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dockrat

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(no subject) [Dec. 30th, 2016|09:10 am]
dockrat
Wow, 2017 is here already. I've been doing the same thing, buying storage units. Got a nice one with a lot of tools that should make some money. Couple of days ago I bought a room full of boxes. Most of the boxes were just full of obsolete parts for some machines...scrap metal. I usually put out piles of metal at the curb on trash pick up day and let the scrappers get it. I think someone in the area is alerting them when it is there because it doesn't sit very long before it disappears. I had to dump all the cardboard boxes off at the recycler yard. That room was almost a total loss. There were some pumps and compressors that were new in some of the boxes, that might get my money back. </p>

I tried to get someone to pick up cardboard boxes from these units, but the cardboard recyclers are not very dependable. I had two rooms full of cardboard boxes one time, and stopped several trucks that were scavaging cardboard, to get them to pick it up. They all seemed to not be interested, so I did it myself. It was from the Tecate Beer company, and was full of their advertising material on around 20 pallets. Inside some of the boxes were soccer balls and tee shirts with Tecate emblems on them. I only wanted the balls and tee shirts, but had to deal with the cardboard boxes and cut-outs also. I got $250 for the cardboard at the recycling company, for one days work, plus about $1000 for the shirts and balls at the swap meet. I only paid $10 for the rooms.

Time to clean out the microwave again. It's easier to take it outside and hose it off, but it takes two days to dry out in the winter before I can use it again. My refrigerator died a few months ago, and I have been using a small apartment size one. I got another big one, but have to clear a bunch of stuff out of the way to get it into the house. It won't fit into the side door, and has to come up some steps to the other door. I took the doors off the old one, so it fit through the smaller door when I dumped it, but I don't want to have to do that to one that works.

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Lake Powell [Oct. 10th, 2016|11:18 am]
dockrat
Last week I took my boat to Lake Powell. The first two days was great. Then I moved to another cove that was wide open to the main channel. I anchored on a small sandbar at the mouth of the bay. It was a little breezy that morning, but I took the Kayak out for a few hours going up into the small channels at the back of the bay.

When I got back around 3 pm the wind was starting to blow a little more. By 5 pm the wind was going about 30 mph. It was kind of late to pull up anchor and go somewhere else, and the wind where I usually go boating mostly dies off at night. I piled some more rocks on my front anchor to keep it in place.

By 10 pm the wind was howling 30-40 mph. I wanted to take the bimini top down, but was afraid it would carry away or get damaged in the process, so I tied some rope onto it to help hold it down. I went onto the sandbar and piled every rock I could find on my anchor. The anchor had started to drag through the sand about 6 inches.

All night long the wind got worse, and huge gusts kept blowing the boat around. Around 2 am there were several monster gusts bouncing the boat around. When I looked out the hatch the wind was blowing around 50+ mph with gusts of 70-80 mph. As I came out, I noticed the Avon inflatable boat that was tied to the side cleat was flying up above the boat like a balloon on a string. That thing weighs over 100 lbs.

At that point there was nothing I could do but go back below and wait it out. When it got light again, I went up to find the inflatable upside down, still tied on, but missing one of the wood floor sections. The anchor had held good. I was lucky that I was pointed head on to that wind.

As soon as I could, I got out of there, and went to a calmer bay. It was still too windy to use the kayak, so I waited until the next day to use the kayak to go looking for my wood floor section. I went in every little hole and channel for a couple of miles. I even hiked up another mile on land after the water ended. I found some small pieces of it, but never saw anything else. It must have splintered to pieces in that wind hitting rocks.

I did manage to find a large anchor about half a mile past where I was hiking up the channel. It had been there for a few years since the water level was 100' higher.

The next few days was great weather. The trip there and back was easy going out route 15. Every time I get home, I have a list of things I have to fix on the boat. Most are just minor things or changes. I have to get a smaller inflatable dinghy to use with this boat. The Avon that I have now is too big and heavy for this boat. It was great when I had a bigger boat, but is too big to get around this boat.

