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Re: One More Reason

Posted: 07 Jul 2022, 18:32
by yogi
Thinking back on it, it seems a bit odd that I can only recall meeting one apparently homeless person, ever. Chicago must have had hundreds, if not thousands, but not in the neighborhood in which I grew up. Likewise for the suburbs. None of them were upper class and I heard stories about the street people, but never met up with one. Right out of high school and just before entering college I had a summer job as a meat cutter for a major chain grocery store. It was located away from my home and on the edge of the no-go zone we talked about elsewhere. Around the corner from the store was a large public park that was well known throughout the city. My wife's dad in fact grew up near that park and had some fond memories of it. I got a full hour for lunch which only took me 5 minutes to eat. Being summer I typically walked over to the park and sat on a bench to watch the natives passing by. I also would smoke a small cigar during that time because, well, smartphones weren't invented yet.

One fine day a grubby older guy came up to me and said hello. I responded but didn't really know what to say. I'm pretty sure he asked if I came there often to which I admitted I'm there almost every day. That was it. He came by again a few days later and again we just had some small talk. Finally, about the third encounter he got to the point. He asked if I enjoyed smoking cigars. I did of course. Why else would I be smoking them? He said he did too. I smiled. He smiled. Then I asked what kind of cigars does he favor? He hemmed and hawed a bit and looked at my pocket where the packet of While Owl cigars was hiding, then said White Owls. LOL I got the message and gave him one. He was very gracious and thanked me, but left promptly. I thought it odd that he didn't smoke it right away. Well he came back a few more times and I gave away a few more cigars that he never smoked in front of me. Then I stopped going to that park during lunch. In retrospect it dawned on me that he probably was selling those cigars for cash he could use to buy a bottle of wine. I really don't know, but that was the stereotype for bums roaming around in public parks. For all I knew he could have owned the store I was working in. I just assumed he was homeless. At least he was not begging for cash.

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 08 Jul 2022, 19:30
by Kellemora
I've never seen so many homeless until I moved down here. But then too, back home, I usually didn't venture anyplace where they would hang out. But I'm not real far away from where they all congregate, just across the Henley street bridge near Broadway. Many of them have wood boxes they built under the old railroad track bridges. I've never driven down that particular street in that direction, but you can see them all hanging around the street corners in that area.

Debi had an aunt and uncle that lived just past where they hung out. They were quite old, and both passed away within my first three or four years down here. When we used to go visit them, we had a garage to park in that had security guards at the entrance, and it only cost a buck to park there, no matter how long you stayed. But walking from the parking garage almost two blocks to their house, we would get hit up for a dollar or two by at least three different folks.
From when I first started dating Debi, and for about 5 years after that, I always carried at least a dozen gold dollars in my pocket. At first it was because they didn't have them down here yet, so I was being cute using them for tips and things. Then after they finally made it here, I quit carrying so many, but always have four or five in my pocket, even now. So this is what I gave the beggars wanting a buck when I passed them.

Before Three Rivers Organic Market moved into a new building further away, we used to shop there about once every other week, and tried to make it on a Friday afternoon or Saturday around noon, because there were some musicians who played on the street corner or in a carpet store parking lot across from the market. So before we went in to do our shopping, we would cross the street and listen to them play for about ten minutes. I always left a gold dollar for each of the musicians playing in the group, and if we stayed for more than one song, I would give them each a gold dollar for each song we listened to.
One day after shopping, when we came out, they were all taking a break under the shade of the awning of the carpet store. The guy who played saxophone saw us come out and he walked over to the sidewalk and waved for us to come over. We did of course, and he asked me what's a good song I would like to hear. I told him Yakety Sax, and he just smiled ear to ear and played the whole long thing for us. I gave him five gold dollars for doing so, which wasn't a lot, but other folks who came over all gave him fives and tens, so I guess he made about around 50 bucks for that one song. He could tell we were poor just by looking at my car, hi hi. I think he made more playing that one song for us, than the entire band made all day per musician. By the way, he played Yakety Sax perfectly, the whole thing. Another time I asked him to play Nola, one of my dad's favorite songs on the sax. He played it flawlessly also, but the accompaniment players didn't do so hot, hi hi.

