Ski By Fire

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 14 Feb 2019, 13:03

Brokers can mess up, I learned that the hard way, hi hi.

I was involved in an accident after just getting my car back from having new metal and rubber brake lines installed.
My brakes went out completely, pedal was on the floor, and it was not the master cylinder.
An inspection of the car by the shop proved the ABS system valve failed completely, causing the brakes not to work at all.
OK, because the right headlight bucket is what took the impact of B-shaped truck bumper, it totaled my car. It was only a slight bump, but because of where we hit, it destroyed the computer and other expensive things under the hood. The air-bags did not deploy because our bumpers never touched.
The truck had no damage to it, other than a little paint from my fender on their heavy steel elevated bumper.

The truck I hit was broken down on the road, but rolling and had started a turn onto a side road.
I couldn't go around them due to oncoming traffic, and had downshifted all the way into first gear, which didn't catch so was in second gear until just at the moment of impact.
The truck stopped on the side road for a moment greater than 30 seconds before they managed to get their truck started again. Then they attempted to leave the scene of the accident. In so doing, with the engine revved up, when she dropped it in gear, the steering wheel was turned and the truck jumped into a wooden fence.

The police wrote up the incident as two separate accidents. My accident of hitting their back bumper, and their accident later of running through the fence. Since they had no insurance, the owner of the fence went after me, the only person with insurance.
The passenger in the truck is who told the police they truck engine kept dying. To get the truck started, they put it in park while still on the road, midway through their turn, which caused the truck to stop while still in the roadway.
She also said when the driver saw no one was injured, she restarted the truck and floored it to get out of there.

All of the above was documented. I talked to the claims adjuster, even though I had not filed a claim, to tell him I was in an accident and would not be filing a claim since I only had liability on the vehicle. But I do have towing so needed to file a towing bill. All was OK on that call and he told me where to send the towing receipt I paid. Which I did.
I got a second call from them to give in great detail about the accident. This took over an hour for them to do on the phone and write it all down. At the end, he said everything I said agrees with the police report they have.

A few weeks later I get a third phone call from another claims adjuster wanting me to give the whole story all over again. I told him I have company who stopped by from out of town and can only stay a short time, and could he call me back this evening. He said no, I need to do it right now. I told him I couldn't do it right now. He got all mad and started threatening me so I hung up on him.
Within about two hours I got a call from my agent saying they were told my insurance was canceled by the home office. However, I have something like 5 business days to obtain coverage elsewhere before it fully lapses.

That's when I went back to State Farm. It wasn't until a month or so later when I found out the owner of the fence filed a claim against my insurance company. According to my new State Farm agent, they didn't pay it as no claims appear on my record.

Took me a whole year before I found another car to buy, and when I did, it was the exact same make and model of the one I totaled. So it's almost like having my baby back, but not quite.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 15 Feb 2019, 08:51

So ... let me see if I understand this right. You were involved in an accident because the ABS system on the car you were driving failed. Aside from all the grief you got as a result, there was a clear and imminent risk of you being killed due to a failed break system. In fact the car was totaled. It took you a year, but you found an exact replacement, and you are happy with it.

I'm concerned about your well being, my friend. When you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you cannot expect different results.

Your experience with an insurance broker is typical of the stories I have heard in the past. They can and often do provide coverage at the best market price. If the price of the premium is all you are concerned about, then a broker is still the best deal. However, I like to remind myself often that you get what you pay for. The price may be right but is the quality or the service what you expect? All too often the answer to that question is no. I am certain I pay too much for many things, but I see it as a way to avoid future problems, which is much better than trying to fix an unanticipated problem.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 15 Feb 2019, 10:54

Between you, me, and the lamp post. We think one of the repair shops we were using was sabotaging cars.
We don't have enough proof to go after them, but the evidence from several incidents points directly back at them.

After they worked on it one time, the 4-wheel drive wouldn't work.
Took it back to them three times, and they said they could find nothing wrong with it, worked fine for them.
Naturally they charged me each time for an hour labor rate.

Took it to the dealer and they found the problem right away.
The wiring to the mechanism was unplugged and stuffed up under the battery box, and they could tell it had been that way for several months.

Had new brakes put on, they replaced both rotors.
One month later, I had to have the brakes replaced again, and the rotors replaced again.
They broke something when they compressed the calipers because they didn't open them to bleed first.
So, I also had to buy new calipers. Since it was a dealer doing the work, it cost over 900 bucks.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 16 Feb 2019, 10:17

Automobile repair shop scams are in the news frequently. It's not only them but also other typical household repairs that are prone to scamming vulnerable users.