I also have a hard bottom Zodiac inflatable, but that one does not roll up small enough to carry either.
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Ebay Scams [May. 25th, 2016|08:24 am]
dockrat
I think Ebay is coming to a close as we know it. It seems to have been turned over to the Scammers. I had stopped selling for two months after being scammed by buyers claiming the item didn't work. I know it worked, and had tested it before I sent it. Ebay always finds in favor of their buyers, and automatically pulls the money out of the sellers account, along with the shipping charge and return shipping, and sends it back to the buyer.

Even though I requested the item be returned, Ebay let him keep it and the $250 he paid.

I started selling a couple of weeks ago, and immediately started getting the familiar "it don't work" complaints again. She said a magnet didn't work. WHAT!! The magnet worked fine, and I even had a photo of it working in the item description. It was a magnet tool used in taking the sensors off the anti theft devices at stores. It also came with 500 sensors, for $70. Ebay has taken my money and will probably give it back to her. That was two days ago.

Today I just got another complaint that it "doesn't work" on a CO2 generator that I sold for $200. It will cost around $100 in shipping to get it back. I again requested it be returned, but Ebay may just let him keep it and his money. It was in perfect condition when I sent it.

I have several friends that have had similar problems with ebay. One lost $14k when Ebay let the buyer keep the item, and refunded his money. That one is going to court. I wish there was a class action suit we could get against ebay. I have now lost about $1000 to this scam in the last 8 months. That takes all the profit out of selling there. I'm going to try Amazon, and see if they are any better.
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Eviction [Feb. 25th, 2016|10:22 am]
dockrat
The person who rents my guest house has been gone for two weeks. He just left the house without telling me he had moved out. Since this is still a legal case, I can't go in the house yet. That little creep has kept me from renting it out again until the legal matter is over. It may take another two weeks.

Today is the last day of the court date. After that the sheriffs will come and put a 5 day notice to vacate on his door again. Sometime after that, they will come again to lock him out and I can change the key. Then I will have to clean up his mess. It will probably cost me another $500-1000 to replace carpet and other fixtures he has damaged.

It really gets expensive when you get such a jerk, that thinks everybody has to pay and support him. I will be raising the rent $100 a month from now on, to pay for this guys damage, and lawyer fees. I was hoping to rent it out sooner to help pay for the $2500 tax bill that is due in a month or so.

I will also be having to paint the outside when the Sheriff turns it over to me, and allows me to remove the trash furniture he left all around the outside of the house. These laws that favor the renters are really screwing the person who owns the house. There are a lot of expenses that need to be covered by that rent money. When some jerk refuses to pay or move, it can really put the landlord behind. I had to work extra days to pay his expenses while he just laid there watching TV.
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Deadbeat Renter [Feb. 14th, 2016|03:30 pm]
dockrat
The guy that rented my guest house is being a real jerk. He was several months behind, when I asked him to move out. He has been avoiding me, but refuses to pay, and won't move out.

He was moving some stuff into his car when I walked by, and asked him if he was moving out. He said yes, and when I asked when that would be, he really snotty said he didn't have to talk to me.

I told him that was true, but he would have to talk to my lawyer. He ignored me and walked away.

I went back into my house, after noticing through his open door, that he was trashing my guest house. There was about a foot of trash all over the floor everywhere. It was hard to just see someone wreck my house without doing something to him. He was just trying to provoke me.

About 10 minutes later a knock on my door. It was the girls from my lawyer there to serve him with eviction papers. He had been avoiding them, only coming around here at nights and weekends. They got him. finally after a month, the end is in sight.

Maybe that will make him move faster. He has been taking one or two boxes or bags at a time in his "move", and it has lasted for over a month.

I would have been glad to just get rid of him, but his attitude that he can stay as long as he wants without paying rent or utilities, has made me think vicious thoughts. I will need to find out where he moves to, so I can file in small claims court against him to get some of the close to $4000 he owes me.
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Deadbeat Renters [Jan. 21st, 2016|08:50 pm]
dockrat
I have a guest house behind my house that I rent out to help pay the utilities and taxes on the house. I have been doing it for many years without much trouble. I usually get someone that is recommended by someone I know. The person living there now was recommended by the last renter that moved out.