As an aside: I asked at the bank if I could get some more gold dollars, they said sure, but I have to take an entire 500 box of them. That killed it for me, hi hi. A box of quarters is 200 or 250 bucks I think. Been years since I had to buy bulk coins.

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 08 Jul 2022, 22:06
by yogi
Boots Randolf probably did the most to make Yakety Sax popular. I don't know a lot about musical instruments but I do know that song is not easy to render correctly. That street version must have been exceptional for the musician to get all those tips. I also think it was exceptional for you to be handing out gold nuggets. LOL It's been quite a few years since I've seen any dollar coins, gold or otherwise. The last time I had my hands on a dollar coin was when the Susan B Anthony ones were first minted. My mom loved them and must have had $100 worth of them. They were all spent and I am nearly heartbroken about it. I looked them up for their current value and they start at $1200 on E-Bay. There apparently were a few different variations of that coin that could fetch $2000 these days. To think mom had 100 of them at one time. wow

All I can add to your story is that I was and am still incredibly naive. A few times at the airport we would see soloists playing their instruments on the paths leading to the terminals. Their hats were on the ground and they all had a few dollars in them. They got a smile from me, but that's it. We were always in a hurry anyway and never stopped to listen. Besides, I didn't feel obligated to give them anything. I didn't request anything plus they were there on borrowed time. It's not like the airport authority hired them to entertain busy travelers.

Then there was the time we went to our local Mexican restaurant. That particular night they had a Mariachi band strolling about playing requests for the diners. It was different than most of the Mexican places we ate at which didn't offer entertainment of any sort. Unless you call the short skirts of the waitresses entertainment. LOL Well, we were there for nearly an hour and towards the end of our meal the band finally moseyed on over to our table. The leader asked what we would like to hear, and I only know one traditional Mexican song, Cielito Lindo. They did a bang up job and we were very well satisfied. So satisfied that we left a bigger tip than usual for the wait staff. We learned later that it would be appropriate and desirable to have given the band a tip for playing our request. It didn't occur to me at the time because like the airport people I didn't ask them over to our table. They just came as part of the ambiance. Also, I figured these guys were hired by the restaurant and were being well paid to begin with. Maybe so. But I guess the common courtesy would be to tip the band. Maybe next time. If there is a next time. They are back up in Chicago and I don't expect to go to that restaurant again.

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 09 Jul 2022, 15:55
by Kellemora
As common as the Susan B. Anthony 1979 version was, I'm surprised they are currently fetching 20 bucks each in perfect condition. Now there were a few wide rimmed ones that will fetch 2 grand easily, which is more than the old original coins fetch.
Well dang, I just looked up the gold coins I've been giving away to find them being sold for 18 bucks each. So perhaps I cannot get them from the bank anymore. It has been at least 10 years since I checked the price there. A bank cannot profit on the sale of coins, or so they say. But I do know the Federal Reserve sells old coins from their inventory to coin dealers.
Now I'm wishing I didn't keep giving them away.
Normally, modern coins don't sell for more than face value.

I've been in restaurants that had musicians going around to the outdoor tables, and another who had a magician going around to each table to do tricks. I went back there a couple of times just to pick on the guy with some of my tricks, hi hi.

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 09 Jul 2022, 19:16
by yogi
I've been to so some heavy duty high class restaurants up in Chicago. If there was any dinner music provided it was a pianist on a Steinway off in a corner somewhere. I also seem to recall a place with a violinist and even one with a harpist. None of them came to the tables but I believe you could send requests for songs along with your $20, $50, or $100 greenback attached. Yes, I recall some folks tipping that much.

Well, I don't know who was willing to pay $1200 or $2000 for a Susan B Anthony coin, but my friend Google says there are a few folks out there who will. I don't know about getting gold coins from the bank either. In fact I thought that they stopped dealing with gold a long time ago. Maybe not.

