak.  I stocked some ramen, burritos, and sandwiches.  I helped Ron with canned and bottled sodas. 

All the machines were working. 

During the height of our coffee drama, I told Ron I wanted to buy some K-cups, cream packets, and sugar packets.  I wanted to put a cream and sugar packet into a cup, then set a K-cup in front of it, on a shelf in the food machine.  That way the customers had another option - they wouldn't have to use the coffee machine to make a cup of coffee. 

The plant manager bought two Keurig brewers.  Why not utilize them? 

We've sold hundreds of "K-cups".  I had to put out a couple more dozen today, and I just did them yesterday.  Ron has thanked me repeatedly, for the idea.  It saves a lot of wear and tear on the coffee machine. 

I want to keep them available.  And, at the lowest denominator, they take up 3 shelves in the food machine.  No one likes that food machine, for food, but they love it for K-cups. 

Our supervisor says "Sell what they want to buy", so we do. 

I got some of my stuff put up and then wedged everything into my corner of the stockroom.  I have several milk crates in an L-shape.  I have the folded mag-liner (a folding metal cart) wedged in front of the Dr Pepper cans.  The sodas follow my "long" wall, sitting on their milk crates (health laws). 

On the wall opposite my door, I have 2 metal racks, about 6 feet tall and 18 inches deep.  I have the bottled drinks and my snacks literally stacked to the drop ceiling.  I also have 2 huge cases of coffee cups on there, too.  I still have a tiny amount of room left, so I put one rolling metal cart facing one wall, loaded with merchandise, in front of the sodas.  I have another cart lined up in front of my racks, wedged up against the sodas, also loaded with stuff. 

I may only have 35 square feet, but I use it!  I just praise God I have on site storage.  The other vendor has the other 3/4 of the stockroom, but he also has 25 more vending machines. 

All that done, we left.  We had a good ride home. 

"I don't think she was expecting to like me" I told Ron, about the driver.  But she did. 

We came home and I could see some strange cars in the street, kids running around.  Oh, no.  Another party. 

I ended up yanking out my pull out loveseat.  I had a decent nap with Torbie during a lull in the festivities.   She's such a sweet, lovely cat. 

They're in full party mode, wandering around in the yard.  We have horrific mosquitoes right now.  I'm amazed they aren't getting eaten alive (I'd be). 

The music is pretty loud, but because it's a child's party, I assume it will end up pretty early. 

I just wish I could get a good 10 hour sleep. 

People in hell want ice water. 

Ron and I worry he will "drag the neighborhood down".  As I said earlier this week, no one else in the neighborhood has loud music during birthday parties.  You might see an inflatable bouncy house and hear the kids, but that's it. 

Ron did call the homeowner's association, they'll send him a "bad boy letter".  "No loud parties". 

Sad people have to be told. 

Don't get me wrong: I'm happy for the kid, happy everyone is healthy and energetic.  Overall I like them.  We could have far worse next door. 

I just wish they could turn it down.  I'm also a little worried they put their trampoline next to my house.  The safety netting is all ripped, and useless.  They tore it off.  One of the uprights is severely bent.  So the thumps I heard were probably kids bounding right into the side of my house. 

I'm not real happy about that. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

2 Hour nap

I got to hand out 4 Bibles today. 

My wonderful repairman fixed my snack machine, and the coffee machine.  He is a wonderful, ethical, guy who likes us. 

Boy, in vending, you are screwed if you don't have a good repairman. 

The other vendors were looking kind of haggard.  Wait until next month! 

We went to work, the warehouse, bought some supplies.  Ron talked to his friend, who is better (Ron didn't want me catching a cold).  We will do a truck day tomorrow - lots of heavy labor for me. 

I don't mind.  I'd much rather unload a truck, than play office politics, but oddly enough people with questions come to me now.  I guess I'm easygoing and eager to please. 

We got it all done and came home.  I took a nap. 

I've been feeling kind of dizzy and weird, cause for alarm, in most.  For me, that's kind of standard.   I wish it would pass.  I know my blood sugar is OK, and I just drank 2 quarts of water. 

I didn't sleep very well.  Ron had a lot of neuropathy pain.  He tries to be quiet but it does wake me.  The crane company (they build specialty cranes, 1/4 mile away), was making weird noises that almost sounded like loud music.  It was pervasive and hard to sleep. 

I'd had a nasty headache yesterday around 3, and I had to take some Excedrin.  That messed up my sleep, too. 

I'm amazed I only took a 2 hour nap today. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


She got up on the computer table right next to the webcam. 

A few updates

I've lost 5 pounds in the last couple weeks. 

I got rid of the nighttime snack foods.  I would NEVER say that at work, though. 

I also bought a basic ($5) desktop microphone for the video blogs. 

I want to be heard.  :)