This tenant was paying his rent good for about a year, but about 6 months ago he stopped paying for one month. On the second month, I told him to pay or get out. He started paying small payments, which was ok with me. Then he stopped again for a month. I told him to pay or get out. He owed for 3 months then. He didn't pay until I gave him an eviction notice at the end of December. Then he paid one month.

I told him to get out and get a job, or get out and get another apartment. He came back and told me he found a job an hour later. He lied. I gave him another 5 day eviction notice last week. He just pulled it off his door, and went back inside, and won't come out until I'm gone during the day.

I had to hire a lawyer to give him a legal eviction notice today. That was another $700, on top of the over $2000 that he owes me. It will be almost $4000 by the time I get him out. He still gets to stay here another 60 days. It will be hard to see him walking around my property, knowing that I am supporting his worthless ass. It will give me a little pleasure knowing that he will be on the county eviction list, and it will be harder for him to rent an apartment. Also, since I know that he will not pay what he owes, that will go on his credit record, and he will have a tough time getting loans, credit or credit cards.

It still doesn't help me pay the utility bills, and the $2500 property tax bill I just got. California laws are all about the renter, not the landlord. In some states it only takes 2 weeks to get a deadbeat renter out.
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Hobie Cat [Oct. 16th, 2015|08:30 pm]
dockrat
Last month at a Storage Auction, they were trying to sell a 16' Hobie Cat Sailboat. Nobody wanted it. I didn't want it. They knew I liked boats, and tried to talk me into buying it for a dollar. I still said no.

This month at the auction, the district manager asked me to take it again. He wanted it out of there. I told him I would take it and try to do something with it. I fixed the tires and took it home. It's on my front lawn. It looks like it's all there, but needs a new trampoline part where you sit. The old one has been sitting in the sun and is shreaded.

I put it on craigslist. If it doesn't sell pretty quickly I will cut it up and sell the parts. The sails and boom are sellable on ebay, and maybe the mast. The pontoons would make good outriggers for a dragon boat. The trailer is scrap metal.
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Vacation [Sep. 6th, 2015|02:37 pm]
dockrat
I went back to Lake Powell again last week. On the way there, it was over 115 degrees in the desert. I saw at least 20 cars with flat tires - even a couple of trucks, and one passenger bus had flats. Then about 30 miles from Las Vegas, one of my trailer tires blew out.

I just kept driving on the flat for 5 miles to the next off ramp. It was the middle of the night by that time, and I had no spare for the trailer. I jacked it up and unhitched it, and took off the tire. I headed to Las Vegas. Nothing was open. Finally I found a 24 hour Walmart. I bought a new tire, but no one was there to install it on the rim. I drove back to the boat trailer, a few miles from the CA state line.

I got out some screw drivers and pried off the old tire, and pried on the new one, then took it to a gas station and filled it with air. Back to the trailer, put it on, and off I went. It was about 1:00 am.

The nest morning when I got to the Lake Powell launch ramp, I put the boat in the water. It started right up and was idling while I was putting things away to start going, when the motor died. Usually that means the gas filter is clogged up when the carb is dry and has no gas in it. I tried to get the gas filter off, but it was stuck. After trying everything for an hour or so, I went back to the van, and drove into town to get a filter wrench. It was Saturday, and nothing was open there. I finally found a Walmart in the next town, got a wrench, and went back to the boat at the dock.

The filter was still on so tight, that I had to hammer on the wrench to get it off. I filled the new filter with gas and put it on. Again the boat started right up, and idled for a minute or so, then died again. This time I pulled off the gas line from the gas tank, and it was bone dry. I took out the gas pick up tube from the gas tank to clean the screen, and found there was no dip tube there. The heat of the desert must have been so hot that it melted the glue holding the fiber tube to the metal fitting, and it dropped down into the tank. The gas line was just sucking air.