When I moved into this house the outside wall in the basement that was not under ground had insulation but no sheet rock. I was too busy trying to set up house to attempt it on my own, so I called a local service to have a handyman come out and do it for me. They estimated it would take two days and charged me accordingly. The fellow that came out to do the work was not quite my age, but getting along in years. He wasn't as quick or as neat as I have seen other people work, but that wasn't an issue for me. Come the end of the second day the job was not completed. The fellow said he would come back on Saturday to finish it up on his own time given that I had already paid the company for the work. He did come by on Saturday but he bought some window trim that wasn't the right size. He went out to Home Depot to get the right stuff which happened to be clear pine that is not cheap. Again, he assured me this was all on his own time and expense. He spend almost ten hours Saturday trying to finish up. The taping was only partly done at that point and I told him it was ok. I would finish the work. So, I gave him a couple hundred dollars for his efforts, and he was very grateful.

It didn't take long after he left for me to figure out I was just scammed. He deliberately took his time and made mistakes knowing I was likely to give him some cash under the table, tax free. Up north they would have just charged me twice what I paid here but completed the job on time and up to standards. Live and learn, I guess.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 16 Feb 2019, 12:03

Well, there is one area I can be proud of.
I did my work so well, the Realtors called me when they wanted work done at their own house.
And so I would would be available to do predication work the week needed, they almost always doubled my normal rate.
All of them said I don't charge enough for the quality of work I do, and the way I can fix problems nobody else would touch.
I never realized how good I had become at all the different things I could do, until I was called to the homes of a couple of building inspectors to do work for them. One wouldn't think they would want me the way they treated me on job sites, hi hi. Unfortunately, most of my renovation work was not in districts they were in.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 16 Feb 2019, 18:30

You have a right to be proud of the respect you get from the experts. The building inspectors must see a lot of work from numerous tradesmen and have a good idea of who does quality work and who does not. It's interesting that they would call you in rather than do the work themselves. Apparently they know what a good job looks like but may not be able to actually put it together themselves. LOL

Of course they too have supervisors to which they report. If they never found any building code violations for their daily reports, their management might think they are not doing a good job. So I'm sure they were extra picky when it came to your job sites. It's a lot like police patrols. If they don't turn in a certain number of traffic citations in a given period of time, they are suspect of not doing their job. It has to do with quotas. Being measured by how close you come to the quota never did strike me as a fair assessment. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only way to determine quality of work in some cases.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 17 Feb 2019, 11:59

You nailed it Yogi.
I was repairing proprietary window casings on several condo's, rather than replacing the entire casing as most other contractors did.
The inspector gave me a bunch of guff about how I went about doing this, checking his books to see if I was doing some kind of violation of code. He never found anything!
About two years later, I was called back to do some other casings that also rotted out from the yard sprinklers hitting them. The same inspector came by. Didn't say a word to me, but sat in his car watching me do all the work for a single casing I repaired.
About the time I finished and moved on to the next one, he comes up to me with a picture of a badly damaged door casing on his house. I looked at them and told him I could fix it easily enough, and it would outlast a new one. He said I believe you, all of your other work here still looks like brand new. Then he asked about how much, just a ball park figure. I said it won't cost over 150 bucks, probably less. He gave me his card and I agreed to go over and do the work the next day.
After I was done, he still was not there, but did arrive as I was packing up my truck. He couldn't believe I was done already.
It was a simple job so I only asked for 100 bucks. He still gave me 150 bucks. Then showed me two estimates he got from other contractors, both were well over 500 bucks, and would take a whole day to do. I was only there about an hour, and that included priming and painting after I made the repairs.
He could have gotten me plenty of work in his subdivision, but I never worked in the area of his home before, or normally not in the area he inspected either. In fact, I wasn't sure if my licenses covered the county he lived in, although that type of work didn't require a license, even so my insurance could have been at risk.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 18 Feb 2019, 16:39

I've often thought replacing was better than repairing. But windows are typically around $1000 to replace new so that your $100 deal would be quite the incentive. Then too, it depends on the window. The ones in this house are made of plastic and cannot be repaired. They are designed to break easily and the weather striping should be good for at least three years. They say to replace it after ten years. I tried replacing it on my old wooden casement windows. That was the reason why we ended up replacing the windows. LOL

So far I've not found a reliable handyman in this town. Somebody always knows somebody who is "really" good and inexpensive, but I have yet to run into one I would call back a second time.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 19 Feb 2019, 12:18

You would have loved me! I only charged 250 to replace thermal windows, 350 to replace the entire window and frame, and that price included the cost of the normal sized windows. Larger windows only slightly more, whatever extra they charged me. Customer got the receipt for the window so they had it for warranty replacement if necessary.
On another note. Customers who previously bought what are called replacement windows, were thrilled when they called me because I never used the smaller replacement windows and installed new windows instead, so they got their light back.
I also finished whatever needed finished, whether it be drywall repair inside or exterior trim.
I always felt the use of replacement windows made a house look dorky and the windows never looked quite right.
Wish I was still able to do any work at all. I have so much that needs done around here it is pitiful.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 19 Feb 2019, 13:29

I got to be slightly extravagant when I lived up north. I'm pretty sure I could have matched the prices you are talking about, but no. Not me. I wanted Pella windows. That's the equivalent of wanting a Pixel 3 phone instead of one that works just as well for 1/3rd the price. I worked hard all my life as did my wife. We saved for retirement and when we finally got there it was pointless to let all this money sit around. LOL So we would not go crazy, but would generally get the highest quality product we could find. The way I saw it is that we deserved the luxury of being extravagant.

