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And That’s How I (Maybe) Got a Puppy

Few things in the entire universe are more frustrating for me than shopping for insurance, any insurance.

This is part of the reason I haven’t changed car insurance companies in 12 years.  That, and the fantastic discount I get because I’ve been with them for 12 years.

Every year, though, I have to go through the whole process of renewing or changing my homeowner’s insurance.

Last year, though, last year was different.

I was informed that my homeowner’s insurance, that I’d had for three years, was dumping me.

Just like that.

No explanations, no reasons, nothing.

I hadn’t made any claims.  I hadn’t even looked at another company’s rates to compare.

I HADN’T CHEATED ON THEM IN ANY WAY.

And yet, here I was being dumped.

Then, it became evident why as I tried to secure new insurance.

Every conversation with an agent went like this:

ME: I need to get a quote on homeowner’s insurance.

ENTHUSIASTIC REP RESPONSE: SURE!! We can do that!

ME: Okay…blah, blah, blah…I give them the particulars.

STILL ENTHUSIASTIC REP:  And how old is your roof?

ME: (confused as to why my roof was singled out) It’s original to the house, so 18 yrs.

TOTALLY DEFLATED REP: Ohhhhhhhh…I’m sorrywecan’thelpyouIhavetogonow…

*click*

This happened twenty-three times.

I’m not shitting you, twenty-fecking-three times.

On lucky number twenty-four, I found a rep for the insurance company from hell, a/k/a Farmer’s Insurance.

(I don’t care how cute their commercials are, they are the spawn of Satan and soon you’ll agree.)

ME: I need to get a quote on homeowner’s insurance, and beforewegoanyfarthermyroofis18yrsold.

ENTHUSIASTIC REP RESPONSE: NO PROBLEM! We can cover you!

ME: *speechless*

REP: Ma’am?

ME: Oh, right…did you just say you’d cover an 18-yr. old roof, at replacement cost?

REP: Yes.

ME: Why?

REP: ‘Scuse me?

ME: I mean why will Farmer’s cover it, and twenty-three other companies won’t?

REP: I can’t say ma’am.

ME: Fine. Whatever. I just wish I’d of called you first.

REP: Well, you found us now. So, you can relax.

ME: Good..and here’s the rest of the info…….

I got the coverage, and paid a stupid amount (“Well, we do cover the roof but it will cost a little more, because 18-yr. old roof…”)

Four months later the house was pummeled by hail.  I’ve lived in Texas nearly 40 years, and I’ve seen hailstorms.  Lots of hailstorms.  But this one was different.  The hail was golf-ball size and was hitting the house with such force the windows shuddered.

I was sure my roof was toast.

Thank the hail-gods I’d gotten replacement cost coverage for it, amiright?

Whew!

We made the claim, and the little adjuster in the Farmer’s Insurance hybrid car came out to tsk, tsk the damage and tell us how sorry he was and did we want a puppy to make us feel better? (okay, I may have made that last part up, but he schmoooooooozed)

The next day he called me…

“Well, ma’am I have your estimate, and you’re going to need a new roof, but with the roof’s depreciation….”

“Wait, what??” I replied, “I have replacement cost coverage.  I thought that meant you know REPLACEMENT COST COVERAGE.”

“Oh, yes ma’am it does..for everything except the roof.  Can’t get that kind of coverage on any roof over 15 yrs. old.”

“Why wasn’t I told this?”

“You were, and it’s in your policy.”

“Who reads their policy??” I asked, knowing I should have, but distinctly remembering that with all the brou-ing and ha-ha-ing over my ‘old’ roof in the twenty-three rejections I made it clear I had to have replacement cost coverage. “The agent and I discussed this, and I made it quite clear I didn’t want to buy the insurance unless I got replacement cost coverage.”

“Umm…let me check with the agent.”

“Yeah, you do that”, I said,  “I’m sure he’ll back me up.”

The next day, the little adjuster called to tell me that the agent had personally informed me at the time of purchase that I did not have replacement cost coverage on my roof, specifically calling that little line of fine print to my attention.

“Bullshit” I said, “I’ve never even spoken to the man.  Everything was done by e-mail, except the very first call in which I told him I had to have replacement cost coverage on the entire house, roof and all.”

*cue crickets*

“Hello?” I asked.

