Getting her bearings

Cartoonist Liz Climo creates cartoons with animals doing cute things. This one stood out to me because it reminds me of my own mother. I think about her every day and I guess since yesterday was Mother’s Day, I really had her on my mind, but I do think of her every day and one instance similar to this cartoon always sticks out in my mind, and I don’t know why, because I have millions, maybe billions of memories of her.

I must have been 8 years old, maybe a bit older and it could have only happened a few times. It must have been summer because my brothers and I were all home from school. And during that summer, early in the morning, I would go into my mother’s room and wake her up. My father had already gone to work, and it was still quite early.

I would wake my mother up and she would roll over groggily and say, “Good morning, do you want breakfast?” And I would say “yes,” and she would sit at the edge of the bed and say, “Ok, just give me a minute, let me get my bearings.”

She never yelled, she never said, “Get out of here, I’m sleeping!” She woke up smiling and happy to see me and I always remember that. I always remember her saying the “get my bearings,” part.

I’m sure she yelled at me a thousand times in my life, but I only remember her being kind and happy.

I don’t know if it happened once, twice, 10 times or what, but that one summer memory is always in my mind and this Liz Climo cartoon really brought it rushing back.

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How not to sell a house (or condo)

I went to see what I thought was this amazing condo the other day, I wrote a little about it here.

I lived in the building years ago and loved that area and that building and I had a dream about it just out of the blue. And the next day I googled the address and a listing came up on Zillow. It was for this nice, large penthouse. And even though I lived in that building for 9 years, I didn’t realized this two story penthouse was there!

There are four penthouses and two are very large double-floor units, according to Zillow. I had been in the two smaller ones, which were the size of the rest of the units in the building, which were quite large, too.

Anyway, this unit that was for sale looked huge and was two floors and had a big kitchen, which I loved, even tough I don’t cook, and it had a huge terrace and had unobstructed views of east and south – downtown Miami and Coral Gables and I could keep going on and on. And the neighborhood is very quiet and quite convenient. It had everything going for it.

The price was a fraction of my current home, the monthly HOA/maintenance fees were much lower than my current ones and the city taxes were the same as I am paying now. it was a win, win, win.

So I excitedly went to see the place and for some reason I didn’t like it. For one thing – the photos on Zillow were exaggerated and made the place look huge, but in reality it had low ceilings and cramped walls and spaces. But thinking about it days later, I realized the reason I was not into it was that it had to much of the current owner in it and too much stuff. What I mean is I have seen enough real estate tv shows that say remove all personal things from the place, which was not the case here, and it made a difference, a negative one.

There was one of those stair lift seats which was a turn off for me and I noticed a walker in the corner, which was used by the owners late husband it was overloaded with furniture. There literally were two dining room tables just feet from each other, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room, but they were just about 10 feet apart, which really made the place seem cramped. The rest of the furniture was oversized and made the place look crowded.

There were photos of family all over the place and the dressers in the bedrooms reeked of old lady – full of so many things from a lifetime of living.

The kitchen was full of stuff all of the counters (it would have been best to put them away in the cabinets or draws) and there were two dishwashers which I guess are good for chefs, but seemed useless to me. They were different styles and were mismatched and old. And they were not near each other, they were separated. The dark wood in the low ceiling kitchen didn’t make it seem bright and open even though there was one full wall of windows.

There was a very large storage room that was part of the unit, a huge plus, which would have been best left empty to show all the space it had, but it was so crowded and full that you barely could walk inside to look around.

Things lay around on the big terrace outside, an unrolled up hose and other things just making it look messy. And so much more.

So this dream place ended up turning me off and probably others since on paper it looks like a steal and a palace, but in reality it turns you off once you enter; it’s been on the market for six months or more for that reason.

What could have been snapped up on the first week is just sitting there unsold due to the mess that they are trying to show to buyers. And even though I know all these things I mentioned above, I still can’t see myself living there, even though I know it would be a different animal if it was shown empty. It would show so much better with a couple of pieces of furniture and nothing else in the place and then I think people could picture themselves living there.