Before we moved to Missouri I had a jar with pennies. It had over $40 worth and I accumulated them over the course of 3-4 years. You can't believe how much $40 in pennies weigh, but that's another story. The jar was empty when I placed it on my bedroom dresser after we set up house down here. Today, 7 years later, there isn't even 100 pennies in that jar. For some reason or another I don't use much real cash in O'Fallon. I used to have a personal policy of paying cash for anything under $20, but since I've been here I haven't had much opportunity to use those $20 bills. It's really an odd situation given that the cost of living in O'Fallon is less than that of living near Chicago. Must be inflation. :lol:

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 10 Jul 2022, 22:41
by Kellemora
I think this is where your site went down. Thankfully I saved my post before hitting Submit.
Saved this message right before your site timed out. Couldn't get back in again to post it!

The moneybags guy who I hired to help get Wonder Plants going often tipped a 100 dollar bill. But then it really didn't cost him anything, because most of his money was from ill gotten gains, aka theft or swindles.

Well, the new SBA coins were not really gold, and they do tarnish. I have four of them in my pocket right now. Used to carry six of them at all times to use for tips.

Most of the years when I worked and needed to carry coins, like a bank tellers drawer, I always started out the morning with a specific amount of coins of each denomination in my pocket. If I recall, it was like 5 pennies, 5 nickles, 10 dimes, and 10 quarters. But it depended where I was working at the time too. When I worked at MAC I always had 10 nickles and 10 dimes, because a bottle of soda was 15 cents there. When I paid for things at the store, I would use paper money to get the coins. So at the end of the day, whatever change was in my pocket over the ones I normally carried, they went into a bank.
In the years I did home renovations, I always carried enough paper money to make change for two 100 dollar bills.
These days I carry 5 ones, 2 tens, 10 twenties, and if I get stuck with 50s from the ATM, I try to get 10s to go with them so they make 60 dollar bundles, hi hi. I have a person I pay 60 dollars to every other week, our housekeeper. My new yard man is 40 bucks every other week. At first he was hitting me up every week and I told him I couldn't afford that, so only do mine every other week. How that came about it is I told him to cut my lawn when he cuts his, not realizing he cut his lawn every week, and always too short. So now I have him on an every other week schedule for me. But he doesn't do all the extra stuff my other lawn guy did for that same price. The problem with the other guy is he didn't always show up, or if he did, he didn't do the optional things I pre-paid him to do. So I fired him!

There are no kids around here willing to do any work, and back home there were dozens of kids always looking for something to do. The times have changed for sure!

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 11 Jul 2022, 14:06
by yogi
I must apologize for the way this site behaves, or misbehaves. The site goes down for various reasons all of which relate to the Linux server we are using. I have contacted the help desk a few times, but by the time they get around to reading the ticket the site is back up and running. In those cases where an error message is issued I've even taken screenshots to substantiate my claims. After a few go-arounds they basically told me I'm getting what I'm paying for. This site is on a shared server and sometimes those other sites use up a lot of the processing power. They aren't doing anything illegal or against the TOS. The server simply meets its limits from time to time and we are stuck with it.

I don't know what a dedicated server would cost but I have a feeling it's more than the $9/mo I'm giving them now. At one time when we had more than two users it would have been worth the extra charge for a fixed IP and dedicated server. Not so much these days. All I can ask you to do is be cautious as you normally would be and save your work before you post it. Retrieving lost pages isn't a problem for my WaterFox browser, but apparently it is a problem for the browser you favor. So, it's better to be safe than sorry. Save draft copies or save offsite before you submit.

The change in my pocket here in O'Fallon isn't what it used to be up by Chicago. The reasoning is a bit convoluted. I never had more than $100 in cash in my pockets. Most of the time it was closer to $50, but I always tried to keep two or three $20 bills on hand. That was consistent with my unwritten rule to pay cash for any purchase under $20. That particular limit had to do with transaction fees charged by the credit card people. Several shops would not accept credit cards for small purchases, illegal as that was. So I didn't want to bother arguing and just paid in cash. Eventually the credit card people straightened out the merchants and over the past two decades my credit card has never been rejected for too small of a purchase. The post office DID reject it for not being signed, but that's a different story.