“Well, ma’am I am only repeating what I was told.” He said, adding, “and we’ll have to take that puppy back, too”

(Again, I may have made up that last part..maybe)

So, for a nearly-$10K roof I got…wait for it….$1,500.

Since the roof did not leak (and it looked pretty good, actually) we used the money to repair the fencing and some other items also damaged in the hailstorm.

I cannot abide liars, and Farmer’s Insurance is represented by liars. I vowed to get rid of Farmer’s Insurance when renewal time came around, and I didn’t care if I had to make fifty calls to do it.

So, this year when it came time to renew I picked up the phone.

On the second try, I talked to an Allstate agent.

ME: I need a quote on homeowner’s insurance, and my current roof is 19 yrs. old and has minor hail damage from a July 2014 storm, and stop me now if you cannot quote me…

ALLSTATE AGENT:  No, it’s fine.  We just have to inspect the roof, and if it looks like it’s worn to say a 3-yr. old roof level we can cover it.  If it looks more worn than a 3-yr. old roof, we cover it but not for replacement cost.

ME: Can I get that in writing beforehand?

AA: Yes, ma’am.

And I did.

And they inspected, and guess what?

I got FULL replacement cost coverage….and a puppy.

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Remember?

I’m a big…no, a huge fan of a magazine called “Reminisce”.  It’s a simple name for a magazine that never fails to evoke a myriad of complex emotions every time I turn a page.

I’m not old enough to remember WWI or WWII, or even Korea.  I am, however, old enough to remember Vietnam…all too well.

It’s striking how the memories of life during the first two world wars and into the 50’s are so vastly different from the memories of those that served in Vietnam and the years since.

Somewhere, we lost something of who we are.

Not just as Americans, but as people.

Our humanity suffered a blow, or more likely, a series of blows, from which we never recovered. 

We went from simple, home-based, people who loved family and things as mundane as shooting stars and babbling brooks, who married forever and raised children to be respectful of others and kind to all; to people who cannot seem to fill the emptiness inside no matter how many bright, shiny, new __________ (fill in the blank) we acquire.

It’s as if a gnawing ache has hollowed out the core of so many people that it threatens to swallow whole the rest of us who stand on the sidelines and shake our heads in disgust and bewilderment.

I mean, in a society where Lady GaGa is revered and Jesus Christ cannot be named, is it any wonder we raise children who don hockey masks and go on a shooting spree inside a crowded mall

Where divorce is so common, it’s even available in a convenient drive-thru, yet the Ten Commandments are banned from the public’s view, should we wonder why our children grow up and join street gangs looking for the father figures their own lives don’t provide?

I may speak things that raise ire, but I speak the truth.

The world of 1942 may have had Hitler and polio and Dachau, and yet it had heart and soul enough to put an end to all these things. 

Would we be able to rise to such challenges today?  I don’t think we would. 

The world of right and wrong has become a hazy mist of gray areas, where how I feel about an issue is treated with the same gravitas as whether or not it’s right or wrong. 

That’s wrong. Period.  There is no gray area.  In fact, the world is the same world that’s been here forever and right has always been right, wrong has always been wrong.  Gray has never been acceptable. Gray is where cowards reside, and wrongdoers find refuge.   

I know of some things in life that are absolute – that God is real and His Son, Jesus, is real and there’s going to be a lot of shocked faces looking up to St. Peter when they see him at those Pearly Gates.  

Mine won’t be among them. I will be there, rushing to meet my Savior and knowing I’m finally home.

How about you?

p.s. I thought about putting a disclaimer on this post, saying something about how I didn’t want to offend anyone,  but then I realized that’s something a ‘gray area’ person would say.  So, no apology. And if you are offended….tough. I don’t care.

I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Hey, how y’all been?

What’s new in your world?

Me?  I’m okay…still giggling over the letter I got from the Social Security Administration.

They’re terribly sorry about the loss of my father, but umm…could I send them back the meager amount they deposited in his account on the third of June?

Awful sorry to ask, but you know he didn’t live the entire month of June so yeah we need that money back.

If I thought I’d be able to remain civil I’d call, but I do know my limitations.

Instead I’m going to send back a letter and tell them I’m awfully sorry about their financial issues, but Daddy has exactly $169 left in his account, and his “estate” consists of a box of old photographs, so if they think there’s any money to be returned they’re sadly mistaken.