There was several boat stores in town, but they all close on Saturday. No chance of getting that part. I went back to Walmart to see if they had some poly tubing I could replace it with. They had no tubing at all, even in the drip irrigation garden center. Drove around for a while again and found an auto parts store open. This time I found some car gas lines that I could cut to size to make a pick up tube. Back to the boat. Made a new gas line, started it up, and took off. It was almost dark. Had to drive the boat in the dark to find a anchoring spot.

The next 5 days were great, no problems at all. Just moving around to different places to park the boat and explore the area.

The last day I decided to go home early, because the last bay I was in wasn't such a nice place. It was like a desert there. Got the boat back on the trailer and headed south to Flagstaff AZ. The road was awful. Smooth, but really lumpy and constant bouncing around. The road out of Flagstaff, toward CA was terrible. Full of ruts, potholes and patches that were worse than the holes. About 80 miles west, one of my tires lost the tread. Still had air, so I drove 5 miles to the next off ramp.

I stayed there until morning light, and again jacked it up, and took off the tire. I took off the other tire on that side also, and found it was starting to de-laminate on the inside. I checked the 4th tire, and it was ok. These tires were only put on about 3 years ago, and had less than 6k miles on them.

I drove back the 80 miles to Flagstaff, and found a tire store with my size tires. I had them put 2 tires on the wheels, and throw another tire in the back just in case the 4th tire blew.

Drove back to the trailer and put them on. The rest of the way to the CA state line, the highway was full of ruts and bumps. I went slow, and watched that last tire like a hawk. I made it all the way home ok, but I changed that tire anyway. I hate those Chinese tires. That is the kind of tires most tire stores carry for trailers because they are cheap. Most stores didn't even have my size tire.

I'm glad I came home early. Friday afternoon there was a line of cars about 60 miles long on the highway shortcut, headed out toward Las Vegas. They were just crawling all the way. I was headed the opposite direction. The 14 freeway was also clogged with cars getting out of L.A. I would hate to be out there coming back after Labor Day.
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Lake Powell [Aug. 10th, 2015|01:44 pm]
dockrat
Last week I went boating on Lake Powell. I used my 20' FourWinns boat. I stayed 4 days on the water. It was pretty hot, in the 90's, but great to just lay there on a floatie in the water.

I did a lot of kayaking. At least 20 miles, in and out of those canyons. One afternoon the wind came up and dragged my anchor. I had to move out of that area and find another spot to stay. I left the next day.

It was over 500 miles drive to get there. On the way home I went back through Zion National Park. They had to stop traffic coming the opposite direction so I would fit through the tunnel. It is a mile long, but very narrow inside. They do the same thing for large motorhomes and tour busses.

There is a spill on the river above Powell, in Colorado, that is making the river turn orange. It is full of heavy metals and Arsnic. They don't seem to be doing anything about it, and it goes on for many miles now, poluting the river. It will ruin the season when it gets to Lake Powell. The fish in the Colorado River are probably already not good to eat. And a week after it started, it is still gushing millions of gallons of sludge and poison into the river.
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Camera [Jun. 29th, 2015|06:11 pm]
dockrat
Yesterday, while in my kayak, I reached around for a cold one in the cooler bag. When I pulled it up, the strap caught my camera and flipped it into the ocean.

It was a Canon SD950. I really liked that camera. I was used to that camera. It did what I wanted it to do. It's at the bottom of the ocean doing what it wants now.

I had to buy a new one today. I got the Canon G7. It looks and works a lot like the other one. The settings are pretty close to the other one. I didn't notice in the store that it weighed about 2-3 times as much as my other one. They had it hooked to a wire. That will really be noticeable when I carry it around in my pocket. It's also about twice as thick.

There are some other things I don't like about it. That screen on the back that flips up for a selfie. I'm not going to be taking any selfies, and it will be just one more thing to worry about breaking. Same with the flip up flash. That thing looks like it would be easy to break. I don't know what the advantage of having it flip up would be - it takes up the same space inside the camera as front flash would, and is just another step to take when using it.

I have to go back and get a case for it. One that floats would be nice.
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