Anyway, back to the window replacement. I don't recall the exact price per window, and it varied because we had different size windows being replaced. Turns out that nobody wanted to install Pella unless they were factory authorized, i.e., trained by Pella. We found a general contractor in the neighborhood who was an authorized installer. Since he did other things too the trim, painting, staining, and patchwork was within his expertise. I'm pretty sure it was something like $1400 to paint 11 windows and the trim around them. I hesitated at first but the finished product was excellent. A crew of five came out one day and cut out the old windows, took off the old shutters, and did the install. We also had an oversized French Patio Door installed to the tune of 12 grand or so. It was a hell of an amazing door too. The windows were all installed in one day. One of the workers came back the next day to put on the hardware and touch up whatever had to be done. These were metal clad wooden windows that made the house look better than the original. My heart yearns for something even half as good here in O'Fallon.

If you were able, I'd hire you right now to come do some things for me. Then again, that might not be a good idea. I have a feeling you might not go back. :lol:

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 20 Feb 2019, 10:40

Pella makes great windows, no question about it.
However, if a glass gets broken, you cannot just replace the glass, you have to replace the entire window sash.
And you are correct about them requiring someone certified by them to do the install.

I could get three different qualities of windows, the cheap contractor grade which I rarely used, a mid-range window vinyl clad wood which were great, and of course the more expensive upper grade windows almost equivalent to Pella but repairable.

When I was doing inner city renovations, I would use the second best contractor grade, still avoided the super cheap plastic ones with no features. Most of the time I used the tilt-in type even though they cost a little more.
But for houses in the county, I always used the mid-range because they were good and had excellent ten-year warranties.

I do miss living in St. Louis, but have got settled in here well enough I don't ever want to move again, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 20 Feb 2019, 12:06

A ten year warranty on windows apparently is a luxury. At least that's the impression I got when we were out shopping for replacements. I had problems with one of the windows that seemed to have lost it's seal and moister was accumulating between the panes of glass. The repair guy was amazed that the windows lasted the 25+ years that they did, which is when I learned 10 years is about the right life expectancy for any window. Don't know anymore what Pella was saying, but I figured I'd be long gone before those windows needed attention.

They way I see it is that there are three types of window construction: plastic, fiberglass, and wood. Depending on the environment the fiberglass windows seem to be the best bet. Wood is my personal preference.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 21 Feb 2019, 11:58

It's been years since I worked with window installs. I always preferred wood, and most of what I was replacing was either old style wood with weights or aluminum sliders. I don't recall any fiberglass ones.
I have a new window that lost its seal. They guy was supposed to replace it three years ago, but for some reason he has turned against us. He did a lot of work for me around here, and almost always messed something up. I still paid him without complaining.
We think the reason he turned so cold on us, is he discovered we have guns, and my wife has a concealed carry permit, also, he's a democrat. Now that I think of it, he hasn't talked to us since Trump was elected, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 21 Feb 2019, 14:06

Fiberglass is relatively new for window construction, and plastic seems to be the standard fare for all new construction spec houses. I can't think of any reason why plastic became a standard other than the cost. They might be ok where you are located and south of that where the winters aren't that cold and you can tolerate some breeze through a close window. It's insane to use them anyplace north of you, but they do.

You might be onto something about the reason why your repairman won't come visit you anymore. A friend of mine since high school days has a brother who lives in Colorado. We were considering moving out there and I asked my friend if he heard of any complaints from his brother. He told me he doesn't talk to or visit his brother now that he move to a "blue state." Well, I know people get emotional about politics, but to disown your brother over it? I was shocked to say the least, but it turns out to be a widely held practice.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 22 Feb 2019, 10:37

I think it has been going on ever since the two party system developed.
Heck, Missouri was a fairly neutral state, north of the Mason/Dixon line, so Yankee but considered southern sympathizers.
During the civil war, my dad's ancestral side of the family, Union Army, was fighting against my mom's ancestral Confederate side of the family. This more or less carried over to the next generation, and didn't let up completely until after WWII.

