On a meat run Tuesday morning on behalf of H.O.P.E. (Help Other People Eat), Tom Cullimore and I were at the Jerome Country Market, ostensibly to retrieve 250 pounds of donated ground venison.
Well, store owner Brett Griffis obviously was in generous mood because while H.O.P.E paid for the 250 pound of venison, Cullimore and I left with about 400 pounds of meat and poultry
Griffis gave us, free of charge, about 150 pounds of bratwurst, smoked turkeys, breakfast sausage and chickens. - all to feed the local hungry.
We divided the loot between two local food banks/soup kitchens with empty freezers.
Is it just us?
In the past three weeks my wife and I - mainly my wife - have spent at least eight frustrating hours on line and on the phone trying to straighten out bills related to Internet and cell phone service.
That’s no exaggeration. And often the exchanges take on that nightmarish quality in which we can’t seem to make ourselves understood, nor can we penetrate the circular logic being employed by the customer service rep. - i.e., “You owe this amount because that’s what your bill says.”
Then, when we finally believe we have the matter resolved, we get another bill that proves otherwise.
Could it be that some of these companies, as part of an overall strategy, hope customers just give up and pay?
Feeding the pigs
I happened to be outside Saturday, hacking the ice off my driveway, when the propane-delivery guy showed up. I was grateful for the opportunity to hear somebody on the front lines talk about life this winter for propane delivery guys.
"I can’t want until its over," he said, pointing out that he had worked 92 hours in the previous week.
"I haven’t seen much of my kids lately," he said, but, looking on the bright side - the overtime pay - added, "My daughter has been asking for a horse, and she just might get it."
He also said that he he was relieved to see the smile on my face as I approached him. He was tired of ass-chewings, he said, from customers irate over the price, the delivery delays and the rationing - none of which were the least bit subject to his influence.
He apologized for being able to give me only 100 gallons, but, as Abe Lincoln might have put it, there are many hungry piggies and only so many teats.
The good news is that prices have gone from outrageous to mildly shocking - $2.99 per gallon from this particular supplier.
Three weeks from Monday …
Theoretically, anyway, baseball will be played at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
According to a piece in Crain’s Detroit Business this week, the Tigers will soon start trucking snow out of Comerica to prepare the way for 103,000 square feet of Kentucky bluegrass sod.
You may recall that the grass was removed in November for a temporary ice rink during he Winter Festival.
To read the whole story, click on the above photo, which was taken by Nathan Skid of Crain’s.
Not my day
So, I had just pulled off the freeway, and merged onto a two-lane highway, northbound. Just as I glanced at my speedometer and noticed my cruising speed was a little on the high side, I caught the attention of a southbound sheriff’s cruiser and knew - knew - that I was busted.
Sure enough, the deputy executed a U-turn, turned on his lights and escorted me to the shoulder of the road.
He wrote me a ticket - my first, I hasten to point out, in at least 25 years - for going 59 in a 55, which, he said, was a bit of a break.
OK. So I would pay the piper 90 bucks. My bad, as the kids say.
But then, after the deputy and I said our goodbyes, I tried to pull away and soon discovered that my vehicle was stuck in the ice and snow on the shoulder.
The deputy, to his credit, didn’t abandon me. He stood there, offering instructions: “Straighten your wheel … go backward,” etc. but our efforts only got me in deeper.
"I guess it’s not your day," the deputy said, and I was tempted to remind him that if he hadn’t pulled me over … , but then he might have reminded me that if I hadn’t been speeding …
Eventually a kindly volunteer firefighter with a pick-up and a tow strap came along and pulled me out.
The moral of the story? Well, you know.