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Living small in NYC

This is amazing, a guy turned a 400 square foot apartment in SOHO, NYC into a “large” apartment with all sorts of clever ideas.

When I’m traveling, I often picture my hotel room as an apartment. I think, “How could I live in here full time?” and I try to picture where things would be – the kitchen, the living room, the couch, all in a small area. And this guy did it.

This video is about 20 minutes long, but once you start watching, you can’t stop!

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Throwing the tree out

Got rid of the Christmas tree the other day. It’s artificial, so I didn’t throw it out of the window. But I used to! Well, sort of.

That’s how I got the idea for this cartoon. When I had a real tree, I would throw it off the balcony of my condo and then drag it to the street for recycling or pick-up. I didn’t leave the decorations on, I “undressed it” first. But throwing it off the balcony was the easiest thing to do because it avoided all those pine needles getting all over the elevator.

I would have someone wait downstairs to be sure no one was under it when I threw it down. And you’d be surprised how light the tree is after it’s all dried out! So it was easy to lift up and throw over.

After it hit the ground, I would run downstairs and drag it out to the street.

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I gotta cut the cord one of these days

I was having trouble with my AT&T Uverse a common problem. One day I will finally cut the cord.

My tv freezes often, it’s been doing it for years. The issue is that one of the tv’s is too far away from the main router and the signal just dies at certain times, usually at the point on a tv show where they say, “And the murderer is . . . ” or “And the winning number is . . . ” or something like that. I have a booster that AT&T installed, but apparently that doesn’t work well.

So when the tv froze, I reset the router, which I have done 100 times before, but in this case, the wifi was lost after I reset the router. So I called AT&T and a lady helped me. For some reason, my wifi lost it’s name and password I couldn’t find it on the list of routers, this had happened before. Apparently it reverted to an original router name/number like ACXVR123XXX35. She reset the name and password for me and things seemed to work. We hung up and I was happy.

I watched tv all night and then went to turn off the tv to go to bed and the tv would not turn off. The cable box would not shut down and the tv would not shut off. I tried for maybe a half hour to get it to turn off and finally just pulled the plug out of the wall, As I was doing this, the phone started ringing, it was late at night, so I ignored it. But I noticed it was coming from AT&T so I finally picked it up and wondered if they could tell on their end that I was having issues.

It was the lady from AT&T on the other end of the phone, the one who had helped me hours earlier! This has never happened before, I don’t remember them calling back to check on the issue from earlier in the day. I told her what the problem about not being able to turn the tv off and she had me do some things to fix this issue like pull the plugs out, which I had already done and wait 30 seconds for this and wait 15 seconds for that and so on. She also asked me to change the batteries in the remote. And I did it all while she held on.

Years ago, I used Earthlink to host my business website. Every time something went down, I called them and their first thing was to tell me to back up the whole website and to delete it and reinstall it. Of course, I freaked out and never did that and in the end it always was some server error on their end, which is really what I was calling about to begin with, I just wanted to be sure it was them and not something I did. It’s basically the same thing with AT&T – try everything until something works.

During all this going back and forth with the lady on the phone, I noticed I had two remote controls in the room. One was on the bed and one was in my hands. I realized as she was going through her spiel on the phone that I was trying to turn the tv off with the remote from the other room, my office. I don’t know how it got into the bedroom, but there were two in there all night and I never noticed. You would think the remotes would all work for all tvs, but they don’t. When I switched remotes to the correct one, it all worked out perfectly. The tv and cable box turned off.

I was too embarrassed to tell the AT&T lady about that, so I just said that what she told me to do on the phone was working and everything was fine now. I thanked her for her help and we hung up.

I still have red lights blinking on the booster/router in my office, but everything is working, so it will just blink sort of like a “check engine” light in the car. Just there, blinking away for no reason.

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