I’m still awaiting the statements from the hospital…you know the ones that list all the charges and the “Amount Due” at the bottom?   Yeah, those ought to be good for a few laughs for sure.

Everything else that’s coming in I’m writing “Deceased – June 19, 2012” and sending back. 

I guess we’ll see if the government can get money from a dead person.

Lord knows enough of them vote with the government’s blessing.

 

This Is Intolerable!

I may be the last person in Texas to find this out, but apparently kids are no longer being taught cursive in school!

If you don’t remember, or know, what cursive is go ask Uncle Google.

*waters dying plant in room..the only plant in the room and I can’t seem to remember to water it until it appears to be literally reaching for the faucet with an outstretched (and slightly wilted) leaf..that plant is kinda creepy*

Right, that is what is not being taught.

Our kids, or grandkids if you are old like me, are not being taught how to write.

Except for their signatures.  They are being taught how to do that.

I say this is the beginning of the end for society.

It’s not the Occupy ________(fill in the blank, I prefer “cozy chair with book”) Movement, it’s not the endless wars, it’s not even the “Pants on the Ground” dude…or Dubstep.

It’s the end of gentility.

It’s also going to make it damn-near impossible for future generations to decipher love letters from WWII, time capsules unearthed with handwritten letters to the finders, every doctor’s set of notes ever written, journals and diaries, and I weep for what else.

If you aren’t taught cursive, you can’t read cursive.

I’m getting into my WayForward Machine to take a peek at what’s in store.

*dons jaunty beret, just because she can, tightens her shoelaces and steps into phone booth*

Somewhere near someplace in the year 2075 AD…..

Mopsy:  Ooh, look what we found in the attic of the old Hemingway house!

Flopsy: What are those?

Mopsy:  I don’t know, but there’s a stack of these odd parchment-thingies with strange characters on them.

Flopsy:  Really? What do they do?

Mopsy: Nothing.

Flopsy looks at one of the parchment pieces and finds the characters completely undecipherable, except for the signature at the bottom of one.  It reads “Ernest Hemingway”.

 Flopsy: Huh..I can read the signature, but the rest of it is just probably doodling…let’s use these things to build a bonfire…

And so, the lost manuscript for Hemingway’s loving tribute to his peers, Fitzgerald and the like, is lost forever.

BECAUSE IN THE EARLY PART OF THE 21ST CENTURY SOMEONE DECIDED WE DON’T NEED TO TEACH CURSIVE IN SCHOOL ANY MORE!

I weep for humanity as I leave the WayForward machine.

I Am Much Sorry Random Blah, Blah

Hello and thank you for calling “I-Will-Now-Proceed-To-Make-Your-Life-A-Living-Hell” .

Diega Espanol, el prima-dose.

Please state the reason for your call.

ME: Order status

Please say or state the reason for your call.

ME: Order status

Please say or state the reason for your call.

ME: NO!

Please say or state….

ME: Are you out of your Vulcan mind?!

*I now begin mashing random buttons on my phone*

I’m sorry YOU are such a moron (though I’m pretty sure she said  “having so much trouble..”, please press….

ME: Pssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

*random clicks and I get a human*

“Thank you for calling Hell, my name is “I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit-Because-My-Scumbag-Boyfriend-Is-Banging-My-Best-Friend”.  How may I help you?

ME: I need an order status, please.

“Thank you for calling Hell, my name is “I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit-Because-My-Scumbag-Boyfriend-Is-Banging-My-Best-Friend”.  How may I help you?

Me: O-R-D-E-R S-T-A-T-U-S

“Thank you for calling Hell, my name is “I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit-Because-My-Scumbag-Boyfriend-Is-Banging-My-Best-Friend”.  How may I help you?

ME: Are you out of your Vulcan mind!?

“I am sorry not for hearing much you. Please to call try number back.” <<<I shit you not, that’s exactly how she said it.

ME: I am much hearing, you are not hearing. I am much sorry.

“Okay”

*click*

Feck.

Salvation Army Can Bite Me

 A few years ago hubby and I decided it was finally time to upgrade our living room furniture. What follows are the true conversations surrounding said purchases, and the disposal of the old stuff.

Hubby: I think we need new furniture.

Me: (looking at our old set and remembering the 20 years of child-abuse it has taken) I guess, but it still looks pretty good and sits nicely.

Hubby: Yeah, but I’ve got my eye on those big, fluffy reclining couches at the furniture store.

