The Vendor Parade

Today is the second of three consecutive days in which we will have a vendor visit our house to provide services. Today also marks ten weeks since we moved into the Goose Bumps house. I estimate in that time we have had 25 such visits for services such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc. You don’t want to know the amount we’ve spent. I wish I didn’t know.

We knew we were not buying a perfect house. After all, it is 17 years old. However, this purchase reinforces our belief that home inspection services are really a waste of money. Many of the items that have needed to be repaired should have been caught by the home inspector, but were not. In general, that has been our experience. Remember that our current house is the sixth one my wonderful wife and I have purchased.

No, we do not regret buying this house and recognize–at some level, anyway–that what we have needed to do is simply the cost of doing business. Still, the constant vendor parade has been quite the expensive inconvenience.


Yesterday, I witnessed yet another manifestation of the growing unwillingness of Americans to work. I decided that yesterday would be the day to have the blood draw for my semi-annual blood work. (All results were good, by the way, despite the fact that I don’t really feel well most of the time.)

With a standing order for bloodwork a patient can just walk in to their doctor’s office, all of those in this health “network” have on-site labs, and get blood drawn. However, when I arrived at the office a sign read that the lab was closed and that I would have to go to another office in the network. The fact that the date was shown led me to believe that the closing was a one-time event.

I arrived at the second office about ten minutes later and quickly was taken back for the blood draw. I mentioned to the phlebotomist about the sign at the other office. She remarked, “They can’t find anyone to work in their lab. We’ve been covering the overflow for about a week.”

“They can’t find anyone to work in their lab.” I think such a statement would be unknown five or ten years ago. The damn virus has given laziness a path to manifest itself. When people are paid not to work, then many people will not work. ALL of us pay the price and that price is not just collected in our taxes and inflation.


From Hagerty (I hope it’s OK just to copy and paste this verbatim):


Driverless cars confound first responders

Intake: As police and fire officials responded to a drug lab explosion in San Francisco, Automotive News reports, they had to contend with a driverless car that wandered into the middle of the scene. “Body-cam footage from February shows an officer yelling at the Waymo vehicle and tossing a flare to keep it from driving over fire hoses. Several weeks earlier, a firefighter reported having to smash the window of a driverless vehicle to make it stop approaching a fire scene. In March, firefighters said they had cordoned off a street to deal with wind damage, only to have two Cruise vehicles drive through the warning tape and become entangled in downed wires.” Automotive News says first responders have cited at least 15 instances of a Cruise or Waymo car interfering with an emergency scene.

Exhaust: Chalk this up to one more unseen obstacle autonomous cars will have to overcome. Read the original story in Mission Local for the scarily amusing details. —SCS


Sorry, but we are not close to being ready for “Level 5” autonomous vehicles. We are WAY behind, however, in adopting technology that will make it more difficult for people under the influence of alcohol to drive. In the ten years from 2011 to 2020, more than 100,000 Americans were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.

Why this country seems to tolerate these deaths (and the 40,000+ annual deaths–yes, 40,000–from guns) is beyond me. Maybe whichever dictator said, “One death is a tragedy. A thousand is a statistic.” was right.


I think it was about this time of year in 2016 when the photo below inspired me to write about cars. I have written much less about automobiles recently, and will never return to the previous amount of content, because developments in that market just leave me cold and uninspired. However, I remember a day when a picture of a car could energize me to new levels.



In a world where my net worth was at least an order of magnitude more than it is, I think I would have to buy a car like this as an homage to that day in 2016. Yes, I would have it restomodded. I mean, it’s 2023 not 1948.


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2 thoughts on “The Vendor Parade

  1. It’s almost as if you have to get TWO home inspections and buy a home warranty to boot. There is a show “Holmes on Homes” that I had to stop watching because the volume of shoddy work and misses by inspectors was upsetting. At the amounts involved to correct the missed repairs, one would hope there was some recourse for shitty inspections. I know it is eating at you, but I am glad to see that you have a surprisingly measured response to all of this.


    1. Thanks, Doc. My wonderful wife and I have watched several of Mike Holmes’ shows. Yes, it seems as if shoddy work is endemic and not confined to the US.

      I don’t know how measured my response is; I think it’s just being resigned to the state of affairs.


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