I did a lot of shopping back home and the ATM was conveniently located so that I could replenish my pocket money easily. Because I did make a lot of cash purchases the coins in my pocket built up. When I got more than a handful of coins I would try to buy something small and give the merchant all coins. Many of them liked that, but some frowned upon it. Regardless, that is how I kept the coin count under control. My favorite trick was leaving coins for a tip when we went out to eat. My wife would sometimes be upset that I left $5 in coins for the waitress, but I am sure the waitress didn't mind. Cash is cash be it coins or paper. LOL So, there was a constant flow of cash in and out of my pockets back home.

Down here in Missouri the bank is 7 miles from my house. To my utter shock and surprise it is the same bank I used up in Chicago which is why I don't go to the one less than a mile from my house. It didn't take too long to figure out that the cost of living down here was less than up north, but that didn't stop me from loading my pockets with at least ten $20 bills. I'm not certain how it happened, but I shop less down here and pay almost exclusively with plastic. Even the small purchases. That $200 in paper money stays in my pocket for many months. I think part of the reason for that is I do a lot more online shopping here simply because many of the stores I favor don't exist in O'Fallon. Even the local shops I patronize are a bit of a drive, and it's just easier to have things delivered. Groceries is the only exception. I insist on picking out my own groceries, although that too is not necessary. They all will shop and deliver for a small fee.

So up in Chicago I carried less cash and the cost of living was high. In O'Fallon I carry a lot of cash and pay less.

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 11 Jul 2022, 18:27
by Kellemora
I'm on 1&1 now called Ionos, it too is 9 bucks a month, and I don't think it has ever been down yet. But then how would I know if it was?

I usually hit Ctrl-a, Ctrl-c, before hitting the Submit button.
Trouble is, if it crashes while I'm writing, not much I can do about that.

When I was doing contracting work, I always carried a dangerously large sum of money on me. Especially on paydays. I wrote the employees a check to coincide with my accounting records and taxes, but then would cash some of their checks for them, since many of the day helpers didn't have bank accounts.
Then I would deposit those checks back into my account so I had the cancelled checks if ever needed.

Long before the gold coins came out, I use to leave tips using silver dollars, and/or $2 bills.
I used to love paying for a burger at a fast food joint with a $2 bill, because the cashiers often thought it was fake and called the manager. I've hit a couple of managers that didn't want to take it either. Now those idiots, I would give them a 100 dollar bill instead, hi hi.

I still carry too much money on me, because I don't get out much, and have folks I have to pay in cash.
But when I shop, I use my credit card because I get cash back, deposited directly into my savings account.
It's amazing how much builds up in a years time. I do a lot of on-line shopping now too, but try to do so from brick n mortar stores, even if they are a tad higher priced. There are some benefits to do so, especially if they are local businesses. I've had the owner actually drop off my order on his way home a couple of times rather than pay for shipping when he's going almost by my door. I'm only 1-1/2 miles off the main drag he uses, but it don't seem that far when driving into the subdivision.

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 11 Jul 2022, 20:53
by yogi
From a review of Ionos: ... g-reviews/
3) Unimpressive Uptime & Speed

All issues with customer service and a confusing dashboard may be forgiven if 1and1 proved to be incredibly reliable and speedy. But the reality is that they're just average, perhaps even a bit below average lots of the time. 1and1's page loading times sit in the 700-800ms range, which puts them on the slow side of the bell curve. And while they stay true to their 99.9% uptime guarantee, they're nowhere near the ranks of ultra reliable hosts like Siteground or A2 Hosting.
Why this guy thinks Ionos is not ultra reliable is beyond me. :rolleyes:

Re: One More Reason

Posted: 12 Jul 2022, 19:38
by Kellemora
Most websites you don't who they are hosted by, but nearly every one I visit is slower than loading my pages.
And yes I know they load from cache after the first visit, unless you reload.

I do think they were a little faster before 1&1 became Ionos.
During the transition, they did have a few slow days there, that much I remember, hi hi.

Even so, I've never had a complaint with them, other than when they charged me for something I wasn't using, hi hi.