Me: (smiling) Yep, they are pretty sweet and reasonably priced if we get the whole set.

So, we trot on down to the furniture store and buy the set. On the way home we discuss what to do with the old stuff. I assure hubby it will find a new home with the Salvation Army who will send a truck to pick it up.

The day before the new stuff is set to arrive I call SA for a pick-up. I have a couch, loveseat and chair. All matching and all intact…they were even clean (we’d cleaned them up so they’d look nice in their new home). The dispatcher seemed less-than-enthusiastic about the age of the furniture and my report of the condition.

Dispatcher: Are you sure the furniture is in good repair?

Me: Of course, up until tomorrow we will be using it in our own home.

Dispatcher: Hmmm…okay, we’ll send a truck next Tuesday.

The next day the new stuff was delivered and while I admit a fondness for the old furniture, to be able to recline and immediately fall asleep in the downy-softness of plush microfiber is heavenly.

Old couch, loveseat and chair sat in the garage, no doubt discussing this turn of events and (I hope) excited at the prospect of a new home.

The day the SA truck was schedule to pick up the furniture I took off work and waited for them to arrive.

They showed up on time and informed me that they would be “inspecting the merchandise before taking delivery”.

The two guys walked around, poking, prodding and sitting on my old set.

Guy #1: I’m sorry, this is just not acceptable.

Me: WHAA….?

Guy #2: He’s right. You see, with so many people giving us like-new furniture, we just can’t use this.

With that they got in the truck and left.

Whiskey.Tango.Foxtrot

I stood there, utterly shocked that the furniture I’d used up until one week prior wasn’t good enough to donate to charity. And, much as I admire the SA and its good works, I was more than a little disappointed in that attitude.

I called the regional office and talked to Maj. Something’s assistant. She was not sympathetic, echoing the drivers’ sentiments almost word for word.

Eventually we got rid of the big couch, and kept the loveseat and chair to use in other rooms as the kids moved out. We’re still using them, they still sit well and are still clean.

And now, thanks to SA, there’s some family out there watching television from the cold, hard, floor of their apartment.

I Don’t Fly..

….and this is just one of the many reasons why….

Not only do I not want to be zapped by as much radiation as a chest x-ray for no apparent reason, I also don’t want to be groped by anyone..except my husband.

Besides, my thinking is this:  the terrorists may get us again…but it won’t be by plane, because there’s not an American out there who wouldn’t take care of business and take the bastids down if it ever came to that again.  Remember the underwear bomber?  Subdued by passengers.  I’m surprised they didn’t pop open a door and deliver a little justice at 12,000 feet, too.  I’ll bet it was considered, albeit silently.

So, until sanity is restored to our airports I’m not flying.

Party Dockers in the House at Night!

We have a problem.

With raccoons.

On our boat, at the marina.

Yes I realize there are many people who skipped right over the “problem” part and are now focusing on “boat.at.marina”…these same people are cursing my name and asking how could anyone who has a Boat.At.A.Marina. … have anything to complain about, least of all adorable widdle raccoons?

Well I do and I am. If it’s any consolation though, this shit’s expensive.

The little bastids are wreaking havoc on the boats that are covered out there.

Apparently, they shred the boat covers to get inside. They’re looking for food or warmth or warm food.

My boat is not covered, and there’s no food on it anywhere. It’s meticulously clean. I know because we clean it from bow to stern after every outing.

The critters still cost me over $200 this past weekend.

They apparently get on my boat and “play” with the toggle switches that work the bilge pump, depth finder and lighting.

No one read the “Last One Off The Boat Turn Off The Lights” sign that I would have posted on it had I known this would be an issue. So, they didn’t. Or maybe raccoons can’t read, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

Definitely, one of those.

Anyway, my batteries died. Notice I said “batteries” not “battery”. There are two of them and they were both toast.

We even tried hooking up the charger to the batteries and the display flashed.

“F02”

Which I found translates to “You be screwed, and that will be $200 because marine batteries ain’t cheap,  thankyouverymuch.”

Acronyms are so minimalistic anymore.

So for all you PETA types out there, I have just one thing to say:

Raccoon…it’s what’s for supper at the bottom of the lake first time I catch one of them.

 

And if you think all raccoons are fuzzy-wuzzy, then you have a warped mind. I blame Disney.

Go Away

Don't bother me, it's the weekend.