But as far as political division goes, there wasn't much of any to speak of. Most of my relatives were all Democrats up through the Kennedy years and slightly beyond. But there was never any arguments between our Republican family and friends. Little by little almost all of our family had moved over to the Republican side of the fence. I don't know a single relative on either side of my family who voted for Obama. He was the person who basically killed it for the Democrats.

Personally, I don't care whether someone is a Republican, Democrat, or Third Party, as far as friendships go. We each have our own ideals and beliefs.
I often got lectured for being a Democrat. Contrary to what was happening globally or nationally for that matter. When the Democrats were in, my savings account went up, and when the Republicans were in, my savings account went down. But then the tables turned suddenly, which is one of the reasons many of my relatives, including myself, jumped ship and defected to the other side. It's like a 180 degree turn of events both politically and financially.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 22 Feb 2019, 15:44

I recall wondering even as a kid why there are only two major parties in politics. It seemed to me even back then when I didn't understand diddly about politics that there were more than two ways to do things. About the best explanation I read tells that the Republican party is an outgrowth of the Confederacy and plantations of the south. It might make sense given the staunch conservative leanings of the Republican party that represent the more rural areas of the country. Those city slickers were all liberal minded. It had a lot to do with difference in lifestyles and necessities of life.

There always were heated debates and arguments in the family when it came to politics. Same was true for congress, but the politicians always managed to work out their differences. The focus was on solutions to problems and not so much on who will win or who will lose. But then things changed about the time of Ronald Regan. The disagreements tuned into attacks and that eventually led to a need for revenge. A lot of hate came out of the political scene during the 60's - 70's which is when the focus shifted to attacking the president personally instead of the ideas his party represented. This political warfare spilled over into the general population to the point where today we have a sharply divided citizenry. Sadly, the division goes well beyond political philosophy.

The significance of the Regan era turning point is in the fact that the USSR officially lost the Cold War during that time. It was humiliating to say the least. It doesn't take much to see how the tables have turned globally and this country is now seen as the bad guys while Vladimir Putin is the hero. That would be the same Putin who was deeply humiliated by the loss of the cold war and in charge of Russian intelligence during the subsequent attempted occupation of the Ukraine. Guess who stopped that total occupation from happening. If you say President Clinton, you would be right. It's a simple matter of connecting the dots when it comes to understanding global politics. While we in this country are calling each other bigots and racists, good ol' Vlad is having the last laugh. The next time you think of Obama, think of how his presidency might have played into the hands of an outside force hell bent on revenge and destroying this country. It won't change your politics, but it may give you a better understanding.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 23 Feb 2019, 11:29

Which party Gave Massive Amounts of Money to our Enemies, Sold them Nukes and our Uranium?
Which party is Against stopping illegal immigration and drugs flowing into this country?
Both claim to be, but only one party is finally doing something about it.
And which party is fighting against what they said they wanted for the past 16 years?
Where's the 50 billion given to Obama to build a fence along the border?
Nuff Said!

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 23 Feb 2019, 14:19

Your first question astounds me. I could only counter by asking if you are aware of which party received and continues to receive billions of dollars from Russian oligarchs and the Kremlin leadership? Better yet, why? I don't expect you to acknowledge the answer to my question, and that is why I'm very concerned about what is going on in the Republican party these days. They are very good at what they are doing. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by Kellemora » 24 Feb 2019, 16:22

Mueller spent three years and could not find a single thing concerning the Russians against Trump, but came up with boatloads regarding Obama and Hillary, which is why it is swept under the carpet.

I'm afraid if things keep going the way the are, the USofA will become the USSofA.

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yogi
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Re: Ski By Fire

Post by yogi » 25 Feb 2019, 13:46

I beg to differ with you regarding Robert Mueller's investigation. There have indeed been many indictments, guilty pleas, and jail sentences that came out of that probe to date. Each of the people arrested worked for and with Donald Trump before, during, and after his campaign for president. You can put the blinders on and say none of this means Donald Trump himself was involved, and I think many of his supporters have done just that.

I ran across an article that sums up the Mueller investigation. The article is not based on speculation. It is based on material extracted directly from the indictments produced by Mueller's team. This is the first article I've seen that documents the entire scenario, as it has been revealed by the FBI. Normally I would not bother to provide any contradictory evidence to a dyed-in-the-wool <add your own politician's name> supporter. It's pointless in that it does not serve to change any opinions. However I think you might find this one interesting in that the Tennessee GOP is mentioned. There is no doubt in my mind much of the information you have gathered comes from that source.

Take it for what it's worth, or feel free not to read it at all. I offer it only as enlightenment.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/hidden-in ... -campaign/


One other comment I can't stop myself from adding is that the (what about) argument saying somebody else did worse things and nothing was done about it is logically false and invalid. None of those other people are running the government today. Plus somebody else's misdeeds do not justify doing the same or worse.

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